Scope of ‘Missed Call’ Marketing in India
Being a nation which has the second largest population of mobile subscribers, India has now become an ideal place for mobile marketing. The number of subscribers crossed 1.12 billion and is showing steady growth. It had overtaken U.S in 2015 and now stays at the second place below China.
So what do missed calls mean to Indians? Missed calls, in Indian perspective, can be defined as a coded mode of communication. Making a missed call – dialling a number and disconnecting it before the call is picked up – has been a way to signal a message in India without actually communicating it by voice.
In the era of social media, it is possible for one to connect freely and instantly using apps like Facebook and WhatsApp without any talk – time but that requires smartphones, access to mobile internet and technology skills. With a large number of Indians using feature phones instead of smartphones, missed calls continues to be a wide-reaching, economically feasible communication mechanism.
Today, the missed call has escaped its rural mooring and had gone mainstream. Big corporates – including many consumer-facing multinational companies realized the scope of missed calls and have started using it. This multifunctional telecom feature has a wide range of application in many different sectors. Small firms, cancer detection centres, tuberculosis prevention campaigns of state governments, gyms, schools and colleges, NGO’s – all now have a missed call number featuring prominently in their print and T.V. ads. Many major advertisements can be seen having a “Give a missed call to xxxx xxxxxxxx for more information” tag tucked at the bottom of the frame.
Hard to miss
Experts say that India is only the tip of the iceberg. The Missed call market is expecting more action here because of the large active mobile base. There are many reason for the popularity of MCM, some of them are: there is no cost associated with making a missed call, it’s easy and fast, it’s the simplest call to action, universally understood and accepted, no need any app or account and above all, it is a human-powered ecosystem that’s already in place.
One of the prime advantages of MCM over other similar marketing techniques is that ‘its user initiated marketing’. If a customer or user should give miss call she/he should be genuinely interested in the subject, this makes the marketing several times more efficient than other traditional methods. This peculiarity of MCM takes risks like unnecessary network traffic and spam out of the picture.
MCM has wide possibility beyond a mere call to action. The major part of the business is data. MCM provides the consumer, data analytics based on this is critical for business. The data can range from location (telco circle, area etc.), campaign metadata (media, target user group), user – survey data (brands ran voice survey campaigns to know age, gender and language preference of the customer) and internet connection details (linked content on SMS can identify internet preferences).
Advantages over the Toll-Free
Toll – free numbers also allow users to access information at zero cost. When a user or customer calls toll – free, he gets connected to the brand using an inbound dialling lines. If a large number of traffic is expected to access the number, the company has to invest more on infrastructure for receiving the call. Else, in peak loads, users get a busy signal and may have to wait a long time, which is a great inconvenience. While MCM needs only a smaller infrastructure set – up to receive miss calls and hence offers a huge capacity to receive customer requests. Using outbound dialling lines, a return call can be made when the capacity for calling back is available.
Besides these obvious advantages over toll – free systems, most of the companies in India are sticking on to this rather inefficient system. Since most missed call services providers offer toll – free facilities as well, they refuse to say that one is clearly better than others.
Things to do with Missed calls in India
There are some very successful campaigns and utilities based on Missed calls in India. The acceptance of this communication had made it an effective campaigning tool. While the functionality of missed calls is also being utilized by many other sectors. Some of the popular campaigns and utilities featuring missed calls are listed below.
Kan Khajura Tesan
‘Kan Khajura Tesan’ (translated as earworm radio channel) is a very successful campaign conducted by Hindustan Unilever Ltd, the campaign targeted at rural India. Most such missed call activation campaigns are a simple one or two-step processes. Some ask few questions to profile the consumer who had opted in.
Mann Ki Baat
Another popular missed call based program Prime Minister’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’. You can hear Prime Minister’s words from the heart, just by giving a missed call to a number. One million people responded to the number soon after it was released.
Missed calls in Banking
Some banks let customers check their bank balance or get a mini statement on their mobile phones by giving a missed call on the number provided by the bank. Federal Bank went further by introducing a facility for customers to transfer money to an account – holder in any Indian bank, via a missed call.
To find a Job
A person who lacks internet facility can find jobs posted on listings website Quikr.com, just by giving a missed call. Job seekers can call +91 1800 1033 331, and hang up. The individual would get a call back from Quikr asking personal information. A resume will be generated on the spot. In a matter of minutes, the caller will get a text message listing job vacancies including a contact number to apply for the position.
Emerging markets such as India have made optimum use of the missed calls as a marketing medium. Countless successful social campaigns and application has proved the efficiency of MCM, especially in India. Many Indian companies which provide MCM facilities are hugely invested by many multinational companies. How big is the business in India? There is no simple answer, its BIG and it’s getting BIGGER.
Contact us to know how to create a successful missed call marketing campaign along with social media to engage with your potential customers and boost your business.