Blyk hits the big time with 100,000 users – what are they doing right? Relevancy and dialogue play a key part.
Blyk has an interesting business model and target segment, 16-24 year olds who receive 43 minutes and 217 texts free per month in return for consenting to receive targeted advertising on their mobile.
Try as I might, I couldn’t convince the Blyk registration engine that I am 16-24, so I have had to rely on Blykwatch, an initiative from Ewan MacLeod’s SMStextnews.com.
In these detailed accounts as life with Blyk, we can see them model in action. Once a user has signed up and entered a detailed profile of themselves, the targeting engine goes to work, and ads from 117 different brands from Lucozade to Loral are despatched according to the user’s preferences.
With 100,000 users, they can now really start to expand and experiment with their targeting. I would also be interested to see what the referral rate is (I’m on Blyk – you should get on as well), as well as the uptake in-between marketing drives around start of term for schools and universities.
After reading some commentary, it would seem that Blyk is being discussed among the target group as friend A wonders why they did not get the same offer as friend B – it’s all down to targeting.
An interesting aspect of the Blyk approach is also the “relevancy” and “dialogue” it enables, as discussed on the blog of Ann Sarimo who is in charge of strategic planning of Ad products. Ann discusses how the “dialogue” part is very important because this provides an ongoing feedback loop about the ads being served. One of the challenges of the more mainstream mobile advertising will be to provide feedback in near real-time on the “what did you think of that” type question when an ad is served.
Even if the ad server gets it right because of demographic targeting such as age, postcode and credit worthiness (and hopefully location soon…), the recipient may have had a negative reaction to the ad – but how will we ever know? Even Nielsen people meters don’t measure this metric – they log that you saw the ad, but don’t ask the recipient what they thought. Blyk have cleverly embedded this feedback loop into the normal interaction, and the 16-24 target group respond well to this method of communication.
I’m also interested to see what innovations Blyk have up their sleeve, such as idle screen ad presentation, and location information to assist targeting even further.
I wish Blyk well on their ascent to 250,000 users by Christmas. I am sure that their host network, Orange are watching Blyk closely, as are all the other Youth segment marketing managers of UK mobile operators.
The foundation advertisers on Blyk should also be rewarded for taking a risk with a new approach to mobile advertising.