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Free navigation consolidates as successor of the 0800 to 'save' data

DCI Online - Telecommunications - 05/17/2018

At Vivo, revenue generated by advertisers interested in zero rating to users jumped 280% in one year; four years after arriving in Brazil, new banks and retailers negotiate contracts.

The Brazilian's difficulty in not breaking the data plan and the huge prepaid mobile phone base (61.5% of the chips in March) opens up more space for launching applications with free navigation - especially between financial and retailers.

The largest carrier in the country, Vivo told DCI that revenue generated by advertisers interested in the model grew 280% in 2017 compared to 2016. At MUV (mobile marketing agency), "ten data projects for new clients are in including two for financial institutions, according to CEO Marcelo Castelo. In the US company Datami, 80% of the business acquired in four years of operation was originated in the Brazilian market.

"The sponsored data is an evolution of the '0800', or a direct channel with the customer that works very well for retail, banks and insurance companies, among other segments", said Datami's sales director in Brazil, Mariana Oliveira. "The objective is to make the user navigate in a quiet way", added Castelo, from MUV.

In Brazil, the two companies started working together on sponsored data projects starting in 2016. Since then, large companies such as Santander, Liberty Seguros, Natura, Magazine Luiza, Netshoes and Mercado Livre have already used services from the two.

This month, Casas Bahia surrendered to the practice, releasing the function in the application of the network of electronics and furniture. "We have already realized the convenience that guarantees the customer, who can browse, buy and wait for delivery, or even buy and withdraw from the store", said Julio Duram, product director of Via Varejo (brand owner). Also in May, HDI Seguros adopted a similar stance, following "a trend that we perceive in other markets and that is becoming a differential for the consumer", according to the marketing director of the insurance company, Paulo Moraes. In both cases, MUV and Datami participated in the qualification.

From Via Varejo, Duram admits that the investment to carry out the action "is not cheap". "But of course we will have a good return with this action", added the executive, showing optimism.

Unlike social networks like WhatsApp and Facebook - which have free navigation offered as a commercial hook of mobile phone companies - advertisers who do the data sponsorship pay the carriers. In the case of Vivo, "the sponsored data solution is marketed directly by the Vivo Ads sales team for advertisers", according to head of vertical, Lucas Amadeu.

"It's like a corporate purchase. There are different price lists on each [of the telcos]", says Marcelo Castelo, of MUV - which also serves as a "bridge" between advertisers and the telecom industry in other formats of mobile advertising, such as data reward.

DCI, the partner of the mobile agency - which came up with a spin-off from Brazilian company F.biz - said that companies joining free navigation "no longer want to give it up after they understand the benefit". Recently, two projects touched by MUV were renewed and will continue to be valid in 2019.

If at first, the MUV needed to establish direct contact with the engineering areas of each of the carriers, the scenario changed after the partnership with Datami. With roots in Boston (USA) and incubated inside Princeton University, the startup "is already homologated [in the network] in almost all the operators of the Americas", according to Mariana Oliveira. In addition to Latin American partnerships, the company has agreements in India, Indonesia, and some African countries.

"With [Datami's] technology, we have managed to liberate traffic in a simpler way", adds Castillo, noting, however, that the advertiser can opt for sponsored access in only one or two carriers, even though most seek agreements with all great.

With the popularity of the model, the agency already negotiates to enter new markets: besides Mexico, where MUV already operates, companies from Peru, Argentina and Colombia have activations in negotiation.

Potential

One of the pioneers in free navigation in Brazil was Bradesco, which started betting on the model in 2014. Since then, BB has also made available the possibility, besides Santander.

"Banks are very interested in the solution because the traffic exemption accelerates the migration of customers from traditional channels (agencies and call center) to digital service. This is an increasingly strong trend, "said Amadeu of Vivo Ads.

"There is still interest in the e-commerce segment because, with sponsored navigation, the user tends to access more time and frequency," he adds, reporting a 30% increase in average flow during the first three months of implementation of the strategy.

In the case of Natura, the offer of free navigation went beyond the final consumer, also reaching the consultants - thus allowing the zero rating even for 'machines' [or POS] that the employees use in collections. About 600 thousand consultants are active on the platform.

"We have come to realize a 10% gain in average productivity, but the most important of this is the possibility of doing distance training through videos, without charging anything," said Natura's director of digital innovation, Luciano Abrantes.

Overall, Amadeu believes "the growth potential [of sponsored data] for the next few years is great because the market is still in the process of maturing, discovering the solution and its benefits." According to a study last August by Kantar Millward Brown, the percentage of Brazilians who have already accessed promotions of the genre reached 22%. Already a second study, authored by Deloitte, revealed that every ten Brazilians, eight usually burst the monthly data franchise (see chart).

18 May 2018