Sponsored Data Can Evolve to Take Mobile Marketing Beyond Facebook & Google, Says Strategy Analytics

by Susan Welsh De Grimaldo | Jan 18, 2018


 Awareness & Fragmentation Remain Challenges Despite Strides by Orange, Telefonica & America Movil  

Boston, MA - January 18, 2018 - Sponsored data and data rewards offer a strong win-win-win opportunity for mobile operators, sponsors and the right user segments, says Strategy Analytics in its report, “Can Operator Collaboration On Sponsored Data Lead to Success?” Nonetheless, while initial prominent launches of sponsored data offerings by AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and Telefonica caught attention in the last few years, sponsored data is still at an early stage and Communication Service Providers (CSPs) around the world have been grappling with how to adopt and grow sponsored data offerings.

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Key findings from the report:

Challenges: Fragmentation of operator offerings has limited early stage growth and awareness among brands and other sponsors, while increased size of data bundles in mobile service and widespread availability of Wi-Fi in some countries has raised doubts among operators in many advanced data markets as to the perceived value of sponsored data for consumers.

Developments: The sponsored data ecosystem is progressing with additional value creation with analytics and feedback loops for campaigns and collaborative efforts focused on ease of onboarding for CSPs and sponsors. This can be seen in Catalyst activities at the TM Forum that involve Orange, Datami, Comptel (now part of Nokia), Sigma, cloudsense and cloudstreet, as well as collaboration between Syntonic and Tata Communications for a cross-operator sponsored data exchange model. The recent acquisition of sponsored data/data rewards pioneer Aquto by Mavenir showcases the value CSPs and their vendors see on new types of monetization opportunities.

Call to Action: More work on brand awareness in particular is needed to drive the market forward—as is further participation and collaboration among CSPs.


Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, Director, Service Provider Strategies, Strategy Analytics explains: “Challenges still remain for CSPs in terms of improving their strategy and approach to sponsored data and evolving that approach in an iterative and agile way to best target end user segments and brands and others that will foot the bill in their markets. However, sponsored data provides an opportunity for CSPs to evolve their business to create new revenue streams and grow in sectors like mobile advertising, while also boosting customer loyalty.”   


Nitesh PatelDirector, Wireless Media Strategies, Strategy Analytics recommends: “Strategy Analytics estimates mobile advertising revenue  reached US $80 Billion at the end of 2017.  Sponsored data should be considered as part of a broader advertising strategy to position CSPs as an alternative destination to big web scale companies like Google and Facebook for mobile advertising dollars. Raising awareness and providing proof points of the results that can be achieved by brands with sponsored data campaigns in each market and for specific use cases remains important—we encourage CSPs to work together and with associations to increase awareness of the benefits of sponsored data and data rewards.”

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