As this is a whole new world, it can be difficult for network providers to figure out where they fit in this value chain. Once they establish their place, however, the possibilities can be endless.
In the past, network providers could "sell" certain information about their subscriber base to interested parties. They could also align partnerships with advertising providers based on the cumulative activity of the subscriber base.
This channel is no longer the cash cow it once was and providers are instead looking for ways to better align themselves with these partners to drive sustainable revenue and growth. This can easily be achieved in mobile advertising when network providers act as a proponent for the customer and a partner for the advertiser.
While the selling of information has been in practice for years, many consumers deplore the practice. They feel their information has been violated and that they are bothered by unwanted ads. When mobility enters the picture, however, consumers take control of the interaction and the response is completely different.
Research conducted by Alcatel-Lucent has found that as long as privacy is protected and consumers have the option to opt-out of an ad campaign, customers want personalized content and relevant ads. In fact, if the network provider delivers the proper protection and personalized services, the customer is more likely to be loyal.
This research also found that consumers are willing to share specific information in order to receive those ads. The key in providing this information, however, is in knowing their information is protected and having the control to cancel participation at any time.
If the network provider can offer such protections in the process of allowing mobile advertising partnerships to flourish, consumers gain the benefit of relevant content delivered straight to their mobile device, mobile advertisers reach the intended customer and can measure effectiveness and network providers protect their customer base.