Out There Media can access around 380 million mobile subscribers from all across Europe and Asia for advertising purposes.

The company is combining the experience of their international leadership with local presence and expertise that facilitates and shortens procedures.

Operator clients can, therefore, expect immediate generation of new revenue streams through advertising, which is very important to them as they are being squeezed in a very competitive environment, where any service is being offered at cheaper and cheaper rates; advertising clients can expect access to a targeted, permission-based media, where the audience has given consent to receive advertising, therefore enjoying way above average response rates, where for instance their most recently launched campaigns in Asia have enjoyed up to 45% response rates; and consumers can expect to receive valuable offers and promotions from their favorite brands that enriches their lifestyle.

Their dedicated team strives to provide an extensive network of local advertising and media agencies with access to over 50 top brands. Out There Media’s Vice President of Business Development and General Manager in Asia Pacific, Mr. Fabrizio Caruso, who joined the team a year ago, gave us insights into his company’s goals and achievements by answering some questions:

Q: How did your company achieve such an incredible result of getting 280 mio opt-in subscribers?

A: We believe our success is related to a very compelling proposition, offering a win-win model to advertisers, operators and most importantly consumers, supported by a world-class team of experts that is fully committed to mobile advertising.

For around 70% of the operator clients we are the exclusive mobile advertising partners, for the remaining ones our proposition co-exists with others provided by different vendors.

Q: Mobucks is a cross-operator, cross-advertiser marketplace that matches demand and supply for advertising over mobile telephones. Can you explain in more detail how Out There Media enables operators to monetize their inventory, and how it enables advertisers to engage with their audiences in a targeted and effective manner?

A: Mobucks Mobile Advertising Marketplace is a platform that matches supply (i.e. the inventory) and demand (i.e. the advertisers). It is a fully extendable solution that can be adapted to and customized for the specific requirements of mobile operators and inventory owners. It provides an advanced set of campaign management tools and a cutting-edge targeting engine that matches campaigns to channels according to their capabilities, filters, campaign constraints and custom input data. Mobucks is open to all market participants to sell and book mobile advertising campaigns on the one hand and mobile operators and publishers on the other.

Through Mobucks, Out There Media can aggregate cross-operator inventory across different channels and offer it on a golden plate to the advertising community through a single interface.

Q: What are the key stand-out features of Mobucks? What do you feel gives you the edge over your competition? What’s the unique value proposition(s) of Out There Media?

A: Mobucks is a world-class mobile advertising marketplace, which is scalable, flexible and stable.  Based on Mobile Marketing Association standards, it utilizes the simplicity of rich web-based user interfaces for intuitive command and control as well as a state-of-the-art ad server design for a large variety of ad types, supporting WAP, SMS, MMS, WAP Push, Video, Search and many more. It enables advertisers to carry out effective and targeted mobile advertising by providing an advanced set of campaign management tools and a cutting-edge targeting engine that matches campaigns to channels according to their capabilities, filters, campaign constraints and custom input data.

Mobucks represents those workflows that enable operators and advertisers reap the benefits of the most promising emerging value proposition: Ad-supported tariffs. Subscribers register via a web-based interface and agree to receive targeted SMS, MMS, WAP-push and email campaigns. By offering truly interesting and relevant advertisements, advertisers create an engaging and targeted brand experience and get into direct interaction with their customers. Mobile operators achieve growth, generate new revenue streams and learn more about their subscribers via the Mobucks Profile Generation Tool. After entering the relevant targeting criteria, Mobucks creates dynamic data clusters corresponding to the target group.

Q: What are the big opportunities and what are the big challenges you see or expect for your business venture here in the region?

A: In October 2010 major brands including HSBC, McDonald’s and Unilever have committed close to US$4 million in advertising spend on the mobile channel in the Philippines for the permission-based mobile advertising program by Out There Media and Globe. Out There Media achieved in Asia a record breaking amount of 2.5 million consumer-opt-ins within a few weeks of the recent roll-out of its next generation permission-based program with Maxis and Globe Telecom.

According to Frost & Sullivan, total mobile advertising revenues in Asia Pacific region are forecast to rise about 17 percent a year for the coming five years. These statistics promise a bright new future for mobile advertising and as more advertisers in the region start to embrace this form of advertising, we expect more opportunities to expand in Asia Pacific. In the next few years, mobile advertising will be one of the strongest forms of consumer outreach in the region.

Q: What do you feel are the most common mistakes made when planning and running a mobile advertising campaign? What advice do you have here?

A: So far mobile media has been under-utilized. Most mobile advertising initiatives have been focusing on banner impressions, which although useful are just a replica of the Internet world on mobile. We believe that opt-in messaging is a more effective way to leverage the unique characteristic of mobile, being with you anytime, anywhere and at the same time allowing a one-to-one private dialogue with the audience.

So far, brands and agencies have had a very fragmented access to the media, with no clear directions on where to go when planning a mobile campaign. We at Out There Media are positioning ourselves as the one-stop-shop for advertisers to easily plan and execute mobile campaigns that reach audiencs across operators and different channels.

Q: What does Out There Media see as the key trends and drivers in the mobile advertising arena in the Asia Pacific?

Fabrizio CarusoA: Asia-Pacific is already leading the way for mobile advertising. Reports show that out of $3.5 billion of global mobile advertising revenue, $1.5 billion this year has come from Asia.

With many developing countries skipping the online phase and accessing the Internet directly over mobile, we expect mobile advertising revenue in APAC to growth to an even higher share of the global amount.

The growth of smartphone users enables advertisers to gradually move towards the mobile landscape. As the mobile technology becomes more advanced, mobile advertising will become an even more effective and important channel to engage consumers through rich video content via web and MMS.

The increased production of mobile applications will enable advertisers to focus their marketing campaigns in this method. Application downloads in Asia will keep on increasing, and this will open up more windows for mobile “app-vertising”.

The escalation of video viewing on mobile phones enables advertisers to tap in the video wave that is trending now. It is a good opportunity for brands and advertisers to effectively reach out to a huge pool of consumers.

Geo-fencing is also becoming more popular in the region. As consumers start to use applications such as “Foursquare”, advertisers can actually locate and send instant messages real-time on a store’s offers to subscribers.

Although smartphone use is growing, text messaging will still be one of the powerful methods of mobile advertising. Brands and advertisers can send promotional SMS messages, mobile coupons, latest promotions and offers as well as real time updates of activities from brands. Messaging is not only the channel that gives brand more reach but it is the one that is most widely understood by the consumers.

Out There Media’s success in terms of opt-ins and revenue commitment this year have proven that they are on the right track and the way for Fabrizio Caruso’s goal to expand into new geographies in Asia-Pacific seems to be perfectly paved for further growth.

By Daniela La Marca