The price tag on the attention of consumers is increasing dramatically! Marketers in today’s always-connected, information-rich world face an enormous challenge: a consumer’s brain can hold only so much information before it becomes fatigued. People’s attention spans have become unavoidable scarce as a result. Marketers are thus fighting big odds to reach and engage their audiences.

In traditional media advertising marketers imply that prospects go through a linear stage of decision making before they take actions. A would be customer goes through these stages of attention, interest, desire and action before s/he decides to engage with your product/service or not. In other words, you need the attention of your customers and prospects for your business to grow!

In this week’s article we examine how Sponsored Data can be a means of cutting through the clutter and getting your communications through to your customer.

How sponsored data works in business

In this day and age, it is crucial for a business to go mobile and experts list numerous reasons. From making sure your company has a mobile website to advertising on mobile internet, it is in every business’ interest to capture consumers’ attention on the medium where they spend most of their time – on their mobile phones. As more media is consumed via handhelds marketers are under pressure to make mobile advertising useful to consumers. The cost of mobile data is a growing concern and selling point for consumers as they carefully exhaust their expensive data bundles to stream movies, music and television shows.

Sponsored data drives consumption of content and advertising by subsidizing subscribers’ data traffic costs. With Sponsored Data, operators provide mobile subscribers data connectivity to certain content “toll-free” (i.e., without counting any data usage against their purchased data bundles). In some cases subscribers earn data for engaging with content from an advertiser.  This provides mobile operators with a new avenue to monetise their mobile data capacity.

Sponsored Data offers a solution which allows marketers to get eyeballs on their message. Customers access marketing communication “toll-free” and in some cases consumers earn data for engaging with you. This is one of the biggest ways to win in this attention deficit economy. That is why Sponsored Data is essential in building your business in this modern economy.

Forms of sponsored data available in Ghana

Sponsored Data drives consumer engagement by removing existing barriers to consumption in the following ways:


Data Rewards is free mobile data or any form of redeemable currency awarded to consumers whenever they perform a desired action designed by a content provider. Data Rewards can be used by consumers to retrieve various specified goods and services.

 Data Rewards Scenario

In attempt to drive sales, a beverage company runs a promotion on a range of their drinks whereby each consumer who purchases their products will get a data reward. Yaba buys the product from a supermarket and is entitled to receive 50 MB of data.  The cashier gives Yaba a voucher to enter into her phone. Yaba redeems the voucher and receives a message confirming she has earned 50MB for purchasing the product. With the free data, Yaba can browse her favorite sites and discover more products from the brand online.

Yaba enjoys the benefits of Data Rewards.

Figure 1 illustrates how Data Rewards works.


Figure 1 – Data rewards



Imagine you are a Brand aiming to produce and disseminate advertising and marketing content for one of your products. You want to increase brand and product awareness by utilizing smart new and innovative mobile technology to gain access to new audiences. Mobile Advertising using sponsored data will ensure that your consumers view your content free of charge. Best of all, you gain great insights and visibility on consumer behaviour and market trends.

Mobile Advertising Scenario

You send Sedem a link to a video promoting your brand.

Sedem is going to watch it because:

  • It is a direct message in his phones inbox – he is less likely to ignore this compared to other traditional forms of advertising
  • He is curious; he wants to find out more
  • It is a Sponsored Data Ad, which means he can watch it for free without using up any of his mobile data units.

Because Sedem decided to watch your Ad on his mobile, you now know when and where he watched it, and what type of mobile device he watched it on. This is good analytics for your future marketing efforts.

You also know how many times he watched it, and if he watched it to the end.
With Sponsored Data, you can take mobile advertising to the next level by inciting rapid and active engagement. See figure 2

Figure 2 – How Mobile Advertising with Sponsored Data works

Sponsored content is popular content or online services that are provided free of charge to consumers. Imagine you give your employees or consumers free access to your online services and in exchange you receive valuable insights on engagement, interest, use and effectiveness of content.

 Sponsored Content Scenario

Kojo just received an invitation to join a new mobile platform for music streaming.  Kojo can download the music application and stream music for free without incurring any data charges.

As Kojo streams music he is presented with ads and marketing content intermittently which he may choose to click.

In this scenario, Kojo experiences Sponsored content by enjoying free music directly sent to target his identified demographic. See figure 3.

mobile application.004
Figure 3 – How zero rating works

As a product owner, increasing the engagement loop for your services or products can take many forms but primarily involves optimizing time spent by consumers discovering and engaging with your Mobile Application.

 Mobile Application Scenario

Lamisi is the head of a financial Institution.

She is launching a new mobile application to encourage online banking and help in a new initiative to reduce customer service and operational costs.

Additionally, Lamisi wants to increase participation and engagement of the bank’s services by providing an enhanced consumer experience.

Lamisi employs the benefits of sponsored data to provide the usage of the bank’s mobile application free of charge.

With sponsored data, Lamisi can experience savings per transaction and redirect resources in a more serving manner. See figure 4.

Figure 4 – Mobile apps can be used to save costs with sponsored data

Other instances where Sponsored Data can be leveraged

According to statistics, most Ghanaians mostly access the Internet via mobile devices. Ghanaian mobile consumers devour video and media entertainment from Smartphones and tablets these days. Logically the entertainment industry is one to benefit from leveraging Sponsored Data.

A major film studio or production house for instance, could sponsor the first ten minutes of a movie or television show so that consumers do not have to worry about draining their data bundle. At the end of the sponsored data, a call-to-action can drive consumers to subscribe to the TV show or drive traffic to a movie ticketing site to increase pre-sale ticket sales.

Additionally, E-commerce businesses can sponsor access to their websites to get more traffic and encourage more purchases.

Advertisers, Corporate bodies, Publishers and other organizations can all leverage the opportunities sponsored data offers to subsidize mobile data for consumers. In exchange these organizations will receive valuable insights on engagement, interest, use and effectiveness of content, not to mention increased conversion rates.

Wrapping up

Attention is a very important element in marketing communications. A majority of today’s ears and eyeballs are on handheld devices. No matter what industry you’re in, it is imperative to go mobile in today’s market if you want to win. Sponsored Data offers you the opportunity to rise above the noise of traditional advertising and reach your targets efficiently and effectively.

To find out more on how your business can grow with sponsored data  call +233 54 592 8686 or email

Source: exactmediagh