Alcatel-Lucent and Millicom Ghana, under the brand of Tigo, one of Ghana's leading mobile network operators, has announced a strategic partnership to introduce the first permission- and preference-based mobile advertising service in Ghana.

The innovative new service, Tigo Ads, is based on the Alcatel-Lucent Optism mobile marketing solution and enables Tigo’s customers to receive targeted promotions on their mobile phones.
Subscribers can share information with Tigo about their preferences and receive interactive text messages containing important news, promotions, discounts and exclusive offers from their preferred brands.
During the limited initial launch, more than 40,000 subscribers opted in to Tigo Ads and took advantage of the coupons and other offers from advertisers.
Advertising campaigns for local and international brands including Nestle, Nissan and Volkswagen saw response rates ranging from 18% to 45%.
Other digital advertising media achieve on average response rates of less than 1%. Tigo has now opened up its mobile advertising service to all its subscribers.
“This new service is one that we are particularly excited about. It helps our business customers reach their customers and it gives us insights into what our customers are interested in, so we can better serve that segment as well,” says Rosy Fynn, consumer manager, Tigo Ghana.
“Ghana is a competitive market for mobile operators and we believe the best way to gain market share, is to offer these types of new services that consumers and businesses find useful.
"The Optism service is a true asset for all members of the mobile advertising ecosystem, because it acts as a key tool to help us to better understand and meet each customer’s needs and preferences.”
For Tigo, permission-based mobile advertising opens up a new revenue stream and enables the company to leverage its existing infrastructure in an innovative way. The opt-in process also gives Tigo a new way to understand its customer base and therefore fine-tune existing services and cross-sell additional services.
“The mobile campaign we ran with Tigo Ads brought us to a wider audience than any other form of digital advertising in Ghana,” says Haadi Bawah, marketing manager of Auto Parts, distributor of Nissan automobiles in Ghana.
“The response rates to the Nissan Patrol campaign were extremely positive, and we gained insight into consumers’ needs that we can use to shape future campaigns.”
The Optism solution is fully managed and hosted by Alcatel-Lucent and did not require any capital investment by Tigo.
Optism has created an advertising ecosystem, enabling Tigo to play a broader role in the vibrant and competitive mobile market in Ghana by developing the kinds of useful new services that can create revenue streams and help Tigo gain market share.
Tigo is the first operator in the country to introduce this new service to mobile communities.
“This partnership strengthens our relationship with Millicom and confirms our ability to offer operators innovative ways to build new revenue opportunities out of existing infrastructure,” says Amr El-Leithy, head of Alcatel-Lucent business in the Middle East and Africa.
“In Ghana, the Alcatel-Lucent Optism solution delivers text-based services with the potential to unlock a range of economic benefits to users of even the most basic mobile phones. We provide a key business driver that brings service providers and leading consumer brands together for personalised mobile marketing.”
Optism is the permission-based mobile marketing solution from Alcatel-Lucent that bridges the gap between operators and advertisers.
Optism is a unique offering that enables mobile operators to create responsive, permission- and preference-based mobile inventory, providing advertisers with easy access to willing, targeted audiences.
Building upon successes in Europe with Orange Austria, Alcatel-Lucent is now forging relationships with leading operators in strategic emerging markets, including Mobinil in Egypt, Etisalat in United Arab Emirates and this partnership with Tigo in Ghana.