In the ever-evolving digital landscape, a groundbreaking collaboration is taking shape as four major European telecom giants are collaborating on an advertising ID system called TrustPid; a privacy-led identification solution that promotes the use of mobile numbers as unique identifiers, to support the digital marketing activities of publishers and brands, in light of third party cookies imminent extinction. Interestingly, the idea to launch a “Telco Ad Network” did not just happen. In 2015, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Africa’s foremost Data and Marketing Technology company, Terragon, unveiled its unique mobile advertising solution, and Africa’s first telco-data monetisation platform, ‘Adrenaline’, which just like TrustPid used the mobile phone numbers as the unique identifier.
In 2015, when Terragon launched Adrenaline, the idea was clear – to provide a simple but robust platform that bridges advertising demand and data supply to publishers and telco, to enable targeted messaging to consumers both online and offline.
Adrenaline is a double-sided platform which offers advertisers (businesses) access to run targeted messages to mobile subscribers via offline Telco-native channels, such as “end of call notification, flash message, USSD and online ad exchanges on one hand; and on the other hand help Telcos monetise their data assets by providing these advertisers with privacy compliant access to segmented subscribers as well as the channels for businesses to reach their target audience. Terragon’s Adrenaline platform is then able to process the data the adrenaline platform is able to access in a privacy compliant environment to enable data monetisation for telcos, accurate reach for publishers and measurement for advertisers. All of this is powered in a strict privacy complaint framework. The AI-powered analytics enables businesses to deliver “personalized” and relevant messaging to targeted audiences. This means that a business using Adrenaline would not waste marketing dollars promoting mobile app usage to a feature phone user, for instance.
Similarly, TrustPid a cross-operator platform for data protection-compliant digital marketing, was born out of the desire to drive privacy-compliant personalised advertising without cookies and diversify the revenue stream of the 4 European telcos — Telefónica, Orange, Vodafone, and Deutsche Telekom.
A daring move at the time, but one driven by foresight according to Terragon’s CEO and Co-founder, Elo Umeh, who had noted in 2015 that the unveiling of Adrenaline at the MWC was a ‘global first’ that shows that innovation can indeed come out of Africa. He would later go on to explain that Adrenaline’s inception was driven by the insight that mobile phone numbers would become unique identifiers for consumers in the near future. Today, the launch of TrustPid and the looming extinction of third-party cookies, which will have a major impact on the $300bn advertising industry, validates Elo’s 2015 comments and the innovative value presented by the launch of Adrenaline.
Both Adrenaline and TrustPid share a common approach to UID (unique identifiers) — utilizing telco networks as a major source of consumer data. According to Terragon’s CTO and Co-founder, Ayodeji Balogun, ‘by leveraging telco-data, Adrenaline empowers advertisers with near real-time customer insights needed to deliver more relevant, targeted, and effective advertising campaigns, and make effective business decisions.
Telcos have emerged as exceptionally dependable data sources in today’s world where customers generate multiple data traces. Telco data serves as a valuable resource that empowers advertisers with precise insights and targeting capabilities, enabling them to optimize their campaigns and achieve higher levels of effectiveness. Telco data can provide insights on customer behaviour, location, demography, channel preference, interests, economic power, etc. armed with these insights in near real-time, businesses can deliver enhanced targeting, multi-channel engagement and personalised experiences at scale.
The proliferation of mobile usage in Africa has experienced substantial expansion over the years. With a mobile penetration rate exceeding 50% and customers dedicating more than 4 hours each day to their mobile phones, the significance of identifying consumers with their mobile phone numbers, and interacting with them through mobile channels becomes apparent. This according to the Terragon CTO is a major feature of Adrenaline.
“Mobile phone numbers serve as crucial identifiers that connect individuals to their mobile devices. As consumers engage in various activities on these devices, our native cloud software possesses the capability to uniquely recognize them through their phone numbers. Our customer data platform which is situated within different businesses, utilizes mobile phone numbers as key identifiers to centralize and manage customer information.
On the supply side, this data exchange can increase customer life-time value and ARPU, deliver superior customer experience, enable hyper-personalised engagements, identification of growth opportunities, identification of “at-risk” subscribers and prevention of churn. On the demand side, businesses can drive intelligent product recommendation, upsell and cross-sell, reduce cost on customer acquisition and retention, deliver personalised experiences at scale, and increase marketing ROI.”
On data privacy, Mr. Balogun states “Our data is fully encrypted and anonymised to protect personal identifiable information. We adhere strictly to global and regional data privacy regulations including the GDPR, and the NDPR (in Nigeria). We have been ISO 27001 certified for 5 years running.”
Terragon is Africa’s leading data and marketing technology company that leverages data and technology to help Brands intelligently reach, engage and deliver more meaningful experiences to African consumers on mobile. Terragon is building a unique and robust cloud-based ecosystem which currently boasts of big global tech companies including Microsoft and AWS, Telco partnership like MTN and Orange, over 30 multinational enterprises including Nigerian Breweries, Access Bank, UBA and over 8,000 small and medium sized businesses.