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The consumers in emerging markets are ready to engage with brands and are using their mobile phones to stay connected. The rate of people using only mobile devices to access the internet is skyrocketing, especially in high-growth countries. Today, more than a billion people access Facebook, and a majority of these users access Facebook from a feature phone, including 66 per cent in India, 71 per cent in Indonesia and 68 per cent in South Africa.

Facebook recognised that consumers and advertisers in emerging markets need a different experience and therefore partnered with ZipDial to launch its first ad product specifically designed for emerging markets – the ‘Missed Call ad’ format. The “missed call” behaviour started in India as a workaround for the high cost of voice calls.

When a person sees an ad on Facebook they can place a “missed call” by clicking the ad from their mobile device. In the return call, the person receives content, such as music, cricket scores or celebrity messages, alongside a brand message from the advertiser — all without using airtime or data. This experience then drives online-to-offline engagement that encourages the user to perform an action such as purchasing a product, watching a television show, etc.

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“We are so encouraged by the response in India that we will be immediately making the product available in other markets in Asia as well as in Africa. We have thoroughly enjoyed collaborating with the Facebook team, and we look forward to making a global impact with this product and others to come,” said Valerie Wagoner, Founder and CEO of ZipDial.

Since ZipDial integrates across all media channels including print, TV, OOH, and non-Facebook digital ads, with different ZipDial numbers, the platform tracks the medium that drives higher RoI for the advertiser. According to the company, the results so far from clients using the product include 10.4x higher RoI for digital ads including Facebook and non-Facebook than print in terms of consumer acquisition cost. It also had 3.02x higher RoI for Facebook than other digital ads off of Facebook in terms of consumer acquisition cost. The ad has 78 per cent higher response rate for feature phone users as compared to Android users on Facebook.

The initial market feedback for the missed call ad format has been very encouraging. Garnier did a pilot with the Facebook Click2Call ad format. Rupika Raman, General Manager of Garnier, said, “When we were approached by Facebook to become the first brand globally to take part in the click-to-missed-call innovation, we were excited to try it out. It has reaped rich dividends and has been highly impactful.”

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Disney India also integrated ZipDial’s solutions strategically to drive increased viewership. Saket Arbhi, Manager, Marketing, Disney India said, “Disney India has been using ZipDial for viewer engagement for two and a half years since April 2012. We have even used ZipDial to drive engagement across television, movies and our merchandise. So using the Facebook-ZipDial mobile ad product was a natural extension of how we use ZipDial to engage kids and their families across all Disney platforms.”

In addition to Facebook, ZipDial has also partnered with Twitter on its emerging markets initiatives to launch a Twitter experience that works for users on any mobile phone, even if they are not Twitter users.