There are two things I have thought will one day be free, or at least offered for free and in exchange you get to watch or listen to ads. One of them is the Internet. I don’t know how long from now but the wide adoption of 5G should for sure change the dynamics. The second thing is the mobile phone communication – particularly once the entire mobile communication infrastucture has migrated from the traditional cellular network to a more competent Internet infrasctructure. Before then, Safaricom has decided to test the waters by launching Skiza Ads platform aimed at supporting SMEs reach their customers.
The new tool is part of the company’s initiatives to support SMEs as they recover from the COVID-19 economic impact, especially as customers limit their movement in line with heath guidelines.
It has posed a great challenge to businesses especially SMEs in the country. We believe this platform will offer them an opportunity to access their customers who have limited their movements as a result of the increased infections.
“The Skiza Ad Service is an exciting innovation that seeks to provide an excellent platform for businesses across the country by better connecting them with customers and equally taking advantage of our wide reach. The platform will deliver to our customers even more value through free data and minutes whenever they enrol and listen to advertisements from our partners.” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom.
Customers will subscribe to the service by dialling *897# to enrol, upon which they will hear adverts in place of the ringing tone as they wait for the customer they are calling to pick up. Enrolled customers will receive free 5 MB data or free 1-minute calling time for every three adverts listened to for more than six seconds each.
Customers will need to dial *897# to view their accumulated resources and to either redeem them for data or minutes, both with no expiry. The accumulated minutes and data are valid until first day of every month and once redeemed assume a no-expiry validity on the customer’s line.
The short code equally empowers a customer to opt-in and opt-out of the service at any time, with customers who unsubscribe keeping accumulated resources to the first day of the following month.
“We are enthusiastic to launch the Skiza Ads service in Kenya using the Adtones global media platform. This is an innovative socially responsible win-win media service in partnership with Safaricom through which Adtones aims to empower and give back to mobile users. The platform will benefit millions of Safaricom customers with rewards and useful media information” said the Adtones founders Ben Lynch and Gaspare Manos, “We are particularly proud to help thousands of Kenya entrepreneurs who will be using this new means of interacting and communicating with their target audiences in a transparent, cost effective and rewarding manner”.
As the company marks its 20th Anniversary, it is increasingly pegging its future on SMEs by providing them with tailored technology solutions to market and grow their businesses.
Subsequently, the new service will drive customer retention by providing a value-added service that supports customers with free data and minutes especially when they are unable to purchase airtime.
The service is offered in partnership with Adtones, who will provide the ad-serving platform and on-board advertisers. Businesses and other advertisers can place their adverts on the service by writing to AdTones on [email protected].
Adverts will be served at random to enrolled customers across the country.