IT News Africa recently spoke to the Chief Marketing Officer at Billaway, Tom Haley, in an interview which looked to unpack how the startup is looking to change the marketing industry.
Billaway is a growing global start-up which uses a cloud-based marketing technology platform to offer consumers the chance to partake in surveys in exchange for airtime.
Billaway’s turn-key integration enables mobile operators to introduce a ‘Mobile Data Rewards Platform’ onto its service, effectively increasing customer engagement and assisting to reduce churn for the given operator. Billaway currently works with mobile operators, mobile gaming companies and grocery retailers in more than 14 countries.
The platform assists mobile consumers to save on their monthly mobile bill, appealing to pre-paid (top-up) mobile users, particularly those in emerging markets. Billaway receives income from back-end engagement, so for the loyalty program provider (Mobile Operator), there are zero costs to add airtime bill reduction for your members. Additionally, it doesn’t cost the mobile user anything either.
Haley has over 25 years experience in Marketing and Advertising with the last 18 of those years specialising in CRM and Loyalty Marketing. He has also previously worked at American Express as well as for various successful startups.
Haley spoke to IT News Africa about mobile usage in Africa, plans to expand Billaway, the limit for consumers using the platform, how the platform can help businesses and how Billaway differs from other market research platforms.
1) With the rise in mobile usage in Africa showing no signs of slowing down how will companies look to use Billaway?
Mobile Operators and businesses that depend on mobile phones are increasingly trying to lower bills for consumers and increase network functionality. This isn’t possible without a large impact on operating margins, so those businesses are looking to Billaway’s solution to mitigate that impact and make their clients happy while still preserving margins.
2) Are there plans for Billaway to expand further into Africa?
Yes, we are in the final stages of on boarding a very large Mobile Operator and plan to launch with them in early 2018. This will serve a great deal more of the African population and bring us closer to achieving our goal visibly diminishing the monthly expenses consumer spend on their mobile phones.
3) How much money can mobile users earn using Billaway? Is there any limit?
There is no limit. We encourage users to stay active because the more you do – the more you earn. We have developed our platform so it can benefit people who may just need some extra airtime to tie them over until their next pay day, or those who want to build up extra airtime to watch data heavy activities like watching videos.
4) How does using Billaway benefit companies needing to conduct surveys?
Our platform has been specifically designed for mobile so that in itself means we have access to more consumers than any other method. We can also see where the consumer is when using our service which is also helpful. Moreover, the average consumer using the platform is looking to reduce their mobile costs so they are more willing to give their opinion when it comes to our surveys.
5) Is this the future of market research/surveys?
It is the present and future. Consumers in markets such as South Africa are still a mystery because traditional surveys rely on results taken over the phone or in person. Billaway is completely mobile on the other hand. We are on the cutting edge of identifying the right consumer for the right survey and withdrawing the most important information from that consumer that can be used to make data driven decisions.
6) How does this system differ from other market research systems?
The fact that we operate via mobile devices makes a huge difference. Billaway has figured out a way to conduct surveys on mobile devices, which was previously impossible to do as most surveys don’t render well on small screens. Additionally, with our advanced targeting abilities, getting the right answers from the right consumers for a fraction of the costs also set us aside. Imagine if the cost of an airline ticket went from $1,000 USD to $50 USD overnight. We offer businesses the ability to not only conduct better surveys with better results, but we do it at a fraction of the cost.