Can Pakistan Build A Mobile Marketing Ecosystem?

Yasmin Malik


This article is a first and limited scope attempt at examining the market forces that are enabling the development of a mobile marketing ecosystem in a developing market such as Pakistan. In particular, it aims to present a view of how operator-led rather than brand-driven mobile marketing can provide the impetus in a country where on the one hand permission-based mobile marketing is still a nascent and misunderstood concept, yet on the other hand mobile penetration and SMS (text) usage is one of the highest in the region. By analyzing the global growth of the mobile marketing value chain, this article discusses how the constituents for the requisite ecosystem are still highly under developed in Pakistan. Using the back drop of data from permission-based mobile marketing pilot projects by a leading operator (carrier) in Pakistan as a limited starting point, the first tangible findings of operator-led mobile marketing are presented which indicate that overall the most favoured mechanisms for delivery of branded mobile messaging in Pakistan seem to be bulk SMS and ringback tone services (RBTs). Based on these findings, the author proposes a way forward for the successful building of a mobile marketing ecosystem