Wednesday, March 14, 2007



These notes are a pared down version of the complete mobile marketing associations’ common short code (CSC) primer[1].

Common short codes are phone numbers that are used by cellphone users to request for information, sports scores, weather alerts as well as other services that can be delivered through this novel medium.

Why are common short codes advantageous?

1. They are fast. Subscribers of wireless carriers along with marketers of mobile content can respond quickly and timely to the push or pull messages generated in a CSC communication.

2. CSCs are convenient. Entering long stretch of text through a mobile device takes time, user’s patience and sometimes, deftness with the keypads.

3. User response to adverts and marketing promotions increases. A CSC that is creative gets immediate response in a world where the cellphone or mobile devices have become an always ready, always available, communication appendage.

4. Facility of consumer content customization. Subscribers, the target consumers of this medium, can choose or opt-in for whatever content they want to receive and given the ease of an opt-out if they so desire.

To launch a successful CSC campaign, it is important to plan well for it. Better to consult experienced companies in this field if one is a new entrant. Some Wireless Application Service Providers (WASPs) one can consider in Nigeria are M-tech and Cellulant Nigeria Ltd.[2].

Some issues that have to be considered if a CSC application has to be approved and launched are:

1. Choosing a capable WASP.

2. A clear and concise outline of campaign goals, targets, period it’ll be run, intended start date if tied to a brand, etc.

3. Know the guidelines of major players in the CSC application, provisioning and launching process.

4. State clear billing rates and if the service is standard or premium. Premium services are billable in addition to carrier base charges, while standard services are not billable, although carrier could still bill for base charges.

5. Estimate a reasonable and realistic traffic volume so the carrier’s staff and technical personnel can anticipate subscriber requests.

6. Have clear cut opt-in, opt-out and help instructions for the short code campaign.

Note that as in every other media, content that could give birth to subscriber backlash should be avoided, especially intense profanity, intense violence, graphic depiction of the sexual act, nudity, hate speech and/or any activity deemed illegal in Nigeria, noting especially our indigenous customs.


[1]. You can get the pdf file,, that contains a clear-cut common short code primer, but the perspective is American.

[2]. A list of WASPs is available at Celtel’s site, . As for those recognized by Glo and MTN, well…

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