I was interested to read your piece on the launch of Card Call UK’s Anyphone product (MW October 27), although I feel it may add to the confusion over what these cards are and how they can be used.
Anyphone cards are sold to consumers through retailers and are not solely promotional items, although Card Call may sell space on the front of the cards to advertise brands, just as BT does. Since many retailers already sell BT Phonecards, this is not a new concept.
Telecard UK’s new product, Promocard, is a new phonecard concept, offering free telephone time to the consumer and better opportunities for marketers.
Brand owners can buy tailor-made Promocards for their own use in promotions, or as support to other activities, giving the brand ownership of the card – as opposed to advertising it on someone else’s product – to someone else’s target audience, as in the case of Card Call. After all, groups such as immigrants, students and other “unbankables” are surely not key targets for the major fmcg brand owners.
To be truly effective, shouldn’t a national promotional card also have national coverage?
The Anyphone system can only be used from touchtone telephones, which rely on digital exchange technology, while Promocards use an additional voice recognition system to identify a caller using an old-style phone system.
The difference is 3 million potential users: BT has acknowledged that 17 per cent of its 6,700 exchanges are not yet digital, meaning this number of people cannot access the Anyphone service.
Talking might be good but from a marketing perspective, surely it is better to talk to the right people (even all of the people).