1 Min With A Superhero: Phil Bartholomew From DialMedia

If you are a consumer who enjoys those cash-back offerings, then DialMedia should be your next call. We recently spoke with Phil Bartholomew, the co-founder of DialMedia about what exactly they are offering their consumer.

DialMedia looks great, tell us how the concept came about?

The concept was born from the need for cheaper (or free) mobile calling, the obvious way to do this was subsidising the cost with advertising. We felt that if the two could go together, one can match a willing advertiser with a willing listener; the holy grail of advertising.

It seems simple, but it has taken DialMedia two years to develop the platform to this point, so as to be independent from the mobile provider networks.

In an age of Viber, FaceTime, dropping call rates and new social apps being launched all the time, DialMedia seems a brave step. How are you planning to stave off the competition?

The patent pending technology used by DialMedia is the only app of its kind to pay users, with refunds available to be used toward data bundles as well as traditional airtime. As apps become more data hungry, the opportunity to be rebated for calls, as well as data, is an attractive one. VOIP has been around and working for years on mobile, but people are still preferring to use the cell phone service, and if this changes so will DialMedia.

“Free” seems to have lost its lustre in recent times, when investors are looking for solid returns and advertising is in a slump. What is DialMedia’s business plan in this tricky environment?

As consumers become more media savvy, advertising needs to be more effective and deliver real and measurable returns on investment. With Dialmedia, advertisers deliver highly targeted ads – using up to 47 demographic metrics – and given its a pay-per-view, have more control over campaign costs. Beyond ad views, the interactivity of the platform also allows a real time call to action, offering much greater consumer/brand engagement.

Building understanding of the technology and trust in the DialMeda platform is the step. We are making great progress with over one million calls per month through our system within the first few months, and over 15000 active callers. Among these early adopters, we are offering them many benefits for being part of a privileged community of users, with everything from free tickets and exclusive vouchers to gifts from interesting brands. As word spreads about unique ‘perks’ available to DialMedia users, we expect interest in the platform, from both a user and advertiser perspective, to grow rapidly.

Many of your advertisers appear to be high value brands that appeal to a more middle class target market. What is the split between middle and lower income groups in terms of usage?

Our callers right now are mainly university students, since this was the initial areas of focus for DialMedia. High value brands are very keen to talk to this demographic as they are future top earners, and are influential in their social circle. The DialMedia application is specifically for smartphone users, which may skew our demographic currently, however, in a very short time, smartphones will be everywhere, and this will reflect in our user base.

FInally, once you’ve achieved national domination – are there international plans? (or at least plans for the rest of Africa?)

Absolutely. We can see this model working anywhere there are people who want to make better use of disposable income, and where there are advertisers who want to ensure more ‘bang for their buck’ and measurable brand engagement.

Thanks for chatting to us Phil. Best of luck with the business expansion – and please check in again to update us!