Mobitainment, the most internationally awarded mobile marketers in South Africa


“Congratulations, Mobitainment is no one hit wonder!” I was proud to hear someone comment at an industry cocktail party. It got me thinking what an achievement it has been to win a Mobile Marketing Association Award every year for the past three years. Not only for Mobitainment, our SA grown mobile marketing consultancy, but for South Africa and Africa to show what we can do with mobile and what mobile can do for Africans!” says Candice Goodman, co-founder and Managing Director of Mobitainment.

Mobitainment was the:

The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), is the leading global trade association for the mobile industry, and celebrated winners across key mobile categories at the 7th Annual Global Mobile Marketing Awards for Innovation, Creativity and Leadership. This year’s winners, the best-of-the-best in mobile marketing from across the globe in 2011, are the first to receive The Smarties™ – the new name unveiled during the ceremony’s opening, which reflects the growth and unique character of the mobile channel. Great creative, great storytelling is at the heart of all award-winning campaigns. The winners are truly amongst the smartest in the mobile channel, and have set rigorously high standards for industry excellence.

“And we are proud to be one of them, three years in a row… Not only have we won MMA Awards though but featured in other International Awards like we won the Best Commerce and Retail Mobisite in the World for Sasko Flour from ilovemobileweb (Mobile Web Europe) Awards way back in 2008, and more recently were finalists for the Best Marketing Camapign at the AfricaCom Awards 2011 for our Boston City Campus & Business College Experience it! campaign.” Here’s a look at the MMA award winning campaigns in more detail across the years…

2011 MMA Award: Relationship Building winner for EMEA region – AVBOB Funeral Services

The AVBOB mobile CRM campaign was developed by The Agency (Advertising & Marketing), Xpress Information (Data Management) and Mobitainment (Mobile Marketing), around the concept of “AVBOB is here for you in your time of need”. The campaign is all about courting the target market through a series of communication elements and building trust in the brand, by making AVBOB clients feel special, valuable, informed and cared for, especially when they are grieving.

AVBOB’s was the first mobi-site amongst direct competitors and it gave thousands, if not millions of people who do not have access to a computer, access to AVBOB funeral cover and services information and policy acquisitions on a mobile platform. Mobile marketing has become an invaluable tool, creating innovative and unique ideas to activate customers and build long lasting, mutually beneficial relationships.

Part of the strategy, and what has become extremely important, is not only using mobile to talk to the AVBOB clients, but to listen to them! SMSes are monitored daily and are escalated to the appropriate people at AVBOB for further action and response to the customer.

The replies received from customers speak volumes as to the success of living up to the AVBOB motto of “AVBOB is here for you in your time of need”:

“I realy appriciate everything u have done for me, thank u very much an i an goin to be a loyal client to u thank u.”

This series of three timed messages generated the desired response with replies such as these:

“I thank u sincerely 4 ur very professional and well-organized way of doing things. It was a pleasure doin business with u and expect lots of references from me. God bless you.”

The mobisite received over 37,000 page views with a conversion rate of 15% (visitors pre-qualifying for a policy). It also allowed AVBOB to profile prospective policy holders by age, employment status, bank account and language, learning that the average customer was 32, English speaking, employed, had a bank account and wanted to be called back “NOW”!

The mobisite was also invaluable support when AVBOB announced their Bonus Declaration of R400 million to policy holders. It enabled them to spread the good news and to reach out to their policy holders to notify them and get their updated details. 21% of mobisite visitors updated their details.

The mobile survey SMS sent out was highly credible and, without being incentivised to respond in any way, received an overall 17% response rate across the three channels used: mobisite, USSD and SMS. Not surprisingly, USSD was the favourite due to its low cost and familiarity from the lower income target market in South Africa.

2010 MMA Award: Direct Response Global winner – Surf Pick-a-Box

Direct Response for Surf… According to Ethne Whitley, spokesperson for Unilever Surf, the brand engaged its advertising and mobile agencies (The Hardy Boys and Mobitainment) to create a campaign with the objective of raising awareness of the new brand and getting consumers to try the product in order to drive sales and increase market share.

“We decided on the Surf Pick-a-Box TV Show, which was based on the old, proven Pick a Box mechanic,” says Whitley. “It was aired on SABC1 during the ad break for one of the most popular local soap operas, Generations.

“Mobitainment set up an entry mechanism over mobile that was the most affordable for the consumer to express interest in being a contestant on the TV show. The participant could use a free entry mechanism to enter and show their interest, which triggered off an Automated Voice Message call-back to ask the participant questions to pre-qualify him or her as a customer and prospective contestant.

“The mobile phone was used as a tool to engage with customers in a fun, entertaining way, elicit a measurable response from them and motivate them to purchase the product. It is seen as an important channel for communicating with consumers and the database created from the respondents will be used to contact them in the future with relevant information and competitions or promotions. The mobile phone truly became the remote control to the customer through TV, increased the awareness of the new brand and encouraged consumers to try the new product,” she concludes.

The free entry mechanism for this competition created high entry volumes averaging at 8 300 per day and peaking at over 12 000 daily entries for the two-month duration of the campaign. The fact that the participant got a call back from none other than the South African celebrity and host of the TV show, Dingaan Mokebe, created a lot of excitement around the campaign, the TV show and of course the brand. It made people feel important and special. Critical to the campaign was the ability to reach the participants and speak to them in their mother tongue vernacular language.

According to Goodman, “This campaign was an astounding success because it used South African pioneered new mobile technology like the free entry mechanism and Automated Voice Messaging to reach a huge portion of the exact target market, got them to purchase the product, made them feel special and important through the celebrity marketing, and received market research in exchange, all at no cost to the participant!”

MMA Award: Display EMEA Regional winner – Livemobile Football

The award-winning campaign was based on providing football fans with a multi-channel real time mobile football experience during the Confederation Cup in June 2009, without infringing on any governing body media rights. Livemobile offered fans real time running commentary, statistics and news from each game during the tournament from its portal www.lmfootball.mobi. Fans also received SMS based match kickoff reminders and also other key SMS alerts to keep them engaged in the football excitement for the duration of the tournament. Each interaction experience between the fans and Livemobile presented advertisers with the opportunity to take their brands or marketing campaigns to the audience. And from a business stand point critical marketing intelligence and profiling information was gathered from the fans to drive further targeted marketing to the user base and increase call to action activity and hence customer acquisition.

“We are privileged and honored to be the first African company to win an award since the inception of the MMA Global awards five years ago, and we see this not only as a Livemobile accolade but one which we share with the whole mobile marketing industry in Africa as this award serves as an endorsement to the fact that the rest of the world recognises the leadership position that this continent is taking in this sector,” said Patrick Kuwana, Co-Founder of Livemobile. “The world population sits at 6.8 billion at the moment and 4.1 billion of those people have mobile phones. Mobile marketing is not hype anymore; it is now a mainstream channel to access the market out there in a personally engaging and measurable way. We are providing marketing and advertising agencies with the perfect platform to offer to leading brands and advertisers who want direct and measurable access to the millions of football followers in South Africa, across the rest of the African continent and globally. Most of the traditional advertising inventory in South Africa during the world cup period is either all sold out or selling at astronomical rates, but Livemobile offers the powerful opportunity to access the football fan in the most direct way within the context of football on the one channel that stays in the hand or pocket of the target market 24 hours a day. We are extremely delighted that the foremost global mobile marketing authority and industry leaders have recognised, endorsed and rewarded our strategy,” concluded Kuwana.

2012 MMA Award: YOU!
Are you next? As you can see, Mobitainment works hand-in-hand with traditional agencies and digital agencies and directly with brands to integrate mobile marketing into the campaign – and make it work!

“It’s all about collaboration and specialisation. Knowing how to use mobile in a personal and effective way for the African market is the key to success. At the end of the day, it’s still all about reaching people – not numbers or cell phones!”

We hope to work with you next to help you with your award-winning mobile marketing campaign.