While savvy marketers may have woken up to the merits of mobile marketing, it’s important to note that according to the last AMPS release from the Mobile Marketing Association, only 50 percent of South Africans are able to access the Internet via their phones. Mobitainment’s Candice Goodman points out that in order to reach the South African market effectively through mobile, a different approach is needed to optimise mobile campaigns – one that amounts to smart marketing, without the use of a smartphone.
“Most cell phone users in South Africa have access to basic features such as SMS, USSD and voice, and applications such as MXit,” says Goodman, adding that factors such as the expense of smartphones and the cost and availability of bandwidth and airtime means that mobile technology in South Africa does not follow the same trends as in developed markets. That said, she believes it is entirely possible for brands to develop mobile campaigns that have the ability to reach the majority of South Africans, irrespective of their income, to create an understanding of who and where they are.
1. Indeed, Mobitainment has pioneered a number of technologies that make it possible to create brand awareness using mobile. For example, the first tool to consider when it comes to smart marketing is that competitions and campaigns that make use of a free entry mechanism or call to action remove all barriers to entry – even to consumers who have run out of airtime.
2. The second key to successful mobile marketing is an understanding of the market you are talking to. Goodman advocates creating a Multilanguage option – a method which enables marketers to identify different market segments and talk to them about their brands in their own language.
3. Thirdly, mobile experiences must be accessible. The use of techniques such as Free Messaging Service (FMS) to register for competitions, correspondence via SMS and Voice to create conversations around the campaign and using methods such as ‘Please call me’ Tagged Ads, USSD and sometimes mobile websites to create integrated platforms around the campaign all assist to increase accessibility.
4. Fourthly, getting the consumer involved is another way to enhance the success of mobile marketing. “It’s about using simple methods, such as interactive call backs, allowing consumers to share links on MXit, or vote in a competition that really creates an interest in your campaign,” Goodman insists.
5. Fifthly, the use of celebrity endorsements is extremely effective when it comes to creating hype around a mobile campaign, highlighting a call to action and making the consumer feel important.
6. The sixth tip is that once you have established contact with consumers via the mobile platform, brands should aim to continue the conversation. There are a number of ways to do this: send consumers tips and tricks in using your products as well as wishes and special offers on their birthdays; welcome them when they join your community or data base; include them in surveys or polls to understand their opinions and needs; cross sell by introducing additional products and services or congratulate them for winning loyalty points.
“Essentially, it’s about finding opportunities to interact with your consumers and keep your brand top of mind. Ultimately, you’ll be able to build an extensive database of consumers and a key understanding of what they need and want, not only by talking to them, but by listening too,” she stresses.
7. Finally, the ultimate objective of a mobile campaign is to get a consumer into the store. To this end, Goodman advises sending coupons via mobile that provide instant discounts to consumers – “it’s as easy as sending a code via SMS which they enter at the till before paying to have the discount subtracted from their total.”
Africa is a country that enables a spirit of innovation and the pioneering of solutions for Africans by Africans. Mobile marketing in Africa achieves the same success as it would anywhere else in the world – the key lies in using mobile technology in a way that is relevant to the African market.