With so much talk this week about over-the-top (OTT) voice and messaging applications such as WhatsApp, Skype and Viber potentially being regulated following hearings in Parliament this week, it’s probably a good time to take a closer look at these hugely-popular apps.Consumers clearly love them, and any voice and data platform beloved by consumers must have a mobile marketing application. So what should brands know about OTT platforms? Firstly, mobile messaging applications like WhatsApp will not replace SMS. A more likely scenario, implied in the Wi-Fi Forum of SA’s OTT presentation in Parliament this week, is that SMS will reach a point where it is virtually free to consumers. SMS has all sorts of unique applications, like its growing use as a One Time Password (OTP) bearer, that make it certain this mobile marketing tool will be with us for a very long time indeed. Secondly, while OTT poster boy WhatsApp made a renewed commitment this month to not serving ads, it has also stated that it is testing additional enterprise-focused services that will facilitate B2C communication with customers. According to WhatsApp owner Facebook: “We want to build things that are utilitarian, that allow a company like American Airlines or Bank of America to communicate efficiently through a messaging app like WhatsApp.” That smells like mobile marketing opportunity to us! Finally, figures from Juniper Research suggest that revenues made by OTT services will draw level with those from traditional SMS and MMS providers in about the next two years – however, OTT services will struggle to monetise their services. This is a wonderful opportunity for creative mobile marketers who partner with the right advisors to build the right in-app purchases to generate revenue.
Archive for January, 2016
Mobile marketing unlocks powerful opportunities for marketers on a scale that’s never been seen before. Two key statistics prove just how serious brands should be about the mobile medium. The first is that mobile phone penetration in South Africa is about to move up to the 140% mark by the end of 2016. Think of this as 1.4 interactive and personalised advertising mediums for every person in this country. That’s incredible.
The second statistic speaks to the potential impact your mobile marketing campaign can have: Adweek says 79% of 18 to 44 year old mobile phone users have them within easy reach 22 hours out of every day. Four out of five smartphone users check their phones within the first 15 minutes of waking up. Over 80% of those say it’s the first thing they do in the morning. In a South Africa with high levels of mobile phone penetration, and relatively low levels of PC and laptop use, I’d guess the applicable stats are even higher here.
With every opportunity, there’s a potential challenge. And the challenge with reaping the benefits of effective mobile marketing campaigns is that brands have to do the proper legwork to ensure they’re partnering with the right mobile marketing experts. Marketing consultants are a dime a dozen. Mobile marketing consultants, on the other hand, are specialists and a little harder to find. That’s the first lesson of mobile marketing – ensure you contract with a specialist trusted mobile marketing advisor like Imaginatrix. You wouldn’t see a GP when a Cardiologist was needed. Why change the rules when dealing with your valuable brand?
To effectively design and implement your mobile campaign, your mobile marketing consultant should answer YES to all the questions below:
- Do they have established relationships with all South African mobile network operators and important industry players like WASPA and the Mobile Marketing Association?
- Can they place your brand on a wide variety of high quality mobile marketing platforms thanks to their good relationships with media owners?
- Do they have a track record of successfully launching ground-breaking industry firsts?
- Are they well-known in the industry and regularly invited to address their peers within acknowledged industry forums such as conferences and exhibitions?
Imaginatrix stands ready to help brands convert mobile marketing opportunity into ROI rands and cents.