Archive for January, 2016


Mobile Marketing Goes OTT

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.
Technology in the hands of businessmen

Mobile Ties All Together

It’s inevitable. The young whippersnapper comes out from behind and is very soon running the show. That’s a lesson many a complacent leader has discovered to their cost. Today, one might see parallels when it comes to the world of marketing and the growing importance of mobile marketing. The difference, of course, is that traditional marketing is certainly not being replaced by its mobile cousin. A necessary realignment is taking place. From being a practically unknown discipline in South Africa a decade ago, certain key and unique attributes of mobile marketing mean it is now set to become the golden thread that ties the traditional marketing mix and all the other consumer touch points of a brand together. This overarching role of mobile marketing is made possible because this relatively new technology and medium offers benefits that traditional media like outdoor and print can’t match. Mobile marketing offers a degree of measurability that is unmatched. This means mobile marketing campaigns can be tweaked in real time to deliver the best possible return on marketing spend. Mobile campaigns can also deliver highly personalised information that resonates with individual consumers. Special offers, for example, can be time sensitive and location specific. All of this means a real relationship can be built with consumers depending on where they are, when they are and what device they are currently using. Finally, the best reason why mobile should be at the forefront of the marketing effort is because mobile elements can, in fact, be integrated into the traditional marketing mix. Billboards can display SMS short codes. Print adverts can feature USSD strings. TV ads can direct the viewer to a dotMobi campaign address. It make sense then for that common element to take centre stage and tie it all together in one coherent strategy.

Mobile is A Mix of Seven Different Strategies

Most of us would be familiar with the standard definitions of mobile marketing from trusted sources such as Wikipedia. The latter defines the discipline thus: “Mobile marketing is marketing on or with a mobile device, such as a smart phone. Mobile marketing can provide customers with time and location sensitive, personalized information that promotes goods, services and ideas.” Definitions are all well and good but what does mobile marketing really mean and what does it encompass on a day-to-day basis? There are about seven different mobile marketing strategies that brands can try and they perfectly illustrate exactly what can be done on or with the mobile device. The kind that works best will be determined by your industry, target audience and of course, budget. App-based marketing: Mobile advertising involving mobile apps that appear within third party mobile apps is a fantastic platform because would-be advertisers don’t even have to create an app themselves. Trusted advisory firms like Imaginatrix can help brands take advantage of services like Google AdMob which helps advertisers create mobile ads to appear within apps. In-game mobile marketing: In-game mobile marketing refers to mobile ads that appear within mobile games. While this isn’t for every audience, it can work well within defined target markets. Gaming is huge and becoming even more popular within segments that haven’t traditionally been gamers. For example, one stat trotted out by a TV news channel this very week said the number of female gamers is sitting at 44% in some markets. These ads can appear as banner pop-ups, full-page image ads or as video ads that appear between screens. QR codes: QR codes are scanned by users, who are then taken to a specific webpage that the QR code is attached to. QR codes often have an element of mystery to them that adds to the brand experience. Mobile users tend to like scanning QR codes as they don’t always know what’s going to pop up on their screen. A very useful device for hip, lifestyle brands. Location-based marketing refers to mobile ads are ads that appear on mobile devices based upon a user’s location. Bluetooth push technology is increasingly being used in South African shopping malls to conduct location-specific promotional campaigns, usually related to retailers and fast food brands. Mobile search ads: These are basic Google search ads built for mobile, often featuring extra add-on extensions like click-to-call or maps. Mobile image ads: Image-based ads designed to appear on mobile devices. These can be particularly powerful in a market seeing the adoption of large screen mobile devices. SMS: SMS marketing involves capturing a user’s phone number and sending them text offers. Advertising on the Please Call Me service is related to this one. Text ads are surprisingly effective!

Unlocking Mobile Marketing Opportunities Depends on the Right Advice

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:

  1. Do they have established relationships with all South African mobile network operators and important industry players like WASPA and the Mobile Marketing Association?
  1. Can they place your brand on a wide variety of high quality mobile marketing platforms thanks to their good relationships with media owners?
  1. Do they have a track record of successfully launching ground-breaking industry firsts?
  1. 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.