Archive for April, 2016


Celebrate the Right to Advertise at the Lowest Cost this Freedom Day

Democratise’ is perhaps an overused word when it comes to the ICT sector. While not as prevalent as its often-quoted ICT cousin, ‘ubiquitous’, it nevertheless seems to be attached to every new technology ever since Vodacom founding CEO Alan Knott-Craig used ‘democratise’ to describe the effect of cellular phones on South African telecommunications in the mid-1990s. However, perhaps the word is used a lot nowadays because new technologies really do have the power to rapidly change the status quo. Social media can make anyone a star. And indeed, it has made five-minute sensations out of everyone from a street sweeper with a voice to die for, to the pretty girl who can burp for two minutes straight. That’s fame democratised, right? Let’s switch to mobile marketing. The relatively new discipline of marketing on, or to, a mobile device has certainly democratised the previously-inaccessible world of advertising and marketing. When many people in business today started their careers, the way to advertise your product or service with any degree of success was – in most cases – to approach one of the handful of big names in advertising that existed in South Africa. Companies like Ogilvy & Mather and J. Walter Thompson come to mind. For a couple million early 1990s rand you could sell quite a number of widgets thanks to the clever chaps at these glitzy firms. The problem was, not many of us had a couple million in the bank so the business world was effectively closed to a lot of people, unless you could do business without advertising. Fast-forward to well, now, and someone with a product or service to punt can achieve a good deal of success with a limited budget, provided they partner with the right mobile marketing consultancy. Mobile marketing is able to democratise advertising and marketing because the client is able to specify exactly what he or she wishes to spend, and to which current and potential customers that spend must be directed. The degree of personalisation that mobile offers furthermore means that wastage is kept to an absolute minimum. So, the message on this week of April 27 Freedom Day, is that much of South Africa has been democratised, from the right to vote, to the right to punt your product at the lowest possible bang per buck. That’s worth celebrating!
Campaign Stats

It’s Increasingly Mobile-Only in S.A. and Now U.S.

A recent report from suggests that a South African mobile trend that’s been characteristic of our market for some time, is now making itself felt in developed markets. Isn’t it nice when Africa leads? It’ll start happening much more often in future. But back to the point… The crux of the report is that one in ten US Internet users will exclusively access the web via a mobile device this year. Interestingly, the study suggests that these mobile-savvy users will end up creating a new mobile marketing category for themselves as mobile-only Internet users. In the past, web access has been web access, but as any mobile marketer worth their salt will tell you, the origin of a consumer’s access matters quite a lot these days. The reasons for mobile-only web access are different in the US and SA, as firms like Imaginatrix understand. South of the Limpopo, its historically been about affordability with low-cost cellphones and tablets offering clear Internet access advantages over relatively more expensive laptops and desktops. Far North of the Limpopo, mobile-only access has been boosted not by cost issues so much, as consumers’ digital lifestyles. These have become more multi-device experiences with said devices playing a larger role when it comes to Internet usage. The conclusion of all of this, is again related to what Imaginatrix keeps pushing as key to mobile marketing: personalisation. Mobile campaigns simply have to be personalised and personalisation also means customising campaigns according to access device.

Mobile Marketers Should Monitor Ad Blocking Developments

Ad blocking has been in the mobile marketing news headlines of late. The New York Times’ ad blocking approach was discussed at the Mobile World Congress last month in Barcelona and news emerged of an Israeli start-up partnering with a mobile carrier to block ads on its network. According to the media platform, Luxury Daily, the rise of ad-blockers is an enormous threat facing the mobile advertising business. This is particularly pertinent as mobile networks work to improve their image with consumers. Mobile marketers should be on the alert for mobile networks in this country potentially warming to ad blocking to help them improve their standing with consumers. There’s no doubt they would want to be perceived as putting the interests of their customers above their own, especially after recent and very public moves to regulate over-the-top (OTT) services. Apple is one ICT firm that has benefited from its fastidious commitment to consumer privacy, even going so far in recent weeks to take on the FBI. This consumer-first perception has worked well for the company. Not only does Apple allow ad blockers, Apple’s iOS 9 prompts users to enable privacy settings. Bearing in mind the above, there’s really only one option for mobile marketers and that is to respect consumer privacy in a way that makes ad blocking redundant. In addition to respecting the customer, mobile marketers would be well-advised to invest more resources in designing even more personalized campaigns so that consumers never want to blocks ads for fear of missing out on offers specifically-designed for them.

Mobile Marketing Loves Competitions

In this blog, we’ve looked at the ins and outs of mobile marketing and probably the one thing we have mentioned most in these pages, is mobile marketing bearers. From SMS to USSD, we’ve devoted a significant amount of time to explaining and reminding readers about these key mobile marketing bearer platforms. However, one thing that possibly hasn’t yet hasn’t come through clearly enough is the how of mobile marketing – more specifically, what tactics can actually be employed during mobile campaigns? Well, one age-old marketing tactic that is perfectly-designed for mobile marketing is the competition. Many of us will remember this tactical tool that is still often used by mobile’s dinosaur cousin, print. It usually involves asking an inane, too-easy question to do with a marketer’s product or service. This is then used in the selection of a successful competition entrant who wins some sort of prize following an audited draw. Contests are a great way of increasing leads and generating sales using the mobile medium. Lead generation becomes a priority once a product or service’s conventional target market has been mined to the point of dwindling customer sign-ups. Mobile competitions are a good way to access markets that have yet to be tapped because they offer something we all want – a freebie. Here are some compelling reasons to run mobile marketing competitions. US sources indicate that new campaigns acquire a 34% audience increase on average, running a mobile contest increases the number of entrants by eight times and – for interest – statistically the best duration for a contest campaign is 25 to 60 days. Finally, perhaps the greatest plus about mobile competitions is that because the mobile handset is being used to enter the competition, airtime can very easily be given away as the contest prize. And airtime can also be given to multiple potential customers so there can be many winners with your campaign. This increases valuable goodwill towards your brand!
HILVERSUM, NETHERLANDS - FEBRUARY 06, 2014: Social media are trending and both business as consumer are using it for information sharing and networking.

Brands Can’t Afford to Ignore Mobile Advertising

If you are skipping mobile in your digital marketing mix for ad campaigns, it’s going to cost you, as your competitors are using it. The current world population sits at 7.2 billion, yet there are 7.5 billion mobile connections. Yes that is correct: there are more mobile connections than there are people alive in the world. As with every new model, it still has challenges. Various device sizes and capabilities, and customers’ mobile habits are ever evolving and getting more sophisticated. That being said, there’s a bright (and profitable) future in mobile. In fact, mobile ads are going to account for 71% of all digital ads spending by 2018, with Facebook, Twitter, and Google accounting for over 60% of the market. Consumers Are Mobilizing Bloomberg shows that vast numbers of consumers now spend more time on their mobile phones than on their television sets. Currently, there isn’t much of a difference (Americans spend 2.95 hours a day on their phones and 2.8 hours on their TV). However, the amount of time spent on phones is increasing each year, while TV consumption stays the same. Businesses Are Mobilizing Businesses are becoming mobile friendly to be more accessible for users on the go. Google recently changed its algorithm to make mobile friendly sites appear higher in its search results, creating big shifts in which websites are more accessible. Currently, only 52% of the Fortune 500 global companies and Brands websites are mobile friendly. So this will be a necessity in the near future as 72% of consumers want more mobile friendly sites. Particularly in the emerging markets and Africa where over 85% of consumers main access to the world wide web is through mobile devices. More Companies Are Investing in Mobile With almost $70 billion spent on mobile worldwide in 2015. If you want to know who’s buying these ads, you may want to take a closer look at your competition. Mobile Ads Are Ridiculously Cheap Compared to the cost of traditional advertising streams, mobile ads are at bargain prices still. TV and print ads’ CPM is $100, while online CPM hovers around $3.50. Mobile CPM, on the other hand, can be as low as 75 cents. Mobile Ads Have Reach Smartphones and tablets are saturating the markets. Ninety percent of adults have mobile devices, and those devices are always within arm’s reach. Brands have the ability, to engage with consumers anytime, anywhere. Latest trend reports globally show that people are almost three times more likely to open a mobile ad than a desktop ad. Mobile Ads Can Still Be Personal Thanks to social media, mobile ads are seamlessly integrated into their environments. For example, ads on Facebook and Tumblr appear as posts that you can scroll past without being interrupted. Social media has become a source for targeted advertising as businesses can use the information that people publicly share to identify potential clients. The shift to mobile access to these platforms is why companies will spend an estimated 11 billion on social media advertising across web and mobile by 2017 worldwide.

The Apple of Our Eye

Some forty years ago, Apple was founded in a garage in California, on April Fool’s Day no less. The ultimate joke, of course, is that this band of geeks would eventually build the world’s most valuable company. Tough economic times have meant that Apple is today the world’s second most valuable company. It’s clearly tough at the top! Apple is the topic of today’s blog because there really has been no other company – ever – in the world that has done more to place the mobile phone in the centre of our lives. Before the iPhone, cellphones were just cellphones. You chose a brand of phone the way you chose a microwave or a television. It was that mainstream, emotionless and functional. Apple’s iPhone turned mobile on its head and introduced a lifestyle factor that, in turn, did a lot to boost the fortunes of the mobile marketing industry. It is perhaps strange then that despite Apple’s prowess for design, iAd didn’t exactly work out well for the ‘designed in California, made in China company’. Launched in 2010, iAd was a mobile advertising platform developed by Apple for its mobile devices that allowed third-party developers to directly embed adverts into their applications. It was expected to compete with Google’s AdMob mobile advertising service but was discontinued in January this year. Data-rich and oozing creativity, iAd should have worked. So what now for Apple and mobile marketing? The word is that Apple will no longer think about mobile advertising in the sense of a banner on a screen. The focus will be on one-on-one intensely personal experiences which is exactly the holy grail recognized by the rest of us for some time. The difference is if anyone can finally deliver on the much-promised “context and location” services, it is Apple.