Archive for April, 2017


Vodafone-backed Vouchers the Mobile User’s Best Bet

Those mobile users in search of a great deal will no doubt be somewhat annoyed by the recent demise of not one but two leading local voucher firms. In South Africa’s bustling, 35-million user mobile market, it seems completely counter intuitive that massive worldwide electronic vouchering operations like Groupon and Amazing Vouchers can close up shop almost overnight. Tens of thousands of local vouchering aficionados were last year greeted with the following unfortunate message when they tried to access the Groupon site around the close of last year: “We are sorry to inform you that Groupon has wound down its operations in South Africa and we are unable to offer you any deals today.” It kind of gives one an insight into how people must feel when their favourite brands fizzle out, never to be enjoyed again. Think Pepsi’s exit from SA in the 1980s or the way the widely-popular, somewhat pungent Creole’s slunk away from corner cafes everywhere in the 1990s. Groupon in SA offered discounts on goods‚ as well as on experiences such as restaurants‚ getaways and adventure activities. Unfortunately, according to TimesLive, merchants complained that deals were often not profitable and that they attracted the wrong kind of customer. That’s all very debatable as coupons – electronic, mobile or otherwise – are an established marketing tactic with a long history of achieving solid results for retailers, restaurants and every consumer-facing outlet in-between. However, all is far from lost for South African mobile users in search of an affordable way to try out a new product, service or experience. Vouchercloud, for instance, is a fantastic and more viable alternative to its two late competitors. It has the tremendous advantage of being backed by the world’s biggest mobile network operator: Vodafone Group is a shareholder. This is power Groupon and Amazing vouchers never had. Vodafone / Vodacom has built mobile operations from the ground up all over the world and was an early supporter of the drive to launch GSM in South Africa. So if any firm has a solid knowledge of how to make it in Africa, it’s Vodafone. And Vodafone really believes in the massive potential of vouchering in South Africa. To illustrate, its already helped the firm build up an enviable user base of 3.5 million mobile users. Many of these cellular customers are feature phone users who appreciate the investment in a simple yet slick USSD-driven interface easily accessible via *120*100#. This is network-agnostic vouchering at its best: Vodacom subscribers get the Red Vodacom interface, while other network users get the generic Blue interface.   Why don’t you give it a whirl and let Imaginatrix know what you think?

Talk to Imaginatrix About Texting…

Usually, facts like 80% of cellphone users keep their handsets within arm’s reach for most of their waking and sleeping days are used to illustrate the ubiquitousness of mobile. Today, we have a more unusual factoid to illustrate just how massive mobile has become. Australian motorists are now being offered designated parking bays for texting on their cellphones. With texting being one of the major contributors to road accidents in Australia and many other countries with significant cellular penetration, it is hoped encouraging people to pull into these bays rather than text while actually operating their motor vehicles will help reduce road accidents. The jury’s out on that one, I’m afraid, as I doubt motorists will postpone texting an angry spouse or an impatient boss until they spot an SMS bay. With mobile phone usage showing no signs of abating, everyone’s getting in on the act. From political parties to neighbourhood watches, the consumer’s always-on mobile phone is hot property and everyone wants a share of mobile spend. Whereas several years ago, a commercial SMS sent to one’s phone following the lazy one-size-fits-all approach had a good chance of being noticed. Today, with tens of millions of text tag ads alone being transmitted to local mobile users each day, the competition to be noticed is becoming intense. This is why it literally does pay to partner with a mobile advertising specialist like Imaginatrix. Not only is partnering with a specialist on mobile campaign good common sense, it’s even wiser to partner with the people who practically invented text tag ads. We’ve been working with the networks to refine the art of composing text tags and developing the associated campaigns for the better part of a decade and a half. Imaginatrix knows how to get the best responses, whether your campaign is text tag or SMS-based. Let’s talk – or text…

A Textbook Lesson in Adding App Value

Those readers who have formal qualifications in traditional marketing no doubt remember Philip Kotler. This stalwart of every heavy marketing textbook since at least the last few decades has plenty of wisdom to dispense to eager students, businesspeople and others. I was reminded of Kotler when I read this clever quote from him recently: “Marketing is not the art of finding clever ways to dispose of what you make. It’s the art of creating genuine customer value.” – Philip Kotler I love that quote because so often marketing in the wrong hands does seem to be about dodgy individuals trying to dispose of some horribly useless products they seem to have come across by accident. Apps made possible by mobile technology, on the other hand, deliver powerful utility to millions upon millions of mobile customers day in and day out. I wonder what the venerable Mr Kotler makes of today’s apps and the tremendous value they bring to the daily lives of both marketers and consumers? Because strong mobile marketing campaigns will focus on app store optimisation, I thought we could briefly discuss how to optimise the slick apps with great functionality that you’ve no doubt designed! A surprising number of marketers don’t realise that keywords are the foundation of getting apps noticed across different app stores. This is very similar to the emphasis SEO places on keywords. Some app stores have limited the character count in the app title so this means tightening your character count to the minimum possible to get the message across. Remember, this will also be your app’s URL. Anyone who has ever scrolled through apps available on an app store will know that the first few screen shots are absolutely vital. These are the first impression a potential user, and downloader, gets of your killer app. A recent study found that, compared to apps featuring just words, apps with appealing screenshots increased downloads by a whopping 30%! Remember to only use high-resolution screenshots so your app doesn’t look like it was designed on the cheap. It’s also a great idea to try show some social media proof of positive customer opinion. Good luck adding value!

The Opportunity That is The Small Screen

Those of us who work in South Africa’s ‘traditional’ corporate sector are often surprised by some of the work practices and technology habits outside of the upstairs corner office. Many of us don’t appreciate the ready access we have to enviable resources so we gape in wonder when we’re exposed to the technological realities of life working from home, the gym, coffee shops or anywhere with (free) Wi-Fi. Advantages to being self-employed there certainly are, but all-you-can-eat broadband isn’t usually one of them. Continue reading:

Mobile Can Stand on Its Own

There are some cues in life you really must watch out for. Your doctor’s cheeks going red as he sits you down is a good one. Another one is when McDonald’s starting doing, well anything new. That’s definitely a trend to watch. It was with interest then, that I recently read about McDonald’s Australia taking another firm step upwards on the mobile marketing ladder. This time, the global leader in both burgers and efficiency has teamed up with Snapchat to provide a new, mobile-related way to apply for jobs at Mickey D’s. In line with other recent news that developed world adults will spend two and a quarter hours each day interacting with apps, the ‘Snaplications’ campaign by McDonald’s enables young Aussies to begin the job application process by selecting a lens that puts them in a McDonald’s uniform. The applicant then creates a 10-second video submission and sends it to the McDonald’s Snapchat account. For me, mobile is a very aspirational technology. First it was simply about having the latest and shiniest cellphone to showcase your success, then it became clear that mobile actually helps one progress upwards because of the life-enhancing tools that it provides access to. Now, to be able to download an application developed by clever mobile marketers that actually puts you in the uniform of a potential and highly-valued future employer, that’s just incredible! The only thing about all of this that seemed a bit off, like Doctor’s red cheeks above, is the fact that ‘Snaplications’ doesn’t replace McDonald’s Australia’s regular job application process. That’s a case of close, but no cigar… As we’ve seen many times on this blog, mobile technology can indeed totally replace the conventional. Already, the number of people who own a seven inch mobile phone, for example, and no PC or laptop, is growing. Consumers love the scaled-down simple functionality of mobile compared to clunky conventional tech and mobile marketers need to take note. Imaginatrix and our valued partners are developing stand-alone mobile technology and doesn’t require back-up from the conventional and we invite you to speak to us about really inspiring mobile campaigns!

Being Mercenary About Mobile Marketing

A recent report containing key findings from dozens of mobile brand effectiveness studies is useful for determining guidelines for mobile marketing best practice. The guidelines were established through an in-depth analysis of the top 20 per cent of mobile ads in terms of both ad recall and purchase intent, according to B&T magazine. Let’s get right down to the nitty gritty of it all. Top performing ads, apparently, adhere to at least six of the following principles. It is crucial for mobile marketers to create mobile campaigns that stay true to these principles. If readers bear these guidelines in mind, your ad is going to stand a better chance of being noticed and making it right through to the intent to purchase stage. At the end of the day, mobile marketers are not engaging in the vague ‘brand building’ that’s the hallmark of so many obscure television campaigns. We’re all about the rands and cents. Mobile ads must lead to mobile purchasing. So, to keep things overtly commercial, it’s vital to ensure that there is a logo presence on every frame. Related to this is the fact that while a human presence is also crucial to engage the mobile consumer, you really do need to make sure that logo is upfront, bold and visible. Product shots must catch the eye and, well, be shameless! This isn’t the latest Bond movie – you’re paying to promote your product so be daring about product placement. At the same time, you can be mercenary too, which means don’t confuse the consumer with a second or third brand or logo. Push your brand and no-one else’s. dual branding can distract and confuse the mobile user who, after all, is engaging with you on the smallest of screens. Don’t get heavy on the detail. The research also found that a single clear message beats a text heavy ad overloaded with information. Finally, remember the strong call to action – that’s why we’re all here and why you’re reading this!