Archive for May, 2017


Let’s Work Together on Fresh Mobile Content

There is nothing quite like negative reinforcement, is there? “Excuse me?”, I hear you ask. Let me clarify. While Business Schools everywhere praise the merits of a kind word and a good bonus for great employee work (that’s positive reinforcement to the uninitiated), isn’t it funny how the threat of dismal failure is the greatest motivator ever? I was thinking about the relative merits of positive and negative reinforcement after I came across a mobile marketing article this past weekend that quite bluntly stated it was about “Reasons Your Mobile Marketing Strategy Stinks”. I had to do a double take as we’re so used to marketers being an upbeat bunch, aren’t we? Seeing as though we’re on the theme of the flipside of positive, let’s do take a look at three reasons why a mobile marketing plan could indeed ‘stink’. The first reason is the most obvious and it’s about not really having a mobile marketing strategy at all. Apparently, two thirds of companies are still in denial about the power of mobile and implement limp responses to the meteoric rise of mobile. Imaginatrix can help your mobile strategy rise well beyond the “spray and pray” approach of blasting an unsegmented mobile database you bought with irrelevant SMS messages solely on obvious occasions like Valentines Day. A second reason is that your web presence has still not been optimised for mobile. It’s a sad fact that upwards of 70% of companies will send users a text message with a link that then takes then to a non-optimised website. So the potential customer sits staring at their phone waiting minutes for a heavy front-end to load. The more likely response is that the customer will roll their eyes before clicking away. This is like sending someone a URL in the mail. Imaginatrix can help you optimise for mobile. Thirdly, too many companies get stuck on bulk SMS. As one mobile marketing platform states, a single bulk SMS does not a mobile strategy make. Prospective mobile marketers need to be aware of the fact that the average smartphone user checks their device on average 150 times a day! That implies very clearly that we need to work together to develop fresh content that can be delivered across platforms multiple times, every day.

The Mobile Two-Step

Journalists are well-known for coming up with a catchy or particularly-clever headline and then building a story around it. Of course, things should usually work the other way round: you write a story from the facts and then craft a headline to top it all off. In an ideal world, you shouldn’t be searching for the facts that’ll make a really great headline you thought of in the pub fit… It was with all of this in mind that I decided to Google “Five Steps to Mobile Success” – a phrase that suddenly appeared in my head this week, no doubt straight out of the pages of a shiny American business ‘how to’ guide. What I found makes for interesting reading. I must admit that not all the steps I found were very interesting, especially to the South African reader as we have a pretty advanced mobile marketing sector. However, two stood out. Firstly, many of the search results – as you will see – are to do with app development, in particular, and not mobile marketing, in general. That’s interesting in itself because it says to me that to the businessperson in the street, mobile marketing is becoming synonymous with app development. That’s a classic marketing lifecycle development. When your star player becomes the team, you’ve got yourself a Xerox or Hoover moment when the brand name becomes the generic term. We’ve previously focused on how huge apps are becoming and this particular star will continue to rise on the field of mobile marketing. Secondly, a big part of mobile marketing success is to consciously segment your market according to featurephone and smartphone users. Or, at least design different offerings for them, or one offering or mobile campaign that can be accessed by both types of users. Feature phones are still very big in Africa and even other parts of the developing world and this is why I personally still love USSD as a bearer and Please Call Me text tag ads. Like SMS, these can be viewed on practically every mobile device in operation today, and allow the brand to still get their message out in an interesting way and a low cost barrier to entry.

Asian Lessons for Africa

South Africa may be credited with the runaway commercial success of prepaid cellular on this continent, but our mobile uptake pales in comparison to that of Asia. In Africa, where prepaid and prepaid-enabled services like ‘Please Call Me’ have made such an impact, we have about 900 million mobile users. That’s impressive but that’s also 900 million total users that include feature phone users. Asia has 2.5 billion smartphone users! That’s just incredible. So while African mobile marketers like Imaginatrix – who can show the world a thing or two about commercialising mobile content and applications – are not to be sneezed at, what can we learn from our Asian colleagues? The first thing to appreciate is that Africa can easily replicate the Asian success story. That’s because both continent’s have very similar mobile fundamentals. Like Africa, consumers in Asia went directly to a mobile web, leapfrogging several stages that included the traditional pathway of transitioning from desktop computers to laptops, and then to mobile. Consumers in both Africa and Asia went straight to mobile. That suggests we both could be at the 2.5 billion smartphone user mark. In a recent white paper called The State of Digital Advertising 2017, it was determined that the reason for the explosive growth of mobile in Asia was due to heavy in-app advertising investments by marketers. Nearly two-fifths of Asian advertisers reported they invest in in-app advertising on mobile. The same percentage invest in SMS/MMS and direct message marketing. This is compared to an average of 27 per cent of advertisers globally who reported investing in in-app advertising and 17 per cent who reported investing in SMS/MMS advertising. For me, the message is clear: the text message and in-app advertising are the kings of the mobile advertising scene and any marketer, region, or brand, had best remember this!
Technology in the hands of businessmen

Casting Light on the Design Side of the Mobile Coin

Regular blog readers will know that we spend a lot of time here evangelizing the cause of mobile marketing. We do that by quoting thought-provoking facts and stats to really hammer home the fact that your business won’t last another 24 months if you don’t implement an effective mobile marketing strategy within the next 24 hours. That’s not scaremongering, by the way. We’ll remind you of a previous blog post where we said mobile data traffic globally has grown 4 000 percent over the past decade. That speaks to the kind of activity that is taking place online and it’s driven by mobile access devices like smartphones and tablets – on the move hardware that specialist firms like Imaginatrix can help brand owners, brand managers and their advertising agencies access. So we know that mobile is important. We understand that brands need to both design and implement a mobile advertising strategy. And we accept that there are specialists like us out there to help you do it. But what actually goes into designing a mobile strategy, or rather, what do brands need to know about the Side ‘A’ of the mobile coin? Let’s take a look! To end up with an actual mobile strategy that can be effectively implemented, you need to understand what’s currently going on and that means a corporate strategy session with every executive heavyweight in the organisation. If you’ve embarking on this now, time is clearly of the essence and collating written overarching strategy documents from across the enterprise is definitely not going to work. Try to simply get all the biggest cheeses you can find around the same table in the same room. You can even come up with another reason for them being there! Do that, and you’re well on your way to laying a good groundwork for a great mobile strategy. Next, you need to determine how mobile as a touchpoint can become an asset to your organisation. Here we’re basically trying to figure out why we’re going down this route. To make sales, right? Well, try couch it in slightly more impressive terms or else you’re not going to get internal buy-in and that’s the goal of this ‘why’ phase. At this phase it is critical that you engage stakeholders from various parts of the organisation. When you start designing the mobile strategy, it is imperative that it is not conceptualised as an extension of the brand’s online strategy. Too many CMOs are hoodwinked, by vested interests, to simply believe that mobile is an add-on to digital. This is a terrible mistake. The basic reason for this goes back to the customer, our numero uno: customers expect mobile apps to do more than just deliver website functionality. After all, why clutter my desktop with apps if all they’re really turning out to be are shortcut icons to the stock-standard company website?

Ignore Mobile Marketing and go Out of Business – Huff Post

We just love earth-shattering quotes about mobile marketing. They help drive home the message that mobile really does need to be taken seriously. And when it comes to quotations truly worthy of greater analysis – try this one on for size: “Mobile marketing is one trend that, if ignored, could actually put you out of business.” This pearl of wisdom comes from The Huffington Post. Out of business? Is mobile really that important? Mobile marketing is about driving targeted consumer engagement that ultimately results in a purchase. With two-thirds of consumers saying they have bought something via their mobile device within the last six months, it’s quite clear that any business ignoring mobile increasingly does so at their peril. This is simple business economics – do we expect to see evidence today of businesses who ignored the fax machine, the personal computer or the Internet when those innovations where the apex of human invention? Take it from Imaginatrix that mobile marketing, or the marketing on, or using, mobile devices will soon be on the same scale as the emergence of the worldwide web. Let’s take a brief look at some mobile facts and stats to help prove our case:
  • Half of all time spent consuming digital media is done on a smartphone.
  • Mobile data traffic has grown 4,000-fold over the past 10 years.
  • The attention rate of the human race has decreased drastically in the last fifteen years, falling from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8.25 seconds in 2015. Only mobile media enables the type of truly bite-sized marketing communications that can still grab consumers’ attention, albeit briefly!
Here’s an analogy that will appeal to most marketers who were unlucky enough to pick up a hefty business economics textbook from the 1990s. Nearly every tier of Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs pyramid can be satisfied via mobile devices and apps. This fact alone means that mobile will continue to drive consumption and companies that can’t marry the two will very soon find themselves on the ropes.

Workers of the World Unite on the Small Screen

May always kicks off with Worker’s Day. Thankfully, it’s on a Monday this year, giving stressed-out South Africans welcome respite from a year that’s already featured such delights as ‘state capture’ and ‘junk status’ – and it’s only the second quarter! Whether you call it May Day or Worker’s Day, the day had me thinking about how amazing mobile is when it comes to turning us into better workers. Mobile makes better marketers and mobile also makes better workers. Work even becomes fun when you add mobile to the mix! The CRM website says sales people saw productivity increases of almost a quarter just by providing them with mobile access. I’d say the figure is even higher because what sales rep in today’s world can even get out of the starting blocks and start selling without mobile access? The bottom line for marketers is that mobile helps your campaign work harder. Just like the rep with a 25% boost in productivity, mobility makes marketing budgets toil just that bit better! The obvious reason why mobile is so effective comes down to some very basic numbers. Way back in 2007, there were about 400 million mobile users worldwide. Last year, the number of cellular users went way over the two billion mark. Perhaps because people are now working harder thanks to their mobile devices, media consumption is also moving to mobile. The average time by user per user is following certain obvious trends that most mobile marketers already know – digital and mobile usage is creasing while tv, radio and print consumption is diminishing. Happy workers day!