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MALICIOUS MOBILE ADS PLUNGE

It looked like the week for mobile marketing was starting off on a bit of a sour note a few days ago with news that millions of mobile Instagram users and others had their details hacked, but then out came the excellent news that malicious and disruptive mobile ads have decreased globally year-on-year. Awesome. In more detail, advertising security company Confiant says in about 1 out of 100 cases, mobile user sessions might be adversely impacted by a disruptive and unwelcome advert. The firm studied the most common issues for publishers and their platforms before concluding that malicious ads are more common during weekends and holidays. Apparently, the worst performing platforms are about 67 times more likely to deliver a nasty ad which to us says advertisers need to put the proper research and planning into the platforms and publishers with which they do business. Do not be tempted to contract with the unknown and unproven. So what do mobile users find amongst the most disruptive ads? One of the worst categories of offender is the malicious ad that players within a banner. With smartphone users getting used to super-high resolutions and generally great quality mobile campaign executions, even low-quality ads are now perceived as malicious and disruptive to the general mobile experience. Thankfully, malware and other ad quality issues are not intractable problems for the overall mobile industry, both locally and abroad. With the right systems in place and commitment from the industry, we can all tackle these issues.

THREE TIPS FOR DEALING WITH INFLUENCERS

Marketers have gotten used to collaborating with all sorts over the years. First, the ad ‘men’ were asked to work with the PR ‘guy’ and now mobile marketers are being asked by clients to secure collaborations with so-called ‘Influencers’… The rise of the social media influencer has been one of the biggest advertising and marketing stories in recent years. It has given huge numbers of people who excel on social media an opportunity for a decent income that is increasingly becoming their only income. However, showcasing products and services for money or freebies is not without its charlatans. Mobile marketers need to safeguard their budgets and protect client reputations when they engage with Influencers, or otherwise. Here are the first three questions every mobile marketer needs to ask of a potential social media partner: Content is king and numbers matter – In the world of mobile, content is king and in the realm of the Influencer, Follower count is really all we want to see. The mobile marketing must decide what numbers matter in their clients’ industries, but really, don’t send us emails angling for freebies with three, four or even five-figure Follower counts. Six figures is where it’s at. Also, take a good scroll through those Followers – we don’t want to be seeing plenty oddball accounts with lots of retweets and no actual bespoke posts. Pay attention to the details – With the awesome degree of measurability that social offers today, it’s easy to get blindsided by a flashy Influencer presentation that would make an old-style pie graph look like it was carved with a chisel. Ask your brand’s would-be Influencer to pack away the iPad and show you, in real-time, their Analytics page. Most social platforms have them now. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram all boast super simply numbers pages that will enable the mobile marketer to see in a flash if a particular Influencer is worth the trouble. Look for the ‘engagement’ and ‘impressions’ tabs. Spread it out – Ensure potential Influencer partners understand that you want to see regular engagement over the whole month. If they have tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, of Followers, ask them if they have the capacity to regularly punt your client’s product over the whole month, not just during the start of the relationship, and near invoicing time! ENDS

IT’S ALL CLICKS & BRICKS FOR LOCAL MOBILE IN 2019

Not only is mobile marketing state-of-the-art, but more mobile marketers are using the most up-to-date technology out there to deliver for their clients and their client’s brands. To illustrate, apparently a whopping 70% of mobile marketers regularly make use of location data to advance campaign objectives. Compare this to several years ago when it was a battle just to get marketing industry colleagues to dip their toes into the possibilities of mobile with such basic bearers and technology as SMS and Please Call Me text tag ads. Today, it seems more of us are completing the circle by using location data to refine mobile executions. Today, the vast majority of marketers in developed countries are employing a mobile-first strategy to reach current and potential clients. About 60 percent say they’ve changed their brand strategy to create a more inclusive, personalised in-store environment for mobile shoppers. So what can we expect from mobile marketers going forward? If developments in first-world mobile markets are anything to go by, we’re soon going to see augmented reality (AR) technology that works with smartphones employed as a matter of course in the world of local marketing. We’re going to also see greater convergence of the real and virtual worlds in other, practical ways. “Click and collect” is going to continue to gather steam in 2019. Mobile marketers are calling this focus on convergence “bricks and clicks” strategies. That’s pretty cool. Finally, location data will help marketers sharpen their understanding of bricks and clicks strategies and tie both together in a neat package where everything from store openings to real-time retail offers are perfectly-designed with the best available location data.

The TV is just background noise in 2019, mobile’s where we want to be

It’s 2019 and mobile’s still the one to watch. More than 20 years after the launch of the game-changing, digital Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) in South Africa mobile technology continues to change the way we live, work and interact. Forget any other type of product or service research by consumers. Mobile has become the go-to channel for tech-savvy consumers to search, explore, discover and research so many different brand offerings. Most consumers today spend more time on their mobile devices than they do actively watching TV. The television screen is secondary to the small screen and the former is now just background noise. Mobile has totally disrupted the local and overseas marketing landscape. This year, we are continuing to see the emergence of mobile marketing developments that need watching. Without keeping one’s eye on the mobile horizon, it’s impossible for brands to successfully adapt and stay ahead of the game. So, what are the top three mobile-related trends that South African chief marketing officers (CMOs) need to keep a beady eye on in 2019? With smart voice assistants like Siri continued to be on the rise, voice-based web searches are on the up and up too. As voice search capabilities become more sophisticated and predictive, brands must reach their target audiences with personalised and relevant content. According to Business2Community.com, the rollout of 5G will boost network speed, making it extremely important for marketers to acknowledge this development. The super-fast 5G network will present even more capabilities than 4G such as hyper-personalised content and rapid download speeds. In South Africa, we’re seeing the emergence of new, super-fast mobile networks like Rain. All of this should see the further rise of the phenomenon of ‘snacking’, especially when it comes to video content. China offers a glimpse of the future. There, the country’s over 700m mobile consumers regularly consume highly-popular 15-second video clips. Locally, we can expect huge and growing demand for the content that is going to increasingly-power African mobile video uptake. Our next CMO-relevant trend is to do with Augmented Reality (AR). Innovative marketing is all about creating relevant, unforgettable customer experiences. AR gives brands the opportunity to do just that by delivering a consumer experience that’s unique, exciting and unforgettable. AR can be used to bring products and services to life in environments that are familiar to consumers. With more than half of all Internet traffic worldwide being generated by mobile phones, the up-to-date CMO definitely wants to keep a handle on the above key mobile trends.

MOBILE PUSH NOTIFICATIONS PROVE THEIR WORTH

Next week we will be entering the official halfway month of yet another year. June is a scary month. It represents that time of year where we should have achieved quite a number of those personal and business goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year. It does also, however, offer a glimmer of hope in that the coming of June means we still have six months to achieve the lion’s share of our earlier goals. Plus we can set some new ones to reflect changed circumstances. When we speak about changed circumstances in mobile marketing, we could easily be speaking of GDPR, that European privacy regulation that threatened to change the way mobile marketers, our clients, employers and others do business. Similar in some respects to SA’s own POPI, GDPR seems to have little impact around the world. To illustrate, mobile markers worldwide cleaned up their databases and implemented all sorts of opt-in measures and the results – a year later – has been an almost 17 percent INCREASE in app permissions granted by mobile users. A worldwide study of mobile app permissions granted by about 700 million people around the globe found that there are now about 36 permissions granted per user per month. Opt-in rates, on average, are also still as high as 67 percent. So this says to us as mobile marketers that the consumer’s love affair with mobile continues and while it is good to tighten up privacy rules, regulations seem to do little on the ground. Recent research has also shown that consumers are becoming more selective about sharing their data. The average opt-in rate for the use of location-specific data fell from 9.3 per cent to 7.7 per cent. In conclusion, it seems that while consumers are becoming more selective about the channels they opt-into and the data they share; push notifications continue to prove their value by providing customers valuable information at the precise time and place they need it.

In-App is where it’s at for Millennials

Brands and agencies alike both know that mobile use has skyrocketed over the past several years. We know that our clients simply must incorporate mobile-friendly video content, ads, websites and more into our campaigns. However, for some late adopter clients, there is some selling of mobile still to do. Let’s take a look at a few facts and stats that will help make your mobile evangelising job a little easier. Clients need to know such illuminating factoids as 85% of time spent on Twitter and other social platforms, for example, is currently being spent on mobile. Also, over half of Internet usage now takes place on mobile. In fact, that was already the case in 2017. I’d hazard a guess that the percentage for Africa is much higher due to the continent lacking desktop web access. If that doesn’t swing your client the mobile way, bring in the big guns: can you believe that Millennials (ie: future big spenders) now spend more time looking at their mobile screens than they do looking at their TV screens? In fact, they watch more YouTube than traditional, live television. So besides being glued to YouTube, what is everyone doing on their mobile devices? Well, 89% of the time, according to one source, mobile users are interacting with downloaded apps. Also, just 11% of users’ mobile time is spent on mobile websites. And herein lies the (well-hidden!) point of this blog post: to sell effectively, mobile marketers need to invest time and resources into developing in-app strategies for their clients. Obviously, we all need a mobile web presence, but it’s apps that are really getting noticed by Millennials – and that’s where they are spending their mobile wallets

Video content enables mobile snacking

Today’s blog post takes us back several years when we first heard about ‘snacking’ and the phrase ‘content is king’ in reference to mobile. As we mentioned in a previous blog post, China, like America before it, now offers us a good view of how the future might look. There, that country’s over 700 million mobile users daily engage in mobile snacking where they consume vast quantities of 15-second video clips that have become hugely-popular in the world’s fastest-growing economy. Fast is now the name of game when it comes to the consumption of mobile video content – forget one minute or even 45-second video clips – much too long! The Chinese mobile user today wants 15-second or even less clips, and lots and lots of them. This brings us to content. When clips are being consumed at the rate of hundreds of millions every singe day, it’s clear that there are tremendous opportunities for the mobile marketer and many other players within the mobile ecosystem. It’s getting exciting out there. This is especially because video drives a higher-quality mobile user. Remember ARPU (average revenue per user?). Video enables mobile marketers to squeeze greater value from higher-value mobile users. Video also allows us to get our hands on better numbers. Metrics like a user clicking on the ad, session length and repeat play can be captured and evaluated for engagement. Repeat play, in particular, is a valuable indicator of whether or not a video clip resonates with the intended target audience. While it’s important to capture the attention of one’s audience with beautiful, well-designed videos, we need to be mindful of the lack of standardisation in the industry with regards to playable video clips. Today, there is no one-size-fits-all template, standard or approach that mobile marketers can use – but it’s coming!

Data Integration Key to Mobile Marketing Automation

No medium available to the marketer today offers a better degree of personalisation than mobile. It is the one platform that promises visibility on mobile devices that are never more than an arm’s length away from 80% of people. What’s more, practically everyone has one with mobile penetration rates having exceeded 100% several years ago. In South Africa, I believe we’re now at something over 1.3 devices for every human being in the country! Now that mobile marketing is firmly planted in the marketer’s consciousness, we’re hearing more and more about mobile marketing automation. This truly is next-level cellular marketing and to many of us conjures up images up bots cranking out billions of mobile messages, willy-nilly. Well, mobile marketing automation is not quite like that. Mobile marketing automation can help execute an effective mobile marketing strategy when contextual, personalised and interactive messages are delivered at the right moment. By delivering engaging content in an automated fashion through multiple channels such as messaging, push notifications and in-app notifications, mobile marketers can increase customer outreach across each targeted segment. So now how, exactly, do we get started with mobile marketing automation? Here are the most important considerations, that should ideally be discussed with a mobile specialist. Firstly, the would-be automator needs to decide what qualifiers are to be used for segmenting the mobile user base and then deciding what triggers or events would drive communications, eg: user location, spend, downloads, etc. Of course, specifics like the budget and what volume of messages are to be sent should also come into this planning phase. Data integration is another key step. Mobile marketing data needs to be integrated into your firm’s business systems. Ensure your firm, or your client, has an efficient Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform to help you collect customer data and track customer interactions. Finally, a mobile marketing automation system automates the task of gathering data from various platforms such as CRM, CDP, etc. to fuel your mobile marketing campaigns. Remember, the investment is well worth it: mobile marketing automation reduces human effort while empowering marketers to deliver engaging and personalised mobile marketing experiences.