Author Archive


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


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, 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.

Segment, don’t batch-blast Push Notifications

To kick off our current installment of our blog, we’d like to firstly remind readers that it’s the 10th anniversary edition of Mobile Marketing Magazine’s ‘Effective Mobile Marketing Awards’ and African brands, agencies and others are free to enter. In fact, last year, there were more than 160 entries from some 20 countries worldwide. Check out for more information on one of the globe’s most inclusive (and longest-running) awards that celebrate the very best of our discipline. Awards like these are good news for the industry both in Africa and abroad as they can be incredibly motivating, especially for young mobile marketers seeking recognition and reinforcement. Next, let’s focus some attention now on an especially interesting stat from eMarketer that says mobile is going to account for one-third of global ad spend this year. What’s very interesting is that most of this spend is going to apps. Creating a winning mobile app marketing strategy in 2019 is not as complicated as many of us think. Firstly, retention is king when it comes to mobile app marketing. User acquisition is still very important but targeted mobile campaigns that ensure they attract the right users to your app will see better retention in the long run – and retention means user engagement, the holy grail of mobile marketing. Mobile app marketers need to invest in building personalised push notifications for their apps. This is certainly worth the effort as engagement rates fly with proactive push notifications. Here we must remember that their are broadcast and segmented app push campaigns. Our message today is do not simply rely on broadcast push notifications that are sent out by the app to a whole massive, unsegmented user base. Personalisation is key in mobile, and segmented app pushes are the way to go. User open rates for segmented pushes near the 9% mark! Finally, app abandonment remains a challenge and this is possibly due to mobile marketers’ past strategies of ‘batch blasting’ and not segmenting enough when it came to their push notifications. Apparently, 21% of mobile users will abandon an app after only one use. So, the message is clear, segment and don’t ruin it for the rest!

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.

Mobile Marketing in a Recession Needn’t be a Downer

Eskom’s recent woes came as a bolt out of the blue to those of us who thought load-shedding was an unpleasant memory of our recent past best forgotten. Well, it reared its ugly head with a vengeance about two weeks ago and came back with renewed vigour. Thankfully, mobile devices like tablets, laptops and cellphones with their fairly long battery lives have proven to be especially useful during this latest round of loadshedding that caught many of us unawares. It’s almost as if anyone with a car charger and a fairly decent mobile device can continue to function adequately during these Eskom-related debacles. The pundits are saying now that loadshedding is about to tip us all into that recession South Africa has been trying to avoid for the past year or two. This brings me to the question, does mobile marketing have a role in a recession, and if so, what is it? The quick answer is that mobile most definitely has a leading role to play in recessions and that’s because it offers outstanding value for money. In a cost-conscious climate where everyone is scrambling around counting pennies, the mobile marketer can be something of a lifesaver to brands needing to stay top of mind, but perhaps not having as many resources as in the past to do this. Not only can mobile offer clients, brands and other partners tremendous value for money using proven bearers like SMS and Please Call Me text tag ads, but recessions also usually mean brands want more accountability and no marketing discpline is more accountable and offers better measurability than mobile. The current economic downturn is a golden opportunity for mobile marketers to get out there and evengelize what we do. This is not the climate for grand scale expensive traditional media marketing vanity projects – this is the time for doing what works, at a reasonable cost and being able to report back to the client in detail what bang they got for their under-pressure buck. Good luck!