A recent report from eMarketer.com 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.
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.
What do marketers love most? The answer is undoubtedly Return On Investment (ROI) measured in facts, stats and numbers, numbers, numbers! Marketing runs on numbers and this is even more so with mobile marketing because of the measurability that it enables.
Having a trusted mobile marketing advisor like Imaginatrix on your team helps navigate the often-confusing measurability associated with mobile campaigns – all that numerical feedback can be overwhelming the first time brand managers receive those all-important analytics.
Seeing as we’re talking numbers, let’s take a quick glance at the most interesting of them from this month’s latest mobile marketing news stories:
1. Global spend on mobile search by the end of 2017 is expected to be double that of 2015 levels.
2. A report by Deloitte suggests that digital channels currently account for about one-third percent of influence of in-store retail sales.
3. Over 61 percent of loyalty programme members want more choice of regards and fully 42% of members think programmes offering only core inventory rewards are old-fashioned.
4. Marketers who use mobile app ads on Facebook and Instagram generated a 196% increase in app downloads globally in Q4 2015 (compared with Q4 2014), according to a new report from Kenshoo.
5. finally, in 1970 the average person saw 500 marketing messages a day. In 2016 they see a whopping 7 000.
With so much clutter out there, now you have another five reasons to get into timely, relevant and personalised mobile!
With mobile marketing’s reliance on technology to communicate with consumers, one could easily be forgiven for thinking that IT is all there is to it.
No doubt some brand managers really do believe that the key to a successful mobile marketing campaign is an automated bulk SMS platform that does what it is supposed to do, nothing more or less. Well, that’s certainly one element.
However, I found something particularly interesting this week that backs up the fact that the creative element that comes from partnering with the right people remains key to mobile marketing. According to one learned commentator, what we’re seeing in 2016 is marketing’s growing autonomy from IT.
Apparently, at many Fortune 500 companies, the marketing team is completely separate from the IT guys which speaks volumes about mobile marketing eventually coming into its own.
Sure, there has to be integration to ensure that IT systems developed for mobile marketing do a good mobile marketing job, but it’s becoming clear that the marketplace is learning the fact that mobile marketing is a bona fide commercial discipline and not just how you get a bulk SMS platform to work.
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.
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.
Mobile marketing is defined as marketing either on or using a mobile device. That much we all know and this simple definition comes from a Google search. Usually on this blog, we tend to concentrate on this narrow definition of mobile marketing without focusing much on the actual hardware device that enables mobile marketing. Let’s look today at the device we mention above in the first line of today’s blog – the cellular phone.
While the consumer’s interaction with traditional media outlets like radio, tv and outdoor media contains to dwindle, our interaction with mobile phones just keeps on growing. That’s good news for mobile marketers. Let’s see why cellphones are playing a bigger roles in consumer’s lives and why, by extension, marketers need to keep investing in mobile.
There’s an app for that – no, really….
Legions of developers both in SA and around the world continue to build the most amazing mobile widgets that can quite literally light up your home and do the shopping. The mobile phone is replacing our remote controls, garage openers, wallets and more and this means even more daily interaction with our most personal of high tech companions.
The telecommuter has come of age…
Technologies like VoIP with its easy call-forwarding ability, work practices such as hot desking and more flexible HR polices have really become realities over the past couple of years. Whereas five to seven years ago we were speaking about their imminent acceptance, today we live and breathe the mobile work life. And the device that enables the life of the modern road warrior is, of course, the mobile phone.
Mobile network coverage is really good…
The mobile networks have been building base stations in South Africa for about twenty years now – and it shows. Sure, we still drop calls but the general quality of service experienced by the country’s cellular users is so good that there really is little excuse for having a landline at home. Way back when, radio stations used to insist that interviews with remote guests took place strictly over landline. The fact that this is no longer the case speaks volumes.
Mobile marketing has emerged as one of the central pillars of marketing strategy today. According to one senior Coco-Cola executive: “If your plans don’t include mobile, your plans are not finished.”
So while mobile definitely has the green light from those that matter, we should also consider another quote: “Only fools rush in”. Mobile plans have to be as solidly laid as any other element of the marketing strategy. They should, for example, recognize that certain important pieces of legislation exist to protect the South African consumer.
Foremost amongst these is the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act that a reputable mobile marketing advisory firm like Imaginatrix will be able to advise clients on. Did you know, for instance, that the sending of unsolicited commercial email or SMS messages (‘Spam’) is not, in fact, illegal in South Africa? Ask most business people and they’ll tell you a prior commercial relationship is necessary before a mobile marketer can legally send a potential customer a text message.
While spamming people may in most circumstances be poor business practice, spam per se is not illegal in South Africa as we can see from the below:
Section 45 of the ECT Act requires the sender of an unsolicited commercial communication to observe 3 rules: firstly, to provide the consumer “with the option to cancel his or her subscription to the mailing list“, secondly, to furnish the consumer “with the identifying particulars of the source from which that person obtained the consumer’s personal information, on request of the consumer” and thirdly, not to send a second unsolicited commercial communication to a person “who has advised the sender that such communications are unwelcome“.
Readers are welcome to contact Imaginatrix should they require any clarification on the above.