February marks the annual budget speech and along with the usual plans aimed at boosting our stagnating economy. Finance Ministers, economists, accountants and the like, however, have the nation’s future in their hands so they have to be conservative. Or rather, they need to stick with what works. Mobile marketers too, have to implement proven strategies when it comes to brand boosting as they have their clients’ and employers’ hard-won rands and cents in their hands. If we understand that SMEs are the engine of any economy – employing upwards of 60% of all workers – then it’s clear that Minister Mboweni should be thinking about small business and its role in our economy. What can mobile marketers do to play their part to help ensure a bright future for the SMEs that are the hardworking, effective little cogs in South Africa’s horribly inefficient, bloated larger wheel? They can make a renewed push in 2019 to get out there and evangelise mobile to entrepreneurs This means getting involved, attending First Tuesday-type of events, signing up to speak at relevant conferences and exhibitions and generally putting the word out on social and in the real-world that, for SMEs, mobile is certainly worth a bash. Think about the local businesses in your area that use mobile. Some do, many don’t. That’s a shame. Mobile is the best way to build a loyalty programme that can easily be scaled up in the next phase of the small business lifecycle. What’s easier for a community-based firm than to start out collecting the cell numbers of local customers, registering a local business presence on Google, and then to start moving towards smart location-based marketing that might even use Bluetooth? However, because it’s easy to do, mobile for an SME is also easy to do wrong. So this means mobile marketers do need to get out there in the local business community and push the message that SMEs need to speak to specialist mobile partners right off the bat. These early-stage partnerships are potentially very valuable for everyone concerned.
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