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Mobile marketing doesn’t have to be smart

Mobile marketing doesn’t have to be smart

MOST businesses know they need tech-driven consumer engagement, but then quite often go about it without proper thought and research. 

In an era where mobile, apps and social media are the reality, businesses often fall for throwing money at quick wins instead of long-term customer loyalty and conversations – which are ultimately more meaningful and profitable.  

So when approaching digital (and more specifically mobile marketing) businesses need to think beyond the campaigns that focus on likes, shares and clicks and ask: “What value does this really add to my business, and more importantly, my customer’s life?” Every business should think about how to get to that ultimate prize in marketing - real, tangible business results delivered by being relevant to real, tangible human beings. 

Hopefully by now you don’t need to be convinced of the opportunities of mobile marketing. But remember, mobile effectiveness is an art, a human art as well as a technological one. What sits at the other end of it reading your message or deciding whether to engage with you is another one of those real, tangible human beings.  If applied to its full potential, mobile can get you real and meaningful business results – that is, if your business is guided by consumer data on who and where your market is, and what they will engage with.  A good start is looking at basic statistics for your market. With a population of about 50 million, South Africa has approximately 59 million active sim cards. About 59% of cellphone users access the internet on their cellphones. Of approximately 14 million smartphone users in SA, Blackberry makes up a massive proportion (6 million,) Nokia (Symbian) is next at nearly 3 million, followed by Android (Samsung) and iOS (iPhones) totalling at 2.1 million and 1 million respectively whilst Windows phones are quickly gaining traction. 

The non-smart (‘feature’ or ‘dumb’) phones still represent the lion’s share of handsets in our market. You might remember these. We used to chat on these, you could throw, drop and even listen to the radio on them, and of course the battery lasted much longer than half a day! So when many SA marketers only want to develop smartphone apps, remember where the bulk of the market lies now, and in the foreseeable future. Surprisingly many high LSM (Living Standard Measure) consumers still use older phones, so assume nothing.

Research tells us that 67% of brands plan on creating mobile apps in 2014 and almost half also want rich multimedia content such as videos. Without properly understanding the basic stats, most of these brands won’t consider going for multiple smartphone platforms, instead zooming in on iOS and Android. 

In Africa, it is also essential to consider the customer experience for those without required 3G+ signals or millionaire bank accounts to afford the bandwidth required for your rich media or app. 

But beyond stats, you need to think about what you really want to achieve with your campaign. Campaigns can also be used to mine meaningful consumer data to provide business intelligence and demonstrate sales growth. In today’s post-digital era, if you want to use digital and mobile smartly, use data and insights to set you on your way. Use your campaigns to gain insights that can be used by your CMO, CEO, CFO, CIO, HR manager and CTO. Data should drive and inform your business direction, including marketing spend, consumer behaviour and R&D of new products.

Digital needs to make a business impact, and more importantly, an impact on those real, tangible human beings. Choosing the right digital partner is essential – only then will digital (mobile) become one of the best, measurable mediums to drive your business forward.

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