Mobile Marketing – keep up or lose out

Posted on: in Mobile Marketing The Formula Digital Marketing

According to a recent global survey released by Nielsen, mobile advertising according to 37% of respondents,  remains the least trusted form of promotion, while the recommendations from friends and family (also known as earned media) is with a whopping 84%, the most trusted form of promotion. Online advertising mediums meanwhile, continue to earn the trust of roughly 45-50% of respondents worldwide.

Let us note that since 2007, trust in mobile marketing has risen by a fairly impressive 19% and so it is catching up to what is currently considered ‘online advertising’.

A study by GMSA and Deloitte has revealed that mobile penetration exceeds our population in South Africa at 123% with over 50 million active sim cards. Most South Africans use a mobile phone today and a swiftly increasing number of us are using Smartphones.

Apart from calling and SMSing, South Africans use their mobile phones primarily to browse the internet, send / receive email and access Social Networking sites and our local usage trends mirror those of leading economies internationally.

So what do all these fabulous facts and figures mean for you?

The times they are a changing…

The evolving trends that these figures reveal of mobile marketing, have a significant impact on online advertising. This is largely due to the fact that the increasing group of users who do have Smartphone’s, use them primarily to access the internet and read email.

So let us consider therefore, that the scope of mobile marketing and advertising has now broadened to encompass online and email marketing in addition to traditional SMS marketing and advertising over mobile based platforms such as Mxit.

In the past, we knew our marketing mediums pretty well and change in these mediums would take place over months or perhaps even years.

Today the abilities of our desktop computers are relatively slow moving in comparison to mobile technologies and it is a fact that the mobile marketing landscape is continually changing.

Change is now taking place in a matter of weeks and months and  we definitely see no indication of any stagnation in this area anytime soon!

So if we intend for our marketing activities to be fully effective, we now need to shift our undivided attention to the mobile landscape.

In an ever changing marketing environment then, on what foundation can we build our marketing campaigns?

Match tech to person

We need to be mobile device savvy and know which devices are popular right now, which devices are due for release and what the capabilities of these devices are. We need to know who is using these mobile devices and why, and remain ahead of what is currently considered mobile marketing best practice.

Knowing which devices are popular and understanding their penetration in our particular target audience is the one factor that will in the very near future serve to make or break either our mobile or online marketing campaign.  For further guidance read our earlier post: Does one size fit all for mobile marketing?

In addition to the work you would have done to define your target audience overall, you will need to  consider the following when defining your mobile marketing campaign more accurately:-

1. LSM – into which category of the Living Standards Measure do your customers fall? This will help determine which mobile device they are most likely to use. For more information read this insightful article.

2. Usage – how does your target market use their mobile phone? This will help you to determine whether an SMS campaign, location based mobile campaign or an email campaign for example, will work best for you.

3. Timing – when is your audience most likely to use their phone (and for what purpose in that time)? This will help you to schedule when to send your marketing message out.

Stay personal and be prepared to add more value

As the digital landscape changes and mobile technologies begin to exceed desktop devices in how individuals access the internet, we need to remain aware, above all, that mobile devices are and will remain to be seen as highly personal.

People see their mobile devices as the technological extension of their individual existence and so marketing messages will need to be more intuitive and valuable to the individual as the future unfolds.

Text based ads are very often seen as spam while display ads on mobile phones rob screens of their already limited space and can therefore result in a negative response.

The future of marketing as we have mentioned in other posts, is all about personalisation and professionalism (see The 2 Reasons Why Optimising your Website for Mobile is Now Critical). If your customers are going to let you in to their inner circle by inviting you to communicate with them (opt-in subscription), you will need to make them very glad that they were interrupted by your SMS, your email or even your online banner advert because your message will have benefited them specifically.

As for trying to match the perceived trust of our friends and family – well marketers will be hard pressed to match that. But the challenge is on!

We consider ourselves ‘fanatical marketers’ here At The Formula – so we are constantly keeping abreast with changes in marketing and technology, as well as looking to what we think will in all probability transpire in future. While you attend to your core business function, why not let us help you devise and deploy a winning marketing strategy that will help your business thrive even further? Give Garth Dahl or Shiraz Khatib a call on 021 556 5661 or email us: 


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