With a current market penetration at 51% (as at December 2015) – up from 40% in 2013, an increasing number of South Africans are using Smartphones. The country has been earmarked by technology manufacturers as the next most viable marketplace for Smartphones and this will drive penetration even further in the coming years. Of that 51%, a whopping 95% of Smartphone users use their devices every day for email and web browsing. Mobile marketing, has therefore become something for companies to seriously consider. In this post, we will answer some of the leading questions that our clients ask.

Note: When we refer to mobile devices, we are referring to both mobile phones and tablets.

1. Which marketing channels does mobile marketing include?

With the advent of the Smartphone, mobile marketing channels have increased significantly and in addition to SMS or text messaging, now include mobile websites, mobile responsive websites, mobile apps, mobile optimised email and 2D barcodes – such as QR codes. Additional mobile marketing channels include LBS – or Location Based Services and GPS messaging, both of which deliver location specific marketing messages to cell phone users. There is no doubt that marketing must evolve to become more mobile centric and in this earlier post (posted Nov 2013), we uncover the reasons why.


2. How can I determine whether mobile marketing is suitable for my business?

As we indicated in question 1, it is imperative for forward thinking organisations to ensure that their marketing strategies become more mobile centric. With so many individuals on the go, using their mobile devices for activities such as email and web browsing, a solid marketing strategy must cater to these users. Knowing whether a mobile marketing strategy is critical for your business right now is largely dependent on the industry in which you operate and the habits of the clients you serve. The first step is therefore to create a solid marketing strategy which will help you understand exactly who your target audience is and what they want. An easy start is to look at your Website Google Analytics – Audience/Mobile/Overview. This will show you your website session breakdown by desktop, mobile and tablet.


3. Why should I optimise my website and email for mobile?

First and foremost it is important to note that mobile marketing has moved beyond text messaging and even in app advertising (those flashing banners you see in your mobile applications at times). Email is now considered one of the key channels in mobile marketing, as is your website. The reason for this is because so many more people are now using their mobile devices to perform basic functions such as web browsing, emailing and more recently, shopping online. A mobile website is no longer satisfying the needs of customers, so ensuring that your website is responsive is therefore becoming critical.

A responsive website quite simply means one that is able to adapt to the size of the screen on which it is being viewed. Instead of forcing the user to scroll to the right, the responsive website delivers key information within one screen at a size the user can see.

So many emails – even from leading brands – remain clumsy and difficult to navigate when viewing them on mobile devices. As a rule, a mobile device won’t automatically download images and so an email that is made up primarily of images will not load automatically on a mobile device. You therefore lose those critical first few seconds to grab the user’s attention and will potentially put them off from opening your emails for good.
Here are two highly informative articles (posted in 2013) in which we uncover the reasons why your website should be responsive and your email marketing messages optimised for mobile users.


4. Would a mobile app be suitable for my business?

Mobile applications (mobile apps) have moved past games and entertainment and many mobile users are now obtaining them to perform a variety of functions on their mobile devices. Deciding whether or not to create a mobile app for your business, should be based squarely on what value you are able to truly deliver to your customers in this manner. For example as a retailer, a mobile app could link your customer to stock and pricing, or notifications of special offers. As restaurant owner, a mobile app could provide interesting or valuable information regarding the type of food you serve which would establish you as an authority on the subject. The purpose of an app is to enrich the customer experience and so it is essential to spend the time it will take to develop an app that is well received, unique and useful.

The benefits of mobile apps:
• Apps delivery more faster relevant results.
• Apps have offline capabilities.
• Apps help to increase loyalty & revenue.
• Easy to send & manage push notifications.
• Apps vastly improves user overall experience.
• Apps allows you to put social media all in one place.


5. Is it legal and ethical to send sms marketing messages?

Although mobile marketing has more recently expanded to include email messaging and your website, we cannot discount the more traditional form of mobile marketing – that of the humble SMS. This form of mobile marketing has the potential to reach thousands of potential customers, particularly within South Africa. To determine whether sms marketing will work for you, it is imperative to begin with a solid mobile marketing strategy to help you decide the most appropriate manner in which to approach your target market. For sms marketing to be successful, there is no doubt that a solid database of engaged subscribers is essential. Enticing subscribers to opt-in to receive your sms marketing messages is a project on its own and if you would like to find out how to approach this, our previous post ‘4 steps to building a solid opt-in mobile subscriber list’ covers how to build an ethical, legal, opt-in list of subscribers in detail.

Give Garth Dahl or Shiraz Khatib a call on 021 556 5661 or email us: info@theformula.co.za – our consultations are free and we look forward to keeping your company abreast of the latest trends in marketing!

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