According to the CMO Council, two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone.
We’re guessing CMO stands for ‘Chief Marketing Officer’ so this is probably a statistic worth paying attention to. What’s also worth noting is the fact that while just 39.8% of South Africans in 2015 owned a smartphone, South Africa was amongst the top 25 countries for smartphone user growth worldwide in 2014, according to eMarketer estimates. The country is a full 6 percentage points ahead of the global average for smartphone growth. For 2015, South Africa’s growth in smartphone users is estimated at 22.8%.
The above impressive indices notwithstanding, the fact remains that there are still about 6 out of 10 local cellular users who do not own a smartphone. However, with every challenge lies an opportunity just waiting to be exploited by the smart mobile marketer with a creative bent.
The remaining 6 out of 10 South African mobile users are, logically, feature phone users. And with 44% of consumers worldwide saying they would like brands to deliver deals and coupons to their mobile devices, well that sounds like an enormous opportunity for the two mobile marketing bearers perfectly-suited to coupons and special offers: SMS and Please Call Me text tags, both of which work extremely well on feature phones.
When it comes to the relative advantages of marketing to smartphone versus feature phone users, it is worth pointing out that SMS functionality, for example, cannot be switched off in the same way a smartphone user can disable location functionality. While the engagement with feature phone users might not be as rich, it can still be in-depth, if the right mobile marketing partner is selected.