They say the more things change, the more they stay the same. While we’re never sure who ‘they’ are, we can be sure of this age-old wisdom. It rings true in the general business arena where consumers always appreciate that priceless combination of good value and great service. This remains true whether the customer searched the streets for the best passage to Rome 2 000 years ago, or today searches the pages of the web for the best package next cruising season. In the specialist sphere of mobile marketing, there are similarly certain fundamentals that remain true across time and space, and no matter what the latest tactical technology is.
Regular readers of this blog would know that we tend to emphasize the importance of mobile marketing message personalisation, customization of platforms and seamless interaction between different bearer technologies like SMS, MMS, USSD and others. We might call these little nuggets of advice the pillars of the mobile marketing discipline. We always seem to come back to them.
However, when it comes to what seems to stay the same in mobile marketing, here are a few specifics that marketers would be wise to remember:
Smartphone Use Continues to Grow
While feature phone use remains big in Africa, and SMS is King, the availability of $20 smartphones means smartphone usage on our continent is on the up and up, and on track to eventually match usage stats in developed markets.
Video is Big
Every smartphone user will tell you that videos play exceptionally well on their phones, no matter the handset brand. Some mobile browsers are better than others, but every mobile marketer should be advising clients to create brand content for video because video just works. It’s also the kind of content that users like to share – often.
Mobile will Continue to Take Direction from Traditional Media – But Not for Long
Traditional media (especially television) remains the marketing and advertising glamour boy. This will change as client marketing directors who cut their corporate teeth in a TV-dominant ad world either retire or see the light.
In summary, there’s great news for mobile marketers because smartphone use continues to climb and mobile video works really well – however, for now at least, we have to accept the current reality of traditional media devouring the lion’s share of marketing budgets.