Mobile technology is making marketing to a base of users a far simpler, smoother exercise compared to traditional methods of marketing. The immediacy of the technology means that campaigns can be created and rolled out within days.
Compare that to other mediums like television, radio and print. The creation of the content, the booking of the airtime or space in a publication and the delay until the campaign rolls out normally take months from the start of the process to its completion.
However, mobile marketing reduces time to market because there is a direct link between the company and the end user through their cellphones. The creative can be done in days and loaded onto a mobile marketing platform through a front end website. As long as the company as their own database, it's a simple as clicking send and the message goes out to users.
Furthermore, mobile marketing is far more targeted and there is zero wastage when it comes to MMS. This is because it is possible to verify with the networks whether cellphone numbers have been registered for MMS. All numbers that are not MMS registered can be removed from the campaign.
And while traditional mediums take weeks or months for a message to penetrate into the market because of the intermittent use of other channels by consumers, MMS penetration reaches over 90% of the base within 48 hours of the campaign being rolled out.
MMS in action
Take the example of a retail electronics store wanting to promote a sale. The retail company speaks to their agency, which creates the content. A strategy is formulated on where to distribute the content and the airtime or space is booked well in advance. The stock is then prepared at the stores for when the campaign rolls out and arrangements are made in stores for the influx of consumers.
In a mobile scenario, content can be created in as little as 48 hours. The database is verified by the networks and the MMS are distributed. A campaign of a couple of hundred thousand MMS can be rolled out in a day or two and over 90 percent of the base will most likely have read MMS and possibly even passed onto friends and family two days after the campaign in initiated. This means that the retail store could communicate with a large base of users in as little as a week and would not have to hold stock for large periods of time.
Mobile marketing also gives power to both the sender and the receiver. Companies can send out personalised, content rich messages including video, sounds, pictures and text to specific consumers who have the choice of whether to accept or reject an incoming MMS. Consumers can also view the MMS whenever they wish to and should be able to unsubscribe from the service at any time.
The medium is fresh and new, which means consumers are far more likely to view the MMS and show it to other people than say a TV advert for example. Databases can also be segmented and targeted messages can be sent to specific users, with a higher level of personalisation.
And given that there are 36 million active SIM cards in South Africa (more than TV viewers, Radio listeners or Internet users); companies need to begin to thinking about reaching using mobile marketing campaigns to reach out to the largest group of users in the country.
Eddie Groenewald is the CEO of mobile marketing company Multimedia Solutions http://www.multimediasolutions.co.za/. He has 18 years experience in the telecoms industry, of which more than a decade as been in the mobile sector. He is responsible for driving multimedia solutions business strategy both locally and internationally.
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