Global mobile advertising network AdMob has entered the South African market, with intentions of capitalising on the opportunity presented by a very active local base of mobile Internet users. “South Africa is a very important market for AdMob because of SA users' love for the mobile web. AdMob has seen early success helping advertisers reach SA users and is now investing to grow our SA presence,” comments Niren Hiro, AdMob VP of business development.
“We'll be doing this by putting a local team on the ground who will be building relationships and offering our solutions to local advertisers and publishers because we believe the local market has such great potential,” adds Hiro.
AdMob allows advertisers and mobile website publishers in over 160 countries around the world to create targeted advertising to reach out to mobile web users. In recent months, AdMob has deepened its investment in SA in response to advertiser demand and rapidly growing local mobile web usage.
According to Hiro, AdMob served over three billion ad impressions on mobile websites around the world in May 2008 alone. Founded in 2006, AdMob has registered over 29 billion impressions since its launch and is seeing on average about 1250 impressions served every second of every day onto mobile websites where AdMob has posted adverts on behalf of advertisers.
SA mobile users generated 159.2 million mobile ad impressions in the month of May on the AdMob Network, with double digit traffic growth over the last six months. This makes SA AdMob's fifth largest country market (by number of page impressions) after the US, India, Indonesia and the UK, says Hiro.
Traffic stats a mere fraction
Hiro says AdMob is launching here because it believes that the traffic stats being generated by local users are a mere fraction of what the market could be producing if local users were more aware of the mobile Internet He believes this represents an opportunity for publishers of mobile websites.
““The fact that local users are mostly visiting international sites creates the opportunity for local sites to create compelling content for the SA market. This is the key to the continued growth of the mobile Internet in SA. As more people start visiting local content-focused mobile websites, the pull for local advertisers becomes an obvious one,” he says.
Both international and local advertisers are eager to reach the SA user. Many are buying SA targeted ads via AdMob's web interface at www.AdMob.com
. AdMob works with global advertisers such as Coke, Adidas, Ford and many others, but has also begun developing relationships with local South African agencies, including Mobiclicks and Brandsh. “In SA, mobile advertising has proved popular with advertisers in the mobile, travel, financial services, and media sectors,” Hiro points out.
“The mobile Internet represents an important opportunity for us to reach our customers' target users. We have worked with AdMob to add mobile to our marketing mix and are encouraged at the potential for this medium,” says Shaun Rosen, Mobiclicks MD and Founder.
While there are locally hosted mobile websites in SA, most of the traffic from SA users on the AdMob Network is generated on mobile websites hosted in other countries. Hiro says that AdMob is therefore looking to stimulate the number of local publishers so that they can begin to capitalise on the strong traffic figures from SA users. Local advertisers can then in turn use local mobile websites to reach local users.
The most popular sites visited by SA users include Peperonity (http://peperonity.com
[community]), Mocospace (http://mocospace.com
(Entertainment) and ABPhone (www.abphone.com
[Search]). Nokia handsets created 36.1% of traffic, followed by Samsung with 31.3% and Motorola with 14.6%. The top handsets from SA users are the Samsung E250, the Motorola V360 and the Nokia N70.