Mobile marketing has the power to connect brands to retailers in an extremely sophisticated way. The combination of mobility and reach of the mobile medium offers an exciting platform for the mobile phone to be used as an effective business tool. Many prominent businesses are recognising the advantages which this marketing medium can provide.
According to Chris Rolfe, CEO of Mobilitrix, mobile marketing provides a huge benefit to businesses in terms of the application of its products and solutions. Recognized as the biggest digital footprint, roughly 90% of the SA adult population are in possession of a mobile phone and 100% of households have access to one. “Marketing through mobile technology is easy to measure, allows targeted interaction with your clients and intelligently targets the needs of your consumers by collecting statistics”, says Chris.
As company owners are looking at saving costs across all areas of business, the key in today’s marketing recession is simplicity. Communicating with your consumers using mobile allows 100% penetration and easy reach as consumers can be contacted in their own time which simplifies business operations and communications. Using a short code which is very common in today’s market place (mainly used for competitions and subscription services) provides a cost effective and interactive channel. Another alternative is the USSD communication channel which, has till recently, been used primarily for topping up air time. USSD is perfect for confidential data capture, two-way communication, surveys and customer relationship management.
USSD is great as it works on the simplest, (and even oldest) handsets without requiring fancy WAP-enabled phones, and is cheap for your customers – it only costs 20 cents per 20 seconds with a maximum of 2 minutes per session. USSD also gives better cost efficiencies to the consumer as the self-serving eliminates the need for that customer to spend money on making expensive calls to the company in question. USSD menus and surveys can be set up via the Mobilitrix website in real time which makes interaction between a consumer and the brand a reality.
When deciding on a marketing campaign, it is important to define the objective, decide on your message and target audience. With this in mind, there are various products that can help you to achieve your campaign objectives. For example, the Mobilitrix Mobilicall product allows consumers to notify or signal the brand owner when consumers are interested in a top end product. This allows you to streamline your sales and saves an enormous amount of time where consumers don’t have to spend their pre-paid airtime on making calls or be passed to various call centre consultants before reaching the right person.
Another possible solution is the Mobilitrix Mobilivoucher product which focuses on how retailers and restaurants all benefit from the mobile voucher. The benefit for the consumer is the convenience of not having to physically cut out vouchers from newspapers or direct mail, instead they can easily retrieve a voucher from their mobile phone wherever they go. This type of marketing takes the consumer from a physical to a digital world increasing foot traffic and purchase value for the stores where the discounted products are found.
An example of such a campaign was implemented by Mobilitrix on behalf of the Spur Steak Ranch who wanted to better understand consumer preference for requesting mobile vouchers from different media channels. The carrying out of this campaign integrated the insertion of different mobile specific keywords into print and radio specifically targeting the youth market. The visually rich WAP-based mobile voucher proved to be more popular than the text-based voucher. After a two week campaign results showed that the print media generated 90% of all responses with only 10% of responses using the radio keyword. A 33% conversion-to-sale of total vouchers issued was the result which exceeded the client’s initial expectations.
Chris outlines that one of the challenges Mobilitrix is faced with are customers who don’t have a full comprehension of the interactive component that mobile marketing can provide. Many are used to the traditional way of marketing looking at either above or below the line media. With mobile marketing, a cross media approach can be used by combining TV, radio or print that carries a call to action which incites a response from the consumer. The distribution profile of the consumer is also extensive as various mediums are being used to reach different demographic groups. By providing a user friendly website with ready to use technology, the setting up of mobile marketing campaigns become simple and efficient without requiring the services of a technical expert.
Depending on your audience and their interests, your marketing campaign could include products specifically designed for running competitions, driving traffic to your website, making detailed product information available on request, delivering multimedia content via video’s, music or images as well as managing bulk SMS groups. Downloadable reports are also available on all activities regarding your marketing efforts that measure the success of your responses. According to statistics, the response rate of over 10% can be achieved with a stronger return on investment in comparison to other marketing media.
Significantly one of the negative perceptions that mobile companies are faced with is the spam factor which unfortunately diminishes public trust in the medium. How does one filter messages that are received? As much as mobile companies have to abide by regulatory laws that govern the collection, processing and dissemination of personal information, cell phone service providers have to be responsible for filtering messages that are delivered to the inbox. In South Africa this has been followed up by the SA Protection of Privacy Act.
Because of this, Mobilitrix ensures that anyone who interacts with the Mobilitrix Interactive Platform is protected from having their cell phone number disseminated to bulk SMS databases by hiding the last four digits of their number on all reports. Recognizing and respecting the privacy of the consumer and the private nature of the mobile phone is crucial as more and more consumers are using their phones in different ways. Whether it’s to perform useful business transactions or engage with a mobile competition, it is important to remember that not only are consumers benefiting themselves but also the business they are connecting with.