Mobile broadband

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Mobile broadband

  1. 1. Mobile broadband – now and the future Impact on marketing and advertising Mobile advertising has grown significantly in South Africa over the last three years. Smartphones and data have become cheaper, and it is now more and more apparent to users that their phone is all they need to access a world of information. Keeping in touch with our friends on Facebook, having a say on Twitter and getting recognition on Foursquare: all new ways people are engaging with each other, and increasingly this is being done directly from the mobile. There’s increasing access of YouTube and other video portals while out and about, and a move to dedicated mobile portals like Thumbtribe.mobi for media, music and content. The usage of online sites from cellphones growing on a weekly basis, and at the same time, cellphone manufacturers are adding apps and widgets to their phones’ home screens to make it faster and easier to do so. Looking forward, handset manufactures will bring out smartphones at lower prices to increase their market share in this important category. Mobile networks have reduced the cost of data, and are vigorously promoting data plans. They are promoting and subsidising some of the ‘data hungry’ handsets going into retailers to get more users into the bandwidth consumption habit. Only with more users consuming more data with their devices can networks continue growing revenues. Users want more convenience, more ability to be connected on the go. All the market forces are pushing in one direction: audiences on mobile Internet sites will only increase. How brands can take advantage of these advances needs some thinking, though, because in South Africa we have some unique patterns in consumer behaviour. Right now, the top ten handsets accessing mobile sites in South Africa are: Brand Model Samsung SGH E250 Samsung SGH E250i LG KS360 Samsung SGH-M620 Nokia N70 Motorola V360 Samsung GT S5233A Nokia 5130 Samsung SGH J750 SonyEricsson W350i * Admob Metrics April 2010
  2. 2. Clearly, most of our users have lower-end feature phones. However, in South Africa we have a 26% smartphone traffic share (May 2010), growing steadily and accelerating (it was less then 19.6% this time last year, 24% in April). So our higher-end users are also the heavy users of the mobile Internet. If we look at the top ten smartphones in South Africa, it gets more interesting: Brand Model Nokia N70 Nokia 6300 Nokia E63 Apple iPhone Nokia 5800 XpressMusic RIM BlackBerry 8520 Nokia N73 Nokia E71 Nokia 6210 Nokia 6110 * Admob Metrics April 2010 Nokia dominates the South African handset market with a 39% share, followed by Samsung at 32%. Apple, RIM (Blackberry) and Android are 1% and less currently, so clearly there is an enormous growth potential in the smartphone space if we are to follow US and European patterns. * Admob Metrics April 2010 The reasons why marketing and advertising strategies should embrace the
  3. 3. mobile medium more seriously going forward are obvious. We all have our phones with us, almost all the time. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, even coffee shop meetings, whether working or relaxing. We are all contactable, and we are all one step away from any brand, virtually every minute of the day. Marketing using mobile just makes sense. How we do it is not quite as obvious. Advertising across mobile has seen a significant growth in 2010 and this spend will continue to surge. Marketers need to look at their campaigns with mobile in mind. Payoff lines should contain a mobi addresss, directing the user that is reading the billboard, newspaper, magazine or watching the television directly to the brand’s mobi site. The trick is for marketers to understand our fairly unique mobile user population so that when consumers get there, they can be reached in the best way. It could be a .mobi site that works with every handset, no matter how primitive. Or via branded apps or media-supported apps downloaded from specific app stores for specific smartphones. Or flat-rated mobile services attractive to more users, like 0.facebook.com (launched in Africa, but spotty availability). South Africa is also a developing market being targeted by handset manufacturers’ “two prong” product strategy: very high end for the professional and wealthy, very low end for the mass market. Some are even creating handsets with both a high-end spec and a low-end spec. Marketers need to look at both high and low-end markets, and so need the correct strategy in place, ideally with the correct partners who have a thorough understanding of the medium. Ours is not a US, UK or European landscape where iPhone, Android, RIM and other smartphones dominate. We are also not just a low-end market of entry- level technology. We are unique in Africa with our landscape of mobile devices. We need to take this into account when we plan to do a mobile strategy. Know your audience, and know how to get the most out of your target market by knowing what your mobile partner can do for you. By Chris Wilson Thumbtribe Mobile Solutions

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