Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Mobile Marketing in Nigeria

Guest Post by Marco Horta
The number of people using mobile devices around the world is growing exponentially every day, with almost 5 billion phone users on the planet it represents more than 5 times the size of the Internet market and growing rapidly. Everyday 3.6 million cell phones are sold around the world. Nigeria has the 8th largest population in the world and it has become the continent’s largest mobile market with now over 75 million subscribers (just 49% of the population). Yet there are very few competitors offering mobile marketing solutions, which make it a fertile industry for businesses wanting to stake an early claim.
Image from NyDailyNews

Put the phone down, now now!
Nigerians love their phones; they use them to connect with loved ones, or kill time playing games, update their Facebook status or play music for their nieces or nephews to dance to. Nigerians spend more time on their phone than sitting in front of a computer. How can a business reach this huge potential market and successfully navigate the maze of challenges the country poses? including: organized crime, 419 scams, corruption, power plays, etc. Any of these will automatically subtract credibility from any campaign right out of the gates.

Let’s start from the beginning, mobile marketing is only one more added communication channel for your marketing mix. Its effectiveness is best maximized when used in combination with other efforts and used as a conversation starter, instead of a blow horn, which will quickly drop your communications into the SPAM bucket.

Your mobile campaign should follow these guidelines, for starters:

Objective: Do not do it just because everyone else is doing it. How is the campaign going to help your overall objectives? Your boss is probably not used to hearing all this younger generation tech craziness. So your objective has to be quantitative and/or qualitative and always measurable of course. They should be realistic, time specific and actionable.

Know your audience: Last week I received a random tweet that said: “Vote for blah-blah, follow @blah-blah”. What is wrong with that you may ask? First of all I am not following the person who tweeted me and secondly, do they even know if am able to vote? This unsolicited and inappropriate contact earned them a quick draw to the spam button. Know your target audience before you build your strategy and then include it as a developing long term objective.

Keep it short and simple (K.I.S.S.): You are reaching your customers while they are at the office, at home, in school; they are busy keep your message simple and if you are going to distract them make sure your message is one they will want to pass around to their friends.

Free is good! Everyone likes free stuff. Free food, free samples, free t-shirts; you get the idea. But my Oga will have a fit if I even mention the word “free”! Then you can also work in special promotions, coupons anything that can give your customers something special that nobody outside of their social network will have.

Know your toolbox: The more engagement you have the better awareness you will create. Find out what options are available from your mobile marketing provider: Text-to screen, Carrier Queries, Short Codes, Mobile Coupons, maybe even capabilities with built in cameras or location awareness. Do you think Nigeria is capable/ready for Augmented Reality? Not only should you know your mobile marketing tools but all the other channel’s tools as well. Cross channel communication is king!

ROI (Return of Investment): If you can’t provide numbers back to your Oga, then stop. With any mobile marketing effort (or any other ones) you need to have attentive supervision on your metrics and be quick to any changes, always have plan B. This will help avoid wasting time, money and resources and result in a better return on your investment.

Kids are always watching: Technology is reaching younger generations faster and faster. The last thing you want to be doing is influencing younger generations in a negative way or help destroy something you love. As a marketer (a good one at least) you have the choice to change things. Seth Godin says it best in his post on Marketing Morality: “It is our decision. Whatever the decision is, you need to own it. If you can't look that decision in the mirror, market something else.”

There are plenty of companies around the world getting their feet wet successfully with mobile marketing. From Dunkin Donuts in Italy and McDonald’s in Australia to 98FM radio in Ireland. Nigeria presents interesting cultural differences, how are Nigerian marketers going to integrate ‘Flashing’? Let us know if you have a documented campaign using this popular technique getting others to call you instead. Leave us a comment with any other different ways Nigerians use their phone. Meanwhile we will be waiting only feet away from ours.

This is a guest post by Marco Horta. Macro is an Advertiser by definition-Online Marketer and International Business Developer by experience. Strategist and Creator by heart. Follow him on twitter.

Many thanks for taking time out of your very busy schedule to write this post Marco. Really appreciate it and look forward to doing 'business' with you in the near future!
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