(MENAFN - SomTribune)
In South Africa and other emerging markets, capturing the attention of the masses gets tricky. You're dealing with 11 languages, and varying literacy rates mean that there is no simple way to reach many. Radio and TV offer broad reach but they require big budgets and aren't very measurable.
A new player on the mobile marketing scene is the sponsored call.
Mobile advertising, when done correctly, fills the gaps. But it's not just about apps and mobile-friendly websites for those with smartphones — the minority in emerging markets. If you really want to reach the masses, you need to cater for feature phones. USSD strings and text message marketing work well.
(USSD or unstructured supplementary service data is a Global System for Mobile or GSM communication technology used to send text between a mobile phone and an application program in the network.)
We ran a similar campaign for Unilever in South Africa recently, using its Shield deodorant brand to give consumers free talk time. Before connecting the call, Shield played a 15-second catchy voice ad that encouraged the caller to redeem a 15-percent discount coupon in-store. The campaign was highly successful and went viral within hours.
Campaigns like this, where a brand really earns trust by giving people something valuable in return for engaging with it, are highly effective.
The idea makes so much sense for emerging markets that Twitter is on it.
The giant recently acquired ZipDial, an Indian mobile marketing company that offers what it calls 'missed call marketing.' ZipDial was founded on the belief that consumers and brands in emerging markets behave differently and have different needs. Looks like they were right.
Consumers are becoming more complex, with evolving taste and reshaped access to commodities the key drivers of their complexity. This require a similar evolution in the way they are targeted. Social media and e-commerce are the latest innovations, but expect more from commodity and service providers as they clamor to capture a group of budding consumers across Africa's evolving business landscape.