Mobile Engagement: The Answer to Business Owners’ Marketing Woes

Published on: October 27, 2015


A big concern in the Small Business community of South Africa is finding the right avenue for marketing, and finding the right partner to do so.

This is one of the findings of the 2015 National Small Business Survey, released by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC) on Monday 12 October 2015, which canvassed 18 500 small businesses throughout South Africa. The survey further found that 32% of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) regard failing to market their business effectively as one of their biggest business mistakes. It would seem that these SMEs are possibly overlooking one of the most affordable and effective solutions available: mobile marketing. It is no secret that the use of smart technology has increased dramatically over the last decade, thus providing an innovative platform to reach the market.

A recent study published by Juniper research revealed that Mobile Messaging traffic is set to increase by 200% in 2019. The bulk of this traffic comes in the form of OTT (over the top)- applications like Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp. Mobile Marketers will no doubt align their campaigns by not merely using traditional SMS, but broadening their spectrum to include social media and OTT-applications.

Globally, the industry is seeing a move from traditional mass marketing campaigns to individualised targeted marketing. Organisations and advertising agencies are using data collected to market tailored offers to consenting consumers. This trend is resulting in an increase in brand loyalty.

As a nation with a mobile penetration rate of 150% – meaning that there are 1.5 SIM cards per capita – South African consumers are increasingly using mobile for the bulk of their day-to-day communications and internet activity. Even more specific to South Africa is the fact that many consumers spend a considerable amount of time commuting by means of public transport, and this is time often spent on our mobile devices. Keeping this in mind, SME’s can use mobile marketing to grab a client’s attention exactly when his or her attention is up for grabs.

But “reaching out” to consumers isn’t the only benefit of mobile marketing. Advertising your business’ unique shortcode and calling for interested individuals to SMS a keyword and some basic information is a great way to allow existing clients or potential buyers to “reach in”. Launching a promotional competition by means of SMS can attract many prospects, while calling for product or service feedback in the form of a text is a quick way to gain valuable market insight.

Mobile marketing, and specifically targeted marketing to consenting consumers, allows companies to present their clients with tailored offers based on their preferences and location. The result is increased consumer trust and brand loyalty, benefitting SME’s in the long run.