Billion dollar mobile
IN SOUTH AFRICA and other emerging markets, mobile phones are the primary gateway to the Internet for the majority of the population. Coupled with the increasing affordability of smartphones – plus cheap call and data rates – that’s propelling the growth and popularity of cellphones.
As a result the “mobile market” has become a top priority for advertising and marketing gurus. The hosts of the recent Mobile Media Mindblast conference – Vodacom, MXit and Google – forecast mobile marketing and advertising spend in SA would grow to R1bn by next year. Last year that spend was around R500m.
“With mobile advertising, the penetration in SA is obviously a lot bigger (than online advertising) because more people have mobiles that can access the Internet,” says Tanja Lategan, commercial director at Primedia Online. “So mobile advertising is growing a lot faster – especially in Africa.”
Lategan says companies are increasingly including mobile websites to their marketing strategies. “Over the past two years we’ve seen that, as companies redevelop and design new websites, they’re adding a mobile component.”
Recent reports indicated mobile advertising spend worldwide is expected to grow by more than 50%/year, from US$12,6bn this year to $41,8bn in 2015. Display advertising is the dominant format in the mix, followed by mobile search and in-application advertising. The remaining spend consists of messaging, streaming music, mobile TV and mobile video.
In SA, mobile messaging ads are the most popular medium, followed by display and in-app formats. According to MarketingWeb, 35m branded “Please Call Me” messages are sent out daily and currently 1,6bn impressions served annually in SA.