Mo­bile me­dia

Finweek English Edition - - INSIGHT -

In­no­va­tion in mo­bile tech­nol­ogy is ad­vanc­ing at an ex­po­nen­tial rate. Mo­bile phones and par­tic­u­larly smart­phones are at the fore­front of de­vel­op­ments, but the smart­phone revo­lu­tion has yet to have its full im­pact on most African mar­kets. Mo­bile-me­dia agen­cies are still able to reach the mar­kets on the con­ti­nent us­ing fo­cused com­mu­ni­ca­tion on ba­sic fea­ture phones.

De­seré Or­rill and Tim Legg are the founders and di­rec­tors of Ole Me­dia Group, which has seen con­sid­er­able suc­cess in dig­i­tal con­tent man­age­ment for ba­sic fea­ture phones. Here they share 10 lessons they have learnt since they started their busi­ness in their dining room in 2009. To­day, the busi­nesses op­er­ates in Cape Town, Jo­han­nes­burg, Nairobi and Lon­don.

12IT’S NOT ABOUT THE TECH­NOL­OGY “The smart­phone revo­lu­tion re­ally gained trac­tion in 2007,” says Legg. “We re­alised that to en­gage with mass mar­kets we needed to fo­cus on the non-smart­phone users.” Ole Me­dia Group took this ap­proach when they started in 2009 with the first build­ing block of the group, Mo­biMe­dia. The com­pany linked mass mar­kets di­rectly to the re­tailer us­ing SMS and USSD (Un­struc­tured Sup­ple­men­tary Ser­vice Data) as their pri­mary of­fer­ing to low­er­in­come earn­ers who are not able to af­ford the lat­est in mo­bile phone tech­nol­ogy. PO­TEN­TIAL I N LOW­ER­IN­COME MAR­KETS There are nearly 7bn mo­bile phone sub­scrip­tions world­wide ac­cord­ing to the In­ter­na­tional Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Union, with the low­est pen­e­tra­tion in Africa. “We fo­cus on the ma­jor­ity of cell­phone users. The po­ten­tial of the

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