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