Considering mobile (web) marketing in Kenya and/or Africa? 6 things you need to know.

As mentioned in my latest post on this blog, mobile marketing in all its myriad forms will change marketing as a whole in Kenya and the rest of Africa in the coming years. The reason for this is simple – when mobile is used as as marketing media, it is one of the most cost-effective, ubiquitous, measurable, targeted and scalable medias in the world today and more so in countries like Kenya in Africa. The reach for mobile media in Africa is over 600 million mobile subscribers and Kenya has over 28 million mobile subscribers. However, how can one get started? What do you need to do and what are the pitfalls of mobile marketing. As mentioned in my latest blog post, mobile has “sub-channels” for marketing comprised of USSD, SMS, Mobile Web and IVR. For purposes of this post and what I know best, I would like to talk about 6 things you need to consider if you want to market via the Mobile Web in Kenya and/or the rest of Africa:

  • Mobile Web and/or Mobile Apps?: Of late, there has been much debate globally as to whether its more practical to build a mobile app or a mobile web site for marketing purposes. For all the hype that mobile apps get today, its easy to get caught up in the same and invest loads of cash building one for your business or brand. However, the reality is that the market in Africa for mobile apps is still very nascent and most mobile apps hardly get downloaded and used by the majority of mobile subscribers. On this basis, my recommendation would be to build a mobile web site or a campaign mobile landing page for your brand(s) or business that is optimized to be accessible on the majority of mobile devices used in Africa. From research, current, Nokia is still the dominant mobile device in Africa and as such would be common denominator when building a mobile web site. Smartphones and tablets are still only gaining traction in Africa and as such it would best to gradually target these devices over the next couple of years or so.
  • Performance or Branding Mobile Campaigns?: When running marketing campaigns on mobile web advertising platforms such as InMobi it is firstly important to determine if your marketing campaigns are focussed on performance or branding objectives. Perfromance campaigns are driven towards explicit outcomes based on metrics such as number of  customer acquired, app downloads, leads generated, etc. This means that every click is supposed to lead to a a specific and measurable outcome. At the same time, a branding campaign is driven around implicit campaign objectives such as building brand awareness or visibility to a broad audience. In both cases, its possible to optimize each campaign type based on whether its performance or branding driven.
  • Calls-To-Action Based On Campaign Objectives: In addition to determining what campaign objectives are based on branding or performance goals, each campaign is designed to go to a specific mobile web “destination” after the click on a text or banner ad. This is NOT always going to mobile web site but could also be any of the following:
    • Click to Call
    • Click to Social Media (Twitter Follow or Facebook Like, etc)
    • Click to SMS
    • Click to Map (Google Map Location).
    • Click to Download (Mobile Coupon, Mobile App, etc)
    • Click to Lead (usually to a Lead Generation Form)
    • Click to Video (YouTube for instance)
    • Click to Web (Mobile Web Site or Campaign Landing Page).
  • Digital Marketing Terminology: Mobile marketing uses lots of interesting terminology to describe different aspects. These terms are broadly used across all forms of digital marketing and are important to know as follows:
    • CPM – Cost Per Thousand refers to the cost for a thousand ad impressions served.
    • CPC – Cost Per Click refers to the cost of a click for the campaign.
    • CPA – Cost Per Acquisition refers to the number of customers who sign-up as a result of the campaign
    • CTR – Click Through Rate based on number of clicks achieved for the number total impressions of the ad that are seen by viewers.
    • CPL – Cost Per Lead for a campaign
    • PV – Page Views seen for a mobile web site in a campaign.
    • UV – Unique Visitors reached for a specific period in the campaign.
    • FR and NFR – Fill Rates and No Fill Rates for Ad Inventory on a mobile ad network which can determine bidding prices and reach.
    • FC – Frequency Capping refers to the limit set for a time period for a user to see an ad so manage campaign fatigue from viewers who see it.
    • CP – Campaign Pacing refers to how a campaign budget is spent usually with a daily limit to ensure an even spread for the campaign period.
  • Creatives for Text, Banner Ads and Rich Media: Mobile marketing creatives need to be developed to drive clicks that determine how well your campaign will perform. These include text ads, banner ads and rich media creatives. In my experience, rich media is the most complex to pull off since the resources required to execute it are significant and delivery can be limited as many mobile devices in Africa do not support it.  However, one can actually run a a full campaign using just text ads linked to a basic call to action like click to Facebook. Its that simple and does not have to be overly complicated.
  • Campaign Management and Monitoring: Mobile marketing campaigns need to be to managed and monitored so as to optimize results. This means everything from doing testing of different kinds of creatives for ads to achieve higher click though rates to changing calls to action depending on campaign objectives or even deciding to target specific models or makes of mobile devices (think all Nokia devices versus Android or Apple iOS devices). In addition, from a monitoring perspective, using Analytics to see how well a campaign is performing is also critical. Ultimately, through campaign management and monitoring one can really make their mobile marketing efforts significantly more successful.
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  1. April 15, 2012 at 11:19 am — Reply

    does inmobi offer click to sms mobile advertising?

    • April 15, 2012 at 11:54 am — Reply

      @amrose. Yes we do 🙂

    • April 23, 2012 at 5:42 pm — Reply

      Thanks for the write up.It’s always a delight to read your ever informative posts.

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  4. Nelson
    May 11, 2012 at 11:48 am — Reply

    Hello Moses,
    Thank you for the great post. Kindly explain more on how click to sms mobile advertising works.

    • May 21, 2012 at 2:21 am — Reply

      @nelson its simple. You create the text and/or banner ad on the InMobi admin panel to have an action of click to SMS.

  5. David Patrick
    October 3, 2012 at 11:16 am — Reply

    Hi Moses,

    What’s the biggest challenge Inmobi has experienced as a premium mobile ad network?

    • October 5, 2012 at 12:37 pm — Reply

      @david I would say educating the market on the merits of adopting mobile marketing. Digital is already quite a broad space and mobile sites in there as something of a niche? As a result, ad dollars are slowing trickling down to mobile even though its the most widely used media in Africa.

  6. October 12, 2012 at 1:06 am — Reply

    Really interesting to see if there are any subtle or large differences between countries. Thanks for posting this!

  7. April 21, 2014 at 3:27 pm — Reply

    Hello! I’ve been following your blog for a long time now and finally got the bravery
    to go ahead and give you a shout out from Atascocita Texas!
    Just wanted to say keep up the excellent job!

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