Smart way to the net


Mobile ads need to be part of an integrated marketing strategy to drive consumer engagement - and new research shows that Samsung will be the smart phone leader in the near future.

Effective Measure (EM), the leading provider of media planning and audience profiling solutions, has released new research on South African mobile usage. This new report, in conjunction with the IAB South Africa, highlights the increasing mobile usage among South African Internet users with a great majority using a smart phone to access the Internet.

According to EM’s Survey of desktop Internet users in December 2013, almost 50% of smart phone owners have been exposed to mobile-based advertisements. Despite the fact that SMS text messages dominate the kind of advertisements Internet users are exposed to, advertisements through websites and applications look to be gaining traction in the South African market.

Vodacom appears to be the market leader in South Africa (53.3 per cent of survey respondents use Vodacom data plans), followed by MTN (29.9%) and Cell C (12.9%). Other key providers in the market are 8ta and Virgin Mobile. Despite the fact that 8ta is a relatively new entrant (2010) into the market, results from the EM survey suggest that 8ta’s market share is estimated to be greater than the market share of Virgin Mobile, which entered the South African market back in 2006.

“Businesses that make mobile a central part of their strategy will benefit from the opportunity to engage the new constantly connected consumer. Extending advertising strategies to include mobile and developing integrated cross-media campaigns can more effectively reach South African consumers. Making mobile ads a part of an integrated marketing strategy can drive greater consumer engagement”, said Alan Morrissey, Effective Measure’s South African Country MD.

Other key insights from the Effective Measure / IAB South African Mobile Report include:

  • Blackberry is the major mobile phone provider. Samsung and Nokia take the second and third ranking while Apple ranks at number four.
  • The smart phone purchase intentions of South Africans show that Samsung will be the market leader in a relatively short period of time with about 40% market share.
  • 37.2% of the mobile owners have had their devices for a less than a year and almost 24 per cent indicated that they plan to replace their phones in less than six months.
  • South Africans mostly use Internet accessed via their mobile phones for the purpose of instant messaging, emails and social media networking.
  • WhatsApp, Facebook messenger and BBM are the most commonly used instant messaging applications.

“These findings suggest a fast-adopting consumer group in South Africa, providing opportunities for mobile phone distributors for sales maximisation”, said Morrissey.

“Facebook’s 16 billion dollar acquisitions of WhatsApp will make Facebook the market leader in instant messaging market in South Africa. This could mean that Facebook will be the dominant advertising platform in the instant messaging market,” said Morrissey.

Cherna Misrole


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