Your client is launching a mobile version of a very popular daily tabloid aimed at the lower end of the market. The mobile version of the local tabloid, Daily Sunshine, will be updated every hour, carry top stories and news headlines, and racing and lotto results. How will you market this new mobile service to readers and cellphone users who fall in the lower income groups, and who are mainly second-language English speakers?
Before starting with a marketing strategy, one needs to learn more about the target market, which falls in lower income groups and spends a lot of time commuting.
The LSM 1 Ã¢Â€Â“ 5 group is made up of 51 percent females, mostly residing in rural areas (76 percent), mainly in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo provinces. Forty percent are unemployed. These consumers are mostly at home, and when they work, they spend quite a lot of time commuting to and from work. But perhaps, most important for this exercise, 41 percent of this market owns a cellphone.
Unique selling point: Indigenous languages
It is fairly obvious that a mobile campaign is a good way to reach this target market, but the product needs a unique selling point to lure a big number of users.
The answer: an indigenous language service.
It is known that when you are communicated to in your home language, you tend to not only understand better, but also take an interest in what is being communicated to you. There must be an option for receiving the tabloid in either isiZulu, Sotho, Xhosa or Pedi, other than English, otherwise why not just purchase the newspaper? One would firstly need to attract cellphone users in rural areas where newspaper distribution is limited and the main source of information is radio. So one would market this as adding huge value to their life, as the information is retained. The consumers in more urban areas, such as townships, would need to be convinced of the convenience of receiving this information on their cellphones, as they are commuting most of the time.
Bearing in mind that this market has endless needs to their limited daily rand, an offer should, be made for the first 1,000 subscribers to either receive the service free for the first month and also offer some instant gratification prizes (free airtime, for instance) to the next 500. The aim is to get consumers to use and believe in the service.
The actual campaign:
One would need to create a two-pronged campaign with different approaches to urban/peri-urban (a peri-urban market falls between rural and urban markets, outside town but not quite rural) and rural markets. For the rural campaign, the following strategies should be put into action:
Ã¢Â€Â¢ A radio edutainment campaign explaining the importance of daily news and keeping “in the know”. This campaign would run on African-language stations, placed around the news.
Ã¢Â€Â¢ An SMS campaign containing all the details on the new service, and tagged onto “Please Call Me” messages.
Ã¢Â€Â¢ Pro-mobiles should be taken into communities to demonstrate the feature Ã¢Â€Â“ in order to show the value of this new service – accompanied with leaflets explaining the mechanics and service in detail.
Ã¢Â€Â¢ Store branding in rural areas where airtime is sold, as well as on cellphone containers. Leaflets can also be distributed here. For the urban/peri-urban campaign, the following strategies would be recommended:
Ã¢Â€Â¢ A radio edutainment campaign, including commuter radio.
Ã¢Â€Â¢ An SMS campaign.
Ã¢Â€Â¢ Taxi advertising: both interior and exterior.
Ã¢Â€Â¢ Train station advertising in the form of poster adverts at high traffic points.
Ã¢Â€Â¢ A print campaign in the Daily Sunshine featuring:
Ã¢Â€Â¢ An advertorial positioning the mobile version as a better and convenient option when one can’t buy the newspaper.
Ã¢Â€Â¢ A promotion.
Ã¢Â€Â¢ An SMS newspaper barcode where users receive the mobile service free in the first month.
Ã¢Â€Â¢ Newspaper hawkers handing out leaflets with every Daily Sunshine sold.
Ã¢Â€Â¢ A campaign at major malls and taxi ranks.
Ã¢Â€Â¢ The creation of mobile news vendors.
The two-pronged approach will ensure a wide reach to the entire market, while remaining aware of the different needs and characteristics of both.
Pinkie FouchÃƒÂ© is a Communication Channel Strategist at Nota Bene.
Ã¢Â–Â This article first appeared in The Media magazine.