The Media Connection has facilitated the roll out of a great community radio studio software dashboard option, iBuzz, that enables radio presenters all over the country to interact live with listeners on a comment/competition/voting line, which enables the collection of a viable database of cell phone numbers for marketers and advertisers.
To date, there are already over 90 000 registered users and the database enables users to discover where they live, where they shop and how they spend their disposable income. There are categories of LSMs waiting to be tapped.
Whilst mobile advertising will never completely replace traditional forms of advertising, advertisers need to start integrating mobile into their advertising campaigns if they are looking for a more interactive relationship with their consumers. The software programme also enables community radio stations, whose advertising is managed by The Media Connection, can now also communicate better with their listeners as messages from consumers come directly onto their dashboard.
Mobile advertising challenges include non-proper regulation in the industry as yet. Not enough research, case studies or statistics are yet available for marketers to fully understand where the mobile advertising market is headed in South Africa. This said, I am confident that this will change as the non-traditional advertising industry continues to grow.
Another challenge facing community radio stations that would like to make use of new technology, like iBuzz, are restricted by a severe lack of resources including computers and other hardware and even an Internet connection in some cases.
As mobile marketing is an important element that should be integrated into any marketing campaign, our vision for the programme is to create an ongoing dialogue between advertisers and their specific target audience. Especially, since community radio listeners can now be profiled in specific LSM categories for brands. iBuzz is a flexible and easy to use interactive commercial-grade system that enables the unlocking of the potential of mobile marketing and communication.
The media platform enables the viewing of communication from different sources, including SMS and Twitter, which can all be integrated onto one communication platform. Communication strategies can be activated by a simple, user-friendly interface, enabling users to create campaigns, competitions and conduct polls in real time. At the same time, a valuable client base can be built, using information conveyed via iBuzz about the particular station’s listeners, their way of life and their LSM category. All of this information is captured in a database and then categorised, enabling users to create and build important marketing information about their consumers.
An added benefit is the analysis of consumers and their needs, providing users with a report that includes the statistics they need. The programme also allows for the defining of specific user profiles, to cater for specific campaigns geared to target the required market.
The continued growth of iBuzz will depend on the numbers of stations that sign up for the platform. The advantages of doing so, besides generating more advertising revenue, are numerous and include multi-dimensional advertising campaigns that can drive radio listeners to mobi and/or websites.
Whilst mobile advertising is growing quickly in South Africa, most brands are still very reliant on SMS technology alone. There are many more mobile advertising tactics that can ensure better consumer engagement and therefore more effective campaigns that are all about calling listeners to action and giving them a reason to go and visit their mobi site.
Ultimately, brands should be looking to give consumers what they want, thereby increasing their sales.