Today’s consumers have an endless choice of the media they decide to engage with and compared to just a decade ago, they’re choosing and using a whole new mix of media. More recently we’ve seen a decline in print, OOH and cinema and even the stability of TV and radio declining, writes Laiza Zikalala.
However according to AMPS, in the three year period between 2012 and 2014, we have seen a growth of 18.7% of people who have access to the internet, the only medium showing double digit growth. Within this category there’s also been a huge growth in mobile. Not only has accessibility increased, but mobile is becoming increasingly central to people’s lives.
Mobile is ubiquitous and provides a great opportunity for marketers as a communication tool. Currently in South Africa we have 69.2 million mobile connections – which actually surpasses the total population of the country. In fact, 67% of the South African population have two or more cell phones in their possession at any given time.
Mobile today is integrated into consumer’s lives; really, it’s the first thing we turn to in the morning and the last thing at night. We’re addicted! Mobile is always on, we’re always accessible and marketers can, and do, engage with their consumers at any given (reasonable) time.
Over 20 million consumers access the internet via mobile – 24% more than desktop and laptop web penetration. This amplifies the fact that mobile cannot be ignored as a primary media platform any longer. Looking at social platforms specifically, Facebook in South Africa has 11.8 million users. And 90% of those users access the platform via mobile. One sees a similar pattern for Twitter with 6.6 million users – again, 90% of these users access via the mobile platform.
(Unfortunately other social media platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest don’t provide the breakdown of desktop versus mobile accessibility.)
In South Africa digital media spend is still negligible given its massive market adoption. Media money and usage is still heavily skewed to the traditional media types. However, media habits are changing and marketers need to re-align with these media consumption patterns, and start fishing where the fish are. Adex figures indicate that between January and December 2014, R38.7 billion was spent on media, however we can establish that overall digital is still getting, incredibly, the lowest share of the spend.
TV – R19.0 billion (50%)
Print – R9.7 billion (25%)
Radio – R6 billion (16%)
OOH – R1.6 billion (4%)
Digital– R1.2 billion (3%)
Cinema – R591 million (2%)
According to Geoff Ramsey, chairman of eMarketer, there is an increasing amount of media time being spent on mobile, and remember, time spent on social networks is skewed heavily through mobile. He also states that mobile gets 52% of social media visits and that 83% of the social network population is on smartphones.
In America, mobile ad spending is set to surpass desktop in 2016, and by 2018 mobile will account for 70% of the digital pie. However, only 23% of global marketers are integrating their mobile messaging. Why?
We must keep in mind the personal nature of the phone, and the ability to engage or enrage. It’s imperative that advertisers also know that not every place or time is a suitable one to engage. Additionally, timing notwithstanding, marketing messages must provide value or entertainment to the consumer. Marketers can’t afford to not get it right on the mobile platform.
The Wall Street Journal (as per below) has predicted that within the digital environment, the spend for mobile will surpass other digital platforms and also traditional media types like radio, print and outdoor.
It’s clear that mobile is becoming an increasingly critical part of the marketing mix. Marketers will need to adapt even more to engage with on-the-go consumers. The question for South African marketers is: if you’re still ignoring mobile, why? Mobile presents the greatest transformation of marketing and those advertisers that are using the platform cleverly are reaping the rewards.
Laiza Zikalala (@laizazikalala) is business unit manager at The MediaShop (@MediaShopZA). This post was first published in the company newsletter.
Want to continue this conversation on The Media Online platforms? Comment on Twitter @MediaTMO or on our Facebook page. Send us your suggestions, comments, contributions or tip-offs via e-mail to email@example.com.