Dave Duarte, Programme Director of the Mobile Marketing course
"It's all about user engagement and using the technology well - the best campaigns today offer highly relevant content, utility, freebies and, very importantly, conversation points," says Dave Duarte, Programme Director of the Mobile Marketing course run by the UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB).
It is an interactive and experiential course that gives marketers the know-how to create effective mobile marketing campaigns. Duarte's course, offered by the Executive Education unit of the business school, runs in Cape Town from 12-13 August. On the course, key strategies will be explained, along with working examples that will enable companies to engage with consumers meaningfully and sustainably.
Duarte added that in South Africa the most common practice among marketers who use mobile marketing is still to send out an SMS or MMS - new cases are showing, however, that so much more can be done.
"MXit, for example, is a great platform and marketers can design exciting campaigns that really speak to consumers," added Duarte.
The Mxit application has a global registered user base of 19.6 million (with 17 million SA users), enjoys about 25 000 to 28 000 registrations per day, and processes about 250 million messages (sent and received) per day. It is a fully fledged content and community platform that offers classifieds, music and various marketing opportunities, and has an active and loyal community of users.
RamsayMedia's CAR Magazine recently undertook a mobile marketing campaign using the MXit application to great success.
"The global trend towards mobile marketing is something we identified a while ago and want to stay abreast of. We have seen some great success and we have opened the door to a whole new community of consumers," said Associate Publisher of CAR Magazine, Dean Dicks.
To date 66 688 ring tones (which take the form of car exhaust tones), 37 847 (images to customise one's MXit interface) and 45 620 video clips - all produced in-house by RamsayMedia - have been downloaded via Mxit.
Duarte points out what CAR Magazine did right: "They produced content that was relevant to MXit users, they found their niche community within the MXit audience and it proved to be a winning recipe."
He added that another under-utilised mobile marketing tool is USSD, a low cost technology familiar to many South Africans who use 'please call me' messages or look up their airtime balance. One of the areas which has seen USSD become more common is in competitions, where users can spend just a few cents to enter as opposed to the cost of an SMS.
The Mobile Marketing course at the UCT GSB will offer expertise in these key areas. Delegates can learn about the major mobile technologies and platforms that are available to marketers in South Africa; get ideas from inspirational mobile marketing case-studies from around the world; learn about some of the hottest mobile platforms and portals in SA and what is possible with them; and move beyond mobile spam and towards adding value through anticipated, relevant and timely mobile communication.
"The bottom line is that there is a huge opportunity in South Africa to shift mobile engagement up to the next level," said Duarte. Duarte will be joined on the UCT GSB course by a panel of experts, including CAR Magazine's Dean Dicks.
For details on the course Mobile Marketing contact Mario Pearce on (021) 406 1268 or SMS "Mobile" to 31497.