OMG! Can all your customers see your impressive new tablet app?

Although smartphones are appearing more widely on the continent, they still account for less than 30% of cellphone users.

December 13, 2013

Although smartphones are appearing more widely on the continent, they still account for less than 30% of cellphone users. With approximately 8 million laptop or PC users accessing the internet versus more than 5 times that number of cellphone users in SA, and with mobile internet and USSD access available to 90% of the user base in Africa, it seems pretty clear that an effective communication strategy in Africa needs to include content that is accessible via a wide variety of mobile devices.

New media organisation, Ole! Media Group is alert to the possibility that Africa’s leading companies risk failing in their customer communications by focusing only on the “shiny baubles” of smartphone and tablet apps when most of their customers still use basic feature phones.

While the group sees temptation is growing for brand marketing managers to impress their bosses with expensive new technology features, they caution that marketers may be ignoring the most effective – and often cheapest – marketing routes in the process.

Although smartphones are appearing more widely on the continent, they still account for less than 30% of cellphone users. With approximately 8 million laptop or PC users accessing the internet versus more than 5 times that number of cellphone users in SA, and with mobile internet and USSD access available to 90% of the user base in Africa, it seems pretty clear that an effective communication strategy in Africa needs to include content that is accessible via a wide variety of mobile devices.

“Being at the cutting edge of technology is important and you have to plan ahead. But don’t be so beguiled by its ‘coolness’ that you lose track of where your customers are right now,” says Desere’ Orrill, CMO and co-founder of OMG.

“In our role as marketers and communicators, we have to talk to the target audience through their chosen channels, and for so many of them that still means SMS, feature phone browsers and even USSD.”

Focusing not only on the PC, tablet and smartphone audience, what distinguishes OMG is its ability to engage effectively Africa’s non-smartphone-toting population.

“Whether via USSD, SMS, smartphone app, PC or TV, what ultimately drives bottom line success is what you give people. It’s not about the platform but about how you use the platform that matters. If you get this right, you engage and retain your audiences.”

Ole! Media Group was created this year through the coming together of three digital companies that provide complementary communications solutions for brands, publishers and agencies: TEAMtalk media – creator of one of Africa’s largest digital content hubs, with a focus on sports editorial and data publishing and syndication: MobiMedia – mobile content and marketing specialists; and AddSwitch – a provider of holistic digital advertising strategies and solutions. Combined, OMG presents a unique offering that is forging digital inroads on the African continent.