The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Advertisers Need to Invest More in Mobile Marketing

Advertising like most economic activities works on a diminishing returns basis. Successive levels of investment in any one medium leads to even lower returns.

While advertising aims to create awareness and a change in attitudes leading to behaviour change, piling on ads in a medium may not lead to comensurate increases in awareness or behaviour change as people relate differently to each medium.

Thus instead of adding on more ads to TV for instance, marketers need to optimise their TV exposure and then invest their incremental shillings on media vehicles that will yield greater benefits.

The Mobile Marketing Association has just released new research indicating that an optimised media schedule in future will accomodate some investment in mobile of upto seven per cent.

This figure will vary according to the product category and message complexity. The reserach indicates that increased investment in traditional media will yield lower returns than an equa;l investment in mobile media.

Kenya has near 30 mllion mobile subscriptions and lots fewer TVs and radios, extrapolated to our market the role of mobile could be understated in current media plans.

Mobile is the one medium that is personal to each consumer as well as one that we carry around with us. This means that unlike other channels this medium can be real time as well as customised to each individuals messaging needs.

Back to optimisiation, as each medium has a maximum number of people it can possibly reach, then the reach limitations of TV for instance will be driven by the number of TV sets available in the market and the number of people who have access to TV sets. Piling ads on TV thus will only reach those with access to TV sets.

Rather than invest more money behind TV, optimisation suggests that funds be allocated to an additional medium so as to reach even more consumers.

Once this medium is deemed saturated then an additional medium that brings in more consumers is then introduced. This way the ad budget is given a chance to reach the maximum number of people so as to achieve marketing goals.

Research tools available to agencies allow them to measure these thresholds and thus give them an ability to reccomend media plan weights and allocations. This is how the Mobile Marketing Association arrived at the seven per cent recommendation.

They studied various media plans over several months. They measured the effects of these plans and arrived at optimal media plan recommendations.

While this new information may be useful implementing it may not, mainly due to a conservative planning culture. It may be rewarding to experiment with mobile in your next media plan.

Adding on a mobiel website or a mobile banner campaign may just enhance engagement with your audiences. The trick is to start with small investments and by trial an error establish what pays the most.

Frank is lead consultant at FMC and CEO at Mobiel agency Sponge . Frank.maina @spongegroup.com www.frankmaina.com

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