Mobile Marketing in Zimbabwe

Topics: Mobile phone, Mobile network operator, Personal digital assistant Pages: 17 (5096 words) Published: March 21, 2011
Topic: Mobile Marketing

Purpose: To appreciate that mobile marketing is more than sending sms to customers
Question: Most organizations in Zimbabwe have a wrong perception of what mobile marketing is. They think mobile marketing is sending their customers sms on their mobile phones. As a result not much mobile marketing activities have been happening ever since the introduction of the GPRS service. Highlight the mobile marketing activities that are currently being undertaken by the corporate world in Zimbabwe. Which opportunities have they failed to exploit? Why, what challenges are the businesses encountering, if any. You may want to highlight the number of consumers that are subscribed to the GPRS service so that we can clearly see the extent to which the opportunities are unexploited.

Interesting mobile tidbits from the presentation:
There are 4.1 billion mobile subscribers in world; only 1 billion PCs & 1.4 billion TVs (over 4.5 million subscribers in Zimbabwe-40% of the populations owns a mobile phone) •By 2013, 75% of all customer care calls will be initiated from a mobile phone •In the next 5 years, more people will be accessing the Internet through mobile devices than through broadband •Voice is no longer the primary communication method on mobile devices; its texting •Over 4 billion text messages get sent every day in the U.S. •In Africa; 65% are text messaging, 31% using multimedia messaging, 21% using email, 30% watching video & 21% using mobile web •Smart phones only account for 7% of the mobile market; iPhone only accounts for 1% of this market Econet Business Development: 2009 Handset Survey The mobile phone is fast becoming a device that enables users to communicate, connect, transact and innovate. Marketers world over, have been attracted by the promise of combining pinpoint targeting (of People, time and location) with the ability to extend a tangible brand encounter into a digital and interactive one. Zimbabwe, however, has lagged behind other African countries such as Kenya, the East African economic giant, where mobile marketing has become an integral part of business and commerce. Limitations of international bandwidth for the landlocked country have affected development of the sector. New fibre optic links are now being deployed to improve international connectivity via neighbouring countries with access to international submarine fibre optic cables.

Given the torrid pace of technological and global change, and convergence of strategies, companies literally have to reinvent how they accomplish the all-important task of “inventing the future”, Davila et al (1996). It is in this respect that Dr Pieter Streicher, managing director of observes that, “A mobile phone is an essential tool for navigating life at the frenetic pace of the 21st century .... it makes us available to others, be they businesses or individuals, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.” The mobile phone is fast becoming a device that enables users to communicate, connect, transact and innovate. They have re-shaped the way that businesses do business and the way that consumers interact with businesses. The main thrust of this presentation is to demystify mobile marketing, highlight the compelling forces for its adoption and demonstrate the extent to which it has been exploited since the advent of GPRS in Zimbabwe. Mobile marketing has stepped out from under the shadow of SMS-enabled business communications. Although there are various definitions for the concept of mobile marketing, no commonly accepted definition exists. Mobile marketing is commonly known as wireless marketing. Generally speaking, is meant to describe marketing on or with a mobile device, such as a mobile phone. It is on the same premise that Mobile marketing is broadly defined as “the use of the mobile medium as a means of marketing communication” or “distribution of any kind of promotional or advertising messages to...

References: 1. GS1 Mobile Com White Paper, February 2008 Edition Mobile Commerce: opportunities and challenges
2. Hollis, N (2006) Mobile Marketing: Making a Good Connection
3. Kelly, S(2001)Communications News,
4. Michael, A and Slater, B (2009) Mobile Marketing: Achieving Competitive Advantage through Wireless Technology
5. Mobile Marketing Association, (2007) Understanding Mobile Marketing: Technology and Reach
6. Tiwari, Rajnish; Buse, Stephan and Herstatt, Cornelius (2007): Mobile Services in Banking Sector: The Role of Innovative Business Solutions in Generating Competitive Advantage, in: Proceedings of the International Research Conference on Quality, Innovation and Knowledge Management, New Delhi, pp. 886–894.
7. The Sunday Mail (26.09.10) Business Section: Econet invests US$1bn in expansion drive (06.09.2010) The Evolution of Mobile Marketing in SA, July 15, 2008 Issue (18.08.2010)
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