According to a recent article in Forbes magazine, there are a number of elements that successful CSI initiatives have in common. These include a clear theory of change, quality and depth of information, concentrated effort and expert partnerships.
Targeting customers in emerging markets?
Why you need to work harder to earn their attention
By Patrick Palmi, CEO at JUSTPALM.com
Theres a statistic doing the rounds that, thanks to the internet, humans now have shorter attention spans than goldfish.* Im not sure how accurate this is, but it certainly makes sense. We have all become great multi-taskers, but that can make giving one task your full attention difficult. When last did you read the billboards along the road when driving? How often do you sit through ads on TV? Do you actually look at the adverts in magazines?
Marketers and advertisers exist to capture attention. Our jobs are all about getting a message across to people who dont really want to hear it. You can see the result of this battle for attention in the evolution of print advertising. Gone are the days of paragraphs of beautifully worded copy from David Ogilvy. These days advertising is very visual. We use celebrities and sex to make people pay attention to our adverts. Copy is limited to a tag line, especially in print.
But the problem (aside from the moral and societal concerns) is that the more we bombard people with high-impact visual advertising, the better they seem to get at ignoring it. In South Africa (and other emerging markets) capturing the attention of the masses gets even trickier. 11 languages and varying reading abilities mean that there is no simple way to reach many. Radio and TV offer broad reach but they require big budgets and arent very measurable.
It is mobile advertising that, when done correctly, fills the gaps. But its not just about apps and mobile-friendly websites for those with smartphones (the minority in emerging markets). If you really want to reach the masses, you need to cater for feature phones. USSD strings and text message marketing work well. And now theres a new player on the mobile marketing scene the sponsored call.
You may have seen Coca-Colas Hello Happiness campaign last year. It isnt mobile marketing, but it illustrates the concept well. The idea was to give labourers in the UAE a few extra minutes of happiness by installing a Hello Happiness Phone Booth that accepts Coca-Cola bottle caps instead of coins and gives users a free three-minute international phone call.
We ran a similar campaign for Unilever in South Africa recently, using its SHIELD deodorant brand to give consumers free talk time. Before connecting the call, SHIELD played a 15-second catchy voice advert that encouraged the caller to redeem a 15% discount coupon in-store. The campaign was highly successful and went viral within hours.
Campaigns like this, where a brand really earns trust by giving people something valuable in return for engaging with it, are highly effective.
In fact, the idea makes so much sense for emerging markets that Twitter is on it. The giant recently acquired ZipDial, an Indian mobile marketing company offers what it calls missed call marketing, theres more about missed call marketing in this article. ZipDial was founded on the belief that consumers and brands in emerging markets behave differently and have different needs. Looks like they were right.
I look forward to seeing how South African advertisers will address the challenge of grabbing peoples attention and earning trust in an increasingly busy world.
As a strategist and ballroom dancer, I have had the unique and fortunate experience of living a life that (quite literally) straddles two worlds. Two ostensibly different worlds. Yet two worlds that, surprisingly, share a great deal in common with each other.
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