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 8million laptop or PC users accessing the internet versus more than five 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.
About the Ole! Media Group
The Ole! Media Group is a new-media communications hub rooted in Africa, which specialises in digital publishing, digital and mobile marketing and media strategies as well as holistic digital advertising solutions. The Ole! Media Group has a global publishing network and international client base which it services from its Cape Town, Johannesburg, Nairobi and London offices and its representatives in Germany and New Zealand.
The group currently comprises: TEAMtalk media; MobiMedia and AddSwitch. OMG is led by a senior team of experienced digital media professionals including: co-founders Tim Legg (CEO) and Deseré Orrill (CMO), CFO Andre Kruger (ex MD, Oxygen8, one of SA’s largest mobile messaging and billing companies), CTO, David Theron (founding employee at SuperSport), UK Director and Head of Publishing Tim Satchell (previously Head of Sky Mobile), GM TEAMtalk media Ant Pascoe (ex Opta Sports Data and owner Sunday Media) and GM AddSwitch Chris Wilson (ex- FNB, IOL and Thumbtribe). In total the group employs over 70 content and technology specialists.