SMS & USSD: Old-school but powerful

‘Another day another dollar.’ Not that easy these days, is it? Consumers have evolved dramatically and marketers have to have all their ducks in a row if they want their marketing campaigns to succeed.

Throwing the entire marketing budget at the latest tech, or only relying on a Facebook or Twitter campaign, is likely to be ineffective. It’s a common mistake to exclude certain ‘primitive’ channels such as SMS & USSD. Just because they are considered archaic or boring, doesn’t mean they can’t be effective.

Are you using your consumers’ preferred marketing channels?

Even though there is so much new and exciting technology being developed every day the fact still stands that, in South Africa, roughly 60% of the population either has feature phones or no mobile phones at all. Are you reaching these people through your marketing efforts?

If you don’t shift from a focus on single-channel marketing campaigns to a focus on the entire consumer journey, you may as well wave your bucks goodbye.

USSD session
According to the Mobile Marketing Association of South Africa, 14.6 million cell phone owners in South Africa (39% of all adults) only use voice, SMS or USSD, but no data. On top of this, 99% (or 17,570 million) mobile data users also use SMS and/or USSD functions. Most people are familiar with these channels and they are easily accessible on all mobile phones.

SMS & USSD: A huge opportunity

By disregarding SMS & USSD as convenient, interactive and effective channels, many marketers miss a huge opportunity: marketing a product, service or competition to more than half of the population.

How are you implementing SMS & USSD in your marketing campaigns? Are you even using these channels at all? Perhaps it’s time to shift your focus; to reevaluate whether your current mobile marketing channels are the most effective ones.

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