Has makmende died a sudden and irrevocable death ?

Indulge me for a minute as a I carry this thought forward.

Props to the creators. Brilliant concept, innovative content, poor execution. The hype was surreal, just writing about it gives me goose bumps on the myriad of possibilities that Makmende could have had on various consumer channels. Makmende’s sudden death from the blogosphere and media attention proves one thing, that the customer is mobile.

His creators did not understand the consumers’ mobile lifestyle. If they had, they would have quickly piggybacked on the blogs and media attention to give the consumers a compelling local content offering. The mobile consumer is characterized by short attention spans, so communication must be high impact with a call to action if it is to be remembered. 40,000 fans on Facebook is not a small feat to achieve. The community was not only willing to consume the Makmende brand, but created the most interesting user generated content on the Makmende quotes.

There is a huge demand for local mobile content, with the large number of internet users accessing the internet from their mobile phones. The question is no longer whether you should have a website and a mobile site?  It becomes, what content will users find valuable to interact with on their phone rather than on their PC?

The difference on creating content for web vs. for the mobile is defined by the user’s expectations. On the mobile web, the content is more linear, simple, quick and by definition transactional. Developing for mobile gives content owners a monetization platform that is unparalleled on any other channel.

Mobile bridges the gap between branding and response. It outlines who your audience is, and how they will interact with your content. It elicits the direct response that all brand campaigns need.

JAB failed to capitalize on a market that was already switched on to their content offering. Given the right campaign metrics, their digital campaign should have incorporated mobile with the content offerings such as:

  • A Makmende wap site that offers their music for downloads
  • Makmende videos for download
  • Makmende wallpapers
  • Ringtones
  • Ring back tones
  • True tones
  • Makmende mobisodes( which would have been a first in this market)
  • Makmende updates or SMS alerts based on UGC content provided by the community

I think Makmende failed  in getting the mobile revolution. The poor turn out on their latest efforts at creating a Makmende episode proves it. The mobile market understands the consumer mind set and the battle for the consumer’s mindshare will not be won only on having content, but on how you position that content, with compelling and seamless user experiences.

My take home: Ignore Mobile and Perish…

creating a mobile marketing strategy

Why mobile marketing?

Mobile allows you to develop highly targeted campaigns with minimum wastage. As a medium it delivers performance on interaction and conversion, which impacts the brand. It  basically allows you to engage with your target audience wherever they go

The mobile channel offers a reach never seen before by any other medium. More people have mobile phones than landlines, mobile penetration is greater than TV, home internet access and personal computers. The mobile is ideally suited to bridging the gap between creating brand awareness and getting a response. It will not only help to  raise awareness, it also elicits a direct response.

How do you create a mobile marketing strategy ?

This involves  integrating  mobile into the your marketing mix to not only increase brand awareness, but also generate sales leads. Key mobile channels would be:

  • mobile search
  • mobile advertising
  • mobile promotions or polls
  • alert notifications
  • mobile web(wap)

Using mobile in the mix, advertisers go beyond exposure and ad recall and add a new dimension;  they create above-the-line advertising, provide instant and creative responses to sales promotions and can virtually deliver direct marketing messages to consumers  that are actually read.

Mobile advertising refers to display advertising, inserted usually in the stream of various mobile media. It could be wap sites, videos, games or music that are consumed by customers using their handsets. There is a unique depth to the interaction between a customer and their mobile phones,which provides advertisers an opportunity to build more meaningful brand interactions and relationships.

If you don’t have a mobile marketing strategy, get one. Integrate a single or multiple channel in all your marketing or advertising campaigns.  Identify key channels for strategic consideration, depending on your target audience, and consider other factors such as handset capability.

there is gold in them thar hills

The mobile opportunity is bigger than this blog can even begin to dissect.  The aim of this blog is not just to point you in the direction to prospect for gold, but its actually me trying to work out what mobile service to strike the mother load with.

Why do i say that ?

Think internet in the  80’s. When it became a reality, and everyone was scrambling for a piece of it, but no one could have imagined the scope, or the fact that no one owns the internet. Think TV in the 70’s. VOK, to KBC to Royal Media now on to digital broadcasting. Think about the evolution of media.

The internet proved to be beyond our wildest imagination. Its only becoming more clear in our market as we get connectivity to the villagers, that we cannot follow the global trends.  Mobile is not the internet re-packaged. Thats where most of us go wrong. we think, i can do this on internet, so why not translate to the mobile the same. Eink… wrong. The mobile phone is currently the secondary source of all internet connections outside of the office. The demand is going to be for more mobile based browsing.

The ubiquitous nature of the mobile phone makes context awareness, user experiences and credibility the key factors of mobile success.  These are the back bone of mobile commerce; convenience and trust. Users must be able to access your services right now, when they need it. There must be integrity of process, in that they can trust their transactions will be safe. 88% of Kenyans would like to buy goods online and pay using mobile money transfer service.

What are the top mobile predictions for 2010:

1. Mobile Network Operators(MNOS) will prioritize content downloads to mitigate losses from declining ARPU( Average  Revenue Per User)

2.Mobile Advertising to set foot on the market, mainly predicted to be World Cup 2010 driven

3.Mobile commerce:  mobile payments and money transfers to be key growth drivers

4. Local content will carry the day

5. Smartphones will become cheaper, thus the need to develop local apps to service the growing market.