Mobile marketing has become an indispensable tool for businesses looking to reach and engage with consumers in South Africa. With the increasing use of mobile devices, it’s important for brands to stay on top of the latest mobile marketing trends and strategies. In this article, we’ll dive into the latest mobile usage statistics in South Africa in 2023, explore the importance of mobile marketing in today’s connected world, and provide a comprehensive guide for brands on how to succeed in mobile marketing in South Africa. So, whether you’re a marketer, a business owner, or just curious about the mobile landscape in South Africa, read on to discover the latest trends and insights in mobile marketing.

Mobile Marketing Statistics and Mobile Trends in Marketing

In this article:

  • South African Mobile Usage Statistics in 2023
  • Mobile Marketing in the Connected World: A Guide for Brands
  • Key Insights from Paul Berney’s Interview on Mobile Marketing Strategies
  • 2023 Mobile Marketing Trends
  • Mobile Search and Mobile SEO Tactics: Importance of Mobile Optimisation
  • Marketing without measurement is futile – Importance of Measuring Mobile Marketing Performance
  • Key Takeaways for Successful Mobile Marketing
  • South African Mobile Usage Statistics in 2023

South African Mobile Usage Statistics in 2023

South Africa has seen a remarkable increase in mobile usage in recent years as mobile devices have become an integral part of the lives of consumers worldwide, and this is particularly true for South Africans, ranking fourth for the most time spent on the internet in the world. The average South African spending 10 hours and 6 minutes online every single day, whether for work, general browsing, or social media, according to a survey conducted by Sortlist in 2022. With mobile phones being carried everywhere, and used for almost every task, it’s not surprising that the country’s mobile usage statistics for 2023 are impressive.

According to recent reports, as of early 2023, South Africa has over 112.7 million active mobile phone connections, representing a penetration rate of over 187% of the total population. This is a significant increase from 40.3% in 2017. The mobile internet penetration rate in South Africa has been steadily increasing over the years, with 58.43% of all website traffic being generated by mobile devices as of March 2023. This is a significant increase from less than one-third in Q1 2015, and by 2025, it’s expected that the number of smartphone users worldwide will reach 7.33 billion, with 44.9 million in South Africa.

Google Chrome leads the way as the top mobile web browser, followed by Safari and Samsung Internet. Additionally, mobile gaming accounts for 51% of the global gaming market, with mobile video consumption growing by 100% every year.

The penetration rate of mobile internet in South Africa is highest among 25 to 34-year-olds, with a rate of 77% as of 2020. Popular mobile internet activities in the country include social media and video content consumption. In terms of social media usage, South Africans spend an average of three hours and 34 minutes per day on social media platforms, with WhatsApp being the most popular app, followed by Facebook and Instagram. YouTube and TikTok are among the most popular video platforms. With the COVID-19 pandemic, mobile internet usage experienced a significant boost as people increasingly relied on their mobile devices for remote work, learning, and entertainment. This trend has continued, as people have become more accustomed to the convenience and flexibility of mobile internet use.

The rapidly growing mobile internet population in South Africa presents significant opportunities for businesses to reach their target audiences through mobile marketing strategies. These statistics highlight the growing importance of mobile internet in South Africa and its impact on various aspects of people’s lives.

Statistic: Mobile internet user penetration in South Africa from 2018 to 2027 | Statista

Mobile Marketing in the Connected World: A Guide for Brands

In today’s connected world, consumers are in charge, and mobile marketing has become a necessary aspect of reaching and engaging with them.

Mobile marketing refers to connecting, engaging, and influencing users continually using mobile devices. The progression of marketing has moved from print, recordings, cinema, radio, TV, the Internet to mobile, which is now referred to as the 7th Mass Media. Mobile devices are so important that Digital Natives cannot and will not live without them.

Mobile marketing is not about mass marketing, broadcasting, or mass selling anymore, but about building strategies that market to personas or individuals. Every interaction, need, and customer is different, and marketers need to build relationships with clients, potential clients, and past clients at every touchpoint throughout the customer journey. Today’s consumer is in control, with Social Media giving them the freedom to control the conversation and mobile creating the platform to inter

Mobile Marketing in South Africa: Strategies for 2023

As mobile devices become increasingly ubiquitous, mobile marketing has emerged as a critical strategy for businesses of all sizes. To succeed in mobile marketing in South Africa, businesses must understand the unique challenges and opportunities of the market. One of the most important trends to watch in 2023 is the non-linear customer journey. Customers now enter the journey at different points, driven by different needs and behaviors. To succeed in this environment, businesses must be prepared to engage and influence customers at every stage of the journey.

With more and more customers using their mobile devices as their primary means of accessing the internet, businesses must develop mobile-specific strategies to connect with these customers effectively. Every interaction is different, every need is different and every customer is different. Because of this, we as marketers need to ensure that their brand, product or service remains both relevant and appealing across any of these need stages, whether it is to connect; find; organise; be entertained;  learn; buy; share; or participate.

McKinsey Customer Journey The McKinsey – Customer Journey

To create a successful mobile marketing strategy, businesses need to understand their target audience and what they want to achieve. Here are some key considerations:

  • Be mobile compliant: A mobile-compliant website is a must. Websites should be responsive, stack correctly, and load quickly. Content should be tailored to the mobile user’s needs.
  • Measure performance: Measurement is essential for any marketing campaign. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) should be set in advance, and metrics and analytics should be used to track performance continually.
  • Be clear on objectives: Businesses need to be clear about their objectives and how mobile marketing can assist in achieving them. Extensive market research is necessary to identify market gaps, and a strategy and plan should be put in place before launching a mobile marketing campaign.
  • Consider privacy: Privacy and privacy laws should be considered as part of any mobile marketing strategy. Marketers need to familiarise themselves with the local privacy laws where they plan to execute a mobile campaign.

In conclusion, mobile marketing is a critical strategy for businesses in South Africa in 2023 and beyond. By staying on top of the latest trends and partnering with the right mobile marketing company, businesses can connect, engage, and influence customers in this dynamic and rapidly evolving market.

Key Insights from Paul Berney’s Interview on Mobile Marketing Strategies

In this interview with Paul Berney from mCorbis, he emphasises the importance of future-proofing businesses and considering the evolving ways customers want to interact and purchase from brands. Mobile communication must be two-way and marketers need to focus on individual marketing strategies and building relationships with clients at every touch point of the customer journey using the technologies that their customers use. Mass marketing is no longer effective, and marketers must focus on marketing to personas and creating personalised experiences.

2023 Mobile Marketing Trends

Mobile marketing has become more complex than ever, and it’s essential to keep up with the latest trends to stay ahead of the competition. Here are some of the trends to consider for 2023:

  • Personalisation: Customers want a personalised experience, and mobile marketing is an excellent way to achieve this. Personalisation can be achieved by creating tailored content, using customer data, and targeted messaging.
  • Location-based marketing: Mobile devices enable marketers to target customers based on their location. Location-based marketing allows businesses to offer relevant promotions and deals to customers when they are in the vicinity of their store or a competitor’s store.
  • Video marketing: Video is becoming increasingly popular on mobile devices. Creating engaging and informative videos can help businesses reach their target audience more effectively.
  • Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR): AR and VR technologies have been around for some time, and they are becoming more accessible to businesses. They allow businesses to offer immersive and interactive experiences to customers, which can help to drive engagement and sales.

Mobile Search and Mobile SEO Tactics: Importance of Mobile Optimisation

With the majority of online activities being carried out on mobile devices, it is essential for businesses to optimise their online presence for mobile search. In fact, 63% of Google’s US organic search traffic originates from mobile devices, making it clear that mobile optimisation is no longer an option but a necessity. Google’s search market share in South Africa is also noteworthy, as it holds a commanding 92.86% in March 2023. This means that Google is the most popular and most used search engine in South Africa, making it critical for businesses to optimise their online presence for Google search results.

One critical aspect of mobile optimisation is addressing this mobile search market. Your website needs to be mobile SEO compliant, responsive, and load quickly. It’s also essential to consider the type of content your website serves to mobile users versus desktop users. Continually evaluate which content is being engaged with by mobile users versus desktop users, and then adjust your content accordingly.

With that in mind, businesses need to understand that most mobile searches are location-based, time-sensitive, and unique to individual needs and requirements. As a result, it’s crucial for Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) to become knowledgeable in all marketing channels and technologies. According to Gartner, CMOs are expected to spend more on marketing technology than Chief Information Officers (CIOs) on core ICT technologies in 2023.

Marketers need to choose the right channels to meet business objectives and target audiences instead of using every channel that mobile offers. Mobile technology allows brands to capture feedback closer to the point of purchase or experience, providing an opportunity to respond to customer experiences in real-time. However, this is only possible if brands plan, have the necessary mobile technologies in place, and monitor feedback.

Marketing without measurement is futile – Importance of Measuring Mobile Marketing Performance

In today’s fast-paced digital world, marketers must use data to drive decision-making and optimise their mobile marketing campaigns.

Measuring the performance of mobile marketing efforts is crucial to understanding the effectiveness of the campaigns and determining how to improve them.

Without proper measurement, marketing efforts are essentially futile. It is essential to set key performance indicators (KPIs) before launching a mobile marketing campaign and continuously monitor and adjust them based on analytics. Marketers must also understand the difference between metrics and analytics to get the most out of their measurement. Additionally, it is important to consider privacy and privacy laws when rolling out a mobile marketing campaign, ensuring compliance with local regulations.

Key Takeaways for Successful Mobile Marketing

Here are some key takeaways that brands need to keep in mind while venturing into mobile marketing:

  • Mobile marketing is complex, and it should be approached with caution and strategic intent.
  • Before diving headfirst into mobile marketing, brands need to be clear about their business and marketing objectives, what they wish to achieve, and how mobile marketing could possibly assist them in reaching these goals.
  • Extensive market research is essential for brands to listen to the market, find the market gaps, and come up with a clear strategy and plan for mobile marketing.
  • Costs need to be considered, tests need to be done, and accurate measurement needs to be put in place to correctly track the overall effectiveness of each marketing activity.
  • By taking these steps, brands can ensure a Real Return on Investment is being achieved.

As mobile devices continue to dominate the digital world, brands need to prioritise mobile optimisation and mobile SEO tactics to reach their target audience effectively. By understanding the complexity of mobile marketing and taking a strategic approach, brands can make the most of this channel to achieve their business goals.

Partnering with a Mobile Marketing Company in South Africa

Implementing a successful mobile marketing strategy can be challenging, which is why partnering with a mobile marketing company can be a great option for businesses. Mobile marketing companies specialise in developing and executing mobile campaigns that target specific audiences and achieve specific business goals. By partnering with a digital marketing company that understands mobile markeitng and mobile search, businesses can benefit from their expertise and experience in the field, as well as access to the latest technologies and trends.

If you want to stay ahead of the game and make the most of the opportunities offered by mobile marketing, it’s important to work with the right experts who can help you develop and execute a successful strategy. So why not take the first step today and get in touch with BlueMagnet’s Search and Mobile Marketing Specialists to see how we can help your business thrive in the mobile era.

Invest in your mobile marketing success with BlueMagnet’s Mobile SEO Course.

Mastering mobile SEO is crucial for businesses to stay competitive in today’s digital landscape. By enrolling in BlueMagnet’s Mobile SEO course module, you’ll learn the latest techniques and best practices to optimise your website for mobile devices and improve your search engine rankings. Our experienced trainers will guide you through the entire process, from understanding the mobile user experience to implementing mobile-friendly design and content strategies. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to gain a competitive edge in mobile marketing. Sign up for BlueMagnet’s Mobile SEO course modules today and start optimising your website for mobile success.

Special Mention – IDM Mobile Marketing Course in South Africa

A special mention goes out to the international IDM award in Mobile Marketing course that was presented, lectured, and co-created by Paul Berney of mCordis and accredited by The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM). The program was only run on a limited basis in South Africa and was made possible by Mobitainment SA.

The two-day intensive deep dive Mobile Marketing Course provided insights into how Mobile had changed the way consumers behaved, and how marketers had no choice but to start thinking about, as well as how to plan for and execute a full Mobile Marketing strategy and campaign across a range of Mobile technologies. Mobile was an integral part of all other marketing channels, both on and offline. The course emphasised that Mobile should not only be considered but had to be used in conjunction with all other marketing initiatives. During the course, several case studies were provided such as Starbucks generating 5% of its total revenue through its own mobile application (app), and from a Mobile perspective, there were 8 different layers of location: Country, City, Post Code, Street, POI/Store, Aisle, and Shelf.

Author: Ceri James, CIO, BlueMagnet

IDM, mCordis & Mobitainment