Mobile phones becoming major promotional tools ahead of Web

The mobile advertising has become an indispensable advertising tool as many businesses are shifting focus from the Web to using mobile phones, according to John Stoneman, InMobi’s sales director, Europe and Middle East.

Stoneman said the greatest opportunity for business growth now lies with mobile advertisement.

“Mobile advertising already has a reach that digital and TV can only dream about. The phone has become indispensable,” Stoneman said.

According to InMobi’s 2011 company survey of over 20,000 Global Mobile consumers across 18 markets, the company found out it spends 27 percent of its overall time on the mobile web hence prompting the need to designate the platform as ideal for advertisement in preference to TV or print media.

InMobi, one of the world’s major independent mobile ad network, has since shifted their focus on mobile advertisement to mobilise and monetise their brand — as marketing strategy — across the world. In 2011, InMobi says it served over 90 billion ads a month into apps and mobile websites across the world.

Africa has more than 500 million mobile phone subscribers, according to the mobile Africa 2011 report with, with Nigeria leading with more than 60 million mobile phone subscribers followed by South Africa’s 40 million subscribers and Kenya third with about 28 million.

In Kenya, the figure represents a mobile phone penetration of 71.3 percent, according to Communication Commission of Kenya, CCK. Frank Maina, the co-chair of the Mobile Marketing Association of East Africa, said this makes mobile phone platform a great tool for advertising in Kenya.

The Cisco VNI Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast projections indicate that by 2015, more than 7.1 billion mobile connections and mobile video would take up to 66 percent of the content including ads and music.

Brands in SA are hence heavily turning to mobile to extend their value of TV ads and even interacting with audiences way above print and broadcast, according to Candice Goodman, managing director Mobitainment, a South Africa based mobile marketing certification programme.

The campaigns are done using SMS, MMS, USSD, IVR and on mobile sites and Mobile Apps, she said.

The three were speaking at the two-day Mobile Marketing Summit at the East Africa Com Conference that ended Wednesday. The conference brought together mobile specialists from around Africa.

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