Africa’s mobile marketing tipped for double growth
The latest research on Africa’s mobile marketing industry has projected the industry to more than double in the next two and half years. According to the data revealed, it will make making it an essential channel to reach consumers, a study conducted. The study showed that some African countries like Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria have the second fastest growth of mobile technology in the world. The continent currently has one of the largest users on the popular social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. The study shows that growing middle class and relatively young age of consumers in fast growing African economies like Uganda and Botswana has resulted in the rapid rise of mobile phone usage and social networking. In the next two years, it is forecast that African nations will have close to 900 million mobile phone users, compared to estimates of 700 million as of end of June 2013. Developing countries in Africa and emerging markets are expected to be home to 80% of the world’s middle class in the next 17 years. A researcher and marketing advisor I spoke to, predicted that greater access to mobile technology could change Africans buying behavior. African consumers are increasingly doing their own research on new products and prices through the Internet and that has been cited as the reason behind fast growth of online merchants in South Africa and Nigeria.
Most African countries are witnessing the rising incomes, progressive urbanization and better availability of goods fundamentally changing consumption habits. Just like western world shoppers shopping habits, African consumers nowadays want higher standards and that was the reason Ugandans fully backed the country’s Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde in her fight with Kampala Traders who went on strike to vehemently oppose the pre importation stage to weed the sub standards goods in the country especially those in metropolitan areas of Kampala and Entebbe. The stand off which is among the numerous that occurs in African countries annually, means consumers in the continent pay more attention to the origin of the product and values like quality, durability, and social and environmental aspects. Consumer spending in African markets is expected to rise significantly and companies must act to capitalize on consumption habits that are changing dramatically. I believe that benefit from these growth opportunities, business entities need to identify key trends in African markets early on and turn them into suitable strategies for products, marketing and sales. Mobile technology will continue to have a greater economic and social impact on the lives of Africans. Estimates shows that the ICT sector in Africa could be worth more than $150 billion in the next three years and mobile will be the key driver with mobile marketing playing a significant role.