Consumer brands in South Africa spend millions of rands every year on billboard, TV, radio and print advertising. But, as everyone knows, it’s getting more and more difficult (and expensive) to capture and hold people’s attention. And when you struggle to measure awareness and sentiment, justifying advertising spend can become a nightmare.
South African mobile marketing agency JUSTPALM.com, has found an innovative new way for big brands to connect with low-income consumers - by using mobile marketing to give them something of value in exchange for listening to a promotion.
“It’s called ChiChi Sponsored Call Marketing,” explains Patrick Palmi, CEO of JUSTPALM.com, “and the basic idea is that, through our platform, big brands can help low-income consumers by giving them free cellphone talk time. The consumer can call a friend or family member for free - all the brand asks for in exchange is that, before the call connects the caller, and whoever is on the other end of the line, listen to a 10 to 15 second message.
It’s a simple concept that makes instant sense. And consumers love it: “We run campaigns for a number of global consumer brands and the results have been fantastic every time,” says Palmi. “Once the word is out, the campaign goes viral and consumers go crazy for it. We recently ran a campaign where 750,000 calls were connected in a week - that’s 1.5 million consumers (two people per call connected) who heard the brand’s promotion in one week. It was amazing.”
According to Palmi, Sponsored Call Marketing can be used for so much more than to drive sales, with brands using it to promote in-store product trials, collect data, and even as a reward for loyal customers: “It’s proved to be extremely popular as a reward scheme - especially in countries like South Africa, where free talk time is highly valuable to many consumers.
“When a brand or store gives low-income consumers something that makes talking to friends and family easy, you have the perfect recipe for real loyalty.”