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A 'mobile safari' inspired by the Big 5

The Mobile Migration of smartphones has begun, and herds graze through the pastures of a connected world, and the "smartphone herds" are increasing as the sun rises and sets. Witness the many similarities in our wildlife that help us to stampede through 2016, trends that you look out for to become a formidable force in your marketing strategy.

Allow me to paint the picture for you... You have travelled a long distance, escaped from the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle to spend time in Africa's unrivalled Wild Life. The Game Ranger collects you at the lodge before sunset to go out to explore and among other things... Go and see the Big 5 - a must for anyone's bucket list. You come prepared with your water, sunblock and of course a fully charged phone to help you capture the Spirit of Africa and share your adventure with friends and family.

Here is what you will learn from your Mobile Safari with the Big 5 and how each animal represents some key trends this year:

A Pride of Lions

The lions are very social, in comparison to solitary cats. Lion prides live in groups of related lionesses, mates and offspring. Prides consists of up to 30 lions. They play, hunt and sleep together. In the Marketing World, our Marketing Lion is Social Media. Social Media has become a dominant vehicle for people all across the world, those with smartphones are heavyweights in the consumption of Social Media. The trend that's creating a buzz is Video. To generate success, brands use video as a form of Native Advertising. Another popular platform within Social Media is Mobile Messaging Apps (e.g. Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp). I quote Head of Social at MEC Global - North America, Noah Mallin: "For a business that really has to think about where its resources are, putting your resources into reaching customers through a place like Facebook Messenger and Twitter is a smart way to bring that service experience to life," says Mallin.

A Heard of Buffaloes

The buffaloes travel in large herds and are superior grazers. They swim in deep waters to take them to the best pastures. Female buffaloes exhibit what they call "Voting Behaviour". In a resting herd the females will stand up and shuffle around and sit in the direction they think the herd should move. A communal decision not based on hierarchy of dominance. Where we see the correlation is within Community Social Groups. A good example would be the suburbs that start creating WhatsApp Groups and Facebook Pages of their community. Within these pages it will be residents living in this area who want to be informed and they support local suppliers, posting local events, crime alerts, petition, vote and a there is a strong form of "pier" support. People living in suburbs tend to have the same social behaviour and interests. When people are looking for a supplier to move homes, they will post in these communities to get a recommendation. This is a brilliant way for businesses to become the "buffalo" within local communities.

A Parade of Elephants

An elephant never forgets. They have excellent recall power and whether it is a negative event they faced in the wildlife, or being reunited with an old friend. This brings me to one of the most exciting of trends - Big Data and Dark Data. Take history of various data sets and analyse it to make better strategic decisions to empower your organisations operations and revenue. The term Dark Data analyses historical complex data to interpret real world problems and questions. You can't change the future, unless you understand the past, and therefore successful brands are investing in "Math Men" to define the road map based on behaviour patterns and lifecycles. Information is not only reliant on Social Media, there are very deep insights understanding your own data and the further enhancing it within social listening and data analysis.

A Leap of Leopards

Each leopard is unique and has its own markings or colour, similar to the human fingerprint. This brings us up close and personal with the marketing direction brands need to take into consideration for 2016... Drum Roll... Hyper-Personalisation, which is defined as the use of data to provide more personalised and targeted products, services and content. Technology grows by leaps and bounds which enables us to have more real-time, meaningful conversations with our customers. Each person drives a different route to work, a different shortcut to avoid traffic, but location-based targeting is a powerful tool when you catch someone at the right time at the right place. CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, couldn't have said it better: Investing in digital technology instead of Digital Ads, is a factor to their success. If your aim is to build customer loyalty and deeper relationships with your customers, you need to take the "Leap of Faith", and invest in technology and better execution to bring Hyper-Personalisation to life.

A Crash of Rhino

Fact: Rhino Poaching is out of control, and our beloved rhino is on the brink of extinction. There will come a day in the future, where our children will not get to see a rhino. Globally, people are raising money and driving awareness, developing a movement to enable the concessions to be more empowered through this dilemma and save our rhino. This brings me to the final Big 5 opportunity to watch out for, which is Mobile Money. The "M"-Powered consumer is one of the biggest Mobile Movements we see today. According to Trends, Mobile Payments will take off: "The divide between digital and physical commerce will be further bridged in 2016, as mobile wallets become a standard feature on newer smartphones and more retailers accept proximity payments from systems like Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay and others, like mobile wallets from WeChat. But simply swapping cash and credit or debit cards with a tap or scan of a smartphone won't be enough to convince the majority of consumers to change decades of ingrained payment behaviour. Connecting more of the retail commerce experience to mobile wallets, especially when it comes to offers, coupons, rewards and loyalty, will be critical to getting more people to pay with their phones."

We hope you enjoyed your Mobile Safari, and now we encourage you to have a "campfire" with your clients, colleagues and vendors and chat, collaborate and see how you can leverage the Big 5 in your Mobile Safari to "M"-Power your customers.

I quote Christopher McDougall: "Every Morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn't matter whether you're a lion or a gazelle - when the sun comes up, you'd better be running."

11 Jan 2016 12:51


About Carmen Murray

Carmen Murray is one of the most influential modern marketers in South Africa. Her strong background in content, digital, mobile, innovation, and data analytics allows her to identify emerging trends and conceptualise disruptive communication strategies deployed with precision. The customer and their needs are always at the heart of her approach.