Attention, marketers – South African consumers love mobile

Hot off the press, the MMA SA Mobile Report launched in April 2016 provides fascinating insights into the South African consumer and their love of mobile. For the fourth year running the report, sponsored by AAT and Yonder Media, takes a deep dive into the mobile habits of everyday South Africans, providing valuable insights for marketers looking to enhance their digital and mobile strategies.
Attention, marketers – South African consumers love mobile!

“The MMA SA Mobile Report paints a beautiful picture of how mobile is embraced by South Africans. This data assists us all – enablers, brands and organisations – to correctly leverage the ubiquity of mobile to ensure strategic and successful execution of mobile solutions and promotions,” says Alan Haarhoff, AAM – General Manager.

It comes as no surprise that 96% of SA working adults use a cellphone (up from 29% in 2000), however the type of phone has changed with feature phones no longer dominating and the adoption of Smartphone edging up to 51%. The rise in smartphone adoption is driving Internet access, which is overwhelmingly via mobile these days. When online the most popular activity for consumers is search, followed closely by instant messaging using applications such as WeChat and Facebook Messenger.

“Our research has found that smartphone adoption, and usage, broke away from regular desktop in mid-2014 and continued to accelerate to almost 20 million users in July 2015,” says Nicolle Harding, Country Manager at Effective Measure South Africa, who spearheaded the aggregation of the report data. “Internet access via smartphone will continue on a growth trajectory.”

However while increasing smartphone penetration presents an opportunity for forward thinking marketers, more traditional mobile marketing solutions such as USSD will remain popular with the majority of South African consumers’ as they are already familiar with USSD.

“Often first time smartphone users take time to learn how to fully use their device, as they battle data prices and struggle with Wi-Fi access,” Haarhoff say. “It’s therefore important that marketers take this into consideration, they need to understand the behaviours behind the statistic, and how these play out across different market segments.”

The research points to Internet penetration likely to reach 70% in 2-3 years, this is exciting in light of the positive impact the Internet has on economic growth and prosperity. Another interesting finding is that also there are now more people with tablets than home phones in South Africa.

The report is jammed packed with valuable insights on marketing and behavioural markers for brands operating in the South African market. “As a mobile first country the MMA is doing excellent work in South Africa and AAT is proud to be a member and to co-sponsor the 2015 AMPS Stats,” concludes Haarhoff.