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Is it time to up your brand's digital awareness?

Oct 19th 2011, 08:16

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Is it time to up your brand's digital awareness?

It’s estimated that all South Africans will have a smart phone within the next three years. While this estimation may be a little ambitious, South African retailers and brands certainly need to look at how they can embrace digital as mobile devices increasingly dominate the lives of consumers.

Internationally, brands are becoming more “digitally aware” by investing more in digital advertising, particularly on mobile devices. It’s estimated that “brands around the world are set to spend $13.3 billion on advertising placed on mobile phones in 2011” (Mobile gadgets ad sales to hit $3.3bn). While it’s unlikely that local advertising spend on mobile devices will match this, if international brands are investing in mobile phone advertising, so should we.

Mobile phones, in particular smart phones, have brought about new developments in which the local industry can invest, one being QR-Codes. Although this can only be effective is the majority of a target market uses a smart phone, it nonetheless provides a number of opportunities to use QR-Codes to add real value to consumers’ lives. For example, a clothing retailer might place QR Codes on the washing instruction labels of its private label brand, which provides the consumer with more detailed washing instructions about the garment. This tool could include other useful features, such as, informing the consumer of other apparel in the retailer’s private label brand, that compliment the initial item purchased.

The possibilities with smart phones and related technology seem endless for those who like to think out the box. While we’re a little skeptical that all South Africans will have a smart phone within the next three years, the face of retail will change drastically, when it does. Having said this, it’s wise for the local industry to become more digitally aware and invest in this technology now, so that they can receive the maximum benefits when the “smart phone boom” is in full force.

Please feel free to make comments or raise new issues by emailing the editor
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