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Five mobile marketing information overload pitfalls to avoid

As their attention spans grow shorter and their options expand, Afrillennials (African Millennials) are becoming much pickier about what they allow on their mobiles in their bid to curb information overload.
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The fatiguing effects of having to look at too many brand messages daily, leads the youth to take all measures to streamline their mobile interferences in order to make more time for experiences. Let’s take a look at the five critical mobile marketing pitfalls to avoid in terms of information overload.

1. Don’t add to the noise

Despite being reliant on their smartphones most of the day, students are always looking to go out and make what they see their reality. With the overflow of mobile noise, from too many apps to keeping up with their peers on several platforms, living up to mobile demands becomes tiring. Brands that understand this know that reaching the youth on their mobiles all comes down to making sure they receive effective and useful information.

According to research completed by Delvv, cell phone users generally find instant messaging notifications most helpful out of all other notifications they receive on their phones. This is a clear indicator that students actually want to interact with their friends, family and brands. While they are drowning in a technological storm, all they want is a breath of fresh interaction – so talk to them, identify with them, show them the link with your brand and play an active part in their lives from the palm of their hand.

2. Never forget content is king

Creating content so compelling that the youth can’t refuse a click is a science on its own, as their media consumption is influenced by many factors, from peer influence to culture and demographic. For brands, mobile marketing is not so much about a brand going out of its skin to fit in and tell students what’s hip and happening in their world, but rather showing them how their brand can make that world an even better place.

Content advertising, storytelling and word of mouth referrals are all living on Afrillennial mobiles on a daily basis. Students are also plagued by fake, misleading and useless information that simply gets placed because another brand saw a gap to be in their space. Social media hosted clickbaiting is a great example of how students get manipulated into clicking on irrelevant content, due to their desire to get to know the world around them and be inspired. Instead of letting Afrillennials be sucked into checking out useless information, why not share relevant content to feature on their feeds instead and utilise content advertising and storytelling to get those peer referrals.

3. Don’t push too hard

Even when their phone is not being used or they are not using the applications installed on it, brands can reach them via push notifications. It can be delivered in many forms for example via an application or text message. With the ever-increasing amount of apps youth have on their phones, students are bombarded with updates and, like advertising, push notifications are becoming the latest annoyance.

Instead of focussing on mass information to a large demographic of students, why not try a more targeted approach and build relationships with a relevant portion of the youth? Spreading your brand thin over a large group of students, versus having authentic and more personal interactions with a select few, will only leave your brand message diluted.

4. Avoid old-school tactics

Manual database collection followed up with mass untargeted communications, emails and automated phone calls have one thing in common – they’re all a little old school. Even though these are still effective tools, these are not meant for your mobile marketing strategy. So who’s the new kid on the block? Programmatic advertising has made its way onto the scene and is finally making its debut on marketing media platforms as the fastest growing online marketing tool. It’s said to be especially effective for mobile users, who are on their phones more than any other device, thanks to all the tricks marketers are able to use to collect consumer information from their mobile and online activity.

According to Digiday, programmatic advertising is like buying adverts through machines. From buying adverts via real-time auctioning to buying a guaranteed amount of ad impressions from a specific platform in a certain timeframe, brands are able to target their young audiences more effectively. Programmatic advertising ensures that students are only exposed to information that relates to them, based on their personal information and search history. Using this tool doesn’t only make marketing more efficient but also makes it more effective, as students are receiving information they actually want to see.

5. Never break the window of opportunity

The youth are overwhelmed and you don’t want to be THAT brand that adds to the noise. You do want to get in with the right message at the right time and make a meaningful impact. How do you avoid having the “not again” effect on students?

Mobile marketing is tricky because cell phones make it easiest for Afrillennials to reject interactions, whether by rejecting a call centre agent’s call which they identified via TrueCaller, to ignoring an SMS or even switching off certain app notifications. Students are more likely to interact with brands and people they know personally. So how will you get into the circle of trust? Get to know them! Keep track of their holidays, exams and what they are likely to be doing in their spare time. Ask the right questions. Who are they? What do they need? How will they change? Place your brand in the window of opportunity and add to their journey, amplify their experiences and make the interaction memorable.

Mobile is changing hands

Mobile technology is making it increasingly easier for brands to target the right youth with their message in order for them to downplay the risk of youth avoiding them all together. However, brands need to remember that youth are predisposed to a much higher level of information to process and as they try to cut through the clutter, the youth’s preference for real interactions surface. Until programmatic advertising takes off, being real as a brand in a student’s world of mass consumption remains key to any brand wanting to fit into the youth’s mobile ecosystem.

*Note that Bizcommunity staff and management do not necessarily share the views of its contributors - the opinions and statements expressed herein are solely those of the author.*


Student Village
Student Village has carved its niche in youth insights and specialisation, youth research, graduate development and campus marketing. Reaching over a million students, you need to look no further than Student Village for the latest youth insights from what’s happening on the ground, to real issues that touch the youth of SA Student Village has over 15 years’ experience in understanding students as well as taking big brands to the youth market.
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