FMCG Brands need to get serious with Mobile

April 28, 2017

We can agree that Brand managers are more inclined to use traditional media formats such as TV, radio, billboards, etc to drive FMCG sales because of the misconception that only a small portion of their target audience were on mobile. However, as media becomes increasingly more fragmented across devices, it can no longer remain accurate to focus marketing efforts in any one area.

Smartphone penetration continues to grow in sub-Saharan Africa. Source: GSMA intelligence (The Mobile Economy 2017)

Smartphone penetration continues to grow in sub-Saharan Africa. Source: GSMA intelligence (The Mobile Economy 2017)

Over the last couple of years, we have seen a significant growth in the number of consumers accessing the Internet via mobile devices. In the African market, we have a larger smartphone market than most brands actually realise. We have what we call advanced feature phones, which are phones that have smartphone-like features, but at a more affordable price. These phones are very popular and account for 35% of mobile users in the Nigerian Market. When we combine that figure with the 35% smartphone user penetration in the market, we see a combined 70% mobile penetration in the market.

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Nigeria is projected to have the third highest net add of new subscribers by 2020. Source: GSMA intelligence (The Mobile Economy 2017)

A larger percentage of mobile users in the market presents increased marketing opportunities for FMCG brands. Mobile presents interesting ways for brands to reach consumers with their ads especially in an age where consumers are spending more time online on mobile apps and sites, and becoming less receptive to standard native ads. FMCG brands can improve the user experience with their brands at relevant touch points using interactive mobile formats such as rich media ads, dynamic ads, video ads amongst others, which consumers would find harder to ignore.

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Whilst these ad formats would help FMCG brands improve their brand awareness, it can also help drive FMCG sales online. In recent years, the rise of online shopping malls such as Jumia, Konga, Etisalat SME Hub, Ndani, amongst others have made this possible. As such, FMCG brands stand to benefit from online and offline sales by adding mobile to their marketing mix.

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