Poor segmentation the bane of Nigerian Mobile Marketing

Digital Content

I just got a promotional marketing SMS from my mobile operator asking me to sign on for daily live football scores via SMS. Great product but am I not signing. I am one of the odd young men in the age bracket of 25 – 40 years who do not like football. I have never been a football fan and my expectation of the operator is that by now, they should have studied my download patterns and send targeted adverts relating to my interest only. This is poor segmentation practices.

Segmentation is the process of partioning markets into segments of potential customers with similar characteristics who are likely to exhibit similar purchase behavior. The objective of subscriber segmentation is to analyze markets, find a niche develop and capitalize on this superior competitive position.

Poor segmentation of subscribers is the major reason for low level consumption of mobile value added services in Nigeria.

Subscriber decision making process though objective but yet it is an emotional process whereby various factors influence the purchase decision. These factors are many and since the mobile operators have the subscribers download records, this should be used to form basis for marketing to that particular subscriber. Google mail (gmail) displays targeted adverts relating to the contents of your emails. If the patterns becomes consistent, then the user is profiled for detailed email marketing that matches the interest and lifestyle of the email user!!! I find that very interesting and useful.

Some Nigerian Mobile operators had tried many strategies but most of them, though popular but without data collections. Youth marketing of MTN and Glo are commendable but it is not yielding any data of relevance to long term strategy and subscriber segmentation.

The overall benefit to subscriber segmentation is to improve the mobile operator’s competitiveness and better serve the needs of the subscribers effectively and efficiently.

Segmentation might be more expensive initially but it is more cost effective than mass marketing strategies in the long term. Mobile operators will be able to deploy products that meet the needs of the subscribers. Many of the value added services products do not meet the real life needs or even lifestyle of the subscribers but mobile operators in Nigeria may not really know this because the subscribers are on the high side and the numbers adequately cover up for the glaring imbalance in subscribers versus consumption ratio in the short term.

It will also help in determining effective and cost efficient promotional strategies. I am of the opinion that mobile operators in Nigeria will save millions of Naira annually if they properly target subscribers against the present mass marketing which was why my 70 year old grandma was sent SMS marketing promotional of Michael Jackson “thriller” caller ring back tune to her phone. Poor targeting.

Emmanuel Okoegwale, Mobile Marketing Specialist