Mobile advertising continues to grow as a key marketing channel within the increasingly tech-savvy Kenyan consumer market. Recent research conducted by InMobi – the largest independent mobile advertising network – revealed quarter-on-quarter growth of 12% in mobile advertising impressions on its Kenyan mobile network over the first three months of 2012.
According to Isis Nyong’o, Vice President and Managing Director of InMobi Africa, the more than 2,6 billion impressions recorded on the InMobi network for the period demonstrates the growing viability of mobile technology as a mainstream marketing and advertising medium through which to reach Kenyan consumers.
“The steady increase in mobile advertising impressions not only points to rising numbers of mobile device users in Kenya,” she explains, “but also demonstrates the growing acceptance of, and reliance on, mobile media as a trusted source of purchasing input.”
According to the research results, Nokia remains a dominant force in Kenya with 58% of impressions on the InMobi network coming from this brand of handsets. The closest competitors are Samsung (20%) and Alcatel (11%). After Nokia and Symbian, Android is the fastest growing operating system, but despite this, it still only accounts for 2,8% of all mobile devices on the InMobi network.
The overall percentage of advertising impressions delivered via smartphones on the network remained at 7% quarter on quarter, However, given the rise in total impressions, this equates to an effective increase of 17% in smartphone advertising access for the three-month period. This result indicates the continued rapid adoption of this form of cellular technology by increasing numbers of Kenyan consumers.
Given this understanding, Nyong’o emphasises the growing opportunity for marketers to utilise rich media to maximise the effectiveness of their mobile advertising campaigns. “Developments in mobile technology, particularly smartphones, have meant that this medium can now be harnessed as a very effective means of brand building,” she explains, “and if accompanied by banner and text advertising for feature phone users, this rich media approach can deliver significant returns on advertiser investment.”
According to Nyong’o, the growth in mobile advertising impressions in Kenya mirrors a similar trend across much of Africa. “In the first three months of 2012, there were over 34,4 billion advertising impressions on the InMobi networks across the continent, “she explains, “which is a significant increase of almost 4,5 billion or 15% on the last quarter of 2011 and is indicative of the rapidly increasing appeal of mobile media as a means of delivering and accessing marketing and advertising messaging,”
Between January and March 2012, impressions via smartphones grew by 19% across all InMobi Africa networks and accounted for 24% of the total number of impressions recorded. In terms of the numbers of impressions recorded via individual handsets across all InMobi Africa networks, the Blackberry 8520 overtook Nokia for the first time since the research began. However, Nokia remains the dominant cellphone brand overall, with 60% of all InMobi Africa network impressions recorded on this brand of handset.
InMobi is the largest independent mobile advertising network. With offices on five continents InMobi provides advertisers, publishers and developers with a uniquely global solution for advertising. The network is growing and now delivers the unprecedented ability to reach 485 Million consumers, in over 165 countries, through more than 93.4 Billion mobile ad impressions monthly. The recent acquisition of Sprout, a leading HTML5 authoring platform for mobile rich media, helps expand the InMobi offering to creative agencies and brands.
InMobi is venture-backed by investors including: SoftBank, Kleiner Perkins Caufield& Byers and Sherpalo Ventures. The company has offices in Bangalore, Johannesburg, London, Nairobi, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Seoul, Singapore and Tokyo.