The South African market is many things. Complex, challenging, diverse and variable. It is a landscape of challenges, but it is also a space where entrepreneurs and innovation can thrive. Where the unexpected suddenly translates into the relevant, and where technology finds fresh cracks within which to prosper.
This is the story of Mobiz, a South African company created by entrepreneur Greg Chen, that recently received R18 million (US$1.2 million) in funding from Kalon Venture Partners to continue with its SMS success story in an instant messaging world. The company set out to create deeper personalisation and customer engagement using SMS messaging – a communication tool thought out of date but, as it turns out, is still the best way to build brand engagement.
“There are three things that are guaranteed in life, taxes, death and SMS,” said Chen. “The SMS goes straight into the digital environment and can be customised to do anything that’s needed, so brands can really leverage it to build marketing campaigns and customer engagement.”
Enterprises in the consumer space with large volumes of customers can use their existing databases to create targeted messaging that’s aligned with specific campaigns or customer retention programmes. For example, a unique link in the SMS text can take the user through a deeply personalised journey from the moment they click or tap on it – from the device, to a customised landing page that is able to offer account information, to promotions that fit with their buying habits and behaviours.
“Using a secure and trusted link in an SMS, brands can build targeted landing pages that are hyper-personalised using customer data that makes it easier for marketers to achieve personalisation at scale,” he said. “Clients in the entertainment space, for example, can deliver favourite TV shows based on what that specific customer watched before. This is a smart way of pulling people deeper into the company’s offerings and network without being invasive.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mobiz underwent significant growth as the platform became incredibly relevant for organisations looking to engage with customers while improving their invoicing and payment solutions.
Chen added: “Currently, more than 50% of consumers in emerging markets, particularly Africa, don’t have access to data at any given moment. This made it essential for the networks to come on board so that customers could pay, connect and manage their brand relationships during the different stages of lockdown.”
Global expansion plans, a smarter and sassier SMS platform for SMEs, and a growing local enterprise customer base – all ticks in the right boxes for a local business that’s taken legacy technology to the next level. Currently, Mobiz includes Louis Group, MultiChoice, Momentum, Cash Crusaders and Food Lovers among its many clients, and the goal is to continue this expansion as the company expands its reach and redefines its capabilities.Click below to share this article