South Africa is not a water-rich country. As the custodian of SA’s water resources, the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) is primarily responsible for the formulation and implementation of policy governing water. The average South African has very limited knowledge about the country’s water resources, and the annual Water Week is a department initiative to focus citizens’ attention on water resources and to increase awareness of better utilisation of these.
For their 2010 Water Week campaign, the department decided to engage in an innovative campaign. Their objectives were clear, they wanted to:
Taking a strategic approach to these objectives, the department determined that their 2010 campaign had to have measurable outcomes. The DWA appointed Yonder Mobile Media as their campaign media partner.
Yonder has a wealth of experience in the mobile media environment and has established a firm reputation for their creative adaptation of client briefs. The impact and success of their previous campaigns caught the attention of the DWA and they were appointed to manage the Water Week Mobile Media campaign.
In determining their approach to the campaign, Yonder looked at media opportunities that would ensure the delivery of campaign elements to a broad target audience. “We elected to utilise the following media: “Please Call Me” advertising; Banner advertisements on the Soccer Laduma mobisite; and Banner ads on the AdMob advertising network,” says Fiona Smit, Managing Director of Yonder Mobile Media.
“Our core messaging for the campaign was “Together We Can Save More Water” through which we communicated the message that South Africa needs to save water as we are not in a water-rich environment. We linked all the elements back to the DWA mobi-site (mobi.dwa.gov.za) building on the excitement of the competition on the site and the opportunity to win great prizes.”
Yonder’s innovative approach included a “click-through” link to the DWA mobisite on all the Please Call Me advertising messages. On entering the mobi-site, the customer was encouraged to submit a water-saving tip and register to win R 10 000 in prizes. The customer was able to view other water-saving tips and learn more about water matters.
“One of the additional elements that we were able to include in the campaign was education on how to deal with water issues,” adds Smit. “One of mobile marketing’s unique differentiators is that it facilitates direct communication with one’s customers. For a government department this is a tremendous win as the requirement for communication with stakeholders, in this case customers, is increasingly vital.”
“An additional element of the campaign was the creation of awareness for customers wishing to report a problem, of exactly where to direct the report. Customers get extremely frustrated when problems are unresolved and it is important for the DWA to explain to the customers that although they (DWA) are responsible for water management, local supply issues are the domain of local municipalities, and problems need to be reported to these municipalities if they are to be rapidly resolved. Through the mobisite, we were able to communicate fault reporting procedures to customers and to supply them with the relevant contact details.”
Yonder’s holistic approach to mobile marketing campaigns demonstrates their thorough understanding of the medium. They were able to add value to DWA’s customers and to Water Week, ensuring that key messages were conveyed within the campaign. The ability of government to interact with customers on a far more personal level than ever before and to develop a qualified, opted-in database, most certainly paves the way for other government departments to give mobile media serious consideration in the future.
The Yonder Mobile Media campaign is a first for government in terms of citizen-centric communication via mobile media. The campaign is proving highly successful in terms of click-through rate and registered, qualified customers. Measuring the campaign against the initial objectives, it has most certainly increased awareness of Water Week, broadened the awareness of the water-delivery hierarchy, and it has created a qualified database for the DWA.