“This is Africa” (TIA) is an expression you’re likely to encounter a great deal on the African continent, and for good reason – it’s a truism. In general, TIA is a term showing the uniqueness of the challenges and the environment facing those who live and work in Africa. It is also an adage that brands and marketers who aim to penetrate and grow within the complex African market would do well to consider, especially as it relates to mobile. Mobile marketing and advertising spend continues to grow globally, accounting for the lion’s share of online advertising (set to reach US$200bn by 2019, according to eMarketer), with digital spend predicted to surpass that of TV for the first time in 2017, according to IPG Mediabrands’ Magna Global. However, this growth in mobile is happening predominantly in mature markets, where smartphone penetration and ubiquitous high-speed, low-cost mobile broadband are the norms.  In Africa, on the other hand, smartphone penetration is actually slowing, no...

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