Using USSD to break marketing barriers Part 2

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Isolezwe – a case study

Summary of Part 1

South African daily magazine Isolezwe, based in Durban and published in the area’s native isiZulu language, has bucked the print industry trend over the past five years by showing consistent growth. In November 2014, with the latest audited circulation figures at 110 000, Isolezwe wanted to reward and engage their loyal audience while aiming to increase their circulation even further.

Isolezwe introduced an element of mobile gamification of the Premier Soccer League (PSL) to their audience, with the aim of creating sustained mobile engagement over a period of seven months.

The campaign was run over Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), which works on all mobile phones and is very familiar to Isolezwe’s target audience, who use USSD to recharge airtime and send “Please Call Me” SMSs.


The Asidlale competition enjoyed 160 000 interactions over USSD, with 61 000 successful predictions cast by 41 000 unique entrants.

In turn, this drove newspaper sales to increase by 4 000 to 4 500 copies per pool day, which is 6% of the audited circulation figure. In addition, social interaction with the Isolezwe brand on Facebook and Twitter increased around the live pool days.

Linking print experience to mobile is now an ongoing priority for Isolezwe and the second Asidlale promotion is currently running during the 2015/2016 PSL season.

For the full case study, click here.

Accolades for innovation

The innovative Asidlale campaign was so successful that it was chosen to compete against the best journalism brands in the world at the 2016 International News Media Association awards, garnering a nomination for “Best Use of Mobile”.

Editor Mazwi Xaba said the title aimed to tap into the market of mobile technology users and, in turn, boost hard copy sales.

In short

By using USSD services, Isolezwe created a ground-breaking campaign that led to unheard of results in the print media industry.

Strategix provides USSD solutions according to your business requirements by creating a mobile based menu-driven application customised to your needs. The power of our solution is that we can do all the development, deployment, testing and reporting for you; or you can develop your solution on your own.  IT’S THAT EASY!

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