With advertisers acknowledging the growth of digital marketing, campaigns and projects are better funded and more exciting.
Nick Durrant, MD of digital production agency BlueGrass Digital, says there are five things you need to know about the local digital landscape.
1. What does the digital space look like?
The rise of social media in marketing, coupled with more people accessing information on their mobile devices, has had a major impact on the way we do business and how we deliver projects and technology.
The digital revolution is well underway in South Africa and any business can benefit from a digital strategy.
2. What are the major trends?
The growth in mobile is a big focus. Social media is always evolving and will always play a significant role, but mobile is the key to unlocking growth in the African market.
Mobile has been around for years, but under-utilised in the consumer marketplace. Now, with enhancements in mobile technology, especially smartphones and mobile Internet, it’s clear that mobile will be a big focus over the next five years.
Poor broadband and the high cost of hardware mean that a user’s first experience with the Internet in Africa often happens on a mobile device. As smartphones and tablets become cheaper, growth in Internet usage will accelerate.
E-commerce is also starting to rear its head in this market and the need for reliable e-commerce platforms is growing as the market matures to online spending.
3. What should business owners expect from a digital partner?
There is a shift from tactical implementation, to strategic involvement from the start.
And there is no amount of resource, qualification, talk, or mumbo- jumbo that can replace the experience provided by hard yards, late nights, difficult situations, client demands and changing briefs.
4. When should you go digital?
The answer is now. Every company can benefit from a digital strategy, although the mix may be different from industry to industry.
To create one, you need to apply the basics as you would in drafting a traditional marketing plan. You need to determine the reasons for the campaign upfront, as well as the KPIs. What’s great about digital is that everything is measurable.
5. Are you taking advantage of social media?
One of the most attractive aspects of social media is that there is no cost to entry.
If you’re an entrepreneur with no experience in this area, think about hiring a graduate straight out of university whose cost to company will be low. For this generation, social media is part of their makeup.
Lay down some boundaries about what can and cannot be said, and how they are permitted to respond to the public, and take advantage of the knowledge they have. If you give them a framework in which to operate, they can help to implement your growth strategy.
Are you utilising the massive marketing capability of digital space to grow and market your brand?