Featured Story: 10 Reasons Why Digital Marketing is Important in SA
To kick-start our Digital Daydream journey together, I’ve decided to take a macroscopic look at the world of digital marketing – focusing in on it’s growing importance in the modern day marketing landscape. It’s no secret that digital marketing is fast becoming a fundamental component of a business’s marketing strategy – a simple Google search reveals a diverse spectrum of practical and academic reasoning for this. So what I’ve tried to do, is break it all down into the top 10 reasons as to why I think digital marketing is important to businesses in a South African context.
Click below to get started:
1. Hitting The Target: Targeting
In South Africa, with an abundance of different consumers who behave in different ways, it is important for businesses to ensure that their messages are being directed towards the correct consumer. Digital marketing allows marketers to target specific consumer groups based on their online activity and personal information. So next time you’re specifically wanting to get the attention of that rare consumer segment of 30-40 year old previously married men, who dislike sport and braaiing but have a passion for knitting and grocery shopping – then perhaps a targeted Facebook ad might be a better idea than a 5 metre tall billboard.
2. Spreading Far & Wide: Reach
Businesses need to be heard in order to make an impact. This can be difficult in a country like South Africa where consumer environments vary significantly. Some consumers have limited access to traditional marketing messages, while those that do are bombarded with a clutter of convoluted, mass-marketed messages on a daily basis. Digital marketing assists in breaking through this clutter and extending a business’s reach to previously inaccessible consumers. As long as you have access to internet, marketers will be able to reach you – no matter how remote your dorpie, town or village is.
3. More Bang for Your Buck: Affordability
With the rising costs of traditional marketing mediums, it’s a simple numbers game – a business can do a lot more with a lot less money in the digital world. Some good search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, targeted ads and social media presence are just a number of the many digital marketing tools available (and in many instances, could prove to be more effective and affordable than a TV ad during a Carte Blanche intermission!).
4. Keeping Track: Measurability
A headache for many finance departments is the unclear return on investment (ROI) attached to marketing. To help avoid this marketing black-hole, digital marketing offers many metrics and key performance indicators (KPI’s) to assist in measuring the ROI and effectiveness of a marketing campaign.
5. Instant Gratification: Speed & Efficiency
In marketing, a stagnant or disjointed campaign can lose customers, value and market share. Internet and technology grants marketers with instant access to their intended consumers, making digital marketing a fast and efficient means for getting a business’s message across – even keeping up with the pace of a Sandton sports car with a GP numberplate.
6. The Tech Revolution: Tech & Mobile Penetration
South Africa may not be the leader in Internet access (never mind our sluggish Internet speeds!), but it certainly is one of the fastest growing in technological and mobile penetration. With a mobile penetration rate of 128% and an estimated 39% of all mobile users with access to data (Stats SA), there is an attractive opportunity for mobile marketing and m-commerce.
7. New & Improved: Marketing Innovation
Apps, online payments, QR codes, augmented reality, interactive content, social sharing and more – who knows what will come next? Digital marketing has no boundaries and will continue to offer the ideal platform for marketers to innovate and come up with new and improved marketing techniques. Maybe soon enough we’ll be able to send subliminal marketing messages to a consumer’s headspace via Bluetooth.
8. Finding That Multi-Channel Balance: Marketing Integration
South African consumers recognise and perceive messages differently depending on the different mediums and platforms. For example, one might expect more of an entertainment factor from a TV or radio ad than from a newspaper print ad. Balance is key, and digital marketing helps to tie a business’s campaign together, across multiple mediums and platforms. The result is an overall marketing message that is consistent and integrated, giving consumers what they’d prefer to see, hear and experience for each available medium or platform.
9. Customer Delight: Improving The Customer Experience
Marketing needn’t be a painstaking or unpleasant experience for consumers or businesses, it should be an enjoyable and mutually beneficial exercise for both. The fun-seeking nature of the South African consumer gives marketers the opportunity to improve customer experiences. Digital marketing offers a number of prospects in this light, allowing marketers to build brand communities, engage with consumers on their own terms, implement customer relationship marketing (CRM) and create memorable, enjoyable campaigns – all of which boost customer satisfaction.
10. Continuously Learning & Improving: Strategic Renewal
South Africa is an emerging nation that is rapidly growing and developing – so it makes sense that SA businesses should aim to do the same with their marketing strategies. All of the aforementioned points make digital marketing an unparalleled asset for a business to continuously learn and improve. And so, the cycle completes itself to end off 10 reasons why digital marketing is important to businesses in a South African context.