Given the growing complexity of the digital marketing and publishing environment, all players in the value chain must adapt to new technologies and channels and learn how to leverage data effectively to survive and grow.
That was the key message to emerge from the Adfu Symposium in Johannesburg on 15 November, where leading digital publishers, agencies, marketers and technology providers gathered to discuss the latest trends in the fast-changing digital landscape.
Adfu is a new South African online premium display ad network from Kagiso Digital.
An increasingly complex marketplace
Sleekgeek founder Elan Lohmann said that the advertising market started out by being fairly simple with mostly only the publisher standing between the audience and the advertiser.
Now, however, new technologies and new intermediaries such as ad networks or exchanges mean that the picture has become far more complex.
But some fundamentals remain unchanged:
- Publishers want advertising revenues
- Advertisers want return on investment
- Consumers want relevance.
Technology holds the key to each of them achieving their goals, said Lohmann.
Advertising media are evolving
In the past few years we have seen the rapid rise of smartphones and tablets, and along with them the advent of the “multiscreened experience” where consumers interact with content from multiple sources (for example, an iPad and the TV) at the same time. We have also been freed from our desktops by tablets and smartphones.
South Africa is lagging international spend in digital advertising. Here, only 2.5% of total ad spending goes to online display inventory compared to 20% in US, 30% in UK and 5% in many other major emerging markets.
Fierce competition for eyeballs
Mike Luscombe, A&O Lead for South Africa at Microsoft Advertising, said that competition in the attention economy was growing fiercer for marketers and publishers vying for a slice of the consumer’s attention.
For publishers, the major challenge is building a scalable and repeat audience.
Differentiation is key
Publishers need to differentiate themselves through their quality content and the ease of interacting with their user interfaces. Rising costs of content production, technology and sales are making it difficult to do so profitably.
To survive and thrive, publishers need to:
- Understand the impact of display inventory commoditisation
- Deliver content formatted for multiple devices
- Embrace new ad formats and opportunities.
Publishers should segment their audiences and propositions, and work with advertisers to target them with the right experiences and content.
Targeting should be done in a manner that is mindful of users’ privacy.
How to measure value
There used to be only a handful of online environments, said Joanne Scholtz, Chief Warrior at Digital Warrior.
Now there are millions, and advertisers have access to many of them through ad networks or exchanges.
The question for advertisers, is can they track and measure the value they get from different environments.
Older measures such as click-through rates or costs per click might not be as valid as they once were.
Many advertisers chase the lowest possible cost per click, but often their perception of the low value of a click is a result of the fact that they do not measure beyond the click or the brand uplifting of display inventory.
For many advertisers, cost per acquisition might be a more meaningful measure from a performance measurement perspective, but this still does not measure the effects of branding.
Roan Mackintosh, business director, at Acceleration eMarketing also stressed the value and importance of tracking the right metrics.
Who owns the customer?
With the move to a more automated world with media buys being increasingly being governed by bid algorithms, marketers cannot ignore data any longer. One of the major questions, Mackintosh added, is who owns the customer?
Marketers think they do, but publishers, agencies, and networks are all gathering information about marketers’ customers. In some cases, networks or exchanges might even use this data to retarget a marketer’s customer for another brand.
It is imperative for successful companies today to be data kings, who own, protect and understand their data. International data kings include the likes of Amazon and Apple, but South Africa has few similar examples.
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Off The Beaten Track
What Tourism Month means in South Africa and how Mango Airlines is focusing on local opportunities.
This September, being Tourism Month, we have so much to talk about in South Africa, and so many people to engage with, both domestically and abroad. We are privileged to be able to leverage a broad range of destinations – arguably world-class in nature, and they expand way beyond a beautiful mountain, and an ecosystem of game.
The vast majority of leisure tourists, however, remain attracted to the Mother City and various Safari destination, while business tourists tend to stick to hub cities for short durations of time before departing again.
“There is a golden opportunity to expand on the same offerings – while not detracting from them in any way. Our responsibility is to drive tourism into new areas, really emphasising the differentiators that are incredibly attractive to local and international tourists,” said Benediction Zubane, Head of Marketing at Mango Airlines.
“Often tourists visit one of the more well-known sites in an area, and are completely unaware of the other features and destinations close by. We’re seeing a lot of success in township tourism which goes to show how diversifying can really drive new tourism opportunities,” explained Zubane.
According to Statistics South Africa survey on Tourism and Migration, nearly 3.5 million international travellers visited South Africa in August 2017. Top numbers were tourists from USA, UK, Germany, France and The Netherlands, with African visitors primarily coming from SADC countries. Zubane added, “This means there is vast opportunity to begin engaging with travellers in new countries across the globe. We need to become our own best ambassador, talking-up our famous and lesser known destinations, proudly showcases our uniqueness. We should also be tourists in our own country and start exploring the wonders of the Rainbow Nation.”
Mango is passionate about helping its SMEs and entrepreneurial community to successfully overcome the unique challenges facing the tourism industry: “There has never been a more opportune time for small businesses and entrepreneurs to benefit positively from tourism in South Africa, and we hope to celebrate alongside our SME community as they fly high – both literally and figuratively,” he concludes.
FNB Receives 50 Million US-Dollars To Accelerate SME Development
First National Bank puts their focus on SME development in South Africa.
First National Bank (FNB) has received 50 million US-dollars from the DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft to deploy towards small and medium enterprise (SME) development in South Africa.
DEG is a development finance institution whose mission is to promote private-sector enterprises in developing and emerging-market countries as a contribution to sustainable growth and improved living conditions.
Mike Vacy-Lyle, CEO of FNB Business says: “The new line of funding contributes to our ongoing efforts to accelerate our contribution to SME development in South Africa. We believe that SMEs are key to stimulating sustainable economic growth and job creation. Our intervention in SME development is not only limited to funding, we also invest heavily to improve capacity and supplier development capabilities in small businesses.”
FNB continues to pioneer products and services that have taken the angst out of South Africa’s entrepreneurs, from providing free instant accounting services to online documents reservation services, and forming public-private partnerships to digitise the registration of businesses.
“Our message to entrepreneurs is that we remain committed to providing meaningful solutions to help them grow. We have exciting developments that will take us further in our journey, all aimed at advancing the SME agenda by taking the anguish out of doing business,” concludes Vacy-Lyle.
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