As internet connectivity is becoming increasingly ubiquitous and more accessible across Africa, brands now have little choice but to invest in digital media campaigns.
You can’t, after all, reach these growing audiences if you aren’t active in this space. For digital media campaigns to achieve their objectives, they require the best possible chance to be effective, and this can’t happen without price transparency.
Unfortunately, that isn’t always a given. Despite many brands eager to embrace and execute digital media campaigns, they often struggle. That’s because middlemen typically levy a substantial markup on their offerings, thus limiting the digital media buying budget available to promote the campaign. This does not, however, have to be that way going forward.
Before looking at what brands can do to ensure that they’re receiving full value on their digital campaigns, it’s worth understanding how this situation arose in the first place.
In part, the situation was allowed to precipitate because of expertise.
When digital marketing first became viable, the leadership in most brands’ marketing teams was still strongly rooted in analogue forms of marketing. In that environment, it made sense to have people translate a brand’s creative vision for digital channels.
That’s especially true when considering that digital marketing was a lot more complex a few years ago than it is today. Navigating that complexity and helping a brand achieve an effective digital media campaign required highly specialised skills at the time. Those skills, in turn, came at a premium.
Unfortunately, some of these middlemen took and continue to take advantage of that disconnect in understanding and complexity.
Even as brands build more digital capacity in-house and most media owners have made marketing as simple as possible, many in the digital media buying space especially continue to charge high markups. As long as middlemen keep convincing marketers that they need to pay these markups, they’ll keep charging them.
As more and more people across the African continent come online (Nigeria alone is set to add another 35 million internet users by 2026), marketers risk spending far more budget to reach their target audiences.
It’s, therefore, critical that marketers understand there are alternatives. With the right approach, it’s possible to ensure their entire digital media buying budget is spent promoting their digital media campaigns.
Trading in markups for price transparency
The best way for brands to ensure this is to only work with credible media buying companies that practise price transparency. They should ideally look for a media buying partner that does not apply a markup to their promoted media. That way, brands can ensure they have peace of mind that they purchase media at the best possible price.
But transparent pricing isn’t the only thing brands should look for in a media buying agency. It’s also important that they work with one that can give them an effective marketing presence on the digital platforms most relevant to their target markets.
It’s also important that brands select a company that understands Africa is vast and diverse for their digital media campaign. Ideally, it should have dedicated teams in key markets, giving the client access to locally relevant viewpoints and insights.
The media buying agency should also have teams educated and skilled in the best practice of each platform to execute an effective digital media campaign.
By taking this approach, brands can ensure they get maximum returns from their digital marketing efforts at best possible value.
Building for Africa’s digital marketing revolution
There’s absolutely no doubt that Africa’s digital connectivity revolution is fostering a secondary digital marketing revolution. According to Statista, Digital Advertising spending in Africa is currently valued at US$3.19 billion. Two years ago, it was valued at US$2.09 billion; by 2027, it’s expected to be worth US$4.53 billion. By any measure, that’s significant growth.
But if brands are to realise the full benefit of this growth, price transparency will be critical.
This article was contributed by Steven Edge, COO of Ad Dynamo, by Aleph
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