Power to the Marketer in Sub Saharan Africa

The rapid adoption of technology has changed the way most consumers are engaging with brands in a digital world. Marketers and brand strategists have never faced a more challenging time to promote their products and services as consumers are more empowered than ever before. As more media consumption goes via digital channels or has a digital component, data is becoming such an important source of knowledge for marketers.


Marketers are looking to their media agencies for answers and guidance

The changes in consumers’ behaviour are forcing marketers to enable media agencies to act quicker and be more adaptive with their media planning and buying strategies. The fact that technology is now allowing agencies to do real time media buying and optimisation has drastically changed the traditional media planning and buying approach.

Marketers can now see within a few hours if their campaigns are delivering return on investment. Utilising meaningful and relevant consumer data during this approach for target market insights, has become mandatory in order to deliver successful strategies that will make marketers succeed as it delivers real business outcomes.

Marketers require agencies to become more efficient and data driven in their approach as there are a plethora of different media platforms that their consumers are engaging with on a daily basis.


How can markers and media agencies stay ahead of the curve?

The opportunity for marketers to start using sophisticated advertising technology and more consumer insights to increase their relevancy and impact when communicating with consumers cannot be ignored any longer. It will give marketers the edge they need to always be one step ahead.

The challenges can be overcome by utilising smarter ways to better profile relevant target markets, to understand their media behaviour and ultimately purchase media in line with those trends. To successfully reach these users based on these trends, an automated buying approach is required.

Programmatic media buying is the utilisation of advertising technology and valuable data in order for marketers to make more informed decisions. Using this approach assists in determining when and where to purchase media, to get better insights into the creative material that should be used to have a meaningful “conversation” with either existing or potential consumers’.

As consumers’ expect brands to have a well-managed digital presence and voice, programmatic buying allows marketers to have customised conversations with their specific consumers around identified products with a message that speaks to the stage that consumers are in the purchase journey.


The key is to remember that programmatic media buying is an execution method.

Marketers need to focus on three components that are fundamentally required for successful media communication strategies:

  • Relevant Consumer Insights
  • Effective Creative Material
  • Spot on Media placements

If these components are fueled by data and executed in a programmatic way, then it will be successful and help marketers to invest their budgets better.


Data, Data, Data – Start to use it even if it is in small quantities

How do marketers currently do things? You would agree with me when I say that even though data is a big buzzword at the moment, how much of what we do today is really data driven?

It is important to remember that there isalways relevant data available; you just have to go look for it. Partner and collaborate with your media agency to identify sources that were previously not explored and can help with predictions. It is crucial to build a better understanding of your consumers and get insights beyond just demographics.

Using consumer data in meaningful ways can help marketers make more informed media decisions and have a better understanding of their target market.


Effective Creative Material: Real Time Dynamic Adjustments

Creative material has become more personalised and relevant with the usage of data. Instead of an element that was always developed before a campaign went live, creative is now done in real time and should be dynamic enough to empower marketers to make sure the right messages are served to the target market based on their behaviour, interest and geographic location at a specific time.

One generic message to a mass audience is not good enough anymore. With the help of creative templates it does not have to cost marketers an arm and a leg to have multiple pieces of creative, that can be used at the start of the campaign in order to test which ones are performing the best.


Media Owner –Access to most media owners and inventory sources

The options for marketers about where they should be investing their media budgets are increasing; however programmatic media buying gives marketers the option to test different media owners and formats to fulfil a specific campaign objective.

Marketers can then advise on real time optimisation opportunities, only focusing on best performing placements.

To quickly recap: The biggest changes marketers need to note:

  1. Programmatic media buying access to most media owners in South Africa isnow possible.
  2. Creative execution in programmatic is not limited anymore – rich media, home page take overs, video and high impact units can be bought in an optimised way.
  3. Marketers have to look beyond metrics like click through rates and likes as we are now able to allocate budgets to the channels and executions that drive sales, brand recall and ultimately business outcomes.


In a technology driven future, clever marketers and machines will be more powerful than machines in isolation. 

Marketers have to be ready for a data driven world beyond what we can currently imagine. For the next couple of years, marketers and media agencies will talk about technology and data in extensive detail, however we should never forget, if consumers’ needs are not at the focal point of the strategy then we will not be successful.

Advertising technology will only add value if it is used to execute a well thought through media strategy. Media agencies need to assist marketers to make sure they are reaching the right consumers that they need to engage with in order to increase sales for their clients.


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