How Does the Future of Digital Marketing Look in Africa?

As we navigate the evolution of digital marketing in developing countries, there’s one question that has been ringing in my head for the past few weeks in the wake of the pandemic.

Are we expanding enough in digital marketing and new technologies in Africa?

Building a global presence through digital marketing presents one of the stiffest challenges in developing countries.

We can either choose to ignore the reality that the rules of marketing are changing and consequently be eradicated by the wave of digital disruption or we can start investing in better digital marketing tools for successful revenue growth.

Bear in mind, that it does not mean that digital marketing can be developed without any need for local and regional adaptation. We need to consider numerous demographical, language and cultural value systems to target and expand our reach of consumers online.

What works in developed countries might not necessarily work in local markets. However, finding a sweet spot between your local and global audience and knowing how to reach that audience through all the noise is the secret sauce to a successful digital marketing strategy.

I’ve listed some of the challenges that businesses in Africa face which might prevent them from evolving in the fast-changing digital era:

Adoption of new technologies

Although some high-tech industries are doing their best to invest in the R&D of modern technological solutions, underdeveloped technology is still a worrying concern.

Most businesses lag behind when it comes to the adoption of new technologies such as AI or other forms of digital marketing tools.

There could potentially be many reasons for this slow adoption however, resource constraints and lack of accessibility in developing countries still pose the biggest hurdle to digital transformation.

Poor technological infrastructure

Compared to developed countries, technological infrastructure, application and distribution in Africa are not really where they should be.

Most companies in Africa are in their early stages of economic development and rely heavily on international solutions or channels which could be quite costly for some to afford.

While new technologies can accelerate the growth of companies, the lack of suitable and affordable digital solutions and poor infrastructure forces businesses to scale back.

Businesses need to come up with smart solutions to cope with these kinds of challenges locally by firstly understanding local consumers and learning how to communicate with local audiences.

Lack of required skills and “global thinkers”

Given that many African companies are startups or up and coming businesses, they are not bound to the old way of business models or the “this is how we’ve always done it’ approach. However, the fear of unknown territories prevents many companies from stepping into innovation that could transform customer engagements, business operations and optimizing existing business processes.

As the nature of digital marketing continues to evolve and more technologies are developed, companies need a thorough understanding of their customers and modern business tools. In addition, businesses need to manage a healthy balance of keeping local consumers happy while expanding into new markets globally to overcome the struggle of saturation or stagnation.

If companies lack leaders/managers who are “global thinkers” my advice would be to start investing in the right talent to gain competitive leverage across markets and adopt a global perspective. Alternatively, train staff in-house to empower them to be global thinkers and unlock the true power of effective digital ecosystems.

Competing with new champions of AI

Most businesses are faced with a form of aggressive competition and the new champions are not making things easier.

It’s no secret that artificial intelligence has and will continue to impact the marketing and advertising industry. Automated solutions have presented numerous threats and opportunities depending on how you view these champions.

Learning AI capabilities accelerates growth and advancement in developing countries and can aid in bridging gaps between brands and their customers through simpler automated systems.

Instead of seeing artificial intelligence as a threat, companies need to embrace the opportunity it presents to simplify and enhance the way of doing business.

Artificial intelligence allows for improved systems and automation for working smart and efficiently which could save you time and launch you into new untapped territories in the long run.

Some useful areas to start investing in digital marketing include data and analytics, marketing automation, UX and design as well as content management and social media marketing tools.

In conclusion, companies that are learning to operate on a global scale need to start integrating their worldwide strategy to adapt to the ever-changing world around us. It is imperative for business leaders to accelerate their journey and embrace new ways of reaching modern customers across the different corners of the world.

Whichever digital marketing strategy you decide to implement for global sustainable growth, always remember your motive of why you are doing it. You can always change the method, however, the purpose and heart of your business should always remain the same.

Original Source: Linkedin