Marketers cannot devise a promotion mix for any progressive company without considering social media (McIntyre, 2014).
Botswana, like other countries around the world, has caught up with the buzz of social media. According to a digital report compiled by Simon Kemp in 2022, there are 1.48 million social media users in Botswana as at January 2022, of which 1.20 million are very active social users. What this means for marketers is that social media has become a pivot for success in advertising campaigns. Below I unpack why this is the case.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) has been preached about over and over again. Many organisations are slowly migrating most of their business functions to digital transformation. Marketing, like other functions, isn’t an exception and a digital transformation mandate is critical for it as well. From the initial stages, the concept of Digitisation in Marketing was categorised as a projection of marketing, its tools and strategies based on the Internet (Pineiro-Otero, 2019). However, with its constant developments, the technical experts have over the years developed channels, languages and formats that have led to these tools and strategies operating offline as well (Charm, 2022).
In every area of business, there are new technologies that continue to evolve, such as artificial intelligence, big data, blockchain, virtual reality and robots. According to Raham (2021), these developments continue to create a paradigm shift within business units through promotion of innovation in marketing, especially in the area of marketing research and analytics, hence the new term Digital Marketing.
The rise of social media as a driver for digital marketing
I have seen digital marketing evolve in my five years in communications and advertising, from the use of websites to Facebook marketing all the way to email marketing. Most organisations’ main focus is still stuck on Facebook marketing, either as a result of misconception or target marketing. According to Manning (2014), the term social media is used to define any type of media that allows interactive participation. The first recognisable social network sites were Classmates.com (launched in 1995) and SixDegrees.com launched in 1997 (Dhingra, 2019). From then on, a theoretical shift was seen as new social media networks arose.
This theoretical shift encompasses different platforms targeting a specific niche in populations, therefore sites reducing competition against each other (McIntyre, 2014). This shift resulted in the birth of the social media sites such as: 2001 – Friendster, 2002 – LinkedIn, 2003 – My Space, and 2004 – Facebook although it was launched in 2008, 2006 – Twitter 2010 – Instagram and Pinterest 2011 – SnapChat 2016 – Tik Tok, and from then on new platforms are continuously being created.
Social media has tremendously grown since then and has presently become a buzzword in marketing. Marketers cannot devise a promotion mix for any progressive company without considering social media (McIntyre, 2014). Botswana, like other countries around the world, has caught up with the buzz of social media. According to a digital report compiled by Simon Kemp in 2022, there are 1.48 million social media users in Botswana as at January 2022, of which 1.20 million are very active social users. What this means for marketers is that social media has become a pivot for success in advertising campaigns. Below I unpack why this is the case.
Benefits of Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing has proven to be cost effective: One of the biggest benefits of online digital marketing is that it is cost-effective. This answers the biggest enemy of progress – Budget! It helps marketers optimise their budgets while obtaining a lot of value.
Measurability: With digital marketing methods, you can accurately track the results of your campaign. Each type of campaign has a tracking system. For example, progressive marketers opt for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to take advantage of Google Analytics in order to track and monitor performance of campaigns. Performance can be measured through impressions, clicks, comments, shares, conversions, and other means. Tracking results leads to campaign improvements.
Improvement of conversion rate: When you invest in online marketing strategies such as conversion rate optimisation (CRO), you can increase your conversion rate. This is due to your ability to target more specific leads. When you focus on people more likely to be interested in your business, you increase your chances of earning a conversion. Your company earns more conversions, which helps you grow.
Facilitation of proper targeting: To have an effective marketing campaign, you must reach the right people. You have to reach people interested in your business and who want to hear from you. Out of all the perks, the most significant advantage of online marketing is the ability to target people specifically. The list of benefits of digital marketing is endless. It is therefore very imperative for a modern-day marketer to immense themselves in digital transformation in order to remain progressive and relevant.
*LUDO NKABITI is the Account Manager at Incepta Communications in Gaborone.