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How Digital Technology Impacts Your Consumer Journey

Posted by Darren Leishman on July 14, 2015 at 1:00 PM
Darren Leishman
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Digital technology blue squares

Digital marketing is the fastest-growing medium in existence today. Its prevalence has considerably increased and changed each part of the consumer’s journey.

In South Africa especially, it is a fast-growing arena in which brands can participate to gain awareness and coverage.

The graphs shown below can assist you in optimising and updating your communication practises, in order to access the desired audience with the content they need to make their decision.

Digital Development in South Africa

Digital_Progress 2014

Progress of Digital Development Compared to the United States, Kenya and Nigeria
  • South Africa was the fastest growing digital landscape in Africa at the end of 2014, according to MasterCardInsights, and has a steady increase in demand for digital advertising.
  • Our internet penetration has grown steadily over the past 3 years: Africa overall has a 26% penetration, but South Africa’s penetration, according to the Internet Society, stands at a healthy 48.9%, with a growth of 27% over the past three years.

Graph Showing Internet Penetration 2014

Internet Penetration for January 2015

Changes in brand expenditure

This massive growth has changed the way we need to think about marketing, and most importantly, the way consumers think about buying.

Mobile Spend 2014 South Africa

Mobile Spend increases 2014 - 2017
  • Because of the prevalence of consumer interaction online, PWC has calculated a worldwide increase in mobile marketing spend.

Consumer Responses and Changes in Behaviour

Consumers have responded favourably to the online push. Research and purchase decisions made online are steadily increasing in sectors such as retail, specialised services and technology.

The attitude that shoppers have to shopping has changed drastically. With the advent of digital marketing, consumers are demanding far more convenient and innovative products, communications and interactions. The figure below shows the key areas of change.


Increasing Consumer_Demand

5 Tactics you can use to Capitalise on Technological Changes:

A worldwide change has occurred, leading to focus areas shifting.

The below are supported by the Salesforce 2015 State of Marketing report, with key areas of expenditure focus as follows: 

  •  Social Media Advertising
  •  Social Media Marketing
  •  Social Media Engagement
  •  Location-Based Mobile Tracking
  •  Mobile Applications

There are a number of ways in which you can accommodate the changes in the consumer mind-set brought on by technological growth:

  1. Ensure that you are in touch with the consumer on each stage of the consumer journey, by analysing your results from each media platform and optimising for your audience - giving them exactly what they want, when they need it.
  2. Leverage your unique selling points online, and give insights into the functionality and benefits of the product in all stages. You should be showing them a product that is innovative and interesting.
  3. Focus on the consumer - audiences expect service that is personal, tailored, and targeted. So your interactions with them should always be well considered, regular, and meaningful to them.
  4. Simplify your interactions. Forms, processes, enquiries and the like should not be tedious. This ease of use should encourage the consumer to interact further with your brand.
  5. Most importantly, re-assess your impact on a regular basis. Ensure that you haven’t overlooked a critical touch-point or area of interaction, and continue to improve your communications with the consumer in mind.

These are all areas that are integral in relationship management, personal communication, and accurate presentation of content to the relevant audiences. Marketing analytics and Customer Relationship Management software can be used to optimise these activities.

In Summary

The primary focus should always be the consumer: What they want or need, and how they behave online and in a digital space.

Applying the discussed tactics and principles effectively throughout the Consumer Journey will enable a far greater impact for your brand, and a far more rewarding experience for your consumers.

Interesting Fact: Of the 8.5million internet users in South Africa, the majority use Facebook as their social media platform of choice.


For a more detailed guideline on how to set up an integrated marketing strategy click below for a full guide. 

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