Digital Advertisement vs Traditional Media in Africa

Technological advancement is growing rapidly globally. In Africa, there is a continuous rise in digital spending and development. In West Africa, Nigeria and Ghana are clear examples of how individuals and cooperate agencies are using tech to solve problem. However, there is also a growing lack of efficient digital advertisement. As the population of mobile phone users grow across the continent, there is no such growth of digital advertisement. Majority of advertisement is till channeled through traditional media. In Ghana, the majority of Small and Medium Enterprises are more interested in traditional media as a mode of advertisement though they do not have the financial means to advertise on the platforms of their choice. Tech gurus with solutions to digital marketing are resorting to private clients to sell their services to them. This has contributed largely to the inefficiency of digital advertisement in Africa – there is a lack of institution to sell the services.

In East Africa, 48% of Kenya’s population have access to internet through mobile phones, tablets, and ultrabooks. Despite this growth in internet access, just 3% of advertising expenditure goes to digital advertisement. The remaining 97% is attributed to traditional media where 15% of population have access to print, 45% access to TV, and 95% of the population has access to Radio. This is a clear evidence of how the digital advertising sector is being undermined. This scenario in most countries in Africa can be argued on the basis that traditional media is institutionalized with defined processes, experts and professional sales personnel who are able to sell their service to customers. National activities and events are easily sold to traditional media basically due to the institutionalized structure – it is very visible that most of such events and activities are still heard or seen for the first time by most people on social media and online platforms.

The solution therefore lies in the ability of African digital advertising experts to set up sales agencies filled with sales experts rather than tech gurus – they are good with developing the solution but not selling it to clients and showing how it solves the challenges they face in their businesses. Also, the realization that digital advertisement can be cheaper than traditional media should be communicated. The few businesses that are resorting to online media for trade are swiftly advancing in brand awareness.


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