Marketing Updates


17 Aug 2015

Why South African Media Buyers ‘Fear’ Online Marketing

Online advertising in South Africa remains stuck in second gear because media buyers fear facing up to the ‘fallibility’ of traditional ads, says a local expert.

Unlike offline advertising, online marketing provides a range of metrics that marketers can use to target ads specifically at internet users, but adoption has been slow.

According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report dubbed ‘Entertainment & Media Outlook: 2014-2018′, ad revenue for newspapers in South Africa is expected to reach R11bn in 2018, up from R8.2bn in 2013.

The PwC report, though, further indicated that ad revenues from digital publishing amounted to a comparatively much lower figure of R1.3bn in 2013, with Google gobbling up the lion’s share of revenue.

One expert says the slow adoption could be pinned to a ‘fear’ among media buyers of being held more accountable to metrics in the online space.

“It is perhaps because if they embrace this measurability in the online space, they would need to admit the fallibility of the offline response metrics,” Andre Steenekamp, CEO of 25AM told Fin24.

The company is a Cape Town-based digital agency and Steenekamp has decade’s worth of experience in the marketing industry.

Online audience

“The steady decline in readership or listenership or viewership and the opposing growth in online usage will eventually swing the pendulum,” said Steenekamp.

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), US internet ad revenues, for example, hit $13.3bn in the first three months of 2015, representing growth of 16%. PwC predicted that by 2019, US print revenues are expected to decline to $146.85bn from $144bn in 2014.