The age of digital marketing with a focus in Ghana.
With the continuous invention of mind-blowing technology and increasing ease of access to the internet, it is undeniable that customers have been empowered to have a say in shaping their perspective of brands and products almost immediately by simply pushing their fingers. This has obviously evolved the marketing spear, drastically shoving brands to engage in digital marketing.
So one would ask, what is the meaning of digital marketing? I define digital marketing simply as the utilization of digital channels to deliver brand messages to customers.
There are many schools of thought regarding the beginning of digital marketing. One of these is that it didn’t just start with just social media, content marketing, paid advertisement or Google ads but rather as far back as the first “public transmission of wireless signals.” by Guglielmo Marconi in 1896. But we will reserve this topic for another blog. The fact is currently, the eyeballs of our customers are controlled by the likes of Google, Facebook and publishing websites, Instagram, tik-tok and what have you.
In other words, digital marketing delivers marketing strategy and effort via electronic means to reach out to potential and existing customers. Of course, there are so many types of digital marketing; Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, Referral Marketing, Pay Per Click (PPC), Affiliate Marketing, Digital content & Videos, Mobile marketing Marketing Automation, Email Marketing, Online PR, Inbound Marketing, Sponsored Content. Over time, we’ll focus on each discipline.
The identified gap and how many perceive digital marketing in Ghana.
Let’s bring the conversation to Ghana, my beloved country……
It’s almost always one of the two; an institution either believes digital marketing is not for them because of the many myths surrounding it or they are so sure they have incorporated digital marketing into their strategy when in actual fact it’s only social media without any directional roadmap to employ the other disciplines.
So down here, we mistakenly equate digital marketing to social media marketing.
In most cases, firms or brands who have decided to go digital or inculcate online marketing into their marketing strategy by default only look at social media. That in itself is not entirely a bad thing because not all disciplines of digital marketing would be relevant for ALL brands. What we advise is for everyone to have a holistic digital marketing strategy that sits within their business strategy and resonates with their target audience and then break it down into achievable milestones or a directional road map.
It is relatively easier to start with Social media marketing because of the dynamics of the continent at large. Note however that there are always challenges to Digital Marketing that an institution could face. A common example is the lack of availability of industry-based data that can be used to make informed decisions. Hence it is always a safe bet to have controlled spending of the digital marketing budget by venturing into the most accessible channels; social media.
In Summary, a lot of companies in Ghana have still not gone digital and some of those who claim to have, are probably only using social media, best-case running a website. Most of these websites may not even be fully functional with no clear call to action, poor usability, poor analytics tracking and data collecting of potential customers. Brands must invest in blending digital marketing strategy into their overall digital marketing strategy using the right approach. Not ALL disciplines may be relevant to ALL Brands in the beginning and it’s ok to start small and have a well laid out directional road map.
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