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Engaging the digital audience

There are currently 17% of Ghanaians on the internet (according to Google stats). But despite this 4+million Ghanaians being online, we are still not seeing enough of corporate Ghana.
Roundtable participants from Medicom Ghana, Electroland and Ghanadour
Roundtable participants from Medicom Ghana, Electroland and Ghanadour
The recent Marketing Roundtable discussion hosted by Sixth Sense Manifesto with Medicom Ghana, Electroland and Ghanadour, looked at how corporate Ghana is engaging its audience via digital marketing and the challenges that are faced.

Moderator: What is your definition of digital marketing?
Mediacom representative: I define digital marketing as an online infrastructure that engages people at different times which is not limited to a location.

Moderator: Why is it important for you to reach the digital community?
Electroland representative: Digital marketing is taking over our traditional way of marketing, so it is important that even on an educational basis - JHS students should know about digital marketing.

Mediacom: It's cost effective and it reaches a broader target group - you're not confined to a group of people. It's faster; you are able to change things when you need to. These advantages make it important to set aside a budget for digital marketing.

Engaging the digital audience
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Moderator: How different is your digital approach vs your offline strategy?
Mediacom: Whatever we do offline has to be translated onto the digital platform, there needs to be a consistency in message. The only thing that is different would be the creative. Plus, we engage in more customised messaging.

Electroland: Some of our customers may not be comfortable with buying our goods online, so it does depend on those who want to buy. At Electroland we use digital more as part of our sales funnel more than we do with marketing. Our agents also use other online businesses to sell their products.

Moderator: How do you measure the effectiveness and impact of your digital marketing plan?
Medicom: We have lots of different KPIs for digital marketing such as views, impressions and likes in order to measure success.

Moderator: Your success then depends on what you have agreed with the clients, however with the 'likes, impressions' etc. does that translate into successful brand positioning or sales?
Mediacom: We are not doing any hard sales activity. It is more about brand positioning and awareness.

Moderator: I find Ghana to be a very buy and sell market, they always want to know how their marketing is going to make them money versus them doing a billboard - they see the latter as money well spent, how do you get your clients to understand that it is not going to be a direct translation to sales?
Mediacom: It really does come down to campaign objective from the company. If a company sales say they want it to convert to sales we know what type of campaign you will run. So for example, social media, let's say Facebook campaigns, you have six options, so if I want to drive traffic on my website I know which campaign I would select.

Moderator: Is there a secure budget for digital marketing or are you still in the testing phase?
Group laughs.

Moderator: It must be painful!?
Mediacom: It is extremely painful, but the exciting thing is that we will get there. There is no designated budget for digital - at least as far as we know. So you have to fight to get that budget and when you win the fight, it can be a small budget. Maybe not a fight per se, but trying to justify why they should allocate funds and getting them to understand they are moving into a digital age.

It is important to educate the clients that digital may not be as expensive as offline but you have to invest the money if you want to see the results.

A digital marketing budget usually gets taken from the offline marketing strategy. A lot of businesses see digital marketing as a test so they say they will allocate a sum to test. But the problem is that amount of money converted into dollars is not much money considering all social media platforms are charged in dollars.

The cedi depreciating really does impact our work and budgets that are allocated. In the same breath, we also need to be able to deliver so that potential clients can see that we can get them what they want and what we say.

Ghandour representative: We have a set budget for digital as we really focus on how to reach the rest of Africa without us being present in the actual countries so a digital marketing budget is imperative.

Conclusion


Corporate Ghana still has a long way to go when it comes to digital marketing. It is imperative that brands engage on the digital marketing platform for one of four reasons:
  • To achieve further brand awareness
  • To develop brand positioning
  • To generate warms/hot leads
  • To generate sales
A well targeted cost-effective campaign can really get your brand far in the digital terrain, if you are not sure how it works or want to understand it more, we encourage you to speak to your agency for a more educational experience on how digital marketing works.

Digital takeover is inevitable...get ready!

Marketing Roundtable is organised and hosted by Sixth Sense Manifesto, a below-the-line brand management agency based in Osu, Accra.

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