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TRADITIONAL MEDIA

Less of a swing to digital media advertising spend in African markets

By our News Team | 2022

Traditional media remains stronger on the continent than in developed markets, with relatively high cost of digital access being a factor.

Earlier this year, the respected Harvard Business Review carried an article by three leading marketing academics which – surprisingly to many advocates of digital – indicated an uptick in adspend on traditional media in developed economies.

Among the traditional platforms enjoying a minor resurgence in advertising income, they asserted, are the likes of OOH media, radio, television and magazines. 

The academics based the article on their own research, as well as data from other credible sources such as the CMO Survey, Edison Research and research institute MarketingSherpa.

Traditional Media

Photo by Nappy via Pexels

But what is the situation in Africa? According to David Gorin of Marnox Media, which represents some 250 media across 16 countries on the continent, the swing to digital media did not occur in Africa to the same extent as in highly-developed markets. 

“Certainly, digital media have taken significant adspend share from TV, radio, and print,” he says. 

“But, with the general exception of print, traditional media have at least held their own, overall. And, in many countries, the explosion of Out-of-Home (OOH) formats has seen increased allocations to that form of traditional media – long a stalwart for delivering reach and awareness.”

He believes that whether the year ahead will see an uptick in advertising spends in Africa – traditional or non-traditional – depends significantly on economic conditions. Tough times may translate to static or pared-back budgets.

“Remember that, for many people in Africa, digital media channels – the internet generally, but including podcasts and video-on-demand – are pricey,” Gorin notes.

“And although mainstream media will continue to fragment with the launch of new radio and TV stations, the internet is the most cluttered and fragmented environment. The complexities of finding the right environment for the brand, finding the right audience, at scale, may not warrant prioritising niche, non-traditional media over the amplification opportunities afforded by traditional channels, especially mass-reach vehicles.”

For more information on advertising trends around traditional media, don’t miss the next issue of Strategic Marketing for Africa, the magazine of the African Marketing Confederation. Issue 4 2022 is due out in early December.

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