Mobile advertising now lead digital market in Africa

Posted on February 8, 2015 12:10 am

Mobile-device advertising revenue growth has accelerated faster than desktop advertising, reflecting the digital future, according to Africa’s market intelligence report published yesterday. Desktop advertising, however, still accounts for the bulk of digital advertising revenues as advertisers look to get the most eyeballs for their banners.Advertisers in Africa spent far less than 20 percent of their advertising expenditure on line.Meanwhile, brands in mature markets like Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria have allocated at least 40 percent of their advertising budgets for the digital platform. Africa’s latest survey reveals that advertisers spent US$2.26 billion on television and printed media advertising expenditure in 2013, a 20 percent rise compared to the previous year.The survey also shows that television remains the favored advertising medium, with more than 45 percent of spending going to television.However, the report noted that both desktop and mobile advertising had seen an uptick in the number of advertisers opting for these platforms.Quoting data from a digital marketing research firm, the report pointed out that digital advertising was expected to grow by up to 30 percent this year, while mobile advertising would chart a higher increase reaching 47 percent.Report added that, overall, Africa’s advertisement revenues increased at a faster pace than the digital advertising industry overall.

Mobile advertising recorded triple digit growth while desktop grew by double digits.Desktop advertising still brought in most of the revenue, report said, given that advertisers were keener on desktop advertising.It is still a desktop world now. However, mobile devices remain the secondary devices for accessing Web content such as email. A constant challenge advertisers attribute to mobile advertising is that the screens of mobile devices, such as smartphones, cannot accommodate as many advertisements as desktop monitors can.Portable device users are also less tolerant of having their small screens crowded by advertisements. One of the report authors told your blogger that Advertisers in Africa feel that they cannot get as many eyeballs through mobile as through desktop.Report co-author added that large corporations including mobile phone operators and consumer goods companies remained some of the biggest spenders on digital advertising. A similar study revealed that, in the traditional advertising space, telecommunication companies billed the highest with spending, albeit recording a 8 percent year-on-year decline.

As well as growing their portfolio of advertisers, most companies in digital advertising market wanted to grab more domestic companies, including small and medium businesses, who were now highly keen on digital advertising. Many of them spent 2014 learning what digital advertising was about and in 2015, they have been actively inquiring about placing digital advertisements. One of the company’s CEO revealed to your blogger that the strategy of focusing on mobile even in Africa, where smartphone penetration was still low, was apt since more people in the continent were expected to adopt smartphones. “The future will be mobile by default Contador Harrison,” he said. Rankings provided by web information company, Alexa shows that Search engine giant, Google, takes first place followed by popular social networking website, Facebook. In their strategies, a good number of companies are seeking to expand their media property and are expected to focus more on video, especially that which is relevant to the context of African media properties.No doubt the continuing aim this year for digital marketing companies will be to provide users with advertising that feels more relevant and offer them targeted, instead of mass, eyeballs as has been the case in the past.

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