Economists will tell you that how your business performs during the first quarter of the year is usually an indication of what can be expected the rest of the year. Although January is historically a quiet month for online sales, February (Valentines) and March has certainly been keeping us busy at AdMarula. Compared to this time last year, total commissions earned on the network have increased by 49%. That’s good news for our publishers and advertisers. We’ve also added several new clients to the network since the start of the year spread across various industries including finance, lifestyle and ecommerce.
Trend-wise we are definitely seeing advertisers move bigger portions of their overall marketing budget towards digital and performance-based marketing activities. This could be due to increased confidence in South Africa’s ecommerce environment, which has been boosted by big brands investing in promoting their online stores, running competitions and offers and engaging consumers via social media. Some are still sceptical towards ecommerce models, but compared to 5 years ago the industry has definitely proven that online sales in South Africa CAN work and that performance-based marketing CAN deliver. Some merchants are still testing the waters while others have established and fine-tuned their online strategies to quite a sophisticated level.
It’s also great to experience the entrepreneurial spirit of our country. We often get contacted by companies/individuals who believe in a product and need our help to get the word out – and sometimes the product you think is less likely to get traction, actually sells like hot cake! That’s one of the things I love about this industry: you can analyse all the data in the world, adapt your messaging to be direct and relevant, and tick all the right boxes, but at the end of the day there is a person sitting on the other side of the device, and people are unpredictable – and that holds both challenges as well as endless opportunities.
Upwards and onwards!
Daniel Gross – CEO