I trust everyone had a good break, although by now the holidays seem like a distant memory. As AdMarula heads into its 7th year we reflect on the past couple of months and look ahead at the challenges and opportunities that 2018 is likely to hold in store. Be assured our team is pepped and ready to take on the new year with you.
First the good news; we saw record high sales in November and December compared to previous years, proving that online shopping really is taking off in South Africa. Customers have caught on to the Black Friday discounts which caused a spike in transactions over the last weekend in November.
Looking ahead, Valentine’s Day is around the corner so be sure to make the most of this opportunity by providing publishers with relevant and up to date content and offers well in advance. With the changeover to a new system behind us, we can now focus our energy on building our client and publisher base and maximising the new functions that a more sophisticated technology has to offer.
On a macro scale the economic forecast for South Africa in 2018 remains unsure due to the political uncertainty that is currently dominating headlines. Goldman Sachs has identified South Africa as the “big emerging market story” of 2018, especially given the possibility of declining interest rates, a strengthening rand and the market-friendly ANC leadership outcome,” the analysts say in their report.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) however has revised South Africa’s economic growth forecast downward in 2018 and 2019 as a result of rising political uncertainty which it says weighs on confidence and investment. It projects the country’s economy to grow by 0.9% over the next two years, down from a projection of 1.1% in 2018 it forecast in October, and 1.6% in 2019. The World Bank predicts a growth of 1.1% for South Africa in 2018.
The digital industry faces its own set of challenges as publishers brace themselves for Google’s ad blocking browser. On the positive side businesses simply cannot ignore the power of digital performance marketing any longer which means each new year brings with it new budgets and offers.
Only the coming months will tell how things will truly play out. Personally I am carefully optimistic – after the great storm of the past few years it seems that a new era and clearer skies await us.
Wishing you a successful 2018!