I recently travelled to Stockholm, Sweden to visit family over there. I was last in Sweden at the end of 2019, just before the global pandemic broke out. Each time I visit I am simply astounded by how the Scandinavians embrace technology and how deeply integrated it has become in their way of life. From robotic lawn mowers keeping the city’s roundabouts tidy, to electric scooters that can be unlocked with an app on your phone, to automated Nespresso shops with no staff, a virtually cashless society and wait for it,Teslas, EVERYWHERE. I realised after an 18-month lockdown in the Southern tip of Africa, that I had forgotten how far AI has come…
That in turn got me thinking about how AI is transforming Digital Marketing.
Looking at the clients we work with, many of them have started using AI-driven technology to better understand their customers and to streamline certain processes. For instance chatbots, which most of us have probably encountered at some point of another. AI chatbots can answer questions, help with site navigation, and even provide personalized product recommendations which in turn converts visitors to customers.
AI is also being integrated into CRM systems so that businesses can gain greater insight into their customers’ behaviour and decision-making. AI also allows marketers to personalise content and target their users groups on a much more granular level. Gone are the days of mass communication and ‘shooting wide’ messaging. So although it will probably be a while still before bots start to replace people, AI is definitely here to stay and is making digital marketing and advertising more accurate and targeted by optimizing campaigns and delivering a better return on investment than ever before.
Looking closer to home we certainly have our work cut out for us. Job creation right now must be the no.1 priority for our country’s leaders, and investment the 2nd if we are to pull ourselves out of this post-lockdown limbo. However, economists are starting to predict an uptick in the economy. According to the OECD the South African economy is projected to rebound by 3.8% in 2021 and 2.5% in 2022.The strong rebound at the end of 2020 has slowed in the first half of 2021 due to a protracted second wave of the virus that has held back economic activity. However, growth is projected to pick up in the second half of the year, driven by domestic demand and commodity exports. Household consumption will contribute significantly to growth as the economy opens up and exceptional savings last year are spent at least partially. Private investment will progressively strengthen.
At AdMarula we have also seen positive signs, from former inactive clients that are now returning, to businesses wanting to launch new products and campaigns and of course planning for the upcoming Black Friday sales.
Whether you are an advertiser, publishers or agency, we are here to work with you to make the last few months of 2021 count.
Onwards and upwards!
Daniel Gross – CEO