Gone are the days of using only traditional marketing to promote businesses; the introduction of digital marketing has made businesses and organizations to generate more sales via the massive use of the internet by millions of people worldwide.

The word digital marketing in simple words mean the use of digital technologies (such as smartphones, laptops/desktop computers, and tablets) to promote goods or services online. The usage of digital marketing began in the 90s and 20s; this has made sales easier and profits higher for businesses, without even having a physical store.

Digital marketing method includes SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing), social media marketing, e-mail marketing, e-commerce marketing, content marketing, and display advertising etc.

Small and established businesses in South Africa need more penetration into Digital Marketing which will thereby improve the profits of companies and the economy of a country.

The following are the importance of digital marketing in South Africa:

  1. Digital marketing helps in creating a common ground for all kind of businesses. Digital marketing gives infant and grown businesses an equal opportunity in the digital world. A competition arises between small and medium enterprises against grown companies for the division of traffic to business websites or mobile applications.
  2. It’s lesser costlier compared to the traditional marketing. Infant enterprises with little or no funding tend to balance up with the use of digital marketing through several mediums of promoting their brands and goods via the social media. Forty percent of the population (who owned businesses and companies) enjoy a substantial saving by utilizing digital marketing ways of publicizing their products and services.
  3. Aids to yield more revenues. Massive revenues are generated with the use of digital marketing. It aids businesses to obtain higher profits.
  4. Helps establish a brands good name. Digital marketing helps in boosting business brand reputation. It helps showcase your products or services to interested people who tend to love your brand and what it stands for.
  5. Helps you to obtain clients/customers trust: After building your business brand name, trust comes into view. Online customers have confidence in brands they are comfortable with and know a lot about and have used its services or products. This tends to increase business sales.

The rise of mobile phones commenced with a portable device (telephone) that is used to make and receive calls; known as either a hand-phone or a cellphone. The advent of mobile phones were rampant for several decades until the introduction of smartphones which enables you to do much more than just make or receive calls but also communicate with millions of people around the globe just by tapping few keys on the smartphone or transacting of businesses with unknown people and your bank account being credited or acquiring of knowledge without even entering the four-walls of any institution.

Hence, the importance of smartphones for businesses in South Africa:

  1. To connect with customers/clients: the smartphone helps businesses or organization network and interact with customers and clients as quickly as possible.
  2. Provides access to social media: Using smartphones to access social media for business purposes helps to drive traffic to businesses and companies.
  3. The use of search engines: When in need of quick information at the last minute or not so urgent, using of search engines such as Google is up to the task. This helps in providing with the necessary information for companies as quick as possible and gives access to uncountable loads of information at the same time.
  4. Presentation made easier: Slideshows for business or organization projects is achievable with the use of a smartphone. Either by transferring files from a laptop to the phone or to draft a quick presentation with the use of the mobile phone.
  5. Keeping records of important details: Smartphones are able to archive important files to a safe place till future use. It’s kept safe and intact.

The growth of smartphones in South Africa gives hope that the little percent not using a multimedia phone will come on board. The chart below shows the growth of smartphones in South Africa market:

The total number of Smartphones used in South Africa amounts to twenty-one percent of the country population according to 2016 statistics, while there are eleven percent of basic phones users.