Load shedding leaves digital marketing in the dark
You’d have thought that load shedding gives South African businesses enough problems as it is, says Mark-Anthony Goncalves, paid media specialist at ByDesign Communications. Goncalves adds that we live with unpredictable time management, meeting postponements and late staff arrivals at the office due to traffic lights being out.
Clients with various digital campaigns — across numerous online platforms and with unique marketing objectives — are being negatively affected by load shedding because audiences simply can’t access the Internet.
This is affecting the following:
- website traffic, and
- lead generation.
Stage six load shedding means that South Africans are without power for up to six hours a day. The ripple effect of this results in fewer online product and service searches taking place, as cell phones and laptops need to be charged and battery life must be preserved through any means possible.
So, you pay for an advert with a tailored message — to a specific audience, on a specific channel, at a specific time — to drive a marketing objective and the required ROI, in the hope of unlocking further marketing budget. However, your audience was unable to see your advert due to load shedding.
That’s a problem. Marketing campaigns are measured on metrics like:
- campaign performance
- advertising spend
- return on advertising spend (ROAS), and
- return on investment (ROI).
Their success determines the future budgets and repeated campaigns. The recently implemented stage six load shedding schedule has had a clear negative impact on digital campaign performance across numerous channels, including:
- Twitter, and
- Google Advertising.
For marketers, it’s more important than ever to consider the timing of online campaign launches and campaign performance to achieve optimal results. It’s no longer enough to be within budget or to merely compete online. Now you have to ensure visibility by putting yourself in the customer’s shoes.
Not all audiences will have access to Wi-Fi or enough data to load content during increased levels of load shedding. Marketers need to box smartly and plan accordingly to ensure their audiences are able to access online brand messaging in a time when power isn’t guaranteed.
For more information, visit www.bdcomms.co.za. You can also follow ByDesign Communications on Twitter.