It is necessary to look at trends and predictions, but the most critical question for any business during these unprecedented times should be, “why are you here?” In other words, what is your purpose? People are looking more and more towards companies to solve global issues, not governments or even non-profits.

By continuing to ask “why” at the centre of your operations, you will amplify your purpose. Profits and purpose are starting to be linked more closely together. As such, business decisions require policies and practices that are fundamentally aligned.

Digital, mobile, and social media has become an indispensable part of everyday life. According to, more than 4.5 billion people are using the internet. Social media users have surpassed 3.8 billion people.

Nearly 60% of the world’s population is online, spending more than two hours daily across social media platforms. Social media users in Africa reached 217.5 million, representing a 16% penetration. Internet users in Africa are now more than 453 million representing a 34% penetration.

Africa’s mobile phone boom

Africa has one of the fastest-growing penetrations of mobile subscribers, with 1.08 billion active mobile users. According to Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat, digital trade is the next big thing in Africa.

“First, digital trade is possible through mobile phones. People can access distant markets using your mobile phone. I identified young people and women in trade as segments of society that we must bring with us to benefit from the implementation of this agreement,” he argues.

This growth provides opportunities for business in Africa to increase social media users and digital ad spending. Marketers also need to take note of the significant increase in internet marketing.

The question is how effectively and how fast are African businesses adapting to the digital transformation. Companies need to combine creative digital capabilities with digital advertising, marketing strategies and outstanding technical expertise. Investing in upskilling, especially sales and marketing teams, to operate effectively in the digital sphere is key to achieving this goal.

Data and new trends

We live in a data-driven world that is customer-centric, where profits are closely linked to customer service initiatives. Data is the new advertising and marketing currency. Analytics put consumer behaviour and habits at your fingertips.

This shift has identified the need to institutionalize communication, planning, and sharing of information across marketing, digital, IT teams, or staff. The core of social media marketing lies in storytelling, not product promotion.

Formats such as short videos, pictures, picture slides, short, creative and engaging text and infographics are most effective. Video messaging has increased dramatically with Facebook, WhatsApp and Telegram, to name but a few.

Other trends are micro and macro social media influences that influence e-commerce, boosts in TV co-viewing, and video on demand, blogging, and vlogging continue to proliferate, driven by user-generated content. Short-form online entertainment, streaming services and virtual events are also growing.

Branded digital experiences

According to Gartner Peer Insights, by 2023, 60% of companies that pivoted to virtual events will incorporate real-time or real-space experiences into their virtual events with live streaming, synchronous experiences or virtual simultaneity.

This creates the opportunity for marketers to create branded digital experiences. By 2023, 25% of organizations will integrate marketing, sales and customer experience into a single function. By 2024, 30% of large organizations will identify content generation services for user-generated content as a priority.

Storytelling that matters

Regardless of the digital business model you choose; multi-sided platform, subscription, user-generated content model, online education or instant news model to name a few, addressing your audience needs has to be at the heart of what drives your content and marketing.

Storytelling matters in digital marketing, and content is still king. The most important thing is to create engagement. Like Amazon, big brands have shifted their focus to building a relationship between the customer and the brand for long-term success.

In addition, we have seen the success of emphatic or compassionate marketing by big brands.

In conclusion, we can predict that digital technology and innovation will continue to grow exponentially.

About the Author

Author ProfileEva Georgia
Eva Georgia is a journalist based in South Africa

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