Digital marketing, a blessing for Ugandan businesses in need of growth

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Digital marketing, a blessing for Ugandan businesses in need of growth
Jesse Ntale

By Jesse Ntale

American businessman, actor and songwriter Jimmy Dean once said, “I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

Nothing could better capture more perfectly, the need for businesses, to adapt to digital marketing, in order to remain relevant, updated and competitive on the global market.

As digital marketing takes over, the way we do business continues to gradually evolve from the traditional interpersonal approach to a virtual interaction one.

For instance, it’s not every sale that requires one to get on that plane, or catch that bus, or drive to a destination to close that deal with pen on paper and a handshake.

Neither is it a must that effective sales targets are only achieved by knocking on office doors to convince decision makers to buy one’s products and services.

Back in the day, one had to spend an arm and a leg to advertise their products and services. With the new digital marketing wave however, things have greatly changed, a business woman can now model her own clothes and use her own mobile phone to take pictures which she will then post on either Facebook, Instagram or TikTok and get her customers to reach out and make purchases. The internet has just presented affordable and flexible ways to carry out marketing.

With digital marketing, corporate entities have been able to ably lower overhead costs, reduce travel expenses, effectively allocate resources, among others.

Many business entities will testify that digital marketing is the way to go because it ensures performance optimization. Through the feedback data collected, they are able to prioritize the issues that need immediate attention while attending to the other clients’ needs.

For instance, Roke Telkom in addition to the in-person sales and marketing strategy and engagements, we now integrate digital or online touch points as part of our marketing efforts to take services closer to people because digital channels, are fast, cost-effective and also enable us to effectively track the impact of our marketing efforts.

Some of the digital channels we are really grateful for and have embraced are social media, e-mail and mobile because they are convenient for our customers and are becoming part of their communication culture and way of life.

Social media platforms and chatbots, can enable brands to generate prompt and effective feedback for queries as and when they are raised. This ultimately helps to improve organization responsiveness and customer experiences.

A great customer experience always guarantees high customer retention and an advanced lead generating possibility.

According to Statistica Uganda, 55% of the marketing done today is digital, proof that, like it or not, digital marketing is steadily taking over. Many businesses have adopted the use of different internet tools like blogs, social media platforms like X, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok to advertise their products and services.

The latest craze is getting influencers to do this. One picture or post from an influencer will reach hundreds of thousand within minutes, a feat that would have taken years or even been impossible using the door to door sales approach.

We however cannot ignore the fact that digital marketing comes with its drawbacks. We have heard many scam stories, misrepresentation of facts in some instances, not to mention the fact that some good old-fashioned marketers have been left behind. To some, digital marketing threatens to devalue the profession and its respect, since they claim anyone with a camera, phone or computer can wake up one day and claim to be a marketer.

It is always advisable to minimize the digital marketing risks by putting in place proactive solutions like clear guidelines for those involved, setting up systems that protect both client and service provider from harmful hacks, among others.

For example, Roke Protect, has played a big role in the protection of our internet users against harmful information or hacks.

Suffice to say, every innovation ever made has both blessings and risks. If businesses can embrace the good, address the challenges and minimize the bad, digital marketing could be a game changer, if it already isn’t!

Jesse Ntale is the Brand and Marketing Manager at Roke Telkom

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