GroupM recently released its first Africa Media Index, a collaboration with In On Africa, that delved into five factors in each country surveyed: Economy and Business, Media Landscape, Media Consumers, Technology, and Governance and Legislation.
In brief, it found the continent’s media landscape was a “whirlwind of change and growth in activity” with power that can be “harnessed by knowledgeable investors”.
“Sub-Saharan Africa hosts 17% of the world population today, but only represents 2% of world GDP, and even less when we look at advertising investment, which is $2.6 billion or 0.47% of global investments. However, due to mobile and internet expansion, strong urbanisation and a booming middle class, the next 30 years should tell a very different story,” it said.
We asked several media companies operating on the continent for their views on where the opportunities lie, what challenges they faced, and what the believe is the next big thing.
Here, Cameron Maclear, business unit director for OMG’s Africa division, and OMD managing director, Marcos Santos, gives their insights.
Q: What is your sense of the African opportunities available in the sector in which you operate?
The countries across the continent are all unique and in various stages of development. Each has their own set of challenges and opportunities. The opportunity for a media agency is to understand what these are in each market and identify sustainable solutions at scale, which will lead to improved service for our clients.
Experienced media professionals and an established network are the first steps to realising this goal and these relationships need to be maintained, nurtured and supported through training and development initiatives, which build industry leading capability and global best practice.
Q: How are you taking advantage of those opportunities?
By tapping into Omnicom international’s tools and resources, and through technology and strategic partnerships with quality data providers, there is an opportunity to develop systems which can more accurately measure media performance and consumer behaviour across multiple territories, cultures, languages and varying degrees of fragmentation and connectivity, consistently.
Q: And the challenges you believe are impacting on your business?
Decentralised financial systems, insular industries, lack of funding, slow development, maladministration, poor compliance, and limited access to electronic media channels.
Q: What is the ‘next big thing’ and how are you tapping into that?
Urbanisation, infrastructural development and increased connectivity. We leverage our international relationships to ensure that we keep updated with the latest trends and developments across all media, but particularly in the mobile space. Information sharing across the network and regular interaction with the respective offices across the continent are key. We value our people and ensure that they are well travelled and have first hand experience of the countries they work in.
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