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1.2    Industry Size

In terms of the size of the media and advertising industry in South Africa, over R23 billion per annum is spent on advertising since 2007. This is a figure that has doubled over a five year period and is likely to increase in future. The industry plays a key role in terms of employment creation and employs more than 100 000 highly skilled personnel including editors, writers, photographers and graphic artists. The industry forms part of the creative industry whose potential has been enhanced as a result of the new information communication technology.

1.3    Growth Rate

The media and advertising industry is likely to grow in future.  The growth of the industry is linked to the growth of key sectors within the South African Economy. Notable growth is anticipated particularly for the online advertising faction of the media and advertising industry. An encouraging 32% growth in online advertising in 2008, after an equally positive 27% growth in 2007 – steady growth is predicted for the next 5 years.  The movement towards online advertising and promotion has been driven by the improvement in awareness within the traditional advertising industry of the efficiency, measurability and reach of online advertising. Moreover, the considerable boost in digital adoption by traditional media buying and creative agencies, as well as specialist agencies. Furthermore, additional publishers have entered the market, further promoting the online proposition and maturing the online advertising market.

1.4    Growth Potential
The industry has expanded relative to the economic prosperity of South Africa. With upcoming sports, tourism and entrepreneurship themed events and increased advertising and marketing budgets by local and international entities, a greater adverting expenditure per annum is anticipated as demand for media, advertising and marketing solutions is likely to grow.


1.5    Players in the Industry
The Media and Advertising industry is based on a series of relationships between five main players. They include:

  • The marketer (advertiser or client)
This includes individuals and corporate entities that have products or service offerings to market and advertise. While a few market their products and services in-house, others make use of professionals from advertising agencies, print media companies and other entities.

  • Advertising agencies
Advertising agencies in South Africa encompass small, medium to large businesses whose main role is to conceive and create marketing concepts for clients. These agencies tend to specialize in above-the-line marketing: these are ads which mainly address a mass market through various media such television, radio, newspaper print, outdoor and much more.

  • Service suppliers
Service suppliers or marketing services suppliers are players that focus on aspects other than advertising in the major media. They are technically oriented and focus on avenues such as direct marketing, sales marketing, interactive marketing, public relations and other related avenues

  • The Media
These provide media services that deliver an advertisement or other communication via media such as newspapers, radio, television (broadcasters) and others.

  • The target market or audience
These are the recipients of the ideas or concepts communicated by the sender (usually a company that is promoting a product or a service)

The players collectively form the communication value chain in the media and advertising industry in South Africa.

1.6    Key Success Factors
To succeed in the media and advertising industry, the following factors need be considered:

  • Better understanding of the needs and preferences of the target customers
Once a target market has been identified, there is a need to have a better understanding of the needs and preferences of that target market segment. This will determine whether the solution rendered matches the needs and preferences of the target market or not. In essence, developing a marketing mix that addresses the needs and preferences of the target market is a key success factor. 

  • Quality service
A quality service and experience need be extended to the clients of the business. Ultimately the expectations of the clients must be met and value must be delivered. Communicating the differentiation and quality of the solutions offered by an advertising agency is a key success factor.

  • Customer loyalty
It is cheaper to retain an existing client than to source a new one. Customer loyalty is thus a key success factor in the media and advertising industry.

  • Creativity and innovation
In order to create attention, interest, desire and stimulate action - innovation and creativity are imperative.

  • Focusing on a niche market
This is one of the key elements of successful businesses in the media and advertising arena. The selection of services and markets that are profitable is essential especially for a small advertising agency.

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