Trends & Foresight

Trends & Foresight – From Followers to Leaders.

In an increasingly volatile world, the power of correct foresight could be the difference between being a follower and a leader. In this article, we digest both global and local research to bring you the key trends you need to know to successfully navigate 2023.

Key Media Learnings from 2022, and How They Translate into 2023 Predictions

On a global scale, the post-pandemic period has seen unprecedented growth in media and advertising as brands have rushed to capitalise on pent-up and new demand. This has been especially evident in South Africa, where the latest PWC media and entertainment report indicates that Internet advertising and access will generate 79.7% of E&M revenue in South Africa leading up to 2026, as consumers and advertisers prioritise digital.

As a result of rampant global inflation and the cost-of-living crisis, consumers and businesses began spending more cautiously during 2022. This trend is reflected in 2023 media predictions. Although advertising media spend is growing, it will do so at a slower rate. According to the latest WARC Ad Spend Outlook, the 8.3% increase in global spend during 2022 will decrease by 2.6% in 2023.

What’s more, the same report predicts above-average growth for digital media, with a 5.5% growth expected in 2023.

Aside from the Internet becoming ubiquitous and 5G fuelling the next wave of adoption and innovation, it has also evolved into a go-to-platform for both people and businesses.

1. We can no longer imagine our lives without the Internet. Most of us just ‘Google it’. Indeed, it has become our first stop to find answers to most of our questions, from checking the latest news to finding peace of mind about a health condition.

This position has been validated by advertisers increasing their spend on this platform. According to the IAB SA/PwC Internet Advertising Revenue Report for 2021, paid search in South Africa grew by 20.4% (a 3,6% increase from 2020). Google remains to be the leader in paid search, accounting for 99% of revenue in 2021.

The story doesn’t end here. Google has recently released Search On 2022, an innovative platform that assists Google Search in being a more user-friendly experience for both users and advertisers. Some of its new features include Multisearch and Visual Search which provide people with a more natural way of performing a Google search. To capitalise on this new opportunity, brief your creative team to work on striking product photography that will help your brand stand out.

2. The data-driven nature of digital advertising allows us to run experiments, predict, measure and optimise on the go, ensuring you get the best ROI for your investment.

3. Cost-effective acquisition strategies coupled with its fast-paced innovation capabilities allow us to reach and engage with diverse audiences across various stages of their unique user journeys.

4. Automation is quickly redefining advertising as we know it. With the advancement of machine learning, AI is becoming instrumental in assisting businesses to effectively reach their goals. From better understanding customer needs to staying on top of trends as they happen, we can respond and optimise campaigns for maximum performance.

Understanding the inner workings of the broader media ecosystem is at the core of iLEAD et al’s strategies. Thanks to Google Analytics tools, we have acquired the data required to optimise your campaigns and get the most out of your marketing investment.

Digital Media Mix Outlook

To win an audience’s attention, be sure to invest in the digital channels they actively use. Similarweb’s October rankings list the most visited websites in South Africa which clearly indicates Google and YouTube’s dominance on desktop browsers.


According to an Ipsos survey (1), YouTube remains the most popular video channel in South Africa and has also been voted the #1 channel for uniquely relevant content.

According to the same Ipsos survey, people visit YouTube for entertainment inspiration, and 94% of South African viewers say they visit the platform to learn something new. YouTube has been supporting the African storyteller creators’ community to ensure the channel provides locally relevant content. This culturally diverse and rich storytelling opus means that everyone can find video stories that are meaningful and relatable.

These initiatives provide brands with a platform with a unique opportunity to create and co-create content that can reach and enrich their desired audiences.

If not already, start planning your media strategy to include or step up your YouTube budget. For the best results, ensure your creative direction follows the best practice in terms of format, length and storytelling styles.

Good advertising is not disruptive but supportive of the audience’s interests. Remember this when you are creating content to connect with today’s video-savvy audiences.

Navigating complex media environments requires strong partnerships. Working together with you, iLEAD et al’s team can explore new opportunities and assist you in capitalising on rising trends, making sure your brand is fit for the digital future.

Source: (1) Google/Ipsos, WhyVideo ZA 2022 n=2000, A18-64 GenPop viewers of video content min once/week, fielded from 6/2/22-6/23

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