17.Nov .2020 10:00

Majority of Georgian Companies Lack Sophistication in Digital Ad Spendin

Majority of Georgian Companies Lack Sophistication in Digital Ad Spendin
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In 2020, 53% of global media expenditure happened in digital channels, compared to the traditional one. In Georgia, traditional media is still powerful in rural areas where access to high-speed internet is relatively low. Television viewing habits remain strong among the 50+ age group, since they are not as tech-savvy as their younger counterparts. Nevertheless, this trend is moving towards digital media because companies in Georgia started to realize the real value and advantages of social media. 

“More and more businesses in Georgia have a digital presence today; the growth was stable and fast at the same time. All large businesses are beginning to understand the importance and value of social and digital media for the growth of their company.  A growing number of companies today have at least a Facebook page or even a Website. However, most of these big players lack sophistication in their ad budget spendings.

These companies still treat digital as they would treat TV, using the so-called “machine gun” advertising approach - spending large budgets, without any methodical channel strategy and precise targeting. On the other hand, it is somewhat understandable because the main goal of these large advertisers is to generate awareness, and for that reason, the companies are trying to be present in every possible online and offline channels,” Irakli Chkheidze, Digital Marketing Lead at Space Neobank, told BM.GE.

According to Chkheidze, unlike other companies, Space Neobank makes sure that each cent spent on advertising, returns measurable outcomes translated into sales of their products.

The Best Online Channels for Advertising in Georgia

After the 2008 global crisis, it was perfect timing for Facebook to roll out Facebook business pages and advertising solutions to give businesses (especially SMEs) a chance to get in front of their customers without spending huge budgets on TV advertising.

In Chkheidze’s words, today Facebook is still a powerful tool for advertising since every internet user has a Facebook account (around 2.5 mln users, 60% aged 24-35). So far, one can reach all of them with a fraction of what it would have cost to advertise on TV.

“However Generation Z is turning more to Instagram and Tiktok. While Tiktok advertising is not yet available in Georgia, you can advertise on Instagram through Facebook Ad platform (Facebook owns Instagram)”.

Facebook has also announced WhatsApp ads to be launched about Q1 2021, which, as Chkheidze believes, will also be a huge opportunity for Georgian advertisers to reach their customers even more efficiently.

Digital vs. Traditional

To harness the full benefits of digital media, the companies' main Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) should be happening in digital. For example, eCommerce, where transactions are happening online, and you know precisely which of your campaigns delivered that outcome. This gives you the possibility to scale the campaigns and their outcomes accordingly. Also, B2B companies that generate leads online.

In the "brick-and-mortar" business, it is harder to understand which of your digital activities brings traffic to your offline store. In that case, you will have to measure it more traditionally by comparing the timeline of the campaign with the offline sales dynamics.

The main advantage of digital marketing vs traditional one, as the Digital Marketing Lead at Space Neobank concluded, is that you know who you are advertising to. “You can target the audience based on your customer profile, track their behavior between devices, and understand which of your actions generate outcomes - all of these are not possible with traditional media. Also, digital advertising is much cheaper compared to traditional media”.

64% of Georgian Enterprises do not have any Social Media Channel

As explained by Chkheidze, not having a social media presence today, means missing out on a big chunk of potential customers. Only on Facebook, we have around 2.5 mln active monthly users in Georgia, which equals almost all users connected to the internet. Everybody is there - it should not be a question anymore whether a business needs a digital presence or not.

“Any result-oriented company should have a presence online. It expands the reach of the company and the possibility to add additional channels to their marketing mix,” Irakli Chkheidze, Digital Marketing Lead at Space Neobank, told BM.GE.