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The Rising Costs of running a Digital Marketing Team in South Africa

26th Apr, 2023

The Rising Costs of running a Digital Marketing Team in South Africa

In recent years, the cost of running a digital marketing team in South Africa has been steadily increasing. There are a number of factors that contribute to this trend, including the growing demand for digital marketing services, the need for skilled professionals, and the rising costs of technology and software.


The cost to employ a Digital Marketing Team has increased due to skill convergence:


One of the main drivers of the rising costs of running a digital marketing team in South Africa is the increasing demand for digital marketing services. With more and more businesses realising the importance of having a strong online presence, the demand for digital marketing professionals has skyrocketed. This has led to a shortage of skilled professionals in the industry, which in turn has driven up the cost of hiring and retaining top talent.

The increasing complexity of digital marketing strategies is also driving up costs. As the digital marketing landscape becomes more complex and competitive, businesses need to invest more time and resources into developing and executing effective digital marketing strategies. This requires a team of skilled professionals with a wide range of expertise, which can be expensive to build and maintain.

The importance of skilled professionals in digital marketing cannot be overstated. Digital marketing requires a range of specialised skills, including expertise in social media marketing, content creation, search engine optimization (SEO), data analysis, Pay-Per-Click marketing, and much more. These skills are essential for developing and executing effective digital marketing strategies that can help businesses achieve their marketing goals and stay ahead of the competition.

At the same time, the shortage of skilled professionals in the industry has created a highly competitive hiring market, with businesses and agencies vying for the same pool of talent. As a result, the cost of hiring and retaining skilled professionals has risen, driving up the overall cost of running a digital marketing team.

To remain competitive in the digital marketing landscape, businesses must invest in skilled professionals and offer competitive salaries and benefits packages. This is especially important given the fast-paced nature of the industry, which requires constant innovation and adaptation to stay ahead of the curve.


Other influencing factors driving digital marketing costs:

Exchange rates

Exchange rates can have a significant impact on the cost of digital marketing services, particularly in South Africa where the economy is heavily influenced by fluctuations in the global market.

When the South African rand weakens against other major currencies, such as the US dollar or the euro, the cost of digital marketing services can increase. This is because many digital marketing tools and platforms, such as advertising platforms, social media management tools, and analytics software, are priced in foreign currencies. As a result, businesses in South Africa may need to pay more for these services when the rand is weaker.

While currency fluctuations can be challenging to predict or control, businesses can work with digital marketing agencies that offer transparent pricing models and exchange rate protections to mitigate the impact of currency fluctuations on their digital marketing costs.

Software & Technology system costs

Another factor contributing to the rising costs of running a digital marketing team in South Africa is the high cost of technology and software. Digital marketing requires a range of tools and technologies, including analytics platforms, automation software, and social media management tools. These tools can be expensive, especially for smaller businesses, and can add significantly to the overall cost of running a digital marketing team.

International payment fees

In recent years, many banks in South Africa have introduced international payment fees for transactions that involve foreign currencies. These fees are charged on top of the exchange rate and can add significantly to the cost of digital marketing services.

When businesses in South Africa pay for digital marketing services in a foreign currency, such as US dollars or euros, they may be subject to international payment fees charged by their bank. These fees can range from a few percent to as much as 10% of the total transaction value, depending on the bank and the type of transaction.

For businesses that regularly make international payments for digital marketing services, these fees can add up quickly and significantly increase the cost of their digital marketing activities.


The size of the digital market in SA and how it is affecting a minimum ad spend amount for businesses:


The digital market in South Africa has grown significantly in recent years, with more businesses recognising the importance of digital marketing and increasing their investment in this area. As a result, there has been an increase in competition in the digital marketing space, which has led to the introduction of minimum ad spend requirements by some platforms and service providers.

For example, some social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, have introduced minimum ad spend requirements for businesses that want to advertise on their platforms. These requirements may vary depending on factors such as the location, target audience, and type of ad being promoted. By introducing minimum ad spend requirements, these platforms are able to prioritise higher-spending advertisers and ensure that their ad space is being utilised effectively.

While minimum ad spend requirements can be a barrier to entry for some businesses, they are also a reflection of the growing importance of digital marketing in South Africa. By investing in digital marketing and meeting minimum ad spend requirements, businesses can gain a competitive edge in the digital marketplace and reach a wider audience.


Also, with increasing competition across these various digital marketing platforms, the cost to market your business against your competitors is continuously increasing, as more and more businesses realise the need for digital marketing in SA. 


Although Digital Media is an efficient buy, running your own digital marketing team is becoming more expensive

Overall, while the benefits of digital marketing are clear, the rising costs of running a digital marketing team in South Africa are a significant challenge for businesses. To overcome this challenge, businesses may need to focus on developing more cost-effective digital marketing strategies, leveraging automation and outsourcing where possible, and investing in the ongoing development of their digital marketing team to stay ahead of the competition.

If you would like to explore a cost-effective outsourced option, Ideation Digital can assist you. We are technical experts and boast a wide range of local and international certifications.

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