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With rising levels of internet penetration on the mobile continent, the number of Africans accessing the web is growing by the millions. The latest tactic to reach that audience seems to involve a focus on highly connected mobile devices along with a strategy that relies on logical math, not intuition.
Newly launched Elastic Media Africa, a platform developed by the South African-based Amorphous Group, is placing its bets on an algorithm which it claims is a first in the country. Its ‘real-world algorithm’ is designed to combine the available ad space with factors like the desired target audience reach, frequency, price, budget and asset spread to give brands and digital agencies options which maximise every cent they spend.
“The holy grail of media planning is to talk only to exactly who you want to in a campaign,” explains Amorphous Group CEO Grant Shippey. “In other words, don’t pay for ads where you don’t need to.” The platform is specifically aimed towards the African market — first in South Africa, but later in other African countries ranging from Angola and Egypt to Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Zimbabwe, which are home to more than a million connected users.
Amorphous, which is owned by Times Media (the group behind titles like the Sunday Times and chains from Exclusive Books to NuMetro cinemas), is also starting a private ad exchange in these regions, facilitating the buying and selling of online ads in 20 key African countries through its Elastic platform. It’s hoping to target over 100-million users across the continent on various devices.
“Nielsens say we spend about 2-3% of our total media budgets in South Africa on digital assets — despite mobile devices being the communication lifeblood of the continent,” says Shippey. “This needs to change.”