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5 Ways South African Consumers will use the Internet in 2010 Posted in Digital Strategy, Social Media, Concocted by LouisJvR, 5 comments
Published on 4 December 2009

It’s that time of the year again where every digital marketing expert/guru/genius/yoda/messiah will shout from the hilltops on what they think the digital marketing trends for 2010 will be.

(do a search on 2010 digital marketing trends and you’ll get the picture)

A lot of noise indeed and often lacking context I believe…

A bit more focused and centred around the South African user, here are The Heavy Chef’s trends for the next year:


  1. MORE VIDEO, MORE OFTEN: Visual mediums online and offline will always have appeal, whether consumed for entertainment, for information or for learning. Thus, with bandwidth on the increase, this means we are busy consuming more content online, more often and much, much faster. It’s a no-brainer that video consumption would thus play a bigger part in the South African consumers web experience. Thus, for marketers I’d suggest you investigate ways of using video online to engage with your customers. At The Heavy Chef Project, we’ve been using this with great success.
  2. 2-SCREEN SURFING: In the states (that is the United States of America, not Vrystaat), they often refer to a 3-screen (three) culture being a mobile device, a laptop/PC and your Television. All forming part of a richer, integrated Internet experience. Within the South African context and looking to 2010, the usage of the Internet would primarily be around your mobile and laptop/PC. With both device Internet usage on the up. However, not being an Either-Or-type-scenario, both ‘screens’ will be used by consumers for different needs.
  3. SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND TRUST: A few days ago, I was keen for a bit of sushi, so I asked my 185 Facebook friends and 768 Twitter followers for some recommendations on where to eat. Needless to say, I had many options to choose from. Options that I valued. So much for the Yellow Pages… and Google. One of many examples I can use, but expect the South African consumer in 2010 to utilize Facebook and Twitter, as well as refer to blog opinions more often when recommending and/or making purchase decisions.
  4. USAGE MATURITY: It’s a known fact that with higher Internet speeds, richer Internet experiences will result and certainly more mature (read: confident) browsing. No doubt Facebook has a had a major impact on the South African consumers’ lives. One of the biggest spin-offs though is that Facebook (and I do think Facebook primarily) has played a big part in creating a more mature Internet usage culture in South Africa, from being more security/privacy conscious to consumption and sharing of media to usage across 2-Screens (see point 2) and even navigating trough a JAVA-rich environment. Thus, for marketing in 2010, don’t be too afraid of pushing the browsing boundaries somewhat.
  5. CLEAR MOTIVATIONS: One thing that is standing out for 2010, is that the Internet is being used more and more for specific reasons. Not just for random surfing. In fact, the popularity of online tools to do accounting, sales management, document sharing, connecting with friends, organizing events etc is very much proof of this. In fact one of the more popular buzz-words these days amongst geeks is “Cloud Computing” – essentially, taking software (like MS Word) and offering it online (like Google Docs). The result, centralized storing, collaboration opportunity and broader accessibility. Towards 2010, I’m expecting South African consumers to be very objective-driven in going online, with clear motivations. Thus, for marketers I’d suggest spending a great deal of time in defining your message/promise, keeping it consistent and supporting that with a proper web marketing drive.

Below is a bit more reading from other sources on trends for 2010:

South Africa

Global (I like!)

Read more posts by LouisJvR


Louis is the Johannesburg manager of web marketing firm World Wide Creative. Louis is also known as the ‘Case Study Guy’ with an encyclopaedic knowledge of research resources to support the strategic initiatives he is involved in. In between organising Heavy Chef Sessions in the Gauteng region, Louis happens to have a mean sidestep on the rugby field. With his silky skills, dashing good looks, Colgate smile and cunning wit, Louis is the high school quarterback of the World Wide Creative marketing team.

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  2. Something is stirring in the South African blogosphere
  3. South African owned, Chinese-based QQ turns more profit than Facebook
  4. The model for the young South African e-commerce company
  5. The top South African websites

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  1. Birgitta Cederstrom says

    I fully agree with your predictions for 2010 around DigiMedia. What I predict is that with around 41% of all internet usage being on mobile we will will however not see much higher growth for 2 screen browsing due to cost and lack of speed and robust technology.

    My wish for 2010 from mobile service providers would be a higher effort to offer consumers robust network so our browsing and usage of video, applications is fast and reliable. I would also like to see prices down so more consumers can use smartphones for cost effictive communication.

  2. LouisJvR says

    Excellent comment Birgitta – and so relevant re the responsibility of mobile service providers.

    I’m also glad you pointed out that growth for 2-screen browsing wouldn’t be as high as most expect (although I do think you’ll get some resistance from analysts who think differently), reason being that growth, I believe, often impedes maturity of usage.

    The average consumer out there needs time to ‘get use’ to new technologies and speed of browsing. This is essential to allow for meaningful interaction.

  3. Isabelle Gonzales says

    sometimes Sales Management takes a lot of effort and skill.’:’

  4. Charles Cox says

    Sales Management is very essential in making your business succeed, every part of a business should be managed carefully.;’,

  5. zibuka says

    It’s going to be interesting to see how video is going to take off in South Africa. It’s amazing how powerful video sites have become, especially with the launch of channels on youtube. Many companies are using video to get their message across. I remember seeing the Wimpy Impi commercial and searched for it online and then passed it on to friends.

    For average searching and information mobiles are fine but as soon as the media gets richer then it becomes expensive. Video sites chow bandwith like crazy.

    The power of social influence will definitely increase. I’ve often got great tips and ideas just by asking my facebook friends. It’s amazing the wealth of knowledge my facebook friends have.