Quirk, a South African digital marketing agency has released its 4th edition eMarketing textbook. ITNewsAfrica interviewed Rob Stokes, Quirk Group CEO to find out why the book is the essential guide to digital marketing.
1. How long did it take to research, write and publish the 4th eMarketing book?
It took the Quirk team well over a year to put this latest edition together and that was building on the work already done over the previous 3 years.
2. Why has the tag line changed from essential guide to online marketing to the current essential guide to digital marketing?
We felt it was a more modern term that encompassed more of the latest trends in marketing.
3. What is the difference between online marketing and digital marketing?
It depends who you ask, online implies Internet and digital implies anything driven by bits and bytes.
4. How has Africa’s advertising industry changed over the past few years? What are the current trends?
The main change has been the explosion of digital and in particular mobile. Even as recently as 3 years ago, digital wasn’t fully on the agenda of marketers. But the growth of Quirk from 40 to almost 200 people over this period highlights how much that has changed. Digital, driven by its effectiveness, is now front and centre.
5. Do you believe Africa has a thriving online advertising industry?
I think it’s improving, but we still have a way to go before we can consider ourselves world class. In particular there is a real and growing skills shortage which will continue to hold us back from reaching our full potential.
6. Is the book accessible in other African countries? Are the distribution channels effective?
Of course! The book is available for free online so anyone can get access to it. We also ship hard copies to anywhere in the world.
7. What are the current challenges for digital marketers?
Most digital marketers lack access to skills and quality knowledge.
8. How can African digital marketers improve their eMarketing skills?
Quirk Education offers a number of broad and specialist online marketing courses and of course there is the textbook.
9. Is Africa’s advertising industry embracing new technology or sticking to traditional media (radio, TV, print and billboards)?
The industry is embracing digital quickly, but we are still behind the trend globally. Depending on who you speak to, digital spend as a proportion of total marketing spend is around 5%. In developed economies this is around 30% so there is still much room for growth.
10. Can this book help Africans establish digital businesses?
I believe it can. It is the distillation of 13 years of our agency’s knowledge and we have held nothing back. I honestly believe it’s a great book which anyone can use to improve their business online.
Bontle Moeng – ITNewsAfrica Online Editor