Many South African IT and telecommunications companies continue to enjoy strong performances, despite the economic downturn.
Vodacom’s interim results for the six months ended 30 September 2020 showed a big increase in revenue and operating profit.
The operator saw particularly strong growth with its data products, and its fibre coverage more than doubled while mobile data traffic increased by 86%.
Telkom also had strong growth in its mobile division, with mobile revenue increasing by 34% to R9.5 billion.
The mobile operators are not alone in benefitting from the increased demand for Internet access and IT products.
ISPs, laptop and smartphone retailers, software vendors and distributors, cloud providers, and cybersecurity companies have all enjoyed an increase in demand for their products.
This is because the sudden need for employees to work from home forced companies to accelerate their digital transformation journeys and support remote working.
To support remote working companies and individuals had to get stable Internet connections, laptops, new software, and a slew of other IT products.
The increase in demand was so large that many ISPs and computer distributors struggled to cope with the influx of orders.
Rain, for example, quadrupled the number of orders it processed per month while computing peripherals like webcams quickly sold out.
The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown therefore created an excellent opportunity for IT and telecoms companies to adapt and grow their businesses.
The businesses which made the most of this opportunity continue to see strong demand for their products and services, even after the hard lockdown ended.
Marketing during the pandemic
While some ICT companies stopped marketing when the lockdown started, others doubled down to ensure they remained relevant and continued to do business.
The strategy to continue marketing is paying off, and these companies gained market share during the lockdown and are now better positioned for further growth as the economy recovers.
MyBroadband Sales and Marketing director Cara Muller said they ran a record number of marketing campaigns during the lockdown and continue to see strong demand for online advertising.
She said most ICT companies moved their traditional marketing budgets – like print, TV, radio, and outdoor – to digital channels to follow their clients, who now spend more time online.
These digital marketing campaigns are showing exceptional results, with record levels of engagement.
Muller expects this trend to continue because of the high return on investment (ROI) companies are getting from online marketing campaigns.
She added that they continue to launch new campaigns for ICT companies which are capitalising on the wave of digital transformation in South Africa.
Commenting on the most popular marketing products, she said sponsored articles, newsletters, customer mailers, banner ads, social media campaigns, videos, and webinars were the standout performers.