Social media beats search in African markets
As long as the web has been around, one of its critical uses has always been search. With Google becoming an everyday verb we associate with search, it has recently been said that ‘Google before you tweet’ is the new ‘think before you speak.’
In much of the developing world the trend remains true that search rules the web. It’s the most frequented function and dominates the lists of most visited websites for a majority of countries including the US and the UK. However, for emerging markets where the mobile internet is tending to be the first experience of the internet, a new trend is emerging - social media is outranking search.
Facebook vs. Google
And specifically, the colossal social network Facebook has turned the tide in many African nations over Google. This trend played true where for Google’s first Africa-targeted product, its question and answer platform Baraza, it has chosen to advertise online using Facebook adverts. It has continued this and also advertises Chrome and Gmail SMS with free text messages from Gmail to mobile networks across a number of African countries. With over 27 million Facebook users in Africa, and Facebook’s targeted advertising system, it isn’t hard to see why.
The list of top African countries where Facebook outranks Google (and their Facebook populations) include:
- Egypt (6.6 million)
- Nigeria (2.9 million)
- Kenya (1.5 million)
- Ghana (910,320).
The pervasiveness of the mobile internet in Africa with the steady growth of feature phones and the addition of targeted low-cost smartphones has increased this trend even further. The Android-powered Huawei IDEOS is one example. Launched in Kenya in late January 2011, consumers have snapped up the handset for as little as $100 on the Safaricom network with airtime and data packages. According to Chief Executive of Huawei Kenya, Herman He, it has already sold over 50,000 handsets giving it a 45 percent market share in the Kenyan smartphone market in just under three months.
For communications executives across the continent, it is clear that people are spending more and more time spending on the web. Being able to consume and create content on Facebook, and with its current growth, perhaps the return on investment for ad spend lies in a mix of mobile and social platforms – forcing a rethink on the approach to search engine only marketing.
Expo 2020: SAP Ariba to Digitise and Automate Procurement
Expo 2020, a World Expo that is set to be hosted by Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), was originally scheduled to run from 20th October 2020 until 10th April 2021, but, as with just about everything in the world of supply chain, the COVID-19 pandemic forced event organisers to postpone the highly-anticipated get-together. The new date for the Expo, which will be hosted in the Dubai Exhibition Centre, spanning across a 438-hectare space, is Friday 1st October, until 31st March 2022. But, there will be limitations to who can and cannot attend the event, so SAP has stepped in to fix the problem.
What is Expo 2020?
‘Expo 2020 and SAP have run a series of onboarding summits for Expo’s valued supply chain network. As Expo’s procurement needs shift from construction to interior fit-outs, facilities management and technology services, Expo 2020 and SAP will continue to provide ongoing one-on-one support, including a dedicated helpdesk, to guide suppliers throughout the evolution to digital transactions and processes.
Expo 2020 Dubai, which will open its doors to the world from 1st October 2021 to 31st March 2022, is the first World Expo and only the second mega-event to secure a Procurement Excellence Award from the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply.’
SAP Ariba’s Solution
In a recent announcement, it was told that more than 25,000 of Expo 2020 Dubai’s local and global suppliers would benefit from a real-time, unified digital procurement and payment platform, thanks to technology provided by SAP, the events Innovative Enterprise Software Partner.
The solution, provided by SAP Ariba, will supposedly fully digitise and automate the procure-to-pay lifecycle, providing a streamlined digital experience for Expo 2020’s suppliers while simultaneously enhancing transparency and efficiency across the event’s global supply chain. ‘The global technology company’s cloud-based SAP Ariba procurement solutions run on its UAE public cloud data centre and connect to Ariba Network enabling buyers and suppliers to connect and transact’, according to SAP.
Mohammed AlHashmi, Chief Technology Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: ‘Expo 2020 is a long-term investment in the future that aims to enhance opportunities for sustainable business connectivity and growth in both domestic and international economies. Our partnership with SAP is an example of what can be achieved with the invaluable support of our technology partners to host one of the most digitally advanced World Expos ever. The implementation of SAP Ariba solutions has transformed our end-to-end procure-to-pay cycle and helped set new standards of procurement automation for projects of this scale.’
Through SAP Ariba’s collaborative and mobile-friendly platform, any registered suppliers at Expo 2020 will be able to participate in sourcing events and the negotiation and signing of contracts; users will also be able to submit invoices and track payments in real-time. According to the platform, Expo 2020 has already transacted in excess of AED 1 billion on the platform, ‘highlighting its commitment to driving long-term business growth in the region and beyond, with a particular focus on small and medium enterprises (SMEs).’
Claudio Muruzabal, President of EMEA South, SAP, said: ‘Expo 2020 Dubai is demonstrating global best practices in digitising its procurement process with SAP Ariba solutions to help gain visibility into its spend, tighten collaboration with its suppliers, and achieve process automation, including completely paperless invoicing. Expo 2020 has already brought more than AED 1 billion in spend under management with SAP Ariba solutions.’