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Marketers discuss digital transformation

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Participants at the 6th Annual Marketers Fireplace organised by the Uganda Marketers Society

For any business to thrive today, its digital presence has to play a key role in creating this path. Access to the internet through mobile devices such as smartphones has evidently led to an ever-growing number of people using the internet.

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According to DataReportal, an online global data collection portal, Uganda had 13.92 million internet users as of January 2022. The country’s internet penetration, the portal further indicates, stands at 29.1%.

There has been a 15.1% increase in the number of internet users between 2021 and 2022. The number of social media users as of 2022 was a 5.9% of the entire total population indicating a growth in internet usage over the years.

Doreen Lukandwa, the Vice President pf Global Enterprise MFS Africa, says businesses in Uganda need to take advantage of this growth in internet usage in Uganda to grow their business.

“Digital presence is key if any business is to thrive today. Many people’s lives are online today. We need to tap into this to grow our businesses,” she said, adding that businesses that have managed to establish their presence online have managed to tap into these people thus contributing to their growth.

“I have noticed that some businesses have taken their digital presence game to another level. Uganda Baati is one of them. If I need to get anything from there, I don’t need to call anyone there. Everything can be sorted on their website.”

Lukandwa made the remarks during a panel discussion on 'Driving growth through digital transformation' at the 6th Annual Marketers Fireplace by the Uganda Marketers Society, held at Skyz Hotel on Friday.

PR Smith, a renowned public relations and marketing guru was one of the main speakers at the Marketers Fireplace. During his session, he noted that when growing digital presence, one - or a company in this case – need to be mindful of the kind of technologies being used.

“One of the things one has to ask themselves when trying to establish a digital presence is whether the new technologies being used are familiar to the audience they speak to. These technologies need to be user friendly to the people (customer base),” he said.

He added: “To solve this, I would encourage to come up with tutorials that help users on how to navigate the new digital technologies.”

One of the challenges pointed for most businesses when setting up a digital presence is the cost required to do so.

Herbert Olowo, Head of Operations and Information Technology at ABSA bank, advises that one would have to establish the cost required and also look at the value of making such an investment. That way, he says, it is much easier to convince the funders.

The Annual Marketers Fireplace brought together marketers from all sectors such as fintech, banking, media, services et cetera. Brands such as Pulse Uganda were recognised for their outstanding work.

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