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A brave new world of Digital Marketing
With a phenomenal growth of mobile broadband connections and a rapidly increasing fixed internet connections, Sri Lanka is fast establishing itself as a potential regional ICT hub.
According to the statistics released by Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRC), the number of mobile broadband connections has doubled each year since their introduction in the year 2009, registering an average growth of nearly 96.5% during the past six years. The fixed internet connections too have registered a praiseworthy growth of 68% although it hasn’t seen as phenomenal a growth as mobile BB connections have.
Sri Lanka is a 21 million strong population served by five mobile service providers. In fact, Fitch Ratings in their last year’s report named Sri Lanka as one of the most crowded telecom markets in Asia while predicting a possibility of merger between the weak market players to provide innovation and facilitate de-regulation.
According to a Central Bank report, every 100 people in Sri Lanka owns 113 mobile phones and 13 fixed lines by the end of the year 2015. This constant ability to connect with each other and having access to information at fingertip is changing the way Sri Lankans work, play and buy as a population. The latest statistics issued by the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka registers nearly 4 million fixed and mobile subscribers. However the number of active internet users amounts to more than 5 million.
With greater access to information comes the ability to make informed decisions when making purchases. According to the latest market trends, more and more Sri Lankan consumers research their products online prior to making purchases while millennials remain the main consumers of online e-commerce sites. According to the website ranking provided by alexa.com, the top ten traffic receiving websites in Sri Lanka include ikman.lk and eBay while global retailer Amazon stands at a close 12, showing the growing interest in e-commerce among the local consumers.
While ecommerce is still a budding industry in Sri Lanka, social media is taking leaps and strides among the local internet users. Facebook and YouTube are the second and fourth traffic receivers in the country and there are 3-3.5 million Facebook account users in Sri Lanka today, which amounts to nearly 16% of the local population.
The majority of Facebook users, almost 2.8 million in number, are concentrated on the Western Province of the country and many leading brands are manipulating this presence to merchandise their products.
Dialog, Mobitel and Ikman.lk are the top Facebook pages with the highest number of fans while Sri Lankan Airlines, Kapruka, Etisalat Sri Lanka, Airtel Life and ODEL are some of the leading retailers utilizing their Facebook fan base to the maximum. Budding fashion brands like Kelly Felder and Nelu’s use Facebook to launch their weekly or monthly collection of clothing while others like Drone.lk promote their products exclusively through Facebook.
On YouTube, Mobitel Sri Lanka, Dialog Axiata and Knowledge Box are among the leading brand pages with the highest number of subscribers in Sri Lanka while Etisalat Sri Lanka, Closeup Sri Lanka and Dilmah Tea too have registered a considerable number of followers. In the meantime LinkedIn registers 688,000 Sri Lankan users while Instagram indicates a 60,000 strong reach within Sri Lanka per day.
More and more Sri Lankan corporations including Virtusa, MAS Holdings, Brandix, WSO2 among others effectively use LinkedIn to drive their cooperate message to attract new talent to their organizational structure while distributing their expertise knowledge and company news to a larger audience. Instagram is the chosen media of many home based small and medium scale artesian bakers in and around Sri Lankan suburbs. Businesses like Cake Factory, Bakes by Bella and Yumi cake promotes their products mainly through Instagram. Sri Lankan Fashion, home ware and accessory retailers and designers too are maximizing the ability to visual market their products through Instagram.
With increased connectivity, more and more brands are turning towards digital media as well as conventional methods to promote their products and the country has seen some successful digital media campaigns during the past year. While digital marketing is a growing industry in other countries in the region like India; Sri Lanka due to its smaller geographic size is yet to register a growth of remarkable scale. However with nearly ¼ of local population connected online, marketers, advertisers as well as corporations can no longer ignore the digital revolution.
Looking for statistics updated for the year 2017? Find them here.