The Best Digital Marketing Agencies in Johannesburg, South Africa

We are constantly shocked by how a digital agency in South Africa comes recommended as a great agency to work with.


Then we look deeper; only to find their own website has silly mistakes like no SSL certificate, a poor mobile experience and incorrectly installed tracking codes. You wonder how they get clients?

In our opinion, if you can’t get your own digital marketing right – how can you do it well for your clients?

Great digital marketing takes practice

We treat our own digital marketing as a test-bed for new strategies. If we did not do this we would be testing strategies on our clients time, which I suspect they would be rather upset about. Yes, a certain amount of experimentation is required on clients’ time, but with a limited margin of error.

We recently ran a ‘Strategy Showdown’ between our strategists. Over 2 months, they got a budget and design, strategy and development hours to run a campaign for our agency.
The winning strategies got templatised and rolled into client campaigns.

I think too many agencies wing strategy at their clients.

So if an agency’s own digital marketing isn’t great, eg. Poor content, no SSL certificate – sorry – they’re not a worthy digital agency. This extends to old and vulnerable versions of WordPress, antiquated lead capture methodologies, and poor website UX.

Decide what the need is before you evaluate a digital agency

As mentioned above, all agencies have core specialities. Decide what you want before you start evaluating them online, and definitely before you reach out.

Potential things you might want from a digital agency:

Do you need a B2B or B2C marketing agency?

Do you sell products and services directly to other businesses? If you do you are a B2B business. You typically sell to the decision-makers. Examples can include everything from business software to office chairs and manufacturing machinery.

If you sell products and services to customers for personal use, then you are a B2C business. Examples can include motor vehicles, banking and financial products, clothing, food and beverages.

How to market to a consumer

When marketing to a consumer, you’ll want to focus on the benefits of your product. Your consumer’s decision is more emotional. They tend to require a variety of distribution channels for your product. Consumers want a brief emotive marketing message that gets right to the point.

The message must be simple and easy to understand. The purchasing process is much shorter than B2B. Consumers can purchase within a few minutes to a few days.

Relevant B2C digital agency services

How to market to a business

When marketing to a business, you’ll focus on the business benefits of your product. There’s far less emotion involved in the purchasing decision. As a marketer, you want to understand your buyer and their organisation. What’s important to them? What keeps them up at night?

Marketing materials for B2B tend to be more in-depth. Messaging focuses on how the product/service saves time, money, and resources. Also key is the ROI on the investment in the product.

Understanding the buyer’s journey is critical to success. And the journey is longer and more strategic with B2B marketing.

Relevant B2B digital agency services

The list of top digital agencies…

We’re not the ones to shy away from being entirely honest about our competition. Sometimes clients come to us for solutions and we know that a competitor has better knowledge in an industry or segment. They may be better suited to the client, and we want our clients to be as informed as possible.

So here is a list of some of the digital agencies that have great digital marketing skills and a history of consistent delivery in Johannesburg and South Africa. Some are big and some are small. Each has different core skill sets. You know what you need.

(In no particular order…)

1. G&G DigitalG&G Digital

Previously Gullan and Gullan, G&G Digital is a PR, social media and content-driven agency. They have been around for a while and are one of the few older and established PR agencies that have successfully transitioned to a digital offering.

Primary services: Public relations, social media management and advertising.

Homebase: Highlands North, Johannesburg, South Africa

2. Brave DigitalBrave Digital

With an emphasis on staying small, lean and agile using a core team of experts, BRAVE has been able to stay in step with the constantly evolving technology and innovation of the digital landscape and provide exceptional, personalised service to their loyal clients for over a decade.

Primary services: Custom software, apps, websites and integrations to facilitate your marketing efforts.

Homebase: Greenside, Johannesburg, South Africa

3. Lucky BeardLucky Beard Website

Lucky Beard offers digital product design, development and product ideation. The agency executive is made up of some well-known agency people that have been part of the industry for a long time.

Primary services: Business design, brand design, product design, experience design

Homebase: Irene, Pretoria, they have satellite offices in JHB, Dublin and London.

4. Algorithm AgencyAlgorithm

Algorithm Agency offers digital consulting and specialises in search engine marketing. Algorithm Agency works with agencies, SME’s and big business.

Primary services: SEO optimisation, audits and reporting.

Flume describes itself as a digital marketing and PR agency with a singular purpose: To make people aware of your brand, build your reputation, and bring business to your business.

Primary services: If you’re all about the creatives, then Fume is perfect.

Homebase: Bryanston, Johannesburg.

6. King James DigitalKing James Digital

Backed by the award-winning 20-year-old King James ad agency, King James Digital is one of the larger players on the list.

Primary services: King James Digital offers an interconnected set of services to help their clients respond to the disruptions and seize the opportunities of the digital age.

Homebase: Parktown, Johannesburg.

Rogerwilco describes itself as a 51% black-owned full-service digital agency with an obsession for results-oriented online marketing.

Primary services: Marketing strategy, creative services, user experience, web development, and performance marketing.

Homebase: Durbanville, Cape Town, but they do have a support office in Bryanston, Johannesburg, South Africa.

8. MO AgencyMO Agency - Inbound Marketing Agency

MO Agency is a Sales and Marketing Technology Consultancy. MO enables businesses with digital tools and best practices to improve operational efficiency, increase sales leads, and retain and upsell current clients by knowing them better. MO Agency is the highest rated HubSpot agency in Africa.

Primary services: Inbound Marketing, CRM and Sales Enablement, web design and development, HubSpot management, training and consulting. As well as digital branding, animation and video.

Homebase: Hyde Park, Johannesburg and offices in Cape Town and London

The choice is up to you

So, there are eight digital agencies to consider if you are looking for digital marketing services in Johannesburg. 

And thanks to Brent at Growing Pains Business Coaching for assisting with some of the research.

This content was originally published here.

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