Top Digital Marketing Agency List: Johannesburg, South Africa (2023)

Written by
Luke Marthinusen

Johannesburg, South Africa, is blessed with some fantastic digital marketing agencies. You can find a digital marketing agency to suit your requirements, regardless of the line of business you are in, or your size.



The key to selecting a digital marketing agency is to select one with solid skills in the areas you most need help with.

Do an audit of your digital strategy. Rank your issues in order of importance to your digital strategy. Then, look for an agency that can solve those top-of-the-list issues quickly and effectively.

Key takeaways

  • No one digital marketing agency does everything. Choose your digital marketing agency based on your main requirements, and determine it well before looking for an agency.

  • Many digital marketing agencies don't deliver digital marketing services well. Do your due diligence. Review their websites, their content, and their design. Evaluate some of their recent reviews. Speak to some of their clients. Do this before you get into the sales process.

  • Are you a B2C or B2B business? Select a digital marketing agency with a track record in businesses similar to yours.

Some of the top digital agencies in South Africa are:

How to evaluate a Digital Marketing Agency by reviewing their website

We're often surprised by how a digital marketing agency in South Africa comes recommended as a great agency to work with. But...

We look deeper, only to find their website has silly mistakes like:

  • Not POPI Act compliant
    • No cookie policy popup
    • No tick boxes on forms to confirm the processing of data
  • No SSL certificate
  • Poor/broken mobile experience
  • Language and grammar errors
  • Incorrectly installed Google tracking codes

I often wonder how these digital marketing agencies get clients. The truth is most people don't know what to look for. 

Any Tom, Dick, and Harry can start a Digital Marketing Agency

When I quit my job in 2010 to start my specialist digital marketing agency, I had already spent two years learning web development and design in my spare time. WordPress was in its infancy, and there was no such thing as a WordPress template. A new website needed to be coded and designed from scratch.

Today, anyone can purchase a digital marketing agency website template. They can set it up in a few evenings, making it look fantastic. This is a wonder of the modern digital marketing industry, but you should be aware of this when selecting a digital marketing agency.

Equally, YouTube can now teach you anything. From Social Media marketing to Google Adwords. Just because you know how to do it - does not mean you can do it well.

Review the following:

  • Most importantly, review their listed services. Do they provide what you require?
  • Does the website navigate well on both your desktop and your mobile phone?
  • Are the forms easy to fill out on a mobile phone?
  • Do they have any good educational content (blog posts or downloads)?
  • Is everything on their website well proportioned . Eg. no enormous buttons or fonts.
  • Do they have client testimonials or case studies? Are these clients similar to you? B2B or B2C, size of business, industry.
  • Go to Google and read through their recent reviews. What kind of work is mentioned in the reviews? Are the clients happy?
  • Run the website through Google PageSpeed insights. Does it score well on both desktop and mobile? (See images below)

I ran two local digital marketing agency (they popped up in my search as close to my location) websites through Google PageSpeed Insights. The results weren't great. At the very least, PageSpeed scores for mobile should be in the 70's.

I wouldn't want these agencies anywhere near my website. But, they might be exceptional at social media, and paid ads. You need to evaluate on a case-by-case basis. 

google pagespeed

Prioritise your goals, before creating an agency shortlist

All agencies have core services. Decide what you need before evaluating them online, and definitely before you reach out and kick off a sales process. It's easy not to see the wood for the trees when being sold to by a slick agency owner or executive. 

Potential digital marketing services you might want from a digital marketing agency:

  • Web design and development
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Social media marketing
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
  • Campaign managment
  • Content marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Marketing strategy
  • Analytics and tracking
  • E-commerce solutions
  • Mobile app development
  • Branding and graphic design
  • Video and animation production

Do you need a B2B or B2C digital marketing agency?

Do you sell products and services directly to other businesses? If you do, you're 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 include motor vehicles, clothing, food and beverages.

How to market to a consumer (B2C)

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 marketing services

  • Search engine optimisation (SEO)
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
  • Social media marketing
  • Community management
  • Email marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Display advertising
  • Mobile marketing
  • Video marketing
  • Website design and development
  • E-commerce optimization
  • Analytics and tracking

In the images below, I have presented some of the client/work pages of two agencies who's digital marketing services are mostly B2C.



How to market to a business (B2B)

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 content for B2B tends 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 marketing services

  • Search engine optimisation (SEO)
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
  • Content marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Inbound marketing
  • Lead generation
  • Marketing automation
  • Website design and development
  • E-commerce optimization
  • Analytics and tracking
  • Account-based marketing (ABM)
  • Event marketing
  • Trade show marketing
  • Video marketing
  • Webinars
  • White-paper marketing
  • CRM strategy and implementation 
  • Digital branding / Digital corporate identity

Great digital marketing takes practice (& time)

If an agency can't get thier own digital marketing right - how can they do it well for you?


We treat our own digital marketing as a test bed for new strategies. It shows us what digital strategy works in South Africa in real-time. Digital marketing strategy changes so quickly it's critical to be on top of it. 

If we didn't 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 digital strategists in South Africa. Over two months, they got a paid media budget, as well as design, strategy and development hours to run a campaign for our agency.

The winning strategies became part of our delivery process. We rolled them into our client campaigns.

Too many agencies in South Africa wing strategy at their clients. There is no testing, no research, and very often, young team members with little to no support. You don't want to select this digital marketing agency. 


Rome wasn't built in a day, goes the saying, and the same is true of digital marketing. Be wary of the digital marketing agency that promises stellar results fast. This is impossible unless the client is starting from a zero base. Aka, they have never done any strategic digital marketing or don't have a website. 

The flip side of this is the underperforming agency that says - we need more time - then you will see the results.

Well-implemented digital marketing strategies move forward all the time. Each month is a small gain, but each month builds on the last. A year of consistent small gains is called sustainable growth. This is what you want. This applies to all digital marketing services, from social media marketing to search engine optimisation. 


We publish our starting prices on our website. A potential client can download our pricing guide if they wish. As much as we'd like to take on all clients - we can't - we're not set up for it. The way we work is complex and integrated. Our minimum starting pricing can be steep for small businesses and sole proprietors.

Some agencies will work with a sole proprietor dietician or a Bed and Breakfast. They have 50 - 100 of these smaller clients and manage simple social media or paid ads (PPC) at scale - very well.

Pricing is as varied as the agencies themselves, but it 'generally' is correlated to how sophisticated the work and problem-solving can be.  

Top digital marketing agencies list

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 with 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.

1. MO Agency

MO Agency Home Page

MO Agency is a digital marketing agency focusing on CRM and marketing automation. We provide all the usual digital agency services, but we drive our clients to implement tech solutions that manage client interactions, automate repetitive tasks and drive results.

MO Agency is the highest-rated HubSpot agency in South Africa.

We enable our clients with the best digital tools and digital strategy practices to increase leads, traffic and reach.

Unfortunately, we are only a team of 30, and we don't take on too many new clients.  

Primary services: Inbound marketing, marketing automation, web design and development, HubSpot CRM, CRM integrations, HubSpot management, training and consulting. As well as digital branding, animation and video.

Homebase: Hyde Park, Johannesburg & Century City, Cape Town, South Africa

2. G&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

3. Brave Digital

Brave 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

4. Lucky Beard

Lucky 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, South Africa they have satellite offices in JHB, Dublin and London.

5. Algorithm Agency


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.

Homebase: Woodmead, Johannesburg, South Africa

6. Flume

Flume Website

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 creatives and PR, then Flume is perfect.

Homebase: Bryanston, Johannesburg, South Africa

7. King 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. They were acquired by Accenture Digital in Oct 2021.

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, South Africa

8. Rogerwilco


Rogerwilco describes itself as a 51% black-owned full-service 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.

The choice is up to you

So, there are eight digital agencies to consider if you are looking for a digital marketing agency in Johannesburg or South Africa.

And if it looks like we might be a good fit for your business, feel free to contact us. Just pop over to our agency pricing page to make sure we are aligned on costs. Looking forward to hearing from you. 

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