It may seem odd to celebrate “Africa Day” as Africans. The expectation is that we live African everyday anyway. Well… Until you look around and see the many influences that are not African because of the journey South Africa has gone through to get to this time. The Western influence in the way we dress, dine, communicate and keep ourselves entertained has created a very big need for us to realign ourselves with our authentic identity and celebrate our different African cultures in all their glory.
The easiest pit fall to find ourselves in as Marketers is assuming that Africa is one market and using the same messaging, visuals and packages as a blanket approach. There are a myriad of cultures, traditions, religions and many other elements that need to put in consideration when designing an Africa Marketing Strategy. This task may seem quite daunting, but with it being the age of incredible technological advancement; it is now easier to reach and engage target audiences and use their opinions in a proactive way.
Over 67% of the African population uses mobile for messaging, internet access as well as mobile payments, to name a few. African mobile users prefer to use the internet as opposed to downloading apps because of the slower bandwidth in most areas and the perception (many times a reality) that apps have rich media that consume more data. To this effect apps like watsapp and twitter are preferred because they have low bandwidth data as opposed to Facebook and Instagram which is more costly.
The use of SMS’s has declined slightly as it is considered spam and ignored by many of the recipients. Reward programs that incentivize action from an sms recipient enjoy more success than conventional advertising messages.
Once perceived as a phase and dubbed a passing phase, Social has become a substantial part of many organizations Marketing Budgets. Social media has opened doors for more affordable advertising, increased reach, access to markets for research and has increased engagement with African consumers. Kenya, Mauritius, Egypt, and Nigeria have internet penetration rates of over 50%, while South Africa and Zimbabwe are right on the cusp at 49 and 47% respectively. These numbers are difficult to ignore and serve as justification to invest in activity in these platforms for sustainable growth.
“Nielsen reports that nearly half (48%) of consumers interviewed said advertising has a significant influence on their purchase decisions.” A mix of online and social advertising with more traditional methods is seen to be the ticket to success in Africa.
With the speed of reactions on Social Media; organisations are increasingly being held accountable for their products, advertising, and general actions. They now have to walk the talk and not just leave it at the talk.
As you endeavour to penetrate the African market remember this:
- Validate your marketing statements for the market you are entering- Africa is not a country.
- Content is very important. Audiences only engage on topics that impact aspects of their lives.
- Stand out from the rest- use technology to your advantage. Have a website and use google analytics, promote posts on Social Media and collaborate with other businesses for increased reach.
Article by Dimakatso Moloantoa
Dimakatso is the founder of AMARI Marketing and Communications PTY (LTD), which offers comprehensive and integrated marketing solutions that are tailored for SMME’s. You can visit them on the below platforms and contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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