18 posts tagged marketing
18 posts tagged marketing
Spending time with the startups of Savannah Fund proved to be a unique opportunity to think about marketing in a context quite different than my own.
Coming from the tech space in San Francisco I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect while working with teams from Ghana, Uganda and Kenya but picked up quite a few insights and learned a lot along the way.
I saw that there is no one-size-fits-all solution in crafting an effective marketing plan, that each startup faces unique challenges in their home country, and that in areas of constraint, creative strategies can be used to reach an audience and effectively convey the message.
I also learned that although operating in vastly different environments, startups launching in San Francisco and their African counterparts face many of the same challenges in their initial stages.
Here are some key insights on the challenges and opportunities of marketing startups in African markets.
4.) Cultural Relevance:
Africa is not a country, but rather a diverse continent made up of 54 countries. Startups looking to expand their market outside of their home countries may be challenged by a lack of understanding of users outside of their own space. An interesting example of this was observed with Khola Studios, a gaming studio from Uganda. The team at Kola Studios is looking to expand a popular game, Matatu, outside of Uganda but may have to change the name to make it culturally relevant in other East African markets.
According to Paulo Ferreira, head of enterprise mobility at Samsung SA, the latest technology goes beyond hardware, as Samsung is also offering various content services to the African consumer.
The brand’s music service, The Kleek, is an application designed and built in Africa to cater to consumer demand. Samsung’s WiFi service, via Always On, entitles the owners of all Samsung devices bought in the last three years to 1GB free WiFi every month for a year.
In addition, Samsung has partnered with eKitabu, East Africa’s leading e-book retailer, to bring digital textbooks to underprivileged communities across the continent.
The last of its service offerings was the Smart Trainer, which, according to former Bafana Bafana player Mark Fish, allows children to train with the guidance of the players they admire.
“We hope this app will help kids to become like the stars they see in their national teams,” said Fish.
“Ultimately, it is about smart products, for a smarter Africa and a smarter you. Your laptop speaks to the printer; your fridge saves you money; and your washing machine worries about the environment. This is the vision Samsung is engineering on a global level,” concluded Samsung’s deputy MD and director for consumer electronics, Matthew Thackrah.
Ed’s note: PR yes, but its an interesting trend and orientation by a consumer electronics giant.
Microsoft Corporation has launched the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative, a new effort through which the company will actively engage in Africa’s economic development. Microsoft 4Afrika General Manager Fernando de Sousa said they plan to focus on accelerating adoption of smart devices, empowering small and medium businesses, and up-levelling skills development to ignite African innovation for the Continent and for the world. He revealed that by 2016, the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative plans to help place tens of millions of smart devices in the hands of African youth, bring one million African small and medium enterprises (SMEs) online and up-skill 100,000 members of Africa’s existing workforce. He added that they also plan to help 100,000 recent graduates develop skills for employability; 75 percent of which Microsoft will help place in jobs. “The world has recognised the promise of Africa and Microsoft wants to invest in that promise. We want to empower African youth, entrepreneurs, developers and business and civic leaders to turn great ideas into a reality that can help their community, their country, the continent, and beyond,” he explained. “The Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative is built on the dual beliefs that technology can accelerate growth for Africa, and Africa can also accelerate technology for the world,” he added. (via Capital Business » Microsoft to power innovation in Africa)
This is what we can expect in 2013:
“Nigeria is generally misunderstood by South Africans, tainted by the bad rather than the good, yet Nigerians are better educated per capita than we are as a nation; they are one of the most optimistic nations in Africa, have bigger internet penetration and usage, are extremely hard-working, ambitious and future focused. It’s a great market but if you want to succeed as a marketer, go in with a knowledgeable partner that knows the situation on the ground, that’s the best advice I can offer.”
Ed’s note: [insert eye roll here]
Sony, which has served the Kenyan market from Dubai over the past 30 years, intends to use its Nairobi office to extend its reach to 16 new markets in Africa Headquartered in San Diego, US, Sony manufactures electronics targeting the gaming industry, entertainment, and financial industries Sony plans to open three showrooms by early 2013, with the first in Parklands, Nairobi, by January 2013 and another soon after along the newly-constructed Thika superhighway Last month, one of India’s largest low-end electronics manufacturers, Santosh, entered the Kenyan market with plans to set up a manufacturing plant
The two spirits giants are hoping to cash in on the growing middle-class in Africa to reduce their reliance on traditional markets like Europe and the US.
“We have barely scratched the surface of Africa’s Scotch whisky business,” said Benjamin Itty, the consumer planning director at Johnnie Walker during a media meeting in Aberdeen Scotland.
“Consumption growth is closely linked to gross domestic product growth, and enables consumers to trade up easily,” Mr Itty said.