Marketing (Part 2)

Marketing (Part 2)

Marketing (Part 2)

__Who is your market?
Let me start with a simple question: “Which is the bigger market, Nigeria (200m+) or Botswana (2m+)? Answer: “It depends on what you are selling”. An experienced entrepreneur does not see the size of a market in terms of the number of people in the market, but always in terms of what you are selling! Understanding your market is crucial before you can even begin to develop your marketing strategy. Who is supposed to buy this product of yours?

The fact that x % of people say they would like to own a Mercedes Benz, does not make x percent all a market for the Mercedes brand of vehicle. A market is best understood through numbers which are based on research, including data analytics if possible, and not just a hunch.

These things seem so obvious, but you will be surprised how many entrepreneurs fail because they are trying to market and sell a product to the wrong market.

Even with what may appear to be a “mass market” product like cell phones, there is a lot of segmentation going on that doesn’t look obvious to the casual observer who thinks it’s all about “running adverts in newspapers, speaking on radio and TV”. I will talk about marketing “channels” another time.

From Day 1, long before you starting trying to sell, you must have defined your real market, not your imagined market!

__Who is the customer for that product of yours? If you are an #Innovator (more on this next week) think about the words advice of Steve Jobs who I consider the greatest marketing genius of all time:

“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close, in fact, that you tell them what they need even before they realize it themselves”.

Do you create products FOR your customers or do you look for customers only afterwards?

There are so many factors that you have to take into consideration in deciding and learning who is your ACTUAL customer, and not the one you wish was the customer. Sometimes that customer can actually be evolving right in front of you!

There is a story told about a luxury European brand of car which sold at insanely high prices. It had been around for a long time, and everyone associated it with aspiration, quality, efficiency and the status symbol for “having arrived”.

One day a Japanese competitor launched a brand into the same market segment. The European brand management tested the Japanese brand, and found that it was better: it was beautifully made, better quality and performance!

“It is a better car, than ours,” they concluded.

“So how do we respond?” they asked the chairman.

“Let’s increase our price immediately!” he answered.

What do you think happened? (Comment below, don’t guess; think carefully about it first!)

Understand your product. Understand your customer. Understand your market. Now you can develop a marketing strategy! (Notice, I did not say understand your competitor, because that is not where you start).

In two weeks I travel to Ghana with Jack Ma, who I consider the greatest marketing genius of this generation; period! When I first heard about him, whilst on a trip to China, it was like the first time, I saw Lionel Messi with a football in a video, when he was about 10!

One day, I hope to make you so conscious of what makes a great entrepreneur that you will spot its genius like you would spot a great new soccer player. If I achieve that, Africa will have taken a huge step towards generating wealth through an entrepreneur-led model.

To be continued. . .

Author:Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa is the founder and Executive Chairman of the Econet Group. He serves on several international boards including Unilever, and the Global Advisory boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and Stanford University. A board member of the Rockefeller Foundation for 15 years, he also serves as Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). He is a co-founder of the Carbon War Room, Pathways for Prosperity, and the Global Business Coalition on Education. He and his wife, Tsitsi, co-founded the Higherlife Foundation and are signators of the Giving Pledge.

28 Replies to “Marketing (Part 2)”

  1. #Pause:
    Now that you are all in the senior class, let’s end the practice of defining the size of a market by the number of people in the country.
    If a guy who sells camels, says he wants to sell camels in Nigeria, I will suggest that he does a market study, right?!

    Here is an example:
    Sasai App works only on Smartphones. There are over 800m cell phones in Africa, but less than 300m are Smartphones. More than 90% of Smartphones in Africa, work on Android.

  2. #PAUSE:

    THE GREAT ADVANTAGE OF YOUR GENERATION OVER MINE.

    In this Post I have pointed out to you the importance of knowing your customer, in order for you to effectively market to them.

    We live in a time when the ability to know and reach your customer, and to develop a precise marketing strategy has never been better.

    It is extremely important for you to master Digital Marketing techniques. You must become highly skilled at getting Data, and using Data without violating the privacy of your customers.

    Also if you know what you are doing, it is now remarkably cheap to reach your target customer, compared to what it was a few years back.

    This is your time.

  3. #Pause:

    South African Airways [SAA] used to operate a beautiful First Class service, and I would always travel with them. One day they just stopped, and I called a senior executive of the company who was a friend of mine.
    “I will drop bye over the weekend, and show you some data”.
    When he showed me the data, I asked him only one question:
    “Why did it take you guys so long to shut it down?”
    “Politics my friend. Politics.”

    They had no chance.
    It’s all in the numbers for me. As soon as I see real numbers, I know what is happening.

  4. Richard Bikwa writes,

    Strive Masiyiwa wow due diligence at work.

    My reply,
    In the language of business the term “due diligence” is reserved for a particular process.
    For instance if you are buying a business, the other party invites you to undertake “legal, and financial due diligence”:
    This means they open their books for examination.
    We would not use it to refer to a “Market study or analysis”.
    In soccer I would not call a “penalty” a “corner”. It is the same in business. Using the right terms to describe something is very important to the players of the game.

  5. Sam Egwurube writes,

    Indeed Sir, it has never been easier. Till date I still marvel how men were able to handle international businesses prior to the advent of things like even aircraft.
    Whereas with a little effort and at next to no cost I can gather significant data and at least get a slim chance of getting my message to my target audience.

    Incredible times that we live in (especially for startup/small business owners) but somewhat take for granted.

    The day I had access to a Coca-Cola Marketing Plan (old and outdated version), I became like Socrates the great philosopher. I realized that “all that I knew about marketing was that, I knew nothing.

    Some people are impressed by what we have done with our company @Afrilife given our resources but I am aware we are on to something that will catch your attention and stand as a testament to your very generous and sacrificial efforts in personally hand holding us via another revolutionary tool for marketing aka Facebook.

    My reply,
    @Afrilife is a name I intend to watch. I know it will succeed because of what you just said!

  6. #Pause:

    When my business was still very small, and I was studying marketing techniques, I used to sit down on Sunday afternoons to watch TV with a friend of mine. Guess what we used to watch?

    Answer:
    “TV adverts”!
    My friend would bring video tapes of ad campaigns by companies like Unilever, Mercedes Benz, and we would discuss them!
    Even now I’m more inclined to watch a great TV ad than a soccer match. I know where my money comes from!

  7. Blessing Machiya Shumbakadzi writes,

    Strive Masiyiwa the most memorable adverts were the ones that told a story. I still remember those great soap adverts and can still sing along to them too. Marketing is attractive story telling of your product

    My reply,
    If you really want to benefit from this, then first enroll for a course in marketing. I used to watch those adverts with a Professional Marketing expert who run an Ad Agency, and we would discuss them in the minutest details.

  8. #Pause:
    I watched the Rugby World Cup between South Africa and England…but I also studied the ads that were run at half time [as will every serious marketing practitioner in London]:
    Those ads will easily have cost up to $5m for a 30 second slot!
    That excludes the cost of producing such an ad!

    The most expensive ad slot in the world is the half-time of the American Super Bowl!

  9. Eradius Henry writes,

    SIR, In these terms where SASAI APP is basically placed
    A .Need
    B.Want
    C.Demand?
    I’m a player who needs the help from head coach or technical bench.

    My reply,
    You know I love you, right?
    You always ask smart questions!

    Here is the answer in numbers:
    I tend to focus on businesses that are “needs” rather than “wants”, even though I have tried to do “want” businesses before.

    Now concerning the Sasai App, here are some numbers:

    Population of Africa 1,2bn, number of people Online circa 300m (mostly through Smartphones)—25%.
    Number of people Using eCommerce 21m —0.017%

    Compare with China:
    Population 1,4bn, number on line 800m (57%), number of people using eCommerce 600m (43%).

    #Compare 0.017% with 43%!

    This is the #”Digital Divide”

    Entrepreneurs can play a critical role in this by creating the platforms that will enable more rapid adaptation.
    The Sasai App is one of my own contributions to this challenge.

    This morning I tested my Android phone (not yet available on IOS) for Sasai in Igbo, Yoruba, and Swahili. Perfect!
    You have to be a bit of a “digital native”!
    Let’s see how native you are!

  10. Faruna Godwin Abuh writes,

    This is an eye opening numbers. The rate of ecommerce is still relatively low, and that opens up a lot of entrepreneurial opportunities for us (If we can @fastfollow, really fast).
    On my part at the moment, it shows me a lot of opportunities in web and app development to help businesses handle this need. Am inspired!

    My reply,
    By comparison with China, and India [not to mention the West nations like US and Japan], Africa’s presence online [300m] is not translating to involvement in the global Digital economy!
    $Tns, and $Tns of dollars are lost in opportunity!

    Entrepreneurs must rise up to this challenge, just like my generation of entrepreneurs [Phuthuma Nhleko, Mo Ibrahim, Mike Adenuga, Nagib Sawiris, Mike Rwayitare, and myself] did in the Mobile sector. We have only relatively small players at the moment like Konga in eCommerce. I have now put all the African players on the last East version of the Sasai App!
    These companies must rise up to become our own Alibaba, and Flipcart.

  11. Austin Uzim writes,

    Strive Masiyiwa Thnak you for the analysis Sir. I can see Jack Ma footprints on the statistics that China has. 43% is no equals at all with what we have in Africa. 0.017% is no equals with 43%. This makes me ask what is Africa position in Globalisation?

    With this staggering statistics, I can now see why almost the whole world wants to come to Africa. Once upon a time, US whose economy by GDP of $14 trillion invited an African country whose economy by GDP is $200B on a bilateral trade deal. And I wonder, on what grounds should Africa be allowed to appear on such deals?

    So, the answer for me lies on what Dr Strive Masiyiwa adds to that 0.017% in terms of what Sasai App stands to add to Africa Economy by GDP and what you and I entrepreneurs will be willing to contribute to that degree.

    The digital divide between Africa (developing nation as they like to name us) and the western or Asian world like America or China (developed world as they call themselves) is not bridged, we shall end up always eating crumbs on the table of Bilateral trade deals with those who own more than 43%! This is the sad reality.

    My reply,
    What you say should stop us all to think hard this week.
    Now there is one sad correction, I want to make:

    This is what you said:

    “I can now see why almost the whole world wants to come to Africa. “

    #sadly, the hard numbers on investment into Africa are alarmingly low, which suggests that the world is NOT investing in Africa, even if they might say they want to invest in Africa!

    Foreign Direct investment into Africa last year was about $43bn, compared to China $135bn.
    The US is where the world invests the most money at $250bn pa.

    The tiny Island nation of Singapore with a population of just 5,6m received $77bn FDI last year!
    Nigeria (our biggest economy) received:

    “According to the UNCTAD, FDI flows to Nigeria totalled to USD 1.9 billion in 2018,and showed a decrease compared to the previous year ( USD 3.5 billion in 2017) under the effects of austerity measures.”

    Africa gets more money each year from its citizens living abroad @$63bn, than it does from FDI.

    There is no country that can develop without FDI, and anyone who tells you otherwise lives in Lalaland!

    This problem can be solved.

  12. #Big Reflection:

    Extract from comment I made:

    My reply,
    What you say should stop us all to think hard this week.
    Now there is one sad correction, I want to make:

    This is what you said:

    “I can now see why almost the whole world wants to come to Africa.“

    #Sadly, the hard numbers on investment into Africa are alarmingly low, which suggests that the world is NOT investing in Africa, even if they might say they want to invest in Africa!

    Foreign Direct Investment into Africa last year was about $43bn, compared to China $135bn.
    The US is where the world invests the most money at $250bn pa.

    The tiny island nation of Singapore with a population of just 5,6m received $77bn FDI last year!
    Nigeria (our biggest economy) received:

    “According to the UNCTAD, FDI flows to Nigeria totalled to USD 1.9 billion in 2018,and showed a decrease compared to the previous year (USD 3.5 billion in 2017) under the effects of austerity measures.”

    Africa gets more money each year from its citizens living abroad @$63bn, than it does from FDI.

    There is no country that can develop without FDI, and anyone who tells you otherwise lives in Lalaland!

    This problem can be solved. It will not be solved by propaganda or good PR. It can only be solved by listening to people who truly understand what is, and what is not, investment, then enacting investor friendly policies that are consistent.
    If you have ever read the investment policies of countries like Dubai, Ras Al KHAIMAH, Singapore, you will appreciate why capital flows there.

  13. #Pause:

    Sasai Igbo, Yoruba, Swahili, and more is now available for “digital natives”!

    I’m waiting to hear from the first person [who has an Android phone] that is now using the Sasai App in one of the 25 new languages. If you are not able to do it, that means you are not yet a “digital native”!
    I must admit it took me a while to figure it out as I normally work on IOS.
    Anyway, I’m told IOS will be done by tomorrow, and the marketing guys will issue a short video on how to do it for earthlings, who don’t yet have “netcitizenships”!

    Tip:
    (1). Go to “General Management” on your Android phone in Settings.
    (2). Find languages;
    (3). Then “all languages”:
    Look for your chosen language;
    (4). Make your language the “default”—something you should have done long ago, if you are truly a digital native!
    (5). Go back to the Sasai App, and guess what it is now in Zulu, Swahili etc!
    How cool is that?!

    Don’t panic if it is not changed, just means we have not yet added that language.
    We are also still struggling with some languages, as they do not yet operate properly eg Shona, Setswana, Ndebele, even though we have translated them. Give it a few days!

    Once we have at least 50 languages, we will add a xTranslator, so that you can automatically translate anything that comes onto Sasai App into your default language. The capability is there but it takes a little time to add it, with all the other priorities.

  14. #Message for Blessing and others in Fast Moving Consumer Goods industry [FMCG]:

    Your business like that of Bonolo is an FMCG.
    Businesses in this sector have traditionally been the front line of Marketing capability.
    You only succeeded in this business by mastering #Marketing!
    That’s it, for you!

    With all your understanding [as an entrepreneur] get on top of marketing. I’m not talking about Sales, I’m talking about @Marketing!

    When the cell phone industry was launched by engineers like myself [who had zero marketing skills], we raided the FMCG companies for marketing executives!

    Shhh! Don’t tell anyone, we wiped out our competitors through #Marketing, and Product Innovation!

    We hired from companies like Unilever, Coca-Cola, and Nestle!
    We guttered the likes of Diageo and Cadbury!
    Why?
    Marketing expertise. We knew they had the global training in marketing!
    Anyone trained by a Unilever was gold!

    Lesson 2:
    You are not in FMCG [or any business] if you are not prepared to spend money on marketing.

  15. Omoruyi Folarin Osas Writes,

    Wait what!!! Wow

    $5m for just 30 secs. It’s safe to say this is one of the most expensive 30 seconds on earth.

    My reply,

    Remember what Drucker said:

    “Marketing…MAKES MONEY..”

    If we see marketing as a “cost”, then we have missed the point!

    Marketing when done properly always, always, MAKES MONEY!

    The guys who spend that $5m for a 30 second slot have done their numbers, and know exactly how much money it will make for their brand.

    The question for us is not to marvel at the cost, but to dig deep until we too conclude, “you know what, actually it was CHEAP given what they got in return!”

  16. J. James writes,

    Wah! Marketers are making a killing!

    ” Marketing and innovation ….. Everything else is cost.”

    My reply,
    Question is who is “making a killing” [to use your words, even though that is not the type of expression we use as entrepreneurs—it’s street talk]?

    (1). The “marketer” is the guy who made the Ad. He is not the one making the big money. It is his client!
    If you think it is the marketer, then you have missed the point.
    (2). The TV network that bought the broadcasting rights. They are the ones who were selling those “seconds”. That is how they make money!
    (3). The Sports Rights owner [the Rugby World Cup body], sold the rights to the broadcaster. That is how they make their money.

    Here is the #Reason in#NUMBERS:

    World Rugby, the governing body claims that 4bn people watched the final!!!

    Reports emanating from World Rugby and its business partners have frequently touted the tournament’s media growth, with cumulative worldwide television audiences of 300 million for the inaugural 1987 tournament, 1.75 billion in 1991, 2.67 billion in 1995, 3 billion in 1999, 3.5 billion in 2003, and 4 billion in 2007.

    Only FIFA soccer is bigger!

  17. “Reports emanating from World Rugby and its business partners have frequently touted the tournament’s media growth, with cumulative worldwide television audiences of 300 million for the inaugural 1987 tournament, 1.75 billion in 1991, 2.67 billion in 1995, 3 billion in 1999, 3.5 billion in 2003, and 4 billion in 2007.” [Wikipedia]

  18. #Pause:
    When I was CEO of our Mobile businesses [which I have not been for nearly 20 years], I used to have a saying:
    “We don’t sell technology, we market brands”. My brands were called things like:
    Buddie, Libertie, EcoCash, EcoSure!

  19. #Breaking News!

    Liquid Telecom SA was one of the pledgers @$600m, to add to the $950m invested since we acquired Neotel SA, business 4 years ago.

    Today we also inaugurated Sasai Remittance from SA to the following countries:
    Bangladesh, DRC, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan. Zimbabwe was already live.
    More countries to follow.

    Remittances from EU and UK to be inaugurated tomorrow!

    Remember this platform allows you to send as little as R10! [less than $1]

    Go Sasai!

  20. #Breaking News!

    Today I attended the second annual South Africa Investment conference. The highlight of this event is a pledging event, where the largest companies in South Africa, as well as global investors outline their planned investment.

    The pledge this year was $25bn for the next five years in new pledges.
    Let me assure you these were not ‘Mickey Mouse PR stunts’. It was the real deal.

    President Cyril Ramaphosa met each investor, starting last night, and he spent virtually the entire day there. Investors love him because he understands their language. He knows what it is to invest your own money in a business.

    It’s not over, as it continues to tomorrow!

    This is huge, HUGE!

    Here is the big deal:
    THESE INVESTMENTS WILL YIELD ALMOST 500,000 new high skilled, high paying jobs in areas like manufacturing, telecoms, tech industries, mining etc!

    #South Africa is on a roll this week!

  21. #Pause:

    “We need to break this habit, where we produce what we do not use or consume ourselves, and consume, what we do not produce ourselves”
    ~President Ramaphosa.

    Can you think of something that falls into each of these two categories:
    (1). What do we produce that we do not consume?
    (2). What do we consume that we do not produce?

  22. In 2015 you predicted that Africa will feed the world in the next 20 years. I have a bold and daring idea that can achieve that prediction in (without exaggerating) 10 years by leveraging rural lands and people through social capitalism and entrepreneurship. I will gladly share my idea on a private platform or communication line and am sure any slightest prospect of success of the idea will spur you as much as it drives me.

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