By Mathabo Sekhonyana, Adoozy, Marketing and Communications Manager
When it comes to marketing a product, success rates are variable. The Marketing Strategy 2022 Trend Report found that 56% of marketers were somewhat successful with 23% neutral about their success rates and 11% unsuccessful in achieving their marketing goals. The survey found that marketers needed more proactive and agile methodologies in place to drive ongoing success. In Africa, marketing faces unique challenges as campaigns have to connect with different languages, cultures, target audiences and messaging and have to do so cohesively, without compromising on the messaging.
For technology marketers, the market shrinks even further. Here, creating and implementing a successful marketing strategy requires a completely different approach. In Africa, marketing technology products require intelligent focus and smart differentiation to ensure that the solution really resonates with the target market. This means that marketers not only have to be intuitive and innovative in their approaches but inspired to handle the challenges in smart and original ways.
So, what can marketers do when putting technology solutions in front of their target markets? Here are three strategic steps:
1: Change consumer behaviour to create familiarity and relevance
Africa is hungry for innovation and consumers are rapidly recognising and adopting technological advancements. The real job for marketers in Africa is to change consumer behaviours by truly understanding their needs, passions and desires. Today the African consumer is a global citizen; that being said, there may be specific cultural and urban nuances that could be the difference between a hit or miss.
Take home fact: It’s not enough to just bring a product to Africa by localising a global strategy. No, what’s needed here is a granular and personalised approach that requires consistent research and in-depth local understanding.
2: Understand the audience
Marketers need to be plugged into broader global trends through social media and other access points so that they fully grasp the nuance and texture of the African consumer.
Take home fact: This is still Africa so tap into local flavour to create campaigns that deliver long-term success. It’s as simple as focusing on the information that’s relevant to the target market and communicating it in a way that’s relevant to their frame of reference.
3: Use Tastemakers to create influence
The role of the influencer in the African market cannot be understated. The use of influencers and other tastemakers is critical in connecting with consumers and educating them around the benefits of a product and solution. In fact, a recent study undertaken by GeoPoll found that influencer marketing reaches upwards of 70% of people aged 15-25, making a significant difference to their product purchase choices and perceptions. The important thing to remember, however, is that with influencer marketing you have to take a 360 view. To really get ‘taste’ right, you have to look more broadly than digital influence and connect with the real tastemakers on the ground. For example, with our Adoozy power banks, a lot of the influencers or tastemakers that align with the lifestyle our product represents can be found at the city’s hottest nightclubs, entertainment festivals, upmarket restaurants and the like. A big part of our marketing job is therefore to plug in on the ground where we know our tastemakers can positively influence our target audience.
Take home fact: The more an audience sees people who look like them, share their lifestyles and understand their pain points, the more likely it is that they can see themselves using the technology that these influencers promote.
In summary, marketing tech products to an African audience is not a one-size fits all approach. Given the diversity of our population and changing consumer expectations, to make an impact, you have to get up close and personal with your target audience. Get to know them, immerse yourself in their world, and most importantly, build trust.