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Advertising Market from a South African Perspective
Advertising and marketing in the South African market is one of the toughest in the entire world, just for starters 22 different languages can be identified in our market. You might say this is common in many countries the world over. But do they have 11 official languages as is the case in South Africa.
Capturing a broad market in South Africa is virtually impossible unless you have an internationally acclaimed product, something that has built up a reputation overseas either in the USA or European markets. This is not to say our own big brands have not captured a broad South African audience or an international market but they a few and far between.
Our advertising and marketing techniques in South Africa must be simple yet effective if a broad customer base is to be achieved. Many South African advertising and marketing gurus are applying international principles to our market, wrong thing to do in my opinion. The basics, but add the South African flavour if you wish to succeed. Our biggest market in this country is largely illiterate and of a lower income so using expansive techniques to advertise and market your wares is generally not a good idea.
Proper market research for your products is essential, target a market and research every angle from language to demographics. If you have an excellent product made and produced in your country don't think this is a winning recipe in other countries. Do not expect that a pizza delivered in a box and a truly American way of doing things will work for a customer base in Iceland for example.
By all means promote pizza's in Iceland but ask your market how they want it delivered. Advertisers and marketing experts often forget this very simple marketing tools. Ask your market what they want, ultimately they are the ones buying the products.
Using opinion leaders in South Africa to create brand awareness is an essential tool to promote your products, this does come at a huge price and is usually out of reach for the small to medium business sectors. Creating good solid brands that are directed at a specific target market is often considered as not worth the cost.
Managers rely on hunches or intuition when designing their marketing mix. In the absence of feedback from their customers, they sometimes institute practises that customers object to. Over time, the customer base begins to erode and the business collapses.
Knowing your product and target market inside out is a great start to creating brand awareness.
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