Wednesday, June 25, 2014
For decades, the late Maya Angelou, in her professional literature life inspired young and old women alike all over the world including men. Her beliefs as a strong black woman are penned in all her books. In South Africa, an international figure of her quality deserves praise in all ways possible. When this country learned of her passing, social media celebrated her life in most amazing ways, reciting her poems and quotes. It was a fit farewell f, well, for one we deemed our own to an extent. She last appeared on TLC show called Oprah’s Next Chapter (from Oprah Winfrey Network) last year, for most that was their last day of seeing her. The famous quote which is so direct yet powerful by her: “If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude”. Read abruptly, these words tend to paint an immediate situation that may seem surreal. However, entrepreneurs are tenacious kinds whom never missed a chance to narrate these words if not implementing the message carried by that quote.
Sometimes being an entrepreneur is a curse to mankind, in the same breath that it is a blessing. Dead end jobs see no day when quotes like that of Maya Angelou starts flying around in office cubicles and workshops. However, pay cheques often threaten what is to be a birth of a new era.
It doesn’t have to be though. It’s rare for an entrepreneur to abandon the comfortable desk to follow a business model that holds no weight (as yet). After all, quite amount of energy invested in refining the idea and the resources that get pulled out to perfect the basic necessity business start-up road map called Business plan. In it, there is a supporting costly activity bulleted as Marketing. It outlines the strategies or plans to generate income, in other words to keep the business afloat. Unfortunately, in this time and age, the work that goes into securing business it’s not for the faint hearted, the pitching game has changed dramatically. This can threaten any potential business idea that hasn’t even taken shape.
As an integral business element, drafting of the crucial element like Marketing and the actual implementation stages should both be afforded un-divided attention. Some entrepreneurs are blessed in the sense that the marketing implementation required is mainly their strongest point which is a good thing. However, others have had to either acquire the skills by surfing the internet and copying what other are doing which sometimes yields negative results. Reading how-to manuals and real-life situations is two separate issues all together, even more so, since most of easy to follow information online is authored and tested on foreign markets not necessarily in Msanzi. Even those that are tested in our own country carry no weight.
TRUE LOVE MAN, a Media24 publication, which launched this year, has hands full with testing and implementation. In the market that is currently dominated by others that have a niche, their marketing needs a strong team that can point out goal posts, that at times are invisible if not assessed properly. The right product deserves the right kind of investment from consumers, but they need to be convinced.
Most of the time a link is presented in such a way that you cannot ignore it even if you wanted to. The story or blog post our eyes are fixed on gets so interesting and immediately encourages us to click whatever they suggest on the story. Not every copywriter can get this right as sometimes deadlines get crazier by the day, and unfortunately some believe in simple tactics like “click here for more information”.
Clients sometimes tend to interfere with the writing process which is their right but every copywriter has the obligation to advise them on the right tactic at that time which has the potential to work, within reason though. Here is one of the many clever tactics that Copywriters use to entice and force you to click:
“A site such as www.theworldofwork.co.za, for instance, is practical, easy to follow and provides the kind of common sense advice that isn't always covered in formal learning programmes” See the full article here and come back here, so you get the point.
There is a never a dull moment in South Africa especially in the media business. In true SA style, Linda Sibiya, ex Ukhozi FM breakfast host got himself a new job at Vuma103FM. He is also on one of the DSTV channels hosting a talk show.
Talking about knowing, it will really be great if Gareth Cliff and Comedy Central tell us exactly what let to their breakup. I feel the channel was very good for that particular show. If you haven’t heard, News24 reported that the two have called it quits after few months hookup.
Meanwhile, East Coast Radio released a full new line up list.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
This morning felt like any other but missed me somehow. Normally, my mornings start with me checking my TL and attending to any messages and saying to myself the famous words used widely that suggest that your day can be bad or good, you decide. Few weeks ago after discovering that Bonang Matheba was to host a mid morning show on Metro FM, since that time slot for me included juggling work commitments and everything else in between, curiosity got the best of me. Firstly, I knew of her radio slot on a Gauteng based youth station, even though I never listened to her shows there, I was more interested to, on Metro FM. Before I knew it, every week day her show will feature with my to-do list. It saw me drafting tasks timing them with segments of the show like the notorious “Ask a man”.
Today I find myself wondering what went wrong, yes her management released a statement and few comments there and there, but my brain refused to take all that in. I guess when something becomes part of you and make such an impact in such a short time, when it suddenly ends, it's always hard to believe that it is indeed no more.
Queen B managed to convince me that Metro FM is not for grownups as I perceived it to be and I too, with my limited understanding of radio could feel part of her morning family which at times felt so awesomely warm and welcoming. There was this day before while watching Blame it on Fame, a reality show which aired on e-tv mostly following the lives of Masina twins, they talked about their brother who was on radio and immediately after they mentioned his name I thought to myself he sound interesting.
Little did I know that actually the brother is naughty yet entertaining and he is super talented on the decks.
To the rest of the team from that show, she is gone and you do not have to pretend she was never part of the team. A big loss, however, be still, she may come back.
Monday, June 09, 2014
The retail sector currently in South Africa is dominated by the major retailers, giants, Edcon group, which houses discount divisions stores like JetMart. Though many fashion outlets continue to strive and targeting the mainstream shopping locations, some people are doing it differently with online. I have touched on ThulaSindi.com previously. Today, however,after reading an article published on a local online magazine, this "quick chat" conducted on Facebook followed with another online store which has some of the best must-have items from unknown fashion designers:
How do you guys make sure that the site is safe and easy to use? What are the most important and active route or tools do you use?
We are working with one of the best online payment company, PayFast, and we make sure that the pictures are not as big, because it may result on the website being slow, and another thing is, we separate all the items, we don't mix jeans with dresses, so if you need jeans you know where to go and view.
That is great. Since most people do not prefer to shop online. Does this affect your sales?
The people we targeting do shop online, cause at first i would not start the site if the people am targeting didn't wanna shop online
Ok. other than the obvious marketing tactics, which other avenues do you use to build brand awareness?
For now its social media and getting interviews done
Do you do any magazine fashion spreads?
As soon i re-brand the store yes i will i wanna go for styling
The name is limiting an wont allow me to expand the way i want to
Oh, is the site SEO focused?
Do you do it yourself or a digital agency does it for you?
I am a self taught graphic and web design so i do it myself, i have my own media agency Gpozi
This is fantastic. Inspiring. Is the agency operational/accessible to clients or is is just servicing the E-commerce site?
It is operating and accessible to clients.
For more about the online store, click here
Saturday, June 07, 2014
You will not get it right all the time. It is what it is. However, do know that in order for you to get it right, you have to get it wrong first. Sometimes you will do so couple of times before you actually get it all together.
The journey that is life, will have you doubting yourself and crying at night. I for one, many events that occur in my life stages sometimes without an agenda as a result of my decision making, leave me confused greatly. Not that they need to have an agenda, but at that moment these words: "it's always good, it is probably because there is no growth whatsoever". The moment they echo,i fight like never before, and frankly many of those events have taught me valuable lessons.
Whether we like it or not, we are bound to fail before we succeed. The secret is in always finding ways to move forward. Never forget your goal, they too are relevant.
Back in the day, we had Coca Cola Pop Stars, a Coca Cola sponsored singing competition show which drew in most households in the country and popular amongst the aspiring singers who just wanted to be like Brenda Fassie. Who can forget the day 101, the group which gave us Pam Andrews owned the denim era and Ses’fikile number by Adilah? The show followed the success of the other old shows in the 1990s like Shell Road to Fame which is believed to have birthed Rebecca Malope’s queen-dom.
Unlike Rebecca, some of the artists from these shows disappeared as soon as the promo tours were completed. Lately we have seen this trend with Idols SA winners (and finalists). However, they had their first black winner who Joyous Celebration fans call Khaya Mthwethwa. They boy rode on the fame unlike Musa who took forever to release a proper album available at music stores. Amidst the opportunities all these shows open, it is evident that not all the contestants of these shows are interested in building solid careers in the music or entertainment industry. Where is Melissa, Tshidi? (I have not seen them succeeding, if you have, please share) The list goes on and on.
X-Factor is one similar singing show which is scheduled to air on SABC 1 sometime this year. Let’s not forget that One Direction and Leona Lewis have since succeeded in capturing the hearts of their respective audiences, however, Melanie and Tate Stevens in the USA, do not have any solid and reputable careers like their UK counterparts.
The question is: are these shows relevant? If so, who are they actually benefiting? Americans have moaned so many times that the X-Factor specifically failed in their country but they have never said anything about the artists’ eagerness to make the best of the situation, if there is/was any. While we cannot say it will fail in South Africa or even succeed, the reality is some artists fail to capture their audience. Talent alone is not enough, if there is no connection with the buyers of the music they produce, well, Donald will continue selling 50 000 copies uninterrupted.
Speaking of Donald, apparently his hits are released under his label and owns all the publishing rights. Maybe, these artists in SA should stop focusing on being famous and actually treat their brands as businesses. And while they are that, they must make sure they make profit.
Thursday, June 05, 2014
While Dove South Africa was on the news after their advert which painted what tweeps called racist, the people of Lwandle is Cape Town were being evicted from their homes, a move Hellen Zille, one the political leaders there, described as the doings of a state roads management company. Their cries captured by the lenses of the many media photographers covering that story had many South Africans voicing their opinions, human right activists on the other fuming with anger calling the whole saga inhuman.
Fast forward to this afternoon, Gauteng Township, Alexandra got to live the pain of that lived by the Lwandle settlers. They too were also evicted – another part of the township not everyone. Whether the land is legal or not, no one deserves this kind of treatment enforced by a court order. It will be of paramount importance to see how the political parties react to these two important situations. We all know how they would have rushed to assist if all this took place pre elections last month.
*Eish*this diverse and lovely country of ours, there is never a dull moment. That Riri dress which confused even the fashion bloggers did well on the digital space. Almost every online news agency in the world talked about it if not running a separate story for it. It goes to show that sometimes controversy it’s just what you need to sustain your relevance. If you look at it, the girl has indentified her strongest selling points and she is just simply making sure they work for her. Whether we like the dress or not: the fact is we talked about it. If up to now you didn’t know who Riri was, chances are you do now.
Picture from news24.com