Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Consumers Offline and Online

How you engage with your consumers offline and online determines your business success in any industry. You might find that there are over 50 companies offering the same thing competing for one client's attention - ultimately the unique one wins. It is not as easy as it might sound, people engage with people, not businesses. Yes, people not businesses. We can discuss the uniqueness of your services or products the whole day, however, it eventually boils down to your approach in selling the supposed uniqueness. Often if your products or services fail to solve the problems I encounter in my business, your chances of us transacting are zero. Before you give up, hold on!

Most markets are saturated thus making it difficult for someone lacking innovative ways of engaging people who buy from them to access the bigger portion of the market. Unfortunately, that is our reality now as business people. Why is the current regular customer so difficult to attract? I do not have all the answers but I do know how it feels to spend often limited budgets on various platforms to lure them. It hurts big time.

Those with money or powers lately spend their time engaging with what mirrors their lifestyles not necessarily what they see. If you are serious about growing your sales margins, for starters look at targeting them per region/location. Avoid being all over the place.

Billboard Advert in Giyani

One day while shopping in a Limpopo smalltown Giyani, I came across an outdoor advert which begged for my attention. You can tell that a lot of work went into making the advert resonate with the supposed consumer just by looking at the design only (Sidenote: design alone is not enough). Most outdoor adverts are created to capture the attention of the supposed consumer, that is why you would often see people buying things they don't necessarily need, a behaviour encouraged by adverts in all mediums. Billboards adverts are presumably fading out as discussed in length on various platforms worldwide. Not surprising as currently digital advertising is leading the pack when it comes to getting the brand out there. Besides, digital advertising results are often easier to measure as compared to billboards advertising. This does not mean billboards adverts are not effective. It takes a lot to make it work for you. It is not something you do just because you have resources to do it. Back to the billboard advert in Giyani. So, it was for one of the most nationally used household product, beautifully designed and copywritten. However, lacked valid local marketing elements.

The thing is with adverts, never assume. Where possible, carry out the necessary research to avoid missing the mark. That billboard advert in my view did not resonate with the supposed consumer. And here's why:

1. The said product is mostly purchased by mostly household-running market (by a large margin). This market is made up of XiTsonga and Khelobedu languages. They should have tried copywriting it in any of these two languages or have both were budget permits. English does not always work for this kind of a product in Giyani.

2. Use local, well-known personalities especially from soapies or regional midday radio programmes. Small towns tend to support their own or someone they look up to or admire. (Hint: the styling and delivery from the personality chosen must marry the market's local lifestyle or surroundings).

3. If they researched better, they would have learned about other important elements about their product, like what do they also use it for etc. Some household uses one household product for different things - different from one city to another most of the time.

If you were planning to roll out a campaign or a simple advert in Giyani, make sure you study the local market fully.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

2006-2007: The Lion Emerges

Just a day before 2006, my late sister insisted we had a mini braai/party for when she came home for a visit just to congratulate me on passing my matric and for being the first in the family to do so. She bought me a cake from Shoprite – my first ever cake since I was born. Don’t be shocked, in my house no one was ever bought a cake. It never really occurred to me that it was important. Mom didn’t see cakes important and quite frankly I didn’t either. Maybe if there was someone I knew who was bought a cake on special occasions maybe I would have wanted the same too but there was no one – I mean none. I am referring to those close to me, not the whole village. As small as the celebratory braai/party was, it meant a lot to me. My own moment, it felt good! My late sister was indeed a special person. I miss her all the time.

My mom had her own ideas when I told her what I wanted to do with my life from there on. Honestly, I was convinced she thought there was some sort of craziness in me. Again she wanted to protect me but this time forgetting her little son now had opinions. After numerous failed attempt convincing my mother that I too wanted to leave for Gauteng, she flat refused. I wanted to study in Gauteng so bad only to be told I cannot. I knew my mother was in no position to afford varsity fees, but something in me thought she will make a plan. Now thinking about it, that was some lame ass selfish thought.

I had mentioned to her the financial aid available one can apply to help pay for studies. However, from her facial expression, this idea sickened her to some degree. There was a lady who offered her room in Gauteng so we can stay while sorting out financial aid applications and enrolments issues. This meant one needed few R100 notes to make this a reality. Unfortunately, it did not happen. I think I lacked a better way of explaining things to my mom properly without being defensive and na├»ve. I was angry that she was not willing to let me go – that clouded my explanatory skills that day.

It wasn’t meant to be I guess as few days later I was told to pack my bags as I would be living with my brother until they figure something out. So that is how I ended up in Tembisa. A months or so later, they instructed me to prepare myself for driving school which they will pay for. Some kids would be happy for this amazing opportunity, not me. The thought of getting a driver’s license and expected to find any job needing that really depressed me. I seriously thought my life was over. Anyway, I went with the idea not knowing where it will eventually lead me.

The instructor at the driving school was a very skilled guy when it came to driving. He also knew how to deal with learner drivers. I really enjoyed his company and professional driving advice. One day while waiting for my lesson scheduled after few fellow learner drivers, I decided to walk around. The practice sessions were carried out in Midrand by the way. On this walkabout, I ran into few students. My heart started racing, I literally wanted to cry. Why am I not with them?

I followed them as it was obvious that they were on their way to class. I realized it was fruitless following them later as they ended up at a fast food restaurant. I was so pissed. Feeling down, I walked like I someone just took half of my salary without my permission. As I walked passed this other shop, I saw a college sign clearly marked. Tjees! I was like a kid in a candy shop. I walked hurriedly in that direction until a door before me which I figured was the entrance. Through the closed door, I could see a while tall lady sitting at the reception answering phones. It turned she saw me too. She pressed something on her desk as I heard a noise clearly at the door where I was standing confused. I finally figured how to open the door.

There was a beautiful lady with a bright smile on her face. Her warm reception assured me that I was at the right place. While enquiring about a qualification I was interested in, I told her there was no way I would be able to afford anything there. I followed with reasons. It turned out I was at the right place, at the right time. I was offered a bursary with just one or two terms and conditions. I was so happy! After few talks with my late sister and my mother, they allowed me to enroll.

The college life was challenging as always but being me, I adjusted and kicked some ass. I was not there to play. Towards my last months at the college, I heard disturbing rumors - my then girlfriend was allegedly pregnant. I went into a frenzy, not for long, though. I soon accepted and my son Junior was born. At 19, I was someone’s father. It was scary. Amidst so many challenges, we pulled through. I will forever be grateful to everyone who helped with that scary situation.

Friday, October 23, 2015

2004 - 2005: Baby Lion Who?

I exited the secondary school I attended just like everybody else. Rammila Secondary had only three grades – eight to ten. I chose a school my older siblings went to approximately ten kilometers from my village to do Grade Eleven and Twelve. I remember my first day with my badly done haircut and that forty-five minutes long walk. Tjees I was extremely tired and anxious. For the first time in my life, I was in an unfamiliar territory with so many learners in one school. I can go as far as saying I was overwhelmed. We did not attend any lessons that first day, they handed out stationery and allocated classes. The only amazing thing that happened that day was the money mom gave me in the morning for lunch. I was not used to that at all.

Though it felt like I just left the kinder garden to the real school, part of me loved the experience. Friends were soon made something I never had to do before. Within a month, I was back to my old self – forward and dreaming big. That school had a reputation of defeating learners who came from my own village school. It was said that only one or two learners yearly from my village school progressed to the next grade and it was hardly on their first try. Before me, only two new learners from my school managed to progress so the jury was out there telling us to pick comfortable desks and chairs as they were to be our homes for the next two years. Others even had names of learners lined up if you dared vowed to change the status quo who were struggling to progress for over two years. Nonetheless, we dreamed anyway. To be honest, I was scared after that. I seriously believed that was my fate.

I do not want to lie, lessons were structured and managed properly from the very first day we started attending. Sometimes it was difficult to adjust but you actually had no choice. Towards the end of the year, someone I loved dearly and who loved me back more than I did was sick. It turned out the sickness started before that, but mom hid it from me, reasons known to her. On Saturday after a soccer game as I was on my way home, I bumped into my brother and he told me mom and dad were back from Jozi. Overjoyed I ran home only to find mom outside not with dad as it was always the case. I didn’t ask but proceeded to the house just to see dad, but their room was slightly closed. I put one and one together. It was a difficult time for me emotionally and physically. The first time I saw him was when I was watching my weekday dose of Passions. He seemed fragile and right there I started crying. Mom was angry and I could tell she wanted to discipline me but instead told me not to cry as he was going to be fine. That was not true, God took what was His at His own time a week or so later. I hated school thereafter, everything that reminded me of school pissed me off. I imagined passing matric and sitting at home doing absolutely nothing. For me, the world was ending.

The world was not ending, I picked myself up when reality kicked in. I had no choice but to. At this time, my other sister and I were starting to build a strong bond. She was there for me in good and bad times after that. Exams came and passed so did December holidays. I had decided not to fetch my report card before holidays instead visited my grandmother. I mean report cards never affected my holidays in any way but this one was different. I only fetched it the following year and was told out of the new learners from my village school who started with me in January at the school, I was the only one who made it. Indeed, I was happy.

In that year, I concentrated on passing Grade Twelve and building a romantic relationship I had started the previous year. Don’t ask me why but those were the only things that mattered to me at that time. I did manage to pass matric and kept the relationship going.

It is true when they say, good things come to those who work tirelessly while waiting.

2001 - 2003: No Longer the Baby Lion?

Secondary school birthed new challenges which I had to conquer. First, it was the senior pupils treating us like dirt then mean classmates who annoyed me. I hid my annoyance pretty well as one had to avoid showing signs of weakness. The weakest link was always the easy target so I was not interested in being that person everyone picked on.

Grade 8 was overcrowded with Yizo Yizo wannabes and YOTV fanatics. Yizo Yizo wannabes were mostly those who were finding themselves while the YOTV kids were often perceived smart as if they were not finding themselves too. Not that they were not but back then I (yeah, I was one too) hated being referred to as 'smart'. The future looked bright, it appeared not for everyone as some pupils dropped out in the middle of the year due to various reasons and it became very clear to me how it was going to be at a grown-ups school. I was 13 and knew very little of the world majority of my classmates lived in. I guess because most of my classmates were older than me and I would like to believe were already doing adult things. Not that I wasn’t but tjees they were already in and it showed. Anyway, those who didn’t drop out continued and progressed to the next grade. I was part of that pack. Teenage pregnancy was one of the reasons. It did not make that much sense to me at all. How do you do that to your future? Why?

I do not want to sound ungrateful, but our school was not the best-equipped school nor the best organized. We went with the flow and somehow managed. To paint a picture – imagine a school with just one block with four classes housing grade 8's to 10's plus a staff room/office? Clear enough? Wait, add lessons that aren’t really timely allocated nor calendared? Sounds shocking if you weren’t village schooled but that was my reality and hundreds of other learners. We simply focused on our school work rather than the ills.

Our Sepedi teacher in the middle of my Grade 9 year asked us to come up with a drama team. I never said no to such things so the group was formed and rehearsal times arranged in the same week. We were told that the group would be performing at the then I AM AN AFRICAN competition in two weeks, but we first had to perform to our school mates before the debut at the event. No scriptwriter, no director, and no costumes. Out of the blue, I was given a lead. I played a character named Ntjawedi (some people still call me that) and became the talk of the village before even the event debut. I must admit it felt so good. I AM AN AFRICAN competition was to encourage us to own our cultures. It was a good initiative. Unfortunately, we did not win but came second.

Throughout my 3 secondary school years, I held what I call leader positions from Class Prefect to SRC Secretary. I also produced good grades. In those years soccer, school and various television programmes defined me. Everyone close to me knew where I was at any time.

1988 - 2000: The Baby Lion

The name Tau Ya Masepeng is actually my clan name not really my official name - I was born Ngwako Letter Serepe in 1988. According to what my mother told me, I was never really a troublesome toddler but a little chubby always smiling. My toddler years aren’t really clear in my mind, but I mostly remember the relationship I had with my eldest sister. To me she was my mother. My sister at the time was dark, strong and loving. Those are qualities of what I call an African sister who fearlessly protects her siblings as if they were her own children. She had her daughter in 1992 and went to stay with her then husband. Luckily they lived two houses away from home so I always visited. Those were the good times.

I started school at the village in 1994 with a two-piece khaki uniform mom bought me minus shoes. Trust me, it did not bother me at all that I did not have shoes as I was not the only one. I was busy taking everything before me in. Besides, our teacher had asked us to re-arrange desks as she wanted a more intimate class setting. With the two Sub A classes, we took the first one with what I thought was a huge chalkboard. Making friends was not really necessary as my classmates were from the village. Some kids just wanted to sit at the back when the desks were ready but our teacher had other ideas – she thought it will be great if she paired us up herself, which she did. That year moved fast maybe because I enjoyed it. Who wouldn’t, our teacher was just amazing!

Weeks went by so did years. Grade after grade, I was doing well. By this time, I had developed my own ideas. I knew what I wanted and was not scared to voice it out which often got me into trouble. There was this teacher that never liked me, he will often beat me. At one point I bled and my mother decided to pay him a visit. As everyone knew that my mother didn’t take kind to anyone who messed with me, most teachers knew he was in trouble. She was just annoyed to say the least yet he continued beating me. I don’t blame him really, our tiff started when I started ignoring projects he led. One particular project was on a Friday, boys were required to either sweep the school yard or the general upkeep. That was just a project I simply didn’t like. In that period, a certain intermediate phase teacher who never taught me had started an after-school English school. Lord knew I had to be at that school. Her son was my senior, but I knew he had the information I wanted as he helped set up the school to some extent – I mean he recruited most learners. As I said, what I want, I chase after. There I was asking him what the requirements were as If I didn’t know. I felt he had the key to that school, as the head of the cool crowd, he was my way in before approaching my parents.

I don’t actually remember how I got to speak to the teacher, founder of the English school. But I do recall her coming to my home one afternoon to speak to my parents. Mom flat refused as she thought the school was expensive. Dad, on the other hand, well…let’s just say it was hard for him to say no to me. He knew how annoying I can be if I don’t get my way. I was crying when mom refused but as soon as dad agreed, you wouldn’t tell I cried few minutes before.

I didn’t spend too much time at the English school, three …four months I was out armed with a twang for days. Cecilia Ravele of YOTV then had nothing on me. Selae Thobakgale could have just left the studio if I dared made my way to Urban Brew Studios were most of the YOTV programming was taped. Choke English Medium Centre taught me the basics of English, it was the beginning.

While in Grade Seven I made an important life decision encouraged by the abuse I endured. My peers often teased me for hanging around with girls as I did most of the time. So I figured that since I couldn’t fight back physically and mom wouldn’t always be there to fight for me, initiation school was the best option. I heard other boys who went there that it was not that difficult. I was not the one to back down from a challenge especially one that was going to earn me respect. I planned the whole thing like a guy in love planning to propose. My plan was to wake up in the morning, chores then elope, which I did.

However, the night before, I discussed it with my brother and everyone in the house in a joke form. I didn’t tell them that I was planning to go, somehow my brother sensed I had already made a decision and tried by all means to change my mind as he didn’t want to spend his winter holidays looking after an initiate which was expected of him as my brother.

Well! it turned out he didn’t mind after all but left halfway through. My parents hired someone to look after me until I graduated. I am sure you are wondering if I eventually got the respect…yes I did. After the word got out that I was at the initiation school every boy my age followed suit. In their own words, they couldn’t be outdone by me. Even long after the dust had settled, they treated me fairly.

Just like that, I ended my primary school years like a real G!

Dear Readers

Let me start by thanking you for reading my blogs and for the support. Without you, I am nothing. I am sure you are wondering why I do not blog as much as I used to, well I am sorry. I’ve made decisions that have occupied all-of-me since the beginning of May this year. It is very important that I share my story from the day I was born so to make it easier for everyone to understand what fostered those decisions in the first place. Please read all the blog posts to follow, first one titled 1988-2000 and closing with 2014-2015.

Please feel free to ask me anything after reading them. I am on twitter @MasepengJnr or on facebook Tau Ya Masepeng.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Regional Marketing Services In Gauteng

"I'm all for it. In these days, regional marketing is the only way to survive." - John Howard. See more here

Monday, July 27, 2015

How To Manage Business Social Media Accounts

Not everyone knows how to manage business social media accounts and those that know how to, do not always have the time. If you are one of these people, email

Monday, July 13, 2015

Cold Calling for Entrepreneurs in South Africa

How often have you told an insurance sales man to call you later when you receive their sales calls? Plenty of times, right? Well, it is easier to tell them politely that you are not interested rather than giving them false hope. Remember they are working either to put their siblings through school or simply to put food on the table. You are as important to them as any other client on their calling lists. And trust me, they treat you as such, even more so when you ask them to call you later. Anyway I am no Dr. Phil nor Madea!

The moment you mention cold calling most people cringe citing many reasons why they will not do it for a living. They might be wrong especially if they were looking into starting their own businesses one day. One of the reasons they fear cold calling the most is rejection - a word that is obviously upsetting. Cold calling is very important for any business across all industries and as an entrepreneur, it is one of the things you have to do daily yourself when starting out. Yes, it is not for everyone but when you cannot afford to pay someone to do it, you have no choice but to do it. Always keep in mind that there is no business without clients, in order for cold calling to work for you and bring in those clients, here are few things you should know today;

1. Rejection is part of the game and in no way does it mean no. Rejection means, “I do not want to buy now”. So before you quit, think about this when making those necessary calls.
2. Know and study your target market. This obviously gives you an upper hand, It also allows you to engage much better over the phone.
3. Few calls are not enough – have an end goal in mind, then plan your calls around that daily.
4. Clarity and confidence are key. No one will be interested in you, if you sound uninterested yourself.
5. Sell..sell and sell.

If you are struggling, ask for help.

Regional Marketing in South Africa

I love marketing regionally as much as nationally, both allow me an opportunity to be creative - offline and online (especially on social media). Regional marketing is mostly employed by brands who have a huge following in a certain region while attracting and building on a national following for future national marketing campaigns. While this is good and well, you might find that brands do not even know where their customers are from if we were to talk ‘regions’ and ‘locations’. This often leads to marketing in/to a wrong region with a wrong message. Some even try to have the same general message translated into different languages to suit regions but still fail dismally. Failure is good, but not so good when you do not learn from it. Regional marketing is also used to introduce a new product from a trusted brand as to take advantage of word of mouth advertising and influential marketing that might not be available in other regions. Sample distributions or demonstrations are tactics that are most popular with products.

It hasn’t been always an easy road for most brands using regional marketing as there are often discouraged by the feedback from just one region having started with impeccable enthusiasm. I think not knowing what to do with negative feedback is the cause and also, few planning details on their part or an agency helping them.

Just like with anything in marketing, start with research against your product or service then plan around that. You might think that hiring Model C girls promoting a washing powder might work in a township mall only to find that is not the case. Also have an open mind and try to be present that day so you can take home valuable lessons. Regional marketing allows for different tactical campaigns, do not be scared to go craze. Others include – events, billboards and door-to-door. See this website for more options.

Is Offline Marketing Irrelevant in South Africa?

As marketers we often follow marketing trends as you would expect without thinking twice. These marketing trends end up as the back drop for our campaigns for all brands we work on. Not to say we are lazy but often following the wind brings with it results (and lessons). It must be noted that for an efficient marketer to succeed in South Africa following trends it’s a norm. And also, following these trends equips one with the necessary knowledge to market better and for others to break the rules.

Even though trends might serve as references for our campaigns we sometimes forget that brands are not the same and not all trends are worth referencing for every brand. I have talked a lot about approaching each brand uniquely and taking advantage of its unique DNA, but I do not think I understood what is currently being done in marketing - worldwide. I acknowledge leaders and marketing gurus telling us what they have done right for a particular brand and how we should follow in their footsteps, but I have learned that whatever you might have done for a frizzy drink brand last week shouldn’t be copied to the next, similar or not.

Digital Marketing Trend

Digital marketing is the best when it comes to measuring results, no doubt about that. It is one trend that came and changed the whole marketing scene. Marketers screamed and implemented it immediately with others still not convinced of its efficiency up to this day. I do not blame them, there are still no guarantees. It will only guarantee you results when you implement it properly and when you are not lazy to monitor daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. However, you should always be clear from the beginning on what you objectives are and be prepared to do the necessary work to achieve them. Avoid one size fits all kind of a situation, your friend might have a good intention telling you it works but they do not know your brand thoroughly. Even if they do, can they try first and gloat after?

It doesn’t matter which marketing tactic or trend you have employed, brands differ so must marketing them. Creativity drives the bottom line thus calling for much better results which brings me to this question: Is offline marketing in South Africa dead?

One might say yes, another no - neither are wrong nor right. If you seriously cut and paste marketing strategies across various brands without actually modifying the strategy effectively to suit each brand, you will waste your marketing budget. Conduct the necessary research against your objectives, then plan accordingly from one tasks to another. For instance, which keywords will work better? Etc. Your research might reveal that an offline marketing strategy will work better first or when combined with digital to achieve what you set out to achieve. Keep in mind that each brand has its own unique target market. Look at your brand and then answer the question.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Selling For Business Owners in Johannesburg

Some business owners sell well than others, however, all have one thing in common – making a profit. Those than can sell often find it difficult with the added demands of running their businesses to make crucial calls or even to set up meetings with would-be customers so that they can sell their products or services. It is a constant battle for most entrepreneurs to work in-the-business and on-the-business. The thing is you cannot just call everyone to sell, it starts with finding quality leads. Often that takes time, something most business owners do not always have. Those who have already passed the “start-up” phase can fortunately afford sales personnel, which is quite fantastic. On the other hand those who can’t end up closing shop because they did not invest much in finding new business.

Tembisa On Record, a regional/location marketing company based in Gauteng has partnered with few business owners who saw the need to invest in finding new business and forging new crucial relationships with decision makers in their respective industries. There comes a time when you need business today and employing a direct marketing strategy becomes a priority. While it has been proven couple of times that getting in contact with decision makers directly yields results, it is fruitless if you do not know how to sell yourself telephonically so they can meet you. You cannot just ask for a meeting, first deliver a winning minute telephonic pitch then you are more likely to be granted a meeting which is crucial in winning deals. You can still lock the deal telephonically provided you are at the right place at the right but that also starts with asking the right questions. Am I making sense?

That is just an example, however, more can be explored. Email me

Following Marketing Trends in South Africa

Sometimes brands get caught up in what I call ‘following marketing trends cause ke trend’ very easily without actually realizing it. While it can be said that the marketing playing field always is totally influenced and often changed by various trends that come and go, what is trending doesn’t always call every brand’s name but often majority of brands answer the call instantly without thinking twice. There are a number of good reasons why brands feel the need to follow new trends, even if it means spending more than usual. However, I cannot speak for all brands as their reasons differ but most of them forget that it is not always a good idea to just follow a trend without a plan.

No marketing trend guarantees success neither does any method of marketing – a trend or not. As a marketing entrepreneur I have set in various meetings telling clients exactly what I am going to do for them also laying out the pros and cons. Marketing is about understanding your target market fully, with that comes employing ways and methods of commutating to them effectively in view to get them to buy whatever it is you are selling. Some ways work better than others but it can go both ways, you just have to be prepared and the implementation thereof, must be realistic and aims to solve their problems. How often have you heard clients complaining that they have spent a certain amount of marketing budget and are still waiting for the results? Plenty probably but none hardly take time to evaluate what went wrong and formulate strategies that might work better.

Social media for instance keeps on changing and popping out new trends with social media networks constantly changing and adding few elements. You find many South African brands implementing strategies based on trends that are currently introduced via either the USA or Europe. Some win that day while some lose but end up attracting international following while only based in SA (and servicing SA). It’s still a jungle out there for brands on social media with few getting it right in South Africa. South African market is a difficult one but should not be if you play your cards right. If a certain brands runs adverts on social media and winning, don’t follow what they are doing unless you have your target market there. I know most people believe everyone is on social media these days but are they really? For every brand under the sun? Don’t fool yourself. If they indeed are, which one? Are they active? How do they communicate while there? What do they like?

Before you start following trends, look at what you offer against your target market. Avoid following trends for the sake of it or because others are. While social media marketing is seriously big and cannot be ignored, apply common sense - research! If you do not know where to start you can always email me

Are Black Entrepreneurs Really Unprofessional?

Are we really? Or it is just a myth? Someone once told me that most black entrepreneurs, across all industries lack professionalism. Since that person could not back this brave statement with facts or at least scenarios, I concluded with a maybe - a fat ‘maybe’ even. I am not the one to sit around and entertain assumptions nor mabare bare, but I truly find it difficult to take anyone who settle for anything unprofessional serious. How do you even deal with such a person? While that person disappeared just after I asked for those facts, I on the other hand wondered how this person arrived to that conclusion. Surely something happened. I might not know the events (if there were any) leading to this person making such a conclusion but I also muttered some words more than twice along those lines. Before you call me something I am certainly not, let me explain.

There are companies that are doing very well and owned by black entrepreneurs in South Africa. These companies are breaking records historically by white owned companies. They have a good…actually make that a great online presence and also well calculated PR tactics. What I like about them lies in them showing us upcoming black entrepreneurs that it is possible and it can be done irrespective of the sometimes difficult situations if not always that comes with entrepreneurship. While that is freaking amazing and well, the same doesn’t always translate offline – from the way the receptionist answers the phones to the way they treat their own employees. Not only these two things but the way in which you are treated when you are at their premises or in their presence. Surprisingly they make profits, how, I do not know! In fact, I would like to know.

As a black owned company, you will always be compared with the next company that is sometimes way smaller than you are, even lose business to them. Yes, it happens. Sometimes companies forget that what you do on the left, has to be done on the right too. You cannot have a superb website, social media and digital media articles while your back of the house is not efficient let alone communicated to properly in terms of expectations. Online should always be an extension of your offline’s bottom line. For example, if you invest in a state-of-the-art website, you should also train your staff to be more efficient in dealing with your customers. Remember your website will prompt customers to buy either by sending an email, calling you or buying there (if it’s an online store) and expect you to deliver just like you say you will on your website. For me it does not make sense to have a fabulous online presence while neglecting the offline part which is where most of the company lives.

This is not to say all black owned business are the same nor is the case with all of them but it can happen when you are too busy chasing the next deal forgetting to get your ‘house’ in order - black or white. People do not buy products or services because they have to most of the time, but how they are treated plays a big role. They will like what you offer but the deal lies in making them feel like it’s not possible to experience that feeling anywhere else. We always say that you can never please everybody but imagine if you please five and offer them shitty service because of lack thereof? Do you think they will come back? Trust me, they will certainly tell another five you were looking into pleasing and the chain will just go on and on.

It is very difficult to get that one client, let alone keeping them. Yep, it’s not that easy. However, I can’t promise you ‘easy’ but what I can say is, be professional and provide the best service possible, you are bound to land a good deal subsequently a customer/client for life.

If you do not know where to start, just let me know! Email

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tembisa On Record - Regional/Location Marketing Specialists

Twitter: @TembisaOnRecord
Google Plus: Tembisa On Record
Facebook: Tembisa On Record
Contact Number: 073 386 9264

Entrepreneurship is not for sissies

To somebody who does not know, entrepreneurship looks pretty easy. You see Motsepe or Basetsana Khumalo, immediately think if she can do it so can I. You are right if you believe you can do it, it starts there after all. However, before you start, take note that it is not as glamorous or easy as it looks. I also started by believing I can do it, even though its only being a month, I do miss the specs provided by a full-time job. In 2009, I freelanced a bit while holding down a nine-to-five at a training company. I did PR for a fashion design house which involved cold calling radio producers to grant my then client a spot. Some agreed while others refused. I had no contacts in the media but I knew how to communicate with media personnel. It was fun! Because I had no idea of how to fully structure a business, that gig ended. I don’t want to say I failed, it was just not planned and executed properly. Even though I did what I was paid to do excellently, I felt I was not ready.

I am a natural risk taker and it bores the hell out of me if my life is just stagnant. When that happens, I know it’s time to do something effectively drastic that can move me forward. Don’t you get tired of just doing great? Well, I do, I aim for perfection all the time. The same principle apply with the company I am currently running. Though the playing fields are different, I do not see why we should ever clients just great work and not perfect.

I know that anything can happen from hereon, but as I know very well that entrepreneurship is not for those who give up easily. I look forward to creating jobs and empowering myself and those I work with. See more here!

Dear Mother

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you from the bottom of my heart for raising me so well. I am not sure how you felt when you gave birth to me, however, I would like to believe it was a feeling no word can explain. I do not remember much of my first 4 years on earth, however, I will never forget the very first day at school when I was 6. You knew that money was not there to buy me full school uniform but you did not make it an issue but assured me that I was not the only one. We never really discussed that day until recently when I asked why no one bothered to buy me shoes for my first day at school. You answer was; “At that time, food was my priority. I am not saying shoes were not important but I simply could not afford them”. I asked because now as my son and nephew’s guardian, you do not make that mistake. You make sure you remind me to buy them the necessary stuff needed for school every year without fail.

That year I did very well at school because of you. The pink “Do not Worry Be Happy” two piece tracksuits you bought me were my favourite. For some reason you saw it fit sewing a matching pink school bag. That will always be the most amazing thing you have done for me that year. Years went by and I am proud to have witnessed you grow both as a wife and mother. Those businesses you established so to supplement my father’s salary – I know you did not just start them because it was necessary. Mother, you are one person I know who hardly complains especially when it comes to taking care of your family. You simply get to work. You resilience saw you running an informal shebeen, sewing and selling traditional clothing, and joining stokvels so that me and my siblings can have an amazing life. Father did what he could even though he did not earn that much. I know I do not tell you often that I appreciate you but deep down I know you know I do.

Remember when there was a teacher who used to beat me every Friday until I bled? Yeah, you sorted him out. Remember when older boys beat me up at school? Yeah, you were there making sure I was not someone’s punching bag.

You are the reason I refuse to give up on my dreams. No education and sometimes even the knowledge, but you made the right moves and continue to do so. You clearly shown me that it is truly up to me, no one can do it for me. I can write a book about your business acumen and your understanding to target markets – it is meaty better than meat itself.

To whoever is reading this now, I was raised by a woman who has experienced both hardships and victories pretty much like most black women her age. Mom never really relied on my dad alone to take care of our many needs. For as long as I can remember she was always selling something – be it African beer to clothes. I saw a woman who refused to solely depend on someone else to put food on the table. Mom did not know how to write nor read but her informal businesses were the most good managed businesses I have ever seen (not that I had others I could see, but It’s a fact). It seems she knew her target market well, ultimately creating everything they needed.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Flyer Distribution Agencies in Ekurhuleni

Flyer distributions does work provided they are done strategically rather than just distributing for the sake of distributing. However, companies find that often they do not have the time nor the manpower to carry out flyer distributions. There are also many other factors that discourage companies to even think of a marketing activity such as flyer distribution. Here are agencies one can hire;

1. Tembisa On Record - regional/location marketing specialists.
2. Snacks Limited.
3. Leechie Marketing

Friday, May 22, 2015

Sobert’s Own Products

The salon/nail bar giants launched their own range of various beauty products available at most Clicks stores and Sorbet Salons in South Africa. Sorbet is not one to just be “ok” with the success the brand overall enjoys thanks to their strings of franchised salons. Where do you even begin to list their achievements to date? What you see with them is what you will get and pay for but I am pretty sure no one expected them to add another exciting element to the brand. I am not sure which one between the Sorbet Man salon and the products was launched first, but what I know is that the Sorbet brand is growing organically yet rapidly.

They clearly advertised their beauty products but hardly hyped them. With them they do not have to do much advertising as their loyal fans have since turned into loyal brand ambassadors both offline and online.

Kudos to them!

Scriptwriting in South Africa

What is that? There won’t be a TV show without scripts even reality TV shows not a movie either. Scriptwriters are the ones who come up with story-lines and ultimately writes the lines in cases of a soapie or TV series. However, they still produce script writing work different to that of a soapie for a magazine or a lifestyle show.

Script writing is probably one of the most underrated and unpopular careers in both film and TV industry. Even viewers hardly pay attention to writers of a show they watch religiously, however, that does not mean script writing is a dead end career. Just like copywriting, one needs to be creative and have strong writing skills in a variety of formats because today you might be tasked with writing a commercial tomorrow a big budget TV production. Phathu Makwarela has to be one of the well-known scriptwriters in South Africa thanks to social media and his brilliant story development acumen. According to media reports Phathu started at Muvhango then lent his creative genius to renowned Ferguson Films production, Rockville which aired on Dstv’s Mzansi Magic.

Apart from Phathu, there are plenty of trained and untrained scriptwriters in South Africa. But what I would like to focus on is mainly entertainment shows like Zaziwa. These kind of shows can be scripted by journalists, bloggers and copywriters providing they have a good understanding of what works currently. I just feel that inviting the mentioned to table reads and early stages production meetings can be beneficial to a show. Bloggers for instance are actually the new viewers in the “viewers”. They spot trends long before content producers and their writing is less complicated. It might sound risky but believe me when I say is doable.

Do you think this will work? If so, email

Candy Mokwena – Why her solo career took so long to take off?

No one has ever made Khelobedu lyrically commercial quite like Candy Mokwena. Before the hype with the famous song she did with Oskido, the only people who took her seriously were those that knew her from Shakabundu Girls, a group she was in with Nurse who’s often seen performing with her as a backup dancer. Besides those fans, traditional music lovers also loved her and bought her music. Actually most of the commercial Limpopo based radio stations have supported her from day one playing her music even though some of the listeners from other provinces barely knew who she was. The media also did their part but it was not enough due to a number of reasons. One being that her music then was mostly sung in Khelobedu and Tsonga. How many Tsonga and Khelobedu speaking people do we have in South Africa?

Careers take forever to build especially ones in entertainment. Traditional music on the other hand is not really that popular in South Africa with Maskandi dominating the genre. Candy started her music career a long time ago, and watched R&B dominates, later Kwaito. But she stuck to what she excelled in, traditional music. However, a lot can be said about her journey but none can come close to what she was able to do with such a strong traditional song, Tsa Mandebele. Clearly Oskido knew what he was doing but the circumstances leading to that song being released goes to show that when God shows off, he does indeed.

Before that she did another hit with the twins duo, Revolution. The song was played everywhere in taverns around Bolobedu. To Bolobedu residents it was more than just a song but a celebration of another sort not even related to the lyrics of the song loosely translated “cousin, please borrow me your sneakers, I forgot mine at home under the bed. We are showing off dancing in sneakers.” It meant a lot that one of our own was singing one of the best songs composed decades ago by our grandmothers. To add to that she made sure she interacted with fans there answering all sorts of questions whenever she got a chance.

Candy will is good combining her passion for traditional music with what sells currently but not using her love for amazing fashion gowns to her advantage. Nowadays even the fact that you can simply combine music with your love for finer things to build a good reputable brand no matter where you are.

Pearl Modiadie – The Golden Girl from Tembisa

A Tembisa based organization responsible for putting together Miss Tembisa and Miss Teen Tembisa said that Pearl Modiadie is one of the best roles models the infamous pageant has produced. While Miss Tembisa is growing each year, Pearl Modiadie is also doing her own growing – from youth shows, acting to content producing. While the rest of the country might like seeing her interviewing stars on Zaziwa, she recently told True Love magazine that she is currently looking into taking her brand to another level. Wait, isn’t her brand on another level already? Well, not quite. Don’t get me wrong she is a good girl and does her job brilliantly but she’s nowhere near “another level”. At the moment, her brand solely rides in between 5s not yet 6s or 7s even. When you are at 5s, you are at that stage where you feel if you do not implement strategic brand/career building moves, you might become stagnant. Not bad for a girl who is humble but not great either for a young career woman who sees herself becoming a reckoned entertainment brand in South Africa.

Pearl Modiadie’s brand is currently confusing with no targeted and strategic approach. Her show on one of the national broadcaster channel is lifestyle content driven watched by a rainbow of a target market difficult to pin point. On the other hand, the radio show she’s currently on talks to the social media survey, career driven listeners. Am I confused? Maybe I am but I know that she would like to take her shining career to another level. To go anywhere as an entertainment brand, the social media survey, aspirant crowd is where you should be so they say. But that strategy doesn't work for everyone, in fact, target markets are not the same as such they should be approached differently. In Pearl’s case, she should define her target market effectively then take it from there.

On defining target market, have you noticed lately how brands are so lazy to do amazing things especially regionally? While hiring big stars for a brand activation campaign in Tembisa might serve a brand well, hiring a regional or local one will be definitely breaking boundaries and speaking to a local/regional market brilliantly. They should it try it more.

Bonang Matheba on Social Media

Before social media, previous TV presenters relied on Talent Managers to get their names out there and ultimately attract jobs that were often offered to a selected few. Back then, TV presenting was more of a “famous” boat or so it seemed. “It girl” of that time, Vinolia, famous for presenting a then famous youth show, Jam Alley, made it look that way. Even though she had talent, the fickle entertainment industry soon swallowed her faster than that word. There was no twitter or Facebook which made it easy for gossip magazines and media in general to destroy her brand, a fall headed by her mischievous behavior. Besides, PR consultants at that time were not really active in the entertainment circles. So saving one’s falling star was challenging, often outright difficult hence Vinolias’ fell so quick.

Enters Queen B just in time with social media. Probably the only successful TV presenter we have in South Africa, Bonang Matheba, is using social media very well to stay relevant and marketable. While a lot can be said about her blocking those that disagree with her and haters on twitter, one thing is clear, her social media strategy works.

“In 2009 she hired an agent, a manager, a PR consultant and a personal assistant to shape the direction she wanted her career to take”, wrote Thandi Skade in Destiny magazine March 2013 issue featuring Bonang. Clearly the people she hired are well tuned, look at her now. She on the other hand is doing whatever it takes to build an empire she always threatens to build one day. I don’t know about you but something tells me, Ms Matheba might follow the likes of Pepsi Pokane and go the entertainment entrepreneurial route fulltime soon. She has established Bonang Matheba Entertainment but part from the online show and that SAMA red carpet show she produced, nothing concrete has been done by the company since then.

Social media for individuals is tricky especially when you are in the public eye. Keeping in mind that both your personal and professional business is anyone’s business by default without your authorization. Bonang knows this too well so does most entertainers who are on social media. What makes her standout is clearly the fact that whatever she posts is selling her, elevate, and complements her well planned brand strategy. But why do her shows fail on ratings? Well, not everything online translates to other mediums all the time no matter how big of a brand you are but it helps massively having a healthy engaging following on online platforms.

Bonang Matheba is proving that having a solid brand strategy in place helps elevates one’s brand but having a social media strategy completing the brand strategy takes you to another level and most importantly brings in that uniqueness factor you hear people talking about. Your brand stands out and commands respect both offline and online, imagine the opportunities that will come your way when you have a healthy yet human image everywhere. So how does one achieve that?

Email to find out.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tau Ya Masepeng - Guest Blogging

Apart from this blog you are reading now, I also blog on The Tembisan regularly as mentioned before and also guest blogged on Youth Village and recently on Fana The Purp. I will be continuing on the latter until further notice as I am extremely busy running Tembisa On Record.

1. Youth Village - That Sunday Afternoon……….
2. Fana The Purp - Khelo Kheo Kha Maabane.

Thank you for your continued support! I love you all!

Tau Ya Masepeng blog on Tembisan

I also blog on The Tembisan newspaper. Some of the blog posts were/are also published on the printed addition. Here are few I have written so far;

1. Xenophobia can be avoided.
2. Winter in Tembisa.
3. What you should know about nyaope.
4. Reasons why tenants dislike ‘ma-stand’.
5. Renting in Tembisa.
6. Tembisa on television.
7. Some days are better than others.
8. Where to sell fruit and vegetables in Tembisa.
9. Where is the party at in Tembisa?
10. Stars are born here.
11. Education is not the problem, we are.
12. Establishing and running a fast food business in Tembisa.
13. The great wall of Tembisa.
14. 10 things no one tells you about Tembisa.

Visit Tembisan on daily basis for more on local stories. And to read TYM blog section.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Marketing for SMEs in Johannesburg

Peter Drucker once said that "the aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself." To this day, everything I do in marketing is guided by his statement. Marketing is one function of a business that is often underestimated and business owners forget that without marketing, no one will know that you exist. If you do not know where to start, look at starting with the following;

1. Brand Activations.
2. Free Sample distributions.
3. In-store promotions.
4. Flyer distributions.
5. Social media.

Content supplied by:
Tembisa On Record - regional/location marketing specialists.
Twitter: @TembisaOnRecord
Facebook:Tembisa On Record
Cell: 073 386 9264

7 Amazing Brands In SA

Shut the front door! Say what? I love brands that are not easily intimidated by competition and market themselves so effectively it becomes hard to forget them (and easy to remember them). Here they are in no particular order;

1. Sorbet (Candi & Co and Sorbet Man).
2. Nandos.
3. Bonang Matheba.
4. Ndalo Media (Destiny and Destiny Man).
5. Unilever (Vaseline For Men).
6. Samsung.
7. Apple.

Brands are no longer about being old and boring, but about standing out from the crowd.

4 Hottest Smartphones of 2012

We use our smartphones for so many things that we carry them everywhere we go. Often, our phones, accompany us to awkward places at time – not that they have a choice, but because we are highly dependent on them. Our lives revolve around them. In 2012, these are the smartphones that saw us spending money we did not perhaps have;

1.BlackBerry Bold 9900. I loved this phone so much! It only disappointed me as soon as it started freezing. Other than it was the best phone I have ever used.
2.Samsung Galaxy SIII. It was sold out at most shops that week it came out. Everyone wanted a piece of it.
3.Apple iPhone 4s. Two words: expensive and fully functional.
4.Nokia Lumia 900. I loved 3310 and 1110 better. Lumia was not my favorite at all.

So which one did you buy?

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Marketing a Fashion Show In South Africa

South African fashion industry is fastly growing in all its facets. It might not be similar to that of Paris or Milan, but the truth is that it is growing. David Tlale showed us last year that SA is not just a hotspot for movies, but it can hold its own in fashion on an international stage. Besides that, there are fashion designers in SA refusing to give up or settle for mediocrity. They are producing amazing garments that are stylish and practical.

Before we only knew of one or two fashion shows. At that time, it was just a matter of creating a platform for South African fashion designers to sell their “oh-my-god” garments. Things have changed since then with more and more fashion weeks introduced yearly in different towns and platforms. Creativity is in full supply especially from designers. Even brands are seeking major partnerships with many of the shows we see today and designers.

If you manage to score an invite as a fashionista you start worrying about what to wear as early as five weeks before the shows. Who wouldn’t? Often fashion weeks are a dream come true as they allow one to network with the right people in fashion and also the designers who are not always accessible to an ordinary fashionista. For those who put a fashion week together, preparations before the shows meant each every detail has to be attended to and finalised as early as possible with deadlines guiding the process.

As with any event in South Africa, marketing is hardly given a field day. I don't understand why organisers underestimate this important aspect? I think most make the mistake of only appointing PR specialists whom often focuses only on publicity and even that, there is still a long way to go. It is often not structured thus making tracking results difficult. Someone once told me that, budgets are not readily available to make sure the fashion shows are as widely marketed and marketing activities measured as effective as possible. To that, I responded and said that it is not about the budget but creativity. People are in good positions to influence decisions but because there are often so swamped with many other activities fail to think creatively as far as budgets are concerned.

Gone are the days of just hiring a PR and Marketing agency without defined briefs. How do you expect them to provide a magnificent service for you while you yourself do not even understand what you would like to achieve and how you envision their roles especially in your quest to achieving excellence?

A certain fashion show in South African last year failed on social media marketing. It was as if they did not know what they were doing. For me, I do not see why you should use the same content for all social media platforms without actually tweaking here and there so it suits the audience of that platform. Twitter, Facebook and others are not the same, therefore, they must not be approached the same way irrespective of whether it's a live event or not. Pay attention, it is not that difficult. This is not the only thing I have noticed but there were millions of them.

If you would like to learn more on how best to market a fashion show, please email

The Real Blogging Benefits

It might appear to you as if blogging is very easy. Let me tell you that it is not. Well, starting is very easy as anyone can be a blogger but keeping it up it's another issue altogether. Let me tell you how I started.

The year was 2011 when I had just left a reputable job at a good company in Randburg. I had been with them for over 7 months and, fortunately, discovered that I was not growing anymore both personally and professionally. So without any secured employment elsewhere, I decided to leave. I was sharing a flat with someone else at the time and planned to stay on even though I knew I could no longer afford rent. Anyway, unexpectedly I could not find a job as fast as I had expected. I decided to find something to do so long.

I decided that it will be quite amazing to have someone or a space where I can just complain and be inspired. Weird combination, right? Well for me I find that whenever I start complaining about something that went horribly wrong because of the decision I had made, there is often something to take home that is good at the end of the day. And that is inspiration and lessons. You will never know how to move forward if you do not learn from your mistakes. I loved my job but somewhere, something was not right and I later learned that if I continued there, I would have probably loathed waking up in the morning to go there.

I have read few blog when I decided to start my own. At first it was just for fun. I soon discovered that in fact I liked it a lot. Because I had no concrete plans as to where I wanted to be as a blogger just focused on writing everything and anything. I must tell you though it felt so good to read my work. If you read my blog entries in 2011 to date, you will see that I have grown since then.

Even though at times I felt my writing skills were not up to standard compared to other blogs, I decided to continue as I knew the only way to get it right was to practice daily. Up to this day, I still practice almost daily as my journey to perfection is a continuing that will never end. This other day I read an article about bloggers being lazy to brand and market themselves effectively. That was a wake-up call for me. Why didn't I read that before starting? The article basically touched on many things some of which are no longer relevant as blogging has evolved dramatically since then. Nonetheless, I devised a branding and marketing plan for myself. and it read as follows;

1. Blog posts - to focus only on topics that I could easily write on and passionate about. However, will not focus on just one topic or industry in order to fully develop my writing skills.

2. Enrolled for a Copywriting course - AAA was the perfect place to go. I learned so much about myself as a blogger and most importantly different writing techniques for different platforms offline and online.

3. Develop a content plan - list all industries and topics with sub-headings in a calendar format. For example, Fashion - man bag - publish in July. At first I feared committing to deadlines but soon discovered it helps greatly. Readers get used to a formula and once you miss a deadline they move to the next blog and in most cases never come back.

4. Content marketing plan - this has to be one of the most important tools for any blogger serious about blogging. Not only does it give you an overview of what to do and when, but also forces one to run an oiled blog. More like a business, a content marketing plan for me also helped in getting my name out there and securing an employment opportunity and guest blogging opportunities.

I have to tell you that there are thousands of bloggers in SA currently, they must not intimidate you. Focus on growing your brand and the right opportunities will find you. Not to say wait but you have to focus and work hard. If you need help drafting a content plan or brand and marketing your blog effectively email

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Swazi Dlamini Live at Joburg Theatre

Swazi Dlamini, one of the best singers we have in this country will be performing an exclusive show at the Joburg Theatre. If you do not know who she is, well, Swazi Dlamini was a member of Joyous Celebration then went on to release a jazz album. Not only is she vocally gifted but entrepreneurial too.

She will be singing all songs from her first album "My first love" which introduced us to a more sassy and classy Swazi amongst others. Are you going?

Date: 26 April 2015
Venue: Joburg Theatre

Tickets are available here and will also be sold at the door.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Top 8 Famous Jobs on Bizcommunity

If you are looking for a job in either marketing or advertising industry, here are some of the best trending on Bizcommunity as of today.

1. Digital Marketing Manager.
2. Account Manager.
3. SEO Strategists.
4. Assistant Brand Manager.
5. Communications and Marketing Director.
6. Digital Campaign Manager.
7. Content and Community Manager.
8. Senior Events Coordinator.

For more, visit Bizcommunity.

9 Different Types of Marketing your Business in South Africa

Have you just launched a new company? Or have an amazing product you would like to market immediately? Well, here are few marketing strategies you can use;

1. Guerrilla Marketing.
2. Freebie Marketing.
3. Free Sample Marketing.
4. Diversity Marketing.
5. Alliance Marketing
6. Ambush Marketing.
7. Content Marketing.
8. Direct Marketing.
9. Digital Marketing.

Content sponsored by Tembisa On Record - Regional/Location marketing specialists.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Is Diversity Marketing Important?

A friend asked me the other day if diversity marketing works, I proudly said yes. Further said that everyone is doing it just a few willing to invest a little more to get it right. Diversity marketing does not always require one to invest millions but just a creative person or agency to direct the campaigns in that framework effectively. For instance, if you’re considering running a brand activation in Giyani, get someone who speaks Xitsonga and who understand that market properly. That already gives your brand an upper hand. Because the message is relayed potential customers using the language they understand by someone they probably relate to, suddenly your brand appears to be part of them. It is just amazing how small things in marketing contribute to the bigger picture. We can argue the whole day on whether diversity marketing works or not just like with any other marketing activity but that won’t mean one should not invest in it.

Sounds easy to do, right? Well, here’s what you should consider before you try it;

Step 1: Look at who buys your products/services more. Don’t assume, make sure you conduct a proper research.

Step 2: Once that is determined, build an internal or external team to come up with creative ways to engage with those buyers. Remember the goal is not to make sales instantly but to build long lasting relationships with customers.

Step 3: Avoid “cut & paste” tactics. Focus on what works, do away with “but brand A did this and that”.

Step 4: Go on and do what you need to do.

If these steps don’t work for, consider getting someone who can train you on how best to do it looking at your scenario. This might help you tremendously.

How to be an efficient Sales Consultant?

As a sales Consultant you work your ass off to chase and close deals no matter how small or big they are, often that takes months sometimes even years. When the deal you have been chasing finally lands on your desk, you ring the sales “bell” as loudly as a school boy back in primary school. That is the beauty of sales! With that though comes huge responsibilities – to deliver. That does not always go as smoothly as promised and stated on the proposal you have sent. That is why most Sales Consultants feel as if the after-sales staff exists to sabotage their hard earned business forgetting that it takes two to tango and in this kind of a situation even ten.

There are companies that do not value good service. For them the main thing is profit forgetting that it is very difficult to survive as a company when you do not even bother to offer your client the best service across all departments. When the values of the company revolves around profit – there is no repeat business. This is a topic for another day, today it is about the Sales Consultants.

What cause this?

In most companies Sales Consultants are managed and controlled by strict targets they need to achieve irrespective of how bad the month was. This means that should one fail to meet the set targets, they will have to answer to someone superior who is not always the nicest not because they are mean but the job requires a strict approach especially when dealing with an underperforming consultant. I could be wrong but no consultant likes being summoned to “why didn’t you meet your targets? Meeting. Because of this some consultant cook up crazy ways to secure a sale often taking it as far as promising clients things they know very well aren’t included in the sale. This creates major disagreements with after-sales staff – words fly so do resignation letters. Clients sign on the dotted line and expect the results, they are not interested on who’s who in the zoo.

After-sales staff have to provide the service in accordance with what was promised to the client and deliver accordingly, no questions asked. Since they classify clients according to what they have purchased often aren’t interested in checking the proposals, which is understandable. Immediately when clients starts to demand something that is not included in the sale, it appears as if after-sales staff do not know what they are doing. So the client will leave with his money without thinking twice because of a hungry Sales Consultant who didn’t offer what is supposed to be offered.

Is there a way to solve this?

Yes. There is a way and it is called communication. You cannot afford to screw clients hoping they will understand. Not only is this practice unethical and stupid but it can cost you a job and revenue for the company. I know most people in sales do not like honest sells but that is the best way to conduct business. Let’s look at how you can avoid nasty SLA’s terminations;

Step 1: Look at what you sell and study all offerings to a T. You won’t be able to sell something that you do not know and understand.

Step 2: Now that you know what you are selling, next you study your prospects. You look at what you can offer them against what they’re most likely to buy. Some clients may not agree to your products/services packages but willing to buy just a portion of that. You must also prepare for that, if need be meet with them so you can design a package suitable specifically for them.

Step 3: Before sending any proposals discuss with your manager or colleague the contents of your proposal so they can help you draft the best one possible. Also this will give you a chance to rectify those situations where you are offering something that cannot be delivered.

Step 4: Stop going on like you know everything, you do not. If you are not sure, tell the client you will come back to them and actually do. Never tell a lie or over–promise. Building good relationships with clients starts with this small details. Communicate with your clients and always be transparent.

Step 5: Once they sale is in. While sorting out paperwork communicate with the relevant after-sales teams so they can prepare themselves. Give them the full information or a breakdown of what needs to be done and when. A meeting will do, but it’s not really necessary as there are emails.

Obviously companies are not the same, but nothing says, “we know what we are doing like an organized organization”. Clients value good service, just give it to them.

Content sponsored by Tembisa On Record. Regional/Location marketing specialists.

Friday, April 03, 2015

It’s a yes from me and from you?

I was born and raised in Bolebedu 27 years ago. My mother and sister raised me while my father worked in Gauteng just like most fathers in the village. Our village, Ga-Sedibeng, is not that big like other villages next to it but has in the produced good and reliable young men and women. Even though majority of careers that we were exposed to as young kids were limited to teaching and nursing, some of us vowed to pursue careers outside that spectrum (nursing and teaching are not bad career choices, they are just used as examples). Initially I had three careers in mind, acting being one of them but later realized that Public Relations will suit me better as I was talkative and good with languages. In fact, Putco Mafane ploughed that idea as I saw myself in him. He was good and often I would think of him whenever the opportunity to present answers or ideas in class came. Talk about being passionate!

After high school without a plan, I ended up at the doors of MSC College Midrand hoping to be enrolled for free. How else was I going to pay for my studies when I knew very well my mom was unemployment? I didn’t know that was the beginning of my marketing career but I knew that I wanted to study. I don’t know what the principal saw in me that day, to my surprise she offered me a bursary right there to study Public Relations. All I needed was a registration fee then I was set to go. I did enroll eventually a week after paying the registration fee required which mom and sister made possible as I had told them about the bursary. Even though they worried about money for transport and food there was no way I was going to let that opportunity pass me by. As soon as I started the course, something in me told me to aim higher. Being the resourceful person that I am, everything that had to do with marketing at the college I was there. Soon I was travelling with the college principal and lectures to school presentations in Tembisa and participating as a student advisor at a brand activation campaign for the college. That was the fun part of being a student for me.

As with everything, my student life ended meaning that I was an adult with a qualification and no job. I panicked greatly. I think being used to achieving had a lot to do with that. Job searching followed with few promises here and there, nothing concrete surfaced but I continued looking. This other day I went by the college to see my favorite lectures and a friend only to be told that someone will be opening a new MSC College campus in Benoni and they were looking into hiring a marketing administrator who can help them with marketing activities in that area. Just like that, my CV was forwarded and interview arranged. I got the job and immediately planned the way forward re marketing the college. I was unapologetic in the way I did marketing there but soon after realized that you are as good as your last marketing campaign. Trust me when I say it was not easy as I was also immature but I strived nonetheless.

After MSC College, I filled few temp assignments until I landed a job at one of the best training companies in South Africa. There I grew up and managed to get a promotion. However, I wanted more as I started realizing that I have this skill of seeing opportunities where others won’t and chasing them enthralled me big time. At that time I met a fashion designer who I did PR for, even though I did not make much from that, It fulfilled me. Radio interviews were my specialty and I never once underestimated myself. I focused and delivered.

Most companies I worked for me allowed me to strive as I never shied away from a challenge. I always knew I will start my company one day hence I made it my business to learn as much as possible in my field. By 2013, offline marketing was being neglected as more and more companies were investing most of their resources in digital marketing. Everybody knew that in order to succeed as a company you cannot ignore the wind that was digital marketing. What surprised me greatly was that digital marketing was already big if not massive at that time, a large pool of marketing managers in selected industries did not understand the whole concept at all it seemed. They knew everyone was marketing digitally but as with everything most just copied and pasted without actually taking the time to analyse their current marketing investments and where they wanted to go. If you do not know where you are, what you are doing and where you want to go as a brand, you will simply get lost. Now everyone know more or less what they are doing budgets are just sometimes making it impossible to do great things. And I will go as far as saying being lazy to come up with inexpensive ad creative ways makes it even harder to market.

I wanted to be part of that digital marketing wind, learn how it worked and where it fitted in as far as sales were concerned or lead generation for that matter. Wanting to expand my skills range, I decided to leave a secure job to take a position at a great digital agency to learn after I had completed a short programme at one of the best advertising schools in South Africa. Towards the end of last year I realized that many brands are just not willing to stand out of the cluttered market in their respective industries online and offline. Brands are just doing what everyone is doing differently but still not enough to be where they should be. You cannot afford to just follow trends, why are you marketing then if your end goal is not to make sales or build brand awareness? Other brands do well partnering with reputable bloggers for a certain structured campaign while others do well with a great brand activation campaign at a mall. What I mean is focus more on what works for you not the next brand.

Tembisa On Record was born, a fearless regional/local based agency focusing on the Eastrand was conceptualized with this in mind. Through this company clients can expect unusual marketing tactics that are just not preaching the gospel of “we know better that our competitor” but are fiercely targeted and measurable. It is not fun and games when you invest thousands even millions on a marketing campaign but will be when you ignore your regional/local clientele that you can tactically target and measure the results almost instantly. Nothing beats an intimate one on one conversation with a loyal customer and would-be customer. The feedback you get there is often challenging getting it anywhere else. Another important aspect Tembisa On Record stresses is that national marketing campaigns are great and should not be abandoned but they cannot always strive on their own, they need a strong tactical local based approach that can bring about required results in a short space of time often with less resources. Also that other brands will find that their loyal customers are based in a certain location but surprisingly still spends millions looking for new ones instead of investing on both or building from that existing one. Before you waste money, make sure you analyse every little details about who buys from you.

I generally love brands that are not afraid to take risks especially when it comes to marketing. When you are fearless, you get the best and fulfilling results. I am not saying brands should invest in every little marketing campaign under the sun but I strongly believe in that if you want to be taken seriously it starts with doing what others in your industry fear. Everyone wants to be like Nandos but few are willing to use what they have to get there without copying the marketing genius that is Nandos.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Brand Activation Agencies Ekurhuleni

If you have customers in Ekurhuleni, it is time to beef-up your marketing plans. First, you can start by embarking on brand activation campaigns then followed by regional adverts offline and online;

1. Tembisa On Record
2. Point Blank
3. Real Promotions
4. Phat
5. BLK Ops

Please avoid targeting the wrong places. Make sure you understand your target market fully otherwise you will not achieve what you should.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

8 Examples of Direct Marketing

Are you busy drafting a direct marketing strategy? If so, here are campaigns you should include in your plan:

1. SMS's
2. Emails
3. Online adverts
3. Flyer distribution
4. Catalog distribution
5. Newsletters
6. Television and radio ads
7. Response based print media ads
8. Outdoor adverts

Remember your target market, there is no use in advertising if you do no know who you are talking to.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

What is Guerrilla Marketing?

How many times have you heard this term in meetings? I bet more than you care to count. I do not blame you, guerrilla marketing is another form of marketing that most people can’t point out an exact marketing exercise and classify it as such. Not that there isn’t one, however, there aren’t always many around to reference. Flash mobs are popular kinds of guerilla marketing and most brands prefer them. This does not mean guerilla marketing ends there. Someone once described guerilla marketing as “unconventional and inexpensive techniques with imagination, big crowds and a surprise element are used for marketing something”. There isn’t more one can say after reading that.

I guess the question is, are there agencies that can help with that?

Alliance Marketing – Does it work?

Alliance marketing can be quite confusing and intimidating at the same time. You have two brands that complement each other in one campaign from the same brand house or different vying for the same attention - where do you start and is there a correct way of doing this without compromising each brand’s USP (unique selling point)? Brands somehow shy away from this kind of a marketing method, they say it is risky and doesn’t always work. I fully understand where they are coming from, few brands get this right and even so it is still done with a reserved room for disappointments. For anyone wishing to embark on an alliance marketing soon, here’s what I think you should do.

- Research. Do not just assume that your partnership with a brand that complement yours will work. Assumptions killed many good campaigns. Conduct a survey either by mail or telephone, you will thank yourself later.

- I guess the research either told you yes or no. If yes, then analyse the report to a T in order to determine objectives, campaign message etc. Never settle for what is easy but what is right. If no, go find a better method suitable for you to market your brand.

From here-on, you know what to do. If not, consider getting in an agency to assist.

5 Reasons why you need to market regionally

I am one of those people who loves marketing. Campaigns that I see implemented in Tembisa, Katlehong, Voslo and Daveyton are some of my favourites as there is always something to learn from them. I often take it as far as congratulating or criticizing the campaign either on my twitter account or facebook. I guess you can call me a campaign finder and liker. Some of these campaigns are fantastically done while some appear to have lost a meaning in planning stages. As a Marketing Manager, you should try focusing on one goal at a time and work from there. Juggling too many balls in regional marketing doesn’t always work.

Regional marketing requires more than just a pretty ad in a local newspaper. There are so many things you will need to consider and research on before you even start with any regional marketing campaign. I often see ads and campaigns that one can easily tell there were done without a proper research exercise. Most are good but are not talking to the targeted audience as they are either copywritten broadly in a manner that does not address the needs of the targeted market. Same with campaigns. Let’s look at why is it necessary to market regionally;

1. Campaigns specifically targeted at a certain location or area work well, as one can address the target market’s specific needs and the results are often measurable depending on the type of a campaign implemented.
2. When you speak in a language that your audience understand, there is bound to be a better outcome.
3. Regional marketing is very much flexible. You can target more than two locations in one region with one suitable campaign.
4. It’s one of the effective ways to gather feedback from customers in real time. Reports (gathered nationally on a whim) might say something completely different about how customers perceive your brand compared to one-on-one conversations with customers.
5. Some products sell better in certain areas. Why not invest in that are? I don’t see why you shouldn’t.

A newly formed regional marketing agency, Tembisa On Record aims to assist brands in this regard.

Free Sample Marketing in the East Rand

Growing up in Limpopo, we sometimes risked being beaten up for coming home late from school because of a small scale concert we often attended after school at the local shop. We loved those concerts as they gave us free samples (food, tea bags, washing powder and many more) and always had one of a kind entertainment that was just what we needed after a busy day at school. Joko was one of the brands we saw a lot. Then I did not know those mini concerts were brand activations mixed with free sample marketing. I must say they worked really well and I do not see a lot of them lately whenever I visit home.

Joko had a good mix. However, one doesn’t always need to mix brand activation and a free sample marketing even though it might give you more in exposure and ultimately sales when mixed together. In the East Rand, it can work either way. However, make sure you know exactly what you would like to achieve, then work from there. Marketing is not one size fits all, treat it carefully so you can get the results you are looking for.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Shoki Sebotsane on TV

She is one of the best on TV as far as acting is concerned and she is not shy to speak Khelobedu when the role requires. Here are some of the shows Shoki Sebotsane acted on;

1. Death of a Queen as Grace Lerothodi. This role really showed off her acting skills. She was raw and did everything in her power to shine.
2. Muvhango as Tumi Mokoena. Tumi was not really a hit.
3. Patricia as Naomi's worst nightmare on Rhythm City. Combine two talented ladies in one or two scenes, you are bound to hit a jackpot.
4. Rachel's mom on Skeem Sam.