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