Marketing In A Diverse Culture

Marketing In A Diverse Culture


When should you embark on a marketing campaign?

A company should be marketing when there is either an opportunity or a challenge – which means all the time. An opportunity may be a new market or product. A challenge may be a new competitor. Marketing need not be a multimillion rand campaign, but could be as small as a direct mail drive or branded vehicle.  A marketing culture should be pervasive throughout the organisation – from the way the receptionist answers the phone to the way sales people do cold calls.

What is your advice to executives who don’t have big budgets?

Think out of the box. When I started Chillibush I used those small tin buckets, filled them with chillies, put personalised notes on them and dropped them off at key potential clients.  Also, make sure you really know who you are talking to and be certain that you understand these people. Segmenting your target market and talking to it appropriately will reduce wastage of marketing spend in the long run.

How do you set marketing objectives?

They are the “to do’s” which you want to achieve. Keep them simple and measureable. Establish a benchmark when you set your objectives so you have something to measure against.  Make the objectives challenging but realistic. I aimed to have my first employee within six months; a friend of mine who started his business at the same time was convinced he would have a team of ten within four – his business didn’t make it. Include some fun goals.

How much should you spend on your marketing?

You can ask your agency to tell you how much it would cost to achieve the objectives. Or you can allocate a percentage of turnover to marketing. This may vary from 3% to 6% depending on the product.  The problem is that in tough times when turnover is down, marketing is also forced to cut back when it’s needed the most. Another way is to apply an inflationary increase to existing budgets, year-on-year.

How do you identify your target market?

Start by breaking your target market down according to Living Standards Measures, but don’t use LSM in isolation because it has flaws. Look at gender, location, education level, lifestyle and literacy too, for example. I strongly recommend not dividing your market according to race as our society is changing and we are inclined to apply our prejudices when we talk to one race or another.

What information should be included in a marketing brief?

The single most important piece of information for the creative brief is to identify the unique selling proposition (USP).
Is there something that your organisation does that is unique to you? I am talking about cheapest, fastest, biggest, smallest. If there truly is no differentiator, you need to sit with your creative team to find other ways of establishing your offering.

  • Title: From Witblits to Vuvuzelas
  • Author: Dale Hefer
  • Publisher: Oshun Books
Monique Verduyn
Monique Verduyn is a freelance writer. She has more than 12 years’ experience in writing for the corporate, SME, IT and entertainment sectors, and has interviewed many of South Africa’s most prominent business leaders and thinkers. Find her on Google+.