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Marketing Tactics

Focus Your Marketing to Make Sales

A twenty-twenty vision for marketing.

David Blyth




In order to remain relevant in a fast-changing industry, marketing has to take a long-term view and create a vision for its future. After decades of complacent reliance on techniques that use money to buy market share, marketers must re-invent their discipline or risk becoming less relevant. We should be building a positive vision and identifying related platform opportunities in order to be ready for the year 2020.

This is the current Five Point reality:

More customer participation

Any individual can be a writer, an editor or a publisher. Consider the rapid rise of collaborative buying (Groupon), peer production (YouTube) and co-creation. Customers now participate actively in creating the messaging around your brand.

More customer connections

The number of brand touch-points has multiplied and many are now outside marketing’s remit.

More customer complexity

The customer purchase journey is no longer linear and the drivers of decision-making are complex, messy and real-time.

More customer control

Customers are now more empowered, critical, demanding and price sensitive.

More corporate compliance

Customers no longer distinguish between the product and the organisation.

Given this new context, marketing must therefore shift its focus:

Local application

Some say that as a nation, we should not be overly concerned by global changes because our circumstances and priorities are different. Consider then how the Johannesburg community managed to halt the development of a multi-billion Rand project in SANRAL – largely because of poor communication, lack of community involvement, and no positioning of the value it could add. Essentially, the project had no proper marketing.

In SA, we have specific priorities that deserve consideration within the new global marketing environment. These include education, crime and job creation. Local marketers should be thinking about how they can link their initiatives in a way that is meaningful to the national agenda:

  • Think about how your business can create space and time for South Africans to access self-learning platforms and provide incentives for learners to teach others.
  • Think about how you can support the drive toward an entrepreneur-rich society by providing tools for customers to build their own products and services.
  • Curate the aggregation and distribution of branded services for communities based on knowledge of their local consumption needs and apply a discounting or value-add offerings based on volume.

With the 2020 vision in mind, we can get practical about where marketing should focus its accelerative influence:

1.Your personal content becomes commercial

For a taste of things to come visit:, a music video where every item featured is available to purchase directly through the content.

Think ahead to 2020 and we will see the collision of gaming, entertainment and real-time commerce experiences across all channels where anything seen on video or even on-person in real-life, can be tagged and bought from other consumers.

2.Your personal ideas become services

Services like, a funding platform for creative projects, have been around for a while now and there are intermediary businesses like that will help sell your ideas on to big business.

Think ahead to 2020 and we will see consumers buying ideas from each other to establish new entrepreneurial business opportunities

3.You become your own social bank

Mobile commerce is still in its infancy but there are successful examples of initiatives like M-Pesa which, although built for a different and specific functional purpose, have turned out to be enablers of a more powerful underlying need, and are indicative of how currency will be shared in the future.

Think ahead to 2020 and imagine being able to harness the power of person-to-person lending in parallel with community development.

4.Values become valuable

The power of consumer sentiment in dictating how social values affect the reputation and share price of corporations is clearly evident today. Just ask Goldman Sachs, following the open resignation letter from Greg Smith. People are already able to rate their satisfaction with the manner in which business lives up to what is deemed socially acceptable.

Think ahead to 2020 and imagine if we had a personal ‘values footprint’ for everything we do or consume, beyond carbon and including values like mutual respect.

5.Real-time pricing

Researching off-line then buying on-line behavior is already the prevailing manner of consumer purchasing in developed economies. There is still a significant requirement for bricks and mortar in the developing world but this will change. Physical distribution will play a far smaller part in the future marketing mix.

Think head to 2020 and consider the effect if mass distributors of product are forced to re-configure their value-chains, and associated distribution costs, because influential communities are not willing to pay the difference between real-world and digital-world pricing.

The consumer is drawing the line between business-driven and community-driven commerce. South African marketers must think big, project forward and invest now for a 2020 Future where consumer communities will have greater control of content, communication and commerce.

David Blythe is an experienced marketing and brand strategy practitioner. He joined Yellowwood in 2011 and has subsequently led marketing strategy projects for Liberty Group, Rand Refinery, Sun International and Tsb Sugar. He is currently Yellowwood’s group managing director. Yellowwood is Africa’s leading marketing strategy consultancy, offering insight, strategy, planning and design to clients who are serious about business and brand growth. For more information, contact Yellowwood on +27 (0)11 268 5210 or +27 (0)21 425 0344 or visit

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Bus Hire Durban

    Nov 22, 2012 at 13:38

    Davids’ opening statement, “In order to remain relevant in a fast-changing industry, marketing has
    to take a long-term view and create a vision for its future,” is enough to get most companies taking a renewed resolute stance for their future operations!

    Unfortunately, we often have a misconstrued view of what marketing is, and how it is to be excercised, with strategies only focussed on the “here and now.”

    Long Term Marketing ( 5 > 10 > 15 year strategies ) with great perspective, is a definite MUST for any Firm looking to be around in 10 > 20 years from now.

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Marketing Tactics

Gen Z Is Coming! Are You Ready?

How do you market your company to this generation?

Stuart Scanlon




According to the CNBC, about 61 000 Gen Zers are on the verge of entering the workforce and consumer market in the US alone.

They are digital natives; they have grown up in a world of vines, txts (yes, we know) and internet. Their attention span is shorter than ever, they are more connected than any other generation, and they are brilliant multitaskers. Gen Z is a more tolerant generation but also more cautious; studies have found less risk-taking amongst this group and an increase in thoughtfulness and questioning authority.

So, on the one side of this coin, how do you market your company to this generation?

1. By being transparent

Be upfront about your business, what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. They have lost faith in corporations. Thus, you must stop relying on and hiding behind small print. Yes, you need terms and conditions to protect your company, but when it looks like a miracle weight-loss advert of the 80s (“Eat anything you want just take this pill. Ts&Cs apply.”), you’ll lose customers.

Related: Investing in Young Entrepreneurs

Gen Z consumers want to see you are real; they don’t want models or celebrities but regular people who can assist them in a manner that speaks to them. And they will hold your business is socially accountable. Instead of producing millions of T-shirts at the cheapest possible price, they want local, equality and free-trade, and they want to know what businesses are doing for the environment and society.

Gen Z won’t accept your claims at your word; they want to see evidence in your company culture.

2. By offering options

A jewellery purchasing study has found that most Gen Zers don’t have a preferred shopping platform. What this means is your messaging, availability and culture need to be spread evenly across all contact points – sales, call centres, website and digital advertising. In fact, many Gen Z consumers rely on mixing their contact points.

That being said, they want immediate action. If they see something they want online, they will go to the shop just to have the item right now. More than immediacy, they also want custom-made or made-to-order products and services. They shy away from traditional made-to-stock methods, which creates plenty of room in the production industry.

3. By being forward thinking

We have to always remember what was mind-blowing inventions to other generations are the norm for Gen Zers. They hold brands and businesses to high expectations, and instead of being loyal to brands, expect brands to be loyal to them. As Gen Z is more focused on individuality, they are also proving to be a generation with a high entrepreneurial output. All this shows that they don’t want the norm; they don’t crave what’s new today, they want tomorrow, sustainability and innovation, and they want it now.

On the other side of the coin, how do you attract this generation to work at your company? In much the same way.

1. By being transparent

As much as you are hiring them based on what they bring to the table, so too are they looking at what you can afford them. But, they don’t just want to hear you tell them about the benefits, they want to see it – and they are not after just money. Gen Zers want to be financially secure, but also one that is fulfilling; one where they find purpose in their jobs and company.

2. By offering options

Gen Z employees don’t want to work eight to five, they don’t want to be chained to a desk, and they don’t want to be micro-managed. Give them flexibility on how they want to conduct their work and how they can communicate with their colleagues. Create an understanding workspace for their needs and help them improve their skills – for instance, it’s been reported that a stumbling block for Gen Zers is communication. Growing up with emojis and text messages make face-to-face conversations, business calls and writing emails difficult for them.

Gen Z employees want to work hard and grow their skills. Even though they’re growing up in a super-paced society, they want to climb the corporate ranks at the given speed. What they crave, with urgency, is gaining value from their jobs.

Related: The Z Generation

3. By being forward thinking

They are lateral thinkers, and their creativity is not just outside the box but has broken the box completely. Gen Z is incredibly tech-savvy, and they will challenge the systems and procedures you have in place if these are not providing the needed speed and data required. Thus, they crave to work in an environment where they can push boundaries and ultimately help the company move forward. Hiring from the Gen Z pool can provide you with innovative insights into your business that can grow it towards tomorrow’s giants.

The only way to be sure you are future-proofing your business is by guaranteeing it caters for future customers and employees, by relying on forward-thinking enterprise resource planning software, for instance. Epicor ERP software ensures that their clients stay agile and innovative through trusting top minds to build and develop intelligent systems that open doors for Gen Zers. It’s Epicor’s innate tech-savviness that allows them to visualise the landscape of tomorrow and develop the software to support it today.

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Marketing Tactics

Free Sample Marketing Plan Template

You don’t need an MBA to write a marketing plan for your business. While no two businesses are alike, all solid marketing plans need to provide specific information. Use this sample marketing plan template to get you started on the right foot and cover all the essential information.

Tracy Lee Nicol




Your marketing plan should provide a comprehensive blueprint of the business, its market and associated market activity, its position in the market, target and expected customers, offerings, competition, solutions and contingency plans.

Using a sample Marketing Plan Template can save you a lot of time in creating your own marketing plan.

Download a Sample Marketing Plan Template

Use the free templates below to help make sure you’ve covered all the important bits:

Download Our Free Marketing Plan Template Here.


Recommended Marketing Reads: 

Related: Beginners Guide To Digital Marketing In South Africa

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Marketing Tactics

4 Steps To Writing Content That Converts

Hook them, engage them and tell them what you want them to do.

Syed Balkhi




Is your content persuasive enough to convert your visitors into leads?

Some pieces of content you create will drive conversions, while others will be lost in the archives. As a marketer, you always want to write content that is persuasive enough to turn your visitors into leads and thereafter, into paying customers.

Writing persuasive content is not magic. Let’s take a look at some ways to write content that converts.

1. Craft an enticing title

The title of your content is the most important factor that influences engagement. A whopping 8 out of 10 people may not even read your content if the title isn’t captivating enough.

Using Headline Analyzer by Coschedule is the best way to create a magnetic headline that attracts your audience. Just enter your headline and the tool will report back with a score and a grade along with some suggestions to improve.

For analysis, the tool looks at the following factors:

  • The headline type: It capitalises on the type of headline that converts, including lists, how to’s and questions.
  • Word balance: It helps you to curate an enticing title by checking to see if it has the right word balance.
  • Character length: It also looks whether your title is scannable and easy to digest.

Related: How Content Marketing Adds Real Value To Your Customers’ Lives

2. Fulfill your title’s promise

Getting clicks on your title is just half of the equation. Ensuring that your content fulfills the promise of your title is another equally, maybe even more, important part of driving conversion. If your content can’t keep the promise your headline makes, your visitors will likely abandon your site without further engagement.

When crafting each line of your content, keep in mind that the purpose is to get your visitors to read the next sentence, then the sentence after that and all the way down to the end of your article.

Aside from providing value, you’ll also want to evoke a desire for what you’re offering.

3. Make it scannable

Most of your website visitors spend less than 15 seconds on your website, meaning people quickly skim through the content instead of reading word for word.

If your content is hard to scan, meaning it contains long sentences and paragraphs, it’s likely that your visitors won’t stick around. Chances are, they’ll go to your competitors to find content that’s easier to consume.

To create content that is easily scannable, you can follow the actionable tips below:

  • Short paragraphs: Write short paragraphs, preferably 3-4 sentences at most. Breaking down your content into short paragraphs makes it more digestible for your readers.
  • Use attractive subheaders: Readers should be able to bounce around to seek out the pieces of your content that interest them. By using attractive subheaders, you can pique the curiosity of your readers and keep them engaged.
  • Use bullet points: Using a bulleted list is the easiest way to ensure that your content doesn’t strain your visitors’ eye to read through it. Since bulleted lists stand out from the rest of your page, they make the entire piece easier to skim through.

Related: 5 Reasons Your Small Business Needs Content Marketing

4. Add a call to action at the end

The best way to convert your visitors into leads is to add a call to action, such as an email subscription form, at the end of every article you publish.

Some tips to speed up the growth of your email list are:

  • Offer a post-specific resource: Create a post-specific resource, and offer it for download in exchange for the email address of your visitors. When the resource is post-specific, readers are more likely to engage with the campaign, in turn boosting conversions.
  • Creating a premium library: To increase both perceived and actual value, you can create a premium library consisting of ebooks and other valuable course materials. You can then persuade your visitors to subscribe to your list by adding a signup box at the end of each article.
  • Content gating: Content gating is a popular strategy to boost conversions on your site. For instance, you can grow your list by blocking a small section of your content for subscribers only, which encourage your readers to sign up for your list.

The best way to create content that converts is to use emotion in your copy and evoke a desire for what you’re offering. By following the above tips, you can write content that converts your visitors into leads, and soon thereafter, into paying customers.

This article was originally posted here on

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