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Marketing Tactics

International DJ Sharm Pillay Gives Top Tips On How To Market You – And Your Brand

Sharm Pillay is an international DJ and recently also launched a social media and WordPress agency called XXpand Online. Here are her tips on marketing your brand, your business and yourself successfully.

GG van Rooyen

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Vital Stats

  • Player: Sharm Pillay
  • Claim to fame: International DJ and founder of social media agency XXpand Online.
  • Visit: sharmpillay.com

Know what you want and don’t be afraid to ask for it

Find your passion. Take control of your future. Pick up the phone and put yourself out there. Identify the various media that may be interested in your brand and bravely contact the relevant people.

You’ll be surprised by the positive response. Be courageous, market yourself confidently and from the heart. Passion is sensed by the receiver. It’s all about your energy.

Related: View Every Interaction Through your Brand Lens – It’s Significant Believes Kate Moodley

Embrace what makes you unique

A great way to market yourself successfully and to differentiate yourself from the competition is to lean into the things that make you truly different and unique. For example, I am South Africa’s only female Indian techno DJ, which is a great marketing angle.

Leverage your connections

Marketing starts with your own network. If you sit and take stock, you’ll realise that you have a far more expansive network of personal and professional connections than you think. You need to tap into that to market your business. For instance, I had connections at Lotus FM and SABC, which helped me launch myself as a DJ.

sharm-pillay-south-africa

Know your client

Marketing starts with an understanding of your customer. You need to know what the customer wants and expects, and position your offering accordingly. Booking a gig with a corporate client is very different from playing at a club. They need a different experience, so I provide that.

Social media and online platforms are a must for any start-up

No-one can afford to ignore the great advantages of online media. It’s easier than ever to market your brand and your business, thanks to platforms like Facebook and WordPress. These provide free marketing opportunities, provided you’re willing to put in a little bit of work.

Related: 13 Female Entrepreneurs Rising To The Top

You need to identify the social media channels that will work for you

Not every channel will work for all businesses, so you need to look at your options. Instagram is a great platform if you’re selling something that is visually appealing, such as fashion and jewellery.

Twitter is great for larger organisations, but I wouldn’t recommend it for every start-up.

Facebook can be used by just about any business, but is particularly useful if you’re focused on ecommerce.

You can even sell items directly from your Facebook page and use your personal profile to drive traffic to your business page during those early days. Once again, your personal network is probably larger than you think.

An online presence needs to be managed carefully

You need to strike a balance. You have to be personal and engaging, but you also have to remain professional. Importantly, professional doesn’t mean boring. You can be sexy or cheeky or irreverent while remaining professional.

I manage my social media content very carefully. I’m authentic, but I respect my audience. I don’t bore them by posting pictures of my meals. They don’t come to me for that kind of content.

Be mature and take the high road on social media

People have opinions and they’re not afraid to share them online. Some people will be rude. Never allow yourself to be pulled into a Twitter flame war. Once again, it comes back to remaining professional at all times.

Related: Make Sense Of Social Media In 60 Minutes

A great form of marketing is to position yourself as a thought leader

The Internet has made it easier than ever to get your thoughts and opinions out there. You can write for a website, or you can blog on your own site. For creatives this is a great way to market your service. By creating content you can drive traffic to your site.

Do this

Being professional doesn’t mean being boring. It just means keeping your private life private and not acting inappropriately on a public platform.

Marketing Tactics

Top Marketing Trends For 2019

When you reflect on marketing trends that have taken centre stage in 2018, what stands out?

Emma Donovan

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Maybe it’s the proliferation of Instagram stories or  influencer marketing? Or the fact that video content has become even shorter and simpler with the rise of GIFs.

The real question is how have you incorporated these trends in to your marketing strategy, and what should you focus on in 2019? Here are six up and coming trends that you don’t want to miss:

1. Say hello to the social CEO

Customers want ‘real’ brand stories and to know what drives them. Leaders who are successful on social media show their companies’ human side and give their brands’ credibility and personality. This builds loyalty and, in some cases, an emotional connection that goes beyond the product or service.

Customers who feel this connection may even go on to become brand ambassadors.

Tip: Share stories that demonstrate your leadership style as well as company culture.

2. Initiate conversations

While 2018 brought the chatbots, the trend for 2019 is really using these bots to gather information about consumers by engaging with them on a personal level and steering them towards a sale. Bots are being trained to be authentic and sound more like people than the robots they are.

For example Facebook Messenger becomes more and more useful for brands as the platform allows customisation of automated messages and the ability to initiate a conversation at the right time.

Tip: You can also integrate this with Facebook shopping and increase conversion rates by enabling the bot to sell products to a consumer through the Facebook platform.

Related: Pay Per Click Advertising. When, How And For What?

3. Keep it local

Influencer marketing can be short lived or a little superficial. So try to identify and partner with local influencers that are happy to work on long-term campaigns. Also use multiple touch points including podcasts, YouTube and Snapchat as well as Instagram and Facebook.

Tip: Before you reach out to an influencer, follow them and learn a bit about the way they represent brands and engage with their fans to see if they’ll be a good fit. 

4. Try Instagram ads

As Facebook ads continue to dominate our feeds, advertisers are looking for a new place to stand out and get noticed. Instagram ads are on the rise, according to the Merkle report that showed that while Facebook ad spend grew 40% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2018, Instagram ad spend jumped 177% in the same time period.

Tip: Do some A/B split testing with different styles of images and calls-to-action.

5. Personalise email communication

Make sure to use automation and personalisation to really make your customers feel that you are listening.

Using hyper-segmentation, you can target very specific parts of your market. This will ensure that they receive personalised emails based on what they have expressed interest in or actions they have taken with regards to your brand.

Tip: Use automated campaigns after a first purchase; to request a review on social platforms; or just thank customers for shopping and remind them to share their purchase online.

Related: Free Sample Marketing Plan Template

6. Post in real time

In an effort to bring offline marketing into the online world, Instagram TV or IGTV allows brands to create a place for consumers to watch live events or brand content in their own time.

In addition, IGTV replaces the need for YouTube in some cases as brands are able to upload 10 or more minutes of footage directly to Instagram for consumers to watch as ‘episodes’.

This will become more prevalent in the years to come as businesses include this in their strategy. IGTV videos are less formal and will typically cost less than a traditional TV advert to create.

Whatever trends come our way, the key is to remain agile and adapt to how customers engage with your brand. And more than ever before, it’s important for all marketing touch points to align and communicate the same message.

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Marketing Tactics

4 Young Marketing Influencers You Can Learn From

Whether you’re a CMO or just trying to build your own brand, these influencers can help you reach your goal.

Jonathan Long

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Today, social media is a very crowded and competitive ecosystem – it can be extremely difficult for brands to break through and spread their message to a large number of potential new customers.

Marketing via social media has become a necessity. According to a post by DMA, 45 percent of surveyed marketers are looking to increase brand awareness through social media. The same post stated that spending via social media is expected to increase 18.5 percent in the next five years.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Marketing Tactics

The Fifth P Is The Most Crucial

The reasoning is simple. If you don’t know your market, you will never be able to understand how the 4Ps apply to your potential customers.

Kyle Rolfe

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The four Ps of the Marketing Mix (Product, Price, Promotion, and Place) have defined marketing campaigns, both successful and unsuccessful, for many years since E. Jerome McCarthy came up with the concept in 1960. And while there have been tremendous advances and innovations in marketing, the four Ps (4P) are still first on the list in any marketing course.

In the brand conscious society in which we live today, however, a fifth P has become the cornerstone to all marketing and branding exercises, whether you’re in the business-to-business or business-to-consumer market. The fifth P is People or is also referred to as Personalisation.

The reasoning is simple. If you don’t know your market, you will never be able to understand how the 4Ps apply to your potential customers:

  1. What products do they want?
  2. Where should you make them available?
  3. How to price your products to meet your market’s requirements and budget?
  4. How and where to promote your product?

The first step in defining your marketing strategy should be should be getting to know your customers. When you know who you are targeting and put people at the centre of the mix, you can more easily decide the optimal strategy that will deliver the most favourable results.


Airbnb example

Airbnb has built a valuable brand by making the 5th P a focus of it’s branding activities. They typically target millennials born 1980-2000 and it’s understanding their traits (needs and principles) that has been the key to their success. Let’s look at how this impacts each subsequent P individually.

Related: How To Make (A Lot Of) Money On Airbnb


1. Product

Spending with a conscience is core to most millennials and they tend to opt for products that allow for transparent traceability throughout the supply chain. Airbnb is not seen as a large corporate ripping off the little guy, but creates a community where everyone contributes and benefits from something seen as open, transparent and disruptive to the status quo. The company has no real assets, but its brand has the visibility of a Coca Cola or Starbucks in the millennial market.

2. Price

While its market is cost conscious, Airbnb knows they place a higher value on products and services that have been designed and developed in a manner that is good for people and the planet. Hence, by consuming the brand they become“part of the solution”.

Airbnb is, more than anything else, including its multi-billion dollar valuation, a community organisation that includes everyone from anywhere. Add to that the lower costs and almost limitless offerings, in general, and you have something their market can’t say no to. Airbnb is a real part of their culture and value system, not some fake corporation pretending to be ‘cool’.

3. Promotion

In terms of promotions, understanding their market is apprehensive of contracts and long-term commitments. Airbnb has none, you make a deal with an owner or someone looking to rent for a while and that’s it, no fuss. In an interview with Fast Company, Airbnb’s head of brand, Nancy King said one of the key reasons for Airbnb’s success “is all about emotional connection, and that is really the root of it”. She continues that,

“Iconic brands have a disproportionate share of cultural voice, and they hold the internal culture of companies.” And it’s clear that Airbnb has developed that cultural integration with millennial values.

Related: How To Drive Customer Referrals (When You Aren’t Airbnb, Dropbox or Uber)

4. Place

Convenience and accessibility is important to most markets, but millennials place an even higher priority on it. They want information right away, especially for online sales, and once bought they want to know where their product is in the supply chain until it arrives at the door.

In the case of Airbnb, your booking information is available everywhere and anywhere, on any device. And as part of the community culture it drives, its biggest brand builders are the word-of-mouth promotions its customers created in the natural flow of conversation, online and offline

“Airbnb is an amazing example of how a brand is the value of a company, in this case valued in the billions of dollars ($38 billion at the time of writing, according to Forbes),”  adds Rolfe. “This value is based on the value of its community, its culture and the way its partners (buyers and sellers) value what the brand can do for them, not the value of sales pipelines or fixed assets.

“This is a $38 billion valuation based on brand alone, based on the company’s ability to identify its market and create the community (not the business strategy) that appeals to them. In other words, the other four Ps are determined and led by a clear and intense understanding of the 5th P, the people who give Airbnb its value.”

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