MARKETING AFRICA MAL 18/17 mal 18:17 online - Page 22

CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT GOING WHERE YOUR CUSTOMER IS REQUIRES DOING YOUR HOMEWORK By Eugene Wanekeya I have recently found myself watching so many TV series about drug dealers that I ended up marveling at how creative they are at marketing their products. Drug dealers have over the years run very profitable ventures due to their uncanny ability to successfully manipulate the laws of supply and demand. I of course restrict this statement to only the ‘successful’ drug dealers and will not get into giving specifics lest I be accused of glorifying this illicit trade. All this however is meant to help me expound on my topic above. I recently found out that the simple yet challenging recipe for running a successful drug dealing empire involves giving your potential clients a taste of your product – which has to be of superior quality to that of the competition – in order to create demand. Then getting into the painstaking task of ensuring the product is always readily available to ‘‘ In the media, both traditional and new, audiences are continuously being bombarded with thousands of competing persuasive messages. This leaves marketers facing the challenge of formulating strategies to help their products or services stand out from the crowd. A superior marketing war chest does not seem to faze the competition as some simply resort to the ‘me too’ approach to counter the resources of much larger companies.’’ 20 MAL 18/17 ISSUE these clients at the right price, hence pegging down supply. The risk of being taken out by competition, or nabbed by law enforcement and serving a serious jail term notwithstanding. This bit requires a combination of ‘muscle and brain’. So, what is the relevance of this analogy to modern day marketing? It can be summarized as the marketing mix – Product, Price, Place and Promotion – in a cutthroat business environment. Today’s market place seems to be shrinking as the numerous goods and service providers scramble for customers. You walk into any section of a supermarket or a mall and you find yourself as a consumer spoilt for choice, whether it is a bar of soap you are looking for or a coffee shop. In the media, as well – both traditional and new – audiences are continuously being bombarded with thousands of competing persuasive messages. This leaves marketers facing the challenge of formulating strategies to help their products or services stand out from the crowd. A