Despite the vast opportunities that Africa is presenting to various brands and businesses, communicating with the continent’s one billion consumers can be a challenge due to the various cultures, political situations and language barriers that exist.
DHL Express Sub-Saharan head of Advertising and Public Relations Africa,Megan Collinicos, says that should messages and channels not be correctly targeted and adapted for this growing market, the success rate of businesses expanding into this region is significantly diminished.
The African Development Bank has reported that on the back of economic growth in various African territories, rising real incomes will lead to higher consumer spending, which is projected to almost double in the next decade.
It is further reported that a growth of 4.5percent in per capita GDP compounded annually through 2015 will result in an increase of more than 35percent in consumer spending in Africa.
Collinicos points to the recently released Nielsen’s Emerging Market Insights research, which highlights that consumers in Africa are very receptive to marketing messages, with half (48percent) of those interviewed confirming that advertising has significant influence on their purchase decisions.
The research also revealed that 38percent of respondents are motivated to buy a specific product due to promotional activities and that 34percent will buy more of or give preference to products from companies that they know engage in corporate social responsibility programs or practices.
Word of mouth marketing continues to play a large part in the decision making of emerging-market consumers.
“Companies should therefore be innovative when it comes to marketing on the African continent, as consumers in these regions are relatively open when it comes to non-traditional channels,” said Collinicos.