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Marketing is not advertising

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More often than not, many people confuse marketing for advertising and vice-versa. Every business, small or large, need these departments. While some companies combine the two as one department, others separate them. Marketing is the process of preparing a product for the marketplace, while advertising refers to the process of making a product known to the marketplace. Take heed of these two key words because they differentiate one term from the other; preparing and known. To break it down, to prepare is to make something ready for use or consideration. I will accompany this with a relatable example; before you can eat food, first you have to cook it, and by cooking it you are preparing it for consumption.

Now, by taking the food and putting them on the table for indulgence, you are making the food available and known to the one who is to consume them. That is advertising. When you first started taking baby steps in making your business a reality, you first did market research to see if the product you want to offer is in demand or not, because you don’t want to offer something which is of little, to no demand at all. This puts into perspective how feasible your idea is. Now that you have seen that there is a gap, that there is potential in the market, you now prepare your product, which is marketing. This is where logos, slogans, for example, come in. You want your product to have an attractive image, to have an effect on a potential consumer and catch the consumer’s attention. You make the product’s image colourful and visually attractive to meet the interest of your potential market.

In this process of product preparation, you will be studying your potential customers; who they are and what they would like to achieve from your product. For all this to be achieved, a marketing mix has to be implemented. In the marketing mix, it is really how you put two and two together. According to the Economic Times, a marketing mix refers to the set of actions, or tactics, that a company uses to promote its brand or product in the market. It comprises of the four Ps; Price, Product, Promotion and Place (distribution).

Price: When putting a price on your product, you should make sure that it is competitive and it can win you a share in the marketplace. The question on consumer’s lips will always be; is the value worth the price? Consumers align price against product quality, if the price is steep, expectation is that the quality should be exceptional, and vice-versa. As the seller, you should be sure not to overprice or under – price. A lower price guarantees more customers, but if you are using price to penetrate the market, be wise enough to make sure that the profit made is able to recover any cost to make the product, and ensure the survival of the business. Choose a pricing strategy, which is suitable for the success of the business and also make sure the value is worth the price.

 

Product This is the item that is being sold. Here, you need to consider the life cycle of the product together with the challenges that may come up with each stage. Product life cycle consist of four stages, namely; introduction, growth, maturity and decline stage. The introduction stage could be the most expensive. Here you will be making potential consumers aware of your newly made product. You need to first penetrate through the paradigm, shift their mind set and view of things. In the introduction stage, you do not focus on making sales since the size of the market is not that big, instead, you focus on making it known and tried out so that sales will eventually increase. Be mindful of the product launch. Plan well and align your budget well for the launch to be successful and effective. The growth stage is when the product is selling well and profits are made. The increase in the profit margin brings a possibility for businesses to invest to ensure for a greater stretch in growth. The maturity stage is when the product sales are reaching their peak but the market is now becoming saturated which slows down product growth. You will need to have a competitive advantage in order to stand out amongst all the competition. Then there is the decline stage. This stage is inevitable. It is when now the sales start to fall. This can be because people decided to switch to other products (like what happened to Nokia when the market switched from Nokia to Samsung), or simply because the market is saturated. This, however, does not mean that business cannot continue; you can opt for less costly production methods so that you may be able to still make profit.

Promotion This is getting the user to know about the product. This can be achieved by advertising on billboards, the media, boot camps, word of mouth, among others. You have to touch as many advertising mediums as you can for the promotion to be a success and to ensure that you reach a larger audience.

 

Place Location matters a lot! You need to find the right and perfect channel in which you will use for ‘serving’ your clients. The location should be easy for the user to find and make the user comfortable.

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Matambo calls on financial sector to pick GDP

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Finance Minister, kenneth Matambo

Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo has announced that government is committed to support financial service sector to prop up the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Currently contributing over 13 percent to GDP, Matambo said the sector has potential to increase its share. “Hence government’s interest in the sector,” said Matambo addressing delegates at the inaugural Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL), Global Financial Summit.

The country has built a strong, resilient and fast growing financial sector underpinned by a robust regulatory framework. The finance minister who is expected to step down next year, noted that government’s commitment to the financial service sector has this year been buttressed by a number of laws passed in July relating to money laundering activities.

In addition, Matambo said the continued investment in the development of information, communication and technologies (ICTs) backbone infrastructure is also to support local banks’ rising appetite for online services.

The Minister said the country remains committed to maintaining micro-economic stability to spur private sector participation in the economy. “Our vision is to become a high income country by 2036,” said Matambo, challenging the private sector to step forward and help government to develop the country, bemoaning the low levels of financial inclusion and shallow domestic capital markets.

He said the private sector should come up with more initiatives to develop further the local capital markets. The Minister’s sentiments were also shared by Martin Davies, Managing Director for Emerging Markets and Africa at Deloitte who has challenged the country to start dealing with its low manufacturing value add.

“How do we start to diversify beyond the single commodity economy,” quizzed Davies, adding that manufacturing increase is vital for low inequality across the country.

“Inequality results in bad public policy, as the state starts to believe and think they have to intervene more,” said Davies, highlighting that the country needs to move away from the absolute concept of state drive growth. Meanwhile, minister Matambo has applauded the private sector for leading economic dialogue in the country through events such as the BIHL Global Finance Summit.

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First Lady advises women entrepreneurs

Keikantse Lesemela

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First lady, Neo Masisi

First Lady, Neo Masisi has urged women entrepreneurs to bring change in the economic development of the country and the rest of Africa.

Speaking during the Lioness Lean in Africa breakfast on Friday, Masisi said women entrepreneurs are remarkable engines of economic growth and job creation. “I believe women entrepreneurs hold incredible potential and credentials on the continent because Africa has the highest percentage of women entrepreneurs in the world.

It is projected that millions of much needed jobs will be created over the next decade and these will be created predominantly through small businesses which are mostly run by women,” said Masisi.She highlighted that women entrepreneurs are also the most powerful engine for equitably distributing growth and they are also solutions for addressing inequality on the continent.

“It is a proven fact that for many generations, women understand the simple concept of barter and commerce. These are the role models of our past and our present and they will continue to inspire new generations to do more for business to grow,” she said.

The Lioness Lean In Breakfast Series brings together inspirational and successful women entrepreneurs to share, inspire and connect with the next generation of great women-led start-ups.

The platform is based on a breakfast networking and speaker presentation format, which has been organized in locations across the African continent for the past year by Lionesses of Africa, empowering over one million women entrepreneurs across the continent.

Stanbic Bank Botswana Head of Personal Markets, Omphemetse Dube said they are pleased to bring the Lionesses of Africa Lean In platform to Botswana once again to bring together women entrepreneurs in the country and help to nurture their growth further.

“Botswana is blessed with a number of thriving female entrepreneurs, and the potential for the next generation of talent is strong. Platforms such as this are therefore paramount in growing the cause and we as a bank are proud to help champion that movement further,” said Dube.

Founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa,Melanie Hawken noted that Gaborone is a growing and exciting centre for women’s entrepreneurship in Africa. “This is a must-attend event for women entrepreneurs in the country as it gives them the opportunity to hear the inspiring entrepreneurial stories of women who are building great businesses here,” she said.

The annual Lionesses of Africa event allows entrepreneurs to benefit from the insights and advice of women entrepreneurs who have seen and experienced it all and to also provide an excellent opportunity for networking.

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