In South Africa, it is very easy to fall into the trap of negativity. The VAT rate increased which means things like electricity and petrol prices go up… it feels like a constant struggle!

We have a challenge for you; the next time you are grocery shopping or driving in your car with the radio on, take note of which brands are being advertised. It may surprise you that several new brand names are popping up despite South Africa’s ‘tough times’.

An example of this is TymeBank,which has been aggressively marketing its digital banking services. The next time you pop into Pick n Pay, take a look at ThymeBank’s branding and its digital advertising campaign– chances are that you are going to see their branding pop up now that you are more aware. We picked the banking sector because it’s one where a handful of major players have dominated the sector for decades, allowing for little innovation. Suddenly, you have the likes of Tyme, Zero, Discovery Bank and this new partnership between Sasfin and Hello Paisa shaking up the sector. This is how an economy works and expands; by means of competition!

Launching a brand or business in South Africa isn’t cheap and very few businesses have the financial foundation that TymeBank has to launch their brands. This means you need to get smart when building out your marketing efforts.

We share some ideas to help you get started:

Be an Expert in Something and Carve out that Niche

South African author, Douglas Kruger, runs a series of videos on his YouTube channel where he looks at how you can go from “Amateur to Expert” and one of his riding messages is communicating what you’re good at and then repeating it. Ask your clients what value you create and then focus on it.

Use Webinars to Educate People about your Expertise

How do you know that a teacher in school is smarter than you? It’s implied because they’re the educator. As you get older, you start to realise that not all teachers have a thirst for knowledge. Host a webinar using a product like ClickMeeting and position yourself as an educator of your clients.  Webinars are a great way to capture information about potential clients and “see” multiple clients without leaving your office.

Social Media isn’t Marketing

It’s an unpopular view considering how many people are “social media marketing experts” but statistically, social media isn’t helping your marketing efforts. Have you ever measured how many paying clients your tweets generate or how many of your friends jump to buy from you because you posted on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? It’s nice for a presence but it’s all measurable and if it’s not turning into business for you then focus your attentions elsewhere.

People are Face-Blind

If you are going to get off social media and start dealing with real people, then suddenly you’re going to need a few networking techniques. There is a great new video from Rich Mulholland looking at how to network and introduce yourself if you’re worried that people won’t know or remember who you are. 

Add Specific Value to your Clients

The best way to stay front of mind with potential clients is to add value to their businesses – make them look good! Too often we talk to entrepreneurs who want “the banks” (for example) as their clients. Are you more likely to get your foot in the door at a banking client if you randomly e-mail all the banking contacts in your network or if you go to the marketing manager of ThymeBank and share high quality research around digital marketing? 

It’s about Sharing Specifics

York often talks about the principle of “sharing” what you are working on but it’s more than just saying “I’m building the next Uber”. People don’t know how to help you, until you give them specifics.

Have a successful Monday and don’t forget that DIGA can assist with all your SME online accounting and bookkeeping needs! Get in touch at