Editor's column

What’s in a perception? - 29 Sep 2014

[Ilse van den Berg, @Biz_Africa] Research by Brand South Africa has revealed how perceptions of South Africa and its people can hinder or advance the country's business progress in the rest of Africa. The project, South Africa Incorporated or SA Inc, was created by Brand South Africa as part of its Africa Programme in order to uncover what local businesses face when trading with and investing in peer countries on the rest of the continent, and travelling to and living there. Last week we saw Charles Stretch state that SMS still is a vital communication and marketing tool for businesses - both internally and externally; and Danette Breitenbach explained that trust is the new commodity in business. In other news, Microsoft 4Afrika and Afrilabs have launched 'Collaboration Challenge'; and the Southern African AABLA nominees have been announced. read more

On a creative high - 22 Sep 2014

[Ilse van den Berg, @Biz_Africa] The Loeries Creative Week Cape Town came to an end last night, Sunday, 21 September 2014 at the CTICC after a jam-packed week of creativity, judging, awards ceremonies and parties; leaving all attendees on a creative high. Covering the Loeries for the 12th year, we celebrated by dropping 1500 colourful Biz-branded balloons from the roof of the auditorium, two of which contained prize vouchers of R10,000 to spend on a creative digital marketing campaign on Bizcommunity.com. read more

Let's get creative! - 15 Sep 2014

[Ilse van den Berg, @Biz_Africa] Creative Week Cape Town has finally arrived, promising lots of excitement and inspiration this week. The judging at the 36th Annual Loeries also kicked off this morning, and brands and agencies who are waiting in anticipation will finally know if they're in the running to get an elusive Loerie in the hand. In The Loeries - where brands and creativity meet, our staff reporter takes a look at how the Loeries has evolved to an open market for brands to window shop for creativity and innovation when engaging customers. In other news this past week, Facebook reached a landmark 100-million users in Africa through mobile; and Zimbabwe's finance minister announced a raft of tax hikes, including on mobile phones, in a bid to boost dwindling government revenue as economic growth stalls. Another interesting report from Instant Grass shows nine ways women are changing African markets; and a PWC report, Africa Business Agenda 2014, reveals CEOs' optimism about growth. Last, but not least, if you missed last week's Biz Takeouts show, make sure you listen to the podcast which is now available. That's all from me, have a great week! Cheers! Ilse van den Berg, Editor: Marketing & Media Africa (@Biz_Africa) P.S. read more

Are you grabbing the OOH opportunity? - 8 Sep 2014

[Ilse van den Berg, @Biz_Africa] Tatenda Chiweshe reckons there are lots of opportunities in the Zimbabwean OOH advertising environment. According to him, there is a massive opportunity in digital screens, as well as gantries and indoor advertising, point of sale, activations and transit media. read more

And the favourites are… - 1 Sep 2014

[Ilse van den Berg, @Biz_Africa] Millward Brown last week announced South Africa's Best Liked Ads for Q1&2 2014 and Coca-Cola was selected as the country's top brand in the 2014 Sunday Times Top Brands Awards. In last week's exclusive Loeries Creativity Q&A series for Bizcommunity.com, Jessica Taylor chatted to Executive Creative Director of McCann Australia and also the creator of the fantastic "Dumb ways to die" campaign, Patrick Baron. Joseph Neusu reckons emotional branding - the love affair between consumers and brands, is extremely important, and Estiaan Robbetze says the idea of primetime is somewhat dead. read more

Forbes is first - 25 Aug 2014

[Ilse van den Berg, @Biz_Africa] With a beautiful sunshine weekend behind us here in Cape Town, we enter the last week of August 2014! Can you believe it? Herewith the news highlights from the past week: According to the IPSOS EMS Affluent Survey in Africa, Forbes Magazine has been named the top magazine amongst Africa's richest. In this week's exclusive Loeries Creativity Q&A series for Bizcommunity.com, Sindy Peters chats to Arno Lindemann, Chief Creative Officer of Lukas Lindemann Rosinski. read more

Can't read, won't buy... - 18 Aug 2014

[Ilse van den Berg, @Biz_Africa] Françoise Henderson says that as Chinese is set to overtake English in 2015 as the biggest language on the internet, with Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic and Russian making rapid inroads, the advantages of a translated website are obvious... Studies by analyst firm Common Sense Advisory has found that 75% of customers prefer buying products in their own language. read more

And the finalists are... - 11 Aug 2014

[Ilse van den Berg, @Biz_Africa] Well, a big congratulations to all the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2014 finalists! I can't believe it's that time of the year already... Good luck to each and every one of you, and thank you for the contribution you make to the industry! David Blyth has dubbed Ghana the 'lesser-known marketing treasure of West Africa' and says that when judged on market size, this country is often overlooked by brands looking to expand across Africa. Last week also saw the celebration of our 100th Biz Takeouts episode! Our show host, Warren Harding (@BizWazza), chatted to leader of Democractic Alliance (@DA_News) and Premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille (@helenzille), as well as Justin Beswick (@justinbeswick) and Kirsten Wilkins on TEDx Cape Town (@tedxcapetown). read more

Eenie meenie miney moe... Chinese handsets set to grow? - 4 Aug 2014

[Ilse van den Berg, @Biz_Africa] According to Russel Southwood, the price of generic Chinese smartphones (at around $70-80) will be affordable by a significant chunk of Africans who currently own feature phones. There's also the possibility that the Chinese handset Xiaomi (which runs on Android), an iPhone lookalike, will come to Africa. read more

The strange culture of business marketing... - 28 Jul 2014

[Ilse van den Berg, @Biz_Africa] Chemory Gunko reckons South Africa has a strange culture when it comes to business marketing where many marketing people placed in companies are juniors, if they even exist at all - or the role is just not taken seriously at all by anyone internally. She gives advice on what you should be looking for in today's digital age and what skillsets an effective marketing person in your organisation should have. read more

And the footprints keep extending futher into Africa... - 21 Jul 2014

[Ilse van den Berg, @Biz_Africa] Last week was quite a jam-packed week with big news being Joe Public announcing its growth plans in Africa through a partnership with integrated communications agencies Cosse (Nigeria and Ghana) and HWMiT (Zimbabwe). Also extending its African footprint is Primedia. read more

Here's to some smashing startups! - 14 Jul 2014

[Ilse van den Berg, @Biz_Africa] DEMO Africa last week selected the top 40 entrepreneurs to launch at this year's conference, taking place in Lagos, Nigeria, from 22-26 September. Out of more than 400 initial applications, and 242 shortlisted ventures, these 40 obviously impressed! Well done! In 2000, Rwanda began to relentlessly develop its ICT sector after it adopted the National Information Communications Infrastructure (NICI) policy and created a long-term plan to achieve full digitisation in four five-year stages. read more

How does Africa tweet? - 7 Jul 2014

[Ilse van den Berg, @Biz_Africa] In the second How Africa Tweets study, Portland analysed geo-located tweets originating from Africa during the final three months of 2013. The study dives deeper into Twitter use in Africa - which cities are the most active, what languages are being used the most and what issues are driving the conversation online. read more

Is Africa still in the lead? - 30 Jun 2014

[Ilse van den Berg, @Biz_Africa] Is Africa still leading the global mobile payments innovation race? Howard Moodycliffe reckons Africa has lost some ground... Michael Wood states that developing markets develop better global business leaders and Adelaide Potgieter thinks that big ideas have a bigger role than ever. In other news over the past week: The 2014 Burson-Marsteller Twiplomacy study shows that Uganda's Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi, is the most conversational politician on Twitter. read more

Why? Because we Cannes! - 23 Jun 2014

[Ilse van den Berg, @Biz_Africa] Last week saw the annual celebration of creativity in communications, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, take place in Cannes, France. Congratulations to all the South African agencies and production companies who were shortlisted and of course those who walked away with Grand Prix, Gold, Silver or Bronze Lions to add to, or begin, their Cannes Lions collection. read more

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