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- The year of the African storytellerGarreth van Vuuren
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- Key trade and investment trends in Africa - Part 1Lodewyk Meyer, Marc Yudaken, Mike van Rensburg and Virusha Subban
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#BizTrends2020: An overview of Bizcommunity's BizTrendsLIVE!2020
Speakers included thought-leaders across multiple industries: Odette van der Haar from Publicis Groupe Africa; Motheo Matsau from Ster-Kinekor; Wamkele Mene from the Department of Trade & Industry; Sylvester Chauke from DNA Brand Architects; Heidi Brauer from Hollard; Ndeye Diagne from Kantar; Bronwyn Williams from Flux Trends; and Tosin Lanipekun from Image & Time. Here, in case you missed it, a snippet of each of their presentations...
Odette van der Haar: Imagining the impossible
Odette van der Haar, managing director of Publicis Africa, spoke about imagining the impossible and making it happen. Everything is interconnected, she started, and the world is ever-changing. What worked for advertising decades ago doesn’t work for advertising now. Audiences and the way they consume information has changed, and this will continue to change.
How to bring creativity back into the boardroom and not ring fence it to a bunch of people with tattoos and ponytails @odette_roper @PublicisAfrica #BizTrends2020 #BizTrendsLive pic.twitter.com/hqtSLrxgpk— Bizcommunity.com (@Bizcommunity) January 30, 2020
While everyone is trying to figure out the secret to profitability and every business owner is kept up at night wondering how to grow their business, imagining the impossible and making it possible requires creativity. In order to reach a relevant target audience and talk to them on a platform that they understand, in a way that they understand, you need creative ways to sell those products to consumers. You need creative advertising and you need to embrace and understand all the new, interesting channels and their formats.
“Create very unique customer experiences because, in a recessed economy, customers are not buying,” says Van der Haar. “Consumers are just looking for ways to buy that are relevant to them. They are looking for ways that resonate with them and that keep them coming back.”
Motheo Matsau: The coup d'oeil
Motheo Matsau, deputy CEO of Ster-Kinekor, emphasised that in business everything you do is about the consumer. The main question is though, do we actually know our consumer? “This generation is not playing games,” says Matsau. “Do we understand this market?”
As business leaders, all we want to do is make people happy and with an environment of factors, most of which we can’t control and some of which are man-made. The world is stuck with a few world leaders that can change the narrative for everybody at any time. Business leaders need to know how to adapt to these things. Matsau stresses the concept of ‘coup d'oeil’, the French term for a glance that takes in a comprehensive view. As a leader, he suggests getting the full view of the landscape and planning enough to be able to change your plan.
Wamkele Mene: The future of African trade
South Africa's chief negotiator in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) negotiations, Wamkele Mene, announced that Intra-African trade is currently very low but negotiations for comprehensive trade agreements between African countries are in place. Mene explained that the AfCFTA was created by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. “We will have a single set of rules of trade and investment in Africa, which is something that is quite extraordinary.” The agreement is expected to harmonise the laws that have a direct impact on our economies and cover all aspects all of our economies, i.e. trading services, including financial services, trade goods, investment protection, property rights and competition.
@MeneWamkele on Borderless - AfCFTA and the future of African Trade— Ganizani Consulting (@GanizaniConsult) January 30, 2020
We continue to trade along the colonial model e.g export to Europe, thus the current trade agreement seeks to getting Africa to trade with itself by 2050 at 52% #BizTrends2020 pic.twitter.com/HuFpK7hGst
Sylvester Chauke: Be different
“I was taught that if you want to stand out, do things differently,” said Sylvester Chauke, founder and chief executive of DNA Brand Architects. “And for people that work with brands, doing things differently is very important.”
While brands are trying to figure out how they sell their product, brand specialists need to figure out how to respond to the brief and in turn the challenge.
The world has changed. “We don’t dictate how our customers engage with our products. They tell us!” In the digital world a lot can change and according to Chauke, it doesn’t matter how smart you are, you’ll never know it all. That's why it's important to have a diverse mix of people in the boardroom.
It’s about collaboration, broadening existing dimensions to conversations, building relationships that are meaningful to all sides, igniting your assets to the world, acting quick and acting smart, broadening your network, and diversifying your thinking and your teams, suggests Chauke.
“We don't want to be everyone else. We want to be remarkable. It’s up to us to find the inspiration!”
Heidi Brauer: The importance of a village
“It takes a village to raise a brand,” emphasised Heidi Brauer, ‘brand mama’/CMO at Hollard Insurance. It is crucial for a company to take their staff with them on their journey. “If your employees don’t buy into what you’re offering, how will the client get that great service or even believe in what you’re selling?”
"Changing and creating passion for brands and cultures starts inside first. Inside first: that's how you can create the culture you need to build on." - @heidibeeee at #BizTrends2020 pic.twitter.com/SqPf4gBhzp— Nalene de Klerk (@NaleneK) January 30, 2020
You cannot have an “us and them” mentality for your brand. You have to start inside first – this has to be your extended family. If you do that and you appreciate the importance of the village, you’re already on the right path to creating a positive future.
Ndeye Diagne: Afro-disrupting and #WinningInAfrica
Afro-enthusiast and -disruptor, Ndeye Diagne, left the crowd with much to contemplate. Africa is not a country, she reiterated. It’s important to keep diversity in mind because different countries have different cultures and nuances.
“But how will you win?” asked Diagne. By creating meaning and curating all aspects of a wider culture, the passions of your consumers will be reflected. “Amplify more of the things your consumers are passionate about and make your consumers feel better about themselves. Bring them closer to their dreams of a different Africa by telling different and positive stories - stories that empower.”
Bronwyn Williams: Unreal estate and the future of finding and creating value
Futurist Bronwyn Williams spoke about what we understand value to be and how that value is shifting. In particular, with regards to how our real world is increasingly being taken over by our virtual world. Resource scarcity causes growth to be limited and as much as the virtual world and technology do open up opportunities, there are still some limits to our growth.
We are witnessing real people making virtual purchases: property, clothing, emotion, deep fake adverts, even pets… It’s an unreal real-life parallel universe. “But what is the real cost of the fake world?” she asked.
Tosin Lanipekun: The future is African
The final speaker, Tosin Lanipekun, partner at Image and Time, stressed the term ‘Afro-magnanimity’. African culture, in all of its diversity, is starting to show up in the most unlikely places and things that we take for granted are starting to represent us on the global stage. “There is more to the narrative on this continent.”
Africa is a complex place, a huge continent, with how many millions of languages and subcultures – Africa is a pulsating, vibrant, magnetic place.
“This is a continent that’s alive to the possibilities around it, a continent that’s starting to wake up to the vast scale and scope of resources and assets and opportunities that it has. Tourism is not the only trend in Africa. We are breaking down the barriers,” concluded Lanipekun.