Marketing in the African Startup Ecosystem

Introduction 

In the African startup ecosystem, the common ways startups market themselves are through content writing and advertisements. However, none of these will be effective when the foundation is not understood. In the world of marketing, the most effective way to get a product, service or experience out into the world is to get other people to do it for you. This includes word of mouth and several other strategies. First, let’s discuss why marketing is so important. 

What is marketing 

Marketing is defined by the American Marketing Association as the activity, set of institutions and processes for creating, communicating, delivering and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners and society at large. It includes activities done to sell the essence of that business to the world. Marketing is not the act of promoting a business but a more general way of life to attract investors and the right talent to build success. Marketing is a form of attraction. 

Marketing is the bridge that connects a startup with the entire ecosystem, including stakeholders, and the market. For instance, without marketing, a business may have exceptional, technical and sophisticated products that do not satisfy any customer’s need because it has not interacted with the world to understand what should be done. In essence, marketing is a pathway into the market. Marketing should not be seen as an activity when the product is ready to launch. Marketing is a lifestyle. 

How to market your startup 

As mentioned earlier, marketing is a lifestyle. It begins with the strength of market research and continues to the various promotions given to that startup through data gathered in the market research. This means that as much as the methods of marketing are important, i.e. advertising, social media content creation, etc, the principles of marketing play a more pivotal role and can be referred to as “the 7Ps”. 

The Product

Through research, there is an awareness of where a product stands in the market, whether there is a need, and what changes can be made to reflect the market need. This is a way to understand the target users and improve the product.

The Price

The price is the amount the users pay for a product. This comes as an overflow of well-executed market research. 

The Place

In picking the place where your product will be available for use, it should be very strategic and intentional. In an emerging ecosystem like Africa, every corner of each country has its culture, history and relevance. There is a place that will produce more returns than another. 

Promotion 

Promotions are the various methods to bring a brand to a target audience. This is what the majority of people think marketing is. Promotion methods include email marketing, content creation, social media campaigns, direct marketing, sales promotion etc. However, the power in these campaigns depends largely on the art of storytelling, the principles mentioned in this article and indirect marketing. 

Indirect marketing includes innovations and ideas that are not directly linked to the product but can get conversations going about the brand or belief system of the startup. 

Physical evidence 

Marketing as a lifestyle means everything must be done excellently. The products must reflect excellence and in the case of a service, the methods, tasks and interaction with the user must be evidence of a worthy brand. This is one of the highest forms of marketing. The physical evidence of a good thing keeps the conversation going. 

People

These refer to the employees, employers and the users/customers. This principle involves making sure each person plays their role of helping and serving the other person. 

Process 

This is the experience of a product or service. The process it takes to create the product until it becomes finished goods must be as smooth and enjoyable as possible. This experience is what will make the people share the conversation through word of mouth and storytelling. The employees are pleased to contribute and the customers are elated to use the product. 

These principles are the foundation of marketing. When these principles are applied excellently to each startup/product according to its specificity, conversations will be created. The best form of marketing is one where conversations are constantly ongoing in terms of product, people, process, physical evidence, price, methods of promotion and place.

Conclusion

An ecosystem like Africa is unique and different. Africans have a common ground and are more united than the rest of the world. To truly innovate for the continent, there must be a good understanding of the people, the problems and how the product can penetrate to expand. This will be done through strategic and intelligent marketing that begins with research and ends with excellent positioning. 

Blockchain policy in Nigeria. 
Nigeria’s government approved a national blockchain policy on Wednesday as part of the country’s effort to transition to a digital economy.
The vision of the Policy is to create a Blockchain-powered economy that supports secure transactions, data sharing, and value exchange between people, businesses, and Government, thereby enhancing innovation, trust, growth and prosperity for all
For more info: 
https://www.coindesk.com/policy/2023/05/04/nigeria-approves-national-policy-to-create-blockchain-powered-economy/


Raise secures investment from Carta, a US-based firm.
 Raise launched its alpha in 2019 and went public in June of 2020.
Its platform is designed to simplify cap table management for startups and companies operating within the African ecosystem, providing a comprehensive solution for managing shareholding structure, both before and after fundraising, allowing businesses to focus on growth and building a successful future.
Raise has now secured funding from Carta, the world’s largest ownership platform, which is attempting to build a global stock exchange for private companies
More info:
https://disrupt-africa.com/2023/05/09/kenyan-fundraising-startup-raise-secures-investment-from-us-based-firm-carta/
https://disrupt-africa.com/2023/05/09/kenyan-fundraising-startup-raise-secures-investment-from-us-based-firm-carta/
The Nubia Way is a section of Nubia Weekly that gives insight and exposure into happenings at Nubia Capital.
Having secured our Fund 1, Nubia capital is dedicated to enriching the planet and this week is no different.
What are you building?
Pitch at info@nubiacapital.org

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