Marketing influence

Sunday July 25 2021

Author, Stella Riunga Rop.

By Stella Riunga Rop

All of you, I’m sure, have come into contact with a few marketers in your lifetime. My condolences if you have been plagued day and night by those persistent ones selling life insurance products. (Don’t they know we are Africans? Our children are our insurance plan!)

I wonder whether Marketing is still being taught in schools. Remember the 4Ps of Marketing? Product. Price. Place. Promotion. Sadly, the traditional marketers who moved around with reams of marketing materials—brochures, price lists and business cards, plus the dusty shoes and honest smell of sweat that were their trademark; are almost extinct.

Nowadays, what we have are Influencers. In case you were born BTI (Before the Internet), an influencer is a person who has an audience (‘followers’) on social media and uses their real life experiences to promote certain products or services; everything from holiday destinations to baby diapers and foodstuffs. The makers of these products pay the influencers and it is not cheap at all for the marketing. 

You too, can become an influencer if you wish. If talking all day long is something you are used to, then half the battle has been won, maybe this is why so many mothers of young children are successful influencers! 

The trouble is, some things might be difficult to market via influencers. For example, dental services. It might be entertaining, in a strange way, to watch someone having a root canal done, but I doubt the sound of a machine drilling into a tooth would bring hordes of customers banging on the dentist’s door. What about grave digging? I’m yet to see the influencer that would film an entire burial and show the audience how XYZ gravediggers do the job quickly and efficiently. (Their motto: ‘Our clients never come back’.)You know we Africans like to pretend graves are only dug for others, ha ha! I wanted to talk about accounting services but then I started yawning …

I’m seriously considering enrolling in an online video editing course so that I can make it big as an influencer. Goodbye empty pockets! Watch this space!