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Africans aren’t affluent enough

April 24th, 2007 Posted in Books/Magazines, Business, General

I was speaking to an acquaintance last week and she told me a story about trying to get advertisers for her magazine. She had contacted a large Africa-based corporation to see if they would be interested in taking up an ad in her publication. After getting the runaround, the ad agency, which was handling the ad placements for the corporation, told her, “We only place ads in publications with an affluent readership”. Here’s some background: The corporation – not to name names – is well known in African communities and I know many people who have used their services in the past; their product is more for a Lexus (car) brand customer than than a Bentley customer. The publication is targeted to African women between the ages of 18 – 45 living in the USA. The content is something like Essence Magazine or Vibe Vixen AND the publication has comparable. From my perspective that demographic is very much part of the corporation’s customer base, but for whatever reason they feel this demographic on it’s own is not worth any kind of investment. I, for one, know more than enough Ghanaian women who have the money to afford a luxurious lifestyle in the US AND send money back home frequently. I know I’ve been quite vague in relating this story, but this is an issue that comes up time and time again no matter the industry or product. Why isn’t this or any other demographic of Africans considered to be affluent enough? Is luxury really luxury anymore? And what consists an affluent customer anyway?

  • Sijui

    Of course that is a bogus excuse, and it is the perennial stereo type that Africa and Africans face. Its been disproved time and time again….but as we all know, many are wont to remain stuck on stupid :) Anyway the magazine will need to become much more creative on who they approach…….don’t approach conventional corporations that are conservative, approach the edgier ones that are open to ideas e.g. the Ciscos, Starbucks of this world who are very much on the continent appealling to Africans as consumers not as raw materials :)

  • http://africaincorp.blogspot.com Frederic Nsienie

    2007 and still plenty of non believers. I hope and would prefer that it
    was their sorry excuse not to conduct business with the publication
    in question. However if spoken out of ignorance and oblivious to the fact that the affluent African consumer is not a character mentioned in a fairy tale but is indeed real,it is the responsability of the magazine editors to show who,where,how and why this Affluent African consumer is,lives,shops and consumes a luxury good/service.
    They have to turn into statisticians,sociologists,historians,investigators and paint a realistic picture of this consumers as well as his/her main traits. It is comparable to the data mining internet sites do except in thir case they have to go in search of that information.Create lead stories and features
    It is only this way that misinformed marketers/advertisers can see the spending power of this group.
    look at what businessweek,fastcompany,smartmonet and the likes are doing.
    once you do a good job speaking on behalf of this group( plus anybody like to be talked about) the suppliers of good and services they purchase will be glad to advertise to them on ur platform.

    does it make cents ?

  • http://ivorycoastprivatesector.blogspot.com Frederic Nsienie

    Their publication should probably expand their focus to the Urban African ( with emphasis on the diaspora) consumers wherever they live because the consumption of goods and services is not limited to their place of residence, Paris,New York,Chicago,Taiwain,Rabat,Dubai,Abidjan,Milan,Rio de Janeiro,Beijing,London,Durban and many more cities are places that provide them with goods and services from apparel,medical services,vacation spots,cars,vacation homes,schooling for offsprings,real estate and securities investments and much more.

  • http://beninmwangi.com Benin

    Sijui:

    I concur with you on whom she should approach. I would also strongly recommend that this entrepreneur go in to her sales presentations armed with the stats to support her ideas.

    Sijui, we miss you at beninmwangi.com . But are glad to know that all is well for you.

    Kofi:

    I wonder is this entrepreneur that you are mentioning is who I think she is. If so, then I have previewed the magazine and feel like perhaps it maybe the company who rejected her offer that missed out.

    Also, a phrase that I adopted while selling both my own services and the services of others was SWSWSWN (some will, some won’t, so what, next) meaning that sales is a numbers game. Although marketing and targetting do tend to skew the numbers, up or down depending upon the circumstances.

    I like the way that you did this post. As a matter of fact, plan on speaking more about it on http://beninmwangi.com.

    Thanks Kofi!

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