Article written by: Bithia Awuku-Asante, General Manager for Carat Ghana
2017 is expected to be the big year for Digital migration in Ghana.
We are witnessing a trend in the consolidation of media groups; 7 media groups currently with 3 more groups concluding to launch. This trend will continue to rise in 2017.These acquisitions should allow media to accelerate digitalization and diversify their offerings. Content is going to be the real big brother of digital migration. Media groups with their size and multiplatform positioning will have an advantage securing good content. It makes sense for brands to look closely at this development to drive value by partnering with media groups, to produce relevant and engaging local content across multiple platforms. Brands that would leverage on key passion points and lifestyle of local consumers to produce content that can rival the infamous telenovela, are the brands that consumers would love for a long time to come.
Brands would benefit by ensuring that their Agencies are smart enough to see multi- platform offerings to single platform, allowing for more efficient deployment of media budget.
LIVING LIVES THROUGH TELENOVELA
Telenovela on TV screens is here to stay. It is intriguing to have 60% of a station’s content as Telenovela, but eye bulging to have 30 minutes panel discussion on radio and TV as preview to airing on an episode. These discussions are in key local languages with ratings for the pre discussions, matching actual airing of episodes.
Smart brands would see the opportunity this offers in interacting with their consumers within a space that is naturally part and parcel of their lifestyle pattern. A discussion on the dress and skin of a protagonist could be a great platform for brand relevance. This is a gap that can be explored by brands to drive the focus to their brands with such a large consumer base that is captivated by Telenovela.
AGENCY NETWORK BASED PITCHING
2016 witnessed a number of pitches across Africa with big Agency networks participating. Agency networks expect and ensure the same level of delivery across all member agencies. This has seen improvement in the professionalism within the industry in 2016 and will definitely make a positive impact going into 2017. For example the Launch of CCS in Ghana is an example of the positive impact this trend will bring to the industry.
The launch of CCS by Dentsu Aegis Network in Q1 of 2017, will take consumer understanding to another level, a game changer for the industry. The last time the industry had any sort of AMPS was in 2008. CCS is proprietary to Dentsu Aegis Network, making us the only Agency Network in Ghana with a comprehensive consumer connection survey. Cross tabbing with the current IPSOS audience diaries will offer a deeper understanding of consumer lifestyle and their connection points, giving us a more informed base of planning for our clients.
There has been an increase in testimonials from client teams on how the levels of service from their agencies have positively changed. This is testament to the fact that local agencies across the region have to step up their game, to be able to compete with the larger agency networks. Brands are taking advantage of this trend, demanding more accountability, best in class service and real value from their independent agency partners. Alternatively, many are jumping on the band wagon and
reviewing their relationships with independent agency partners, to enjoy the benefits of working with Agency networks.
Ghanaian’s are passionate about sport. Sports betting has seen dramatic growth as a past time amongst the younger target market. Brands that are active in this space must act on this, as there is large potential for growth and their growth will largely depend on how they are able to engage the gamers and young target market via their passion for football and entertainment; positioning themselves as lifestyle brands, rather than money making avenues. To make betting synonymous to the consumers’ favourite sports will be a key driver.
DEMYSTIFYING MODERN RETAIL
Retail is getting bigger and 2016 has seen a surge in the revolution of the retail sector. The growing middle class consumer continues to gain exposure to travel, and the time strapped consumers are looking for a one stop place to shop.
Black Friday is foreign and has never been part of our sales and shopping culture. 2016 has seen a turnaround, the Black Friday buzz in 2016 was something that had never been experienced in Ghana before. Local retail brands both offline and online made a huge hype around it. Radio stations joined in on the craze, even giving tips on how to shop “wisely” on Black Friday.
We can expect to see Black Friday being bigger in 2017, and brands that start strategizing to leverage on this new found craze will have their sales team smiling.
Open Market to Malls
Supermarket culture was limited to a select few, reasons being a mixture of location accessibility and the perception of higher cost in modern trade. The small amount of malls were located within key areas in the cities, normally high streets. There has been a sudden increase in supermarket chains and more interesting and significant is that the expansion is within communities unlike a few years ago. There are about 7 supermarket chains currently operating in the country; all expanding into communities; Max Mart, Koala, Shop&Save, Shoprite, Palace, and the latest Citydia.
Brands who keep their eye on the ball and tap into this growing culture will win. There is huge opportunity to focus on building stronger shopper engagements to support their consumer activities.