Today we attended an Alpha Media organised workshop where the company brought together marketing managers, media managers and other professionals in the industry to discuss the need for marketing people to understand digital platforms and the opportunities there. There were 5 speakers at the event who all did a great job (I’d say that, I was one of them) discussing ways marketers can start to grasp the essentials of online and use these platforms to make their brands visible and active where audiences are migrating to.
One of the most interesting talks was by Benjamin Juru, a digital marketing specialist at Econet Wireless who spoke about what they have managed to achieve at their company in just a little over a year of focusing a team on digital platforms like Facebook, Twitter, email, YouTube, and their corporate website. The results are just there to see and indeed a lot of companies can take learn a lot from the company. They have gone from no presence at all on Facebook at the beginning of 2012, to now over 370,000 likes, and 10,000 people ‘talking’.
Other speakers also touched on the decline of print news readership. AMH Commercial Director, Rita Chinyoka, said for example that their NewsDay newspaper does a print run of 22,000 daily, while the brands website by the same name scores an average of 1.6 million visits a month. Roughly about double the readership.
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Presenters also spoke about the need for marketers locally to understand how to target audiences online in ways that traditional offline marketing would never allow. All social media platforms and websites, at the very least, allow advertisers to target visitors by location, with some even allowing targeting by finer demographics like sex, age, interests and so on. Measuring the performance of online efforts was also emphasised as one of the important aspects that digital platforms offer marketers. An Alpha media executive, Ashton Dube, showed the audience how they can use analytics tools like Google Analytics to drill down on the performance of digital platforms.
This is the second such Alpha Media workshop we’ve attended in recent months. The first was in April this year when they declared their digital first strategy. We think it’s important work that Alpha is doing for the industry and they should be commended for it. This work benefits online publishers, digital media services companies; the whole industry really.
In addition to the NewsDay, AMH also publishes The Standard, Zimbabwe Independent both online and print. The company also recently launched an SMS based mobile news service.