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Don’t just stick to what you know

Don’t just stick to what you know

By Twama Nambili
Founder, Investor Network of Namibia. Chevening Scholar. MSc Corporate Governance and Business Ethics.

We can all appreciate being in a familiar space and enjoying a certain level of comfort. Very few of us like surprises, especially when our business or money is at stake. Trust me, I should know, I am entrepreneur.

There is a general saying I often hear in business, which has been around for generations: “we stick to what we know!”. I am also noticing this saying being reflected in the marketing strategy of many companies, especially big companies. To be fair, this way of thinking has worked for many businesses in the past and may continue to work for some. However, it’s crucial to keep up with the times—particularly when it comes to getting in front of your present customers or acquiring new ones.

We are now living in a digital era. Many people of varying ages spend a significant chunk of their time online—whether that be on social media or web browsing. Everything is rapidly moving online and believe it or not—many businesses and services are becoming obsolete as a result.

You should never want to be left behind by change. You want to invest into what can give you a competitive edge and even the playing field against your competitors. Create an online presence on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Youtube. You want to have a presence on at least 3 of these platforms. If you are selling a product, you absolutely need to have Facebook and Instagram. And I’m not saying create a profile and call it a day either! Engaging with your followers and customers is key to acquiring and retaining brand royalty. It is also the best way to gain significant sales through your online presence.

Looking at the fashion and beauty industry, there are so many indie brands that turned into multi-million to billion-dollar companies within 3 to7 years as a result of social media and digital marketing. Notable examples are Gymshark, Huda Beauty, Juvia’s Place, and Jeffreestar Cosmetics. Everywhere around the world, many companies are now recognizing the value of social media and influencer marketing.

Something that I consider to be a lot more effective than SEO or Social Media Ads is influencer marketing—when done right! In most industries, big companies/brands still focus on areas which they dominate—traditional media (e.g. TV Ads, Celebrity Endorsements, Radio, Magazines, Newspapers). This is still fine. However, we are moving towards a highly digitized world and most of these methods of advertising are becoming obsolete or less effective. Even newspapers and magazines are moving online to stay competitive.

We are faced with a new reality: while being featured on a TV show can get you in front of a few million passive viewers, a video by an influencer can be seen by 1 million highly loyal and highly engaged followers (who will do what the influencer says) within 1 to 2 hours. This is the power of the internet.

Focusing your marketing online will, of course, eventually depend on the amount of people using the internet where you are located and whether your target audience uses the internet or social media. In the case of Namibia and other African countries, for example, I ultimately understand that Print and Radio are still king. However, this is also changing and an increasing number of people are using the internet for various reasons. I have begun to notice a large number of Namibian businesses promoting on Instagram, YouTube, online newspapers, and other internet pages in general. Businesses in Namibian are starting to recognize the power of internet, social media, and influencer marketing.

Again, I am not saying businesses should completely stop using traditional media. I am simply saying that your business’ marketing strategy should be allocated to both traditional and digital media in order for your company to stay competitive in a changing world.


 

About The Author

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A Guest Contributor is any of a number of experts who contribute articles and columns under their own respective names. They are regarded as authorities in their disciplines, and their work is usually published with limited editing only. They may also contribute to other publications. - Ed.

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

Promotion

20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.