Marketing in the spotlight

At least 40 entrepreneurs are reported to have benefitted from the three-month training workshop presented by the De Beers Kimberley Zimele Hub.

The training took place in three sessions: the introduction to basic marketing was covered in April, the theory of focusing on digital marketing took centre stage in July and practicals focusing on digital marketing was done on 3 August.

The main aim of the workshop was to empower entrepreneurs with practical skills in implementing an effective digital marketing strategy.

The group consisted of dynamic entrepreneurs who run businesses in various sectors, such as: clothing manufacturing and sales, computer and IT services, cleaning and catering, diamond cutting and polishing, hairdressing and beauty, pet grooming and pest control.

The training was designed to, in a world of high-tech innovation and social media, move the entrepreneurs away from the old-fashioned way of marketing, and introduce them to the new and innovative methods that will ensure profitability and sustainability.

Tumelo Mokwena, manager of the De Beers Kimberley Zimele Hub, highlighted small businesses’ challenges of getting their products and services out in the market.

“Thus the need to train small businesses, especially young business owners, on building their brands,” Mokwena said.

“Most businesses come to us for funding to grow or expand their business, but in actual fact, they only need a proper marketing approach – either on social media or other platforms.”

The Kimberley Zimele Hub has reportedly been supporting commercially viable small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through empowerment opportunities for previously disadvantaged South Africans since 2009, offering a significant contribution to economic development.

A press statement from De Beers elaborates on the digital marketing workshops being part of Zimele’s new strategic focus, which moves from being a funding initiative to one that targets capacity-building through mentorship.

This is to ensure that SME’s are not dependent on funding in the long term, but are able to grow their business.

“Focus will also be on ensuring that SME’s get access to financing and markets, as well as building and managing networks for potential partnerships,” Lesedi Ntuli said in the statement.

“This way, enterprises are set up for long-term success and are likely to grow more organically in line with sustainable opportunities that are available to them, increasing long-term job creation opportunities.”

One of the participants in the training, Masego Twabile, owner of Lerwana Pest Control, pointed out how impossible it was to run a business without marketing.

“Digital marketing has opened a new avenue for me, because I am now able to reach customers in other provinces, and people are getting to know about my business,” said Twabile.

Anver Temm, owner of Bling Bling Pet Groomer, commended the training for equipping him with the knowledge to update his company’s Facebook profile.

Having used these tips, he has seen a steady increase in users visiting, commenting and liking his page.