Johannesburg: 12 September 2018. South African communications agencies are perfectly positioned to compete and entrench themselves in global markets. This bold statement was made by Oxigen Communications’ Managing Partner and Founder, LJ Swart. He says that South African agencies are robust, adaptable, creative, bold, diverse, and extremely mobile and are on equal or even better footing than many global agencies, especially when it comes to adaptability.
South African communications agencies are increasing their international footprint in terms of pitches and securing global business because they can compete on price, turnkey offering and diversity regarding communication and alignment. They have the ability to distill and filter messaging and communications that are on-point and cut across audiences which are traditional, modern and cosmopolitan of nature.
“Collectively (explain) we are ideally positioned as we understand the method of operation of our local and global clients, and are experts at dealing with constant change. Most importantly, we have to communicate in cross-cultural vernacular to make our ‘voices heard’ in especially South Africa and the greater African continent to reach larger audiences,” LJ emphasised.
South African communications agencies are rigorous, reactive to change, flexible and versatile. “Our knowledge and experience of rich cultures, diversity in ethnicity, innumerable religions, and variety in target audiences make us adept at demystifying; interpreting and translating messaging that is pitch-perfect. We are marketing chameleons and must be bold and embed ourselves in this largely unsecured market,” emphasised LJ. Thus they have a marked advantage over non-African agencies since South Africa, being part of the African continent, respect and appreciate their diverse audience and target markets. “We have to communicate to various audiences on a daily basis due to our audience landscape, language diversity and on-going continental challenges. I want South African agencies to be more bold, to see ourselves as being the best compared to the rest of the world (right up there with the best) in establishing and enhancing global markets”, LJ commented.
But why are South African communications agencies so ideally positioned to penetrate global markets? ??? But are ??local/African market??? The reasons are many and varied. Non-African agencies and companies have little or no experience regarding African culture, and more importantly, they fail to understand the African markets and the manner in which things are done on the continent. They cannot break into the African market because of their limited knowledge and experience of the African traditions, nuances and thought patterns. This is where African agencies can step in and fill that gap.
LJ believes that by reworking approaches and strategies, agencies can take a confident leap and dive into this largely untapped global market. He sees ample opportunities for South African agencies to penetrate all these niche markets as the African continent is also home to six of the 10 fastest growing economies in the what LJ?? world. “We realise and understand the differences and can deal with it. We can collaborate and form partnerships with the non-African communications agencies and bring our unique African flavour into the mix. We have all the tools to grasp client needs and mobilise it commercially to a result that delivers excellent commercial results,” says LJ. The future lies in placing a positive value on diversity as well as embracing and exploiting the opportunities that global markets present.