wise marketing advice

THE greatest myth in South Africa is the idea of a black market and a white market.

This is the advice of marketing and advertising guru Dale Hefer, founding director of the Chilibush group of companies.

Hefer's new book, From Witblits to Vuvuzela, looks at marketing strategies in the new South Africa.

"Segmenting your target market along racial lines is a problem. If you do so you filter your prejudice into your strategy and this may come out all wrong," says Hefer.

"We have blacks living in Sandton and poor whites in Pretoria, so to segment according to race is unwise.

"The only colour we should know is green - the colour of money."

Hefer says even identifying customers or clients as "black diamonds" is not a good strategy.

"When you say your market is black diamonds you immediately confine yourself to about two million people, leaving out about 30million people who also have money," she says.

But Hefer insists that a business should know its target market or audience.

She says there are other ways of segmenting one's target market.

"A business can use living standard measures, gender, geography, education, language and culture."

Hefer says that research is important in knowing one's market.

"If you sell traditional beer, don't sit in an office, go and meet the people who drink your beer.

"Know their likes, what they watch on television, the billboards they see," she says.

"Be careful of using stereotypes in your adverts. You can use our unique South Africaness without offending anyone.

"Other marketing tools are how your staff answer the phone, business cards and the look of your website," she says.