Video Insights from My YouTube Channel, the African Consumer Journey According to Coca-Cola, Marketing Truths & More


To you and fellow Lusophone Letter N readers.

It has been a busy week in Nairobi. We’ve had an entire team from Facebook in town and been acquainted with the guys at Big Blue.

Aside from releasing two episodes of our video show Digital Africa with Mark Kaigwa, (The top 10 websites Kenyans visit and why the Content Calendar is dead; a controversial opinion that many campaign managers will not want to hear), my team and I are planning the shoot of the second part of the ‘season’ and I’m happy to share some insights and reflections from the process so far.

First, video is the future. Not in a smarmy sense, but in a yes-my-team-and-I-have-living-proof sense. Indeed, we’ve been promoting each video that comes out with targeted Facebook ads but promoted only one of six on YouTube through paid ads. The outcome has been interesting, to say the least.

In total, we’ve had +34,000 minutes viewed on Facebook and a total of 2,959 views on YouTube. We even had one video gain 69% of all views organically which has been music to my ears. Strategy-wise, we’re doing this to work our way towards a thought leadership and search-engine advantage by picking topics based on data from Google Keyword Planner. Still a work in progress but we’ll have full reflections and learnings when our first ‘season’ of 13 episodes is up.

It has been amazing to talk about it the ‘dogfooding’ my team and I have done — strategy, through to execution. We make the videos and we learn from them. Vertical video too, like I mentioned last week, is worth any content creator’s consideration. At a closed-door session with Facebook, I heard the same gospel preached and hope they eventually use us as an example of this in the local market.

With that, have a go at our tasting menu of links for your weekend binge reading:

What to Sip (30 sec Read)

From foreign interference in our elections to targeted campaigns designed to confuse and divide on important social issues, groups looking for an effective way to infiltrate and influence our democracy have found generous hosts in the world of social media. Pierre Omidyar — Founder, eBay

In this piece in the Washington Post, he explores 6 ways social media has become a great threat to democracy. Here’s the accompanying paperpublished by the Omidyar Network. Worth a read and further reference.

What to Nibble (<5 min Read)

Waithera Kabiru, Digital Marketing Manager for Coca-Cola South & East Africa, posits her view on the challenges of measuring digital across audiences at scale in Africa.

It features an emphasis on Facebook and the greater web (in some countries the ratio of Facebook users to total web users is as high as 1:3) so it is illuminating to catch her reflections of this.

I was captivated by her consumer journey funnel of awareness, demand generation, acquisition + transaction and retention & loyalty. One thing I agree with her on (though, I believe it has certain exceptions in certain industries — given that Coca-Cola is an FMCG brand) is that Engagement is not a KPI. She gives a worthy case study in her work leading Coke Studio Africa, a Pan-African music television show and brand asset with strong cross-promotion across radio, print, below-the-line and digital.

What to Bite (<20 min Read)

This week’s long read is on Peak Content by my friend Erica Berger. Her 2015 piece lives on and speaks to the challenge of keeping up with content (including this newsletter). You’ve faced that sinking feeling with the increasing assault on your time and attention thanks to connectivity and a bottomless well of options. Not to mention the constant desire and hunger for new information. You’ll enjoy her piece. She went on to start a site dedicated to helping you navigate archiving and finding relevant content. They have a newsletter too, not that you need another one.

I loved this piece on how legendary marketer and author Seth Godin would launch a new business with $1,000 and have 90 days left to spare. He asks us to think boldly about how far marketing has come and how far it has left to go for it to be transformed. The most memorable quote was:

“We, marketers, are selfish, lying, short-term thinking scum. We believe that our job is to manipulate people as we market to them.”

People are immune to bad marketing and that reads like a punch to the gut, but deep down you know it is true.

As you unplug, let me leave you with a good and practical read from Srini Rao on why your first 3 (unconnected) hours of a day will impact more than just this weekend, they may impact your life. I recommend thinking and reading through it. And changing your morning routine is a worthwhile place to start.

One of my mornings started differently this week because I’m excited to announce I’ll be a judge at the 2017 Marketing Society of Kenya (MSK) Gala Awards. I’m honoured to be leading several categories and will keep you in the loop on how this goes.


Enjoyed reading The Letter N? Did anything stand out to you? I’d love to hear from you and I’d appreciate if you gave us a clap below and shared with someone you know would be better for it. We’re on hand to answer comments or hear your perspective on the topics above.

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