The digital space in all its incarnations is always under constant evolution, with trends and practices changing rapidly. It has become a place where the whole world connects, influencing everything from lifestyle decisions to business practices. As such, businesses need to stay abreast of the landscape of the digital world and possess the requisite skills to survive and thrive. Having identified this, Stars From All Nations (SFAN) carved out a unique learning breakfast experience to facilitate knowledge sharing, with the support of its partners: the Future Executives Business Breakfast Meeting (FEBBM5).
This fifth edition of the event attracted various individuals at different levels of professional development and fields as diverse as commerce, marketing, technology and media in Accra on Saturday, July 29. The professional capacity building session and networking event was set in the refreshingly calm ambiance of the intimate Mercedes Café located in Airport City, one of Accra’s business hotspots. With the agenda already set on digital marketing strategies, the event was tailored specifically to help professionals leverage their social media skills to improve content, engagement and brand awareness online. To help achieve this, speakers from all over the media and marketing landscape shared their insights in 20-minute talks over breakfast. A panel discussion moderated by Lakeshia Marie of Ford Communications featured speakers Anita Erskine, Sydney Sam, Simon Alangde, among others. Each gave clear and incisive details on their respective practices and suggested new ways others could implement them.
Social media allows for tailored marketing experiences for audiences, therefore brands must carefully sculpt their campaigns to be consistent, focus on the story behind their product and to remain at the forefront of consumers’ minds. Sydney Sam, the founder of The Workspace, focused on branding. His bold and catchy PowerPoint presentation creatively used negative space to reverberate his message, and he encouraged upcoming brands to condense the ethos of their product into a single, direct message. Sam also walked participants through a user interface and user experience design, highlighting how design culture and psychology can help brands to maintain a consistent and easily recognizable design palate. He cited the example of Coca-Cola “Open Happiness” slogan, which has been the company’s brand and marketing campaign theme for over 20 years. All Coca Cola’s advertising and marketing resonate this message, he explained.
“Inspiration is never enough to make business decisions. You need to test your strategies and use what works.” -Sydney Sam
Anita Erskine brought a cool and casual vibe to the business breakfast event with her bold, charismatic persona and gorgeous Adidas sneakers. The media marketing expert and head of Anita Erskine Media pivoted her presentation around storytelling. She began her informative and engaging talk by giving an on-the-spot analysis of businesses by various members of the audience, before zooming into her core on the need for homegrown brands to be original, even when inspired by foreign models:
“Don’t use social media to emulate what others do. Use it to tell your audience a unique story that connects with your brand” — Anita Erskine
Interactive Digital’s Chris Efo also highlighted aspects of digital marketing which he considered to be underrated yet very impactful. For instance, meme culture. The sharing of funny photos and videos related to pop culture among groups online which has become an inseparable part of the modern digital experience. He noted that various brands around the world have tapped into this inexpensive advertising campaign by creating their own memes. Others usually take advantage of the free content and align their interest with television shows or movies that may be trending. Using a case study from the company’s portfolio, Efo demonstrated how the Interactive Digital team came up with custom Game of Thrones memes for a client, right as the new season was about to begin.
Although the breakfast meeting had extremely helpful and easy to grasp insights for business executives, the focus could be extended to include insights relevant to the creative economy. Current trends show that Ghana-based musicians, filmmakers and performance artists who leverage social media branding are benefiting from the increased audience. In lieu of relying on radio and television, many artists are creating and marketing their brands themselves; building organic and targeted online audiences and thriving. A great example is Mr. Eazi whose digital marketing push has secured him a lucrative deal with Apple Music and appearance on prime-time American television.
For SFAN, about four years of organizing such brilliant events to help young, enterprising minds, and business owners benefit from the experience of others is an amazing feat. With this fifth edition, they proved that no matter where you are in your development as a business or brand there is still a lot to learn and improve on, especially with the diverse array of tools social media provides for next to nothing.