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THE MEDIA AFRICA ANNUAL_digital

Across the airwaves and on the ground in Ghana West African markets have a reputation of being complex and challenging, yet full of potential. Ghana is no exception and it’s where multimedia sales house Mediamark decided to start their African expansion and create a significant presence in a short space of time. The operation began 11 months ago with offices strategically located in the business hub of Kokomlemle in the country’s capital Accra. The major advantage the Mediamark Ghana team has is its close ties to the Mediamark South Africa operation, offering an independent full service operation, replicating the South African sales house model. The Ghana team has access to both management of the SA operation as well as integrated services such as creative, marketing intelligence, traffic and trade marketing allowing the team to use best of breed but to adapt to the different business environment in Ghana, offering country specific solutions that fit the client’s needs, thus offering them a significant advantage. Another advantage that the team has is its experienced leadership. The General Manager of Mediamark Ghana’s team is Mervyn Naidu (former Business Development Manager at Times Media Group who established their radio stations in the Johannesburg market). Before his role at Times Media he spent seven years with Mediamark South Africa fulfilling a variety of roles, including direct sales on Jacaranda FM, and the establishment and heading up of the TV Sales department. Naidu comes with a wealth of experience and knowledge about the company’s operations, which he is passing on to his Ghana team. A third advantage is Mediamark Ghana’s familiarity with the trends and topics dominating the market. “Apart from the extremely friendly environment in which we operate, and the dominant soccer culture, the most topical item is the current build-up to the national election set for 7 December. Everyone has an opinion and is willing to express a point of view and defend their allegiance. It is encouraging to see a democracy in action and people who are willing to plot out their future at the ballot box,” Naidu says. This closeness to the market gives Mediamark an edge when it comes to doing business with media owners and agencies. And what a load of choice there is on offer in the West African nation’s media environment! Naidu explains, “Media is cluttered and vibrant at the same time. 247 radio stations, over 100 TV stations and billboards everywhere. The move to DTT has commenced, with the full roll out set for September 2016 and a year of dual illumination before the analogue signal is switched off. Brands demand ROI. On air messaging coupled with on the ground activation, forms a vital link to grow from brand awareness to brand engagement. We utilise our understanding of our brands and the media landscape to deliver on our client objectives and enhance brand engagement.” When asked about investments Mediamark has had to make in the Ghana market, Naidu comments, “The biggest investment is always our people – having the right skills and attitude to succeed in a highly competitive market. Infrastructure and access to information have been the next important investment. We have also invested with local partners in Ghana that assist us understand the business, culture and context of our operations.” This West African operation is a key part of Mediamark’s overall strategy says Talib Sadik, Managing Director of Mediamark. The company intends using Ghana as the catalyst to consolidate its position in the short term, before making moves into other Sub- Saharan African territories. This consolidation will play right into Mediamark’s strategy of making the company the thought leaders in theAfrican media space. “We are confident that our collective years of experience in the South African market as well as our business partners that have global expertise offers us a platform to challenge current media practices and look at innovative ways of tackling the Ghanaian and other sub-Saharan African media context,” Sadik says. The future looks very bright for Mediamark’s African expansion, having recently signed on pay TV channel Starsat, which gives them the opportunity to expand even further into Sub-Saharan Africa. Sadik concludes, “Starsat has millions of subscribers into Africa which we are excited to bring to the market shortly so watch this space!” Mervyn Naidu


THE MEDIA AFRICA ANNUAL_digital
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