The IRON List - November 5, 2018

Industry: Africa Be Aware.

1.7 seconds of attention from 1.2 billion people. That’s the pressure of marketing in Africa, and crucial to any success as an entrepreneur on the continent.

Success has less to do with the product than it does with the story told, and who is telling it. Clear example - a recent Mabati Rolling Mills competition in Kenya to sell roofing materials. The photography competition/campaign reportedly helped the company reach “1.8 million people on Facebook, 500,000 on Twitter and over 10,000 on Instagram” in one year.

Are there that many people in Kenya looking to buy roofs? Probably not, but there is a demand for creativity. Ultimately, the best way to grab someone’s attention is keeping them occupied in the brand conversation. For larger companies, use of machine learning to pick up on how Africans interact with products - particularly on their phones - and use this information to predict how best to involve them in the creative marketing process. For smaller companies, careful observation and understanding of people’s behaviors and attitudes will be essential.

Karfi recently led a skills training session on this topic - check out clips here, and sign up for a session as well.

Research: Creative Solution.

South Africa, always at the helm of innovation, has a new creative solution to employment. The South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) is providing the general public with free research on how to create more jobs in the music and arts industry. The workshops begin in November and are based on three years of academic study on topics such as intellectual property, best practices for marketing, and the role of art in socioeconomic/cultural development.

Opportunities: AI Summit in Cape Town.

Information is simultaneously scarce and widespread. Million-dollar companies are made when the equipment and tools to tap into the troves of data collected from every smartphone/laptop/Internet user across the globe are readily available.

Any aspiring African entrepreneur should take advantage of the AI Summit in Cape Town happening November 13-14th. Register here for more information.

Networking: 1:1 Consulting - Directly to Your Inbox.


You can’t always travel to get the information you need - that’s where Karfi comes in. The first IRON Series Webinar will air Monday, November 19th, featuring Kwadwo (“Kojo”) Sarpong, Co-Founder of the African Research Academies for Women (ARA-W) giving his tips on scalability and sustainability as an African entrepreneur. To receive the episode directly to your inbox, subscribe here now. Subscribers automatically enter a chance to win a 1:1 consulting session with one of our guests for the series!