A Brand Guide To Marketing Communications During Elections

Elections provide an important opportunity to advance democratization and encourage political liberalization. It is therefore an important time for citizens to decide on the future of their country and communities by voting for their preferred political candidates.

However, elections also provide a strange moment for businesses and put brands in a really difficult position. Act or behave in a certain way and your brand can be accused of being out of touch and/or exploiting the election to push your products/services.

Therefore, caution needs to be taken because Communicating during elections is akin to walking on eggshells thanks to the tense consumer landscape that has been created after weeks and months of active electioneering.

Here, therefore, are some tips on how to go about this sensitive but momentous period of time.

Adjust Your Tone

Tone of voice is essential to building a brand and engaging your target audience. It is advisable to change your communication/advertising tone from a sales-focused / promotional one to a neutral one.

Manage Your Media Spend

Planning to launch a new campaign, product, or service? Hold your horses and postpone this for another one or two months until the elections period is over. As election fever hits a crescendo, you may end up wasting valuable advertising spend by communicating to an audience that has diverted their attention to the current matters.

Understand Your Target Audience

The better you understand your target market, the more you’ll be able to relay relevant information to them during this election period. What are their concerns, pain points, and challenges during this time? How can your brand help them overcome it?

Keep Customers Updated About Your Operations

The election period can disrupt business operations as employees/staff are given time to go and vote. Keep your customers abreast of any potential breaks in service and give them alternatives on how customers will be served or when the business will resume in case of any closure. Remember – the customer remains King!

Stay Neutral

Prevailing wisdom denotes that brands need to stay out of politics. Ensure your organization remains neutral and avoids jumping into the electioneering fray, no matter how tempted you are to join in. Protecting your brand reputation is your primary goal during this time.

Be Positive & Uplifting

Most elections can be deeply polarizing and potentially toxic thanks to the divergent political views of everyone concerned. From staff to suppliers, customers to clients, family to friends, everyone has a unique opinion about matters concerning parties and candidates. If you have to communicate, best to communicate something that is positive, uplifting, and ultimately builds the national spirit of peace, love and unity to the whole country.

We wish all Ugandans a peaceful election.

C.O.G trainings - RUFROM PROs in Nairobi

Why You Need Marketing Communications in your Company.

A strategic marketing communications plan is a key determinant for the success of any business. It is therefore important to understand your overall brand, the set targets and your optimal customers with special attention to their habits. All this should be done in addition to thorough study and understanding of the current trends in your industry of operation. One of the many roles of marketing communications is to generate brand awareness which is intended to result into sales.

First and foremost, your target market needs to know about the existence of your company and services, this can only be achieved through marketing communication tools like advertising and promotion strategies.

Marketing communications is important because strategic and successful branding establishes your business and service offering in the minds of customers& prospects. In relation to this is increase in customer loyalty. While in execution of any plan, it is necessary to try as much to keep your branding messages and visuals consistent on all marketing, advertising and promotional materials.

Through Marketing Communications tools you are also able to educate your customers extensively about your company’s products and services. This can be done through website-based product demonstrations or instructional videos. In return to this is direct customer feedback and sentiments.  “Amazing things will happen when you listen to the consumer.” Jonathan Mindenhall an influential marketer was once quoted.

Through marketing communications there’s an opportunity to establish your business/company as an authority or leader in your industry of operation through tools like having a webpage to factoids or Q&A about your business, thought leadership pieces or interviews on a particular topics of interest regarding a particular offering.

Email blasts and direct-mail campaigns to distribute information concerning the company like adverts of an ongoing or upcoming events are another tool to increased brand awareness.

Through marketing communications, you definitely experience a connection between your business and customers. Platforms like social media are helpful when it comes to exchange of ideas, understanding customers & prospects alongside constant customer/client contact.  This in the end increases brand loyalty, customer sustainability and referrals.

The major target of marketing communications is to increase product sales, service or business success. You therefor need to cultivate a strong foundation for profitable long-term relationships and business through marketing communications.

Guests serving breakfast

The Importance of Marketing Communication in Businesses.

Time and time again, the one thing that all businesses have needed to succeed is marketing; this is the only way to consumer awareness of the different goods and services offered by the business.

Marketing has over time evolved from simply marketing to marketing communication because unlike in the past, there’s increased growth in consumer activity and there’s a wide variety of brands to influence the power of choice. Therefore, businesses need to tactfully communicate to their consumers to achieve brand affinity & loyalty.

Marketing communications technically refers to the means adopted by companies to convey messages about their brand, products & services directly or indirectly with intention to persuade consumer purchasing power. This entails Advertising, sales promotion, Events sponsorship, Interactive marketing and direct marketing.

That said; Marketing communication is important to any business because it offers solutions to the most important questions consumer questions of (Why) shall the product be purchased? (How) can the product be used? (Who) can use the product? (Where) can the product be used? and (When) can the product be used.

Group picture with sponsors at the Vusi Press launch

Effective marketing tools to influence consumer behavior.

It is undeniably known to businesses, companies and brands that marketing can amazingly influence consumer purchasing power and behavior. However, often times the most effective tools that attract customers to products, services or the desired behavior change are inadvertently ignored. Among the many other roles, Marketing is meant to persuade and extensively inform consumers about a company’s products or services offerings. So, if consumers neither connect emotionally or physically with the brand, the product or service offerings then it is most likely that sales targets will hardly be met. The deep dive has revealed that there is a number of the effective marketing tools a company can use to influence consumer behavior & purchasing power.

  1. Paid media advertising

 This involves the purchase of ad space on a media channel to promote your brand to a larger audience. This normally comes with guaranteed response because mass media is a channel with a unique power to reach a large number of people in a very short period of time. In addition to traditional paid media advertising tactics, there’s a more recent online paid for media advertising on websites, search engines, social media, blogs among others.

  1. Digital marketing

We are in a world of very fast growing digital economy. In addition to promotional content on the different digital/online platforms, this also entails using social media content, influencers and buzz marketing i.e. use of hash tags (#), company websites, blogs, search engine optimization, search engine marketing among others to reach audiences. This comes with the opportunity of increased brand-consumer interaction.

  1. Direct Marketing

This is where businesses sell their products directly to the public through emails, phone calls, text messages, physical selling among others. This eliminates middle men and because direct contact makes one feel valued and apart of the brand this helps to build close connection with customers and prospects.

  1. Public relations tactics

 Public relations is the professional maintenance of a favorable public image by a company, this also helps to build a relationship between a company and its customers. This can be done through events management, consistent communication to the public through the media outlets, third party endorsement or what is normally referred to as using brand ambassadors, sponsorships, great partnerships and most importantly corporate social responsibility. These contribute to maintenance of a favorable brand image which in return influences, sways and increases believability hence positive consumer behavior.

  1. Consumer loyalty programs

 These involve rewarding customers that use or engage with your product time and again. This is a cost effective measure that most companies often neglect yet retaining consumers is more important &convenient than looking for new ones.

Conclusively, companies and businesses have a wide range of effective marketing tools to employ but of course with knowledge of what tool works best for you and your target market.



Digital Marketing Communications during the Covid – 19 Pandemic

The COVID -19 pandemic has seen more and more businesses shift from operating in brick and mortar locations to an online & digital world most especially in countries like Uganda where the Government has put in place strict guidelines for business operations. Over the last few months, the marketing landscape has changed drastically due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has hit the world. Now more than ever, we see digital marketing communications as a much more needed aspect to any business’ marketing tools.

Today, Digital marketing Communications has seen more types of digital interaction, whether it’s multimedia content marketing via blogs, videos, engaging in direct selling via webinars, online chat or interacting with apps.

Globally, numerous governments have imposed local down which has seen the increase in the usage of Internet, smartphones, social and digital media. Close to half the world’s population (3.03 billion people) are on some type of social media  hence an urgent call for strong investment into Digital Marketing Communications by businesses.

What does this mean for Digital Marketing Communications?

The opportunities for consumers to interact with brands and for businesses to reach and learn about their customers are endless. There has been an ongoing trend of businesses operating online, and for this to happen, business owners need to think of new and innovative ways to maintain their existing customers while at the same time capturing new leads through continuous interaction on digital platforms including social media. However, it’s not all roses capturing smart phones users’ attention to your brand as most users are not easily convinced. For example, 57% of all mobile users will not recommend a business if their mobile website is poorly designed or unresponsive according to Omnicore.

With Digital Marketing Communications, we see tools in the marketing mix being brought together digitally. Such tools are not limited to display ads, pay per click advertising, search engine optimization, Digital PR, affiliate marketing, opt-in email marketing and social media advertising. There are business prospects that come with the current pandemic, People appreciating the need to jump on the Digital era to have their lives simplified and the need to tell their clients about it creates more space for Digital Marketing Communications. A business owner can easily have his products and services listed online and his customers do not have to worry about finding him online. A simple Facebook advert showing his catalog of products goes a long way in getting him customers without shouting at the top of his voice manually searching for customers. It is at this expense that more and more businesses ought to embrace digital marketing communications.

More so, unlike most offline marketing efforts, digital marketing allows marketers to see accurate results in real time with a clearly defined ROI. Campaigns are easily monitored and cheaply measured to the extent that it fits a budget as low as 1 dollar a day if properly managed by a competent and specialized digital marketing manager.

The simplicity of Digital Marketing Communications makes it relevant in practice, Ideally, all a manager does is communicate with prospects using the online company presence such as company websites, mobile apps, and social media company pages. The value also comes with the ability to collect audience profiles and its interactions with businesses, in relation to SOPs of a particular country. Engaging one’s audiences is also a plus especially when the manager not only focusses on paid but as well, earned media.

Regardless of whether you have a B2C OR B2B business model where content marketing is a top priority after brand building and social media engagement, digital marketing communications is relevant for any business to thrive in the next 5 years. The other beauty about Digital Marketing Communications is that your digital marketing efforts are geared towards what goals your company would like to accomplish, whether it’s creating awareness, lead generation, or making sales so it’s easy to track the buyers’ journey. For that reason, you only pay for what you desire. Beyond that, you’ll probably ask for a refund. (It’s possible with this online free world). This is where we are now, embracing the simplicity in digital marketing communications.

Focus - mentees attentively listen to presentations

Capital One Group Mentorship Program

“Mentoring is a critical part of personal growth and development and affords a lifetime of opportunity to grow and develop.” This is one of my favorite quotes from Lisa Fain.

75% of the youth today have consistently made un informed career & life decisions as a result of no mentorship or proper guidance.

Mentorship program being part of its arms, Capital One Group ‘s managing director Paul Mwirigi Muriungi together with Flavia Kunihira, the special projects manager worked tirelessly to see the successful organization of the first ever Capital One Group mentorship session.

 It was Saturday 18th January 2020 when young entrepreneurs and a number of fresh graduates from universities around the country i.e. Uganda Christian University and Makerere University gathered at Rozah Bistro, Naguru to listen to guest speaker Mr. Alex Etiang, a renowned life coach.

Speaking during the session Mr. Alex Etiang expounded on the importance of personal effectiveness citing that it is basically all about making the most of what one has in them with the principle of having the end in mind. This means that as young people, while completing school and making decisions on what paths to take, it is necessary to answer questions of (Where) you want to be and (How) you want to get there. He further highlighted that “It is important for one to have a life graph demonstrating the desired goals to be achieved indicative of the time frame.’’ 

Paul Mwirigi Muriungi, Managing Director, Capital One Group noted that it is necessary for the youth to understand themselves in order to enhance personal growth. In addition to this, he emphasized that ‘Knowing oneself results into self-empowerment and self-acceptance hence positive transitioning and smooth attainment of the desired personal goals.’’

In a nutshell, Mentorship is key to personal and often times to organization growth. Mentees have an opportunity to gain practical knowledge and insight from experts while Mentors have an opportunity to expand their professional knowledge and skills through their instruction and facilitation.

Capital One Group looks to have more mentorship sessions in future, always check in on our web-site and social platforms for further details on this.