Africa’s untapped youth market
Africa has a largely untapped youth market, which offers a number of significant opportunities for savvy brands, according to Jacques du Bruyn, MD at digital marketing company Flume.
Citing the EY 2012 Africa youth study, Du Bruyn notes that by 2020, 75% of Africa’s population will be aged 20 and younger, and that 10m young Africans join the labour force every year. “This means that by that time three in four people living on the African continent will have an average age of 20, start to work and earn their own money, which provides brands with an untapped market that holds enormous potential,” he says.
Digital, says Du Bruyn, is the ideal means by which to reach this market. “Digital allows us to speak to individuals at scale, which is exactly how one should be engaging with the African youth. Broadcasting one standard message to the entire market will get you nowhere, whereas personalisation will go a long way,” he says. “Digital can do that from start to finish, allowing for carefully targeted messaging and unique experiences.”
For Du Bruyn, it all comes down to data. Young Africans spend time online, which is where they consume and create content. Du Bruyn adds that through data management platforms, brands are able to learn more about how these consumers behave online and from there they can start to build meaningful databases to market online.
He stresses the importance of considering the different cultural nuances of every country on the African continent. “When it comes to understanding the African youth, messaging and communication must be personal and relevant to them in their daily lives. We need to mirror a new kind of African, to create aspirational content and show the youth how much potential they have,” he says.
Du Bruyn says that when addressing the African youth market, the tone of communication must speak to the future. When it comes to language, he advises marketers to learn their jargon and use it as a way to resonate with youth.
Du Bruyn points out that one brand that is getting it right in terms of connecting to the African youth market is Mageu Number 1. He believes the brand is doing a great job on social media to connect with this market, speak to the lifestyle of the audience and at the same time subtly introduce the product.
The big take-out: Flume’s Jacques Du Bruyn believes the largely untapped African youth market represents significant potential and that communication over digital platforms is the best way to reach them.