It’s often been said that SA is the launch pad to the rest of the continent. And, just as SA is a melting pot of different cultures, challenges and beliefs, so every country in Africa has its own culture and way of doing things. Seeing Africans – and Africa – as a bottomless sea of sameness is the biggest mistake a marketer can make. “The only way to grasp that Africa is not just one homogenous country is to leave your desk and travel northwards; to interact with people in their home countries; and to listen to the unique challenges, hopes and aspirations that guide their decisions.” This was the starting point for a talk on conducting business in SA and Africa that Net#Work BBDO’s Boniswa Pezisa and Gau Narayanan presented to an MBA class at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.  Pezisa believes we are in “the era of consumer insights, research and the data”. And when it comes to seeing SA as a launch pad to Africa, one need only look at the conglomeration of different p...

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