Marketing is Common Sense

ust put your mind to it, don’t waste money, and tell people what they need to know about your product and service.

In my experience, TIME is one of the greatest factors in successfully marketing: the longer you are out there and the more persistent you are, the better the results.

I prepared the poster below for my son Damian who is busy with the marketing of our guest establishment, Otters’ Haunt, on the Vaal River near Johannesburg, SA. He’s using a variety of tools such as and his personal blog. All to the good, except that marketing is not just about being online.

BASICS OF MARKETINGRecently Damian brought a teambuilding group to our place by working his personal contacts. Simple: just ring ’em up and tell them what we have to offer. Nothing matters more than personal contacts, friendliness and helpfulness. Customers who come to you already want to know more and are willing to buy, you just have to give them the information and the service they need to make up their minds.

As a student on a marketing communications course once educated me (I was lecturing!) – “Marketing is all common sense with a dash of politeness”. Right!

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Use data for credibility


 Data journalism and multimedia tools boost your stories

Why would any self-respecting journalist need to learn how to cover elections? Surely it’s common sense. Not really, writes course leader GRAEME ADDISON.

Obviously, election reporting should be fair, accurate, not take sides, deal with the issues, watch for evidence of vote tampering, and cover the results objectively. What more could the public ask of the media?

Well, a lot. And with the data journalism tools now available, election reporting can be deepened and made a lot more informative for the average voter. It’s not about statistics and dry charts. It’s really about conveying the essence of each election fight simply, visually and with direct relevance to voter issues in each ward.

Angry protests over the provision of services in health, sanitation, policing, housing, education, roads and much more have shown that citizens are not happy with the way they are being governed.


Original photo: TimesLive

South Africans today face the most challenging municipal elections in the history of this young democracy. Unlike the Parliamentary elections, where there Continue reading

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‘Politainment’ as election coverage

If the US Presidential primaries are anything to go by, elections are great entertainment. Donald Trump has the world gasping at his arrogance, contradictions and hairstyle. Hillary Clinton bustles on like a granny intent on organising her household. Bernie Sanders gruffly pushes the line that not to elect him could be a disaster for the Democrats.

trump hillary and billWell, I guess if Hillary is indicted for breaching national security with her home emails, it will be a disaster. If the FBI doesn’t get her first the Republicans surely will try to impeach her if she becomes President.

These characters on the political stage become one-dimensional cartoons of themselves as the media try to reveal their strengths and weaknesses but only succeed in boosting their showmanship. Policy issues go hang. Here’s a new word: Politainment.

municipal elections 2016But my concerns lie closer to home. South Africans may soon go to the polls to elect new local councils at municipal level. I say they “may” because, while the date of 3 August has been set down by President Jacob Zuma, the Constitutional Court has yet to rule on whether the election can take place.

A minor trifle that millions in the electorate have no recorded home addresses (which opens the way for fraud and bussing-in) has the ConCourt tied in knots. Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng doesn’t want to disenfranchise these millions or Continue reading

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