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How Micropreneurs Have Changed Today’s Marketing

 Left to Right:  Nickson Mugalula-Manager Mobicast Media, Lenny Nganga, the CEO Omnicom Media Group East Africa , Ryan Majiwa ,the Digital Media Lead -Saladin Media EA, Deedan Muyira- Event Host and Racheal Karanu -Head of Brand Partnerships/ Ad Sales-Africa at Mudondo addressing a panel discussion at the event in Kampala.

Experts agree that the marketing strategy and the behavior of consumers have changed over the years.

They tag the changing trend to the role of micropreneurs which emerged as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jasl Rommel, the OMD Uganda General Manager categorizes micropreneurs as gig workers (hustlers), play labourers and content creators among others. These are largely known locally as social media influencers.

Some of these details are documented in Saladin PHD’s latest thought leadership publication, Shift | A Marketing Rethink in Uganda, launched Wednesday at Kabira Club in Kampala during an engagement with marketers, media and the Group’s partners.



The book sets out to help marketers, media, and agencies rethink the way they structure their marketing now and into the future.

It looks at the wave of complexity that has built up over the last decade with the resultant midlife crises it has caused in marketing and looks ahead at how marketing has changed, and will continue to evolve, the implications for talent, and the new functions that are likely to emerge over the next five to 10 years.

According to Rommel, “we have identified gig workers, hustlers, playlabourers, content creators and all these are people who will be employed by marketers and or in the marketing space or they will be engaged in the marketing ecosystem. “

“We have deployed platforms that can actually help us pick signals from these different signals from the micropreneurs and see how we can incorporate them in our marketing systems,” Rommel adds.

He says that there are some shifts especially in terms of how radio is consumed.

“The fact that consumers don’t just consume traditional radio but audio as a platform, they are not only listening to morning, mid-morning and evening drive shows but there are some people listening to podcasts, streaming platforms, and all these different changes that we need to look at,” Rommel says.

Rommel suggests, “it’s prudent that as a marketer to look at audio, visual, display and experiential perspective and that’s how we do our planning.”

“It’s very important for marketers to look at that as they are engaging their consumers as well,” he says.

Rommel, however, insists that the media works.

“In the last couple of months, we have seen that the media works. But we see two types of people. There are those that look at media as a cost and those that look at media as an opportunity to grow and in the last couple of months, we have seen that those that look at media as an opportunity to grow have actually gained much more than those who pull back advertising budgets,” Rommel said.

There were concerns that even when some of these adverts are played on radio, TV or placed in newspapers, consumers don’t pay attention.



Rommel says that indeed, there is low and high involvement.

However, he says that “it’s very important for a marketer to know – are you going for an activation, a reinforcing job, brand building or are you doing an impactful job? This would guide in the kind of creative that you need to do but also the kind of channels that you would have to produce content on.”

East African marketing legend Lenny Nganga urged Ugandan marketers and media to shift and rethink marketing for tomorrow today.

Nganganis the CEO of Omnicom Media Group East Africa, which comprises the global media agencies PHD and OMD.

He says that “We are focusing too much on short term tactics rather than looking at the long term brand building.”

Nganga explained further that: “4% of our brand volume comes from short term tactics.”

“That will mean that the marketing will become less effective. So, we need to start balancing and start again going back to the fundamentals of building brands,” Nganga says.

He, however, suggests constant learning before companies can invest in new technology.

“Learn, keep learning and be on top of things. Measure the effectiveness of marketing before you invest in new technology. So, for example you work in behavior change, what are you going to measure. Is it how people have changed their behavior? What kind of technology would you need to do that? If it’s about selling more of a particular product, are you looking at shops or supermarkets?”

Nganga tags the shift to what he described as “mid-life crises”

According to Nganga, mid-life crises are caused by impulsive decision making, an intense feeling of nostalgia, constant comparison of oneself to others, dramatic change in behavior and thoughts about infidelity.

“What’s your relationship with the consumer? We need to get in touch with our consumers and find out what they are doing and why they are doing it/what they are doing,” he says.

Nganga notes that there is need to stop and take stock of where “we are” in the marketing space after an “unbelievable change that we have gone through”

He tells media owners to invest in technology that enables consumers, not what complicates their situation; invest in learning and continue learning and be on top of situations; make data-driven decisions and always measure all that they do.


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