The One Thing Everyone Gets Wrong About Digital Marketing

The One Thing Everyone Gets Wrong about Digital Marketing
Think about it for a second.
Are you taking advantage of this new digital world we live in?
As you know the world is moving faster than ever.
Facebook ads. Google ads. Email Marketing. Funnel Building.
It can be confusing right! And to top it all off…It can be very expensive.
Quiet frankly you can waste a lot of money if you don’t know what your doing.
If you are overwhelmed by digital marketing, don’t worry. It is actually not that hard. I’m going to guide you step by step to digital marketing nirvana.
Welcome, my name is Josh. 
I am the founder of the Digital Zimbabwe marketing agency. I am here to show Zimbabwean entrepreneurs and companies how to grow their brand and make sales online. I understand exactly how difficult it is to get started here.
From now on consider this blog your roadmap to building a multi-million dollar Zimbabwean company. ( We’re talking $US not Bond here! )

Listen Up

In today’s day and age it is no longer the best or biggest brands that claim the all the riches. 
Rather it’s the companies that most clearly communicate their message to their audience that win the fame and fortune.
It sounds so simple yet it’s easy to be overwhelmed. I know I was when I started on this journey.
Digital marketing is vast. It seems like there is so much to learn. 
Let’s start with tongue twisting acronyms like SEO, SEM, PPC, CRO & SMM.*
Thats before you even mention content marketing, lead generation or email marketing. What a mouthful (!!!)
Don’t Worry. Relax.
You’re about to learn how to make truck loads of money from online marketing. 
Just don’t expect it to happen overnight and don’t expect it to happen without continuous learning and deep work.
Lets get this straight – I’m not some “marketing guru” trying to sell you an online course or some shiny new sales technique. This blog is humbly written with the purpose of helping entrepreneurs and businesses in Zimbabwe understand the new digital landscape.
Let’s get started.

A Digital Marketing Framework for Success

Every week I am going to be showing you in great detail how to build a digitally relevant brand in modern day Zimbabwe. It’s going to be so much fun! 
Why did I create the Digital Zimbabwe Marketing Agency?
Fair Question…
You see, the trends and advice that work for companies thriving in the first world do not always hold true in economies such as ours. I have tested so many “techniques” and software services that just are not suitable or applicable for Zimbabwean businesses. I know that most of you reading this will not be able to afford the services of a marketing agency.
I want to share everything I have learnt about growing a successful African brand in this blog for free. 
Let me start by stating the obvious: Growing a successful company in Zimbabwe comes with many challenges that other companies operating in the first world would not face. 
The national currency doesn’t magically perform metamorphosis overnight. Taking online payments isn’t literally impossible! Random business bank accounts don’t just pop up in your name only to disappear again three months later like you’ve been ghosted. Electricity isn’t a privilege. New mind-bending Statutory Instruments are not a weekly occurrence. I could go on but I won’t bore you with what you already know.
Despite these challenges, believe it or not there are huge advantages to growing your brand in Zimbabwe. Nearly every single industry in this country is ripe for disruption. Innovation is dead. There are so many boring brands in this country just waiting to be toppled. The big companies have gotten lazy. They have long forgotten what got them to the top. Opportunities are limitless for those who dare to dream, innovate and put in the work. 
And here’s why…

“You can do anything – but not everything.”

I want to discuss the single most important idea you must understand before you get started on your digital marketing journey. This is the foundation from which you’ll build your empire. 
I’m about to discuss a very powerful tool of persuasion that moves random strangers to line up around the block just to pay you thousands of dollars. Keep reading, I’ll show you exactly how successful brands like Nike and others do this.
Once you have this one idea in your amour, you’ll be ready to start learning all the fun marketing tactics like “killer” sales funnels, paid ads, social media marketing, direct response copywriting and much, much more.
Let’s talk about this very powerful idea first that nearly all Zimbabwean businesses seem to miss or get wrong. 


Digital Zimbabwe (2)
Don’t worry, it’s not as dirty as it sounds, I promise.
So many companies get caught up in the idea of ‘branding’ and building a brand. They spend hours and hours on things like logos, colour schemes and brand guidelines.
That’s all well and good. 
But it doesn’t count for a thing if you haven’t already crafted a clear “Position” for your brand first.
Loosely defined, Positioning is “How you differentiate yourself from your competitors in the mind of your customer.”
And here is the most important rule to remember when positioning your brand…
“It is better to be first in the mind of the consumer than it is to be better”. 
Read that again. Slowly this time…
“It’s better to be first than it is to be better”
What exactly does that mean, Josh? I hear you ask.
Let me explain. Quickly, name the company that makes the best electric car in the world right now? 
If you are like most people you would have answered “Tesla.” 
Yet innovative companies such as Porsche, BMW, Volkswagen & Mercedes all produce cutting edge electric cars. The reason Tesla came to your mind first (and probably always will) is because they were first company to enter the “Electric Car” category. So they own it.
The first brand to successfully enter a category owns it – unless they make a series of huge mistakes that is.
This brings us to one of the most important laws of Al Reis & Jack Trout’s seminal book “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing.”

The Law of Category

Digital Zimbabwe (5)

Who was the first brand to enter the soft drinks category?

You guessed it – Coke.

The second? You guessed right again – Pepsi.

The first company in the Toothpaste category? Colgate. The first fast food joint ever was… McDonalds. You get the idea. The brand that makes into to the consumers mind first wins big.

Do you think Red Bull would have become the behemoth of a company that it is today if they sold Red Bull as a “soft drink” like Coke or Fanta? You can bet your house that company would have failed spectacularly.

Instead of fighting in the very crowded “soft drink” category that was already owned by Coke, Red Bull created a brand new category that they could be first to mind in, the “Energy Drink” category. They crafted a position in the consumers mind that differentiated them from all the sugary carbonated soda drinks.

So now when you think of a soft drink you think of Coke but when you think of an energy drink, you think Red Bull.

I’ll say it again. In business “It’s better to be first than it is to be better.”

Remember this Law. You can try fight it as much as you like but those are the rules.

So what do you do if your brand is not first in the mind of the consumer?

What if you’re 5th, 6th or 10 000th in your niche or category?

The answer is simple.  “If you can’t be first in a category, then set up a new category you can be first in.”*

You need to create a new position for your brand in your consumers mind. Don’t settle for being the third or fourth best in your category. 

You’re doomed to fail.

Listen, you’re not in school. Remember when it was so important to “fit in”? Not anymore my friend. No one ever built an empire without rebelling against the status quo. 

In the Information Age, It’s what sets you apart from everyone else that will have you swimming in $100 bills. You will strike gold when you successfully stake a claim of new land in the prospects mind.

Red Oceans Vs Blue Oceans

Ok, so how exactly do you position your Zimbabwean brand?

Let’s talk about a concept first introduced in the book Blue Ocean Strategy that was released in 2005.

Below is a rudimentary brand positioning map that I have created for the motor vehicle industry as an example. These are the positions I think these manufacturers occupy in the mind of the consumer. 

This Brand positioning map has a horizontal access ranging from luxurious to economical and a vertical access ranging from fast to slow.

Brand Positioning Map

Brand Positioning graph car manufacturers

Now lets say you want to bring a new car brand to the market. How would you position your vehicle?

Firstly, you must do three things.

  1. You must recognise your competitors position in the mind of the consumer.
  2. Then you must recognise your competitors position in the market.
  3. Then you don’t make the mistake of trying to go up against them. That is a recipe for flat out failure.

Look at that top left corner of the brand position map.

That is what we call a “Red Ocean”.

A “Red Ocean” is filled with cutthroat markets with bloody competition. Packed with other hungry sharks, the ocean is red from all the vicious competition and blood being spilt over resources.

Now let’s take the “Blue Ocean” perspective. Look at the red pins in the white space. They are in a “Blue Ocean”. A Blue Ocean is a wide open market space devoid of competition.

That is where the opportunities for positioning your brand are.

In a Blue Ocean you are the only shark around for miles, you have the whole place to yourself – competition is irrelevant.

Think of the “Red Ocean” that is the hotel industry. Dozens of huge players in the hospitality space like Holiday Inn, Four Seasons, Hilton, Marriot and a plethora of others got the wind completely knocked out of their sales by a small upstart called AirBnb.

AirBnb created a blue ocean of market generation by not following the normal set of assumptions the industry stood on.

The hotel industry had wrongly assumed that guests would not want to stay in a strangers house. They were concerned with better service and cheaper prices without actually focusing on true value generation for the guest. They were not able to escape the “red ocean mindset”. 

As a result of having a blue ocean perspective, the small upstart AirBnb was able to disrupt an entire industry. Last year alone the company posted a turnover of over 3.3 billion US dollars.

Instead of positioning your brand in bloody shark-infested “Red Oceans” of vicious competition, why not move to the “Blue Oceans” where there is little or no competition?

Having a blue ocean perspective allows you to generate the market creating innovations that will drive huge growth.

What can you do for the consumer that your rivals can’t?

iPads and Tablet devices did not exist until Steve Jobs, Jony Ive and the team at Apple willed them into existence in the early 2000’s.
That is why Apple should forever dominate the Tablet device category. Because they staked the claim for that “land” in your mind first.
iPads will always outsell whatever Samsung or whoever else comes out with in the Tablet category because of this rule.
As Jack Trout and Al Reis put it in their book Positioning: The Battle for the mind.
“You build brand loyalty the same way you build loyalty in a marriage. You get there first and then be careful not give them a reason to switch.”

"You build brand loyalty the same way you build loyalty in a marriage. You get there first and then be careful not give them a reason to switch.”

Stick out! Be bold. 
You cannot be all things to all people. More and more businesses are finding growth by drilling down into a niche to serve one very specific customer with one very specific problem. Boldly declare who you are for and who you are not for. Your real audience will gravitate to your message because it is authentic to them.
PRO TIP: Make an outrageous, big fat claim about how you help your customer solve their problem that no one else in your industry does. Then plaster that claim all over the place. On your website, on you adverts, in your tweets, everywhere.
Find a way to differentiate your brand from the rest of the pack. What do you do differently to solve your customers problem? How can you help them in ways your competitors cannot? 
Maybe your brand is rebellious and fights against the evil of your overpriced competitors. Perhaps you’re a well established brand that leans on that genuine credibility you’ve earned over the years. Is your product or service quicker and easier to use than your competitors? Then shout it from the roof tops.
Find your difference!
But remember prospects do not care about your company or how different you think you are. They don’t study your adverts. They don’t even think about you. They care about your brand ONLY if they perceive it can make their life better in some way. 

“Those Who Tell The Stories Rule The World.” — Plato

Why does every brand in Zimbabwe insist on being so boring. Where’s the Fun? 
Don’t bore your customers and don’t be afraid to be a little outrageous or creative.
Consumers love a product or brand that takes a strong position or stance. Be compelling. There is nothing more fatal to a companies message than consumer apathy.
Your brand must tell an emotional story in the mind of the prospect that takes them to a better place.
What do you think of when I say the word “Nike”?
Athletic Glory. Triumph. Heroic Effort. Jordan. Tiger. Kobe. Social Justice, even.
With all due respect to Nike founder and “Shoe Dog” Phil Knight.
Nike is actually, well…nothing much. Nothing of real tangible value anyway.
Nike barely even owns a pair of shoes. All Nike products are manufactured by third party contractors who have nothing to do with the company. Essentially Nike just contracts a bunch of factories in Asia that glue rubber together in a shape that comfortably fits your foot. Wait a minute though, if thats all Nike is, then why do people line up around the block for days to drop thousands on a new pair of Jordans? Why would so many people drop their hard earned cash just to wear the Nike brand? Because we want to belong to their tribe. Because we have joined in on their story and we want to be a part of it. Buying a pair of those shoes with that iconic Swoosh is like joining a club. Now you belong with Jordan, Kobe and Tiger. 
Think about it…
Through years of communicating their position effectively they have told a convincing story within our conscious. A story that we too can be a superstar, if we wear the right shoes that is.
What story do you want to tell the consumer? What’s your brands position? What and who does your business stand for?
 If you get stuck, I recommend that you actually talk in person with your ideal customers.
Find what it is that is holding them back. What are their problems? Not the superficial problems they tell you they have but the real gut-wrenching problems that keep them awake at night. Thats where the pot of gold is. In solving real problems for real people. There is a mountain of information you can learn from talking to both your customers and potential customers.
I have created a downloadable case study for you called “Think Small”. It will give you a deeper understanding of the concept of Positioning.  It’s a break down of one of the most famous advertising campaigns of all time that helped turn a “lemon” of a product into a cultural icon that shifted 23 million units. You’ll learn a lot. It’s Fun. It’s Free. 

Download The Case Study Using the Button Above or Download it here. 

This is my first blog so thanks for reading. 
My philosophy for this blog is based on our shared African ideals of Ubuntu. The idea that your success is my success and my success is yours. Things are tough enough as it is here in Zim. Let’s show each other some love. Here’s to you.
I have so much amazing Free value that I am excited to share with you over the next couple of weeks. I’m really kicking this blog off with tons of value for you.
Next week’s blog is all about making you rich. 
It’s titled “How To Write Advertisements That SELL – 7 Top Tips To Rake in BIG $”
These will be actionable tactics that will immediately bring improvements to your social media ad’s.
Keep your eyes peeled. It’s a cracker.
My name is Josh.
I am a full stack digital marketer. I specialise in branding, social media marketing, digital advertising campaigns and copywriting. I also build online sales funnels that convert prospects into paying clients. If you would be interested in working with me then please contact me here
You can also email us directly at
I’m here to help Zimbabwean entrepreneurs and companies grow their brands and make sales online.
I’m also giving away (5) twenty-minute one-on-one digital marketing consultations. This will be a live Skype/WhatsApp/Zoom call where I answer any questions you have about marketing your brand online in Zimbabwe. If this is something you need right now, Sign up here: 
P.S: If you have friends who might benefit from this blog, I would love it if you shared this post with them.
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Zimbabwe Digital Marketing Agency
1*.Incase you were wondering that stands for Search Engine Optimisation, Search Engine Marketing, Pay Per-Click Advertising, Conversion Rate Optimisation and Social Media Marketing.)
2*. Al Reis & Jack Trout. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing


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