The year 2010 will forever be remembered as the year South Africa hosted the Fifa Soccer World Cup - the first ever on the African continent. From a branding and marketing perspective, the event offers massive opportunities to marketers with the highest viewership worldwide. The sheer impact of this mega-event is guaranteed to shift our nation in terms of both consumer and media behaviour. During this frenetic media time one-to-one communication strategies, with specific emphasis on the innovative use of digital communication will offer new opportunities to engage both local and global customers. In keeping with the move towards one-to-one communication, this edition of Communicare explores word-of-mouth communication from two perspectives, namely traditional word of mouth and electronic word of mouth.
Social media (user-generated content) create many innovative opportunities for those organisations that realise that electronic word of mouth (eWOM) can be powerful in an online environment. eWOM is now considered to provide an organisation's online marketing communication with a competitive edge since consumers know and trust their friends' recommendations regarding products and services. Social media provide organisations with an opportunity to create consumer experiences for consumers by making available social media tools. Organisations are interested in brand online communities because of their ability also to build brand equity and product differentiation in the long term. Although organisations realise the huge potential of social media for eWOM and establishing an organisation's brand, there are no clear theoretical guidelines for social media marketing communication. This article proposes theoretical guidelines in terms of which social media marketing communication can be considered. These guidelines are evaluated by means of a case study of a recent social media marketing communication campaign in South Africa.
Organisations can make use of high levels of customer-service delivery to stimulate positive word-of-mouth referrals. Referral marketing is primarily applied by organisations when the budget is the marketers' largest limitation. The purpose of the article is to indicate the current status of the relationships that travel agencies in the Western Cape Province have with their referral market, and to provide recommendations to the management of travel agencies in said province regarding the improved application of the principles of relationship marketing to this market. The target population for this study comprised 118 travel agencies of which 61 managers and/or owners participated through personal interviews in the completion of questionnaires. Data analysis was done by calculating averages and standard deviations, explorative factor analysis, Cronbach Alpha-values and practical significance by means of effect sizes. The findings stipulate that the owners and managers of travel agencies must create and establish more closely integrated relationships with strategic suppliers to increase the value offering of their products and services to customers, whereby the travel agencies can ensure that the needs and wants of customers can be satisfied more successfully, which, in the long run, could lead to positive word-of-mouth referrals.
The phenomenon of multiple and concurrent partnerships (MCPs) is a key driver of the South African HIV epidemic. Given that the epidemic is stabilising though not yet declining, reducing the frequency of MCPs should constitute part of South Africa's prevention strategy. Soap operas, with their strong emphasis on sexual intrigue and infidelity, offer an ideal platform for addressing the risk of MCP. This article presents quantitative research that explores the extent to which seven locally broadcast soap operas include sex and HIV in their storylines. It also explores whether a connection is currently being made between MCPs and the risk of HIV infection. The findings show that sex is a key component of these soap operas, but is only linked to HIV in two per cent of cases. In comparison with their real-world occurrence, MCPs, transactional sex and intergenerational relationships are overrepresented in soap operas. Only eight per cent of soap operas mention HIV, whether linked to sex or not. This is mostly through storylines featuring 'stock' HIV-positive characters. These findings feed into a wider discussion around the role and responsibilities of soap operas in a society grappling with a widespread HIV epidemic.
The disintegration of military regimes and one-party rule occurring across Africa in the early 1990s allowed for the mushrooming of numerous new media initiatives and the resuscitation of hitherto dormant media operations. The enthusiasm was fuelled by promises of freedom of speech and prospects of the media becoming an autonomous fourth actor on the public stage. It was envisioned by many that the media would reject the ethos prevailing under hegemonic rule and adopt international norms. But nearly two decades later, media people and their organisations in sub-Saharan Africa are still entangled in a labyrinth of ethical dilemma. One of the big issues begging further research and reflection is whether to localise or globalise ethical discourse and practice. How far should indigenous cultural values inform journalism ethics? And, how can this be negotiated in a rapidly globalising environment? This paper uses the Zambian experience to advance the position that glocalisation - the hybridisation of ethical norms between the local and the global - provides the most enduring and acceptable foundation for ethical theorising and practice available to media professionals on the continent.