Developing a Value Proposition in a downward economy

Marketing and skills training companyRed Com last Wednesdayhosted its fi rst Marketing, Advertisingand Public Relations Convention(MAPCON), which they hope will be an annualevent. The convention was held at theGaborone International Convention Center,and it was targeted at stakeholders in boththe private and public sectors.The main topic of discussion was the importanceof developing a value proposition ina consumer environment that is going throughan economic downturn.


Michael Goldman, alecturer at the University of Pretoria GordonInstitute of Business Science, was the guestspeaker and he tackled questions from attendeesincluding those on operating on a shoestring budget, creating value for money, factorsto consider in product development anddiversifi cation decisions, as well as the neces-sity of knowing the needs of the customer.“It is essential to continuously developyour value proposition over time because today’sbusiness environment is also changingat a rapid rate and constantly. Long-term marketplanning is out the window. The data yougathered about your customer last week maybe outdated in the next week.


So marketersneed to keep up with these constant changesand respond to the market as a situation occurs,”Goldman said.“Because not every business needs to exist,as a marketer, you should ask yourself whatvalue your product adds to someone’s life.What are you offering that makes your customer’slife better?” he further added.Goldman has written and contributed toacademic journal articles in the marketingdiscipline, specifi cally those relating to the business environment in Africa. At the MAPCON,he said that for business in Africa totake off, “there should be data-driven decisionmaking. Currently with a lack of datagathering across the continent, it becomeshard to make thoroughly informed marketingstrategies; bring down costs of productionand most importantly, to bring down bordersand barriers to allow for open trade and buildingconnections across countries.”