Ilse Smuts, Marketing Manager: Core Banking Solutions, First National Bank.
FNB is supporting the Pendoring advertising project with a significant sponsorship for the third year running.
Pendoring was established fifteen years ago by all the leading players in Afrikaans advertising, specifically to reward and promote Afrikaans advertising. It has since evolved into a fully-fledged project to create awareness of the importance of Afrikaans advertising to an important target market with significant buying power.
FNB offers a series of transactional, savings, loan and insurance products that meet the financial needs of the entire spectrum of South Africans. “In the same way that Pendoring encourages and rewards innovative marketing communication, FNB also offers innovative products and services that set the pace, like the inContact SMS transactional message service and eBucks rewards. On top of that FNB clients also stand the chance of winning tickets to the 2010 FIFA World Cup Soccer event, thus becoming part of soccer history and the biggest sporting spectacle on South African soil.”
Smuts reckons it is more important than ever to acknowledge instances where companies successfully and meaningfully penetrate their different target markets.
“As a national bank that has the entire nation's financial interests at heart, FNB does not distinguish between the different languages. What really matters is to find the best possible way to communicate with the various target markets and to convey the bank's message as effectively as possible,” she stresses.
Indeed, language plays an important role in effective marketing communication, says Smuts. “In some instances it is literally a case of people not understanding another language at all, which leads to a complete communication gap. In other instances, consumers prefer to hear a marketing message in their home language, particularly when a service or product provider wants to sell them something and ask them for their money.
“Moreover, advertising and communicating in a consumer's home language is also a form of respect. The importance attached to it, differs from language group to language group, but it is generally very important for Afrikaans-speaking consumers to be addressed in their mother tongue,” she explains.
“Afrikaans also boasts such unique sayings and so many interesting ways of conveying a message with great impact - something very few other languages can match. At the end of the day, it gives FNB the opportunity to communicate in a meaningful way with an important target market in terms of size and economic strength.”
Fact is, many Afrikaans-speaking South Africans are quite ingenious and innovative, well educated, have professional positions and contribute significantly to the country's prosperity. This means they still have considerable spending power,” Smuts stresses.
Companies that take the trouble to communicate with consumers and clients in their home language, will definitely enjoy a competitive edge, she adds.
With regard to communication campaigns and advertising, FNB carefully considers the product that needs to be advertised, as well as the different target markets it is aimed at, obviously within the parameters of the marketing budget, Smuts explains.
Because FNB is such a strong and successful brand, its ongoing support for Pendoring and the Afrikaans language is invaluable, says Pieter Bruwer, Pendoring working committee chairman. “FNB's Afrikaans advertising is not only of the highest order, but through the years it has also proven that its values and roots are firmly anchored.”
According to Bruwer, it is FNB's tap-roots (‘penwortels') that make the group's role in Pendoring so much more important. “While we want to evoke a proudly Afrikaans sentiment, it should be within the bigger South African picture in order to spur growth and economic development. FNB has already proven that companies that meet clients' needs, including their language needs - benefit richly in the long term.”
- Entries for Pendoring 2009 open on 4 May and full details will be available at www.pendoring.co.za which also launches on 4 May. The closing date for entries is 17 July 2009.