beerNot like the name suggests, this is a strand of marketing that is being borne out of how the Smoking Co’s have been cornered by global health legislation (and soon too the breweries!). Now that they’re no longer able to utlise the ‘tried and tested’ marketing channels, smoking companies are needing to prove themselves as being adept at pitching their product “below the line”.
Hence Black Marketing – the art of selling their product through face-to-face interactions i.e. Direct Marketing. Now direct marketing is not new. It is a marketing strategy that has been growing over the years in popularity as companies realise the intangibility of billboard advertising and realise the rewards of actually connecting with customers (e.g. at the bottom of this post).

And so, the smoking companies are now using brewery agents to do their Black Marketing. The idea is that where there is beer, there is smoke. But this is not as superficial as one might think. Do the breweries really sell beer based on taste, or do they sell it on sociability of the brand? Does the same not apply to cigarettes?
What is the number one trait you look for when hiring a beer sales consultant? The ability to connect with customers. Hence the birth of Connectors as sales consultants and the emphasis on emotional inteligence (EQ) in the breweries. Is any of this surprising to us? No! It embodies the message we punt w.r.t the Connection Economy. These guys get it.
The Electra Mining Show is a bi-annual penis parade. Anyone who’s anyone in the mining game has to have a stand at the show to prove their prominence at the industry. But of late, the Big Guns (e.g. Komatsu) have opted not to spend R2 million on their stand, but to instead put the money into direct marketing channels for the decision makers in their top 10 customers. Money well spent I think.

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