Thought leadership
    16 March 2020


    Vodacom Fast Forward: The importance of marketing automation

    At the Vodacom Business Fast Forward series Ines Rosef-Ingram, CEO and founder of Pine3 Marketing, spoke about the importance of marketing automation for small businesses.   

    The Vodacom Fast Forward Series 2 has launched and is open to all business owners who want to re-strategise, refocus and reenvision their future business goals and make them a reality. Throughout each session, attendees are encouraged to engage with industry thought-leaders who will share their in-depth expertise and insights and will co-create with you bespoke business solutions to take your business into the future.

    The first event took place on the 5th of March at the Young Blood Gallery in the heart of Cape Town. Marketing automation expert Ines Rosef-Ingram, CEO and founder of Pine3 Marketing, addressed the audience on the benefits of marketing for your small business. Marketing automation is using software to automate marketing activities. Many marketing departments automate repetitive tasks such as email marketing, social media posting, and even ad campaigns - not just for the sake of efficiency, but so they can provide a more personalized experience for their customers. Marketing is essential for all businesses, but it's even more important for startups. If people don’t know about your startup and what it offers, they probably won't buy your products or use the services you have on offer. With that in mind, the following tips are vital for getting your start-up noticed:

    Send Emails

    While email marketing is crucial for both startups and small businesses, startups should implement email marketing as it is an essential strategy for attracting customers to your startup for little to no cost. Once you have a prospect (lead) or customer's email address, you can send him/her emails to promote your product or service more effectively. Don’t forget to diversify your emails with non-commercial content like guides, how-to articles, videos and infographics. If you only send advertorial emails, you will risk that subscribers will opt-out of receiving your newsletter.

    Start a Blog

    Startups need exposure. Regardless of what niche your startup belongs to, blogging is a powerful strategy that can help your startup generate the exposure it needs. Blogging drives organic traffic to your website, one report found that businesses that blog witness their monthly leads rise by 126% more than those who don't.

    Help people discover your content

    As a startup in the twenty-first century, you will have to maintain some sort of online presence. You may have a website, maybe a blog and some social media pages or even a pre-launch web page. However, your content may be online but that doesn’t automatically mean it is easily discoverable by your target audience. With every post you publish, use keywords specific to your niche to improve your Google rankings. You can also use these hyper-targeted keywords in your social media ads and campaigns.

    Use paid Search Advertising

    Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing has become a popular advertising channel for startups. PPC is a method of using search engine advertising to bring visitors to your website. It allows business owners to buy laser-targeted traffic from search engines and is a powerful marketing tool to generate sales-ready leads.

    Pay-per-click advertising offers many practical advantages. You can reach your customers at the right time with the right ad and because you are only charged when someone clicks on your ad, you are guaranteed a higher return on investment (ROI) as you will have to pay only when an interested person clicks.


    If you’re just starting out, you may experience that it can be hard to introduce your company to the public. A great way to build a niche and generate word-of-mouth is through samples and giveaways.

    Try reaching out to eager members of your target audience offering your product or service in return for a review and shares on social media. Those who participate get to try your product to share with their friends, while your business gets trust and visibility on social media. This is also an interactive way of using your prospect as your advertiser.

    What to expect from Fast Forward Series season 2

    • Startup Grind – Introducing the Startup Grind, the largest independent startup community, actively educating, inspiring and connecting more than 2 000 000 entrepreneurs. Cape Town only.
    • EziAds - Learn how to take full advantage of the Vodacom digital and mobile media channels and make digital advertising easy.
    • Business Doctor - Business Doctors South Africa CEO and MD, Steve Sutton will show you how to turn your start-up into a breakthrough company.

    Register today for the next Fast Forward session, where you will have the opportunity to engage with industry thought-leaders who will share their in-depth expertise, insights and tools to help you create solutions that will enable your business to stay relevant in the 4IR.