Monday, 8 September 2008

A shift in marketing to returning ex-pats

You may recall that a few days ago I made a big hoo-hah about being a published author, and that I had a testimonial printed in the September issue of SA Promo Magazine… Well if you looked at it, and looked closely at page 78 of the magazine, you will notice a very interesting advertisement. It appears that St Andrews School for Girls, a private school in Senderwood, Johannesburg, is going to be exhibiting at the forthcoming HCR Woza Ekhaya event in London .

And not only St Andrews, but other schools are going to be present too. St Peters (Sunninghill) and St Johns College (Houghton) are also confirmed exhibitors. Admittedly, this does start to look like the guest list to the Last Supper - but it was always going to be private schools that would go down this route with regard marketing their brand.

There definitely is a twofold reason for their involvement. Firstly, a recruitment drive to attract back to South Africa the ex-patriot teacher population.
But secondly, and to my mind more interestingly, this represents an opportunity to market to ex-pat parents in London and the UK, who are concerned at schooling for their children when they return.

To me this marks a very interesting shift in the marketing and focus of attracting South Africans back to South Africa.
Not only will companies continue to market to the young professionals who have been over in the UK for only a few years – but the scope is being broadened seemingly, focusing on those who have been overseas for several years, who have perhaps begun families, and are now at a point of considering returning with their families.

It will be interesting to know what responses these schools get from parents at the HCR event.


Jonny said...

I think it's a good thing that somebody tries to get South Africans back. The SA Embassy in Norway did a drive a few years back (4-5 years ago I believe) to stop the braindrain, and get people to move back. For a South African that feels good of course, to feel that your home country actually care. However, for a lot of people these efforts drowns completely with all the crime and with the political situation.

I worked in a company with about 200 professional and well educated people. Every single week somebody resigned... most of them to move to UK, Canada, Australia or NZ. It was shocking! I got the impression that I was a lunatic who moved TO SA and against the stream...

I've heard so many people say that SA is not for "pussies" and that the ones who leave can stay there and never come back. I think that's a very sad stand to take also. We had our share of crime incidents, and did not want to live under the constant threat that a family member would get killed. Nobody should have to put up with that. I believe the politicians have a job to do here! Otherwise I fear that private organizations and individuals exhaust themselves trying...

Sorry for blackpainting. Make no mistake, I love South Africa! I will return, but only as a tourist and to visit family. I just could not afford to live there economically or emotionally because of the crime!

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