Today, we launched Instagram stickers (and GIFs) for a client! To make that statement sink in even better, I will repeat it; “Today, we launched Instagram stickers (and GIFs) for a client!” To the rest of the team at Pulse Marketing, it is just another day of implementing our crazy ideas (sometimes the crazy ideas are from the client) for a well-demanding client. We do this on a daily basis so it seems almost trite to them. But I write in complete awe of the team, and the first we are accomplishing for our partner brands within these unusual times. We launched Instagram stickers (and GIFs) for a client and to the best of my knowledge, we are the first brands to deploy this in the region. But like my very good friend, Ernest would say, it is no use being first when there is no true story to tell behind it or a form of continuity. That’s why it is important to mention that in addition to our WhatsApp strategy in 2016 (with which we were first in the region), FB Instant Articles ( again first in the region), use of TikTok for brand marketing ( again, first in the region), we are also first with the use of stickers for marketing to a social-first target audience. Being first, for me is not really the story here. The defining point of the team at Pulse Ghana (think Pulse Marketing) is how quick and ready we are to adapt to the new normals as per the audience requirements. Our job has always been to “…inform & engage — 24/7”, whether we are working on our media brand, Pulse.com.gh ( pulse.ng for Nigeria, pulselive.co.ke for Kenya and the new baby, pulse.sn for Senegal), Pulse TV, Pulse Studio or Pulse Marketing. And to be able to inform and engage Africa’s youthful population meant to be as malleable and proactive as possible when it comes to new platforms. What has this all got to do with brand marketing? Somehow, we missed it all. The emerging affluent African consumer (think “with purchasing power”) is as connected as the rest of the world, smartphone always in hand. “And this untapped market offers…marketers a chance to leapfrog the legacy of mass marketing and reinvent the field from the ground up.” The current optimal consumer for any brand is well-connected and looking for social stories that are engaging and true to them. This, coupled with the general youthful nature of Africa means we are dealing with consumers, that for various reasons, are utilizing social platforms in their daily decision-making through trusted referrals from posts by family and friends and first-hand experience — be it virtual or in-store! Understanding the values of this new emerging consumer class is crucial for developing successful marketing strategies. And that is what we have been doing at Pulse Africa since 2014. Understanding the consumer and adapting to their preferences, so as to not sell them advertising for our partners, but storytelling that they feel (truly) connected to. Want to discuss how to keep ahead of the curve for your brand? Learn more about Pulse Africa or say hello to firstname.lastname@example.org.