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All posts by Felix Erken

Felix is the MD and co-owner of Junk Mail, the largest local classifieds exchange in South Africa. The Junk Mail stable includes the flagship sites Junk Mail and Job Mail, as well as Auto Mart, Truck & Trailer, FreePropertyAds and Lovemail. We recently extended our digital footprint into East and West Africa. In print, we have two regional editions, Junk Mail, Job Mail and four vehicle sales publications. Junk Mail is a recognised and valued member of the ICMA (International Classified Media Association) and in 2013 won the ICMA Classified Media Innovation Award for its partnership with mobile instant messaging giant, MXit. I am proud to say, Junk Mail today is unquestionably the leading local digital classifieds portal in South Africa and is committed to pioneering the future of classifieds.
  • Instagram fast becoming a powerful marketing tool in SA

    Facebook-owned Instagram has grown exponentially over the last few years and brands are adopting ways to utilise this social media platform to tell a visual brand story and sell products or services through appealing imagery. In fact, Instagram has seen the fastest growth of any social network in South Africa over the past year, according to the South African Social Media Landscape 2016 study. It grew an impressive 133%, from 1.1-million to 2.68-million users. Taking our own experiences with the platform into consideration, and we have some experience as our communities range from motorheads to job-seekers and enthusiasts of just about...

  • Warning: build for a swift, responsive website or risk being left behind

    The digitalisation of business is inevitable and companies that resist the change, risk losing customers, revenue and potentially, even their reputation. The stakes are even higher for companies whose websites are the first and only place interested customers visit. In reality, a website only has seconds to make a good first impression. A responsive site is essential. The latest Ericsson Mobility Report states that smartphone subscriptions continue to increase and that the number will surpass those for basic phone subscriptions during the third quarter of 2016. According to the report, the growth will continue, especially in markets such as Africa and...

  • Instant engagement: the next step for online classifieds

    Whilst the primary function of classifieds still is the bringing together of buyers and sellers, the proliferation of mobile technology has seen a change in the way users want to experience online classifieds. Businesses wanting to realise the benefits of this change will need to find ways to cater to the anytime-from-anywhere delivery that is being demanded and ensure compatibility of their service offering with new and old technologies. Evolution is not a new phenomenon for the online classifieds industry, which since its inception in the mid 90s has had to adapt with the times. First making the move from...

  • Data analytics combined with old-school business principles can retain clicks

    Online customers vote with their clicks in terms of what they’re after, how they navigate and why they abandon sites. Data analytics not only helps a business measure what it’s doing, but informs decisions that lead to better sites. Technology and the power behind it is becoming more sophisticated and for businesses relying on their websites to convert clicks to sales, a rapid response to digital disruption is key. However, old school business tactics never die and companies can still employ these traditional methods to bring customers, products or services together. Mobile is the playground of an always-connected customer who...

  • Africa may still have a large feature phone market, but that doesn’t mean you can neglect customer service

    Despite having one of the largest telecommunications markets on the continent, only a third of South Africa’s mobile users own smartphones. This means that the majority of the population still relies on feature phones to stay in touch and may at some stage access the internet during their mobile upgrade journey. Africa’s smartphone adoption is steadily increasing as data becomes more affordable and lower-cost smartphones are entering the market, and smartphones will eventually outpace feature phones. Until then the contextual realities of Africa’s mobile users affect how companies engage with their feature phone customers. Mobile remains a versatile channel where customers...

  • The evolution of classifieds and how sites can resonate with Millennials

    Classified advertising has evolved from paid-for print ads being visible in one edition to connecting a mass audience of buyers and sellers online, in an instant and at no cost. New technologies have been disrupting the traditional business model of classified advertising companies for the last twenty years and industry players have had to adapt their platforms to remain relevant and competitive. Mobile is undoubtedly the current key driver of the classified business, especially if companies are looking at expanding into Africa and attracting new users from across the continent. The unique mobile subscriber base in Sub-Saharan Africa is set to...