Marketing Your Way to Riches

Excerpts from “How to be Rich in Africa & Other Secrets of Survival”

By Dr. Alfred Mutua

“Doing business without advertising like winking at a person in the dark.  You are the onlyone who knows you are winking.”

Patrick Quarcoo was born poor in Cape Coast, Ghana.  He was a young journalist when he decided that to succeed and to beat competition and his prevailing state of poverty, he had to be different.

“One day, using makeshift equipment, I put together six radio segments – reporting on what was happening in Ghana,” he says.  “I then sent them to the BBC World Service and guess what?  They used three.”

Soon, he was reporting regularly for the BBC, Voice of America, and other stations.  He found himself on a training trip to London and his skills spurred him on, and soon the whole world was listening to him.
”Alfred, I was really poor,” Patrick Quarcoo told me as we sat at a Java Café, off Nairobi’s Waiyaki Way.  “I look back, and at times I am surprised that I made it this far.”

Patric Quarcoo, however, should not be surprised.  He has not been successful because of luck, but because of the things he did right and his amazing creative mind that understands the importance of marketing. Mr. Quarcoo is now the Chief Executive of Radio Africa, a major media company (KISS FM,  CLASSIC, KISS TV, STAR etc) in Nairobi, Kampala, and Accra.

Marketing has been called an art, symbolizing that its interpretation and use is influenced by subjectivity.  However, all agree that if it were a painting, it would be one whose aim was to attract attention – one that says, here I am, take me.

Marketing has the potential to transform the miniscule into a phenomenon.  It can make a mosquito the king of animals and even transform an ogre into a handsome prince.

I wish to explore what works and what does not work through a practical formula of marketing I have devised called PPP – Products, People, Popularity.  This is how it works.

THE PPP Marketing Formula


There is an expression ‘Do not sell me air’ which is used to pass the message that whatever idea, explanation or commodity one is trying to pass should have value and not be, well, rubbish.

The first important success stage in marketing is to have a strong product.  It does not matter how much money you throw on a product – if it is bad, then soon your work will be in vain.  Buyers are very sharp and able to decipher between poor products that are taking them for a ride and a good solid product they can rely on.


The second P in the PPP formula is critical because, unless your clients are yourself and your family, people are essential if you are going to make money.  The common mistake some people make is to assume that their product is what the people need and is the best for others because it is a good idea or appears good to them.

Before launching KISS FM in Nairobi, Patrick took time to understand the people he was aiming to attract.  “I spent three months drinking in literally every bar in Nairobi, “ he confided in me.  “Listening to what people said about radio stations and how they thought.  I understood so much that they contributed to the product we launched.”


Marketing is all about making sure more people than yourself know about your product, desire to use it, and actually use it.  Once you have understood your market then it is time to make sure the whole world knows about your product by making noise.  You have to be able to tell the world you exist by making tons of noise.  The more people who know, the better it is for you….

More details at


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