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Updated 29 Sep 2020

Why Paddy Janneman doesn’t see marketing as an expense

Paddy Janneman is the owner of Cardz Group understands marketing is the best investment you can make.

30 December 2014  Share  0 comments  Print

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Paddy Janneman is the owner of Cardz Group.

They’re the company that’s responsible for supplying 70% of South Africa’s plastic cards that you find in your wallet. But establishing in 2009 in the thick of a global recession, Janneman realised that to grow the business, people had to know who he was and what he could offer, which meant spending money on marketing.

Here’s how he made it work so well that he grew 44% in two years.

“When we launched in 2009 the demand for plastic cards in South Africa was high, but local manufactures weren’t responsive enough to meet the need.

I decided to partner with the Chinese Cardz Group and become the South African distributor, but I soon realised that the market had its own way of working that would require tactical marketing to help grow the business,”Janneman says.

“In South Africa, it’s not always successful or worthwhile to approach large retail chains individually and sell cards to them. What I found worked better and more efficiently was to approach agencies that had several large retailers on their books. Land one agency and you’ve got multiple clients in one go.”

Getting your name out

The next challenge was for Janneman to increase awareness about his business and his offering, which meant spending money.

“The initial years of the business had been really tough and I’d become accustomed to not taking a salary and running myself ragged trying to make sales. Money was very tight so it was a big mental shift to then go and spend R50 000 on a two-day international card expo in Sandton in 2013. The first year we didn’t get much traction, but the second year we reaped big rewards from people’s growing trust and recognition of our business and our reliability.”

Since 2012 turnover has increased by 46% because of the emphasis on marketing being an investment in building relationships with industry players.

“One of the things we do now too is sponsor strategic events. We landed a major client recently by sponsoring a hole at a Master Card golf day. Had we stuck to fishing in the small pond we’d been used to, We wouldn’t have found ourselves at the card expo or on a golf course, but these have been opportunities that have significantly aided the business’s growth.”

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