Having just completed my annual off-the-beaten-track, 3800km road tour of South Africa, I can report that, compared to a year ago:
Many small towns are showing further visible signs of decay and even collapse
- The national roads are in good shape except for in the Western Cape
- Traffic management and policing is excellent in KZN
- The effects of drought in the western parts of the country are profound and very visible
- It seems that more and more South Africans live in shacks than in proper housing
- Most schools are noticeably shabby with hardly any facilities
- The retailers who seem to dominate the small towns are Shoprite, Pep, Ackermans and Tekkie Town
- There are KFC restaurants everywhere
- Main street hotels in small towns are increasingly no-go areas
- I wonder just how many marketers make the effort to regularly visit the nooks and crannies of our country.
“Go and see” (or genchi genbutsu) is an important component of the Toyota Production System. The purpose of going to the places where things actually happen is to facilitate discovery to help with problem solving. We can all learn from getting out of our comfort zones and snooping around the unfamiliar places where our products and services are purchased.
When last did you get your boots on and find the time to go and see the realities of the nether regions of your marketplace?
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