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Top-Performing Adverts On YouTube ZA

Top-Performing Adverts On YouTube ZA

YouTube announced a list of the top-performing advertisements on the platform in South Africa for 2020, with Sensodyne’s Take Control with Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum taking the top spot.

The 11-second Sensodyne advert features images and captions that animate from frame to frame, highlighting the benefits of using the product as well as the pain-points the product addresses. 

Vodacom’s Together #StayConnected advert (which depicts ordinary South Africans separated by the pandemic, yet connected by Vodacom) was produced by a team working remotely and based on just one director’s treatment presented via video conference. The scenes were all shot by the creative team’s industry-friends, in their own homes with their family members as the cast. This back-story reflects not only the creative concept but also the reality that we currently face as South Africans. 

Telkom’s Monate Summer is a vibrant 10-second advert celebrating Telkom Mobile’s 10th year anniversary with R100 million rand in prizes for customers who sign up for contracts or pre-paid SIM cards. 

Ad ranking is determined by an algorithm that factors in organic and paid views, watch time and audience retention over the period between January 1st 2020 to December 1st 2020. 

Top-performing adverts on YouTube ZA

  1. Sensodyne – Take Control with Sensodyne Sensitivity & Gum
  2. Vodacom – Together #StayConnected
  3. Telkom – Monate Summer
  4. Hippo.co.zaCould it get worse in an elevator? Yes!
  5. KFC – Tune into Family Time with our All in One Plus!
  6. Buscopan – Undo the knot. Embrace your life
  7. Samsung – Galaxy Z Fold 2. The next one unfolds
  8. Essentiale Extreme – Essentiale® Extreme | Stress
  9. Redbull – Red Bull Table
  10. Nissan – Break free with Nissan X-Trail

YouTube has more than 2.4billion users worldwide — almost one-third of all people on the internet — and every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views. More than 70% of YouTube watch time comes from mobile devices.


2021 Social Media Megatrends

2021 Social Media Megatrends

Social Media 101’s managing director, Leandri Janse van Vuuren, and Sabrina Andreucci, strategic director, look at the social media megatrends for this year, and what brands need to do to flourish in this space.

In July 2020, social media users surpassed 4.75 billion, which is more than half the global population, with 346 million new users joining in the 12 months prior. As traditional media strategies faltered, 2020 highlighted the growing relevance of social media marketing and the need for businesses to relook at customer engagement. Social media usage soared – both in the number of users and amount of time spent on social media platforms.

Offer valuable content for free

Social media users have always been spoilt for choice when it comes to online content and brands to follow. However, quantity doesn’t always mean quality. To stay relevant, brands need to bump up the amount of value offered. A stale social media calendar populated with #MotivationMondays and #ThrowBackThursdays is not going to cut it.

As a brand, you have your finger on the pulse of your industry, and this deep industry knowledge is valuable to your ideal customer. Anyone can find anything online, at the cost of their time, so brands need to provide information in easy, snackable formats. It does not mean giving away trade secrets, but rather about providing enough value so that your brand stays top of mind. If someone has a question or is looking for more detailed information, why not provide articles or white papers to aid their search?

There are several ways to provide value: free information, collaboration with users, product insights, industry knowledge and tips and tools such as useful calculators and downloadables.

The fierce competition to add more value has inspired brand owners to create online learning, webinars and long-form videos where users engage more deeply with a brand. If you are not adding value right now, weave in this critical ingredient into your 2021 social media plans.

Be an authentic brand

Users crave authenticity and real, genuine engagement and interactions with brands. As the digital world becomes more pervasive, we demand the ‘human touch’ in our online experience.

Although cancel culture, where people boycott users, brands and even social platforms, is thriving, many people still turn to social media for solace, community and connection. This is where brands can step in and be the hero.

Do not be afraid to humanise your brand. For example, show what happens behind the scenes. Selling a product? Share stories about how you make it and where the inspiration came from. Don’t forget to talk about the people behind the brand. Respond to user queries in a warm, human tone.

Being authentic means staying true to the purpose of being a brand and a business, not hiding behind insincere and irrelevant content. If you are selling, which you should be doing, sell authentically. Authentic selling means effectively communicating the value of your service or product. When a consumer can clearly see the value, it is easy for them to buy.

Lean into online complaints

This past year undermined most physical customer experiences, with some estimates indicating that South African online retail sales grew by around 40% during the last year. Social media will continue to evolve into true sales channels but will need impeccable customer service levels to succeed.

Online customer service is the glue that holds this new online dynamic together as users compliment, complain, enquire, shop and engage with brands. Users now, more than ever, use their online voice to ensure that brands deliver on what they promise.

They don’t like waiting on hold to talk to a representative. Social media presents an opportunity to wow customers by answering questions far more quickly and efficiently than the phone. You can stand out if your community managers are empowered to resolve queries and respond quickly. This means giving your online community managers the tools to make decisions that leave customers smiling.

Communicate your business’s purpose

People are looking towards the private sector to make a positive difference to the planet and their communities. They seek out brands that care and fearlessly expose those that don’t.

Purpose-driven companies that care about sustainability will be on the right side of history. But becoming purpose-driven is not something you can mimic on social media by just following popular trends or newsworthy topics.

As users hold higher expectations for what they expect businesses to contribute to the world, social media statements alone cannot make up for a lack of true brand purpose. It is truly time to ‘put your money where your mouth is’, and in doing this, it could really pay off.

Many brands stumbled in 2020, with the need to respond to public pressure and positively contribute to societal conversations ending up in knee-jerk reactions, many of which were called out as hypocritical. Businesses need to decide on a cause that makes sense to their brand and ideal customer, and stick to it for the long-term. For South African brands, supporting local products, companies and individuals is one way to become more sustainable and appeal to a local-conscious consumer.

Embrace your customers by embracing the data

This past year gave brand owners a renewed appreciation for social media, which became the bridge to connect with customers after other traditional media strategies failed. The downside of investing in a strong social media following is that you never really own this following. Platform algorithms change and technical glitches happen. There is a massive drive for brands to own their follower data.

Brand owners need to push social media engagement into a database. According to Hootsuite’s 2021 Social Trends survey, 85% of organisations that integrate social data into other systems have confidence in their ability to accurately quantify the ROI of social media.

If you own your follower data, you can reach out to offer valuable content or special offers. Email marketing remains a highly effective, if underrated, communications tool to nurture potential customers. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, email marketing is up to 40 times more effective than social media promotion. Promoting on social media is a great way to build up an email database.

To build that precious database, you must provide a high-value item – users are not going to give out their contact information for anything less. Gone are the days of a useless PDF guide that has no real value.


Creating Content That Stands The Test Of Facebook Time

Creating Content That Stands The Test Of Facebook Time

Pieter Geyser, Head of Digital PR and Marketing at Irvine Partners, says the sheer volume of content being shared globally has meant that over the last couple of months we have seen a dramatic and steady decline in the reach that organic content receives. It would be nearly impossible for Facebook to offer up every piece of created content. 

Due to this, Facebook tries their very best to show users the most relevant content available for them. As a Facebook user, you could spend less than 20 minutes looking at content online and within those 20 minutes, depending on how you have engaged with posts/pages or the videos you have watched, Facebook will start offering more of that type of content to your feeds. 

As content creators, we would all like to think that the content we produce is interesting enough to stand the test of time. Unfortunately for us, when it comes to Facebook, there are more than 30 billion pieces of content published on the platform each month that our posts have to compete with to make it into someone’s newsfeed.

You can actively watch this happen in the Facebook video stream. If you click on a video and start watching it, and then watch another video of the same type or from the same source straight afterwards, Facebook picks up that you like that type of content and will actively start throwing (quite relentlessly I might add) that type of content at you. You could (if you were paying attention) see the type of videos in that feed change based on how you interact. 

The problem with this, of course, is that while this is fantastic news if you are creating the type of content that the user is interested in and engaging with, if they don’t interact with the type of content that you are creating then they are not going to be served with your content. 

It may seem then that if Facebook isn’t going to show our content to its users, what is the point of even creating it? There is hope though. Back in the Dark Ages (you know, roughly one to two years ago) we used to try and post as much content as was humanly possible. We would run page like campaigns to increase our audience, which meant that our content plan of posting a bazillion times per day was going to help us smash those KPIs out of the park (hello bonus – am I right?) and we could almost just recycle content to get that reach. 

Facebook’s algorithm is a beast and to truly understand it would mean that you probably helped develop it (which I did not or I would not be writing this article). That being said, there are a few things that we know.

  • Inventory: what’s on the menu? What content has been posted by your friends and publishers? This is taking stock of what content is actively available (the more than 30 billion pieces of content each month).
  • Signals: breakfast, lunch or dinner? Who is posting this content and has the user ordered it before?
  • Predictions: would you like the Eggs Benedict? How likely are you as a user to engage with this content?
  • Score: here is your order, ‘but I didn’t order that’ – what is the relevance score of this content concerning the user? This determines which publisher’s content you will be shown. By clicking that like button a week ago at lunchtime, you have told Facebook that when you are online at that time that you want to see that content – enjoy those cute cat videos. 

This list goes on and on, but this provides a good indication as to what Facebook’s goal is with their algorithm. They are user-focused and they are trying to (as are most platforms) provide the best experience possible for their users – after all their users are their most valuable product. This means that they have prioritised high-quality and engaging content above overly promotional content, while user-generated content takes the top spot in the race for dominance. 

If you think that your brand is safe because you have a few thousand followers and your followers all love you, well let us have a look at what a Global brand like Coca-Cola is doing. Coke’s Facebook page has more than 100,000,000 (yeah one hundred million – with six zeroes) and while their page will be diced up and split between the regions, it is a safe assumption that their South African follower base is in the high millions. Their engagement, however, is not.  

Coca-Cola, a brand that sells happiness (in the form of sugar in a can) doesn’t get the type of reach you’d ever hope for from a brand with that many followers. Coke is our best indication of how the times have changed. We need to adapt our content strategies to start including more paid promotions and higher quality content. We need to be less worried about how much we are posting and more concerned with what we are posting. 

I did mention that all hope was not lost though, because Facebook has cultivated their product so well (their users) that we can purchase some space on their news feeds to drive our reach. Boosting of what would typically be organic posts is not a new feature to the platform, it has been around for years, but its relevance has never been more significant than where we are right now. Page likes are nothing more than a vanity figure that holds no value in making predictions about the type of reach or engagement your posts will receive in the next quarter. 

Key takeaways: 

Know your audience

Facebook’s audience, at its core, is built around interest, not intent. You don’t need to start boosting and promoting every post that you upload. Stick to the good old 80/20 rule as a guideline. Facebook is a social platform, so 80% of what you are posting about should in some way be social. Use Facebook as the platform in which to build a community and find a way that you are able to add value to your audience and customers. Mix things up with: brand story posts, personal posts, authority-building posts and lead-nurturing posts.

Don’t be ‘spammy’

It feels silly to have to say this but do not try and cheat the system by buying followers. Would-be influencers started doing this a couple of years back and it is so transparent to the educated user. This brings me to the next point, which is to be authentic. Do not use clickbait headlines to try and drive traffic to your site, and for the love of all things holy, please do not spam your audience with 10 poor-quality and irrelevant posts every hour. 

Stick to the platform guidelines and do not waste money on things that are only going to hurt your business in the long-run. Your users might be able to fake it until they make it, but your business can’t. 

AI is great, but it is not everything

I am usually the first person in the room to suggest building a chatbot. I love them and will continue to promote them to my clients, but they need to be developed properly – please do not try building your bot on a free platform, it won’t work. But Facebook is a social platform and there needs to be an element of humanity to it. 

While scheduling all your posts in line with the content plan for the next four months seems like a great plan because it frees up some time to do other work, we shouldn’t disregard the power of snapping a team selfie or showing the employees at the office. Embrace your humanity, don’t hide from it. Social media is where we can be creative, informative and funny – giving our audience something to smile about. 

It is not about the size, it is how you use it

This reiterates my point about why page likes are a waste of money. They negatively impact your performance as well. The larger your fan base or following on Facebook, the harder it is to create content for all the different segments in your audience. If you are going to build a community, you need it to be tight-knit and super hyped. Facebook actively penalises pages with massive followings purely because it is impossible to show relevant content to all those users (as we saw with the Coke example). 


Consumers Are Willing To Spend Money On Brands That Truly Listen

Consumers Are Willing To Spend Money On Brands That Truly Listen
Madelain Roscher, Managing Director of PR Worx.

According to Madelain Roscher, Managing Director of PR Worx, global trends increasingly show that consumers will spend their hard-earned money on brands that are willing to take the time to truly listen to them, understand their needs, and in turn, create products and services that really benefit them.

Many will agree that 2020 required resilience on all fronts and companies and brands realised the importance of Public Relations (PR) as a medium to engage and build long-lasting connections.

Despite advances in digital adoption, with Covid statistics spiking in wave two, the pressure is mounting to interface remotely again. The last nine months have shown that no amount of digitalisation, including chatbots, can replace the importance of communication. Companies that have put authentic and considerate communications front and centre of their businesses continue to thrive.

Take Airbnb as an example. Due to global lockdowns, the company’s whole model was threatened to a point that it almost filed for bankruptcy. However, by listening to their stakeholders, Airbnb was able to develop new offerings that catered for what their customers needed during an unending pandemic. The business heard its customers when they said that remote workers wanted to stay away from larger, busy hotel groups and rather wanted to stay at long-term rentals, while executives were looking for experiences and luxury listings.

Through cost-cutting strategies, but more so, by focusing on its consumers’ core needs, understanding, and addressing their emotional and physical requirements, and implementing internal communications’ methodologies of care and respect for staff, Airbnb turned its business around. They recently listed the biggest initial public offering (IPO) in the United States. It is exactly this inherent understanding of consumer behaviour, and integrating public relations as a critical business tool, that have helped organisations across the world to not only adapt their strategies but to thrive during some of the toughest economic conditions.

While organisations commonly cut their marketing or PR spend to reduce bottom-line expenses, decades of research prove that companies that continue to market during a recession will recover quicker. The recent CMO Survey and The Merkle Research report saw US companies increasing their marketing-communications spend during the Covid-19-periods, with companies investing heavily in social media platforms as direct sales tools, new marketing technologies, customer-centricity initiatives and transaction fulfilment capabilities. 

As with Airbnb, it is the companies that adapt to consumers’ needs, that find new and engaging platforms for communications and direct interaction, and that recognise the importance of being top of mind in times of hardships, that will continue to grow and prosper.

The findings are clear. 2021 will require brands to personify and humanise their clients’ values, vision and objectives to establish real and lasting relationships with their target audiences.


Retail Tech Playing A Key Role In Customer Experiences

Retail Tech Playing Key Role In Customer Experiences

According to Kenne Loubser, Head of Marketing at Payflex, the unprecedented digital disruption experienced in retail last year has made the industry increasingly digital and internet-driven, with technology playing a key role in providing experiences in line with customers’ needs.

Agility, flexibility and rich online shopping experiences are set to be among the key trends driving retail in the significantly reshaped retail landscape of 2021. Loubser spotlights the top eight online retail trends expected to shape the online retail sector in 2021: 

1. Blurred lines

Physical channels and e-commerce will no longer be perceived as separate entities as consumers increasingly demand an integrated shopping experience. They might browse an e-commerce site on their mobiles but ultimately make a purchase from a desktop. Or they might pay online, but pick up the purchased item in-store.

Retailers can capitalise on this hybrid approach by creating omnichannel offerings. This means customers can convert or make the decision to buy something at multiple touchpoints.

2. Need for speed  

Leveraging timeously order fulfilment is key to customer satisfaction. This means an efficient logistics and supply chain infrastructure, complemented by alternative delivery options such as BOPIS (Buy online, pay in-store) and click and collect. If you want to foster shopper loyalty and strengthen relationships, simply meet your customer’s shipping expectations. It is that simple. Deliver orders rapidly and accurately.

3. Securing online security

2021 will see an emphasis on visuals denoting online security and transparency about the use of data to allay customer concerns about sharing their financial information. This includes displaying safety tools on payment pages such as security banners, certification seals like VeriSign, Thawte, showing PCI compliance and SSL certification.

4. Optimising user experience

Focus is on providing the shopper with a streamlined and flexible shopping solution such as intuitive navigation or providing an online chat facility – all elements that contribute to an easy, safe and frictionless experience. Simplicity is the key, enabling the user to effortlessly navigate the website and find and acquire the desired items. 

A single-click checkout process dramatically increases sales conversions. Every e-tailer should consider it for returning customers. The more steps during payment, the higher chance of your customer abandoning their cart.

5. New purchasing channels

E-commerce is increasingly making its way into consumers’ social media and video feeds via social commerce. This has seen Facebook introducing Shops in 2020, enabling merchants to set up a storefront with exposure to the global audiences on both the Instagram and Facebook platforms.  

Social commerce is like the democratisation of e-commerce. It opens the doors of e-commerce to anyone. This goes for both small and large-scale retailers. The world of social media is open to anyone who wants to truly engage with their customers.

6. Supporting consumer financial constraints 

According to TransUnion’s Financial Hardship Survey, 82% of consumers indicated their household income had been impacted, with expectations of a shortfall of R7069.90 when paying bills or loans. We will see an increase in flexible payment solutions to accommodate consumer finances, assisting their ‘cash flow’ without incurring further debt associated with credit cards. 

7. Personalised commerce

The Covid-conscious consumer is wanting to replicate interactive personalised experiences and services within a safe and contactless context. Immersive commerce like augmented reality (AR) and 3D are giving shoppers a rich, interactive and personalised experience to bridge the gap between the digital and the physical. 

The introduction of Shopify AR, which facilitates showcasing of brand products to shoppers, is a case in point which saw a 94% higher conversion rate than products without AR. Technology is helping to replicate key elements of the in-store experience with 64% of leading consumer brands starting to invest in immersive experiences in order to boost consumer confidence, enhance loyalty and foster more tailored online interactions.

8. Reinventing shopping 

Shopstreaming, the art of combining live streaming and e-commerce, is set to trend in the retail industry. Allowing a customer to digitally ‘walk’ around a store and watch brand ambassadors explain their products, shopstreaming even enables interacting with other people in the store as if the shopper was actually there.

While uptake in the West has been slower than China, brands are rapidly catching onto this nascent trend driven by the popularity of live-streaming among Gen Z and millennials. Through live streaming, influencers can engage potential consumers at scale on a daily basis. 

A brave new retail world

As we enter the new year, what consumers want, and how they want it, continues to evolve. Agility will always be a key weapon in a retailer’s arsenal. The uncertainty is not over and merchants will continue to contend with in this delicate industry. However, we can be sure that digital-led experiences will undoubtedly continue to grow in popularity in 2021. Retailers that embrace technology to innovatively address new consumer pain points and evolving shopper behaviour will gain the advantage and win the race for attention and buyers.


Marketing Achievement Awards Opens Entries And Nominations For Leadership Categories

Marketing Achievement Awards Opens Entries And Nominations For Leadership Categories

The Marketing Achievement Awards (MAA) has introduced three Leadership Awards to its catalogue of accolades. These exciting additions include: Rising Star of the Year Award, Marketing Organisation of the Year Award and the Marketer of the Year Award. 

The MAA celebrates those who have risen to the challenge and exhibited true excellence in the science and art of strategic marketing. Each award presented contributes to the MAA’s overall vision of setting a benchmark for marketing standards, driving constant improvements within the marketing discipline and inspiring marketers to make a case for leading their organisations with insightful strategy. 

Enter the race and show your excellence

The new awards showcase both the value and impact that marketing proffers to the bottom line in business, particularly when marketers stay the course and steer their brands and organisations towards success.

The Rising Star of the Year Award is sponsored by branding giant, Unilever, and is open to the best and brightest who fall below the age of 35-years-old at the date of entry and have performed in a marketing role for four years. This award focuses on recognising the best young marketer who has demonstrated the potential to become an outstanding leader in the profession – the kind of leader who has brought bold ideas to the table and carved a new path in their role.

Elizabeth Mokwena, HomeCare Marketing Director, Unilever South Africa said, ‘Unilever has long been known to produce many exceptional marketers over the years. It is a place where new, young marketers cut their teeth on the ins and outs of brand management and learn to strategically ensure businesses provide solutions to consumers across various communities.’

This year, Dr Doug Mattheus, CEO at Doug M Consulting, will chair the judging panel for the Rising Star of the Year Award. Joining him in deliberations will be:

1. Audrey Naidoo, Head of Digital Marketing, ABSA Group.
2. Napsta Masinga, Founder and Creative Director, Napsta Collective.
3. Nontokozo Madonsela, Group Chief Marketing Officer, Momentum Metropolitan Holdings.
4. Professor Madéle Tait, Director: School of Management Sciences, Nelson Mandela University.
5. Tumelo Molope, Human Resources Director, Unilever Africa.

Recognising our industry’s inspirational leaders 

The MAA is also looking to celebrate the marketing game-changers – the individuals and organisations with big ideas that have been excellently executed on a large scale. 

The Marketer of the Year Award aims to honour the individual who understands the art and science of marketing, has the business, brand, and category interest at heart, and leverages their skills to grow all three. As a modern marketer, the successful candidate will be someone who has demonstrated their ability to intersect data, strategy, creativity and technology to deliver positive business results over the past 24 months.

Due to the nature of the environment within which we operate, consideration will also be given to individuals who have started an innovative business that is marketing-led but does not necessarily conform to the traditional organisational structure. This opens the playing field to include entrepreneurs, marketing mavericks, tech start-ups, and other mad marketing scientists.

The adjudication committee is also chaired by Dr Mattheus, and joining the panel of seasoned marketing professionals will be: 

  1. Alistair Mokoena, Country Director, Google.
  2. Andrea Quaye, Founder, AQ Consulting.
  3. Enzo Scarcella, Chief Consumer Officer, MTN Group.
  4. Jacques du Preez, CEO, Provantage Media Group
  5. Koo Govender, CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network

To submit your nomination for a Marketer of the Year candidate to the Marketing Achievement Council and the MASA Board, please follow the link here.

Marketing Organisation of the Year Award

This award shines a spotlight on the organisation who has clearly demonstrated how their business, brand and marketing strategies are closely aligned and executed to drive sustained returns. The organisation who stands out as a great example of how to anticipate, innovate and adapt to change, with the results of having consistently delivered an exceptional customer experience and brand and company growth over the last three years to prove it.

The award is sponsored by Accenture Interactive. Haydn Townsend, CMO, Accenture Interactive, said, ‘Accenture Interactive’s involvement in the MAA programme builds on its reputation as an organisation that can seamlessly integrate creativity, business insights and technology to create customer experiences that connect. Partnering with the MAA for this prestigious award is the embodiment of what we as a company aim to achieve by contributing to and influencing the development of the South African marketing landscape as we build enduring brands and businesses.’

This year, the award is adjudicated by a judging panel chaired by David Wingfield, Managing Executive Marketing at the ABSA Group. Joining him on the judging committee will be:

  1. Gil Oved, Chief Executive Officer, LLH Capital.
  2. Haydn Townsend, Managing Director, Accenture Interactive.
  3. Kheepe Moremi, Managing Partner, Mark to Market.
  4. Mariska Oosthuizen, Head of Brand, Sanlam.
  5. Rob Collins, Trustee, South African Hall of Fame.

Entries and nominations for these prestigious awards close on 31 January 2021. Visit https://marketingawards.co.za/awards/ for more information.


Owning Customer Data Can Be A Liability

Owning Customer Data Can Be A Liability
JD Engelbrecht, MD at Everlytic.

Owning personal information and customer data is a liability – that is, until you find useful mechanisms to create value. Then you need to consider the net asset value, taking stock of the downsides, says JD Engelbrecht, MD at Everlytic.

There is such an obvious paradox that I love referring to. The scenario above can be likened to people saying that a house is an asset. If it is a bonded house, it is a liability: you must pay off the principal and interest balances, and consider the net asset value should you sell the property. 

With many organisations increasingly turning to technology and data to unlock value, it is becoming more important to have a clear understanding of the liabilities and risks associated with data harvesting and data ownership. The global news stream is awash with stories of data mismanagement and theft, as well as abuses of customer and employee privacy – making it critical for business decision-makers to guard against reputational and financial risks in relation to their data strategies. 

As a starting point, lI’ll provide some context to this discussion and the dangers we are tackling. Arguably, the ‘big data’ race started with everyone collecting as much data as they could. More often than not, Big Tech and consultants sold the dream. The technology quickly became able to store and process obscene volumes of data at unprecedented velocity. However, as discussed in the first part of this article series, we started with a technology solution to what is essentially a strategy and coordination problem (a very common pattern). Indeed, we logged everything without asking ourselves what we wanted to do with it; whether we should be doing it; and what the consequences could be of ‘owning’ all of this data. 

These ‘downsides’ most often include: 

• Cost of compliance.
• Potential risk of transgression of regulation or suffering a data breach.
• The expenses related to securing, storing and processing data.
• The impact on the trust relationship with the customer related to data harvesting.
• The potential PR consequences of overstepping. 

Then, you need to offset your liability and risk with the potential benefits of running a data activation programme. These benefits encompass:

• Growing market share.
• Expanding share of wallet.
• Enhancing the customer lifetime value.
• Operational and capital allocation efficiency gains.
• De-risking your business.
• Optimising price based on risk and value for customers.
• Development of new products and services to diversify your offering.
• Enhanced customer satisfaction. 

Offsetting key risks with the benefits

Logically, at the beginning of a data programme, you are sitting on a significant liability and you need to start offsetting the liability and risks with the upside. The upside is significant: if you have a solid understanding, get your foundations in place, and then execute accurately and at pace.

Any data programme needs to be properly planned and structured to reduce the time to value, and also to allow you to service your risk at pace. Most importantly, do not incur the liability without having a clear route to value that exceeds the risk.

Now, do not get me wrong: I am a strong proponent of creating rich and vast data ecosystems that harvest relevant data for the legitimate purpose to create value for the organisation and customers alike. However, some organisations are overly risk-averse, which stifles a company’s ability to be competitive – and ultimately, useful to its consumers. As a business leader, you must find the balance in order to unlock the right type of value with acceptable risk, whilst always being fair to the customer and complying with regulations. 

Ultimately, our role as business leaders is to optimise shareholder value, consistently and intelligently. With that in mind, let’s look at how you develop a clear route to value for your data strategy – having considered the risks outlined above.

The first step is knowing what you want to do with the data: this understanding will inform what data you should collect to keep things simple, to avoid wasting unnecessary time and resources and to ensure you collect what you need to execute with impact. Critically, do not store data without the intent to use it – that is always a risky idea. 

These questions can guide you in the early stages of data collection: do we know what we want? What do you want to say? To whom do you want to say it? What value does the conversation have? What data do you need to initiate and drive your conversation?

Without a doubt, you are going to be embarrassed and found wanting if you do not know which sales conversations to have, and what drives each message in the conversation. Ultimately you cannot deploy a marketing automation programme without this knowledge, even if your data and trust foundations are in place.   

Start with the end in mind 

We so often do not take a breath to really consider what we want to achieve with our data and technology strategies. So, to begin with, understand what you want: these are your goals. The next step is to determine the drivers of the ultimate behaviours: these are your objectives.

Then, design the conversations you want to have: these are your journeys. From there, each conversation will have different messages to move the user to action. Each message should contain personalised content-based data and engagement. Messages are set up on various channels such as email, SMS, automated voice, web push, app push, website promo cards, and soon, instant messaging. Each channel has its context and it drives coherent frequency. Importantly, all layers and every interaction should be driven by a data network with assistance by the automation platform. Then there are transition flows between messages, journeys, objectives and goals based on your data, and their interaction with your messages. 


Digital Signage Improves Customer Experience

Digital Signage Improves Customer Experience

According to Grant Kruger, Business Lead ID/IT at LG Electronics South Africa, customer experience – something that everyone should be focused on these days – is also improved by digital signage.

Providing information to customers on easy-to-change signs helps to decrease the amount of time that they spend waiting in lines, which is very helpful as stores try to encourage safe social distancing.

A cross-industry wonder that is literally larger than life, digital signage has become a fantastic form of communication and advertising, particularly during the recent pandemic as businesses struggle to stand out in a sea of sameness.

By encouraging improved customer engagement, better in-store experiences and impressive sale growth, among other benefits, digital signage is a no-brainer for companies of all sizes and across all sectors looking to step up their game in a highly-competitive consumer landscape. 

Curious about incorporating digital signage into your marketing strategy? Here are some important considerations to make before you sign on the dotted line.


Digital displays are often exposed to harsh environmental conditions, including degrading sunlight, rain, wind, dust and possibly even snow. Over time, this causes massive wear and tear, so investing in a product that is protected against environmental factors is critical to ensuring longevity.


In-plane switching (IPS) displays provide better control of liquid crystals, offering viewers a true wide viewing angle with no degradation in picture quality. This means that the screen can be viewed at virtually any angle without colour, contrast or brightness changes – perfect for airports or malls where customers are constantly on-the-go. Additionally, IPS displays have built-in temperature control, allowing them to adjust to strong and direct sunlight and darkness. And with more LED units included, these signs can operate brighter at lower temperatures, thereby lasting longer than conventional monitors. 


Putting yourself in your viewer’s shoes is critical to ensuring a digital masterpiece that will resonate with your customers. Think about viewing distance and how font size will impact readability from far away. Where will your viewer be standing and how will they interact with your message? Monitor size and pixel density also affect visibility and interaction, so double-check if the size you are thinking of getting is big enough, or if you need to combine panels to make an even bigger impact.

Simple colour contrasts tend to do better too as they are less overwhelming – you should aim for a design that is effective and stays in a customer’s mind, but not one that isn’t visually appealing. Be sure to carefully consider all your design elements, mock-up various designs, and consult a professional for some honest feedback before you go live.

At the end of the day, the appeal, effectiveness, and longevity of your digital signage will all depend on these important considerations, so it is advised to take the time to do the necessary research before you dive in head-first.


FCB Joburg Builds An Emotive Consumer Connection With New Tastic Campaign

FCB Joburg Builds An Emotive Consumer Connection With New Tastic Campaign

Created by FCB Joburg creative director Bonolo Modise, copywriter Junior Mokoma and art director Motlagole Nthite, the new Tastic TV commercial (TVC) builds awareness for the brand’s new campaign. It also demonstrates why Tastic is ‘more than just rice’ by building an emotive connection with the consumer.

The new TVC from FCB Joburg is a beautifully cast and shot reminder of people’s innate generosity, and how much that generosity shapes our everyday lives. The 59-year-old Tiger Brands product is an iconic staple in South African kitchens. ‘Tastic Rice appeals to people who take pride in the meals they prepare for themselves, families and friends because these meals represent their love for them and an acknowledgement of the fact that they deserve better things in life,’ explained Tiger Brands Marketing Director, Thembi Sehloho.

‘Tastic knows the world would be a better place if we all acted with a spirit of generosity. So we challenged FCB Joburg to bring the ideal of ‘Tastic Generosity’ to life for the brand, while still communicating its credentials. The agency’s response was to show that, in a world where Tastic exists, there is generosity all around us,’ said Modise.

The 30 second TVC is flighting on e.tv, SABC and DStv channels while a 60 second version is being used online. It was shot in Dube, at the Dube Bus Terminal, in Jeppestown and at the Kilburn Shopping Centre over two days by Kyle Lewis from Egg Films. Post-production was by Left Post Production, Fuelcontent and Produce Sound.


Valiant’s Chief Creative Officer Selected To Join IAB Transformation Council 

Zubeida  Goolam,  Valiant's  Chief Creative Officer.

Zubeida Goolam, Valiant’s Chief Creative Officer, was selected to join IAB South Africa’s newly elected  members of the Transformation Council.   

As a founder of a proudly 51% black female owned agency,  Goolam feels passionate about her role in helping the industry accelerate its transformation. ‘I have always wanted to make an impactful change in the industry that I operate in. There is so much misrepresentation and I’m pleased to have  the opportunity  to change so many already predefined narratives. The black creative is still a highly untapped phenomenon that the market is yet to experience fully. There is so much still to do to encourage and help and grow the next generation of talent in our industry.  So I’m very encouraged by  platforms  such as the IAB  that make an impact in this space  and  actively  try to bridge the gaps  in our industry,’ commented Goolam.   

Goolam  is one of three  long-time friends who  founded  Valiant  five years ago  to help brands digitally stand out from the crowd. She previously worked at agencies such as Ogilvy and M&C Saatchi Abel before  starting  Valiant  with her partners.  Her passion is diversity, inclusion and transformation and she looks forward to using her ability to spearhead conversations  that open up possibilities, fresh thinking and empowering beliefs.   

With the aim of the council to facilitate lasting change that empowers black digital media and marketing professionals,  Goolam  believes  that her industry experience and knowledge as a female entrepreneur and co-owner of an independent agency  will bring a fresh  perspective to supporting the  IAB  Transformation Council  in achieving its aim.   

Sbosh Mbuzwana, Valiant COO concluded, ‘We’re all so proud of  Goolam’s  appointment to the IAB Transformation Council. Not only is this a step for her towards  sharing her story of how we can change our industry, it’s  also an inspiration to  see more black female entrepreneurs  rising up to  make an impact on our industry.’

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