Home Blog Page 3

Marketing Achievement Awards Now Open

The Marketing Achievement Awards celebrate excellence in the science and art of strategic marketing, and in so doing sets a compass point for marketers to aim towards. The awards are endorsed by the Marketing Association of South Africa (MASA)

The awards are set to take place in February 2021 and all marketers from across South Africa, big and small, known and unknown, are encouraged to enter their best work so that they can be measured against, and recognised by, their peers.

The recent challenges which have thrown the world off course have highlighted how critical it is for marketers to find their own True North and guide their brands with determination and precision. This year, the awards organisers will look for the greatest minds, the truest ideas, and the boldest approaches.

This platform is designed to recognise exceptional marketing achievements and as such, conveners will be looking for succinct entries that best demonstrate how customer needs have been identified and used to focus, align, and empower organisations to meet these needs and achieve results. There are several categories available and the entry format is a simple online process. 

The following categories are available for entrants to prove their strategic abilities in:

  • Purpose Led Marketing.
  • Strategic Sponsorship Marketing.
  • Brand Positioning.
  • Marketing Innovation.
  • New Product or Brand Launch.
  • Reputation Management (Corporate and Brand).
  • South African Resonance Marketing.
  • Brand Marketing B2B.
  • Integrated Marketing.
  • Resourceful Marketing (The ;Limited Budget, Unlimited Idea’ Category).
  • Internal Marketing.
  • Digital Brand Marketing (New Category for 2020).
  • Rising Star of the Year (Nominated).
  • Marketer of the Year (Nominated).

This year’s entry process has been fine-tuned to allow for winning case studies to be published. This way, the organisers can truly set a benchmark for excellence, inspire marketers to make a case for leading organisations with insightful strategy, and prove marketing’s value to the bottom line. For this reason, not only have the entry criteria been redesigned and more explicitly outlined, but a scoring system has also been introduced. Judges will thus be able to contextualise each entry and award a score out of 100 possible points, and importantly, ensure that all campaigns be treated equally, regardless of budget or scope.

To make the entry process easier for all marketers, entry kits have been created to walk people through the system. Moreover, the winning case studies will only be published in consultation with the entrants to ensure that confidential figures and metrics are appropriately presented.

Newly appointed Chairperson of the Marketing Awards Council (MAC), Mohale Ralebitso, will be spearheading the council, taking over from Yvonne Johnston who successfully chaired the MAC during her three-year tenure. As an entrepreneur and expert transformational business leader, Ralebitso’s resume spans over 22 years in marketing and financial services and boasts a litany of accomplishments.

Not only is Ralebitso the former CEO of the Black Business Council, but he has also held senior positions in financial services and advertising, including Marketing Communications and Corporate Affairs Director at Old Mutual Emerging Markets, Managing Executive of Absa Private Bank, Chairman of FCB South Africa, Chairman of The Jupiter Drawing Room (Johannesburg), and Director at TBWA\ South Africa. As such, he is well equipped to navigate this new world order that the marketing industry is stepping into and lead the MAC with precision.

Ralebitso said, ‘South African marketers have the power and ingenuity to deliver campaigns of the highest calibre; simple marketing that is imbued with insight and authenticity; and a true sense of direction that catapults brands directly towards their True North in spite of the constant state of flux we are living through. That is the kind of work that we are hoping to see. The Marketing Achievement Awards is a rarefied opportunity to honour marketers whose work demonstrates the intrinsic value inherent to this crucial discipline, whilst simultaneously raising the industry’s profile and elevating it to the position it rightfully deserves within South Africa’s businesses.’

This annual event will truly set the standard of excellence, allowing only those willing to step up and show their strength, be role models, and showcase best practices, to walk away as winners.

MASA CEO, Brian Yuyi said, ‘MASA is pleased to endorse and work with the Marketing Achievement Council for the success of the Marketing Achievement Awards in 2020. The Awards speak to our organisational purpose, which is to elevate the professionalism of marketing and represent and protect the business interests of all marketers in South Africa. Despite the challenging times we now face, we look forward to some exciting entries across all categories which will be proof, yet again, that the marketing profession will be at the forefront of an industrial and commercial resurgence in the new normal.’

Early bird entries close on 17 of August 2020, while final entries close on the 6th of September 2020. In the face of a pandemic, nothing is certain, however, the intention is for the Awards Ceremony to be hosted in early 2021.

Read the top 5 stories weekly on WhatsApp or sign up to our newsletter.


Have An Effective First-Party Data Programme In Place

Rogerwilco’s CEO, Charlie Stewart, states that the obsession with data can be blamed on the opaque promises made by the proponents of big data, with companies benchmarking against the likes of Amazon, Google and Facebook, who harvest vast tracts of our data.

By trying to emulate this behaviour, companies collect as much customer data as they can but rarely know what they’ll do with it. With the commencement date for the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act on 1 July 2020, the number of companies concerned about their data collection policies is set to skyrocket.

Charlie Stewart, CEO of Rogerwilco.

But while it’s good that regulators are trying to protect customer data, POPI is a cure, rather than the prevention. Imposing penalties on companies who are not playing safe with consumer data is essential.

But, companies should think about why they are collecting data in the first place. A 2017 Harvard Business Review article notes that less than half of structured data is used and just 1% of unstructured data is used in the decision-making process. Consequently, much of companies’ data ends up dumped on a server, underutilised and logged as another concern for the IT guy. And it’s here where this data is exposed to negligence or possible hacking, punishable by fines under POPI. 

Fundamentally then, South African companies need to think about the purpose of the information they’re collecting. Will it be used in planning, reporting or in personalising marketing going forward? If there is no clear answer, rather avoid it altogether.

Not all data is created equal, so think about what you want to collect. Many companies target new customers by purchasing B2B emailing lists or buying third-party data from Google and Facebook.

Yet few have an effective first-party data programme in place. Who is the customer? Do they have an email address and telephone number? What did they buy? What are the demographics and psychographics at play? These are the building blocks needed to get to understand current customers and to personalise future campaigns effectively.

And if any evidence was needed on the value of pleasing existing customers versus targeting prospects, another Harvard Business Review article claims it can be five to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an old one.

The value of first-party data is coming to the fore. A first-party data strategy can lead to the paradigm shift needed to turn away from continuously searching for new clients instead of servicing current clients effectively.  

Customer Data Platforms are one of the hottest tickets in the burgeoning martech industry, which already gobbles up around a third of all marketing budgets according to Forrester. Yet, in South Africa, all too many brands still invest their martech spend into Data Management Platforms and other adtech platforms that focus on third-party sources. The folly of this was exposed earlier this year when Google announced that it would be phasing out support for third-party cookies, which are instrumental in the pursuit of new audiences. 

Clean data is good data

In this so-called data ‘land grab’, companies often pour hard-earned records down a CRM black hole. It should come as no surprise then that a study from SiriusDecisions found that 25% of the average B2B database is inaccurate. It doesn’t help to spend the time and effort in acquiring vital customer information if you don’t invest in making sure the data is accurate, and keeping it so. Don’t let it be your business that sends out emails addressed to the wrong person or to decision-makers who have left the company. 

The more considerable concern around POPI is, of course, the safety of customer data. News of significant data breaches has become a regular occurrence, and it seems that cybercriminals can exploit almost any preventative measure. However, this is no reason to make it easy, especially for smaller companies who store data on their servers or simply in spreadsheets on employees’ devices. The move to a reputable and certified cloud-based data platform or CRM solution will pay-off in the long run. And while it may not guarantee protection from a security breach, you can at least demonstrate that you took active measures to protect your information.

Respect the client

Finally, don’t use your collected data in a way that customers might find disturbing or unprofessional. I recently visited a website where the chatbot greeted me by my company’s name, without me feeding it any information. Although this shouldn’t come as a surprise with the amount of cookie data available, it still struck me as highly inappropriate and downright creepy. Being POPI compliant doesn’t eliminate the need to be respectful towards your clients.

It’s important to remember that the steps above will not make you POPI compliant. Instead, it should serve as a reminder to utilise collected data effectively, rather than setting the collection of data as the goal. 

Read the top 5 stories weekly on WhatsApp or sign up to our newsletter.


Taking Marketing From Evolution To Execution

Haydn Townsend, Managing Director for Accenture Interactive in Africa.

According to Haydn Townsend, Managing Director for Accenture Interactive in Africa, the way customers experience and engage with brands today is very different. To successfully take marketing from evolution to execution requires us to start thinking and doing things differently.

Globally, executives have woken up to the fact that we now find ourselves in an evolved marketplace where customer experience (CX) has emerged as the key driver of sustainable business growth. In fact, a study commissioned by Accenture Interactive, Expectations Vs Experience: The Good, The Bad, The Opportunity, indicates that a mere one-point increase in experience scores can translate into millions of dollars of annual revenue (the ‘good’).

The ‘bad’ is that the customers’ expectations are not driven by their average experience, but by their best one. Simply delivering good enough experiences, is therefore simply not good enough anymore. Therein however lies an ‘opportunity’, which, as indicated by the same paper, is still greatly underutilised. Today, companies who continuously transform their CX efforts to consistently wow their audiences at all touchpoints, are the ones who most successfully win, serve and retain their customers.

The three lenses we need to look through to stimulate the right thinking

When planning on taking products or services to the market, we first need to evaluate it from the following three angles:
• Viability: will the product or service add tangible value to the business?
• Feasibility: can this product or service be taken to market quickly and cost-effectively?
• Desirability: will customers truly want or need this product or service?

Three cornerstones that form the foundation for doing things right

To meet the ever-increasing expectations of modern customers, companies must deliver always-on, immersive CX that shape and transform an individual’s entire path-to-purchase in real-time. To rise to the challenges and deliver in this complex new marketing landscape, companies require scale, and that scale needs to be delivered via three critical components:

1. Technology

Every time that a customer engages with your brand, it creates a data point. A data point that must be collated and analysed to help you personalise and improve your CX. When you have 10,000 or so customers, this becomes a daunting task. The right technology will increase your capacity to interpret complex data sets exponentially and to do so in real-time, which in turn, holds a multitude of business benefits.

It will, for example, enable you to understand exactly who your clients are and help you to deliver exactly the right message, to the right person, at the right time and on the right platform. This will, in turn, ensure that your campaigns are more targeted and focused, which will naturally yield a greater return on investment (ROI).

Another common aspect of marketing that can be addressed via technology is media buying. Traditionally, companies have made use of media buying agencies, who not only charge a premium for their service but who also earn commission from the media they’re buying from. Today, through the use of technology, we can set up trading desks for companies so they can buy directly from the relevant media, at a significantly reduced cost.

2. Processes 

Gone are the days where marketing can be regarded as a business component that is not accountable for achieving measurable, bottom-line results. In fact, the ultimate success of a marketing campaign today is measured by whether it has been executed in the quickest and most efficient way that generated maximum sales at minimum cost.

To achieve this today is much more difficult than it used to be a decade or so ago, as society moves on much quicker. Your ad could be the top meme today, and completely forgotten tomorrow. So, your content always needs to be current and relevant.

To effectively execute such a marketing campaign that ticks all the boxes, that is relevant and that can be rolled out with speed and efficiency, requires formal marketing governance. In other words, you need a solid structure of processes, procedures and policies in place to support and optimise the management of all your marketing functions. This will, in turn, ensure that your business and marketing objectives are aligned, that the success of your campaign is determined by quantifiable metrics and that swift decision-making and prioritisation is enabled.

3. Scale

Seamlessly executing integrated multi-channel campaigns requires a scale of capacity and you need the ability to determine how to allocate your human and technological resources optimally. Basically, you need thinkers and doers and technology can be a great enabler to enhance the efficiency of both.

For example, technology can provide the thinkers and creatives with the relevant consumer data to help make sure their ‘big ideas’ are on the money for your specific target audiences. Technology can also improve the productivity of doers. Say for instance you sell cars in 150 different countries, you will have to consider whether translating your content for all these markets are best done by your staff or through using artificial intelligence (AI).

Apart from leveraging your existing resources optimally, it is also worth asking whether you have enough resources to quickly and effectively implement end-to-end marketing campaigns across your different markets. Let’s continue using the example of a company that sells cars in 150 countries. To deliver always-on CX and convert your customers, your content will have to resonate 100% with hundreds of thousands of different clients who speak at least 150 different languages and have different cultural and social backgrounds.

In practice, this means the original ‘big idea’ must be adapted for each market, the ads must be translated in different languages, using a voice and tone, as well as a look and feel that will appeal to each market. At this point, we have not even touched on the functionality to track and monitor the performance of your campaign at each touchpoint yet, not to mention the ability to adapt it as and when necessary, for sustained performance.

Essentially, to move from marketing evolution to execution, you must consider whether your products or services add business value, whether it can be taken to market easily and cost-effectively, and whether your customers will love it. When you can respond positively to all that, you will need enough technology, people and scale of resources to take it to market.

Read the top 5 stories weekly on WhatsApp or sign up to our newsletter.


Data Gives Relevance To Creative, While Creative Brings ‘Life’ And Personality To Data

Shaune Jordaan, CEO Hoorah Digital.

According to Shaune Jordaan, Hoorah Digital CEO, personalisation, measurement and similar digital capabilities are the savvy marketer’s best defence against the clutter and the noise, allowing for the prioritisation of the customer experience (CX). 

Brand and customer loyalty, once the currency in which great advertisers and marketers traded, is on the decline worldwide. Today, consumers have multiple options at their fingertips. So when the choices are overwhelming, what can brands and businesses do to ensure they stand out from the rest – in a way that drives measurable results? 

It’s a question that every marketer and advertiser worth the title in their email signature has grappled with, and one that is anecdotally answered with some version of ‘standout creative’. But as digital increasingly becomes the go-to investment channel for marketers, it’s critical to be able to put it to its best possible use. That means particularly incorporating the personalisation and measurement capabilities because they’re key in any integrated strategy that puts the customer first. 

Data gives professionals in the business a tool that takes the guesswork out of marketing and advertising, helping them create targeted campaigns that reflect a deep understanding of who the customer is, their location, as well as their needs and preferences. That ability to creatively engage customers in an authentic and relevant way significantly boosts potential return on investment for the brand, usurping the primarily useless (easy to ignore) marketing ‘fluff’.

Data has the potential to help marketers make magic. But to get to that point, it must first be transparently and effectively collected, analysed and interpreted in order to produce the kind of results that are relevant to the objectives of the brand, and the needs of the customer. Once that has been achieved, personalisation can be applied. This gives marketers the information they need to create much more personal and ‘human’ experiences across moments, channels and buying stages – effectively adding value by delivering a seamless, targeted customer experience.

Ultimately, data and creativity need to live side by side. Data gives relevance to creative, while creative brings ‘life’ and personality to data. And the sum of the two is growth: the data ensures that you are reaching the customer in the right way, in the right place, at the right time, while the creative delights and surprises in a winning combination to which the metrics will attest over time. 

So don’t think this means brands won’t matter, or that data will replace the need for creativity. The reality is that they’ll matter even more. The technology at our disposal allows us to now serve our customers in a more personal, more sophisticated way. By helping us get this right, the data enables us to engage our customers in a much more meaningful way, ultimately growing that much-coveted brand loyalty. 

Read the top 5 stories weekly on WhatsApp or sign up to our newsletter.


Brand Relevance Beyond A Crisis

According to Jennifer Perry, Senior Director, Cognitive Science and Audience Strategy at Acceleration, agile brands are building the human understanding it takes to create long-lasting experiences that will linger with consumers after the current crisis.

The Covid-19 pandemic means that most organisations are preoccupied simply with keeping the lights on and their doors open. But those that are looking beyond the current crisis will be able to emerge with greater brand equity. Tomorrow’s leaders are already laying the foundation for future success.

In a survey conducted by Wunderman Thompson, 92% of respondents said they admire companies that are taking action to alleviate the impact of the coronavirus. This points to the emotional link consumers make with brands. Given the fact that this pandemic affects all consumers in one way or another, it is an opportunity for brands to respond in a way that reflects empathy and understanding of their audience’s needs.

Like any relationship, engaging with consumers is a two-way street, which involves not only what businesses ‘want to say’ but also what consumers ‘want to hear’. Brands must always be prepared to engage in a personally relevant, contextual way, but this is especially true in our present situation.

This is not just about speaking to an individual’s functional requirements, but also their emotional needs. Businesses that wish to engage with consumers more meaningfully during this crisis and sustain brand equity beyond its end, need to humanise audiences through a clear understanding of their emotions and motivations. 

To engage with and nurture prospects, businesses need to shift their thinking away from ‘Who can we target right now?’ to ‘Who can we effectively influence?’ and ‘What do we have to offer that is personally relevant?’ This will enable brands to isolate their ‘most winnable’ consumers — those whose businesses have the best chance of influencing, in light of the audience’s functional and emotional needs.

They can begin with three questions about their current strategy:

1. Is there a gap in the brand’s audience strategy?

Without brand personas that connect to performance marketing, they will not be able to target ‘winnable’ audiences in a consistent and differentiated way that immediately appeals to the consumer. Since people are engaging digitally more than ever, brands have only a few seconds to reach consumers in the moment and capture their attention with a relevant message.

2. Is the brand missing relevancy?

Behavioural propensities offer table stakes data, which will isolate the consumers that a brand wants to target, but this won’t tell it how to engage meaningfully, with relevance and in a way that influences them in an optimal manner. The strategy has to address the distinct decision patterns related to the brand.

3. Is the brand lacking differentiation?

If businesses have a strategy based on syndicated data, they are no better than their competitors. With this approach, everyone accesses the same information and it is not customised according to the brand’s unique ‘winnable’ audience. Similarly, this impacts the brand’s ability to differentiate and become a relevant one that directly addresses consumers’ needs.

Having answered those three questions, a brand can consider four pillars for success in building out an empathetic and customer-centric audience strategy: 


Businesses need to deeply understand consumers’ decision-making by mapping out their motivations and emotional context. They need to identify how the market differs by segmenting audiences who ‘think alike’. Brands should analyse their current brand equity against each segment’s needs, to assess areas of strength to best influence, isolate moments of truth, and solve for barriers in the experience.


Businesses will need to address how they can differentiate among audiences with distinct motivations. They will need to develop tailored messaging strategies to influence key audiences by emphasising their relevancy through the ways in which their brand is ideally positioned to deliver on those unique needs.


Brands should be able to identify winnable customers with distinct motivations and have a clear engagement plan across the journey, impacting messaging and targeting as a relevancy layer to demonstrate ’empathy’ or a ‘more human’ understanding of the audience. This cannot be achieved using functional data alone. It needs to be derived from consumer insight, on an emotional level, and it needs to be scalable. Brands need to connect their data, analytics, and research teams to bring this to life and connect to consumers’ motivations. 


The strategy should provide a guiding light, impacting all areas of the organisation. The brand experience — in other words, the way the brand shows up — should be cohesive and should consistently reflect the brand’s deep understanding of customers’ needs across all touchpoints and in every engagement. 

Gearing towards the future

Essentially, businesses that wish to engage with consumers more meaningfully during this crisis and sustain brand equity beyond its end, need to humanise audiences by developing a clear understanding of their emotions and motivations. These are the fundamentals of developing a clear, deep, and actionable audience strategy, and one that underpins an empathetic and highly relevant brand experience.

Read the top 5 stories weekly on WhatsApp or sign up to our newsletter.


Cannes Lions Honours VMLY&R South Africa

It’s only 10 years since VMLY&R South Africa launched as NATIVE, a small, full-service digital marketing agency, which is why Ryan McManus, Chief Creative Officer at VMLY&R South Africa, acknowledges that having taken 10th place in the Cannes Agency of the Decade awards for the Middle East and Africa region is a gratifying achievement for such a young agency.

‘This award reinforces our belief in purpose-driven work that lives in people’s lives,’ he said. ‘This is an ethos with real meaning, a practice we live and breathe every day. We actively create real connections between brands and their consumers. And it shows in the work.’ In 10 years, the agency has worked with some of the country’s, and continent’s, biggest and most influential brands, consistently winning awards for the work produced. 

McManus said, ‘Our clients are brave enough to trust us – they give us the freedom to push the work beyond the obvious and deep into the communities they serve.’ A retrospective view of some of VMLY&R South Africa’s more recent wins at Cannes shows that work with the ability to really engage the customer in a culturally relevant manner is work that wins awards.

‘We always strive to create work that is popular culture, rather than advertising – work that people choose to spend time with,’ said McManus, who believes that brands should not exist in the pre-roll before a consumer’s chosen content, but should bring consumers the entertainment they actually want to watch. VMLY&R has topped and tailed the top 10 agencies in the region, with VMLY&R Dubai taking the top spot as the number one Agency of the Decade.

Read the top 5 stories weekly on WhatsApp or sign up to our newsletter.



Transit Ads Launches First ‘Digital Powa Towa’ 

Transit Ads has activated the first Digital Powa Towa in Kempton Park in Ekurhuleni, ahead of the roll-out of a network of these structures across the country, with Bloemfontein, Soweto, KwaZulu-Natal, Rustenburg, Port Elizabeth and Nelspruit the next centres to receive them.

Dual format advertising

Digital Powa Towas measure 12 metres in height, are highly visible, and offer advertisers the opportunity to brand 152sqm of high impact space in strategically-selected, bustling commuter traffic flow areas.

With growing transport development taking place in the country, large internodal commuter hubs are being created where various modes of transport converge and disperse. These hubs include retail and banking and are a captive environment for targeting consumers when they are most open to advertising messages, and when they are most prone to retail activity. Within this environment, Digital Powa Towas offer a media opportunity that delivers impact and exposure to a large commuter audience – an audience that is extremely brand, product and price-savvy.

Shamy Naidu, Transit Ads executive said, ‘With our Powa Towas, the client has complete ownership of the screen and the concept is a combination of static and digital within the commuter space. The static element helps with brand affinity and awareness, whilst the digital screen allows for content, product and price, education opportunities, etc. So, the focus is on branding performing a dual role and also introducing new and innovative ways to increase our digital footprint in the commuter space.’

SA commuter snapshot

According to the most recent National Household Travel Survey conducted by Statistics SA, roughly 66% of South Africa’s commuting population makes use of public transport, including travelling by taxi, bus and train. Approximately 68% of that public transport segment use taxis and have an average daily dwell time of 44 minutes.

Further, in total, South Africa has a total public transport commuter base – excluding the Gautrain and air travel – in excess of 21 million and that number looks set to increase, thanks to increasing urbanisation.


According to research conducted by Transit Ads, the world’s urban population is expected to increase by two-thirds by 2050, and here are a few other numbers and facts to note:

  • 90% of this urban growth will take place in Africa and Asia.
  • 20% of the world’s urban population will be living in African cities.
  • South Africa’s urban population is growing larger and getting younger.
  • 70% of South Africa’s population will be living in an urban area by 2030

This makes a strong case for brands and advertisers to consider transit media as a communication platform, as it is a proven and effective tool in reaching consumers across the entire LSM spectrum.

‘Transit media also offers specific geographical focus, targets economically-active consumers, is situated in captive environments with long dwell times, produces repetitive audiences, is an incredibly cost-effective above-the-line alternative, and guarantees exposure, with no channel hopping,’ said Naidu. ‘That’s a compelling proposition.’

Lastly, consider this number: approximately four million taxi trips to work are made every day in South Africa, with more than half of those taking place in Gauteng. Whilst the commuter environment is expected to evolve and develop, as the needs of the population change, what won’t diminish is the attractiveness of this environment, its dynamism, and the key elements listed above.

Read the top 5 stories weekly on WhatsApp or sign up to our newsletter.


How To Develop A Strong E-Commerce Platform

On 23 June, Modern Marketing LIVE hosted an ‘E-Commerce 101: Exploring Business Opportunities’ webinar. Attendees could engage with experts and gain the knowledge to develop their own strong E-commerce platforms. The webinar was sponsored by In-Detail and DHL.

Gerald Yapp, Creative Director at In-Detail, discussed the fundamentals of setting up your website as well as app integration.

Can a business take their existing website and turn it into an E-commerce website?

It depends on how your site is set-up. Most websites are built on a Content Management System (CMS), which has a plug-in that allows for an addition of the E-Commerce function. Popular platforms like WordPress make it easy to add E-Commerce functionality to your site. Be mindful of the spike in online shopping due to the Covid-19 pandemic as people are not opting to physically go into stores – they buy a lot of things online. A UK survey also reported that only 37% of respondents would go back to buying in-store, while the rest are happy to continue shopping online even after the pandemic.

Key elements needed to set up an E-commerce website

– Invest time in it, as it is not something you can simply ‘do on the side’.
– Create a system.
– Create an online catalogue of your products in a way that is easy for people to find what they are looking for.
– Have a payment gateway that is instant as well as different payment options for your customers.
– Set-up the shipping as you cannot do it yourself (you need to be able to ship countrywide).
– Build a relationship with a shipping company, as they can automatically calculate the cost of the shipping between the shop and the customer’s address. They can also help ship/deliver products that are large in size – this helps you set shipping parameters.

To learn more about setting up an E-Commerce store, watch the full webinar here.

Marcus Matsi, Head of SEO at Reprise, discussed how to optimise website content for better conversions.

The importance of SEO

You can have a good website but no visitors, so you need your products to be available on the search results page when a person searches on Google/Bing – that is where SEO comes in. 44% of Google users start off by doing a generic search for their products. SEO helps your website appear in a lot of potential customers’ online organic search, and can get you to the level of being the primary search for different products. When people search for things online and your website keeps appearing first, that makes it credible. So make sure the user journey is simple for them to convert to buying customers. SEO is also a relatively cheap form of marketing.

Should businesses do their own SEO or outsource?

There are pros and cons to both. But outsourcing is a viable option and agencies have dedicated people who are specialists in the SEO field and are on top of the latest and cutting-edge industry trends to help your site perform better.

To learn more about SEO and the tools that Google provides specifically for E-commerce, watch the full webinar here.

Jarred Mailer-Lyons from The MediaShop discussed paid-for advertising to promote your E-commerce site.

Importance of paid-for advertising 

Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark – you know what you are doing, but no one else does. Paid-for advertising allows you to reach a bigger base of people compared to your organic reach.

Best practice for paid-for advertising to promote E-commerce sites

Create a basic framework of what you want to achieve throughout the process. You need to be constantly enriching, analysing and adjusting – knowing that the data you collect appreciates over time. This process allows you to spend smarter and reduce marketing costs by frequency capping, so that you do not pass the point of diminishing returns.

The process also allows you to develop consumer insights. By building up that data, you overlay that into your analytics or CRM list. This also allows you to create lookalike audiences, which enables you to build your first-party data into the likes of Facebook or Google, etc. and then build models off of those current audiences based on interests, demographics and target against those audiences so that you can expand your reach. It is also about cross-selling and up-selling that is based on customer attributes, like who are the most likely to convert or who have converted before.

To learn more about paid-for advertising and converting your target audience into raving fans, watch the full webinar here.

Derek Cikes, Commercial Director at Payflex, addressed payment gateways and security.

What is the payment revolution for E-commerce websites?

The main online payment option was predominantly that of credit card, and what we are seeing on a global scale is that credit cards are being issued out less and debit cards more. That introduces complexity in the E-Commerce payment option – how do people pay for things that they cannot afford right now? Enter a new way of buying things: ‘Buy now. Pay later’, where you use your debit card to buy things online today, and receive them today, but pay for them over a period of time without being charged interest fees.

Technical innovations available now to make online retail a seamless experience

There are things like Amazon 1-Click, Climate checkout, and Apple and Google pay. Those are essentially the services that have been created by Amazon and Google to make the checkout process very quick and effective. The four big banks in South Africa and Payflex have followed suit by creating a similar checkout capability: the customer visits your site, picks their goods and completes a checkout with one click – they don’t have to re-enter their card details.

To learn more about online payment checkout options, watch the full webinar here.

Venessa Dewing from DHL focused on taking good control of the delivery process.

E-commerce shipping is the final step in the process. What E-commerce, logistics and fulfilment services do you provide?

DHL’s service capability stems from our fundamental purpose, which is to deliver consignment from point A to point B in the fastest possible time. We have domestic deliveries in South Africa, and we also have a key focus on national deliveries. We are intrigued by the possibility that comes from international trade. We can facilitate all these deliveries with additional flexibility with regards to custom charges as well.

How does your online system plug into E-commerce systems? Is this integrated or separate?

We have the ability to fully integrate into our customer’s website, particularly if they are in more popular platforms like Shopify, WeCommerce, etc. We have an application called DHL Commerce, which simplifies the entire logistics process. Reducing the complexities of the shipping process is our priority, especially as we serve a range of customers, from enterprises to small and medium sized businesses. We ensure that the sender and receiver have proof of delivery as well.

To learn more about DHL shipment and delivery options, watch the full webinar here.

Watch the full webinar below:

Read the top 5 stories weekly on WhatsApp or sign up to our newsletter.


(+27 11) 021 3156


The One Show Honours Ogilvy Group With 2020 Network Of The Year Award

The One Show named Ogilvy 2020 Network of the Year in recognition of outstanding work across disciplines on behalf of its clients. This marks the fourth time Ogilvy has been named Network of the Year by The One Show. The previous three times were in 2017, 2014 and 2013 – the year the category was launched.

Ogilvy’s focus on collaboration and big creative ideas in any form also resulted in David Miami, one of its speciality brand companies, capturing the Agency of the Year honour.

The Network of the Year honour is given to the network whose agencies have the most cumulative points for One Show Pencils won across all disciplines for the year. Over two dozen Ogilvy offices around the world contributed to the recognition by collectively winning 25 Gold, 17 Silver, 25 Bronze and 73 Merit awards for clients including Burger King, Coca-Cola, German Rail, IBM, Jimmy Dean, KFC, Kraft Heinz, Pernod Ricard, SC Johnson, and Sipsmith among others.

Burger King, a client of David, was named Client of the Year with several campaigns recognised this year. ‘Moldy Whopper’, a collaboration between agencies including David Miami and INGO (a joint venture of Ogilvy and Grey, based in Sweden), was named Best of Show. ‘Moldy Whopper’ won Best of Discipline in four categories – Film, Integrated, Print, and Out-of-Home, while ‘Stevenage Challenge’ created by the Miami and Madrid offices of David, was named Best of Social Media. ‘Burn That Ad’, created by David Sao Paulo, also took home pencils across several categories this year.

Piyush Pandey, Ogilvy Worldwide chief creative officer said, ’This recognition is a testament to Ogilvy’s ability to transform business and culture through creativity. We want to thank our clients who entrust us with their brands and congratulate Fernando Machado and everyone at Burger King for winning Client of the Year.’

‘Work by Ogilvy agencies delivered on what The One Show jurors look for: excellence in creativity of ideas and quality of execution. We congratulate the network for a year of great work that inspires the creative community,’ said Kevin Swanepoel, CEO, The One Club.

Read the top 5 stories weekly on WhatsApp or sign up to our newsletter.


Digital Marketing Is Now The King, Queen And Pope

Sugeshni Subroyen, Head of Marketing for the Mint Group of Companies and Director for Mint Inland.

Sugeshni Subroyen, Head of Marketing for the Mint Group, states that living through a global pandemic is historical in many ways and navigating these unchartered waters as a marketer makes her feel almost maverick. It is part of a marketeer’s DNA to see the silver lining in every crisis.

The rules of engagement that defined the last decade have been chucked out the window, ushering in a new way for marketers to connect and engage with their audience. This approach really helped me to survive the last three challenging months in South Africa. As a marketing director for a group of companies scattered across the globe, I have learned many new lessons about positivity and marketing, some very expensive, others eye-opening and truly life-changing.

Timing is everything … until lockdown happens

In early March, we booked a few digital billboards in the Sandton CBD coupled with Google and LinkedIn ads as part of an AI-driven sales campaign. While this campaign was genius, it could not withstand Covid-19. With all ads booked to launch the same day that our President ordered a national lockdown, it was destined to fail as the Sandton CBD was a ghost town for the duration of the flighted billboards.

The lockdown also meant that the economy was spiralling downward, fast, causing businesses to hold on to whatever cash they had. As a result, we needed to shift gear like most South African businesses and change our strategy to fit the new unknown times we operated in.

There is no magic bullet

Not even Chuck Norris could render billboard marketing successful amid a national lockdown. As such, we did not find some magic communication channel that only reached businesses willing to make massive investments during a global economic crisis and grave uncertainty.  Instead, we changed our approach from enabling through selling to empowering through industry leadership.

We increased our focus on thought leadership, made our training resources and digital enablement initiatives free during lockdown, and ensured even closer relationships with our clients to see how we could support them with initiatives, such as rolling out crisis communication apps for those with existing PowerApps licenses.

While our campaign was not successful, we continued to build our brand amid a time when the world turned upside down and turned businesses inside out, and we helped to support businesses and educational institutions around us during a time of crisis.

No more touch and go

Instead, it’s just go go go! I find my days filled with meetings from beginning to end. The beginning of lockdown was filled with solution and go-to-market initiatives to ensure all current assessments, consultations, solutions and products were 100% geared for online distribution and enablement.

The pressure was intense, but us marketeers are made of steel. There is no challenge we will not accept, no solution we will not help build and no limit on the number of webpages we can create! We all pulled together as a company and we did it. It was not touch and go. It was just go!

Speaking of touch, another aspect of lockdown that was hard to come to terms with, was the inability to have face-to-face conversations and interactions with clients and leads when needed. The in-personal aspect was a big loss, but we learned to gear our digital efforts to ensure we were connecting, engaging and establishing ongoing trust.

Documenting history as we go

I read a fascinating piece about how pandemics threaten humanity every 100 years and by far Covid-19 has been the most documented pandemic in history. We have a wealth of information at our fingertips and as content producers, we have the ability to control and guide the narrative in a responsible way.

As South Africans, we create a meme for everything. I guess it’s how we cope with a global pandemic. But even more fascinating is the fact that we are documenting history through every meme, post, article and solution. With no handbook available to help guide us through this global pandemic, we are writing the rule book as we go along.

Marketing is now the king, the queen and the pope

As marketeers, we have always known that we are awesome, but this awesomeness has never shone brighter. During lockdown, an organisation’s online presence, channels and communication was its only way of existing, connecting and growing. As such, we experienced a significant reliance on us creatives to work much earlier in the process with our solutions teams to disrupt the market and craft solutions that speak to Covid-19 related problems.

Leading a creative team during these crazy times meant giving them full autonomy to get on with their projects in a way that makes sense to them. If a team member felt the need for a midmorning run with their sock-chewing puppies to re-energise and bring absolute genius back to the table, then so be it. If a tiara and cape-clad four-year-old princess joined our catch-up calls and made us all laugh, enabling our brains to fire next-level creative ideas during our catch-up meeting, then great. Embrace it!

Ultimately, our new situation is challenging and scary as we are operating both professionally and personally amid the unknown. But amid the uncertainty, the fear and the chaos, we choose to look at the glass half full and see that even amid a global pandemic we have managed to become even more human, humble, and connected, which means we are able to produce more awesomeness, faster.

Read the top 5 stories weekly on WhatsApp or sign up to our newsletter.

This is Modern Marketing
Open chat