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Machine_ Announces Numerous Finalist Spots in Advertising Industry Awards

Machine_ Receives Numerous Finalist Spots in Advertising Industry Awards

Well-known for recognising digital excellence, and often called the ‘Digital Oscars’, the Bookmark Awards is accredited with its ability to continuously move the South African advertising industry forward.

The IAB SA has just announced the finalists in the 14th annual Bookmark Awards, and creative solutions agency Machine_ has announced that they have received 15 finalist spots.

‘As an agency, we’re already extremely proud of the work we’ve been putting out there, and for some truly amazing clients too,’ explained Robyn Campbell, Managing Director of Machine_ in Cape Town, ‘but to get some further recognition from the IAB means a great deal to us.’

Machine_ received finalist spots across several of the eight categories, earning mentions for their work with PepsiCo, Heineken, UCOOK, Sanlam Reality and more. These include:

• Content Marketing Strategy: Transaction Capital Risk Services.
• Email, Direct and Inbound Marketing: Sanlam Reality.
• Use of User-Generated Content: PepsiCo Doritos.
• Social Media Campaigns: Heineken.
• Influencer Marketing: Heineken and UCook.
• Social Media Innovation: Heineken and PepsiCo Doritos.
• Craft, Marketing Copywriting: UCook.
• Craft , Research: UCook.
• Digital Content Marketing: Transaction Capital Risk Services.
• Second Screen Campaign: Heineken,
• Employee Experience Platform: Transaction Capital Risk Services.
• Brand System or Brandfile Platform: Transaction Capital Risk Services.
• Publisher Innovation: Transaction Capital Risk Services.

The final round of judging is still to take place, with the awards ceremony being hosted on Thursday, 28 July.


The DUKE Group Announces Business Impact Index Rankings

The DUKE Group Announces Business Impact Index Rankings
Shannon Delaporte, Managing Director of Mark1.

The MMA SMARTIES Business Impact Index (BII) ranks the marketing industry’s top agencies, brands, advertisers and solution providers who are driving the most significant business impact around the globe through modern marketing campaigns, specifically in the digital arena.

The DUKE Group has shared their rankings announced at the MMA SMARTIES Business Impact Index Africa (BII). Across the Group, DUKE achieved three awards in the top five for Africa, and two awards in the top 10 for EMEA, as follows:


– Creative Agency: DUKE ranked 3rd place.
– Digital/Social Agency: Mark1 joint 2nd and Dialogue 5th place.
– Agency Networks: DUKE Group 1st place.


– Creative Agency: DUKE 8th place.
– Digital and Social: Mark1 2nd place, Dialogue 7th place.

A proprietary methodology developed in collaboration with WARC, a global authority on advertising and media effectiveness, is used to determine business impact. The methodology analyses the finalist and award-winning campaigns from the prior year’s SMARTIES Awards competitions. Attracting thousands of entries from around the globe, the index recognises the best of the best.

Shannon Delaporte, Managing Director of Mark1 commented, ‘What I love about this award is that it focuses on business results, which gives us an opportunity to really demonstrate our expertise in a way that shows how we help our clients grow and achieve their business goals. In the BII rankings, we received awards across various disciplines within the DUKE Group, which beautifully outlines the fact that we work effectively as an integrated team. Team effort all the way.’

The DUKE Group is a full-service communications company comprising of the following independent, award-winning agencies: DUKE, Dialogue, Mark1, Duchess, NUDE and Champ.

+27 21 421 4239

Wunderman Thompson Launches Immersive Metaverse Activation

Wunderman Thompson Launches Immersive Metaverse Activation

Wunderman Thompson has launched the WT Inspiration Beach, custom-built from the ground up in partnership with leading metaverse platform, Odyssey. It features collaboration spaces, a networking lounge area as well as a creative showcase of Wunderman Thompson’s most inspiring pieces of work.

The WT Inspiration Beach is an immersive metaverse activation, celebrating the start of advertising’s biggest festival in Cannes. It allows people from all over the world to experience the agency’s unique take on creativity, content and connectivity. Additional features including an interactive shopping space and a DJ booth will also launch to keep visitors engaged in new ways.

‘Inspiration Kiosks’ have been placed throughout the beach to present Wunderman Thompson’s take on key industry themes including sustainability, IE&D, Data and Technology, Brand Creativity and Effectiveness, Talent and Business Transformation.

Gareth Jones, SVP Global Marketing at Wunderman Thompson said, ‘We’re always looking for innovative ways to create a more inclusive customer experience. This is why we’re excited to launch the WT Inspiration Beach, a virtual activation in the metaverse to allow our clients and colleagues around the world to experience our take on creativity in a unique and highly immersive environment.’

Reid Santabarbara, CEO of Odyssey added, ‘As brands seek to enter the metaverse, many are looking to Wunderman Thompson who are thought leaders in this space. Through our collaboration, we’re able to provide these ambitious brands the most accessible, highest-visual-fidelity streaming metaverse platform on the market today. In creating the WT Inspiration Beach, our product team, led by Odyssey CTO Maxime Long, has captured the creativity and inspiration of advertising’s biggest festival and delivered an experience that demonstrates the limitless opportunities of the metaverse.’

Wunderman Thompson was one of the first agencies to launch their own metaverse, debuting the space at CES 2022. The global network has published two original reports about the rise of this new frontier of customer experience: ‘Into the Metaverse’, launched in September 2021 and the follow-up report, ‘New Realities: Into the Metaverse and Beyond’, launched in May 2022, which found that awareness of the metaverse has more than doubled in less than a year.


Loerie Awards Announces Final Entry Extension And Return To Cape Town

Loerie Awards Announces Final Entry Extension And Return To Cape Town

The Loerie Awards will once again be returning to the City of Cape Town for the 44th edition of the globally renowned festival. The City of Cape Town, a UNESCO City of Design, will serve as more than just a scenic backdrop to the awards. The Loeries plan to hold a number of development focused initiatives within the city.

Some of these initiatives will include a Loeries Career School Roadshow, student workshops, internships and utilisation of talent within the City to create content for the event.

‘The City of Cape Town is truly a premiere global city and we are excited to once again bring the Loeries to this iconic city,’ said Loeries CEO, Preetesh Sewraj. ‘Not only do we plan to fully utilise all facets of the City to celebrate the best creative work from Africa and the Middle East, but we will also be using this as an opportunity to inspire young people to join the brand communications industry through a series of events.’

The Loeries has also secured an exciting line-up of Jury Presidents from around the world to speak at the Loeries International Seminar of Creativity, an event where creative ideas are explored and shared with attendees. Also in attendance will be a host of delegates from the Africa Middle East region who will be involved in judging the thousands of entries received from brands, agencies and production companies who are creating work that is impacting the lives of consumers within the region.

Mayor Geordin Hill Lewis commented, ‘Cape Town is proud to be known as one of the creative capitals of the world. Generations of designers, writers, artists, musicians and others have drawn inspiration from our outstanding natural beauty, diverse cultural landscape, and vibrant communities and urban scene. I’m glad that we’re once again able to gather together to celebrate creative excellence at the Loerie Awards in Cape Town. I wish all nominees the best of luck, and all those attending the Creative Week an inspiring stay in our great city.’

Loeries Creative Week will take place from 3rd to 8th October 2022 and the festival programme with include exciting events such as the awards ceremonies, masterclasses, networking events and entertainment. Attendance to the event is open to the public and tickets will go on sale from August.

Loeries has extended their deadline for the final time to 30th of June 2022. Entries must relate to work undertaken between 1 June 2021 and 30 June 2022. Modern Marketing is a proud media partner of The Loeries.


The Key To Longevity And Healthy Client Relationships For An Agency

The Key To Longevity, Symbiosis And Healthy Client Relationships For An Agency

Creating relationships with new clients and customers may be the recipe for business success, but most creative agencies today are finding it hard to maintain ties that last even five years. With most marriages lasting longer – at eight years on average – this begs the question about how long-term relationships can be improved and nurtured in the industry.

‘I believe maintaining a strong client-agency partnership boils down to three main ingredients: trust, care and ongoing value contribution. Naturally, trust is foundational, but it compounds over time like any relationship. It is essential to work from the position that both parties want to succeed and have an active role to play,’ said TBWA\SA CEO Luca Gallarelli.

Research in the Agency Scope 2021/2022 South Africa study tells us that the average length of a client/agency relationship is 4.3 years for a creative agency, and 4.5 years for a media agency. This means that there are relationships that are longer than that and many that are shorter – but South Africa is in line with the global average for these relationships.

MD of TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris in KZN, Wimpie le Roux, said these poor industry statistics serve to highlight the need for a mindset shift across the industry. ‘A short-term switch after, say, a three-year retainer very often means wasted time on on-boarding a new agency, immersing them in the values and culture, and ensuring the business is fit-for-purpose in the fast-paced digital age, never mind the extensive costs associated with the initial pitch.’

The Agency Scope study recommends that to achieve success and to build better partnerships, relationships should be optimised through regular performance tracking – preferably on an annual basis unless there is a major reason to conduct these more frequently. They say clients and agencies often make the mistake of only conducting relationship management exercises when and if the relationship is in trouble and recommend a more proactive approach so that performance can be maximised on both sides and monitored. That is the optimum way of managing these relationships over time.

Le Roux agreed, saying the value contribution has to be ongoing, month after month, quarter after quarter, year after year. This way, costly, time-consuming and sometimes unnecessary short-term agency turnover and pitches can be prevented, or at least circumvented.

Research shows that the pitching process itself, whether strategic or creative, requires a substantial financial and time investment by agencies – all hard costs. Agencies do not have the luxury of dedicated new business teams, with regular pitching putting immense strain on existing resources. An agency will often put their best teams, strategic intent and creative output on the line, which could easily lead to loss of focus on the existing clients and potential loss of business.

Then there are the emotional costs, as pitching and new business are the life blood of agencies, they put their hearts and souls into pitches and are devastated when they lose. Mathe Okaba, CEO at the Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA), the official industry body, said the relative cost associated with pitching for work has unfortunately been ‘a longstanding proverbial thorn in the side’ of our profession.

‘While the cost is variable and dependent upon the size of the business being pitched for, the reality is that for small to medium agencies, the investment required becomes prohibitive, effectively resulting in the exclusion of the smaller agencies from participating in the pitch process,’ she said.

Historically the ACA recommended a pitch fee of R50,000 to be paid to unsuccessful agencies in lieu of the costs incurred. This in most instances, however, did not cover the cost of the exercise.

Currently the ACA recommends that clients should consider a short list, consisting of a maximum of five agencies, (allowing for small through large agencies to participate) in the final stages of the pitch process. This provides all participants a greater chance of success, and for the smaller agencies, a greater opportunity of being part of and building a more diverse and equitable playing field.

Clearly, there is a lot that needs to be done to fine-tune pitching processes, on-boarding and maintaining relationships. The key to longevity, symbiosis and healthy client relationships for an agency, as a consulting partner, is ensuring it has a voice from the start and that it is heard loudly and clearly when it matters most.

‘Due to the power dynamics in a client-agency relationship, clients are sometimes positioned as ‘all-knowing,’ which could negatively impact creativity, strategy and decision-making. However, the ability to know when to give and when to heed agency inputs – as long as those inputs add value – is a critical component to achieving success and cementing a relationship that reaches its golden anniversary,’ concluded Gallarelli.


Riverbed Welcomes Client Service Director

Riverbed Welcomes Client Service Director
Cecilia Benson, Riverbed.

New Client Service Director, Cecilia Benson, brings 20 years of unparalleled experience to Riverbed, having recently held senior roles within the Publicis Group and Wunderman Thompson respectively.

Said Benson, ‘I have admired Riverbed from afar, and was immediately connected to their Culture of Care as an intrinsic differentiator for customers. Furthermore, to partner with a black female industry leader has always been important to me, and I am honoured to have been given the opportunity to head up the division.’

Benson has worked on both local and global brands in the FMCG, telecommunications, and financial services sectors and over the years has led the development of strategic CRM solutions and partnered with clients on complex digital transformation projects. She has extensive experience leading cross-functional teams and building and maintaining client relationships.

Monalisa Zwambila, CEO and Founder of Riverbed said, ‘I am excited to have Benson join our leadership team. This strategic appointment is part of a series of appointments to build a strong executive team to move the agency forward. We’ve put a lot of time and consideration into finding the right people and believe that Benson will be instrumental in augmenting our customer proposition and playing a critical role in enabling our growth ambitions.’


Creatives Should Think About The Line Between Celebration And Appropriation

What We Have In South Africa Are Ideas
Nkanyezi Masango.

Nkanyezi Masango, Group Executive Creative Director at King James and Associate Director at Accenture Song, discusses his upcoming visit to Cannes Lions 2022 and reflects on the prescient topic of cultural appropriation.

‘Cannes Lions 2022 is shaping up to be one of the most exciting years in the award show’s history, bolstered by the two-year hiatus it took due to the pandemic. Excitement is the defining emotion all the attendees are feeling this year, with a dash of uncertainty as to what exactly to expect. A lot has changed in the past two years, and these changes better reflect and address where we are today as an industry, and as a society at large.

Attending the festival as part of the new Accenture Song is reflective of some of those changes as we’re looking to the future and redefining what marketing and advertising can be, with a new name and identity. It’s a big statement to make but I think this will be a truly historic event for our industry, one we’ll remember and refer to for years to come.

This year’s festival will be an especially busy one for me – I’m a juror, speaker, and I’m also a part of the Creative Academy, which helps young talent reach their full potential.

My first task will be judging in the Health and Wellness category. Today, this category feels incredibly relevant and like one of the most appropriate categories to shine a light on after everyone’s health was thrown into focus. One of the trends I’ve observed in this category is innovation, and a lot of what stands out to me has innovation as its core. Health and Wellness is solutions-focused; it simply needs to be. It’s not just about raising awareness about a medical issue, it’s about proposing solutions.

I’m hugely passionate about the Creative Academy and, outside of my job, mentorship is something I take very seriously. I strive to empower young people in the creative world by opening doors and educating them that such doors exist. I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today without great mentorship and I feel that it’s my responsibility to pay it forward, making sure that the next generation of young creatives have the right access and opportunities to make their mark on the industry.

References and respect

For all the talk of celebration and the industry’s renewed energy, we must also remember that there are issues we need to keep addressing. One of the issues – and the subject of my talk at the festival – is cultural appropriation.

Cultural appropriation remains a prescient topic of discussion because creativity is always in conversation with references and ideas found in other cultures. No one is saying that we need to stop being curious and looking outside of ourselves for inspiration. Rather, the question at hand is how to do it respectfully, so that the cultures we are inspired by are represented and rewarded appropriately.

I can think of countless examples where Zulu warriors or people from the Maasai tribe were cast in a car ad (car ads like to return to this idea often) with the view to ‘celebrate’ their culture, but all it does is use that culture to sell a product – without contributing to it. The brands who engage in this surface level ‘celebration’ get to benefit from the aesthetics of that celebration, while the people whose culture is depicted do not.

The purpose of my talk is all about getting creatives to think about the line between celebration and appropriation, to think beyond aesthetics, and to consider the tangible ways ideas contribute to culture. Are we accelerating or hindering progress? Are we communicating authentically or using someone’s likeness and culture for pure gain? It’s worth remembering that the original composer of The Lion King’s iconic song, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, was Soloman Linda – a South African Zulu man who died penniless while the world enjoyed the fruits of his labour. The movie itself claimed to celebrate African culture and wildlife – is Linda’s treatment in line with what we understand as celebration?

The line between celebration, appropriation, and exploitation remains thin. What we mustn’t do is turn away from the difficult conversation or say that we won’t look outside ourselves for inspiration. As creatives, we have all the tools to address the issue today.

For example, to ensure that references are respectful, the room of decision-makers should have representatives of that culture who can advise from the angle of their authentic lived experience. It should also be stated plainly that in the world of commercials, money is a factor and there’s a lot of it to be made at the expense of others. Using someone’s image to make money, while the people in question make nothing, should never again be seen as celebratory. My talk will encompass all these points to empower the industry to think creatively and ethically at once.

A unique lens

In South Africa, we don’t have the budgets that our counterparts in America or Europe do. However, I think this makes for incredibly interesting work. Without all the resources, we have no tricks up our sleeves to disguise and distract. What we do have are ideas, only the simplest, purest, most brilliant ideas make it to market, with nothing to hide behind. This is the lens I’m bringing to Cannes Lions 2022 as I believe that that kind of pure creativity transcends cultures and budgets. Cannes is the epicentre of creativity and at the end of the day we’re not here to celebrate the glamour or the budgets, we’re here to celebrate brilliant ideas.’


A Quick Guide To UX Jargon

A Quick Guide To UX Jargon
Logan Hing, Strider.

Logan Hing, Product Design Consultant at Strider, outlines jargon used in user experience design for companies of all sizes to be aware of.

Naming a job ‘User Experience (UX) Design’ almost sets it up to be mired in an alphabet soup of acronyms and terminology. UX relies on a language of its own, and understanding it is key so that both designers and clients can understand each other more easily. If you’re baffled by ‘breadcrumbs’ or worried about ‘widgets’, that’s OK. The language is really simple, once you get the hang of it.

Dark User Experience

It really is as ominous as it sounds: a Dark User Experience is a way of designing a digital experience to trick a user into an action or task that results in an unfavourable outcome. That could mean inadvertently getting signed up to a mailing list, and then having to jump through hoops to unsubscribe.

On a less ominous level, a Dark User Experience could stem from a company looking to satisfy its own needs on a digital platform, rather than a user’s. A bank, for example, wants people to open accounts. They can make it simple to open, but then challenging to operate the accounts because the (incorrect) assumption is that once they have the user locked in, they don’t have to worry about retaining them anymore. They could also force a customer to sign up for unnecessary products which suit the bank’s needs, rather than the customer’s.


Breadcrumbs are a secondary navigation system that shows a user’s location in a website or web app. It’s a nod to the story of Hansel and Gretel, who lay down a trail of breadcrumbs to help them find their way back to their house, when they head out.

In UX, breadcrumbs refer to a visual trail of links that depicts the user’s journey through the site or app, where they’ve come from and where they are now in terms of the site’s hierarchical structure. It’s a handy source of contextual information for users that helps them understand where they find themselves on a website. This means they don’t have to click through menus to find navigation options, because the experience is intuitive.

Cognitive Load

This refers to the amount of mental effort required for a user to complete a task. The aim is to minimise the number of clicks a user applies when attempting to achieve a goal. When designing products, services and features, it’s essential to keep the user’s Cognitive Load to a minimum to make it as easy as possible for them to use the platform.

Many businesses want to showcase every bit of content, all features and every aspect of their commercial offering on their digital platforms, but what’s actually more important is making it as simple as possible for someone to find the essential information they need. This means pushing for simpler design, which leads to better adoption of essential products and services because it’s easy for users to find them.


Accessibility deals with using digital design for good. It means designing an experience that is as inclusive as possible for as many customers as possible. That means bearing in mind potential disabilities and accessibility challenges that customers may have and designing an experience that includes them.

It requires a company to think that way across its processes, rather than just in the acquisition phase – or we head back down the Dark UX path. Once you’ve invited someone with accessibility challenges into your digital world, every aspect of their journey with the company needs to cater to those needs.


Top Five Finalists For MAA Rising Star Of The Year Award Announced

Top Five Finalists For MAA Rising Star Of The Year Award Announced

The Mondelēz Marketing Achievement Awards (MAA) Rising Star of the Year Award celebrates great marketers on the rise and future leaders who will serve as role models for other young marketers in years to come. These individuals think differently; they disrupt the status quo; challenge the way we think and redefine the business of marketing. The Rising Star of the Year finalists have been announced.

This award, sponsored by Mondelēz Africa, celebrates the best young marketer under the age of 35 who has demonstrated the potential to become an outstanding industry leader through impactful analytical and creative marketing efforts.

The finalists are Fanelwa Xhiphu, Brand Manager at The Prestige Cosmetics Group; Taryn Jankes, Social Media Specialist at Discovery; Neliswa Mncube, Head of Marketing at LexisNexis South Africa; Pertunia Mabotja, Marketing Manager: Customer Experience at Nando’s; and Jared Patel, Head of Marketing at Sea Harvest Group.

As a purpose-led business committed to building an organisation of marketers with diverse skills, incorporating both technical and visionary approaches, Mondelēz Africa was the natural sponsor for this award category.

Nadia Mohamed, Marketing Director, Mondelēz Africa, says the company views creativity and a strong ability to visualise the ‘brand dream’, supported by analysis of data to draw meaningful consumer insights, as critical skills to a marketer’s success. 

‘Our current landscape is in a constant evolution, further complicated by a highly competitive environment. The most successful marketers are those who are able to leverage a balanced skills set, which encourages transformation through thinking holistically about growth, enabling both the now and next while future-proofing their organisations.’

‘We believe so strongly in this approach that internally, we refer to marketing as ‘humaning’. This places equal emphasis on the importance of creativity as a lever for deeply connecting with our consumers, and on data analysis as a skill to be leveraged to better understand our consumers and anticipate their current and future needs,’ Mohamed explained.

Mondelēz International invests disproportionately in capability programmes that are designed to address business challenges, that are measured by impact on business growth, and that enrich a marketer’s journey in the company.

Mohamed says there are a number of areas within marketing that are critical for delivering sustainable long-term growth. ‘Purpose-led marketing is one such area. We need to elevate our brands beyond just products to become vehicles for change that positively contribute towards society and the environment while delivering against the bottom line,’ she explained. ‘Empathy at scale/digital innovation is another area, which highlights the importance of leveraging first party data as a tool to unlock our ability to connect more meaningfully with consumers while still achieving scale and driving commercial growth.’

Mohamed added that marketing remains an exciting, fast evolving career, and has the following advice for young marketers: ‘Remain curious and open to what is most relevant to marketing today but also to where future growth will come from so your skills may evolve accordingly. The best marketers are those who are commercially minded but complement this with cross-functional breadth. Be brave! It’s those who are brave enough to try to shift culture who eventually do.’

The 2022 Mondelēz MAA Rising Star of the year finalists demonstrated exactly this, simultaneously reflecting this year’s MAA theme, ‘Marketing that means business’, which speaks to the potential of strategic marketing as a critical tool for business success.

In no particular order, the finalists are:

Fanelwa Xhiphu, Brand Manager at The Prestige Cosmetics Group

An experienced brand manager with a celebrated history in the cosmetics industry, Xhiphu’s marketing experience encompasses multiple markets across Sub-Saharan Africa. A key career highlight has been managing global brands such as Yves Saint Laurent, Dolce & Gabbana, Elie Saab, Elemis, OPI, and Philipp Plein and Chopard fragrances. 

Taryn Jankes, Social Media Specialist at Discovery

Driven by remaining at the forefront of purpose-led marketing in South Africa, Jankes has been part of Discovery for nearly 10 years. During this time, she has fulfilled the roles of Reputation Management Consultant, Social Media Consultant, and Social Media Specialist across the Discovery Group, and sits on the editorial advisory team for multiple Discovery executives. She has played a critically acclaimed role in several high-profile Discovery social media campaigns, including Adrian Gore achieving LinkedIn Influencer status and Discovery’s national vaccination campaign.

Neliswa Mncube, Head of Marketing at LexisNexis South Africa

With a 15-year track record developing innovative solutions that deliver bottom-line results, Mncube heads up Digital Marketing Strategy, Content Strategy and Marketing’s contribution to business growth and revenue at LexisNexis. She is responsible for driving the company’s digital marketing expansion and spearheading the firm’s ONE marketing strategy aimed at advancing business growth.

Pertunia Mabotja, Marketing Manager:  Customer Experience at Nando’s 

Her enthusiasm, eagerness and passion for marketing has seen Mabotja rise quickly through the ranks to become the Customer Experience Manager at Nando’s. She ensures the Nando’s vision is fulfilled by conceptualising and implementing creative strategies to successfully deliver new campaigns, touch points and new product developments in Nando’s restaurants, aligned with the marketing brand plan. 

Jared Patel, Head of Marketing at Sea Harvest Group

Over the past 12 years, Patel has grown from a graduate programme recruit to Head of Marketing, buoyed by his constant desire to achieve sales and marketing goals despite challenging market conditions. Through his efforts and that of the management team, the Sea Harvest Group has grown the business significantly, purchased strong businesses in the food sector and the company has listed on the JSE. He is responsible for all facets of marketing for Sea Harvest locally and internationally and its sister firms, Ladismith Cheese and the BM Foods Group which includes the Mediterranean Delicacies brand.

This year’s Rising Star entrants were judges Dr Doug Mattheus, Independent Marketing and Leadership Consultant at Doug M Consultancy; Professor Madéle Tait, Professor in the Department: Marketing Management at Nelson Mandela University; Gugu Mthembu, Chief Marketing Officer at Telkom; and Serisha Pillay, Senior Marketing Manager at Sage and the 2021 winner of the MAA Rising Star of the Year Award.

Speaking on behalf of the panel, Dr Mattheus said the judges were looking for a marketer with an edge. One was who was shaping the future of marketing, and pushing the discipline forward while demonstrating leadership, innovation, forward-thinking, and the ability to strategise for impact and growth.

‘The panel had its work cut out for it, sifting through all the remarkable submissions received to select just five talented finalists. While it was quite a task to whittle these down to the Rising Star of the Year Award winner, we are confident that we have found the right young marketing luminary who best fits this description,’ he said.

The Mondelēz MAA Rising Star of the Year Award winner will be announced at this year’s presentation of awards taking place on 13th July 2022. Modern Marketing is a proud partner of the MAA.


Tips On Achieving Digital Marketing Objectives

Tips On Achieving Digital Marketing Objectives

Chelsea du Plessis, Social Media Manager at Vuma, says one of the biggest challenges holding brands back from meeting marketing objectives and creating a truly engaged online community is inauthenticity. Promoting the brand, its products and services is still taking precedence over bringing audiences content that adds value to their lives.

That being said, true authenticity is not an easy feat to achieve and I don’t think there is a brand that has got it 100% right and managed to build an authentic online community of engaged followers.

And that’s also not to say that social media can’t be used to promote, it is an incredibly effective sales and marketing tool, and the massive growth that social commerce has experienced in just the last few quarters alone speaks to this fact. It’s just how brands seem to be going about it at the moment that leaves me with a few reservations.

Achieving digital marketing objectives of course requires that brands have a properly ideated and effectively executed strategy in place, and that, I believe, involves two key first steps: knowing your audience (who is your target market, what space and context do you exist within as a business) and understanding your value. That is, what value do you bring to South Africans’ lives, and how does your value translate for audiences online. Why should someone choose to follow you and engage with your content?

Once brands have these two crucial aspects down, they have a stronger foundation on which to start building a strong, effective and successful digital strategy. On that note, here’s what brands really need to stop doing as part of their strategic digital approaches from here and into the future:

Stop trying to block the ‘bad stuff’: this is by no means a new piece of digital marketing advice, but the fact that many businesses and brands are still looking to block negative comments from appearing on their channels means it bears repeating. Don’t delete the negative stuff, you simply have to know that if you are going to share content online, people are going to engage with it. And whether their feedback is positive or negative, there is still a lot of value to gain from it.

Don’t just jump on the digital bandwagon: I’ve seen many instances of brands getting pressured into creating a profile on a particular social media channel, simply because the channel is popular. Again, this comes back to knowing your audience, your brand and your specific value-add. Your content is just going to get lost, and engaging on the channel will become a burden instead of aiding your brand and business. Be targeted, do your research and then post.

Stop creating content for content’s sake: this is a classic case of ‘quality over quantity’. Don’t overproduce content and share as much as you possibly can online simply for the sake of saying something. Make your goal to produce quality content that intentionally and strategically resonates with your audience, and that’s tailored for your different digital platforms. Be consistent with when and how you post. It’s also important to track your objectives against your online activity, then re-evaluate and refine where necessary.

Don’t expect to move mountains in minutes: despite the instantaneous, ‘always-on’ nature of digital, it’s important to understand that results will not happen overnight. From boosted Facebook posts to influencer partnerships, getting results takes time, don’t be disheartened or frustrated if your website doesn’t immediately rank top of the search engine results pages, or if you aren’t racking up high sales volumes within a week of an intervention. Be patient, keep at it and trust the process.


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