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The Resurgence of Single Source Data

After a few years of relying on individual media currencies provided by separate media owners because of the lack of an independent products and brands survey, single-source data is once again flexing its muscle and reflecting the totality and complexity of the South African society. Having already shown the strength of its data in quarterly releases, in October 2021, the Marketing Research Foundation (MRF) will be presenting the first full-year data of Marketing All Product Survey (MAPSTM).

In the past South Africa was at the forefront of data collection and SAARF’s AMPS survey was the general go-to for all media planners and strategists. However, the unfortunate demise of this single-source data led to a void in the media planning process, and many agencies were forced to use old data to try and track an increasingly changing, segmented and fragmented market. The current scenario where there are individual JICs reporting on their own media currencies have further complicated this process.

“The MRF was born as an independent, non-profit company, acting as the custodian and repository of research expertise for the marketing industry and their advertising industry partners,” says MRF’s CEO, Johann Koster. “The MAPS survey has been introduced to fill the void that marketers have been clamouring for.”

The Foundation’s main objectives are to establish, commission and manage comprehensive, valid, reliable, and continuous consumer behaviour research, surveys, investigations and reports, that provide data for targeting and segmentation, as well as multi-product/brand usage and multi-media information that reflects the totality and complexity of the South African society.

“MAPS offers the familiarity and comfort of AMPS but is modernised, updated and greatly enhanced,” comments Koster. “MAPS is designed to be independent of any commercial interest and to be the heart of an organisations consumer data and insights strategy. MAPS should form the focal point for developing marketing strategies including market sizing and segmentation, consumer profiles, brand profiles, media profiles, etc. Once these elements have been compiled, the media currencies should be used for detailed media planning and purchasing.”

With the advent of the COVID pandemic, it was believed that MAPS would probably be a pipe dream.  But after receiving the results of the first 5000 interviews, followed by March and June, the MRF were back on track and the general response from the market has been very positive. Next month will see the validation of years of work that has been put into MAPS when the full-year dataset is released to subscribers.

And MAPS is certainly gaining the support of the marketing industry! The research is transparent and free of influence from commercial interests – allowing marketers to make informed choices based on data generated by the input of their own questions. The completely modernised survey, including innovations such as multi-platform behaviour, decision-making questions and geo-codable data, enable synergies between media planning and marketing strategy resulting in cost-effective advertising.

This large-scale sample and single source data will enable the MRF, in collaboration with MASA and other industry partners, to develop a much needed Segmentation Model, which will replace the old LSM segmentation.  This model will be shaped in partnership with industry stakeholders and fellow JICs. The industry urgently requires one segmentation model that everyone believes in and that can be used for years to come by the entire marketing and advertising industry.

Like the proverbial phoenix, single-source data is on the rise and for the first time in five years, the marketing and media industry has demographic, intermedia, behavioural, product and brand data in one survey.

For additional information on MAPS – http://mrfsa.org.za/maps/

Social Media: Facebook –      https://www.facebook.com/MRFSouthAfrica/

LinkedIn –        https://www.linkedin.com/company/mrfsa

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BRC announces interim results to the TAMS audit

In the beginning of 2021, The Broadcast Research Council of South Africa (BRC) announced its intention to commission a more comprehensive TAMS (TV Audience Measurement Survey) audit due to rapid changes in the video viewing landscape, a rise in zero ratings, loadshedding and greater challenges faced by technicians servicing the TAMS panel due to COVID-19. While the audit is currently being conducted, the first interim report has already been received.

“While we will not be sharing the minutiae of the interim reports, we will rather make the broader analysis of further interim reports available, covering separate areas, as we receive them,” says BRC’s CEO, Gary Whitaker. “The consolidated final TAMS audit report will be accessible to the industry towards the beginning of October 2021.”

The TAMS panel itself has been placed in the spotlight recently, particularly as there has been limited panel management over the past 12 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions surrounding the various Lockdown levels.

While the full audit is still being conducted, the current interim report covers, firstly, environmental review, a qualitative survey of factors including power supply, viewing on other platforms and devices and secondly, a deep analysis of the market landscape and its changes from recent years.

The interim report shows that there are multiple drivers impacting measured viewing performance with four main areas contributing overall. These are:

  1. Changes in the structure of TV households. As the market moves more to digital services like DStv, OpenView, DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television) etc, the choice of channels increase to the consumer. This means less time spent watching the larger Free to Air (FTA) channels, resulting in more fragmented audiences. The decline in analogue homes has accelerated in the past couple of months and will continue as the government rolls out their plans to switch off analogue altogether.
  2. Performance within platform and a channel’s ability to maintain or grow share of broadcast TV within a platform. For instance, SABC has seen a decline in performance across all platforms. As the structure of the market has changed the make-up of FTA channel viewing has evolved. Analogue only homes made up two thirds of SABC average monthly audiences in 2019. By May 2021 the platform contribution of analogue only dropped to 52%, with DStv, OpenView and DTT contributing more.
  3. The share of broadcast TV as a proportion of total measured TV. There are strong indications that analogue and DTT homes are supplementing their viewing with non-broadcast content as more streaming media channels become available to South Africans. The stay-at-home lockdown that the country has been under over the past 18 months has accelerated this trend as families seek more home entertainment.
  4. The impact of Loadshedding/load reduction is more unpredictable and can result in significant declines in overall viewing in the short term. While the other factors investigated are more gradual and can be considered in planning, loadshedding and load reduction cannot be predicted - particularly weeks or months in advance. The impact on reporting samples is greater than the impact on ratings although the weighting process makes some corrections for the lower samples.

According to the report, all these factors can and do impact performance and reporting samples and increase the likelihood of zero-rated spots. As we know, loadshedding is the most unpredictable and most severe of these factors.

In the meantime, certain recommendations have been made based on the current findings.

  1. Minute-by-minute data. Consideration should be given to moving the currency to minute-by-minute data as opposed to the current second by second data as it will marginally stabilize the data at the most granular spot by spot level, whilst having no impact at a program and channel level.
  2. Consider the timing and narrative around universe updates. Timing should allow for plans to be adjusted which should encourage planners to confirm their schedules and projections. Possibly more trading target markets should be included in the comparative tables.
  3. Source data for planning. More recent weeks of source data would be the best source for planning as opposed to the same time a year ago.
  4. Analogue Switch off. For Free to Air (FTA) channels, the impact of the analogue switchover should be factored in. This is more relevant for middle to lower income target markets.
  5. Loadshedding. While loadshedding cannot be planned, from a post campaign perspective the performance should also be run using “loadshedding No” included in the target market definition for a particular day. This will give the performance against the fully available target market. However, the software systems do not currently support PCAs over multiple days being run in this manner.

“The BRC is and will always strive to ensure that all of our data is correct, in good health, reflective of the situation and representative of the universe,” concludes Whitaker.

For more information on the BRC visit https://brcsa.org.za/

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Digital Devaluation is rife – go for quality not quantity

By Andrew Dabbs, Digital Media Strategist at The MediaShop

A trap that many digital departments tend to fall into is to buy the cheapest online inventory, regardless of whether they are sites that you or your clients would usually steer far clear of.

Justifying cheap inventory for the sake of ‘audiences’ will only hurt the brand, and your reputation in the long run - so buy right the first time. The better the campaign’s content and quality of the online platforms the brand is being advertised on, the more likely the brand will enjoy an excellent audience.

With the digital media industry and everyone playing in the same sandpit of budget, we often get told that we can do the same as someone else at a lower price. But I believe that we need a standard of what is being brought to the table, we need to have publishers and inventory vetted so that agencies can work with accredited partners. Don’t we do this with OOH sites that need to have council approval? So why should digital be any different?

When it comes to buying cheap inventory, you’ll never see a TV planner choosing odd spots and time slots so that we can “save” budget. No, the planner works to the agreed upon AR’s and buys the right spots at the right price to ensure that the client’s ads are being seen by, most importantly, the right audience. So why when it comes to digital do agencies insist on buying at the cheapest cost?

Overall, the digital world is still a mystery for many, exacerbated by the fear of fraud, cyber-attacks, social backlash and concerns of where content is placed. But it’s not all bad out there folks, there are many good people, multiple good publishers, good tech, good agencies and really great clients. We just need to find the balance between quality and quantity. We need to invest in the right people to get the right results and most of all, we need to all upskill ourselves to know more.

It is possible to stop the devaluation of digital as a collective and no longer stand for substandard products or dream ideas of first world tech that just don’t exist. We don’t stand for substandard delivery on other media platforms, so digital should not be any different.

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Ultimate Braai Master is returning for Season 7

What comes to mind when mentioning a South African social custom or a way of cooking outdoors? You guessed right! The good old Sishanyama or Braai. Whatever your preference is: boerie, chops, chicken or even a vegetarian dish, every Saffa knows it’s going to be a great time around the fire when gathering with friends and family.  

South Africans enjoy getting together with their Bra (brah) or bru for a “chop n dop” in fact it’s a traditional pastime in this country. So, all avid braaiers will be glad to hear that the Ultimate Braai Master is back for a seventh season in September.  Equally exciting is that host Justin Bonello and judges, Pete Goffe-Wood and Benny Masekwameng are all back, and ready to challenge a whole new group of contestants!

The incredibly successful Ultimate Braai Master, a South African born reality TV series, is being shot in the exquisite Nelson Mandela Bay area in August and September featuring contestants who have been selected from across South Africa.  Little do they know that the braai motto ‘rain, wind or shine – we braai’ is going to literally test their will to stay in the competition.

This season’s Ultimate Braai Master will be brought to you by Takealot in association with Castle Lager, coordinated by marketing integration specialists G2 Connection.

“The last 18 months have been a trying time for all South Africans, so I was delighted by the high standard of talent that applied to be a part of UBM - so much so that making the final teams’ decision was really tough,” commented Justin Bonello.  “We also spent time identifying great locations in the Nelson Mandela Bay area. We wanted locations that are going to test both the contestant’s resilience and cooking ability.  It will be a very exciting series.”

The return of Benny and Pete completes the trio.  “What I most enjoy about Ultimate Braai Master is how the show’s diversity unites everyone around one fire.  I really enjoy the innovation and creativity that this diverse group brings to the show.  The camaraderie that is built during the shoot endures long after the show has aired,” says Benny.

It is going to be great viewing from the get-go, and this year’s theme is “Under Fire” because contestants are going to find it very hot all the time.  South Africa, get ready for these famous words at the start of every episode … “Game On”!

Who will take ownership of the next Ultimate Braai Master title?  Be sure to catch e.tv every Saturday night from the 25th of September at 18h00 to find out.

For more information on the show, please contact Gail Hoffmann Parrish at gail@g2connection.co.za or visit the website https://ultimatebraaimaster.co.za/.

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What’s that sound? Everybody look what’s going down!

Moti Grauman, Digital Media Strategist at The MediaShop explores the Audible Logo as a crucial part of branding.

What is a brand?

As a marketer with more than 20 years' experience, I should probably know, but I am not sure that I do. We talk about things like brand building, brand love and affinity, salience, resonance and mental availability. We know what we mean, as do our clients, but that's not the same as really understanding the essence of a brand.

In his book Sapiens, Noah Yuval Harari argues that a brand is simply an agreed social construct that's lacking anything substantial. In fact, the elements of which any brand comprises are arbitrary. A brand is a not a logo, because logos change, it's not the building because companies move, it's not the management team, because employees move on, and it's not even the product, because brands diversify or change direction completely.

Inherently we know that a brand is more than that even if we can't put a finger on it. Apple is a brand because we all agree that Apple is a brand, we recognise the Apple Icon, but almost nothing about the company today existed within the Apple founded by Jobs and Wozniak in 1976.

Actually, what Harari is really getting at, is that a brand is the story it tells.

Its common knowledge that the average person is bombarded by about 7000 branded messages per day. Equally well known, is that we are not even aware of 99.9% of them, and of the 0.1% that we are aware of, we consciously absorb the message of, at best one or two.

In light of the above we must ask: does the constant branding exercise make a difference? We know it does on a subconscious level, but does that translate into a meaningful action at some point? Conversely, can a brand be damaged by the flotsam and jetsam of modern branding?

A few years ago, I heard something that fascinated me. It turns out it wasn't true, but the idea is intriguing.

By way of introduction - most of us remember our first mobile phone, especially if it was a Nokia. I was lucky enough to have the 6110. But in this context, it's not the model that's important, it's the default ring tone. No doubt you remember it: tulalala tulalala tulala la la – this obviously doesn't do it justice, but its playing in my head perfectly.

Hear it (and its evolution)!

It was based on a classical composition called Grand Vals by the Spanish Composer Francisco Tarrega, who is probably turning in his grave at the thought of what a really beautiful piece of music has ultimately become.

In 1994, Nokia selected this as their ring tone in an effort to create what was the world's first audible logo. By then many brands had an easily recognisable jingle or catch phrase, but what makes Nokia different is that they set out to create a unique sound that clearly identified the brand as unambiguously and as clearly as their visual Logo. This is already inaccurate as its demonstrably true that by this time many brands already had Audio Logos.

But as the story goes, the experiment worked and failed simultaneously. It worked in that everybody recognises the ring tone and knows it as Nokia, it failed (miserably some would say) in that it damaged the brand by creating an unsatisfactory association. It would seem that the ringing of a mobile phone is linked to stress, and therefore in the mind of the consumer Nokia was strongly associated with a stressful and often physiological response. Sweaty palms, a racing heart and a sinking sick feeling in the stomach is not the ideal response a brand wants to illicit.

The reason the story is plausible is that memories differ depending on the sense that created them. Seeing a logo every day may build up a brand association but hearing it will create an altogether different result. Together, a Visual brand and an Audio brand create a far stronger presence.

Ta da da ta da – I'm Loving it. You didn't read that, you heard it, and at the same time you probably visualised the Golden Arches.

Some brands, like McDonalds and Apple have had a "Sonic Logo" as far back as 2003 and 1984 respectively. Microsoft's sound Trademark goes back to 1995. Although it's entirely possible that it wasn't necessarily intended as a "logo"

Both Apple and Microsoft incorporated their audible logo into the consumer's user experience, further entrenching it in the mind.

So why, aren't more brands experimenting with Audible Logo's.

It turns out that lots of brands are (think about Intel, Netflix, the MGM Lion and 20th Century Fox…..) and like everything else in Media and Marketing, it's a science.

Veritonic has built tools and Market intelligence platforms specifically designed to help marketers with their Audio marketing – this includes everything from Sonic Logos to Podcast Marketing and their website includes an Audio Ad Search and Ranking system so Brands can see how their Audio matches up to competitors. It's pretty interesting stuff.

Lucas Murray of Made Music Studio says (Marketing Dive Anatomy of a Sonic Logo): "In fact, every successful sonic logo was created with intelligence, artfulness and purpose. Some companies know this and elegantly bring their brand to life through sound and music. Some companies do not, and either create an uninspired audio cue mismatched to their brand or never think to create a sonic identity at all. What is clear is that the gulf between these two types of brands is growing wider and wider as audio-first mediums, apps and experiences continue to rise in popularity. The simple fact is that if you want to reach into people's brains, hearts and pocketbooks in 2021, you must have a strong, well-designed audio presence."

That makes perfect sense. It aligns with breaking through the clutter, it matches Harari's definition of Brand, it's in sync with the need to reach consumers multiple times on various platforms.

No doubt the etymology of a brand as it refers to a product or company, is the actual Hot Iron Brand intended to burn a mark into something. Today the objective is to burn that something into the mind and consciousness of the consumer.

That's not an easy job to do, and I agree with Murray, marketers need to exploit every available tool to ensure that of the 7,000 daily messages users are exposed to everyday, their brands get through. That means: Omni-channel, multi-sensory and ubiquitous.

Audio Logos are another instrument in the marketing symphony.

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The Good Things Guy celebrates six years of sharing good news

Six years ago, one South African citizen turned a reckless challenge into a random act of kindness. Fast forward a few years and today the Good Things Guy platform reaches over four million people every month sharing good news stories about South Africa and ordinary South Africans.

Good Things Guy founder Brent Lindeque says that after launching the website six years ago with the idea to share good news has changed his life completely. “What I didn’t know at the time is how much this little concept would change my entire life in the process. It would help me find my purpose and give me the best job title in the world.”

Today the platform employs a team of writers who capture every day good news that constantly streams into Brent’s inbox and social media platforms. “There’s a LOT,” he says. “The amount of feel-good news about our country coupled with the good deeds and initiatives from every day South Africans humbles our team on a daily basis.”

Brent over the years, has proven the misconception that good news doesn’t sell – an average social media post reaches over 500 000 people with close on 400 000 loyal followers across the Good Things Guys Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube platforms on a daily basis. The site’s top five stories are also displayed on various outdoor and indoor digital screens across South Africa.

With a 76% South African and 24% global readership across all ages, it’s clear that we all want more good news.

“My intention at the time of starting Good Things Guy was to bring a little sunshine into the lives of others, to bring hope to people who felt despair and perhaps offer some balance in a world that can sometimes feel overwhelmingly sad,” says Brent. “I wanted to share one good news story every single day and to make people proud of South Africa and remind everyone of all the good things happening in our beautiful country and the world.

Just looking at the last year… this pandemic, the lockdown, the anger, the sadness, the trauma and the pain. We have all been through the most. But even through all of that, in all that tragedy, every single day, something good happens, and I got to report on it every day.

I really do have the best job title in the world, but Good Things Guy is so much more than just me. It’s become a real business, with real writers, winning real awards, creating real change by finding real joy and sharing it with others.”

Good Things Guy has become one of the leading news sites in South Africa and has grown from one person with a simple idea to a full team that brings good news to South Africans every single day! The website is growing daily, with the highest reach achieving over 10 million people in a single month.

The Good Things Guy can be found on all social media platforms and at www.goodthingsguy.com

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BRC announces next Infinite Dial study

The Broadcast Research Council of South Africa (BRC) will be overseeing the next iteration of Infinite Dial, the leading study on digital audio from Edison Research. The South African edition of the study, set to go infield in August 2021, is sponsored by Triton Digital®, the global technology and services leader to the digital audio and podcast industry, in association with the National Association Of Broadcasters' (NAB) Commercial Radio Committee.

“The Infinite Dial study, which debuted in 2019, explores the consumption of audio among South Africans living within the major metro commercial areas, covering the upper two of the three SEM Supergroups (or upper three of the five SEM Clusters),” says BRC’s CEO, Gary Whitaker.

This year, due to Covid, the research will be accomplished by Computer Aided Telephonic Interviews (CATI) as opposed to the face-to-face interviews completed in 2019. A total of (at least) 1500 consumers, aged 15+, will be interviewed with the data weighted to reflect the gender, age, and race of the metropolitan population.

“We are pleased to support the return of The Infinite Dial study in South Africa,” said John Rosso, President of Market Development at Triton Digital.  “The study will provide broadcasters, online audio publishers, podcasters, advertisers and the financial community with insightful data around South African consumption of streaming radio, online music and podcasts, as well as the usage of smart speakers and more.”

As demonstrated in the 2019 study, the continued power of broadcast media remains clear thanks mainly to its ability to keep up with and to navigate the digital world. Considering that the previous study was conducted before Covid, consumers demand and appetite for entertainment and news has grown significantly, especially through technologies and platforms that enable easier and more accessible content.

For example, United Stations’ audio streaming grew by 100% to one million streams per month across its network of radio stations and websites since the start of the pandemic* and Jacaranda FM, held the record for the most podcast downloads in a single day towards the end of 2019**.

Some of the highlights from the 2019 survey indicate that 44% of radio listening at home by the South African major metro commercial population was on a non-radio device, 39% listened to online audio in the past month and, while still in its infancy in South Africa, 22% are aware of podcasting, and 19% of the population have ever listened to a podcast.

“Technology is permanently evolving! In South Africa, the cost of data is coming down and broadband is becoming more and more accessible to the average person. Broadcast media is perfectly positioned to take advantage of these positive changes, especially in a post-Covid world,” concludes Whitaker.

“We are anticipating huge growth in these areas and we’re looking forward to viewing the shifts in digital use and how we (South Africans) now compare to international consumers when it comes to digital audio, radio, mobile, smart speaker, podcast consumption and social media.”

For more information on the BRC visit https://brcsa.org.za/

* https://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/12/217393.html

** https://www.mediaupdate.co.za/media/147751/jacaranda-fm-2019-podcast-downloads-soar-despite-lack-of-awareness

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The Luxury Brand Landscape

By Teresa van den Berg, Media Strategist at The MediaShop

For some years now I've been fortunate to work on the Louis Vuitton account. It's one of the most valuable and iconic brands in the world, with a brand value of about $47.2 billion USD in 2019. After a short interlude I'm back looking after the media interests of this client again. It naturally brought me to the question of the current luxury brand landscape and the impact of the pandemic on this sector.

The 19th edition of the Bain Luxury Study states that the luxury industry has been heavily impacted by the Covid-19 crisis in 2020. The overall luxury market shrank by 20% to 22% at current exchange rates, and is now estimated at approximately €1 trillion globally, back to its 2015 levels.

Despite the pandemic, the global Ultra-High-Net-Worth (UHNWI) population is set to grow by 22% over the next five years. Much of that growth is being driven by new generations of UHNWIs, born in the digital era. Bain & Company notes that Millennials and Generation Z accounted for 47% of luxury consumers in 2018 and for 33% of luxury purchases. Younger generations are set to drive 180% of the growth in the market from 2019 to 2025.

The turmoil of Covid-19 has been a catalyst for profound change in the way global luxury consumers live and shop. Various luxury players reported changes in buying behaviour as consumers' social routines adapted to lockdowns and physical distancing restrictions. High-end and low-end luxury items proved more resilient than those in the middle of the range.

It goes without saying that Online is set to become the leading channel for luxury purchases. But in order to remain relevant, brands need a new approach to attract luxury shoppers.

Augmented and virtual reality are digital tools utilised more and more. Other novel digital tools luxury brands are utilising is the ability for clients to try on goods digitally. Pinterest has released an AR tool for users in the US called Try On. The front-facing camera enables users to try on different shades of beauty products, while a swipe up feature takes them straight to the brand's website to purchase.

According to The Drum.com, one of the best ways to attract this market is through video, which sells a brand's lifestyle and heritage. Although YouTube has been the reigning platform for video, IGTV (an integrated platform within Instagram) is growing in popularity, as is the use of podcasts to reach UHNWIs. According to Saks' senior vice president and general manager of beauty, jewellery and home, podcasts enable them to “tell a longer and more intimate story” offering the department store the “ability to connect with guests on a very personal level.”

Influencer marketing is also still a crucial part of many ultra-luxury and mass market brand social strategies, but consumers are also experiencing influencer fatigue. In the luxury market, using influencers has always been fraught with concerns about authenticity and cheapening the brand. HNW and UHNW audiences only respond to brands that align with their values and social image. It seems that the traditional luxury influencer model isn't working anymore due to often inflated or fake influencer follower bases.

In its place, trend forecaster WGSN has coined the term Genuinfluencers in December 2020 referring to passionate individuals who are more interested in sharing advice than selling brands or products. They often identify as creators instead of influencers and would rather be noticed for their high-quality content than their follower count.

Predicted to be one of the biggest trends for 2021 and beyond, Genuinfluencers are typically topic experts in a certain niche, whose followers are genuinely interested in what they have to say, trusting their knowledge and seeing their advice as valuable and relevant to their interests. One would typically not see a Genuinfluencer promoting a wide variety of inconsistent products.

As an example, Gucci chose a retired fisherman, Gerald Stratford (pictured below), who loves gardening, especially 'big veg' to be the star of a collaborative video shoot with Highsnobiety for Gucci's Off The Grid 2021 collection. Gucci Off The Grid is the brand's more environmentally-focused collection, made mostly of ECONYL, a type of Nylon regenerated from abandoned fishing nets, old carpets and offcuts. The collaboration makes sense due to Stratford's passion for self-sufficient vegetable growing and love for nature.

On Facebook, the video got 1.2k likes, 53 comments and 89 shares, while the story about the so-called 'Veg King' working with Gucci was covered positively by a broad selection of publications including the Telegraph.

Working with Genuinfluencers allows brands to show their support of social issues through a trusted external voice, making their views seem authentic and reassuring their audience that their activism is not simply a marketing ploy to sell more services or products.

What is the luxury market outlook for the future? Bain forecasts growth that ranges from around 10% - 19% depending on a variety of factors such as macroeconomic conditions, the evolution of Covid-19 and the speed of return to travel globally.

They anticipate four growth engines to profoundly reshape the luxury market by 2025:

  • Chinese consumers will become a dominating nationality for luxury, growing to represent over 45% of global purchases.
  • Mainland China is to become the biggest luxury market.
  • Online is set to become the leading channel for luxury purchases.
  • Younger generations (Generations Y and Z) will be the biggest buyers of luxury, representing over two-thirds of global purchases.

Luxury players will need to not only consider economic motivations, but social motivations as well, transforming their operations and redefining their purpose to meet new customer demands and retain their relevance, especially for younger generations, who are set to drive 180% of the growth in the market from 2019 to 2025.

There will be no more talk of the luxury industry anymore, but of the market for “insurgent cultural and creative excellence.” Bain concludes that in this space, winning brands will be those that build on their existing excellence while reimagining the future with an insurgent mind-set.

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An update on the Attention Economy

Isla Prentis, Intelligence Lead at Tirisano Consulting, a division within The MediaShop

Let’s rewind to the beginning of last year. We were living in a world of increasing information and distractions. A world where we hadn’t even really heard of Covid-19. So much has changed since then, but when it comes to attention, the fight became a whole lot tougher as distraction took a giant leap forward.

We are constantly asked for the best way to win the fight in the attention economy: there is no golden formula and no single answer to the question. As with so many things in life, we need to stop worrying about the answers and go back to the questions.

Questions lead to understanding, not just knowledge. Ultimately, we’re trying to connect with a human being. A consumer is a person before they are a target market or audience bucket and although there’s a world of information about how to build a successful brand, some of it is contradictory.

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My advice is to absorb as much as possible, understand all the options and the science, and then figure out the right questions to ask. Once you know what they are, the answers will start to write themselves from the understanding that you have built. You can have the same starting point and destination, and still take a different path to get there.

My favourite word at the moment is balance. In life, we’re always told to pick a lane, pick an answer. But I truly believe that it’s all about balance. How do you balance up the different options to find the best possible answer?

There’s so much talk about engagement these days, but we need to ask ourselves what it really is. Is it a metric for your media buying? It could be, but that’s not all it is. It’s the content that determines the engagement.

In a world saturated with content, we need to make sure that our message (big or small) draws the consumer in — after all, brands no longer have the control or power.

Depending on what you’re trying to achieve, you might be trying to get the consumer to stay for a short or long while, but either way, the most important part is getting their attention. This world in which the consumer is in control demands authenticity and bravery.

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Together with authenticity and bravery, this is where we introduce creativity to the conversation. There are many definitions of creativity, and so there should be given the nature of the concept. For me, creativity is finding the unexpected solution.

Everything in life starts with a question or a challenge and creativity is simply solving it in an unexpected way. Make sure that you inject creativity into everything that you do. Constantly seek to find the unexpected answer, or even better — the unexpected answer to an unexpected

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If I huff and I puff…will the big bad wolf blow your house down?

Dashni Vilakazi, Managing Director at The MediaShop Johannesburg encourages companies to take a hard look at their own accountability and corporate culture.

There are many factors that could be protecting your house from coming down and not achieving real business results. I would venture that accountability and corporate culture would be two of these. Whether you’re leading a small team or a full company, the power to deliver and exceed key results really does matter and accountability is key.

A business’s corporate culture and spirit are major factors leading the accountability movement, it makes results possible and sustainable. Winston Churchill once said, “We shape our buildings and then these structures shape us” – this is indicative of the powerful resonance a good quality performance management process can deliver when seeking good results.

I believe that it should also be every employee’s ethical responsibility to take control of a certain amount of business ownership to really understand the issues at hand and the desired results.

As a media agency, clients hire us as the experts to achieve their objectives and it’s our responsibility to realise these and then weigh up the results accordingly. Once achieved, it’s time to stretch accountability in yourself and your team to adjust the end game and magnify those results even further.

How does this impact the culture when you communicate business objectives to the team? When both parties are in synergy and have a good understanding of the company’s objectives, behaviour and actions combine to steer demonstrable ownership, motivation and engagement.

The practice of partnering with employees to define key results timeously and positively also impacts a company’s ownership culture. When the process and result is congruent, there is a systemic response that compounds trust, aggregation of ownership and a clear sense of accountability. An ownership and response culture then begins.

Engagement with employees is often overlooked but your frontline team should never be excluded as they need to be aware of key objectives so that they can shape the customer brand experience, which will positively reflect on the bottom line.

Sometimes however, this can go awry. A disconnect materialises when the performance management process fails to link up the macro key objectives to an individual’s key performance indicators in an understandable and customised method.

Accountability must be tracked consistently through weekly and monthly tracking metrics that presents a triage in the dashboard of delivery. This enables the employee’s productivity to run in tandem to the macro business objectives. Every piece of work should be connected to the company’s organisational imperatives. Repetition is vital until the message reaches home.

When strength and tenacity is injected into a muscularly strong management process that is being tracked consistently, it allows for adjustments to be tailored more easily to address a changing business environment. This will positively and proficiently impact action.

When the key primacy for results change, so should the company’s tactics. The resultant effect of not modifying these dashboards and project plans immediately, drives experience dissonance from team to customer, allowing the big bad wolf passage into your structure.

Engagement across the whole value chain when leading this adjustment is so critical as it supports the value system of trust and partnering with your team. Ownership, greater engagement and leadership will drive better management control for resolving business achievements.

To maximise business efficacy, defend and protect your company’s vulnerability - create an authentic open-door culture that speeds up the ability to solve problems and deepen real engagements.

Protect your house from the big bad wolf and cement your brick force structure so solidly so that he cannot even get in through the chimney of discord.

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