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We need to like you – why client agency relationships matter

Herman Degener, Digital Media Strategist at The MediaShop

The other day I was attending the briefing of a highly sought after account. It’s a piece of business which I’m rather passionate about and have had the privilege of working on before. When the CMO was wrapping up his presentation, he said a few things about relationships and chemistry; “this” he said…”is a marriage!”, and “we need to like you!” he said.

Given that we were all there with fellow shortlisted agencies, it’s fair to assume we all had the necessary skills, access to technology and the experience the client needed, but the emphasis was on the relationship. This got me thinking about client-agency relationships, especially with technology literally eroding the workplace; just how relevant, or valid, is the client-agency relationship these days? Clearly, to this client it‘s super important, which was great to hear!

There’s a saying that Brian Solis coined called digital-Darwinism, it’s when technology and society evolves faster than humans. Scary, I know. But similar to how we all thought cookie-based targeting was the silver bullet to all our marketing challenges, we are starting to realise that perhaps technology doesn’t have all the answers, and that as humans we are still exceptional at the one thing technology cannot do: have an emotional relationship.

It still beggars belief that client-agency contracts are finite; it’s not like when you marry your partner you only commit to a three year term! So why is it different in business? It’s only after a few years of working together (akin to moving in together as a couple) do you really get to know each other, and often just when you’re getting to know each other and establish highly productive ways of working, the partnership ends and the whole process starts again with a new ‘spouse’.

Getting back on point… right, so, to both clients and agencies alike, what are some of the ways we can enjoy our oft-fleeting relationships? I did some research online as well as some old-school human-to-human research, and here’s what I found:

 Communication

It goes without saying, right? But then why are so many relationships strained by a lack of clear and unambiguous communication? We communicate clearly with our friends and family because we feel comfortable enough to ask silly questions without fear of ridicule (well, mostly). Yet in a business relationship, we tend to use fancy terms and TLA’s (Three Letter Acronyms) to sound knowledgeable and important. Meanwhile we’ve just strained the relationship through miscommunication, and no-one wants to ask the so-called silly question. In his biography, Elon Musk talks about how he banned the use of acronyms in his companies without his written approval, for obvious reasons.

 Check your ego at the door!

No one likes an egomaniac or narcissist, and in the client-agency relationship egos are not exactly scarce. One of the best marketers I had the privilege of working with, Roland Reid who was Marketing Director at Jaguar Land Rover South Africa at the time, used to always remind us that we were there to progress the brand, not our egos. Agencies are not always the guilty party here, but mostly we are. We all want to impress the client so much that our egos usurp the primary reason we’re all there, to solve business problems. When we forget our egos and put energy into solving the business challenges first, relationships foster, and everyone wins.

 Warts ‘n all

With social media being what it is, no agency is going to try and pull a fast one. If they did, the court of public opinion would write the death sentence for them. As agencies, we are in the business of helping our clients reach their business goals, to do great work and to be fairly compensated for it. The best relationships are formed when everyone plays open cards, with no hidden agendas. When the latter prevails, all the energy available on both client and agency side goes into achieving strong business results.

 Honesty

The problem with emotion is that it gets in the way of logic. It’s like the ex-partner: your friends are like “wow, what took you so long?”, as if you were oblivious to your ex-partner’s shortcomings. You weren’t, but because you liked, ahem, loved them, you didn’t have the heart to give them negative feedback. In our industry we often form close, sometimes lifelong bonds with our counterparts, and the best relationships have open, honest and regular feedback at their core. A shortcut to relationship failure is letting things fester; create the means for constructive feedback sessions where concerns can be addressed, but also don’t be shy to celebrate the successes.

In closing: ability, integrity and benevolence are at the heart of each point above. So it’s no surprise these are also foundational elements of building trust, both as individuals and as organisations. None of us are getting out of here alive, so we may as well enjoy it while we can and build relationships that make it all worthwhile. 🙂

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What’s a life without Likes?

Andrew Dabbs, Digital Media Strategist at The MediaShop

In the past few months many people may have read that Instagram and Facebook have been running trials in Canada and Australia respectively to hide the number of Likes, reactions and video views that are made to public posts. The intention is to rethink how users engage with these platforms and to make the social networks less stressful. But this goes against using the main currency that Facebook have used for the past decade, the Like.

This new tactic creates some very interesting questions for marketers because the Like has been the vanity metric that most businesses and individuals have sought for so long. With the rise of influencer marketing over the past few years, how will this influence the influencers and how will these individuals be measured? Will they use the opportunity to see, which will really just be a good guess at best, how they can actually become accountable for sales? In a developing ecommerce environment like South Africa, this will be an interesting challenge.

But maybe we don’t need Likes anymore. With the decrease of organic reach “community managers” are using Likes, reactions, shares and views as their main metrics. It is possible that Facebook and Instagram are onto something. Given lower engagement rates they could be doing themselves a service by dropping these metrics before businesses lose faith or have further questions of their platforms.

As Facebook and Instagram keep growing (this without any third party verification of their actual numbers) and continue to compete with traditional media channels for reach, perhaps this will be the new currency they use. We know that video views are a little sketchy already and there has been the question – What is the value of a Like? This being said, maybe Facebook and

Instagram have outgrown small to medium businesses in favour of chasing large corporate budgets, resulting in a change or approach. In essence change is good and as the largest social networks they need to adapt.

It will be very interesting to see if user engagement changes if those ‘Like’ numbers are removed. Are individuals more attracted to a post or page because it has lot of Likes, or are they truly interested in the content of what is being published?

Engagement has always been the better measurement, and personally I would like to see the measure of ‘Likes’ gone as it really does not mean anything to anyone except maybe our lovely influencers. What would happen to all the models of Instagram and Facebook? Perhaps they’ll need a change in career with no filters!

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Third time lucky? 3回目のラッキー

Maggie Pronto, Media Strategist at The MediaShop

Those who know me will be very surprised that I am writing about the Rugby World Cup – sport is not my “thing”, but when this topic came up I couldn’t just kick the idea into touch so I took up the challenge.

This is the premier event for rugby around the world and South Africa is one of the most successful teams, winning two of the five Rugby World Cups (1995 & 2007) – so can we bring it home a third time?

70% of South African adults consider themselves rugby fans and globally interest in rugby is strong, so why is it that we are struggling to fill up stadiums? I mean if Cassper can fill up the Dome?

Spectator behaviour has changed with a growing amount of supporters opting to view in-home. According to the BMI Sport Track 2017/2018 report the main contributors are: convenience (transport, food & beverages), safety as well as an uninterrupted viewing experience.

This has opened the advantage line for TV with it being the primary choice to follow the rugby.

Unfortunately though millions of South Africans will be missing out as SABC were unable to secure rights stating that it would not have been commercially viable and that it doesn’t target their audience. Leaving the field wide open for DSTV to play advantage.

Looking at the 2015 RWC performance – even though we have a big love of the game – viewership more than doubles when our Boks are on the field! I am sure that this picture would have looked the same on SABC – even though the rugby audience is not their core audience surely they would still be behind the national team?

In addition, television also remains the most efficient platform for sponsors to reach and engage with rugby fans. According to caytoo 75% of RWC 2019 sponsors are finance, telecom and travel brands. This includes brands like AIG (New Zealand) and Vodafone (Ireland).

Global sponsorship investment was estimated to equal $66bn in 2018, growing quicker than other traditional media platforms. Brands like Bira91 and Coca-Cola are seeing success by activating national tournaments locally and integrating their own apps into key events.

The key is that all platforms activate together – even though the TV audience can be accounted for in terms of investment vs exposure, measuring ROI when it comes to sponsorships still remains a key concern – so you need to choose wisely.

Saturday was a very physical game – half time had a very grim outlook – we came back but NZL came back stronger. But could these two sides meet again in the Final? Let’s watch and see…

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Think before you act

Jedd Cokayne, Business Unit Manager at The MediaShop

As marketers, I often feel we over complicate the interaction that we have with brands on different levels which muddies the water for our consumers, lets us slip from the short list and ultimately chase consumers to competitor brands.

Certain segments have identified specific brand USP’s that have made them successful. Single minded focus is key in an economy that is struggling and brands that are fighting to be part of the consideration set.

One such industry that has pin hole focus, knows what works for them and makes no excuses for what they do, is the gambling fraternity. They know exactly what works for them, they focus on the outcome and relentlessly pursue it with precision and determination.

And here we thought that vile coloured carpet used in the main lobby and gambling areas was a sick joke by the interior decorator, or the fact that the toilets were positioned in the belly of the beast and you had to pass all the amenities available just to get there was a design flaw. All of this actually took plenty of thought to solicit a specific behaviour or outcome.

The secret life of a casino is designed to appeal to the thousands of guests and gamers visiting them each day; from the confused newcomer to a cash laden ‘whale’ looking to play the high stakes tables for hours. By clearly segmenting their visitors and taking them into consideration each casino is specifically designed to accommodate all.

Let’s take a closer look.

Casinos deliberately don’t have clocks or any item that displays the time. They don’t have any windows and supply false lighting so that players lose track of time and continue to gamble through the night. They deliberately dull the senses to get a desired effect from the gamblers, this is very difficult to replicate in any other surrounding.

Casinos only offer drinks that are small with no form of stimulant to keep people gambling and ensure they don’t leave to go to the toilets. That’s why the toilets are placed in the belly of the beast. Another advantage is that smaller drinks are easier to clean up if spilt.

But what can brands do to ensure people interact with them over a longer period with no distractions and increase the likelihood of purchase?

Gamblers are often rewarded at different times as it keeps them coming back for more. Loyalty packages and databases collected often drive repeat purchases on a more frequent basis.

Previously, I mentioned those vile, gaudiest carpets known to man. Believe it or not those brightly coloured carpets with wild swirling patterns and designs are purposefully put there to keep players alert and happy, encouraging them to play more.

Casinos are a symphony of non-stop sounds, lights and colours, these all boost the players mood making them more excited around the thought of winning and end up spending more.

Standard services like toilets, food, cashiers etc are all strategically located deep within the casino. This is strategically done so that when the players want to leave the casino and have visited one or more of the above amenities, they have to pass the gambling areas once again and potentially lose some more money.

Players are often lulled into a false sense of control as some games allow them to throw the dice, chose their own cards and pick random numbers. This illusion of control fools gamblers into thinking they have a higher chance of winning because of their interaction and thus results into them gambling longer and spending more.

As we can see there is a lot of thought that goes into your plain casino, something we in marketing need to consider the next time we look at how our consumers interact with our brands and ultimately what the desired result is that we want from that interaction.

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Say hello to Generation Alpha

Sean Sullivan – Business Unit Manager at The MediaShop

Bracing and gearing our businesses for the onslaught of the future consumer is key to remaining relevant in the media industry and beyond. The new human is wired very differently and if we don’t comprehend their world, we will fail to connect with them.

Generation Z are the first true digital natives; their brains are mapped in a different way. They don’t know a world without smartphones, Google or voice command. So what can we expect from their children, Generation Alpha? It’s a scary thought that perhaps we can’t fully comprehend yet.

Coined by sociologist Mark McCrindle , the term Generation Alpha applies to children born between 2010 and 2025. According to McCrindle, an estimated 2.5 million Alphas are born globally every week.

What consumer businesses need to remember is that these generations don’t wait around to ask questions; they’re more than comfortable just searching for the information they need online. As such, they need to be taught differently and brands need to interact with them and sell to them in a very different way.

Generation Alpha is a growing and lucrative consumer market. Collectively their spending power is huge. These kids are marketing’s newest power brokers. They’re already playing an outsize role in household buying decisions, even though the oldest among them is only 9 years old. These children are as comfortable swiping a tablet or speaking to a voice assistant than most of their adult relatives are. They pick up tech intuitively and constantly consume information and entertainment. They’re learning soft skills at an unprecedented rate: problem-solving, multi-tasking and quick thinking. Their biggest desire? Devices and screen time.

 The Enhanced Human

Unlike their parents, the millennials or informally known as digital natives, many Alphas will have a digital footprint before they are even born. Celebrity kids like Prince William and Duchess Catherine’s son, George , already has an Instagram account, managed by his parents. Generation Alpha is the first group who will be immersed in technology their entire lives. These kids are also referred to as the Glass Generation because their glass-fronted devices will be completely integrated with their lifestyle, they will not know communication without it. This generation might be the first to truly embody the enhancement to humanity that technology can be, in their lifestyle and perception:

  • They will be living at 5G speeds in terms of internet and the rate of consumption. It’s instant gratification like never before.
  • It’s the five year old who can rock a YouTube search before they can read.
  • They’re expected to be the wealthiest, most highly-educated and technologically-connected group to date.
  • Studying to master’s level will become the norm for most.
  • The rest will avoid the higher education system altogether and opt for online learning (self-learning is a norm for these kids).
  • They will take on jobs that don’t yet exist.

Demanding

It’s not just the instant gratification at the speed of 5G that makes this generation demanding, it’s their slightly scary level of self-assurance too. They live and consume on their own terms. They only know the world as one of instant and self-curated access. They navigate Netflix in their sleep, Siri and Alexa are their Aunties, and they won’t believe you when you try and explain the world before Spotify. They have every tool they could ever need at the tips of their fingers and on voice command.

 Collective Mindset

Although they’re engrossed in screens, this generation may be the one to fix the disconnection and loneliness of which millennials have taken the brunt. Generation Alpha may be the ones to successfully bridge the gap between digital worlds and the real world because they recognize the entire globe as one big group of friends.

Marketing to these children requires simple, detailed content which will assist in cultivating consumer loyalty at a young age. From the onset, Alphas would have been widely exposed to multiple digital platforms. Businesses will have to adapt to radically new ways of interacting and communicating with Alphas, compared to their parents. Generation Alpha’s consumer experience will have to be seamless and integrated, with a personalised online experience. This will provide new opportunities for marketers. Alpha kids are watching less TV than previous generations, so marketers need different ways to reach them such as tapping into a rising crop of child influencers who have their own Instagram pages and YouTube channels with subscriber counts well into the millions.

They are digitally-savvy humanoids and social media connoisseurs; and I’m looking forward to their impact on society.

Sources: Flux trends, Vice.com, Scarymommy.com

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Cry our beloved SMEs…It’s time we play our part!

Lukhanyo Bushwana, Strategist at The MediaShop

In recent months there has been a lot of talk about our deteriorating economy and calls for President Ramaphosa to come up with strategies and policies to rectify the situation we are in.

Government has identified SMEs as one of the crucial sectors that can drive our economy and create jobs for our people. However, with less than 1% of our R42 billion in adspend going to black owned agencies, SMEs in SA continue to struggle. The marketing and advertising industry needs to be doing more.

The vast majority of SMEs in SA don’t survive beyond three years. These are some of the challenges they face every day:

To help SMEs deal with these challenges government, together with a number of big corporates including Vodacom, Sasol, Nedbank, Absa and Distell to name a few have formed a R1 billion SMEs Fund. The objective is to support SMEs financially and to equip them with the necessary skills to help them grow, develop mentorship programmes and provide them with access to markets and technology.

The Competition Amendment Bill aims to boost small and medium companies and open the economy to new investments and innovation, which has recently been signed into law by the President.

 Now let’s bring it home!

The Nielsen 2018 Adex survey indicates that out of the total advertising spend in South Africa, which is sitting at ±R42bn, less than 1% is spent with black-owned agencies (SMEs).

This is a clear indication that there is a lack of transformation in the marketing and advertising industry and why the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) had to formally introduce the Marketing Advertising and Communication Charter (MAC Charter) in a bid to get the industry to transform. Some of the big brands in SA are leading this transformation by partnering with both big and small agencies to ensure that their budgets and marketing efforts are shared equally.

As channel strategists, planners and buyers, we have a big role to play because we deal directly with a large number of SME’s that are our media partners and owners. So how can an individual or a business play their part in supporting SMEs in our industry?

As brands and media agencies, let’s include them in our briefs and lucrative proposals, offer guidance where necessary as some of them are new to our industry, but consider and include them in client campaign budgets, lend an ear and listen to what they have to offer.

Remember, we as individuals and as corporates have as much of a role to play in the future of our country as the

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The MediaShop dominates MOST Awards!

 

For the seventh time in the past ten years, The MediaShop Johannesburg has taken top honours at the annual MOST Awards. This year, The MediaShop Johannesburg was crowned Full Service Media Agency of the Year and overall Media Agency of the Year.

 “It is always humbling to be recognized by your industry peers and stakeholders. 2019 continues to be a spectacular year for us with all the evolution we are going through as an agency,” says Kgaugelo Maphai, Managing Director of The MediaShop Johannesburg. “I am immensely grateful to our management, staff and media owner partners who continue to support our journey towards a more diverse, inclusive, insights driven, pioneering agency.”

The MOST Awards celebrate excellence in the media industry and encourages healthy competition, and as a result, better service delivery. The annual highlight on the media industry’s networking calendar, the awards celebrates the sector’s best of the best in terms of service delivery, knowledge and innovation, but this year in particular offered an opportunity to reflect on the successes, challenges and changes in the media industry as revealed by MOST’s research survey, presented by Freshly Ground Insights Global.

“I’d like to make a special mention to The MediaShop Cape Town for taking second spot in both Media Agency of the Year and Specialist Media Agency of the Year and to our eight month old sister agency, Meta Media,  for making a remarkable entrance into the MOST Awards, taking a third overall in both these categories. We are all very proud members of the Park Advertising family!”

For more on The MediaShop visit www.mediashop.co.za, like them on Facebook: The MediaShop, follow them on Twitter @MediaShopZA or LinkedIn.

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Reaching the base of the pyramid consumer

Lorraine Gwewera, Digital Strategist at The MediaShop

Two years ago I was exposed to a course that completely blew my mind but also spoke to my heart. It was entitled “Innovating Business at the Base” and was coupled with the book “New Markets, New Mindsets”. It was quite eye opening content and exciting for me, both as a marketer and a consumer in a third world country where socioeconomic factors are dominant when it comes to addressable marketing.

The most exciting consumer segment is the base-of-the-pyramid consumer, mainly because that’s where the majority of South Africa’s population lies. This segment proves to be a challenge for most brands because they have to be highly relevant, speak to a specific need and find innovative ways to grab the attention of this consumer. Brands accomplish this with the right product tapped into the correct mind-set, needs and trust relationships of low income earners.

The growth of brands lies in this untapped market which has a lot of potential. Credit Suisse wrote that global inequality is one of the biggest threats to worldwide growth. Can brands afford to cater only to the needs of the wealthy and middle class when the bulk of the population in developing economies resides in the lower income space? Of course not.

The revenue from the base of the pyramid market is far less a victim of fluctuating economic cycles and can actually be a stable revenue base during economic downturns, which is essentially what we need in the current economic climate that South Africa and Africa as a whole is experiencing.

Innovating business at the base allows organisations to offer new technologies, operating methods, and management approaches which increase productivity, gain efficiency and expand markets by serving new needs. We need more brands that take the time to know what the base of the pyramid consumer needs – what their expectations and aspirations are.

Brands need to know what this segment’s reason for being is and tailor their products accordingly. Base of the pyramid consumers are predominantly located in townships and rural areas which are infrastructurally marginalised, and coupled with limited disposable income, gives rise to the need for reverse innovation, consumer centric design and frugal engineering which are critical in this space. Collaboration, partnerships and social and business networks are key for social embeddedness which is vital in these markets.

MNC’s, social entrepreneurs and governments have undertaken a shift in thinking in order to cater for this consumer. We applaud brands that have paid attention to this segment and created products that speak to their needs like Nestlé, Nedbank, McCain, Unilever and Danone, to name a few, have done. Danone’s yoghurt is filling and does not require refrigeration, providing the brand with an opportunity to penetrate this consumer segment with a nutritious dairy product that’s affordable and is cognisant of the realities that this segment faces such as no refrigeration, electricity and the need for a filling food product.

From a media perspective we have several solutions that help us communicate with the BOP consumer while minimising wastage. African Language Stations (ALS) and community radio stations such as JoziFM help us reach this consumer effectively. TV also plays a vital role through the use of free to air channels such as SABC1 and 2, Openview HD, eTV, community TV like Soweto TV and DSTV access which is the more affordable package on the direct broadcast satellite service packages.

Out of Home media offers commuter media, taxi branding, taxi TV, rank TV and rank radio which makes this consumer segment very accessible. Digital media makes things more exciting considering we are a mobile first continent. The provision of placements such as Facebook Lite, sponsored calls, sponsored SMS, Please Call Me’s in text and video, sponsored WIFI, Opera Mini and zero rated services such as Freebasics by Facebook to name a few certainly help the cause.

So just when you thought we were faced with an impossible challenge to reach bottom of the pyramid consumers, you find that we actually have the capability and the means, we just need to be strategic about tapping into this market that can make a massive difference to a brand’s bottom line.

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Awakening the Slowveld

Prince Ndlovu, Media Strategist at The MediaShop

As a media strategist, typically when receiving a brief you’ll see focus areas defined as Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. Next is a proposed budget you can work with which allows the creative media juices to start flowing on what platforms to use, like for example, which OOH sites, which regional station has the highest reach within your target market, what channels, shows and packages on Pay TV can we focus on. The list of available media is endless when the area you’re focusing on is metropolitan, with bigger populations that have easier access to brands.

But what happens when the brief delves into the Lowveld areas such as Nelspruit, White River, Lydenburg, Baberton and Hazyview? That’s when media gets really interesting. How do you target an area with a small population that lives a very subtle lifestyle but still believes in the spirit of Ubuntu? Recently, I was tasked to do a three-month campaign for one of my clients in the Nelspruit region. It was a pilot campaign to see if the product would generate interest in a small suburban area with a low budget.

After the research, the team and I proposed utilising OOH platforms like street poles and Citilites, combined with digital. After three months, we sat down with the clients and looked at its performance. But to put it mildly, the campaign didn’t even take off the runway. However, the client (and us) believed in the product and decided to give it another try.

We started looking more closely at the Nelspruit area and how the residents behaved in certain situations. We started noting the following key points, common in a lot of small towns:

 The Spirit of Ubuntu

As an 80’s baby, we grew up with the saying, “it takes a village to raise a child”. This is still common in areas like the Lowveld and other small towns in and around South Africa. Everyone knows and respects one other and word of mouth goes a long way as a form of credibility and reference.

 Local events

Local events such as music concerts, school sports and community gatherings bring people together. Everyone shows up for each other and supports their own. If a brand wants to be part of these events however, it needs to provide the community with value that also empowers the area.

 Influencers

Word gets around quickly in a small community. Using the right influential individual/s in these communities goes a long way in assisting a brand to reach the right people at the right time.

 Local media platforms

People in small towns are loyal to their media platforms. They use these to guide them on what’s happening in and around their areas as these platforms are very involved in the communities they represent. A brand should always find a way to integrate themselves into these platforms so that they can be seen as part of the community.

While there is always a place for traditional media when communicating to the “Out-of-Towners”, it’s important to realise that every local community has its own intricacies, loves, fears and the manner in which they operate on a daily basis. It’s using these local insights that make for a much better experience which in turn becomes an excellent communication strategy.

Now we’re cooking!

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Digital advertising is changing and so should our tactics

Yvette Gengan, Digital Media Manager at The MediaShop

One of the things that digital marketers have in common is growth hacking (not the start-up kind, the growth kind). We spend our days constantly trying to improve strategies, channels, buying methods etc. to affect growth for our clients.

But it has become increasingly challenging to break through the noise within the digital media landscape as more and more brands jump on the advertising bandwagon (as they rightfully should). More brands advertising means more content, more messages, more products and services screaming for your consumer’s attention. I find myself often thinking about the consumer as a singular rather than a plural to help me properly determine if my campaigns are actually going to make an impact.

What I mean is, when you think of one person seeing your ad as opposed to millions, it becomes more personal and more purposeful. I want to do and say the right thing to ensure I get the attention of that person and make a lasting impact.

We see this happening daily in advertising – brands are no longer telling us what we like, but rather ads are engaging with us on a more personal level every day – and we prefer it! Brands are craving feedback to better themselves and their products/services. As digital marketers (all marketers in fact), we have acknowledged that it is time to move away from ‘lazy’ advertising and advocate for more compelling ads. Consumers are not buying the act anymore and it’s reflecting in campaign performances. Consumers want to be enticed, intrigued and entertained by ads, or they won’t be influenced by it. Brands that are getting this right, are essentially winning this race.

What we’re also seeing is the shift from brands using social media mainly for bottom of the funnel objectives, like conversions and leads to more intentional brand awareness campaigns. I’m not saying that social media isn’t good for conversions, it is. But just because we can serve a lead to a consumer we have not engaged with first, does not mean we should – or shouldn’t anymore. Is it smart marketing to be blinded only by hard metrics over foundation metrics that drive long-term brand growth? Do we let our clients dictate what our strategies should look like? As agencies, we need to put together robust media strategies that combined with exceptional creative gives our clients the best shot at influencing their consumer in the right environment.

We should always be working on our target audience; who we’re speaking to, when and how. Facebook and Instagram are great for finding potential clients/customers with features like lookalike audiences, especially for bottom of the funnel campaigns. But are we using them in the right campaigns? Are lookalike audiences still as valuable as they were before? Or has the constant flooding of ads to a consumer resulted in low performance?

I believe in the potential of lookalike audiences when used with the right message against the right objective, and when it is based on a verified source. So perhaps we should only use existing consumers/clients to create lookalikes when finding new customers for accuracy? And even if we are, are we testing and optimizing to get better performing campaigns?

We can no longer be promoting content just for the sake of it and targeting people from our own biases. Brands that are only seeing digital media as a means to an end are competing with brands who are implementing targeted campaigns that drive affinity, that measure engagement as a KPI (because they see the value) and who will convert consumers with compelling creative after properly identifying them through tactical remarketing.

Every campaign or strategy we plan boils down to objective. As marketers, we should be able to define correct objectives and strategies that can realistically meet these objectives. Whether you’re running a campaign focused on reach or conversions, they are both equally important and part of a bigger picture. We need to move away from being fixated on action type campaigns only and see the relevance of generating real brand affinity among our audience. Look at trends like influencer marketing and moves like Instagram removing like counts as indicators of where our strategies should be going. Let’s acknowledge that we are one of many brands speaking to the same consumer and that we need to ensure that when we’re seen we are also remembered. If marketers can achieve strong brand recall, it is one part of the challenge overcome.

Let us be intentional with our marketing strategies and adaptable with our creative and message, and let this set a strong foundation for our campaigns.

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