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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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SPARK Media executes another successful Sports Day

To thank and spoil their clients, SPARK Media has successfully held another annual Sports Day, themed ‘Spring Break’, complete with a variety of games to test the mental and physical ‘availability’ of their guests.

Attendees were spoiled from the moment of their arrival at the Bryanston Country Club right until the generous prize giving which saw each and every guest receiving a memento to take home. SPARK Media’s CEO, Gill Randall says: “We are so grateful to every person that made an effort to attend our annual Sports Day. It’s a small token of thanks from us to our clients and agency partners that was once again so incredibly well received.

Our aim is to continue to build meaningful connections with clients far from the pressures of the office in a completely relaxed environment.”

For golf lovers, prime fairways served as the ideal way to converse with friends, de-stress and, of course, time those drives to perfection. For those less inclined to traverse the greens, the Fun-a-Thon offered plenty amusement and more than just a few challenging tasks.

The mental workout of the afternoon quiz also formed an integral part of the day, and provided guests and SPARK Media staff with the chance to test their general knowledge and show off their intellectual prowess.

SPARK Media’s Director of Sales, Olav Westphal added: “We put a significant amount of effort into the Sports Day, but its success depends entirely on our clients. The day couldn’t work without their enthusiasm and positive mind sets. SPARK Media has a vibrant culture, and much of it is as a result of what clients bring to the table. They play a crucial role in the development of SPARK’s can-do personality, and for this we thank them.”

Although the 2019 edition of the SPARK Media Sports Day has come and gone, next year promises to be an event worth pencilling into calendars as early as possible.

“We’d like to thank everyone who participated in the raffle,” says Gill. “We managed to raise R5 600 for our longstanding charity, Hayani which runs both a much-needed crèche in Alexandra and an orphanage in Orange Grove.

We look forward to seeing you all in 2020.”

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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, like them on Facebook: The MediaShop, follow them on Twitter @MediaShopZA or LinkedIn.

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Emerald celebrates its 21st!

Emerald Resort & Casino is turning a young 21 and everyone is invited to the party!

On Saturday 21 September, Emerald Resort & Casino is celebrating 21 years and is thrilled to share this day with all fans, followers, guests, friends and party revellers. Join the Resort as they enjoy a Family Fun Day with free live entertainment from the likes of Die Campbells, legendary South African band Dr Victor & The Rasta Rebels, Piet Pompies and Vernon Muso.

“We’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time,” says Tanuja Gangabishun, Marketing Executive at Emerald Resort & Casino. “As the premier family destination in the Vaal, what better way to celebrate our birthday than with a family fun day centred on family friendly activities.

Mouth-watering cuisine, a Rugby World Cup screening, New Zealand versus South Africa, on the grass area and a plethora of fun in the outdoors is what can be expected on the day.”

Besides its main birthday bash, the Resort will be offering select 21 Celebration specials. This will include a 2.1kg Mixed Grill challenge at Breeze, or let lady luck determine the discounts from Breeze or High Stakes by drawing two cards from the card deck. Guests are also invited to grab two shooters for R21 in the casino and get another free. Coupled with the fun, Aquadome and Animal World will be sporting their own specials over the birthday weekend of 20 to 22 September too.

Other specials available for the entire birthday month of September include:

  • Animal World, Kids pay only R21 for entry (Monday to Friday only)
  • Putt-Putt and Ten Pin Bowling, R21 per game
  • IZone, R21 per hour of gameplay
  • Chico’s Chicken, a full chicken, four bread rolls, box of chips and 2lt drink, R121

Emerald Resort & Casino’s 21st Birthday Family Fun Day

Date:               21 September 2019

Where:            Emerald Hotel lawn

Time:               11h00 to 18h00

Cost:                Absolutely no charge

“We’re about to be 21 years young and what a weekend of celebration it’s going to be,” concludes Tanuja. “Keep a close watch on all of our social media feeds as well as our website for even more birthday bash specials and happenings.”

For all up to date information on events, promotions and happenings at Emerald Resort & Casino, visitors are encouraged to stay close to their Facebook and Twitter pages, or guests can visit for more information on any of the events mentioned here.

Emerald Resort & Casino.

Tel:                              016 982 8000





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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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eSports Marketing is massive in SA but where are the advertisers?

Globally, the video gaming industry is seven times the size of the music business and three times the size of Hollywood. In South Africa, the gaming industry is expected to bring in revenue to the tune of R3.6 billion by the end of 2019. So why are brands not taking advantage?

Michael King, Head of Reprise Digital, an IPG Mediabrands company, says that despite the massive audience that makes up gamers in South Africa, only a tiny portion of brands are getting involved. “In the last couple of years the gaming industry has grown to half a billion people globally with the industry showing a 30%-50% growth year on year for the past three years. In 2020, streaming of games is expected to reach the same viewership as the NFL. That’s massive! I’m predicting that within the next two or three Olympics, there’ll be a competitive gaming section included.”

Consider a couple of gaming tournaments that have just concluded at a global level. The International, a Dota 2 Competition, had a prize pool of $30 million! That’s an event ten times more lucrative than the Tour de France. To put it into perspective, if you were one of the players in the winning team you would’ve earned more money than Djokovic or Halep for winning Wimbledon in 2019.

“There is a great opportunity for digital marketers in South Africa to reach one of the biggest growth industries in the world tied to one of the hardest to reach audiences – Generation Ys and Zs. We know that this market does not respond to traditional ‘push’ methods of advertising. Rather, they respond to friend reviews, suggestions and online ‘word of mouse’ to shape their decision making processes. This is why influencer marketing is so successful in this space.  According to, nearly 90% of all marketers find that ROI from Influencer Marketing is comparable to, or better, than other marketing channels.

Its commonplace to see gaming related brands like Xbox, Playstation, Razer etc dominate the advertising space to this market on platforms like YouTube and Twitch but more recently the likes of Red Bull and Gillette have entered this space on an international scale.

“Sure, eSports in South Africa is currently tiny in comparison to the global market but R3.6 billion in South Africa is nothing to sneeze at. The local gaming industry is offering huge opportunities to reach the younger audience and gives brands the opportunity to get in early. Vodacom for instance is the headline sponsor for the annual rAge expo in September this year and there are so many more opportunities for brands outside of the gaming category to capitalise on this market.

The future is bright for eSports in this country and we’re excited to watch it develop and grow over the next few years. Brands that are brave enough to jump into this category will absolutely reap the rewards of their investment.”

Reprise Digital SA DNA

Reprise is a digital-first agency, and everything we do is rooted in understanding how consumers interact across apps, sites, IOT-devices, bots, search engines, and social platforms. We uncover your audience based upon their digital fingerprints – and build a media approach to help transform your business digitally. Reprise has the ability to fuse smart digital approaches for our media agency partners in smart and sophisticated ways.

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Online Shopping in South Africa popular with women

According to IPG Mediabrands’ specialist digital agency Reprise, South Africa’s ecommerce industry, while still in its infancy, is showing strong growth thanks to high mobile penetration, secure payment options and changing spending habits.

Natasha Courtney, Social Media Manager at Reprise South Africa says: “Currently only a quarter of South African retailers are spending through digital channels but with more of the population shifting their behaviour and budgets to online shopping, more retailers are making their products and services available online all the time.”

Women especially prefer interactive and easy-to-use options that allow them to share their shopping experiences with other users, and to get feedback and user ratings about the products or services they’re interested in purchasing. “Out of the 39% of women who are actively shopping online in South Africa, there was one predominant reason they enjoyed shopping this way – convenience,” says Natasha.

Digital shopping platform ThinkOver says that 89% of women will wait for an item to go on sale before purchasing. More than half of respondents (55%) said they continuously check a retailer’s website for sales while 58% monitor their inboxes for sale alerts. What’s more, 75% of women said they get upset when an item they wanted to buy went on sale and they weren’t aware of it.

When it comes to preferred payment terms, 54% of South African shoppers like to pay cash on delivery. When asked about debit card payments, 52% of consumers preferred this method – quite an even split. “Loyalty programmes are a big part of a woman’s shopping experience with the study finding that 80% percent of women belong to store loyalty programmes,” she says. “And we’re spending a lot of time online – the majority of female shoppers spend an average of an hour a day looking for great deals before we buy.”

For South African female consumers, the three most popular categories of online purchases are clothing, entertainment and education, and tickets for events. Over 75% of women stated that they go online and choose what they want to purchase before they go out, suggesting that most purchases are pre-meditated and not a spur of the moment decision.

“Pick n Pay’s integrated annual report for 2018 showed a 70% increase in its customers visiting their website from a mobile device since they launched their online grocery shop,” says Natasha. “But there are some down sides too – when purchasing clothing online, some women say that the clothing sizes are incorrect on delivery and the return policies and overall service turnaround times are the areas that need attention from retailers.

Poor user experience on websites is another deterrent to online shopping.

Mobile technology is transforming e-commerce in Africa, and consumers are actually more likely to have a mobile device than a bank account,” she says. “South Africans are also becoming more comfortable with mobile shopping due to, for example, easy-to-use apps for ordering car rides or food becoming more commonplace.”

This research shows that the online shopping industry is growing and is set to grow even more in the coming years. It is also clear that consumers will choose online payment partners they can trust, and that provide peace of mind that the security of their financial information will be a priority.

“For now, traditional shopping habits still dominate in South Africa but with almost half the population set to make an online purchase in the next year, it is clear that the ecommerce market has huge potential and will continue to grow year on year. It’s hugely exciting for retailers and consumers alike!”

Reprise Digital SA DNA

Reprise is a digital-first agency, and everything we do is rooted in understanding how consumers interact across apps, sites, IOT-devices, bots, search engines, and social platforms. We uncover your audience based upon their digital fingerprints – and build a media approach to help transform your business digitally. Reprise has the ability to fuse smart digital approaches for our media agency partners in smart and sophisticated ways.

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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.


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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Caxton Magazines evolves publishing models of two brands

Caxton Magazines has evolved the publishing strategy of two of its oldest brands, Living and Loving and Your Family, in line with the changing media environment and the way in which the modern reader is consuming niched content.

 Living and Loving is to be repositioned exclusively as an online parenting information portal but through its digital platform will still provide selected areas of its quality content in print through a bumper parenting section entitled Smart Parent which will be incorporated into Your Family. These changes will come into effect from October this year with the September issue of Living and Loving being the final print edition to go on sale.

Living and Loving magazine has, for nearly half a century and 588 issues, been regarded as South Africa’s most-loved parenting magazine, having provided generations of moms and dads with trusted advice on pregnancy, birth, and raising children from new born to five on a monthly basis. This service to readers will continue but will be more frequently updated and be at reader’s finger tips all the time

Editor Sonya Naude says: “In the last two years, our online audience has grown from strength to strength while, in line with international trends, print sales continued to shrink. Our audience is still interacting with us, but they’re doing it online on and through our social media channels. We understand that consumer media consumption habits are changing and we’re adapting with them.”

A core Living and Loving team made up of its editor Sonya Naude and digital editor Xanet Scheepers, will continue to source and produce content in line with what ‘parennials’ (a new generation of Millennial moms and dads) want and need i.e. convenient and accessible information that is reliable and trustworthy.

Adding credence to its decision to embrace the digital model is the news that Living and Loving has just been voted the number one ‘SA Kids and Parenting Blogs, Websites and Newsletters’. Selections were based on Google reputation and search ranking; influence on social media sites; and quality and consistency of posts by the Feedspot Blog Reader editorial team and expert reviews.

Smart Parent, available in a new look Your Family magazine from October, will deal with parenting concerns that affect children at different ages and stages. This special 16-page section will have its own cover, printed on a thicker paper stock for easy access, and will have an interesting mix of news and features that relate to babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers, tweens and teens. The section will also include a kiddies’ fashion feature.

Your Family editor Janine Collins adds: “This is an exciting opportunity for Your Family to extend its subject matter to include content that appeals to next-generation families with a wider age range of children and for advertisers to reach a larger, parenting-aligned readership in print. We’re optimistic about the brand’s future in this new format.”

 Caxton Magazines DNA

Storytelling is our business. Content is our currency. Caxton Magazines is a division of Caxton CTP Printers & Publishers and houses 12 brands in print and digital formats, primarily aimed at the women’s lifestyle segment across life stages, lifestyles and income groups. These brands are: Vrouekeur; Woman & Home; Bona; Living & Loving; People; Food & Home Entertaining; Your Family; Garden & Home; Farmer’s Weekly; Essentials; Rooi Rose and SA Country Life. Visit


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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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