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The Paradigm Shift: a digital summary

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THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

CONTENTS

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Letter from the Future of Media team.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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How brands can lead into a new era by Abey Mokgwatsane. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Drop off rates from zero-rated platforms is now a thing of the past by Vodacom. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Adapt and thrive by Lynette Dicey. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Coronavirus as a raging brand mechanism by Patrick Hanlon.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Collaboration in turbulent times by Tanja du Plessis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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The power of content, connections and culture by Tanja du Plessis.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Dear office by Enrico Ferigolli. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Energising our biggest brand by Tanja du Plessis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Transhumanism in a time of corona by Claire Denham-Dyson. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Global perspective: brand evolution during social revolution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Hold on tight….the Crazy is not gonna end by Arye Kellman. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Taking the shine off shallow celebrity culture by Bronwyn Williams. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Followers don’t matter, talent does by Joseph Perrello. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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The raging emergence of female superbranders by Patrick Hanlon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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What’s real, fake or something in between? by Tanja du Plessis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Craving something novel, but not like the virus by Michael Perman. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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How personalised content influences customer growth by Everlytic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Achieving a common goal by Koo Govender. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

36

Social distancing – the new normal by Kgaugelo Maphai. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

38

Platforms, integration and future consumption by Tanja du Plessis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

40

Opportunities arising from the Covid-19 crisis by Derryn Graham. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Energise our biggest brand by Derryn Graham. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Mass personalisation – a targeting paradox by Isla Prentis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

44

Brands need to worry about what doesn’t change more than what does by Michelle Randal. . . . . . . .

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Media sustainability: why should we care? by William Bird. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

46

The role of telco tech in the future of media by Tanja du Plessis.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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TRANSHUMANISM IN A TIME OF CORONA

24 HOLD ON TIGHT… THE CRAZY IS NOT GONNA END

28 THE RAGING EMERGENCE OF FEMALE SUPERBRANDERS MEDIA SUSTAINABILITY: WHY SHOULD WE CARE?

46 NOVEMBER 2020


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

LETTER FROM

THE FUTURE OF MEDIA TEAM

Welcome to the Future of Media digital supplement, developed in support of the Future of Media digitised series.

crucial for the industry to stay ahead of the game and gain new insights to prepare for the future. This is why the Future of Media conference went digital.

The Future of Media was hosted in collaboration with Vodacom, EziAds, Everlytic, Proudly SA, The MediaShop, FM Redzone, The Media Online and Arena Events.

The Future of Media digitized series was and will continue to be a much-anticipated platform for expert knowledge sharing, and a view into the fast-paced changes happening in an increasingly fragmented South African and global media and economic landscape.

The unusual times in which we find ourselves today demanded that brands and marketers face the challenges head-on, armed with the right information and tools to adapt and thrive in the future. With so much at stake for our economy – and the investments required to sustain it – it was imperative for brand and marketing managers, media planners, media buyers, media owners and advertisers to know exactly how the media landscape is unfolding, and to be fighting-fit to weather the storms of disruption.

This supplement to the Future of Media, brings you excellent thought leadership articles, summaries of the online discussions and video links of the actual online event. Thank you for joining us along the way and becoming part of the Future of Media community. We appreciate you taking time out of your day, engaging with us, and defining the paradigm shift that’s taking place.

During this time of uncertainty and change, it was

NOVEMBER 2020

Enjoy the read!

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C R E AT E . C O N N E C T. C O L L A B O R AT E

Digitised events are an exciting avenue for brands to connect with their audience. We live in a time where technology allows us to adapt, and we believe now, more than ever, in the importance of collaborating, creating and connecting. We’ve embraced the digital events space and introduced a series of online events to create ongoing thought leadership opportunities for our partners. To collaborate with us, contact Melissa de Agrela at deagrelam@arena.africa

www.arenaevents.africa


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

HOW BRANDS CAN LEAD IN A NEW E BY ABEY MOKGWATSANE

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e have a new time stamp: Before Corona and After Corona. Covid-19 has created fundamental changes to the way we live, work and think.

Two significant implications come to mind for brands in this new era: a requirement to drive purpose-led organisations, and accelerated digital transformation. Humanity has been dealt a body blow, leaving us feeling vulnerable and anxious, questioning the very core of our personal existence. This creates an opportunity for brands to step up and provide utility, assurance and hope. It is done through aligning an organisation with an ambition beyond profit to one that creates shared value by making the world a better place. This builds customer trust, which is in deficit at the moment. Digital transformation is now no longer an option as customers’ requirements to trade and engage seamlessly at any time and from anywhere becomes a reality.

How then, do brands navigate this time? The anchor for any brand should be its organisational purpose. Good organisations know WHAT they do, great organisations know HOW to do it, but the best organisations know WHY they do what they do. Even better is when that WHY is inextricably linked to creating a more sustainable world.

Vodacom’s purpose is using its technology to connect customers to create a better future. Image: Nadine Hutton/Bloomberg via Getty Images

with decision bottlenecks, unable to execute effectively.

Why is this important for brands? Brands ultimately have to build trust by ensuring that communication and customer experience are congruent. Having a clear purpose safeguards this congruency as everyone is singing from the same proverbial hymn sheet. Many initiatives born of Vodacom’s purpose have met fundamental needs at this time. Our free digital school platform, e-School, which gives access to the entire

Another example of purpose in action is that Vodacom made a decision a few months ago to consolidate all free services into one social compact platform to make it easier for customers to understand and get access to these services. ConnectU now has over 500,000 daily unique visitors accessing services such as zero-rated education, health, job and government function sites. This initiative would have been necessitated by Covid-19, but was already in the pipeline to manifest purpose. This segues into the matter of digital transformation. Who is driving your organisation’s digital transformation? Your CEO? The CTO? Or Covid-19? I suspect for many organisations Covid-19 has accelerated the digital evolution of the enterprise. Customers who have sidestepped digital channels now have no choice but to adopt them to get access to services. My mother is now shopping online from two different retailers for weekly groceries and I doubt she will ever default to driving to the shops for everything again.

Google’s purpose is to organise the world’s information; Nike wants to bring out the athlete in all of us. At Vodacom we use our technology to connect customers to create a better future. Purpose helps steer organisations in times of crisis. In chaos, the speed of decisions and alignment are critical. Organisations that do not have the North Star that purpose provides will find themselves NOVEMBER 2020

public school syllabus, from grades R to 12, now has more than 1-million registered users.

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THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

ERA Online shopping is only the tip of the iceberg. DStv has made its DStv Now app available to people who are not customers, and news services such as CNN and other popular programming are now streaming through this platform. I have no doubt that initiatives like this, across many industries, will create irreversible change in customer behaviour that will be sustained beyond Covid-19. New behaviours and connections are made in a new crisis, and the adoption of digital tools and channels will accelerate. The implication for brands is that customer experience becomes a core competency and an expression of brand utility. Chief marketing officers must evolve to become chief customer experience officers. There has never been a better time to be part of the brand function. Organisations are looking to build trust as customers hold them accountable now more than ever before. Purpose gives brand professionals an opportunity to dig into the gut of a business and play an active role in how the business plans and executes what it does. This allows it to be honest with what is said in its communication. Digital transformation has now accelerated to the mainstream, giving brand professionals another opportunity to drive an essential commercial delivery platform. Abey Mokgwatsane is the managing executive of brand, communication and sponsorship at Vodacom. Vodacom is the proud joint headline partner of the Future of Media 2020 conference, which is brought to you by Arena Events.

The big take-out: The anchor for any brand should be its organisational purpose.

DROP-OFF RATES FROM ZERO-RATED PLATFORMS NOW A THING OF THE PAST BY VODACOM

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ith 96% of internet users accessing the web via mobile, and the digitisation of almost every sphere of life, it’s only natural that the demand for data has escalated. The question advertisers are asking is how to reach consumers who have limited access to data. Previously, their audience was only reached via push messaging or display banners. ​ But when the audience was reached through display banners, they dropped off sharply when clicking via the content to the advertiser’s landing page URL. This is because, as Vodacom, we were able to zero-rate the banner in our in-house ad-server, but not on the advertiser’s website/landing page. This will no longer be the case. We are delighted to announce Vodacom’s Zero-Rated Google Ad partnership. All of Vodacom’s media industry alliances are created specifically to add value to the end user. Anything that adds value to the end user will certainly add value to the advertiser, and Vodacom’s ZeroRated Google Ad partnership is no exception. Vodacom Business has introduced zero-rating on advertiser links attached to display advertising banners on its channels. The destination URL is also zero-rated for

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the first click on the banner, giving the user a free view of any landing page. This immediately opens up an abundance of advertising opportunities for companies to reach a completely new audience who don’t have unlimited data. The possibilities are endless as, with a little creativity, an advertiser could complete the entirety of a consumer journey without the target market using any of their own data. As the zero-rated solution works for display ad formats, this audience now can be engaged via both display and video. This not only closes the gap between advertisers and their audience, but also creates an enhanced user experience. A distinct benefit for both end-users and advertisers. As with any other innovative technology, zero-rated ads must be rolled out in a measured, and measurable, manner. In the test run, the stats showed a significant rise in the clickthrough rate from the industry standard of 0.67% to 1.13%. That’s a 68.11% increase. This is a great result and an exciting world first for advertisers and audiences, thanks to Vodacom Business and Google which, together, are bringing advertisers the opportunity to grow the ever-evolving digital publishing industry. Take advantage of zero-rated Google links in your display banners and advertise your business to a wider audience by contacting salesdigitaladvertising@vodacom.co.za today.

NOVEMBER 2020


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

Moderator

ADAM GOTTLICH

BRONWYN WILLIAMS

MD, Vuma 103 FM

Head of behavioural science, Standard Bank

Trend translator and future finance specialist, Flux Trends

PEARL SOKHULU

NOVEMBER 2020

CHRIS BOTHA

CLAIRE DENHAM-DYSON

Group MD, Park Advertising

Head anthropologist, Demographica

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THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

ADAPT AND THRIVE BY LYNETTE DICEY

M

edia is in a period of disruption as result of the development of technology, changing consumer habits and, more recently, the global pandemic. Numerous legacy brands are being challenged in the current environment.

Dyson, the head anthropologist at B2B agency Demographica.

As consumers re-evaluate how and why they make decisions, advertising needs to focus on being useful rather than clever

However, for those willing to make a shift, there are real opportunities. Key to realising these opportunities is understanding why consumers behave the way they do.

finance specialist at Flux Trends, “is that they can no longer always opt out of politics and will increasingly find themselves in binary and polarising spaces.”

During a Future of Media digitised event, the focus was on how to adapt and thrive in the current environment. The event was moderated by Pearl Sokhulu, MD of Vuma 103 FM.

“One of the mistakes brands can make is to rely too much on technology and the data it produces”, she said. “Data is meaningless unless you apply insight to it … there is a big difference between automating efficiency and automating inefficiencies.”

Over the past decade advertising has increasingly focused on human connections and on understanding consumers better. Behavioural science has become an integral part of advertising. Adam Gottlich, head of behavioural science at Standard Bank, explained that biases change the way we recall past events. Referring to the peak-end rule, which explains how we focus our memories on the most intense moments of an experience and the way it ends rather than on the total sum of the experience, Gottlich emphasised the need to understand people as they truly are. “Consumers should not be taken at their word in terms of what they want,” he said. “Instead, data and research should be applied to find what is driving their behaviour.” “Social media has fundamentally changed the way brands communicate with consumers. What brands need to understand,” explained Bronwyn Williams, a trend translator and future

She advised that brands need to follow where the market leads and add value rather than try to cynically extract value at this time. While advertising has traditionally been dominated by psychology and focused on mindsets and motivations, now anthropology and its study of culture, behaviour, ritual and habit are starting to play a bigger role. “At heart people are storytellers and we tend to connect with stories,” explained Claire Denham-

The big take-out: Consumers want to see brands step up during times of crisis. A failure to live up to their brand promise can result in significant brand damage.

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“The big issue right now is trust, which is in turn being associated with morality,” she pointed out, adding that consumers expect brands to be acting responsibly during the Covid-19 pandemic. “As consumers re-evaluate how and why they make decisions, advertising needs to focus on being useful rather than clever.” While there is much talk of the “new normal”, Denham-Dyson said “this is an exciting time for brands and advertisers as they have the potential to shape the future.” “More than ever before, brands need to be accountable for the promises they make to consumers,” agreed Chris Botha, Group MD of Park Advertising. “Consumers want to see brands step up during times of crisis. A failure to live up to their brand promise can result in significant damage to brands, particularly as social media has given everybody a voice – and brands have little control over that voice.” “While platforms like TikTok have recorded incremental audience growth over this period, their challenge is that they are not yet seeing a return in advertising revenues. The reason for this is that adspend is down drastically across the board,” explained Botha. “For media owners to survive this crisis, they need to gear themselves up to monetise growing audiences to take advantage of the turnaround when it eventually happens,” advised Botha. “While consumers tend to be quickly drawn to content that appeals to them, they integrate with media types very organically – and not necessarily in the way that brands would prefer,” he said. As a result, brands need to be aware of the impact of technology and use it productively in a way that does not leave people feeling overwhelmed. NOVEMBER 2020


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

CORONAVIRUS AS A RAGING BRAND MECHANISM BY PATRICK HANLON

The medical markers for coronavirus are simple: a CT scan spots abnormalities on the chest such as “bilateral groundglass opacities”. Other newsworthy icons include Li, the “heat” maps we spot online that register the spread of the disease, even the microscopic photographs of the virus itself, blue surgical masks and the Purell hand sanitiser alert.

A

lerts and news reports about Covid-19, probably the most infectious disease in the world, have spread around the globe faster than the coronavirus itself. The social virality of this potentially lethal disease has been exponential. This is due not only to our human rubbernecking instinct and the pandemic morbidity of the disease, but also because the root code of the coronavirus narrative is essentially primal, attractive and collective. We know that brands are formed around products or services, but the new understanding of “brand” is that these are communities of people who gather around the same central idea. This time the central concept is not Just do it, Think different, or #MeToo. It is Covid-19. Coronavirus. Pandemic. Behind everything that we “believe in” exist a root code and narrative to create a “primal” brand. The strategic brand narrative includes a creation story, creed, icons, rituals, a specialised lexicon, nonbelievers and a leader. A close inspection of the Covid-19 storyline shows that it contains all seven of these elements, which not only helps this already newsworthy story make sense, but gives the virus added relevance, veracity and agency that also make it socially viral. These elements are a must, not just for a flu bug but for anyone who intends to build powerful public movements. Even if you haven’t been keeping up with the steady stream of coronavirus reports you’re likely to be familiar with many of these story elements. NOVEMBER 2020

The first element needed is a creation story. A Wuhan doctor named Li Wenliang identified the virus and alerted Chinese authorities, but was shouted down, and a short-term cover-up ensued. The doctor was later infected with the coronavirus and died (aged 34). Thank you for your voice, Dr Li.

In the 1300s the Black Plague inspired icons like the Grim Reaper, beaked masks, songs like Ring Around The Rosie and other memes that exist to this day. Covid-19 has inspired its own rash of dark humour. The confusion between Corona beer and coronavirus is laughable on its own. A quick search online yields Snapchats, YouTube skits (example: woman who sneezes at train station gets pushed away, sprayed and offed for bad behaviour), one-liners, cartoons and more.

The second piece of primal code is the creed, and covers coronavirus’s reason for being, which, dramatically, is to make you ill and potentially kill you.

There are many rituals involved with coronavirus, including the progressive nature of the disease itself. According to The New England Journal of Medicine the most common symptoms are fever (98%), cough (76%) and myalgia or fatigue (44%). Other processes include person-to-person transmission, routine hospitalisation, daily news reports, social media postings and travel warnings.

The third piece of a primal brand is iconography — how do we identify it?

Covid-19 has started a wave of new rituals, including washing hands

What should you do? This is a brand movement that you want to engage in only from a distance. By early April the coronavirus had affected over 1-million people worldwide, and the official death toll stood at about 70,000. The disease is virulent. In fact, reports The New England Journal of Medicine, “Covid-19 has already caused 10 times as many cases as SARS in a quarter of the time.”

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THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

The microscopic photograph of the Covid-19 virus is one of the most identifiable icons in the pandemic narrative. Image: 123RF/Lightwise

(obsessively), buying disinfectants — from hand gels and wipes to sprays — and selling out at some supermarkets. The terms social distancing and selfquarantine add distance between people who are coughing or sneezing. In social media searching for daily alerts, news information and tweets have become rituals. Searches like #chinacoronavirus has recorded over 70-million views, and growing. South China Morning Post and other sites have the macabre daily count of people who are sick, those who have recovered and those who have died. The stockpiling and hoarding of groceries, water, wipes and medicines have also become new rituals, as has the avoidance of handshakes. The specialised lexicon surrounding the illness — provisionally called 2019-nCoV or Covid-19 — includes: coronavirus, virus, victims, pandemic, flu, symptoms, flatten the curve, the daily case count, Wuhan and a plethora of hashtags dedicated to the “outbreak”, including #coronaviruschallenge, #coronavirusspreading and

#coronavirusupdate. All of which have tens of millions of views. Though few people doubt the existence of the disease today, the Chinese government initially had its own “Chernobyl moment” and tried to cover up the outbreak. Other nonbelievers may be sceptics, conspiracy theorists and those who host coronavirus parties. A reader from China adds that another form of naysayer comes in the form of those who distrust the information

The big take-out: The strategic brand narrative around Covid-19 contains all the elements required of a primal brand: a creation story, creed, icons, rituals, a specialised lexicon, nonbelievers and leader.

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released by the Chinese government. Leaders include the World Health Organisation, the Center for Disease Control and the hundreds of medical professionals who try to identify, control and cure the disease each day. Li must also be recognised and celebrated as the person who lost his life trying to control this dangerously infectious disease — and for raising his hand to call out the serious threat. The economic cost will be in the billions. A report from South China Morning Post, for example, claimed that over 3-million tons of farm produce was left to rot in the fields due to farm workers being quarantined. The travel industry has suffered from cancelled trips, flights and hotel reservations. The cruise ship industry, in which hundreds have been quarantined and many have died, will suffer a setback. The events and hospitality industries have been hit. Other societal effects will be forthcoming. Patrick Hanlon is the author of Primal Branding. NOVEMBER 2020


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

Moderator

KOO GOVENDER

ENRICO FERIGOLLI

Chief creative officer, TILT

SA CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network

co-CEO and co-founder, BOTTLES

ARYE KELLMAN

NOVEMBER 2020

NEO MASHIGO

RIAAN WOLMARANS

Chief creative officer, M&C Saatchi Group South Africa

Head of digital: media, Arena Holdings

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THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

COLLABORATION IN TURBULENT TIMES BY LYNETTE DICEY

I

ncreased competition and a challenging business environment mean that the only way the media industry can grow is through new and sustainable business development. More than ever before, a collaborative working relationship is required between brands, agencies and media owners. During a Future of Media digital event, moderated by Arye Kellman, co-founder and chief creative officer of TILT, a panel of experts discussed how those in the industry can support each other and use their respective strengths to complement the strengths of others. “Collaboration in the current environment is not just about growing your business but is an essential element of survival,” said Enrico Ferigolli, coCEO and co-founder of BOTTLES. “One of the biggest factors that has contributed to the success of BOTTLES is that each component of the multifunctional team has its own roles and responsibilities” he said. “Due to the ever-changing landscape of advertising, the idea of pivoting and collaboration can be challenging,” said Koo Govender, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network SA, adding that the advertising industry needs to better understand how it can add value in a rapidly changing consumer landscape as it finds more effective ways of communicating. Data and insights will play a critical role … given the rapid rate at which consumers are adapting. Brands need

We won’t get another chance like this for a while; to reset, reflect and refocus on what is important to be adapting just as rapidly. Working together will help companies flourish,” explained Govender. Collaboration has long been a key factor in the success of the 2019 FM AdFocus Partnership of the Year winner, M&C Saatchi Group. Chief creative officer Neo Mashigo said that despite a natural friction which exists between clients, agencies and media owners, all parties need to be focusing on ‘collaboration during this time. “In reality, partnerships and collaboration are not always easily achieved as each party guards its own perceived territory,” said Riaan Wolmarans, head of digital: media at Arena Holdings. Wolmarans continued saying that: “A trusting partnership and effective

The big take-out: As media owners, agencies and brands grapple with the new normal, is it perhaps time for them to re-evaluate how they work together?

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collaboration efforts can avoid this challenge because whether you are a publisher, agency or brand you need to acknowledge each other’s strengths and expertise.” “If the economic rate of recovery is too slow,” Wolmarans said, “the demise of more media brands was a very definite possibility. The only way for media brands to survive in the current environment is to be agile and adaptable – and to collaborate – for a future which is hard to predict.” At the end of the day, media owners and agencies are trying to find the new normal. As Wolmarans pointed out, “Working together with partners, offering good campaigns, and adapting with speed will help. We can’t do it alone.” If there’s something positive that’s come from the Covid-19 crisis and the national lockdown, it’s an opportunity to revisit business models and to build something stronger, reiterated Ferigolli. “We can now really do things that matter. It’s stressful but can be an exciting opportunity.” Asked what advice she would give to the marketing industry right now, Govender emphasised that even in these uncertain times, this is a time for opportunity. “We won’t get another chance like this for a while; to reset, reflect and refocus on what is important.” The panel agreed that a paucity of trust, coupled with a lack of synchronicity and accountability, is an issue in an industry where stakeholders need to respect each party’s core expertise. At the same time, brands cannot allow the uncertainty to cripple them in terms of decision-making. To be sustainable they need to ensure they remain relevant to consumers. NOVEMBER 2020


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

Moderator

KENZY MOHAPI

JD ENGELBRECHT

SADIKA FAKIR

MD, Everlytic

Integrated media and digital director, Tiger Brands

Media personality, Jacaranda FM

NOVEMBER 2020

NICOLA COOPER

CATHY NOLAN

Trend researcher/analyst and cultural strategist

Copywriter, King Price Insurance

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THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

THE POWER OF CONTENT, CONNECTIONS AND CULTURE BY TANJA DU PLESSIS

B

rands often define their character through the stories they tell. They’re the stories that either appeal or are ignored. They shape the connection between the brand and the consumer.

So, how do agencies account for all the differences, to build successful campaigns that unite consumers through their similarities? During a Future of Media digitised event the focus was on where content and culture intersect through content creation, and how they should interweave to deliver an effective brand experience. The event was moderated by Kenzy Mohapi, media personality at Jacaranda FM. In opening, Mohapi asked the participants what good content means to them. The panel agreed that what is most important for good content is that it’s memorable, consistently different and compelling. It’s important to know who your audience is and how you are speaking to them. Using data to understand the consumer will help personalise a brand’s visual alignment, language and tone to suit the audience. Meaningful content is universal and needs to be purposeful in its articulation. Nicola Cooper, a trend researcher, analyst and cultural strategist, said: “There is a universal golden thread that ties consumers together, but in our context the focus needs to be interpreted locally. There is no copy-andpaste approach; brands need to tailor their approach to the diversities and intricacies that we have in SA.”

Brands need to understand where the consumer is in heart and mind, and play into that space Cathy Nolan, a copywriter at King Price Insurance, spoke from her experience in the insurance industry and mentioned that the financial services industry has historically relied on very serious advertising. “You must remember that people would rather be putting those extra rands into a holiday fund than into an insurance grudge purchase,” she said. So when King Price launched into a cluttered market, they needed to stand out, and they chose humour to do so. “We have been successful because we combined humour with respect and ensured that we added that relatable SA twist.”

The big take-out : When it comes to content, people want to feel seen, heard and represented. People want to feel like they are part of the movement, and that will add to the longevity of a brand.

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Besides the content, we need to take into consideration the channels we are advertising on. “One size does not fit all!” said Sadika Fakir, integrated media and digital director at Tiger Brands. “Brands need to understand where the consumer is in heart and mind, and play into that content space” she added. To carve, create and curate content, one needs to bridge the gap between the consumer’s wants and needs, the psychographic information and the agency content. “You can create the most beautiful content but without focusing on the distribution channels, it could fall flat,” said JD Engelbrecht, Everlytic MD. Another point that came through during the conversation is that building an emotional or aspirational connection with your audience is vital. Cooper said: “Understanding who your consumer is and what makes them tick is what will make the difference.” “An authentic human connection is the best way to reach your audience. It’s important to collaborate with the right kind of people to represent your brand,” Fakir said. “Influencers who are already embedded in culture tend to be more authentic and have higher levels of audience engagement.” Engelbrecht said: “Collaboration is successful only when all parties understand what the brand stands for and what they want to achieve and, of course, when you trust each component of your value chain with the task at hand.” Mohapi closed off by talking about the “Share a Coke” campaign. This was probably one of the most effective and authentic personal brand experiences to date. “That’s the kind of influence you want to have. That’s where organic content creation comes in,” she said. NOVEMBER 2020


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THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

Covid-19 has laid bare that there are two types of managers: those who track people’s time and those who track people’s deliverables. The former is now in tailspin as the office, their primary tracking tool, is not there anymore. The latter enjoys the fruits of having already created the structure and processes required to achieve their business objectives by delegating, motivating, empowering and giving the freedom to employees to work from anywhere and at any time, delivering better work.

DEAR OFFICE,

I

t’s not your fault. So, in store for you? What can you look forward to? Well, there’s quite an exciting and bright future ahead, if you ask me.

I know, I know, in the last four months you have been accused of almost anything: you were told you were an inefficient place to work from, an enslaving space, and a place where the majority of people do not want to come back to anymore. But it’s not your fault.

First of all you will be the catalyst of a leadership revolution. You will be creating the next generation of leaders by teaching them to delegate, motivate and empower employees to strive for excellence by their own means, to deliver according to their own lifestyles, as opposed to being forced to adapt their lifestyle to the work environment and practices.

The reality is that you were just an expression of the leaders you once housed. These leaders gave you the unfair and impossible task of inefficiently tracking people’s performance by making you nothing more than a place where employees had to show face for a specific amount of time. It got to the astonishing level where people were using “9-5” to mean “work”.

Furthermore, you will finally reach your intended objective, your dream: you will be the place for brainstorming, ideation and creation. A place where people want to go to meet their colleagues, have a coffee, talk, brainstorm, without the ticking clock becoming the essence of people’s work day. It will probably be a very specific day of the week and you will see people coming in armed with their pens and notebooks and not with laptops, as you well know that there are far better places to concentrate and get work done on your own.

But what they really meant was “this very specific amount of time I have to sit at a desk with my boss looking over my shoulder. And all of this happened just because a bunch of controlling leaders decided that time spent on a task was the best way to track people’s quality of work, so they chose to force people to spend a defined amount of time with you every day, assuming that time and deliverables were inextricably linked. How many times did you see in front of your frightened eyes yet another intern spending the night working on a presentation, not because he wanted to, but just because his manager would at some point walk next to the desk and nod in self-appreciation and think: “You are working long hours, you must be a good employee. And I must be a great leader.”

As someone once said: “An office is a very dangerous place from which to view the world” and I know you couldn’t agree more with it. But I firmly believe you are probably the greatest place for people to meet, ideate, brainstorm and change the world and I can’t wait to see that for you.

And then, all of a sudden, you were gone. And these leaders were left in a tailspin, incapable of driving and motivating their teams remotely. Incapable of leading, because they had never been leaders.

Good luck.

You deserve it.

Enrico Ferigolli, co-founder of BOTTLES

17

NOVEMBER 2020


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

Moderator

HAPPY MAKHUMALO NGIDI

BRENT LINDEQUE

Brand manager, CliffCentral.com

Chief executive: marketing and communications, Proudly SA

Editor in chief, Good Things Guy

SIYA SANGWENI

NOVEMBER 2020

NWABISA MAKUNGA

JAUN PIENAAR

Editor, Sowetan

Co-founder, ApexMedia

18


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

ENERGISING OUR BIGGEST BRAND: SA BY TANJA DU PLESSIS

A

deeper look into how media owners, agencies and brands energise our biggest asset – SA was discussed during a Future of Media digitised event, hosted by Siya Sangweni, brand manager of CliffCentral.com.

Sangweni started the conversation with some proudly SA accomplishments. He reminded us about Zozibini Tunzi being crowned as Miss Universe, the Ndlovu Youth Choir making it into the final rounds of America’s Got Talent, and an act of kindness that made news headlines about a petrol attendant who paid for a woman’s fuel after she forgot her credit card and risked being stranded in a dangerous part of town. Brent Lindeque, editor in chief of Good Things Guy, spoke about the impact of media. He went on to say that the reason he created the Good Things Guy Facebook page is because he found no balance in the news. “Good news is actually everywhere you look, it just needs to be reported and portrayed. Balance is really important because the media plays a big part in how we develop perspectives.” Jaun Pienaar, co-founder of ApexMedia was asked which countries have gotten it right when it comes to reporting factual yet uplifting content. He answered with a counter question: “what is considered right? Let’s take the general execution in the countries that are getting it right. In those countries they have access to technology and have a good digital equality. When you have this, content works as a marketing

If you look at any strong SA brand, they embrace who they are. The currency for this is authenticity and educational tool. These countries are also citizen centric, and embrace disruption better.” He went on to say that SA has been slower at adopting some of the above mentioned things. “To market the country better we must embrace technology while keeping the focus citizen central.” Happy MaKhumalo Ngidi, chief executive: marketing and communications of Proudly SA spoke from a brand perspective saying that “the responsibility of brands in SA is to contribute positively to the economy but to also add a ‘feel good’ type of belonging as a strategy and to remember that there is no brand that can exist without human need. Brands need to pause and remember that its human beings and value chains that are behind households and people that are being affected.”

The big take-out: South Africans need to take ownership of what they stand for and who they are in an unapologetic way.

19

“If you look at any strong SA brand, they embrace who they are. The currency for this is authenticity. Despite the challenges we have as a country, South Africans need to take ownership of what they stand for and who they are in an unapologetic way,” added Nwabisa Makunga, editor of the Sowetan. Lindeque made a point that when we have less we give less, but companies who help each other and work together will grow and succeed together. Pienaar agreed by saying that “we need to acknowledge that innovation and resourcefulness is a result of tough times. We need to give independent thinkers a chance to challenge the status quo.” Pienaar continued by saying that “brand empathy needs to be authentic. Let’s celebrate our small wins to build our nation.” MaKhumalo Ngidi pointed out that we have to assume responsibility for our own economy. “In SA we have a perception issue, we need to remind South Africans, not to be apologetic about what we have to offer. She ended off by saying that “if you choose to buy a product that is not made in SA, you are creating a job in another country.” When asked about promoting positive SA advertising, Makunga said that “what I love about social media is that it forces a very direct and immediate response from audiences. We get to know, in real time what audiences think of our content and it forces us to respond. If you are claiming to be a mirror of society, then mirror society.” Sangweni summed it up by saying, “if there’s one thing that unites the media industry and country, its celebrations and tenacity for success. Remember we are all in this together so let’s push through and make it work.” NOVEMBER 2020


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

TRANSHUMANISM IN A TIME OF CORONA BY CLAIRE DENHAM-DYSON

Y

ou may have never heard of the term ‘transhumanism’, but you’ve encountered the philosophy daily through our entertainment, health and beauty industries. Performance-enhancing steroids in sport, hip and knee replacements for elderly or the infirm, and plain old Bluetooth earphones are just some of the early transhumanist developments that we see used in everyday life. Transhumanism is a philosophical concept that advocates for the development of people and human evolution using technologies that enhance physiological and intellectual capacity. All those science fiction movies that reference improving people through nano and biotechnology emerged from the movement of trans and posthumanism, which originated from British philosopher Max More. Transhumanism takes the ability to create ourselves and others to the extreme, exploring this through genetic engineering and other performanceenhancing interventions. Veiled in advertising tropes, stereotypes, and efforts to mediate the fear around our mortality, westernised societies have been consuming ideologies related to transhumanism since the early 1960s. Today, we are living through a global pandemic, where shifting local and international dynamics unravel before our eyes and through our screens. More than ever, we are being exposed to interventions and advice around health, NOVEMBER 2020

wellness, sickness and the promotion of self-care to become both better people and less vulnerable communities. Vaccines, life-saving treatments and even masks could be considered transhuman in their design. My hunch is that viruses such as corona, and an increasing focus on human rights and quality of life, will push conversations around transhumanism to centre stage. We are already talking about things like genetic engineering – not just on our TV screens – but in our homes and our workplaces. The beauty industry’s fascination with anti-aging products is a clear indicator of just how normalised transhumanism has become. Brands scramble to release the latest and greatest ‘science backed’ or ‘laboratory tested’ serum or salve that reduces finelines and wrinkles in less than 2 weeks! For transhumanists, we are already on our way to this new future. We are questioning whether people (both as physical objects and as an idea) can be fixed, adjusted, done away with entirely, or refashioned in some way. Ethically, transhumanists have certainly had some backlash. To assume that we need “developing” at all is somewhat at odds with the current narrative of acceptance and inclusivity that dominates most activism

Like most “for the good” interventions, who’s considered “good” is up for debate 20

work today. But there are blurry, grey areas. And there are times where transhumanist rhetoric and activism collide – even work together. Some trans people, for example, make use of medical technologies to live the life and adjust the body they live in to one that better accommodates their sense of self. Interestingly, transhumanists see the idea of ‘natural’ as problematic, arguing that science opens the door to what might be thought of as ‘natural’ enhancements if the human mind has imagined them. The somewhat science fiction-like world of transhumanism holds that there are no boundaries to human development and evolution, and that humans can have their own hand in it. But, like most “for the good” interventions, who’s considered “good” is up for debate. Who is entitled to these developments? Who is entitled to decline these developments? Who is exempt from them? More than simply increasing our ability to live longer, think deeper and heal quicker, the transhumanist rhetoric asks us to question what being human really means. For most transhumanists, they seek a posthuman world, where everything we know or think we know about human behaviour is turned completely on its head. In my experience, transhumanism has pervaded our thinking (or is part of it so intrinsically), that it has begun to emerge in our business imperatives. Advertisers and businesses have taken it upon themselves to “drive the right behaviour” in customers. While this may not mean altering the structure of our brains biochemically, it does mean using other “technologies” (behaviourial science, social psychology) to “tune” individuals’ choices and behaviour.


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

The transhumanist rhetoric asks us to question what being human really means. Image: Pexels/ThisIsEngineering

Doing research in the paper and packaging industry highlighted this for me. As an industry, South Africa’s packaging companies (think Sappi, Consol and Mpact) are responsible for most of our junk. They are mandated by government to take responsibility for where their products end up. This has meant that one of their socially responsible business imperative is getting people like you and I, who consume their products, to deal with the waste responsibly. This kind of ‘behavioural evolution’ that is needed in homes, to truly end the pollution crisis we face, is all about eliminating the behaviours seen to unhelpful to the larger question of be a threat to our survival as a human race. We have already taken some of the leaps that transhumanists laud as crucial to human development and evolution.

While they are unclear on just what the trajectory or timeline will be, transhumanists believe it is inevitable that we will continue to use technologies to increase the ability of our human brain and body. The question for businesses and advertisers is whether we are aware of our own complacency or collaboration

The big take-out: Transhumanists believe the use of technology to improve ourselves is inevitable. But so is the ethical backlash.

21

with these theories. There are thousands of advertisers who will gleefully jump on the promise of a product that really “enhances” a person’s life – but to what end? Where do we draw boundaries, and question what future we are building? It’s not common for us to think about our idealisms as just that – idealisms. We tend to link our experiences and feelings to what we perceive is best or right for the human race. One thing is true though – we keep saying our world is changing. What I wonder is – have we noticed how much we have changed? Who is keeping an eye on that ? Clare Denham-Dyson is the head anthropologist at Demographica. NOVEMBER 2020


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

Moderator

PATRICK HANLON

DAOUDA LEONARD

MD, Yellowwood

CEO and founder at primalbranding.co, and considered the ‘Charles Darwin’ of branding

CEO and founder of CREATESAFE, and music producer for Lady Gaga, Grimes, amongst others

REFILWE MALULEKE

NOVEMBER 2020

MICHAEL PERMAN

JOSEPH PERELLO

former senior director of marketing at Levi Strauss & Company and Innovation Futurist and CEO of C’est What?

CEO and founder, PROPS

22


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

BRAND EVOLUTION DURING SOCIAL REVOLUTION BY TANJA DU PLESSIS

A

FFuture of Media ddigitised event, hosted by Yellowwood MD Refilwe Maluleke, discussed how globally, brands evolve during social revolutions.

One of the first touchpoints of the discussion was social media and social movements. Michael Perman, former senior director of marketing at Levi Strauss & Co, innovation futurist and CEO of C’est What? explained the difference. “People are seeking meaning right now. It’s hard to understand what truth means. Sensemaking is an important path, leading to a narrative,” he said. “The movements that we have seen have core parts of the narrative. A movement has an ongoing story that is told. It provides the content to respond to the context,” he explained. Patrick Hanlon, founder and CEO at Primalbranding.co, said: “Primal code is the root code for building seriously authentic brands. It uncovers the building blocks that attract people and bring them together. It’s used to deconstruct brands and bring them back together.” He said primal branding has always been important. “It’s the reason we believe in people, places and things, for example #BlackLivesMatter and Covid. Some believe and some don’t. In the case of Covid, among other things, people need to have the message confirmed at least a few times before they believe it and for it to make sense to them. A message needs to be clear, and resonate. Remember, when marketing a product, the confused do not buy.”

We have a global lack of oxytocin – lack of touch and communication Perello, founder and CEO of content company Props, spoke about a drive towards authenticity that marketers seek to embrace while still implementing their own strategy and tactics through the lenses of advertising. “All the creative systems are still trained to make ads, and those are not really authentic – they are created to be manipulating.” Perello said that today the very reason for advertising is being questioned. “Exceptional brands are embracing cultural motions and others are just riding the wave on political matters. Then there are brands that are embracing content – not branded content, I mean the way brands are telling real stories. They are being authentic because they are not selling something; they are appealing to the masses for a greater cause,” he said. When asked how one navigates all the latest cultural shifts, Daouda Leonard, founder and CEO of CreateSafe and music producer for Lady Gaga, Grimes and others answered: “It comes from a place of mindfulness. To swap out the things you need to swap out, you need

The big take-out: It’s not about “do goodery”; brands need to be unapologetically authentic.

23

to have practice to do this. Create a moment where people catch up to what you’re doing, where iconic moments are created and real stories are told.” Hanlon agreed that, just like an artist, a purpose-driven brand has meaning and a destiny it is moving towards; it is not just producing a product. It is working towards a larger mission. From purpose to premium: Perman gave insights of what’s happening to premium brands during the latest pandemic. “All around the world there are cultural and economic divides. There is definitely an economic impact that will affect the premium brands, but there is now a redefinition of what premium means; it doesn’t necessarily mean luxury. Premium is about substance, providing value, showing authenticity and whether that brand is doing something good for the world. Once redefined, a customer and brand will value that sense of premium,” he said. Perman added that two of the major trends he’s seen are novel forms of empathy and sense-making. “On the sense-making point, brands could be deploying artificial intelligence and blockchain to understand accuracy and truth. On the novel forms of empathy, we have a global deficit of oxytocin – lack of touch and communication. Now we need new forms of human connection. Media companies and brands have a role to play in this regard because they have to tell the right stories, exhibit the right rituals, and say the right words to transcend the limitations of current virtual situations.” In closing, Hanlon put it simply: “People are looking for change; if you are thinking of changing, now is the time to do so.” NOVEMBER 2020


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

HOLD ON TIGHT… THE CRAZY IS NOT GONNA END BY ARYE KELLMAN

adverts to be pixel perfect, dipping burgers in motor oil to gleam perfectly on billboards, and crafting TV commercials frame-by-frame. But when there’s no one to see the billboards, and seven-billion people are living through uncertainty that sometimes feels crippling, we need to re-evaluate and stop trying to art direct fear.

T

he most overtraded sentence in 2020: “The world’s gone mad.” Earlier this year, when the Fuji-Q Highland Amusement park in Japan reopened its doors after a threemonth Covid-19 closure, it asked its rollercoaster riders to “please scream inside your heart” to contain the spread of the virus.

You can’t curate Covid-19. You have to accept that nothing will be the same again. Hit reset. The world is now both fundamentally familiar and becoming barely recognisable.

Change is undeniable when screaming on a rollercoaster is considered more threatening than riding the ‘coaster itself. And as we head into the back end of 2020, I feel like we are starting to resemble our duck animal counterparts: you know, calm on the surface but paddling like hell underneath.

It’s not just Zoom, Pfizer and Clorox thriving in 2020. Amid a national meat shortage in the US, the plant-based meat company — Beyond Meat — is reporting double-digit growth, while Netflix is enjoying hugely increased sign-ups year on year. And that’s not mentioning Stitch & Story, an online craft brand selling materials for, and tutorials on, knitting and crocheting. They’ve seen revenues rise a whopping 800%.

Boy, have we had to paddle this year. My late grandfather had no real desire to operate a computer, but the zeitgeist of the 2000s meant he needed to get on board or be left behind, whether he liked sending e-mails or not. He knew he had two choices: moan or move on. In many ways, Covid-19 has forced us to hurry up at a faster pace than ever before. We’ve all hit ‘like’ on the LinkedIn meme hailing Covid-19 as more instrumental in the digital business transformation than any CEO or chief transformation officer, but do we really mean it? Even if the vaccine came tomorrow, there wouldn’t be a “going back to normal”. If your pandemic strategy has been to hold your breath until it’s all over, you’re going to suffocate. NOVEMBER 2020

Start something new and capitalise on the madness. Image: 123RF/Aliaksandr Klapkova

But “imperfect” is particularly hard for us, as marketers. We strive for perfection: our business is art directing

The big take-out: If your pandemic strategy has been to hold your breath until it’s all over, you’re going to suffocate.

24

There is a new race and racetrack, and yeah, maybe you’re going to have to make this sprint gasping through a mask, but the first people to ever wear pants probably thought that felt weird as hell too. So perhaps rather than naval-gazing about just how mad the world has gone, let’s explore the successes happening in the middle of all the chaos. Let’s understand that “great resets” have come before. And know that others are yet to come. Maybe it’s time to get on with it and start something new to capitalise on the madness. Arye Kellman is the co-founder and chief creative officer of TILT.


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THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

TAKING THE SHINE OFF SHALLOW CELEBRITY CULTURE “At a time when unemployment has hit a record high with thousands furloughed and facing economic uncertainty, and with mounting death tolls throughout the country, it can be rage-inducing to see Madonna rambling about the coronavirus being a great equaliser from a luxury gilded bathtub.” ~ Fast Company business magazine

BY BRONWYN WILLIAMS

T

he trend away from shallow fame worship has only been accelerated by Covid-19 lockdowns which revealed celebrities in their natural habitat, sans make-up, sans smoke and mirrors, sans shiny public-relations-perfected facades. In their homes, through their webcams and smartphones, the world’s rich and famous came across just like the rest of us, shattering the fourth wall between the constructed glamour of stardom and mundane reality of the human lives behind the big names of the global A-list. We could not help but notice both how ordinary celebrities are as people, and how extraordinary their excessively pampered and privileged lives are compared to the reality of the majority of stuck at home in cramped apartments with no live-in help and rapidly diminishing bank balances— and we found neither of those aspects very flattering or very appealing. A good example here was when Wonder Woman star, Gal Gadot and her celebrity friends decided to sing John NOVEMBER 2020

Lennon’s Imagine, on Instagram in the middle of the peak of the Covid-19 crisis. The attention-seeking stunt, which was rather obviously intended to capitalise on the crisis to inflate their own popularity, backfired and accidentally exposed both how out of touch the rich and famous really are - and how much attention they think they deserve from their fans. The result was uncomfortable at best, downright cringeworthy at worst. Celebrity culture is clearly not an “essential service” in a crisis; and its showing in the numbers. According to FCB, only 4% of SA Gen Zs say celebrities influence their decisions (compared with 30% of international Gen Zs). This finding was backed up by the Flux Trends Generation ZA survey, which found that young South Africans look up to politicians, activists, older family members and community leaders rather than “stars” for mentoring and motivation. Indeed, younger South Africans, living

The big take-out: It is not as easy to buy attention and loyalty. Attention needs to be earned.

26

in the world’s most unequal society, are growing wary of celebrity culture. Although they do look up to certain celebrities; the sorts of celebrities they follow tend towards the powerful (politicians, peers and activists) rather than the merely popular (manufactured movie stars and musicians). They are hyper-aware of celebrities being paid to endorse a product and skeptical of influencer marketing and paid celebrity sponsorships. This should hardly come as a surprise. Brought up on a cultural diet of usergenerated YouTube and TikTok content, as opposed to professionally produced mass-media broadcasts and network television, today’s youth expects to see people doing amazing things rather than spoiled celebrities getting paid exorbitant amounts to shill the artefacts of conspicuous consumption. A full 63% of Gen Zs would prefer to see social media influencers in ads over mainstream celebrities. What this means for brands and media owners is that it is not as easy to simply buy attention and loyalty from young customers than it used to be. Attention needs to be earned. They have seen behind the stage lights, and they are unimpressed with the performance. Bronwyn Williams is a trend translator and future finance specialist at Flux Trends.


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

FOLLOWERS DON’T MATTER, TALENT DOES BY JOSEPH PERELLO

C

onventional wisdom among marketers states that the more followers someone has, the more effective and efficient they are at persuading their followers to take action.

At one time, this was true, but things have changed. What matters today is talent.

Several important factors are driving this shift: 1. Social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram limit the reach of influencers’ organic posts to about 10% of their followers. Influencers with one-million followers don’t reach one-million people organically. 2. Savvy marketers understand that driving social engagement is good for the social platform but not necessarily good for the brand. To drive tangible value, marketers must cause consumers to engage on their brands’ websites, where commerce happens.

The big take-out: Creators with expertise outperform influencers with followers. Talent wins The best brands today embrace a new kind of advocate: independent, professional content creators (writers, photographers, and filmmakers) with deep expertise in their field of passion and a distinct point of view. These creators have published books, written for major publications, and apply the principles of good journalism. They have deep-seated and proven talent in the traditional definition of the word. Creators with expertise outperform influencers with followers.

A real-world example A financial services brand sought

1. A recent college grad with a blog, an Instagram account with about 20,000 followers and short-form content about dorm room design, the application process and other college life content; 2. A recent empty nester with a blog, a Facebook following with about 10,000 followers, and content about kids leaving the house; 3. The headmaster of a New England boarding school who published four books on college success and with no social following, not even a Facebook account.

Real stories They all wrote real stories relevant to their expertise. They did not endorse the brand, they did not sell or promote the brand, and they did not make “branded content” (advertising disguised as content.) Their stories were published on the brand’s blog and promoted by Props.

Who won?

3. The only sustainable way to engage consumers on brands’ websites is by regularly publishing and promoting authentic content. (See how Patagonia and Red Bull do it.)

All of the creators performed well, but the headmaster outperformed them all. He had the most credible content, the most definitive point of view, and was the best writer. He had the lowest cost per click, the highest relevancy score, the lowest bounce rate, and the highest time on site. Readers of his story on the brand’s blog converted into consumers at the highest rate.

Audiences are craving authenticity What was so appealing about influencers is that they seemed, to the consumer, to be independent advocates for a brand. When brands engaged with influencers, it felt as if they were driving word-ofmouth, the holy grail for all marketers. Again, this was true at one time, but consumers see past this. They crave authenticity, not another form of low-end celebrity endorsement.

to publish content about the college experience to reach prospective college students and their parents. Through content company Props, they found three writers:

The new advocates are independent and passionate content creators. Image: Pexels/Matt Hardy 27

If creators are prima ballerinas, what would that make influencers? Joseph Perello is the founder and CEO of content company Props. NOVEMBER 2020


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

THE RAGING EMERGENCE OF FEMALE SUPERBRANDERS BY PATRICK HANLON

I

t’s been a busy year and you may have missed this. Late last year, thousands seized YouTube as Reese Witherspoon climbed into an oversized clothing trunk sent by Witherspoon’s BFF Beyonce and climbed out wearing Queen Bey’s new Adidas X Ivy Park Collection.

Posted on Instagram, the stunt for Beyonce’s new active wear brand was viewed by gazillions. This is just one of the continuing stream of launches activated by female entrepreneurs over recent months. Bottom line, it’s not enough to be just a music artist or actor anymore. Those gigs are just platforms upon which female stars like Rihanna, Gwyneth, Oprah, Lady Gaga, Awkwafina, Jessica Alba and others have launched entire marketing and media ecosystems. Using their celebrity as a platform, these talents have moved over, under, upside and down to touch retail, health, beauty, wellness, book clubs, skin care, fashion, and baby food, and at the same time transported themselves from music to film to television and vice versa. This is a high-stakes game in which it is no longer enough simply to have a product or service — that’s simply game stakes — you have to have a YouTube (or other video) presence, popin store, TV show, video game, music downloads, memes, print content (book, zine, oversize, lookbook, catalog), a festival, virtual and augmented reality, monogrammed private airplane — and we’ll save the rest for later. NOVEMBER 2020

Rihanna, for example, not only pushed out her ninth album last year, but created what The New York Times book reviewer Hunter Harris calls, “the golden age of Rihanna”. Rihanna became the first black woman to lead a line at L.V.M.H. (via her Savage X Fenty lingerie line). Rihanna has her own fashion house, Fenty Beauty, and her book “RIHANNA” has been published by Phaidon (retails at $150). As pop culture phenomenista, Rihanna also captured an entire issue of British fashion and culture magazine i.D. in January 2020, to allow the multihyphenate artist and designer to highlight notable women across fashion, art, culture, activism and more. “For me, this very special issue of i-D represents change and culture,” Rihanna said. “It is dedicated to some of the people who are progressively reshaping the communities across fashion, music, art, and activism — creating a more inclusive and diverse future.” Supergirl Gwyneth Paltrow has held the reins at her growing wellness and lifestyle superbrand goop since 2008. Paltrow started goop as a blog for the multicurious, all the while expanding (and defending) her blog against naysayers. Paltrow has authored several books, has had multiple appearances in The New York Times and recently launched a Netflix documentary series titled, The Goop Lab which promises magic mushrooms, healing workshops and everything you need to know about your wonderful V. You don’t have to be a celebrity or entertainer to make this happen. Comparatively corporate Rose Marcario, who recently stepped down from her position as Patagonia CEO, leaves behind a spectrum of lateral ventures started under her watch that include not 28

only a legendary sustainable clothing brand, but also food group Patagonia Provisions. Tin Shed Ventures funds small, sustainable environmental actions. And a new digital platform that is “part social network, part recruiting tool” titled Action Works that connects customers with environmental activist organisations. These efforts, in addition to Patagonia’s catalogue of books, films and outdoor gear, expand Patagonia’s total surround. These examples are not simply clothing, wellness, beauty and fashion meccas. They are exhibitions of how direct-toconsumer and expanding networks have turned flaccid textbook marketing-by-rote on its head. It’s all about loving your fans and asking them to love you back. Then expand your networks by asking fans to invite their friends. Multiplicity multiplied by multiplicity is key. In the past, superstars like Madonna (you can pick the star of your choice) released a photo book, a shoe or clothing line, or even created a new vodka between album cycles. Some of these efforts were random one offs, the beginner’s guide to staying relevant. Today they are part of the punch list for social cred, legitimacy, relevance and word of mouth (“Oh say, did you see?”). As mentioned earlier, It is no longer enough simply to be an actor, musician, artist or performer — you have to have a YouTube (or other video platform) presence, pop-in store, TV show, video game, photographs, music downloads, memes, print content (book, zine, oversize, lookbook, catalog) — in addition to the website or APP, the Out Of Home wallboards, Influencers (if you have them), conferences (if you have them), tshirts, posters, water bottles,


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

Gwyneth Paltrow holds the reins with superbrand goop.

Patagonia leads with purpose, passion and product.

Rihanna represents change and culture.

Image: Supplied

Image: Supplied

Image: Supplied

CRM, social content and TikTok, which has over 800 million active users worldwide (Datareportal, 2020) — more than LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, or Snapchat.

streams in social, digital and traditional media.

places. Second, it takes 100 hours to make a friend. Five places times 100 hours equals an omnichannel media plan that will lead to relevance, resonance and meaning.

In 2020, we stand solidly in the future of media. What 20 years ago might have been considered as PR-grabbing one-offs have become standard procedure. The Big Idea, a staple of traditional marketing is probably too strident today, too dull for consumers soaked by hundreds of similar products. Nothing kills a product faster than boredom. The magic rites today are to create bigger numbers not only by buying audiences, but by creating circles. Embrace your circle of advocates, then ask them to help create new circles by seeking out their friend’s friend’s friend or circulating amongst other new, lateral communities. Decade 2020 is a mirrorball of creativity: you need many new ideas and you need them right away all the time. Look at the signs — moving creativity in-house, adding auxiliary teams (aka Influencers), spreading storytelling across spontaneous

Raging superbranders do not imprison themselves in a single category. They build flowers with many petals. When those flowers blossom and grow, they begin to build gardens. Their enterprise transforms itself into a greenfield resplendent with flowers, topiary and rare fruit trees. After which? They start building honey farms. The future of media will not stay stuck in the past. Modern commerce today lunges after two simple data points: First, for startups, be aware that the public is only even blandly aware of you after they have heard about you from five different

The big take-out: It’s all about loving your fans and asking them to love you back. Then expand your networks by asking fans to invite their friends.

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(Follow up the sequence with: Do you like us? Will you please tell others that you like us?) These are like curative powers for performance marketers who forsake long term rewards for short-term engagement. Trying to keep such a content machine thriving, however, requires systematic intentional content. Ergo, a media ecosystem that drives social, digital and traditional media constantly fed with equal parts relevance, empathy and passion. These wicked smart female entrepreneurs feed the monster because the monster feeds them back. The raging emergence of these super entrepreneurs provide superscripts for African stars on the cusp like Sho Majozi—and might even guide supercomets like Bonang and Pearl Thusi. Decade 2020 is a mirrorball of creativity….. NOVEMBER 2020


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

Moderator

JOCELYNE MUHUTU-REMY

PULE MOLEBELEDI

VP, WAN-Ifra

Strategic media partnerships lead: Sub Saharan Africa, Facebook

MD: news and media, Arena Holdings

LISA MACLEOD

NOVEMBER 2020

WILLIAM BIRD

TSHEPO SEFOTLHELO

Director, Media Monitoring Africa

CEO, Vuma Reputation Management

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THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

WHAT’S REAL, FAKE OR SOMETHING IN BETWEEN? BY TANJA DU PLESSIS

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hat’s considered “real” news and the media’s fight against fake news was discussed during a Future of Media digitized event, which was hosted by Lisa MacLeod, vice-president of Wan-Ifra. Pule Molebeledi, MD of news and media at Arena Holdings, started the discussion from the perspective of a large media house. “What we have seen as an organisation is a rise of attacks in changing narratives. The new way we have seen this is through fake news, which can be debilitating and dangerous because it undermines democracy. It thrives on fear, which can lead to civil unrest,” said Molebeledi. “We need to try put a stop to these underhanded schemes that have been slipping into mainstream news and adverts. These attacks are unfortunately causing an existential threat to journalism as we know it.” Tshepo Sefotlhelo, joint CEO at Vuma Reputation Management, said: “We have facts and opinions, and in somewhere in between, fake news has planted seeds of doubt. We are constantly fighting perceptions; you have to evaluate the platform, channels and the audiences. Every conversation is now scrutinised and everyone is a commentator and has an opinion. It has disrupted and deteriorated trust in news, from a racial, class and economic perspective globally.” Jocelyne Muhutu-Remy, strategic media partnerships lead of sub-Saharan Africa at Facebook, spoke about the psychology of fake news. “There are

We have facts and opinions, and in somewhere in between, fake news has planted seeds of doubt many motivations behind the propagation of fake news, one being financial motivation, another being fragmentation in media and the rise of citizen journalism. There is also the erosion of truth and the rise of alternative truth, with the addition of political motivations and alignments.” William Bird, director at Media Monitoring Africa, weighed in. “Fake news implies that something is news when in fact, it’s more along the line of alternative truths or even propaganda. One of the biggest crises is mis- and dis-information being showcased on social media and a huge volume being distributed to audiences. This undermine knowledge and sows an element of doubt. It’s not only about the financial or political motivations, but it’s being used in a systematic way to drive and shift narratives, creating false equivalencies where there doesn’t need to be.” According to Molebeledi, “in the past it was easier to distinguish the good

The big take-out: The media’s role as guardians of the truth is more critical than ever.

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guys and the bad guys when it comes to fake news, but what we are now seeing is the professionalisation of misand dis-information. It’s been used in a destructive way to divert attention from the real issues that the media is trying to bring to the surface. “When you get this in an environment where you report to a more uninformed audience, it can be challenging. The last thing you want as media is to loose trust and credibility, but at the same time, if you get it wrong as mainstream media, admit it and resolve the issue: don’t give in to calculated attacks that social media or mis- and dis-information can bring.” Sefotlhelo was asked about his thoughts on people in power demonising journalism and mainstream media. He answered by explaining that “social media has created the competitive nature of being first. Once this happens, the storyteller forgets to tell us the full story, with proper context and with all the facts. News teams need to move away from being first, and rather focus more on journalism. In relation to leaders, what they have come to realise is that people are polarised according to their biases and they have honed into that emotional connection with their followers and rely on emotional bias and social media manipulation.” Muhutu-Remy gave some insights into Facebook and the stories it posts, saying that at the centre of everything it does is integrity, fighting false news and hate speech. “We need to separate hate speech and bad behaviour from false news as they are not the same. We remove all forms of hate speech or other human violations off our site, but cannot do this with all information because that would mean that Facebook would be the ones needing to decide what is true and what is not.” NOVEMBER 2020


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

CRAVING SOMETHING NOVEL, BUT NOT LIKE THE VIRUS BY MICHAEL PERMAN

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wo sustaining experiences have imbued Portlandia since the beginning of the pandemic, and both have clues for the future of media. First, there is the nightly cacophony. Around 6.57pm every evening since early April, hundreds of people begin to emerge from their perches hanging on the steel and glass towers where I live, on the banks of the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon, to express their gratitude and empathy in novel ways. They mimic the ritual of making physical distance emotionally shorter. It’s a ritual happening all over the world. People bang pots and pans, blow conch shells, ring bells, wave hands, and just plain applaud front-line workers for sure, but to express novel forms of connection.

Emotional energy craved, bursting at the seams as a distraction to uncertainty and boredom. I love the noise amid the uncommon silence. My wife and I play African drums and sometimes blow bubbles. For the moment, whatever anxiety exists dissipates into joy, human connection, compassion, creativity and relief, which last only five minutes until I yell, “have a nice evening!” And then we all cruise back into our cocoons, with just a bit more of a glow. The other obvious Portland ritual at the moment are the nightly protests, and the artwork/media that has arrived with those protests. While conservative news media likes to paint a portrait of Portland as a city in ruins, my perspective is of a city that is painting a narrative in dramatic expression through messages and images; essential forms of media.

As novel as this virus is, our society is matching it by creating novel forms of empathy to compensate for the physical distance, for the absence of hugging or holding hands, or even worshiping together in times of need. Our eye contact is more expressive. Waving matters more. Even though we avoid humans, we seek new forms of connection. We convey our passion through shouts and murmurs, images and words, some with meaning and some with random anger. We are in early stages of an emerging wave that will likely change beliefs and behaviours as we shift into new forms of normal, and influence how we communicate through new forms of “media”. Our craving to connect physically is sprouting new ways for humans to share love and faith. We saw novel virtual gatherings of worship during Passover and Easter, and we continue to share

People applaud front-line workers to express novel forms of connection.

A city painting a narrative in dramatic expression through expressive messages and images.

Image: Supplied

Image: Supplied

NOVEMBER 2020

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THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

understanding of the new human that’s emerging from Covid-19 to stay relevant. Media organisations should pay attention to this pent-up desire for empathy, and new forms of selfexpression that is often non-verbal. Meanwhile, we also have music to guide us through the churning rapids. One of my favorite songs guiding me through this mess is Hotter Brighter Sun by Peter Himmelman, CEO of the innovation firm BIG MUSE. His lyrics guide us to what we can manifest, mustering up positive energy from the slog. “Over the edge of what’s expected, Off the side of what’s been done, Beyond what’s already been detected, Lies a hotter, brighter sun.” My wish is that you, as the reader and the one who craves more control over your future, find novel ways of moving forward, charting your course, and heading toward the hotter, brighter sun. Michel Perman is the CEO of C’est What? LLC. He is the author of Craving the Future, Transforming Our Deepest Desires Into New Realities

We have found new ways to convey that we care. Image: Supplied

screens of collective faith during our days of rest and renewal. We cling to the screen as if to touch and be touched. We find new ways to convey that we care — through films, through humour, through asking for family recipes. Our homes and neighborhoods are bubbles. We notice and relate to adjacent bubbles in ways that foster relationships. Some are anxious to pierce the bubble, and show guns at rallies in the effort to pop for freedom despite the risk. But according to a Pew Research report, more than a third of all Americans have had a virtual party of social gathering, meaning a lot of us are learning to connect without having to burst the bubbles that are keeping us apart. We have a heightened craving for empathy, which requires a paradigm shift in order to receive and give in current circumstances. So now we attempt to experience that in new

ways. We are generally being asked to avoid humans, and turn our heads. To not engage in any way, to “flatten the curve”—a new meme in our vocabulary. But we also identify humans from afar as bandits. Masks are inherently a negative symbol, one of deception, but we parse together protection however we can, and we are perplexed at the mutual inconvenience of it all. We wonder who resides behind the mask, what they are feeling, and how we wish we could reach out and comfort them, but instead we’ve learned to share gestures of kindness—sometimes merely from eye contact. We are likely to see more devoted attention to empathy in business practices as well. While the idea of walking in someone else’s shoes has been a primary element in the human-centered design movement that emerged in the early 1990s, brands and businesses need to step up their 33

The media should pay attention to this pent-up desire for empathy. Image: Supplied NOVEMBER 2020


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THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

HOW PERSONALISED CONTENT INFLUENCES CUSTOMER GROWTH BY EVERLYTIC

and what their average basket size is.

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Contextual data, such as wishlist items, abandoned carts or their most-viewed items, will help you understand their preferences and get a holistic view of their relationship with you.

olid customer growth, engagement and retention requires far more than exceptional customer support and service, but rather a customer-centric approach on all fronts.

Showing that you are dedicated to ensuring your customer’s needs are met involves a number of factors, including delivering personalised content at exactly the right time. An example of personalised content done right is Spotify’s Discover Weekly feature. It’s an aggregated playlist of songs they think you’ll appreciate based on your listening preferences. It introduces you to new content, which is both enriching and exciting, but also encourages you to make better use of the app, knowing that there’s something in it for you. It’s an automated feature that has a simple function — to make the customer feel like they’re being considered, thus increasing engagement and retention. Accenture Interactive published a report stating that 91% of customers are more likely to shop with brands that acknowledge them, remember who they are, and provide offers that are relevant to them. The same report also noted that 83% of customers are willing to share their personal information to receive personalised offers.

The groundwork in defining personalised content Having great content is one thing, but it’s important to understand your

Understand your customer first to ensure content is personalised, relevant and valuable customer first to ensure content is personalised, relevant and valuable. Helping customers engage with what you have to offer comes with a few critical components: • you need to understand who your customer is and what their needs are, and • you need to understand where your customer is in terms of their relationship with you. You can do this by examining your transactional and contextual data sources and creating a data profile for your customer. Transactional data will, among many other things, assess whether your customer is a high-frequency buyer and what sort of products they prefer. It will help you ascertain what their buying habits are based on when they purchase

The big take-out: You need to cut through the noise and catch your customer’s attention with the right timing, personalisation and the type of value that makes them feel special.

Using data profiles to create personalised content Once you have a profile for your customer, this data can be synced with your communication platform to drive engagement programmes and deliver personalised content in the following ways: • create a relevant, compelling offer tailored to your customer; • deliver it when they are most likely to engage; • drive frequency and cover different channels; and • test variations in creative, content, different timings, and find exactly what works for that customer. Your marketing platform can do all the groundwork and heavy lifting for you while you focus on creating worthwhile content and campaigns for your customer.

Maintaining loyalty between customer and brand It’s worth remembering that your customer is likely to be constantly bombarded with information. You need to cut through the noise and catch their attention with the right timing, personalisation and the type of value that makes them feel special. You can do this through a process of automation. While you create the content your customer will appreciate, you automate

continue to page 38 35

NOVEMBER 2020


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

continued from page 37 the process of gathering data, align it to your customer profile and create context for your customer. You can implement your communication programmes on automation platforms to ensure that you are always on when it comes to conversations with each customer. These platforms allow you to create triggers, cues and sequences that apply a predefined treatment the moment each customer chooses to engage with you or when your systems and models indicate the customer is most likely to be receptive to your messaging. This combination of customer data, personalised content and automation ensures you’re always communicating with your customer in the right context. Consistent management in this way will raise their awareness and appreciation of you and increase the likelihood that they’ll engage with you in the future.

Final words Data and research are important when it comes to understanding how to connect with your customers. Without it, we couldn’t have a quality, human relationship with our customers at scale. With platforms such as Everlytic, you can have contextual, autonomous, machine and data-driven relationships with millions of individuals at the same time. But first, you need to plug in the reliable, accurate data sets that describe your customer, their needs and preferences. When properly integrated and automated, this becomes an extremely powerful marketing asset that helps you deliver the most relevant message to your customer, at precisely the right time. This can be done across multiple channels to help guide your customer through various actions that align with their needs. It is the perfect formula for customer satisfaction, which in turn results in customer growth, engagement and retention. Everlytic is a proud partner of the Future of Media 2020, brought to you by Arena Events. NOVEMBER 2020

ACHIEVING A COMMON GOAL BY KOO GOVENDER

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ince March 2020, Covid-19 has had an instrumental impact on the SA as well as global economy with the media and advertising industry being some of the hardest hit.

Brands are pausing, stopping or reducing spend, which has created a knock-on effect for the independent contractors and media owners that the industry supports.

Brand awareness and communication is important as we need to re-ignite growth and constantly stay relevant to consumers. We, as the advertising and media industry, need to understand how to add more value in the ecosystem for our consumers and clients, providing them with innovation because no one knows what is next. As an industry we are in a unique position as we are privy to insights, shifts, consumer habits and behaviours, which gives us an opportunity to identify the optimal approach.

As an ever-changing industry, and especially in the Covid-19 circumstances, we are having to constantly find better and different ways to communicate, engage, captivate and convert consumers.

Data and insights are at the heart of creativity: we need to work much harder by working with our clients, media owners and industry in finding more innovative and effective solutions for our client’s return on investment (ROI).

The right guidance for our clients is imperative as consumer behaviour is always changing. How consumers reacted to a brand pre-Covid is very different to how they would react now.

Covid-19 has forced us to alter our thinking on how we operate as an industry, and how we come out on the other side more sustainable and effective for business continuity.

Our lives are disrupted; media and advertising agencies, media owners, clients and consumers have all had to adapt at speed, leading to new consumer habits, which in turn creates opportunities.

Collaboration, recognition and appreciation of our talented people is more important than ever as it is these things that will allow the industry to thrive and encourage sustainability.

The right guidance for our clients is imperative as consumer behaviour is always changing 36

We are best when we come together authentically, reduce egos and collaborate.

But what is collaboration really about? • Driving business success with great ROI • Demonstrating unity within our industry and achieving a common goal


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

Competitors collaborating to create campaigns. Image: Supplied

Collaborating in the interest of what’s best for the public. Image: Supplied

Showing their true purpose by offering tips on personal hygiene during the pandemic. Image: Supplied

• Calling out and recognising great work • Celebrating achievements with our competitive media agencies and competitive brands

Two examples immediately come to mind from the start of Covid-19: 1. One is Woolworths, Spar, Pick n Pay and Shoprite collaborating to create the campaign “together we serve” – it is not very often you see one campaign or one message driven from some of SA’s biggest retail competitors. 2. Lifebuoy included its competitors (Lux, Dettol, Santoor and Godrej No.1) in a public service message. Not only does the campaign list their direct competitors, the ad focuses on the best interest of the public and stays true to its purpose by offering tips on personal hygiene during the pandemic. What about business recovery within our industry? Firstly, there is no textbook or playbook. The prognosis from majority of economists is that life as we used to know it may only return to “normal” by 37

end of 2021, which means a very slow rate of recovery that should be treated as a marathon and not a sprint. The industry needs to re-evaluate our audience and how to engage with them: we need to be ready to respond to opportunities and have the resilience and agility to thrive. I strongly believe this is the time for opportunity and to find our purpose. This is the time for us to stop, reset, reflect, re-evaluate, rejuvenate and refocus on what is important. The pandemic has forced us to create new beginnings and demonstrate that we are all in this together and united in the battle of Covid-19 as we charter through unnavigated waters. Koo Govender is the CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network SA.

The big take-out: Collaboration, acknowledgement, recognition, and appreciation of our talented people is more important than ever before.

NOVEMBER 2020


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

SOCIAL DISTANCING – THE NEW NORMAL BY KGAUGELO MAPHAI

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s South Africans, we’re so used to being together. We’re very community orientated.

We are already replacing the new normal. To make the transition easier, our new way forward post lockdown means unlearning everything we know and learning new paths of behaviour. Let’s have a look at some of the areas that are likely to be affected by social distancing:

Transportation One of these new learnings must be public transportation, as it is an integral part of our community. Millions of our citizens rely on taxis, trains and buses to get to and from work, particularly as many work far from home. It’s going to be interesting to see what additional protocols will be added.

Shopping centres Shopping centres are going to be deeply affected by social distancing requirements, as malls by their very nature exist to attract a high number of consumers. The retail sector is also a big employer in the food, clothing and textile industries. There will need to be a lot more sanitiser, and bathroom checks and cleaning protocols will need to be refined. The opportunity for a lot of the retailers will be around how to develop e-commerce platforms so that customers won’t have to leave home. But that raises the question: will there be a need for malls in our new normal?

Restaurants Restaurants play a big role in terms of people interacting and coming together. NOVEMBER 2020

They, too, will be hugely impacted, as we’ve already seen from the lockdown. Will traditional restaurants that have not historically offered deliveries need to make this an added service? Will e-commerce be the new ecosystem in the years to come? Restaurants form a huge part of the economy from an employment point of view.

Education Educational institutions have also been affected, and what’s clear is that e-learning will be a strong consideration at least for the remainder of the year to supplement those going into classrooms. The biggest risk with children, especially younger kids, is that they naturally want to interact and play together – it will

The big take-out: Companies will be forced to reconsider their business models and become a lot more consumer-centric.

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No area in our lives will remain untouched Image: Pexels/Cottonbro

be extremely difficult to maintain social distancing for them. The other complexity is that schools in the townships receive meals as part of a feeding scheme and those pupils depend on that meal for the day. Not being at school means that they miss a vital meal. Tertiary education will be slightly easier to control as the challenges are different, but I believe that e-learning remains the best solution. The issue with this course of action is that data costs remain high and not everyone has access to the internet or computers and laptops at home.

The office Within the corporate environment, social distancing will also be a key


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

and Saturdays. The channel has been extremely clever to bring in content relevant for this time: the shows have attracted a lot of viewers who may not have watched this channel before, and the DJs have had tremendous success from this initiative with the social media handles sometimes doubling after appearing on the show. It will be great to see this and other initiatives like it evolve and allow these platforms to gain some revenue.

The logistics industry I believe there will be a huge increase in the use of and opportunities for logistics companies. For instance, there’s a lack of service in this category in the townships. This is a perfect time for Uber or a similar company to start a thriving delivery service to these areas. We will be impacted by all our activities from Monday to Sunday and life will never be the same again. So who will the winner be? The biggest winners will be those that allow the democratisation of data, and hopefully we’ll see the government letting in more players in this space – data and access to the internet should become a human right.

d: We will have to unlearn everything we know and learn new paths of behaviour.

requirement. Companies will need to adhere to the strict requirements as set out by the government of managing staff within the workplace. We will also need to consider how the workplace is sanitised. I think that a lot of companies will need to limit the number of people coming into their buildings, with people working from home as much as possible.

Places of worship The other area that will be a big challenge is places of worship. The biggest challenge for places of worship will be holding regular gatherings. People bring offerings like money that the churches need to sustain themselves. They will need to find other ways to help their members contribute to their expenses.

It will be interesting to see how places of worship evolve with new requirements of daily and weekly worship.

The event industry Events will be the hardest hit, both from an attendance and revenue point of view. SA is a sports-mad society and though pre-Covid attendance numbers were already dwindling, some games still attract a huge number of people. There will, of course, be a massive impact on these. From a sponsorship point of view, brands will invest less and less in sponsorships, which will have a ripple effect on all events across the country. A great example of innovation in the music industry is Channel O introducing a virtual “lockdown house party” event featuring popular DJs and up-and-coming DJs to play a one-hour set on Fridays 39

Second, e-commerce is likely to thrive, and companies need to include markets that have been previously marginalised. All companies will be forced to reconsider their business models and become a lot more consumer centric, allowing for more entrepreneurs and preparing us for the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). But it’s not actually about tech; it’s about companies coming up with solutions to solve consumer needs. Technology is an enigma but 4IR has to be about understanding the consumer’s pain points and coming up with solutions. This will be the centre of how companies reset for a new reality. In times of difficulty and uncertainty there is always opportunity. Kgaugelo Maphai is the former MD of The MediaShop Johannesburg. The MediaShop is a proud partner of the Future of Media 2020, brought to you by Arena Events. NOVEMBER 2020


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

Moderator

SIYA SANGWENI

RIVAK BUNCE

MICHELLE RANDALL

LIVIA BROWN

MD, United Stations

Sales director, Christopher Africa

General manager, Posterscope

Brand manager, CliffCentral.com

MERLIN NAICKER

JD ENGELBRECHT

ISLA PRENTIS

EBEN GEWERS

Group executive television, SABC

MD, Everlytic

Intelligence lead at Tirisano Consulting, within The MediaShop

Head of advertising sales and trade marketing, Arena Holdings

NOVEMBER 2020

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THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

PLATFORMS, INTEGRATION AND FUTURE CONSUMPTION BY TANJA DU PLESSIS

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ntegrated 360˚ omnichannel marketing campaigns that create touchpoints at every part of a consumer’s day – by combining traditional and digital mediums – is what it’s all about if brands are committed to boosting their sales. But how do advertisers, media planners and agencies get multichannel marketing right? In a Future of Media event, the focus was on how to navigate the new media environment to prioritise the right amount of attention and resources to the various platforms – whether its social media, print, online, radio, TV, or OOH. The discussion was moderated by Siya Sangweni of CliffCentral.com, and the huge panel of experts included Livia Brown, general manager at Posterscope; Eben Gewers, head of advertising sales and trade marketing at Arena Holdings; JD Engelbrecht, MD of Everlytic; Isla Prentis, intelligence lead at Tirisano Consulting, within The MediaShop; Merlin Naicker, group executive for television at the SABC; Michelle Randal, sales director at Christopher Africa; and Rivak Bunce, MD at United Stations. Brown started the conversation by looking at a silver lining on how OOH has relearnt and transformed “None of us could’ve seen the pandemic coming, but the benefits to the industry have been that the industry has stood up and reshaped itself. We’ve seen lots of changes bringing online and offline together and among this huge disruption, there’s been a lot of positive change within the industry.”

a more effective reach and relevant messaging, allowing them to break through the clutter.”

The industry has stood up and reshaped itself Prentis added that “2020 has taught us that we can’t predict the future. It apparently takes 21 days to form a new habit and that will inevitably change some consumers’ behaviour and buying patterns.” She said she believes that it’s not so much about what people are doing, it’s a reminder that we don’t know what everyone’s doing. According to Engelbrecht the key to personalisation and authenticity “is knowing what the relationship is between your customer wants and needs in relation to your business goals. Thereafter, it’s easy: put the right message up at the right time, leverage the most engaging channels and content options, and then use automation to follow it up with the next message.” The digital space has been placed at the forefront of where we are now, as it provides more access to data and is more agile to react and respond quickly. Randal said: “The challenges for media owners that are not a part of the natural three [Facebook, Twitter and Google] has been to show brands how to connect more meaningfully. There’s an opportunity for brands to look into other platforms that may be able to provide

The big take-out: In order to bring the full brand experience to life, use all channels.

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Focusing our attention on the TV space, Naicker said that in-home media has been affected; they have found that TV consumption has remained quite high. “We had some of our highest viewing audiences during lockdown, but we know that this is because consumers were forced to stay at home. Outside of this, the story that is more telling is that the consumer is no longer home-bound and is seeking content driven by their needs.” Bunce said this is the most exciting time to be in radio because radio has managed to keep up with big digital changes. “Digital changes conspire in radio’s favour, pushing radio to thrive.” In his opinion, radio is finding new ways to leverage technology to spread its influences and grow audiences in different spaces. With people saying “print is dying” and with the industry seeing an immediate drop in advertising spending, why is it still so attractive? Gewers said he thinks print is enduring for a variety of reasons in this “post-truth” world. “Print has a lot of gravitas behind it. It’s still perceived as having a lot of truth behind it. I believe that in our current environment print is doing quite well simply because people want trusted information and good news with credible sources behind it.” With all channels having positives and negatives associated with them, and some being elevated or completely flipped upside down by the pandemic, at the end of the day the multichannel topic is not a new conversation. Each media type has its own role. It’s about understanding what you are using the media type for. NOVEMBER 2020


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

OPPORTUNITIES ARISING FROM THE COVID-19 CRISIS BY DERRYN GRAHAM

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he unprecedented times in which we find ourselves pose a great many opportunities for the ‘buy local’ movement. Local procurement is a proven driver of job creation, as demand for locally manufactured, produced and grown goods stimulates productivity and calls for a larger workforce.

Once life resumes its former economic pace – to the extent that it does – much work will be required to kick-start the economy again, to put SA and South Africans back to work. Many jobs will have been lost after the Covid-19 pandemic has run its course as many companies, both small and large, will not have weathered the storm. After the Covid-19 lockdown South Africans must reflect on their priorities regarding purchasing decisions. Prices of goods and services will be vastly altered – the plummeting oil price will likely favour consumers, but they will be hit hard in their pockets for other items whose raw material inputs have become scarce. This means that items that are wholly made in SA are likely to remain stable in price, in contrast with those that rely on imported components or ingredients. Many countries – SA is not alone – will be using this period to review their reliance on overseas markets for imported goods, services and inputs. The coronavirus pandemic will test many businesses, challenging them to source some of their required raw materials closer to home. NOVEMBER 2020

Not buying local will result in us helping other economies get back on their feet when we should be focusing on our own Proudly SA began working in 2019 with retailers on identifying a list of FMCG items, including foodstuffs, for the implementation of an import replacement programme, and the current crisis offers us an opportunity to extend this list and look at what on our supermarket shelves is local and what is imported. Which among the imported products can we replace with a local equivalent? There are many products – poultry and tinned tomatoes are just two – that are almost wholly imported from overseas but which SA has the capacity to source entirely from local suppliers, who produce sufficient quantities of both to satisfy the domestic market. But what reaches our shelves is the responsibility of both the retailers and the consumers who drive demand. During this lockdown period we have seen a whole host of beautifully shot and crafted adverts – or perhaps we shouldn’t call them adverts, as traditional advertisers have suspended

The big take-out: We don’t need to rely on imports as much as we have to date.

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commercial messaging in favour of feelgood, stay-home, in-this-together public service announcements. We saw an unprecedented collaboration between retailers Shoprite, Checkers, Spar, Pick n Pay and Woolworths, whose food sections remained open to keep us fed, nourished and supplied with essential items. The words: “We shall proudly serve” in the fonts and colours of the various stores make their point. So as we try to look forward to a time when life returns to a regular rhythm, we appeal to businesses, consumers and retailers to put all their support behind local manufacturers and suppliers. We cannot squander the advantage this pandemic has given us as it demonstrates that we do not need to rely on imports as much as we have to date. If all the businesses that are showing support for SA at this time of crisis want our loyalty after this is over, they need to change their local procurement mindset. This means not just that retailers should stock more local goods – consumers can’t make local product choices if they can’t find local products readily on the shelves – it means corporate SA should make “buy local” choices through their entire value chain in everything from furniture to stationery, uniforms, detergents and all other daily consumables they require for the functioning of their businesses. And we as consumers have a choice – to recognise that local really is ‘lekker’ or to go back to our old habits of buying imported goods. After all this is over, not buying local will result in us helping other economies get back on their feet when we should be focusing on our own. Buy local to create jobs! Deryn Graham is the public relations manager at Proudly SA. Proudly SA is a proud partner of the Future of Media 2020, brought to you by Arena Events.


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

It’s now more important than ever to focus our buying power on locally grown, produced and manufactured goods and services. Image: Supplied

ENERGISE OUR BIGGEST BRAND BY DERRYN GRAHAM

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roudly SA is the country’s only official buy-local advocacy campaign. In addition to being a brand, it’s also a membership-based organisation whose logo is carried by many other brands, making its reputation inextricably linked to theirs.

All the brands associated with, and affiliated to, Proudly SA collectively have a role to play in giving the buy-local movement and the logo that represents it, prominence on their products. Exposing consumers to Proudly SA on fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), clothing and apparel, white goods, furniture, manufactured items, services such as airlines and hotel groups, serves to energise the brand and show SA’s ability to produce excellence.

Buying local goes beyond the Proudly SA logo. The labelling legislation in SA requires all products to show their country of origin. Being a logo-bearing member can reinvigorate local manufacturing. Collectively, we need to make an effort to always buy items made here at home. Given our current economic situation, it is now more important than ever to focus our buying power on locally grown, produced and manufactured goods and services. When imports were log-jammed at international ports of exit and here at domestic ports of entry, South Africans wanted for almost nothing on the shelves of our stores. It was local manufacturers that ensured that from field to fork, our

The big take-out: Collectively, we need to make an effort to retain and re-create jobs.

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nutritional needs were met and that as winter approached, we were equipped for the cold weather with warm clothing and blankets. Right now, we must examine our own personal and corporate purchasing habits and our reliance on, or preference for, imported goods. By buying imported items we are exporting jobs and assisting overseas economies get back on their feet. While we are still a player in the global economy, it is incumbent on us as South Africans to put our own economy back to work and to ensure that jobs are retained or re-created as we become economically active once again. By supporting local manufacturers to keep people in work we are also creating a cycle of economically active citizens who have purchasing power and, in doing so, stimulate the economy. There are some grim facts and figures that we must confront as an economically damaged country and world, but buying local is a way of demonstrating the pride we have in our own skills, of supporting job retention. NOVEMBER 2020


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

MASS PERSONALISATION – A TARGETING PARADOX BY ISLA PRENTIS

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f you are anything like me, then you start your year off by reading all the trends and predictions for the upcoming year – 2020 was no different except that there were trends for the entire decade. In among these trends was one that received a lot of hype – personalisation. Whenever a trend has that much hype, I worry about it. Why? Well, when a trend is overhyped the term tends to be thrown around for the sake of appearing to be on trend (often misinterpreted) rather than by understanding it and applying it correctly. So let’s unpack this trend. First we need to rewind and remind ourselves of the context. In the early 2000s marketing focus shifted from mass to one-on-one as we realised that audiences are not all like-minded. But there was a major flaw with this approach. Individual communication at the time was extremely cost intensive, which meant that brands started to reduce their audiences. Behavioural economics and marketing science provide us with empirical evidence that we need to broaden reach and target the category. If you aren’t yet familiar with these methods, a great starting place is Byron Sharp’s book How Brands Grow. We also learn from behavioural science that people are led by their hearts. Even when we think that we are making a logical, thought-through purchase decision, it is mostly our brain working overtime to justify what the heart wants. So when we remember that audiences are not machines but groups of human beings, then we must realise that brands NOVEMBER 2020

need to connect through different emotions. As we enter this new decade we need to remember to look at all the learnings and string them together rather than just focusing on the latest trend or buzzword. We need to be intensely careful that the trend of personalisation does not take us back to the era of one-onone communication described earlier. We don’t want to repeat past mistakes. So, let’s look at what else we know to find a place for personalisation. It is unclear who first said: “Understanding is deeper than knowledge. There are many people who know me but not many who understand me”. But it is a quote that I like to refer to because it reminds us that need to strive to understand the human beings that Personalisation has a place and a chance to make up our markets make a real impact. in order to resonate. Image: 123RF/Scott Betts There are many things that allow us to connect people we are talking to and adapt to emotions – names, communication to the individual at scale. interests and language are just a few to And that is how we create this paradox come to mind. of mass personalisation – we can aim to And it is with this in mind that reach the entire category but still connect personalisation has a place and with each one of them individually. a chance to make a real impact. Isla Prentis is the intelligence lead Personalisation allows us to use at Tirisano Consulting, within the technology; analytics, AI and machine MediaShop. learning allow us to understand the 44


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

BRANDS NEED TO WORRY ABOUT WHAT DOESN’T CHANGE MORE THAN WHAT DOES BY MICHELLE RANDALL

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ovid-19 has done terrible damage to commerce and business globally. Some commentators are predicting that the future will be entirely different to how we have lived up until now, and that consumer behaviour will change dramatically. This uncertainty has thrown the world of marketing and media into a state of turmoil and flux. However, what we now know from evidence-based marketing principles, is that consumer behaviour won’t change substantially. It may evolve but, because our behaviour is driven by our hard-wired brains, how we react to marketing and advertising, and how we process information, won’t change fundamentally. Advancement in the field of neuro marketing has provided us with a framework and a checklist of key fundamentals for effective advertising. As much as some things do change, we need to ensure we don’t lose focus on what doesn’t. The objective of any media strategy is to find ways to reach enough of the right audiences, at the right time, in meaningful ways.

What is enough? Reach matters the most. The more people that see our commercial messages, the more will potentially be nudged to buy us, more often, and for more reasons. But it’s not just about the scale of the reach that matters, but as important is the

quality of the connection. The challenge marketers face is how to cut through the clutter and ensure their messages get people’s attention. Factors such as viewability, time on screen, and contextual suitability of the media channel, play a vital role in delivering the necessary dwell time spent processing the message. Delivering effective mass reach is a critical factor in driving mental availability in the minds of more relevant consumers.

When is the right time? Recency is a driver of effectiveness. Delivering advertising close to the point of purchase, or when buyers are in the brand selection stage of the purchase funnel, has a higher propensity to influence behaviour. Real-time data and insights can effectively guide marketers and brands in ensuring that the timing of the messaging is relevant. Consumers who are “in market” are primed to pay attention to the message. But every week, for different reasons, different consumers are ready to buy, so to nudge “primed consumers” it is necessary to try to be “in market” every week with your advertising. In other words, aim for continuity of exposure, rather than a burst, followed by periods of no activity.

What is meaningful? Artificial Intelligence (AI), data and

The big take-out: Delivering meaningful connections will set brands a bar above the rest.

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insights help brands and marketers to better understand consumers’ behaviour, tones and context. This offers brands an enormous opportunity to deliver better, more effective, and more relevant advertising. The opportunity is not necessarily “hyper-targeting”, but rather, “hyperpersonalisation” at scale. Relevant messaging to relevant consumers increases the probability of the message being noticed. Delivering meaningful connections with category consumers, in line with authentic and distinctive brand tones, will set brands a bar above the rest. Effective reach of the right people, coupled with recency and relevance play a fundamental role in ensuring attention is critical and needs to be a key metric in measuring the success of media executions. “Attention is a finite resource. Just because people can see something does not mean that they will see something. And if people don’t look at your ads, they can’t remember or act on them,” says international eye-tracking research company Lumen. Advances in digital technologies and AI offer the opportunity for brands to apply these fundamentals in collaboration with broader media types. The challenge we are faced with now is how to survive this storm. Perhaps not for immediate growth, but for sustainability. “Brand advertising is not only about profiting in recession; it is about capitalising on recovery,” says UK advertising effectiveness authority Peter Field. Michelle Randal is the sales director at Christopher Africa. NOVEMBER 2020


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

MEDIA SUSTAINABILITY: WHY SHOULD WE CARE? BY WILLIAM BIRD

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et’s start with a few basic assumptions: our media sector, like so many, are for the most part in crisis.

We are lucky to have a few big media groups who have significant resources behind them. For many small commercial publishers and many community radio stations, the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown with its dire economic consequences has simply been too much. The SA National Editors Forum (Sanef) put out a report that showed just how bad things are. We also know that media is an essential element for democracy. You can have media without democracy, but you cannot have a democracy without quality journalism. Its role isn’t simply to hold the powerful to account, but it is also to help explain our complex existence and offer credible information in a sea of disinformation. In other words: media is essential to democracy, but business models for sustainability are few and far between. There are some media companies that have succeeded, and we are seeing an increasing number of hybrid models: donor funded, membership, paywalls and niche areas of reporting. Ultimately though, the outlook is pretty bleak for media owners. In the Covid-19 crisis, Sanef started an emergency fund which is an excellent start but clearly a stop-gap measure with little likelihood of pulling the media sector in general out of the doldrums, especially in an economic recession. With the shift to digital, we can expect the SA media to mirror global experience, where more than 80% of advertising is bypassing traditional NOVEMBER 2020

media, helping the likes of Google and Facebook get slightly richer. We need to use the increased awareness of the importance of journalism and think of new ways of making media more sustainable. We know that, for many large corporations, advertising in news media is seen to be off-brand, unappealing and negative because few want to have their brand next to stories of gross corruption, murder, rape, poverty and or natural disasters. While possibly understandable, it doesn’t help the argument that media is an essential public good or make it sustainable. Emerging risks for corporates in the digital era are disinformation and rampant corruption. Traditionally, credible journalism posed a risk to these practices, and few would see it in their long-term interest to support media freedom. The problem with rampant corruption is that it increases costs across a range of businesses, kills competition and exposes good corporate citizens to huge pressures from those in power. Without the media to expose such pressure, the corporates are on their own. The rise of disinformation poses a threat to democracy, but it can just as easily pose a profound threat to corporate

entities. While corporates experiencing challenging media reports invariably turn to their own PR in a crisis, they also rely on credible media to get their views out. Without credible media the chances of any corporate being able to publish a version of events that should be heard will be drastically reduced. Disinformation thus poses a real risk to corporates, and credible media are the strongest means to mitigate the risk. The problem with corruption is that only a few benefit. But as we are seeing now, the money eventually runs out, and while some big corporates may survive, many others will fail and the cost of doing business will increase. The problem with widespread and rampant corruption, as is the case right now, the media aren’t there simply to publish exposure after exposure, but to ensure that other key democratic structures such as the justice system don’t fail. While some corporates may survive during times of rampant corruption, in the long run, more will lose out on potential profits from a growing economy vs a collapsed one. Media are thus not only essential for holding power to account and disseminating information, but they also serve as a bulwark against destruction of other critical pillars of democracy. It is thus in corporates’ interest to have a credible, diverse and pluralist media sector. So, what other income streams or avenues can we create? Should corporates support media and if so, how?

You can have media without democracy but you cannot have a democracy without quality journalism 46

With climate change and other pandemics predicted, the news agenda is unlikely to look any less negative in the near future, but what we have seen is the importance of news and credible information for the public. Conspiracyfilled, anxiety driven, angry citizens are always going to be less productive than


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

Corporates should empower and inform their employees through media subscriptions. Image: 123RF/rawpixel

an informed public, particularly in the workplace. My simple, yet effective, solution is to make it fashionable and sexy for corporates to actively and constructively build an active citizenry. Corporates should give subscriptions to various media for all their employees. Simple. Not only will the corporates themselves benefit by having more engaged employees, the pot could even be sweetened because supporting media is a public good, and the government could be convinced to offer them tax incentives. The more subscriptions the greater the tax write-off. Imagine the quality of journalism South Africans would receive then?

It isn’t only up to SA corporates. We need to look at the global nature of the challenge, and consider efforts similar to those being examined in Australia where they are looking to ensure the major platforms like Facebook, Google and Twitter return some of the revenue from advertising into news media.

The big take-out: Corporate subscriptions used as tax write-offs is a simple, yet effective, way to help the media survive.

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Clearly we need to work on some calculations but if our democracy is to stand a chance of surviving, our media sector is essential. Just as so many corporates have stood up and donated to the Solidarity Fund and food drives, we need the responsible corporates who want to exist in five years to see that running their business isn’t enough. They need to help build our democracy. Subscriptions to media not only help empower and inform their employees, a vibrant and well-funded media sector will help combat disinformation, create jobs and ensure a more stable society. Let’s see who’s bold enough to take the first step? William Bird is the director at Media Monitoring Africa. NOVEMBER 2020


THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

Moderator

SARAH UTERMARK

SINDY SNOW

Media personality, Jacaranda FM

Director of commercial partnerships South Africa, Opera Software, Mobile Marketing Association

Head of marketing, Vodacom Digital Advertising

KENZY MOHAPI

NOVEMBER 2020

KERSTIN TRIKALITIS

DENVOR DANIELS

Co-founder and CEO, Out There Media

Sales head, Vodacom Digital Advertising

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THE FUTURE OF MEDIA - THE PARADIGM SHIFT: A DIGITAL SUMMARY

THE ROLE OF TELCO TECH IN THE FUTURE OF MEDIA BY TANJA DU PLESSIS

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rivacy policies, GDPR, POPI and a possible cookie-less world has been a long-standing conversation in the media and advertising space over the past three years. In an industry that is highly dependent on third party cookies, what does the future of media look like? During a Future of Media digitised event, the topic in question was: “How do we create an authentic brand journey by taking full advantage of telecommunications and media technologies?” Hosted by Kenzy Mohapi, media personality at Jacaranda FM, the panel of experts included Benjamin Fahmueller, head of global partnerships: SSA at Google; Denvor Daniels, sales head at Vodacom Digital Advertising; Sindy Snow, head of marketing at Vodacom Digital Advertising; Kerstin Trikalitis, co-founder and CEO of Out There Media; and Sarah Utermark, director of commercial partnerships SA, Opera Software and representative on behalf of the Mobile Marketing Association. The discussion began by addressing the role of the telecommunications company in media and advertising. In Fahmueller’s opinion, the telecoms industry is well equipped to take part in the media industry because of the user data, first party data, platform availability and the reporting tools they have available.

Regardless of the platform, content is still king and the creation of good content is still key to captivating audiences Daniels added that from a local perspective, telecoms companies, specifically Vodacom, have the ability to address an audience that had seemed un-addressable in the past. “This has been made possible through innovative new platforms as well as innovating on existing platforms through creative communications with the customer, building our exciting new display channels, and high engagement channels through video” he said. Snow reiterated: “The lines between digital and mobile are becoming more blurred and, as marketers, it’s essential that communication happens at all levels regardless of lifestyle or position in the economy.” Trikalitis gave us some insights into Rich Communication Services (RCS), a new communication platform: “RCS is the game changer the industry has been

The big take-out: RCS is a great add-on. It closes the loop, and makes sure brands and businesses stay connected, relevant and top of mind.

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waiting for. It’s been developed by the mobile operator community and is the new standard of message. RCS provides a native, trusted environment that turns messaging into an interactive, future-rich experience.” Regardless of the platform, content is still king and the creation of good content is still key to captivating audiences. Utermark said: “The challenge with this is the speed at which the content needs to be developed, adapted and marketed.” Snow added: “It’s important to stay relevant and get creative in your customer messaging, especially with everyone being bombarded with advertising at the moment.” With a reminder that there are people behind the device, Daniels added: “You are connecting to a real person. With the feedback you get from that person, brands can adapt their messages effectively, allowing them to be relevant and react in real time.” With data and accessibility being a real challenge in SA, how has RCS worked in this regard? Snow concluded by saying that: “While awareness is created for brands via mobile when clicking on the digital banner, a big drop-off rate has been recorded if the user has no data. RCS has some sort of data component but, as a whole, brands can stay connected to their audience even if they have no data. By using a zero-rated platform this has increased the click-through rate by 70%.” With traditional media like billboards, radio, television and print still around and not going anywhere, RCS is a great add on, closing the loop, making sure brands and businesses stay connected, relevant and top of mind. NOVEMBER 2020


Profile for SundayTimesZA

The Future of Media 2020  

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