media update’s Nikita Geldenhuys attended the event and reports on five case studies that offer particularly valuable insights for South African marketers.

The conference was held at the Bryanston country club, with its Western Cape leg being hosted on Friday, 9 June at the House of J.C. Le Roux in Stellenbosch. Four local panellists were also scheduled to attend each of the events, which were hosted by Marketing Mix Conference. They were tasked to offer local insights on the case studies presented and briefly discuss their own case studies at the event.

Hando Sinisalu, CEO of Best Marketing International, led the conference. The company is a producer of workshops and in-house training on digital marketing in Europe. He discussed nine digital marketing case studies from Germany, Norway, Romania, Sweden, and the US. 

His session was followed by presentations from marketers from Dotsavvy in Kenya and AIM in Tanzania. Representatives from the local agencies, Mobitainment, Columinate, CBR Marketing Solutions, and Popimedia discussed successful South African digital marketing campaigns. 

Five digital marketing examples South African marketers can learn from:

1. Marketing hotels: Red Roof Inn’s mobile search strategy

Red Roof Inn is an economy hotel chain in the United States, with hotels along major highways. To beat other larger hotel chains in search engine results, the brand relied on targeted search advertising during periods when US highways are congested.

The brand used its Flight Tracking Tool technology to monitor interstate traffic. As conditions changed, the brand’s paid search campaigns were updated in real time to display customised content to weary travellers looking for accommodation in specific areas.

Red Roof Inn saw a 225% increase in room bookings and a 400% conversion rate. Get more information on the campaign here.

2. Promoting road safety: The Automobile Club of Romania

Sinisalu explained that The Automobile Club of Romania launched an app to influence driver behaviour without patronising drivers for speeding. Publicis Romania developed an app called Mr Bear Driver.

The app was created for children to use while they are travelling in a car. The game tracks the speed at which the car is travelling and connects to Google Maps to determine whether it is adhering to the speed limit. The game alerts the player when the car is travelling more than 10km/h faster than the limit. If the driver doesn’t slow down, the player loses points and the game ends.

According to Sinisalu, the app reached 25% of the Romanian population and will expand to other countries. It also caused thousands of slowdowns, helping the club to promote road safety.

3. Selling real estate: Daykio Plantations’ Valentine’s Day campaign

Daykio Plantations is a real estate company in Kenya. It launched a Valentine’s Day campaign in February, encouraging Kenyans to buy plots of land for their loved ones in the month of love. The campaign offered a 5% discount on real estate and the possibility of winning a dinner for two at a five-star hotel.

Dotsavvy in Kenya created the digital campaign, ‘Mshtue Na Plot’. According to the company’s founder, Moses Kemibaro, who was a speaker at the roadshow, the campaign was run on Facebook and Google Ads. During February, the reach of Daykio Plantations’ Facebook Page increased significantly and drew the attention of Kenyan diaspora in the US.

4. Encouraging saving: The NMB Wajibu savings account

Hafiz Juma, GM and director of the hybrid agency AIM, presented a number of case studies from Tanzania. The agency’s client, National Microfinance Bank, needed to launch a range of accounts to promote a savings culture among parents and children.

To do this, AIM created an archetype of the ideal consumer in the form of Johari, a nine-year-old girl. Facebook was used as a media platform to target consumers. The agency created a hero content piece featuring Johari and a number of episodic pieces.

Juma explained that making the campaign digital-only made it measurable and easier to prove ROI. He notes 9 500 new accounts were opened in a four-month period, which is said to be significant for the Tanzanian market.

5. Selling cars: Bidvest McCarthy’s ‘Cartagious’ campaign

Timed to the 2016 flu season in South Africa, Bidvest McCarthy launched the ‘Cartagious’ campaign to beat the mid-year slump in car sales. Dirk Visser, head of social media at CBR Marketing Solutions, explained the campaign had three phases: Cartagious, Epidemic, and Outbreak. It ran on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, along with an in-store component.

CBR used the social media platforms’ targeting abilities to reach audiences within specific regions, with specific lifestyles. It generated 7 500 leads and sold more than a 1 000 cars.

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Ready for more digital marketing lessons? Read our article, How to do digital marketing for the travel industry.