media update’s Aisling McCarthy and David Jenkin attended the conference to find out more about the state of marketing in South Africa.

Megan Stark, managing director of Cubic Ice, opened the second day of Madex 2017 with a talk about B2B marketing online. She claimed that some of the largest companies in South Africa are missing out on vast amounts of revenue because they aren’t taking digital seriously enough.

The internet is a cost efficient and effective way of brand building, she explained, which allows for a measurable approach.

Another cost-effective means of reaching clients is email marketing, which Vera Romano, marketing manager of Everlytic, feels is under-utilised.

Through research Everlytic did, they noticed the emergence of the ‘professional email marketer’ or ‘email marketing specialist’.

A few years ago, Romano said that the ‘SEO strategist’ was a title, which was trending – due to the rise in importance of SEO. Now, she believes that ‘email marketing specialist’ will be the new trending title – owing to the need to be better in our email marketing.

Behavioural strategist, Erik Vermeulen, spoke about the importance of narrative when it comes to marketing a brand or product.

He highlighted the fact that just because we are told something, does not make it true. By controlling the way a story is told about a brand, you can ultimately control the success of a brand.

“Media and social media tells a story, but marketing is the way a story is told.”

Reaching millennials using social media

Craig Hannabus, digital strategist at Havas Boondoggle, spoke about the world of millennials – defined as anyone who has grown up immersed in a digital world regardless of their age.

He firstly cautioned against the false insights, such as ‘millennials like convenience’ – as surely any generation does. He said millennials tend to connect more with people than with brands, hence the value of influencer marketing.

They tend to better informed, hence the need for authenticity, and they live in a time plagued with concerning issues, such as chronic unemployment and low wages – hence the need for real solutions over gimmicks.

MD of YouKnow Digital, Kelvin Jonck, said that 92% of consumers trust earned media more than any other form of media. He suggested that in order to create great content for social platforms, you should use what is popular on social platforms already.

“The only way to scale for social – is with social.”

People want to create content, which is evident through the mass of user-generated content on social media, so Jonck suggested that marketers should take advantage of this.

“A cool video of a guy doing parkour whilst wearing DC shoes is more likely to sell the product than a traditional advert for DC shoes.”

Jonck explained how social media insights can be useful for market research purposes. Where, in recent years, sentiment towards a product was analysed. He says that people need to know more now.

“We used to use sentiment graphs, but social data has evolved.”

Understanding when, where, how, and why people purchase a product is more important than knowing whether they have a positive or negative sentiment.

He explained that using such a simple measure often skews results, as is the case with banks and network providers, as no one will post that they are happy with service but are quick to complain about service.

Engaging African consumers and the South African creative market

Yourself Management’s CEO, Kabelo Ncholo, gave some tips for businesses wanting to break into the greater African market. He highlighted the importance of taking note of the lower income market, as it makes up the vast majority of African consumers.

“Africa is open for business but, if you want to play the numbers game, you need to focus on the township and peri-urban markets.”

He suggested that for brands to succeed in that, market they need to be:
  • Aspirational;
  • Evoke an emotional connection;
  • Quality; and
  • Have a customised message.
Founder and publisher of Between 10&5, Uno de Waal, spoke about the scale of the South African creative industry and the most influential players within it.

He expressed optimism about the industry, reflecting on how much it has grown in less than a decade and how there are now many opportunities for creative careers in South Africa beyond of the scope of advertising.

Collaboration is key

Jared Shippel, director of KVR Qhubeka, spoke about SMEs and stressed the importance of businesses understanding one another in order to unlock real collaborative potential.

As a small business, it is best to find a niche and to consider outsourcing areas of weakness. He also spoke about SME-friendly marketing technologies and tools that can aid marketing efforts, many of which are readily available – like Google Analytics.

Websites serve a vital function for an SME, he said, and should be thought of as a question-answering content machine.

AAXO’s associate member programme

Upstairs from the Madex and Markex venue in the Sandton Convention Centre, the Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO) launched their associate member programme.

Associate membership requires no joining fee and gives exhibition venues and suppliers opportunities for networking and match-making with event organisers, channels for dialogue and problem solving, access to market research, and the growing credibility afforded by the AAXO badge of approval.

The presentation and Q&A session attracted the attention of a number of suppliers and venue representatives.

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You can read more about day one of Madex in our article, A feast for all at Day 1 of Madex & Markex 2017.