media update’s Aisling McCarthy attended the event on Tuesday, 31 October at the Bryanston Country Club.

Focus on the right digital channels

Jonathan Sinton, Kantar TNS’s executive director of digital and strategy, said that although data costs in South Africa are high, people are still very active online, making digital marketing a good strategy.

Sinton highlighted the importance of optimising for mobile, as South Africa is one of the most mobile-centric nations in the world.

In countries where data costs are lower and Internet speeds are higher, consumers are active on various different online platforms. In South Africa, the majority of consumers are most active on Facebook and on WhatsApp. Sinton said that this offers an opportunity for brands to focus on marketing on those platforms in order to reach the vast majority of consumers.

“Data limitations do change the shape of what people do. Messaging [apps] and social channels are more popular than YouTube because of data costs,”

Once the right channels are identified, Sinton said it is important to make digital marketing strategies as intelligent as possible.

“Marketing treats people like they are new consumers every time, but if consumers have given you some kind of data, they expect you to know who they are,” Sinton says.

However, if consumers are willing to give you data, it is vital to treat that data with care and to use it responsibly. Sinton suggested that a misuse of consumer data comes across as “creepy” and does not build trust with a brand.

Finally, Sinton offered three tips for brands wanting to get data-driven marketing right:
  • Build your data advantage – find out what data you have, and how you can use it;
  • Measure everything – gather your stats and start drawing conclusions; and
  • Don’t be creepy – be responsible with consumer data to build their trust.

Effective advertising in the era of search, skip, and share

Chief global analyst at Kantar Millward Brown, Nigel Hollis explained that in the digital age, you have to connect with people on their terms.

“People have considerable control over what they want on digital, and by producing bad content, we are pushing them to do things like install ad blockers,” said Hollis.

Hollis said that the digital age revolves around the three S’s:
  • Search;
  • Skip; and
  • Share.
Thanks to digital, consumers are able to instantly compare prices online, skip adverts they don’t like, and share things they do like at a push of a button. However, despite what people may think, digital is not necessarily a fix-all for marketing. Repetition of adverts, copy that goes unnoticed, adverts in bad taste, and which that don’t resonate with their audience can lead to negative reactions to brands.

Hollis highlighted the importance of resonating with an audience, as he said that memory is how brands are built.

“Brand building campaigns are key.”

Although many brands focus on reminding consumers about their products in the short-term, Hollis said that brands wanting to be big, need to focus on fostering positives attitudes in the long-term.

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While many consider digital marketing to be a silver bullet, it is vital to do it correctly to get the results you want. Read more in our article, Three insights to make digital advertising more effective.