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Journal of Strategic Marketing Newsletter – August 2021

Journal of Strategic Marketing Newsletter – August 2021


We’re at our best when we’re at our worst. There are no half measures for us South Africans. That is the sad but also the uplifting truth. It took the recent major crisis to once more release our spirit, empathy and pragmatic work ethic to deal with the fallout of what the worst of us deliberately planned and executed to strike an economic and social blow to the nation.

We watched with horror and sadness as the unrest and looting unfolded live on our screens (hats off to the young reporters from our three major broadcasters SABC, eNCA and Newzroom Afrika for their extraordinary and brave work keeping the nation informed).

And then we had lumps in our throats and tears in our eyes as we witnessed South Africans (yes, the wholeness of us, not the splintered factions) haul out their brooms and bags and literally hit the streets and devastated malls to clean up in the aftermath of the orgy of violence and looting.

We saw media and other businesses rally to raise funds to restore community radio stations destroyed by looters, and to help rebuild SMEs and family-owned shops. Big business and government (finally) swung into action to ensure the free flow of vital goods along the N2. The freight and logistics industry formed a forum to share information between the private sector and government to rebuild supply chains. For once, the ANC’s tired old refrain of Together, We Can Do More actually hit the right note.

Now, in the aftermath, the truth of how this crisis unfolded is beginning to emerge. And it highlights how WhatsApp was weaponised to plan and incite the attack on South Africa. We tend to laugh at the South Africanism, or ‘mzansitaal’, “they belong to the same WhatsApp group” to describe similar mindsets or actions. But in this case, the meaning is so much darker.

Technology, like South Africa, gives us the best of things and the worst of things too. But in this issue, we look at how it can help marketers and business and entrepreneurs make the best of their businesses. Debbie Pearson gives insights into the practical use of artificial intelligence and machine learning in marketing.

Sean Kruger and Adriana Aletta Steyn look at how entrepreneurs can harness technology to drive progress and innovation through by enhancing products and services with digital capabilities including artificial intelligence, adaptive robotics, the Internet of Things, big data, drones, 5G and cloud systems. The IMM Graduate School’s Myles Wakeham and Carl Wakehman unpack how Covid-19 changed the 7Ps of marketing. And in our lead story, Kantar’s Karin du Chenne drives home how important it is to make sustainability a business imperative. By putting people, planet, and purpose ahead of profit, forward-thinking brands can lead the way to a more positive future for all.

And so say all of us.

1 - Sustainability - Article Photo with quotes

Three sustainability success levers to breathe growth into your business in Africa

By putting people, planet, and purpose ahead of profit, forward-thinking brands can lead the way to a more positive future for all, writes KARIN DU CHENNE.

If you’ll forgive me for saying the Covid-19 pandemic comes with a silver lining, it’s that all the associated disruption has cemented sustainability as an essential consideration in going forward. By putting people, planet, and purpose ahead of profit, forward-thinking brands can lead the way to a more positive future for all. Here are three ideas to tap into opportunities in the current climate and unlock sustainable growth for your business…

It’s 2021 and sustainability is finally no longer about ticking the CSR box or tacking vague promises of becoming more environmentally friendly onto your 10-year growth plan. It is now a key business imperative – ethically aware and climate-conscious consumers now expect government, businesses, and brands alike to lead the way and help them make more sustainable choices. It’s vital to embed the principles of sustainability into your everyday business practices.

artificial intelligence

The impact of artificial intelligence on marketing

One thing is for sure: AI marketing is not going anywhere soon. Recent research suggests 80% of marketing leaders believe AI will impact marketing in the next three years, writes DEBBIE PEARSON.

Today, common definitions of artificial intelligence (AI) focus on automation. We know machine learning provides computers with the ability to learn. But what opportunities does this create for businesses and marketers, and how does this impact marketing in the 21st century?

According to Forrester, global marketing automation spend will reach $25 billion by 2023.

3 - Technology - Article Photo with quotes

How to help entrepreneurs adopt cutting edge technologies

Entrepreneurs need to tap into the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its technological innovations to enhance their products and services via digital capabilities, write SEAN KRUGER and ADRIANA ALETTA STEYN. These include continuously evolving AI, adaptive robotics, the Internet of Things, big data, drones, 5G and cloud systems. 

Entrepreneurs are known to drive innovation and progress in various fields. The Fourth Industrial Revolution has provided an unprecedented platform to do so.

This global concept was coined in 2016 by Professor Klaus Schwab. He said that this revolution entails “nothing less than the transformation of humankind” because it is the integration of technologies across the digital, physical and biological spheres.

Moreover, the speed at which this is happening is influencing work, services, educational needs and people’s everyday activities.

4 - COVID 7Ps Article photo with quotes

The impact of Covid-19 on the marketing mix

If forecasting has been adversely impacted by Covid-19, and therefore affected associated business and marketing strategies, to what extent has the pandemic ‘injured’ the 7Ps? DR MYLES WAKEHAM and CARL WAKEHAM share their opinions.

The isolated period brought about by Covid-19 has been ongoing for over 18 months. For marketers, the data acquired over this period will certainly skew what will transpire in the future.

Most people are aware marketing consists of seven elements, which are collectively known as the extended marketing mix. They include product, price, place (distribution), promotion, people, processes and physical evidence. The latter three are usually associated with a service. If the accuracy of forecasting has been adversely impacted, and therefore associated business and marketing strategies, to what extent has the pandemic ‘injured’ the 7Ps?

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    Gartner’s annual CMO Spend Survey shows devastating decline in budgets

    The annual Gartner CMO Spend Survey shows that marketing budgets have fallen to their lowest recorded level. The results of the survey reveal budgets dropped to 6.4% of company revenue in 2021 from 11% in 2020. Four hundred CMO and marketing leaders from North America, the UK, France and Germany were surveyed from March 2021 through May 2021. The research tracked critical areas marketers are investing in and where cuts are being made from people, programmes and technologies. Ewan McIntyre, co-chief of research and vice president analyst in the Gartner for Marketers practice said most CMOs had expected budgets to bounce back in 2021. “This budgetary optimism was misplaced, as marketing budgets have fallen to their lowest level in the history of Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey,” he said. “However, these cuts have been a slow burn over the course of the last year, where many marketing budgets have not recovered what was originally lost.” Gartner reported that no industry achieved a double-digit budget in 2021 but that consumer products and goods companies reported the strongest 2021 marketing budgets at 8.3% of company revenue. Large enterprises were hardest hit with the lowest average marketing budget of just 5.7%. Companies with revenue of under $500 million reported the highest allocation with an average budget of 8.6% of revenue.

    EF-Active sets sights on new markets in Africa

    Strategic marketer and EF-Active founder and CEO, Salil Dhingra, is already exporting his hygiene products into Africa, establishing a presence in Mauritius, Ghana, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. EF-Active’s entire product line has been endorsed and regulated by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition in South Africa. “The countries we are exporting to now do not offer manufacturing opportunities, so we are merely responding to the need to import a decent, reliable product, which we can do and successfully cater to their demands,” Dhingra said. Angola and Nigeria are the next two territories where EF-Active anticipates landing and serving the broader population with their key products.

    DMA of SA launches online compliance took-kit

    The Direct Marketing Association of SA has created a handy online tool-kit that enables members to build and maintain their own compliance framework. This is required in terms of Regulation 4 of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA). “The Data Protection Compliance Programme is helping to ensure our members convert good intentions around privacy to actual POPIA compliance,” said CEO David Dickens. In addition to the online POPI Act risk assessment tool-kit, the DPCP also offers online training opportunities and enables the automated generation of necessary compliance documentation.

    The way the cookie is crumbling

    Google might be delaying the complete phasing out of third party cookies to then end of 2023, but marketers still have to prepare for a cookie-free world. WARC is running a series on Future of Identity looking into this scenario. RSquared Global Ventures’ Ranga Somanathan, writing on marketing imperatives for a cookieless world, said: “The shift in focus from third-party to first-party cookies, embracing contextual advertising, and building robust CRM will be key imperatives for the marketing renaissance and bring the advertising world back from a marketing dystopia.” Strong stuff.

    IMM Graduate School graduates now qualify for CIM accreditation

    IMM Graduate School graduates in various marketing programmes now have the opportunity to get an international accreditation from Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) by getting recognition for their IMM degree and completing a module from sister brand, The Oxford Professional Education group (OXPEG). The CIM is a leading professional body for marketers worldwide and exists to develop the marketing profession, maintain professional standards and improve the skills of marketing practitioners. IMM Graduate School students will therefore have the opportunity to gain professional qualifications through the CIM Graduate Gateway. CIM qualifications are highly sought after by employers, and their content is reflected in the IMM Graduate School’s own degrees, which ensure students are equipped with the best opportunities for a successful marketing career.

    Journal of Strategic Marketing Newsletter – June 2021

    Journal of Strategic Marketing Newsletter – June 2021


    The first big cold fronts are pushing through South Africa, warning of cold and hard days and nights ahead. The Covid-19 ‘third wave’ is fast approaching. South Africans will spend another winter in the grip of the pandemic, but at least this year there is hope as the second phase of the vaccine rollout picks up pace.

    Hope is something that has been in short supply over the past year. But a recent NIDS Rapid Mobile Coronavirus Survey revealed 71% of South Africans were not vaccine hesitant. The hope that at least we will have something beyond masks and sanitiser to make us feel safer is very much alive and well.

    Financial and health institution Discovery certainly found out just how eager the nation is to have the jab. A glitch in the government’s electronic registration system on the second day of the phase two rollout saw the company having to take walk-ins at its Sandton head office, where it had set up a vaccine site.

    By noon, it had signed up a thousand walk-ins over the age of 70, all through word of mouth. The company had earlier issued a letter to clients clearly communicating how the rollout would work. In unequivocal plain language, imparting just the facts, it laid out the logistics behind the vaccine drive. It was a calm and reassuring communication, a welcome relief from the often-opaque nature of government’s messaging. And it was a lesson in word-of-mouth marketing, despite that not being its intention.

    Supply chain management (SCM) has been very much part of the Covid-19 story. In this issue of The Journal of Strategic Marketing, Dr Myles Wakeham and Carl Wakeham unpack the complex but vitally important relationship between SCM and marketing. The disciplines are “inextricably” linked and by working together, the Wakehams say a mediocre institution will be transformed to one that is customer-focused and demand-driven.

    The past year has also been a time of social upheaval around issues of race, gender and climate change. The clamour is loud, and brands have to pay attention. The story on advancing gender in marketing strategies makes it clear that sitting on the fence is no longer an option. Sustained and systemic effort is needed to embed transformative strategies into a company’s DNA.

    We’ve also taken a look at the skills modern marketers need in this changing environment. And where the skills shortages lie. With Covid-19 accelerating digital transformation, it’s no secret that the more skills marketers have in this area, the more employable they become.

    Finally, a survey of consumers in Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa delivers insights into something very important to us Africans, and that is fashion. What we buy, how and where we buy, how we find information on clothes… it appears to be time to slip out of the tracksuits and sneakers that were de rigueur during the hard lockdowns and get just a bit more fashion forward.

    Here’s to putting our best foot forward… even if it’s just to visit a vaccine site.


    Advancing Gender - with quote

    Beyond ticking the box: gender advancement needs sustained and systemic effort

    The odd advertising campaign paying lip service to gender is not enough to address fairness and equity by brands, says GLENDA NEVILL. To really commit to a transformative mindset in marketing strategies requires companies to put their own houses in order inside and out.

    Recent advertising and marketing missteps have highlighted how brands and their agencies can get messaging so terribly wrong when it comes to advancing gender and race in marketing campaigns.

    “The time for brands to turn a blind eye to race and gender equity is
long past. Consumers and employees demand change, while knee-jerk responses and mollifying words offer cold comfort,” writes Dipanjan Chatterjee
in the opening paragraph of a recent Forrester Report, Design a Programme to Advance Race and Gender Fairness and Equity.

    SCM marketing Interface - with quote

    The marketing and supply chain management interface: A marriage of convenience

    Supply chain management and marketing are inextricably linked, write DR MYLES WAKEHAM and CARL WAKEHAM. Organisations should use their supply chain management capabilities and capacities as a basis to support and build their brands and ultimately strengthen their marketing mix strategies.

    Supply chain management (SCM) is the process and activity of sourcing requisite inputs that an organisation requires to create need-satisfying products and service, and the ultimate delivery of such offerings to targeted customers such as businesses, intermediaries (retailers and wholesalers) and consumers.

    SCM is the inter-woven co-ordination and integration of the flow of materials, information and money and includes the various logistics activities, the transformation process (operations) and finally, business processes. Without effective SCM, organisations cannot deliver on the promises that they make to their customers; nor can they deliver superior value and cost reduction, which represents the mantra of effective and efficient SCM.

    Marketing Skills - with quote

    Between a hard and a soft space: What makes modern marketers more employable

    It is not just Covid-19 that has turned the marketing sector inside out. The pervasive need for businesses to gather and analyse data and then use the resulting insights effectively is a much sought after skill, says AMELIA JACOB. At the same time, soft skills are essential too. 

    Marketing is one of the fastest growing functions in companies today. According to Career Junction’s Index for March 2021, despite an overall uptake in hiring activity, demand is volatile for marketing professionals.

    So what is it businesses are looking for when it comes to the skills needed for modern marketing? What makes one marketer more employable or valued over another?

    Fashion Africa - with quote

    Styling: Fashion tastes and preferences in three African countries

    There is no doubt fashion is an important consideration on the African continent. Clothing retailers physically cross borders, and brands are also available online via ecommerce portals. FRANKLINE MWENDA KIBUACHA highlights the results of a recent survey in Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt, giving marketers useful insights into what consumers think.

    How fashionable are you? What do you look for when buying clothes, shoes, and other fashion items? Where do you get that information, and where do you ultimately shop?

    To get answers to these questions and more, GeoPoll conducted an App study in Egypt, Nigeria, and South Africa. Here are the highlights from the report.

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      R30-billion! South African ecommerce doubles in two years

      The growth of online retail in South Africa in 2020 came to 66%, bringing the total ecommerce spend to R30.2-billion. The results of the Online Retail in South Africa 2021 study conducted by World Wide Worx with the support of Mastercard, Standard Bank and Platinum Seed, showed categories experiencing the highest growth – aside from data and airtime top-up – were clothing at 56%, and groceries at 54%.
      “The most astonishing aspect of this total is that it is more than double the R14.1-billion reached in 2018, in just two years,” says World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck, principal analyst on the research project. “It is also 50% higher than the total forecast for 2020 three years ago, when online retail in South Africa was expected to reach R20-billion by 2020.” More than two-thirds – 68% – of these consumers used the time during the pandemic as a positive learning experience, while the demand for online entertainment also surged, with 52% of respondents saying they have spent more money on virtual experiences than they did before the pandemic.

      ‘Ethically Aware’ accreditation now available for SA products

      With consumers becoming ever more environmentally and socially conscious, The Ethics Institute has launched the ‘Ethically Aware’ accreditation. It can be obtained through the Ethically Aware Supplier Induction (EASI) programme, an e-learning programme for companies who want to train their suppliers on responsible business practices. “EASI was designed to create an engaging learning experience on a topic that is often neglected,” says Prof Deon Rossouw, CEO of The Ethics Institute. “It is an interactive programme filled with animated video content, case studies, practical scenarios and exercises.” The Ethically Aware accreditation is valid for two years from date of completion, or until the senior manager who completed the training is no longer part of the management team.

      The social media marketing genius of Billie Eilish

      British pop star Billie Eilish has been labelled a “social media marketing genius” by UK media trade magazine, AdAge. With a new album about to drop, Eilish has dominated social media, particularly Instagram, as she shares her journey from green-haired “fashion disruptor” to blonde bombshell. A cover image of the album, Happier Than Ever, reached one million likes in just six minutes. The platform recently published its 20 Most Liked Pictures on Instagram: Eilish has eight of the 20 pics in Instagram’s 10-year history.

      Olympic (Brand) Games 2020 … or 2021

      The Olympic Games in Japan are scheduled to begin on 23 July… if they go ahead. Only North Korea has indicated it won’t take part. No overseas fans will be allowed to attend, while 72% of Japan’s citizens believe it should be cancelled again. In the meantime, what about brands, advertisers and sponsors? Reuters says the lack of support by citizens and the substantial price tag could be off-putting. “Japan’s Olympic sponsors are scaling back advertising campaigns and delaying marketing events for this year’s Summer Games, concerned that public sentiment toward the event is souring amid a fresh wave of Covid-19,” it reported. Canon Inc and Japan Airlines Co Ltd have collectively pitched in more than $3 billion to support the event.

      UN Economic Mission for Africa highlights companies’ digital transformation

      The UN Economic Mission for Africa’s Covid-19 Africa Impact Survey (March 2021) says there is optimism about growth in 2021 “even if the short-term remains uncertain”. “While the situation remains difficult, especially in the goods sector, companies appear to have seized the opportunity to accelerate digitalisation, launch new products and switch to local suppliers,” it reports. Sixty-five percent of the responding companies say the pandemic speeded up their digital transformation. This includes acquiring technology and tools; training of staff; conducting advertising campaigns; developing new products for online selling and hiring staff to support digital transformation.