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Journal of Strategic Marketing Newsletter – October 2021

Journal of Strategic Marketing Newsletter – October 2021


With this being the last Journal of Strategic Marketing newsletter for 2021 – we’ll be back at the end of January 2022 – it is an appropriate time to detail the exciting changes taking place at the Institute of Marketing Management South Africa and its IMM Graduate School.

The ambitious plans for the Institute for Marketing Management involve the creation of the largest network of marketing professionals across the continent. Aided by partner organisation, the African Marketing Confederation, the aim is to “uplift, grow and promote the marketing profession, including the areas of media, advertising, branding, market research, customer service, public relations, digital marketing, sales and business development” while supporting and inspiring marketing professionals at every stage of their careers.

Membership of the Institute of Marketing Management incorporates certain tiers that come with specific benefits for both individuals and corporate companies, which will form a solid community for alumni/students of the IMM Graduate School and the greater marketing industry.

The plan also includes vital, practical elements such as offering a job placement service to both corporate and individual members. The IMM Graduate School’s renowned qualifications in marketing, supply chain and business have created a pool of talent in various levels of their careers.

Membership of the IMM comes with a range of benefits too. Monthly IMM Friday networking events will cover latest industry developments. An annual marketing conference is planned, which will provide a platform for industry experts
to address topical issues, and for marketing academics and researchers to present papers covering new theories and research results. The event will also host the Marketing Excellence Awards, recognising achievements and contributions to the marketing industry each year.

An Executive Think Tank will be formed, offering IMM Platinum Corporate Members an opportunity to meet and share insights and perspectives. This is designed to ensure marketing’s brightest minds collaborate and exchange ideas on how to best serve the industry.

While the Journal of Strategic Marketing will serve the South African side of the IMM’s members and a range of C-Suite executives across industry, the Strategic Marketing for Africa magazine will cover the business of marketing across the continent.

The business of education, of course, continues. The IMM offers a bouquet of online programmes, developed by industry specialists, which are both practical and relevant. Workshops will also be presented, designed with specific industry needs in mind.

Exciting times lie ahead for the Institute of Marketing Management and its members. But in the meantime, as we learn to live alongside Covid-19, this issue of the Journal of Strategic Marketing covers the way in which business understands the minds of consumers in this changed world and how brands and agencies have adapted.

GeoPoll’s Ricardo Lopes analyses the findings of research into South African consumers over the past 18 months. It’s not pretty, as we also live alongside multiple levels of fear brought about by the pandemic. Marketing Grit founder, Noeleen Bruton, delves into the complex world of digital strategy that massive adoption of technology has brought to the fore. SAB Corporate Brand Director Sphe Vundla shares how the company managed multiple agencies and multiple brands in a sector that had to deal with rolling alcohol bans and massive uncertainty. And Ornico’s Oresti Patricios advises businesses that have adopted an ecommerce model how to stand out and retain customers in an increasingly competitive space.

We hope you enjoy the read.

Here’s to marketing the future.


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The ongoing impacts of Covid-19 on South African consumers

Research into prevailing attitudes towards Covid-19 since the pandemic began has delivered insights into the minds of South African consumers over the past 18 months. While GeoPoll’s study covered nine markets, RICARDO LOPES dives into what the findings say about South Africa.

Covid-19 continues to exert immense pressure on the world’s emerging markets, creating economic concerns that rival health concerns. With a third or fourth wave of the virus gripping many countries, it is becoming increasingly difficult for governments to get a handle on either of those challenges.

As a follow up to GeoPoll’s 2020 reports and April 2021 report on the impacts of Covid-19 in sub-Saharan Africa, we conducted a survey in nine countries across Africa, Latin America and Asia to assess the ongoing effects of the pandemic on respondents’ finances, spending and health, their thoughts and concerns about the vaccine, and their hopes for the future.

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Slow down to speed up: the importance of solid strategic thinking in a post-Covid era

As things start to settle into a ‘new normal’, companies are in a better position to assess emerging digital trends and identify which ones are here to stay. There is no doubt the accelerated adoption of digital technologies during the pandemic will continue into the post-pandemic recovery, writes NOELEEN BRUTON.

Without a doubt Covid-19 has, in just a short while, accelerated the digitisation of internal business models, customer interactions, as well as distribution and supply chains.

During the pandemic, consumers showed a ‘fast tracked’ adoption of online channels forcing many companies to promptly respond. According to a new McKinsey Global Survey of executives, this has resulted in a rapid shift towards interacting with customers through digital channels, and also the share of digital or digitally enabled products in their portfolios has accelerated by an incredible seven years.

This hastened response has been very encouraging with many companies undergoing a massive cultural shift that has not only allowed for, but encouraged, quicker decision-making and more out-the-box entrepreneurial thinking.

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Collaboration and integration are the new foundation of brand brilliance

The South African Breweries recently appointed SPHE VUNDLA as Corporate Brand Director. Here, he uncovers the unique challenges this massive business faces. The only way to manage the integration of multiple brands across multiple agencies is by establishing a strong rhythm and efficient ways of operating, while becoming an expert in managing multiple objectives too.

Managing the South African Breweries corporate brand comes with the challenge of ensuring the organisation’s efforts and achievements are communicated and built on through continuous and seamless storytelling.  This is no small task, as it requires close co-operation with multiple players in various parts of the business.

The last few years have seen this dynamic industry become more difficult to maintain; the Covid-19 pandemic hit the brewery industry hard with the country introducing new restrictions, including multiple bans on the sale of alcohol. Because of this, I had to embrace agility and scenario planning in a completely unprecedented way. Adopting a discipline of readiness – which at times meant having campaigns ready to plug-and-play in response to changing socio-economic and political conditions – became a key part of how the organisation operates.

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eCommerce accelerated: How to get ahead of the curve

There’s no doubt the Covid-19 pandemic hastened ecommerce across industry sectors. ORESTI PATRICIOS delves into what marketers should know about ensuring consumer loyalty and ecommerce offerings that stand out above the rest.

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to the acceleration of digital transformation in South Africa. From March 2020, when lockdown began, companies in all industries had to shift their operations to maintain revenue. These shifts included introducing work from home policies and going completely digital. And, of course, introducing ecommerce stores as an alternative to make product sales.

The Statista Digital Market Outlook indicates that the value of ecommerce transactions in South Africa is expected to surge to 150% by 2025. This is equivalent to R225 billion and results from a marked shift in consumer behaviour and expectations brought about by the pandemic.

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    New collaboration between African marketing professionals

    The marketing profession’s most pressing imperative is to “kick start a new conversation on how best to address a radically changed business environment as the world slowly emerges from the Covid-19 chaos”, says President of the African Marketing Confederation (AMC), Helen R. McIntee. To this end, the Africa-wide organisation is relaunching. Member bodies comprise the Institute of Marketing Management South Africa (IMM), Marketers Association of Zimbabwe, The Zambia Institute of Marketing, The Marketing Society of Kenya, The Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ghana (CIMG), The National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria, the Institute of Marketing and Management, Mauritius, Institute of Marketing in Malawi (IMM) and The Moroccan Association of Marketing and Communications (AMMC). McIntee says, “We are more committed than ever to growing and developing the profession and to ensuring that African marketing specialists have the support needed to survive and thrive today and in a post-COVID new normal. The AMC’s vision of connecting marketers across Africa will provide the best platform to allow us to engage, share and find new solutions.”

    Cannabis marketing finds a home in podcast advertising

    Marketers across the globe struggle to keep up with the vagaries of marketing and advertising cannabis products. The regulations vary from country to country, and are constantly changing, and most social media platforms are reluctant to allow advertising of cannabis products. But Marketing Brew reports the industry picking up on podcast advertising as it has fewer restrictions. Former Marketing Director at cannabis researchers the Brightfield Group in the US, Connor Skelly, told Marketing Brew: “Podcasting just opens up more nuance. With something like Instagram, it’s overall just antiquated ad policies and terms of service. Same with Google.”

    Reviving one of South Africa’s oldest wine brands

    It’s been a wine staple in South Africa since 1932, produced every single year without fail despite war, drought and yes, pandemic. When the Royal Family visited in 1947, it was the red wine they were served. It is the only wine in South Africa allowed to use the word ‘Chateau’ on its label due to the fact that South Africa signed the Crayfish Agreement with France that forbade the use of the word on wine labels in 1935 – because it was launched three years prior to the agreement. It is, of course, Chateau Libertas. It was created by a medical doctor, Dr William Charles Winshaw, who believed the smooth, easy-drinking, juicy blend could be part of a healthy adult South African lifestyle. And now it’s coming out in a two-litre box, something else the pandemic has brought about.

    Bond is back … and so is cinema advertising

    The premiere of the latest Bond movie No Time to Die – Daniel Craig’s fifth and last outing as 007 – made a global splash. And a ton of money too. In the United Kingdom alone, it took over £25 million in the first weekend and $121 million in 54 other countries. Marketing Week reports advertising was sold out two months in advance of its release, with telecoms, motors, food and drink, as well as entertainment and leisure companies booking. These included Sky, Google, Pokerstars, Peroni and Lloyds. The UK’s Digital Cinema Media says 40% of the returning audience to cinemas are 16-34 year olds, but that Bond draws in an older generation too.

    TikTok enters ecommerce space with Shopify deal

    Users can shop on Instagram through linking products on posts. Now TikTok and Shopify have partnered to offer an ecommerce integration. Shopify’s web store drives merchants to the TikTok app, while offering a video creation tool for brands to create videos optimised for Shopify.For the creator economy, this integration means that creators will need to be more intentional about the ways that they use their platforms as commercial storefronts while continuing to build a community and identify with the core values of their audiences,” writes Neve Fear-Smith on Talking Influence. “With the knowledge that this new shopping feature is in place, creators may find ways to incorporate the feature into their content planning by creating storefronts that can be used for events, conferences, or paid subscription channels.”

    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.