Stellenbosch Open Day.

Book your seat for Stellenbosch’s Open Day on the 30th of January 2021. RSVP before the 27th of January 2021.

Online registrations close 15 March 2021. Register now.

Stellenbosch Open Day. Book your seat for Stellenbosch’s Open Day on the 30th of January 2021. RSVP before the 27th of January 2021. RSVP now.

Journal of Strategic Marketing Newsletter – January 2021

Journal of Strategic Marketing Newsletter – January 2021


It is 12 months since news first started coming out of Wuhan in China about a deadly virus, one that took just a few weeks to become a pandemic. It’s been a year of living dangerously, much of it in lockdown.

We have a coronavirus vaccine on the horizon, but are still in the dark in South Africa as to how it will be rolled out, and how long it will take to get the majority of our population vaccinated.

The rollout will be one of the biggest marketing, communications, supply chain and logistical campaigns ever seen in South Africa. It will be done against a backdrop of mistrust not just in the vaccine, but also of government itself.

After the personal protective equipment tender scandal of 2020, to say South Africans are suspicious of government’s motives and ability to do the right thing while ‘covidpreneurs’ are so terribly efficient at doing the wrong thing, is an understatement.

Cartoonist Zapiro’s cartoon in Daily Maverick in mid-January said it all: Tagged “The Only South Africans Who Were Ready For The Second Wave…” the drawing showed PPE ‘covidpreneurs’ riding the wave with bags of money, PPE and black market vaccines. Oh dear.

Meanwhile, health authorities and companies have a massive job ahead to persuade people to be vaccinated, educate them on why it’s so important, make sure it’s done fairly and transparently, and importantly, that the supply chain operates smoothly and efficiently and the vaccines get where they’re supposed to go.

In our first newsletter of 2021, we’ve taken a look at how the insurance sector is marketing its way out of the pandemic. Some reputations were badly damaged last year as companies battled for business interruption relief, while consumers were hit hard by the lockdown and the economy. With insurance already a grudge buy, insurers have had to live up to their brand promises and deliver.

Another business sector hard hit by the pandemic is the alcohol industry. With a third ban on booze kicking off just before new year celebrations, and government adamant its amended liquor bill will clamp down on the industry,’s CEO, Ingrid Louw, says this could have a profound impact on alcohol marketing in the near future.

Kate Njorogi and Ndeye Diagne report on how businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa have responded to the coronavirus crisis and the impact of the subsequent uptake of digital solutions. Ecommerce is on the rise, they say, and is the top growth priority in 2021.

The IMM Graduate School is launching two progressive new supply chain qualifications this year, a hugely important step considering how supply chain management has been upended and the massive impact of technology on the discipline. For the first time in any SCM course, AI, digitalisation and blockchain technology will be introduced. Our story reveals how important these qualifications are in a world turned upside down while we navigate the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Stay safe in 2021!


Insurance Image

Battlefield insurance: Marketing through the pandemic

In June 2020, as South Africa hit its first Covid-19 peak, over 220 new adverts for insurance were flighted in South Africa. In the background, companies were fighting insurance companies for business interruption claims. GLENDA NEVILL takes a look at the tough environment insurers are operating in, and how they’re marketing their way through the global pandemic.

In the first week of 2021, one of South Africa’s largest insurers finally committed to paying clients’ business interruption claims, particularly for those holding hospitality and leisure policies. Admittedly, it took a few adverse court rulings before it caved to the pressure and lost all hope of recovering its reputation.

“It is a major victory… Some would say it’s too little too late because it’s been months now of tarnished reputations and heels being dug in…” said consumer journalist, Wendy Knowler, on 702.

2 - Africa image.jpg

Finding the true north of your 2021 brand strategy: The African edition

There’s a long road to recovery ahead, which will doubtless see brands face new challenges and opportunities in Africa, and in Kenya and Nigeria in particular. KATE NJOROGI and NDEYE DIAGNE look at how findings from Kantar’s Global Business Compass can help brands navigate the unknown.

With CMOs under increasing pressure to prove the effectiveness of the strategies they’ve put in place for the coming months, evidence-based decision-making is more essential now than ever. Kantar’s sub-Saharan Africa findings emanating from our Global Business Compass can help brands navigate the unknown with insights to contextualise, align and inform their recovery strategies in 2021 and beyond.

3 - alcohol image.jpg

One for the road: Significant business implications lie ahead for the alcohol industry and its marketing ecosystem

The advertising and marketing of alcohol is not currently subject to legislation. But the National Liquor Amendment Bill is with the dtic minister, and if it passes, could have a profound impact on the way in which the alcohol industry markets its wares, writes INGRID LOUW.

That South Africa is a nation of heavy drinkers is not disputed. The country is ranked as the sixth biggest drinking nation in the world by the World Health Organisation in terms of average alcohol consumption.

Excessive drinking poses a significant health and lifestyle risk for many, and has a concomitant negative impact on our fiscus. It also puts massive pressure on the (public and private) healthcare system. We are burdoned with high rates of irresponsible alcohol consumption behaviours and patterns, and these contribute to alcohol-related harm including FASD, binge drinking, underage drinking, drink driving and walking, and related social crimes.

4 - SCMQualifications image

Leveraging your supply chain to ensure a burgeoning bottom line

The IMM Graduate School is adding two new SCM qualifications to its arsenal: A Higher Certificate in Supply Chain Management and BCom Honours in Supply Chain Management. They will be accredited by the internationally recognised Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, a first for any SCM tertiary qualification in South Africa.

Although supply chain management (SCM) and the pivotal role that it plays in business hasn’t always been widely recognised in the past, an unprecedented 2020, with its COVID-19 pandemic has made it abundantly clear that competent and proficient SCM is a significant catalyst when it comes to economic growth, both locally and internationally.

So, what is SCM and how are businesses able to embrace the ongoing learnings from last and this year and leverage their SCM to make their bottom line swell?

Subscribe to stay informed whenever a new issue is published

    Tech execs’ take on marketing 2021

    Shifts in B2B marketing, verifying human engagement, stark divides in marketing budget spend, privacy regulations… these are just some of the marketing trends on tech executives’ radar for 2021. Speaking to Forbes, the execs outlined their key trends for the year. Dan Lowden, CMO for White Ops, believes marketers will “partner with specialists that can help them accurately gauge if their campaigns are targeting real humans – resulting in better customer experience, ensuring higher engagement, bringing visibility to cleaner data, improving the company’s compliance position and driving stronger ROI across marketing campaigns”. CMO of AppNeta, Amanda Bohne, reckons company culture will play a greater role in recruiting marketing talent. Speaking on the impact of remote working, she said “Top marketers will now be sought after by companies located across the country, enabling them to potentially live somewhere different or more affordable than where their current employer is located.”

    A boon for marketing freelancers

    Fundi.Digital has introduced a referral programme and a Slack community to drive networking, increase collaboration and grow work opportunities for marketing freelancers in South Africa. Hillel Chemel and Jonathan Mayer launched Fundi.Digital as a freelancing marketplace. “Freelancing can be isolating. It is also great to be able to bounce ideas off other people and get advice on challenges you might be facing in the big wide world of freelancing. Our clients also know that they not only get the freelancer they contract, they get a whole community behind them as well. Because nothing beats someone ‘putting in a good word’,” they said. Fundi.Digital’s community includes agencies and start-up companies needing specialist marketing skills, and South African freelancers providing data analytics, SEO, performance marketing, social strategy, marketing automation, design and content marketing expertise.

    2021: The year for branded content

    The Drum believes 2021 is the year branded content will come into its own. Ottavio Nava, co-founder and chief executive at We Are Social Italy and Spain, said, “With all the smartest marketers paying attention, I feel safe predicting that 2021 is going to be a memorable year for this highly creative marketing technique”. The pandemic, of course, has something to do with this. “The pandemic has forced more people than ever to consume content digitally at home, which has let brand content come into its own in recent months. This shift can be put down to the crisis accelerating a number of important on-going trends, just as much as it can be attributed to brands having access to a more captive audience,” Nava wrote.

    Burger King rebrands for the first time in 20 years

    From logos to fonts, colours and packaging to uniforms, Burger King has rung in a slew of design and brand changes for the first time since last century. “Design is one of the most essential tools we have for communicating who we are and what we value, and it plays a vital role in creating desire for our food and maximising guests’ experience,” said Raphael Abreu, Restaurant Brands International head of design. “We wanted to use design to get people to crave our food; its flame-grilling perfection and above all, its taste.” Burger King said the announcement signalled a commitment to digital-first expression and recent improvements to taste and food quality, through the removal of colours, flavours, and preservatives from artificial sources off menu items, as well as an ambitious pledge to environmental sustainability.

    Journal of Strategic Marketing Newsletter – October 2020

    Journal of Strategic Marketing Newsletter – October 2020


    I write this note as South Africans mark 200 days in lockdown. Yes, we’ve climbed down to reach level one of the lockdown ladder, but we are by no means out of the Covid-19 woods. We’ve just learnt how to navigate our way through these dark times a little better, and are starting to live alongside the pandemic in what is now a normal way of life.

    While we’re not at the point of  ‘business as usual’, certainly in terms of marketing, brands are mostly back to work. Especially as it seems Christmas (marketing) is coming early this year. Research by WPP agency in the UK, Kinetic Worldwide, says more than half of UK adults say Christmas is more important than ever. While we don’t have such research in South Africa, the fact that we are already seeing Christmas products on the shelves – before Halloween and Black Friday – says something.

    In our must-read lead story this month, Kantar’s Kent Diepraam writes how its BrandZ research and data shows strong brands are continuing to recover from the economic shocks earlier this year with more convincing performance and growth figures. Nevertheless, he says, marketers have to learn to do more with less, and balance these short-term gains with long-term brand building.

    It’s something multinational snack food company Mondelez has considered. In a novel way to adjust its marketing budget, its chief financial officer is diverting the company’s travel, consulting and real estate funds to marketing and advertising efforts – and most of that spend will be on digital (rather than TV commercials). Now there’s a strategic solution to Covid-19 impacted marketing budgets.

    iProspect’s head of ad operations in Kenya also has a positive story to tell. Kenneth Mutuma has investigated potential opportunities within e-commerce and marketing in light of the fact that there are now 500 million mobile money users in Africa. With mobile subscribers set to hit the 600 million mark in five years, marketers will be able to reach users from all economic classes via ad tech developments.

    In another optimistic piece, we’ve taken a look at the importance of supplier development as a means of boosting local supply chains. As Fetola’s Catherine Wijnberg (who is also founder of the Absa Business Day Supplier Development Awards) says, when supplier development is driven as a strategic imperative from the boardroom, there is distinctly greater success and long-term impact. Leading companies are passionate about doing supplier development right and are going beyond a scorecard to a genuine desire to support lasting growth in the supply chain as a way to build an effective and transformed economy.

    And finally, some very good news for students wishing to study in the Western Cape: The IMM Graduate School is launching its new campus in Stellenbosch in January 2021. As of 30 January 2021, 750 students will have the opportunity to study in the historic university town.

    Glenda Nevill


    Accelerate brand recovery in the next normal: How the new era of analytics can unlock superior marketing effectiveness

    Hello Lucy. Accelerate brand recovery in the next normal: How the new era of analytics can unlock superior marketing effectiveness

    It is time to shake off the doom and gloom of working under Covid-19 conditions and make more informed business decisions for more effective marketing results, now and in future, writes

    KENT DIEPRAAM, Director of the Analytics Practice for Kantar Insights (South Africa).

    Having lived with the global pandemic for six months now, economies are starting to slowly reopen, to breathe fresh life into markets under lockdown. Not a moment too soon, as this has been a crisis unlike any other. Marketing budgets were among the first to be cut and consumer spend is expected to only return to pre-Covid-19 levels in the next 18 to 24 months.

    Transacting, saving and investing in digital Africa

    Transacting, saving and investing in digital Africa

    With an expected 500 million mobile-money users on the African continent in 2020, KENNETH MUTUMA, Head of Ad Operations at iProspect Kenya, investigates the potential opportunities within e-commerce and marketing

    When the first mobile device was launched more than three decades ago, Africa wasn’t expected to be at the cusp of adoption and innovation. However, the growth of mobile in Africa has been unparalleled.

    Mobile subscribers are expected to hit 600 million by 2025; this as operator revenues soared to over $51 billion for the period between 2019 and 2020. And 1.7 million people were hired (GSMA Intelligence, 2020). This is despite having less than two mobile subscribers to every 100 people in the last two decades, according to the World Bank.

    3. SupplyDevelopment FNL.jpg[23]

    Supply chains in South Africa need to be local, future-focused and world class

    Unless we build a strong, inclusive economy, South Africa (and every company in South Africa) is in big trouble. Supplier development and transformed supply chains are key to this. GLENDA NEVILL reports.

    The work many South African companies do in terms of supplier development is quite “remarkable” because they have to make both their SMME suppliers, as well as their customers, the focus of their supply chain management activities.

    Supplier development and supply change management (SCM) don’t sit comfortably together, says IMM Graduate School SCM lecturer Marzia Storpioli. “Typically in SCM, the focus is on superb service to the customer and enhanced customer experience, and not the number of jobs added to a specific sector in the economy and the financial security of the suppliers,” she explains.

    A dream come true for Stellenbosch students as IMM Graduate School launches new Winelands campus

    A dream come true for Stellenbosch students as IMM Graduate School launches new Winelands campus

    Demand from students wanting to study in Stellenbosch has resulted in the growth of the IMM Graduate School in this historic Winelands town. A new campus will open its doors on 4 January 2021.GLENDA NEVILL reports.

    The IMM Graduate School has had a presence in Stellenbosch for many years, but increased demand from students wanting to study in the historic town has resulted in the need for a larger campus.

    The new campus will allow the IMM Graduate School to grow its numbers in Stellenbosch by a third, says Irene Gregory, the IMM Graduate School’s National Head: Student Support Centres.

    The new campus will replace the current Student Support Centre, and can house 750 students, with a maximum of 320 on site at any one time.

    Subscribe to stay informed whenever a new issue is published

      Christmas marketing comes too early… or is it?

      How can marketing for Christmas come ahead of marketing for Halloween? Social media users in South Africa suggested those who dared do so should be strung up – and used for Halloween marketing. Seriously, though, WPP agency Kinetic Worldwide says its research in the UK has shown more than half the country’s adult population believe Christmas is more important than ever this year and are already hitting the stores in anticipation. Chief planning officer at Kinetic, Nicole Lonsdale, says: “Our study suggests a remarkable resilience in people’s shopping behaviour and a steely determination among UK consumers to make the most of this year’s Christmas season.”


      IMM Graduate School launches two new Supply Chain Management qualifications

      From 2021, the IMM Graduate School will be offering two new supply chain management qualifications. Firstly, a Higher Certificate in Supply Chain Management will give students a basic understanding of the field, while also bolstering overall business management knowledge. It is designed to give a view of the processes and inter-relationships across the supply chain that enables organisations to create sustainable value. Then there is the Bachelor of Commerce Honours degree in Supply Chain Management, an essential qualification for those aspiring to specialise in the discipline. It places an emphasis on problem-solving, equipping graduates with the knowledge on how to approach various unorthodox situations. For more information on these new qualifications, please visit

      The colour red

      The Pantone Colour Institute found itself in the news after collaborating with Swedish feminine products brand, Intimina. Pantone created a new colour, Period, which it describes as an “energizing and dynamic warm red shade encouraging period positivity to serve as the visual colour identifier for the Seen + Heard campaign; a campaign whose purpose is to inspire national and international conversations about periods through creative ideas that portray periods sympathetically and accurately”. But it seems it might have not quite hit the mark as women say it looks nothing like menstrual blood and label it a “gimmick”.

      Liberty is ‘in it with you’

      Insurer Liberty has made major changes to its marketing with a brand refresh and new messaging following the coronavirus pandemic and consumers’ desire to embrace more ‘human’ brands. Chief Marketing Officer Thabang Ramogase says Liberty wants a more holistic relationship with its clients, to be there for them in the best and worst of times, hence the payoff line, ‘In it with you’.  As Ramogase says, “People need more than just new products, advice and expertise. If they’re trusting a financial services provider with their money – even their livelihoods – they need to know that the people in charge of such important investments care about them, and truly understand them.”

      The fine life, with Snoop Dog

      The Corona beer brand has had a pretty strange year. A name associated with a dreaded virus. What do you do? Well, it kept quiet for most of the year. But now, ahead of the holiday season, it has unveiled its new La Vida Más Fina (the fine life) campaign. And in the pound seat, is the inimitable Snoop Dog. The brand says in a press release, “the campaign began to take shape earlier this year but was paused as unexpected cultural considerations came into play”.

      Mondelez diverts travel, consulting and real estate funds to digital marketing

      Mondelez is taking a new approach to its marketing. The global snack food manufacturer is diverting its travel, consulting and real estate funds to marketing and advertising efforts – and most of that spend will be on digital (rather than TV commercials). Company CFO Luca Zaramella told the Wall Street Journal he hoped the renewed focus on marketing would help them retain their recent sales gains in North America and stimulate demand in other markets. The company, in 2019, spent $1.21 billion on advertising.