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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.