2024 Mid-Year Intake. Applications for mid-year intake are now open. Apply Now!.

Journal of Strategic Marketing Newsletter – February 2020

Journal of Strategic Marketing Newsletter – February 2020


2020. A new year, a new decade and a new digital-only issue of the IMM Graduate School’s publication, the Journal of Strategic Marketing.

This is the first Journal of Strategic Marketing for the year, with the rest being published every other month. The aim is to deliver essential marketing content that will enlighten and inspire. Good marketing is, after all, good for business.

We’ve kicked off the year with a challenging and provocative piece by Mrs Woolf’s Lauren Woolf, who is an authority on creative leadership, and the leadership of creativity. The World Economic Forum has labelled creativity as one of the top three skills of the future. It figures, then, that creative leadership now ranks high in organisational thinking.

The IMM Graduate School’s Herman Potgieter has given the lowdown on what he believes will be the key marketing trends of 2020. As he says, marketers are important translators and interpreters of the social and cultural evolution societies everywhere live through. And with the human race living in an era of unparalleled access to information, sometimes the trends need expert decoding.

We’ve also dispelled 10 myths around online, or e-learning. As head of teaching and learning at the IMM Graduate School, Dr Cecilia Rosa encapsulates it perfectly. A good learner management system provides discussion forums, chat rooms, virtual classrooms, the use of social media such as Twitter, WhatsApp and the conventional email to create a dynamic relationship between the distance student and the lecturer/facilitator. The lecturer is not the ‘sage on the stage’ but the ‘guide on the side’.

Finally, our Strategic Snippets offer a snapshot of marketing news and trends from around the world. For example, who knew Nielsen now has a cannabis practice to deal with the growing marketing of hemp products in the US?

Glenda Nevill

“The role of a creative leader is not to have all the ideas; it’s to create a culture where everyone can have ideas and feel they’re valued.”

Creative leadership and the leadership of creativity

American technologist, designer, engineer, author and teacher John Maeda developed a useful comparative table some years ago comparing the attributes of creative leadership to traditional, authoritarian leadership. He talks about how creative leaders focus on inspiration over authority, ambiguity over clarity, being real over being right, improvisation over following the manual, learning from mistakes over avoiding them, and hoping they’re right rather than being certain that they will be.

It’s hard to believe that a mere two to three decades ago, creativity was barely explored or taught explicitly in main-stream or business education, let alone in design-related fields. Instead, tasks, such as ‘explorations of colours’ or coming up with ‘different ways of communicating a brand message’, were used to help students build a creative mindset.

Times have certainly changed.

Apart from video offering messages easier to digest than the written message, its ability to entertain push all the right buttons for the Gen Z crowd is unsurpassed.

From pollution to personalisation: Marketing Trends 2020

The start of a new calendar era, like the one we are entering now, presents any hack with a hunger for an audience with an irresistible temptation to predict what the future will bring. HERMAN POTGIETER gives his perspective on what marketers should take note of in 2020.

Marketers everywhere live and breathe a fairly unique air; trends are their lifeblood as they try and shape these but, mostly, try and understand and predict them.

Apart from their more obvious roles, marketers are important translators and interpreters of the social and cultural evolution societies everywhere live through. The human race lives in an era of unparalleled information generation confronting the average person daily.

Here are a few of the trends marketers need to be aware of as we enter a new decade and deal with the rapidly changing needs and demands of the consumer.

The lecturer is not the ‘sage on the stage’ but the ‘guide on the side’.

Bustin’ 10 myths about online learning

Learning is often about challenging assumptions. This can equally apply to online learning, which, despite its growing popularity across the globe, is subject to certain myths and misconceptions. DR CECELIA ROSA gives the facts.

The requirements of the knowledge economy and the changing needs of business, as the Fourth Industrial Revolution continues its relentless rollout, means traditional learning can’t necessarily give those ‘students’ what they need in terms of time and flexibility.

As the Centre for Education and Innovation has written, “In the knowledge economy, memorisation of facts and procedures is not enough for success. Educated workers need a conceptual understanding of complex concepts, and the ability to work with them creatively to generate new ideas, new theories, new products and new knowledge…They need to learn integrated and usable knowledge, rather than the sets of compartmentalised and de-contextualised facts. They need to be able to take responsibility for their own continuing, life-long learning.”

The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless – Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Set your IMMagination free.
Start your career, or if you are already working, boost your career with a leading internationally recognised qualification
from the IMM Graduate School. Applications for 2020 close on 29 February!

Tick tock if you don’t understand TikTok

Much loved by teens and young adults, but not really understood by a less-youthful cohort, TikTok is redefining short-form video. Still, it has four different ad formats – brand takeover, infeed native video, hashtag challenge and branded lenses – and is therefore a legit channel to be explored by marketers. With over a billion downloads and counting, TikTok should be on the marketing radar in 2020.

Data, data and more data

Christopher Penn, co-founder and chief data scientist at Trust Insights, has created a six-C framework on how to assess what data is valuable.

  1. Clean: Free from errors
  2. Complete: Not missing critical parts
  3. Comprehensive: Answers the questions asked of it
  4. Chosen: Does not contain irrelevant information
  5. Credible: Collected with as little bias as possible from reliable sources
  6. Calculable: Usable by both people and machines

Nielsen’s view on the hemp and CBD marketplace in 2020

Nielsen believes that brands, marketers and consumers will have a big appetite for data and information about cannabis in 2020, and has taken a look into what a “cannabis-rich consumer packaged goods (CPG) landscape could look like”.

“We project that the US hemp-based CBD market could be a $2.25 billion to $2.75 billion industry in 2020. These conservative projections already account for hampered Food and Drug Administration rulings and other possible speed bumps for the hemp-CBD marketplace,” said Rich Maturo, vice president of Nielsen’s Cannabis Practice. Maturo reckons he next decade for the hemp-based CBD market “has the potential to be a game changer for the traditional CPG and retail industry”.

CMOs must adapt or die

Adverty’s Alex Igelsböck, writing for WARC, believes rumours of the death of chief marketing officers have been much exaggerated. Especially as Coca-Cola has resurrected the role after killing it back in 2017. Nevertheless, he reckons, CMOs will continue their “fight for relevancy” in 2020, and if they don’t adapt to changing circumstances, might well die.

The CMO species, he says, “is at a critical point where the ability to change could make the difference between survival and extinction. It is still a vital and viable role if CMOs can adapt and adjust to the new demands of the industry”.

They should:

  • Collaborate across the C-suite
  • Share insight throughout the business
  • Align KPIs between departments

And, he adds, “CMOs must take the lead in centralising data management, using marketing intelligence techniques to collect, organise and manage data”.

BE AWARE! New comms Code for alcohol industry launched

Aware.org, the Association for Alcohol Responsibility and Education, is getting ahead of government’s controversial policy document on alcohol advertising and suggested amendments to current regulations. It has launched a Code for Commercial Communications, which represents a firm commitment by the members of aware.org to maintain high standards of responsibility and ethical conduct in all commercial communication activities, which will demonstrate that the industry believes in marketing for change.

“Through the Code, we aim to encourage the best creative minds in the country, both agencies and marketers, to become world leaders in the responsible marketing arena,” said Ingrid Louw, CEO of aware.org. “The Code is the industry standard that we can and must live by.” The Code can be downloaded here.