Text regular text here

2020 Late registrations are still open! Click here to Apply Online
Registrations for semester 2 is now closed.

Journal of Strategic Marketing Newsletter – June 2020

Journal of Strategic Marketing Newsletter – June 2020

A NOTE ON MARKETING THE FUTURE

Five months into the coronavirus pandemic, with the attendant fallout in business and society, and we’re no closer to establishing a ‘new normal’, the term de jure across the globe we use to try and describe where we’re heading post-COVID-19. Whenever that will be…

Nevertheless, certain realities and trends are emerging, giving marketers some indication of where the discipline is heading and what they should be taking into account. That’s the road we’re taking in this edition of the Journal of Strategic Marketing.

A recent Nielsen survey points to a growth spurt in the ecommerce sector. Thirty-seven percent of South Africans indicated they are shopping more online, particularly for groceries. Previously, it was fashion, travel and entertainment that were the online front-runners. Only one to two percent of South Africans regularly bought food and groceries online. Managing director of Nielsen Africa, Bryan Sun, in his piece for this edition, says the African consumer has shown “incredible behaviour changes” over the past few months “with major increases in the use of social networking, online reading, listening to music and video streaming”.

Nielsen South Africa retailer lead Gareth Paterson said the rapid evolution in online made it clear that adoption  in the current situation was paving the way for a sustained development of online shopping, in terms of infrastructure and consumer acceptance. Still, he warned retailers that communication with consumers was key, especially around issues such as being out of stock. The move from offline to online has to be seamless to keep the new consumers engaged.

Which is where supply chains come in, of course. IMM Graduate School lecturer in supply chain management, Marzia Storpioli, believes the ‘just in time’ model has been exposed during coronavirus as not being sustainable. She addresses this and more in her piece on reinventing supply chains.

The attitude of consumers too is changing. IMM Graduate School academic head, Angela Bruwer, writes in her look into where marketing is going as the pandemic continues, that consumers want to know the brands they’re supporting are ethical, that they’re authentic and that they’re not ripping them off. Actions, she warns, speak louder than words. The more compassionate and aware consumer also wants to know that packaging is sustainable and that brands are doing their bit in terms of corporate social investment, another biggie for marketers to note.

At the heart of managing businesses right now is creativity, as Brett Morris, CEO of Nahana Communications, points out. He emphasises that creativity is not just about producing a creative product, that it is a “process of critical thinking and problem solving”. The pandemic has forced all businesses to think creatively, about everything from how to manage staff working from home to how to restrategise around advertising, and he hopes that in future, they won’t take its power for granted. Hear hear.

With a bit of live sport back on SuperSport and news that Absa is no longer to sponsor the Premier Soccer League, sports marketing and sponsorship is top of mind. As it has been throughout the initial lockdown period. We’ve taken a global and a South African look at the sports arena, with WPP’s Misha Sher analysing the impact and opportunities globally, while BMi Sports Info’s David Sidenberg delves into the local  situation. He believes the silver lining is “incredible learnings around sports fans and their media consumption habits” and the opportunities this knowledge will present.

So, there’s no real clarity on this ‘new normal’ but there are certainly new insights and patterns to explore as we continue to ride out whatever this crazy new world is throwing at us. And a wild ride it is too.

Glenda Nevill

Editor

Creativity is a process of critical thinking and problem solving

Creativity is a process of critical thinking and problem solving

Creativity’s power in marketing and branding has been proven and documented over and over again for almost a century. When times are good, we’re more likely to take creativity for granted but now that we are in the midst of a global pandemic, we need to be more resourceful, writes BRETT MORRIS.

I’ve written many articles on creativity over the years. That’s probably because I’ve dedicated half my life to championing the cause of creativity as one of the most powerful tools any business has at its disposal. I’ve also been lucky enough to experience the power of creativity first-hand, working with brands and businesses that believe in the exponential advantage it offers.

Though I am more than happy to spend a good portion of my time and energy continually championing this cause, it has always amazed me that there is a need to do so. Creativity’s power in marketing and branding has been proven and documented over and over again for near almost a century.

Actions have spoken more loudly than words during the pandemic

Actions have spoken more loudly than words during the pandemic

Academic head of the IMM Graduate School, ANGELA BRUWER, discusses the impact, the fallout and the future of marketing in the wake of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.

I don’t have a crystal ball. I don’t think any of us have got a crystal ball at this point. But I think we’re adapting because, with the many changes wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, we all have to become more agile, to think on our feet, to respond swiftly and authentically to the challenges the entire marketing sector is confronting right now.

At the IMM Graduate School, we’ve had to do just that. We’ve been the throes of exams and marking. To get to this point, in lockdown, we had to redo our whole learning platform, get the exams onto the system in time and for the first time, mark them online.

It’s been harrowing but is, perhaps, part of the ‘new normal’.

Sport’s blank page: COVID-19 crisis gives marketers and sponsors time to reflect, review and restructure

Sport’s blank page: COVID-19 crisis gives marketers and sponsors time to reflect, review and restructure

In a wide ranging interview with sports journalist, LUKE ALFRED, the CEO of BMi Sport and founding member and CEO of SS Network, David Sidenberg, talks about the impact of coronavirus on sport, rights holders, broadcasters and sponsorship. The silver lining, he says, is that sport has a blank page that could be filled with the ‘incredible learnings’ about sports fans and their media consumption habits.

The coronavirus pandemic has raised a variety of threats (and questions) in the sports industry. These relate to live sport, the broadcast of live sport and the relationship between rights holders and broadcasters. But they also relate to sponsorship, legal issues, public health issues and the role of government going forward.

How sponsors can navigate COVID-19

How sponsors can navigate COVID-19

In a wide ranging interview with sports journalist, LUKE ALFRED, the CEO of BMi Sport and founding member and CEO of SS Network, David Sidenberg, talks about the impact of coronavirus on sport, rights holders, broadcasters and sponsorship. The silver lining, he says, is that sport has a blank page that could be filled with the ‘incredible learnings’ about sports fans and their media consumption habits.

It’s safe to say that the sports marketing industry is living through unprecedented times. Never before has sport come to a complete halt across the world (with a few minor exceptions like Belarus), depriving billions of people of a much-loved emotional outlet and daily passion point.

Brands, which were predicted to spend £37.5 billion on sports sponsorship in 2020, are facing some tough choices. What do they do now that nearly every event has been postponed or suspended? How can they continue to engage passionate sports audiences?

A prime imperative: Reinventing supply chains

A prime imperative: Reinventing supply chains

Current disruptions have brought to light the fragility of our supply chains, says MARZIA STORPIOLI. And the volatility is set to continue for quite some time. What to do?

There’s not doubt volatility, turbulence and uncertainty will continue, and probably increase in the decades ahead, and the ‘business as usual mentality’ will need to be replaced with business seeking stability in the face of disruption.

Current disruptions have brought to light the fragility of our supply chains. For the past 20 years, the focus has been on cutting costs along each link in the chain. Unfortunately, this has also expunged any flexibility or resilience (the ability to withstand shocks to the system) in supply chains.

The question now is, how do we retain cost efficiency but reintroduce flexibility and elasticity into supply chains?

COVID-19 creates deep shifts in consumer behaviour across Africa

COVID-19 creates deep shifts in consumer behaviour across Africa

BRYAN SUN, managing director of Nielsen Africa, gives insights into the new African consumer.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a new kind of African consumer who is already displaying fundamental shifts in consumption and purchase behaviour driven by factors such as heightened health awareness, a focus on quality and safety, a renewed desire to stay at home and a tight wallet squeeze.

A recent Nielsen industry webinar, Navigating the New Normal, discussed the realities and effects of this rapidly evolving outlook. Nielsen Africa outlined the consumer evolution since the onset of the pandemic and the fact that crisis-buying patterns have accelerated the adoption of permanent behaviour change.

Subscribe to stay informed whenever a new issue is published

Reebok and CrossFit no longer a couplet

Reebok has ended its association with CrossFit after the latter’s founder, Greg Glassman, tweeted a response to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s comment that racism was a public health issue. Glassman replied, “It’s FLOYD-19” in reference to the coronavirus pandemic and the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. Reebok was unimpressed. “Recently, we have been in discussions regarding a new agreement, however, in light of recent events, we have made the decision to end our partnership with CrossFit HQ,” it said in a statement to The Morning Chalk Up.

Coca-Cola puts acquisitions on hold to invest in its business

Coca-Cola will be concentrating on ecommerce and innovation as part of its post-coronavirus response. The company’s chief financial officer, John Murphy, told the recent RBC Capital Markets global consumer and retail conference that emerging stronger and staying true to the company’s overall purpose were guiding some of its decisions. He said investing in the business was the number one priority, while the mergers and acquisitions side was now a “lower priority”. Coca-Cola, before the pandemic, was looking into diversifying its portfolio. Murphy said it was vital Coca-Cola’s brand “become as good in the online shelf as we are in the offline shelf”.

Time to look beyond the ‘cult of the CMO’

A new study from the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has revealed the role of chief marketing officer is still necessary, but that it ought to come with major changes. It said there was a need to “look beyond the cult of the CMO as the person with ultimate wisdom in all the complex areas that now affect the role”. Team capabilities, and the softer skills needed to effectively lead a team, are increasingly critical for CMOs, the report says. The CMO’s responsibilities range across nine distinct areas from marketing strategy (79%) through to data ethics (34%), business growth (58%) through to sustainability (37%).

Many of these areas are expected to become increasingly important during the next five years, with 80% of respondents citing sustainability, 77% the need to manage digital martech and platforms, and 74% the role of data ethics.

Travel Tractions saves 18 youth jobs by launching affordable marketing agency

A small South African business, Travel Tractions, has turned the stress of the struggling travel industry into an opportunity by launching an online marketing business, saving the jobs of up to 18 young people under the age of 30. Founder Matt Davison launched The Marketing Mill in response to COVID-19, ensuring that his staff of 18 keep their jobs during a very difficult time. The agency will market the affordability of South African work and the high level of quality that is produced.

IMM Graduate School now accredited skills development provider to CGISA

The IMM Graduate School is now an accredited skills development provider for the Chartered Governance Institute of Southern Africa (CGISA). As the only provider of online instruction and learning support for CGISA programmes, the IMM Graduate School offers students 13 weeks of tutorial sessions, once a week for two hours, with tutors who are experts in their field and who have a wealth of industry experience to share. They also help students keep pace with the learning content, which can often be a problem when facing work, home, and study responsibilities. During these online sessions, students will be able to collaborate with other students; bounce their understanding of concepts off each other, see varied perspectives on the module content, and learn from each other. To register and find out more, click here.