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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.”