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What’s all the hype about TikTok, is it a viable marketing channel yet?

TikTok Article

You’ve heard about TikTok before, but how can we use the platform as marketers to expand our reach? In this blog we cover the basics of TikTok and different ways how ads can be executed on the app.

What is TikTok?

In case you have been living under a rock, TikTok is a simple to use mobile app that allows users to upload and edit short form videos ranging from one second up to three minutes. It has become what SnapChat and Instagram had hoped they could become: The next best and biggest thing in video creation – the first of its kind on Western platforms that is arguably the perfect adaptation of YouTube in a short mobile form.

Who uses TikTok?

A Vox report suggests that in 2018-2019, the app was largely used by users based in the U.S.A. with teenagers (10-19 years old) dominating the app. However, the user base is expanding as can been seen this graph published by Statista which shows user-by-age stats in the U.S.A. in March 2021 which shows that older people are beginning to access the app,

and users can take any approach from storytelling, DIY-ing to mundane everyday life.

Distibution of TikTok users

Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1095186/tiktok-us-users-age/

 

Why is TikTok so popular?

The platform offers instant gratification. The app itself is both fun and easy to use. TikTok’s in-app tools allow users to easily add music, filters, captions and hashtags which inspires them to be creative and set trends of their own. What makes it even more exciting is the ability to go viral overnight. Going viral is what makes TikTok’s “duet” feature quite exciting. Users also use this tool to post reactions to other users’ videos. This leads to a chain reaction of duets and has made for some hilarious content and has also contributed to how content becomes trendy. What is also quite gripping about TikTok is how easy it is to join trends as users often post tutorials on how others can execute trending dances.

Source: https://media.giphy.com/media/eKNvgaaBcNJQ9y4OyD/source.mp4

TikTok Ads: Is it viable (and if so, how)?

But is it a viable marketing channel yet? Definitely. The platform works so incredibly fast that in a matter of just 3 days, Dior’s 001 Rose Blush went viral – thousands of users purchased, reviewed and applauded the product under the assumption it was famous billionaire Kylie Jenner’s go-to. Likewise, many other brands in the beauty industry have seen the same surge in sales due to TikTok. It seems the opportunities are limitless and there is room for every industry to thrive. The chances of going organically viral on the app are endless, but the question remains, “how do we as marketers make use of the platform in paid TikTok Ads?”

Here are a few simple ways:

  1. Brand Takeover
    A 3-second static image or 3-5 second video without audio that shows on app launch. This is great for brand awareness videos but can be very expensive.
    TikTok Challenge
  2. Top View Ads
    60-second ads that appear after 3 seconds as your first in feed post and include audio and a custom link.
  3. In Feed Ads
    As the name implies is an ad that appears in the users “for you” feed.
  4. Branded Hashtags
    This format encourages user generated content by using the product in a unique way and adding the branded hashtag. (Note this may not actually be the brand name but will likely be related to the brand e.g. #imlovinit). The video is added to the hashtag challenge page which other users can view. According to NoGood, this format of advertising on TikTok has seen an average engagement rate of 8.5%.
    Branded Hashtags
  5. Branded Effects, Sounds and Filters
    This form of advertising is not new to social media platforms. Long before TikTok, brands were using their own branded filters and effects on SnapChat and Instagram. Branded stickers, filters and special effects are created for users to add to their own videos.

Conclusion

Instantly gratifying, always new, incredibly addictive. TikTokers are highly engaged and user generated content is the order of the day. The real question is not should you be marketing on TikTok but rather why are you not already?

 

Unprecedented disruption has reshaped the future of logistics

 

disruption

With the Covid-19 outbreak, a fundamental but unpredictable risk to the logistics industry has shown up. For many countries and companies, keeping up with the market has been nothing short of difficult and uncertain. The challenge Covid-19 presents has forced industry leaders to rethink the way forward and this includes analysing the risks and challenges of the supply chain in order to get back to business as usual.

take risksSupply Chain Risks and Challenges

According to Accenture, the pandemic has brought a new type of consumer to the market and while the demand for fast supply and delivery has increased, routes to markets have been blocked sporadically for unknown periods. Due to this, supply chains are becoming more costly and stakeholders expectations are not being met. The industry itself cannot hold onto sustainable agreements. To examine the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the logistics industry and its potential for the future, Cushman & Wakefield, a leading global real estate services firm, has released its 2021 Global Logistics Outlook. The report discusses the key drivers affecting growth, global leasing dynamics and provides an outlook for the logistics sector. According to the report, these key changes have been drawn out for each region.

 

 

APAC

The Asian Pacific regional market has shown to be resilient. Out of the 34 key markets covered within Asia Pacific, the status quo has largely been maintained year-to-date, with only Singapore showing any real change to potentially becoming more tenant friendly, although this is restricted to certain parts of the industrial market, despite the pressure of a weakening export demand.

APAC

This is a major difference to the office sector within the region, which has seen a much more definitive shift towards being more tenant-friendly. In China, the logistics industry as a whole has seen a 2.5% increase due to new consumer demands and the rise in online shopping. The table below (which can also be found here) puts this into perspective:

Logistic Table

EMEA

Europe’s logistics sector is said to be struggling with supply constraints, stemming from a combination of a lack of developable land and strict planning regimes. Lisa Graham, Head of EMEA Industrial Research for Cushman & Wakefield, explains that, “In contrast to the pre-Global Financial Crisis (GFC) when speculative development represented roughly 80% of new construction, post-GFC has been characterised by predominantly ‘built-to-suit’ development that has led to severe supply shortages in most of Europe’s core logistics markets. As speculative construction resumed post-lockdowns, more product came to market, pent up demand was released and leasing activity accelerated.”

Truck in Road

North America

Proving to be one of the strongest markets, the North American market experienced growth despite the pandemic and other local disruptions to the industry due to hurricanes and wildfires.

But how do we address this issue and overcome it?

Construction MenFive Key Ways to Address Covid-19’s Impact on Logistics

  1. Improving visibility into operations.
  2. Increasing flexibility of inventory and assets to balance supply and demand.
  3. Communicating effectively with onsite and remote employees, suppliers, carriers and customers.
  4. Supporting the labour force by protecting the wellbeing of workers within the supply chain as well as that of the logistics staff.
  5. Being creative in your approach to understanding how to find resolution to the issue at hand and how to address it moving forward.

Conclusion

The pandemic has set a hurdle in all industries, but the world depends on the logistics industry to stay afloat. It’s imperative that these hurdles be overcome as best as possible. To read more about the ways in which logistic companies and leaders can improve their approach into delivering better, despite what the pandemic has presented, click here.

Digital vs traditional marketing – how has it been influenced by COVID-19?

Digital vs traditional marketing 1

The debate of whether digital or traditional marketing is most valuable or otherwise more effective is an endless one. However, since the Covid-19 pandemic first hit, the shift towards digital has been exponential as traditional channels for advertising have come under pressure, become a lot more expensive and in some cases, obsolete.

 

As consumers have had to adjust their lifestyle habits during this time, their media habits have also changed; creating very real consequences for the ‘traditional’ media industry and new, accelerated opportunities for its ‘digital’ counterparts.

 

What’s the difference?

When we refer to ‘traditional marketing’, we are including any form of marketing that does not involve the Internet or digital technology. 99Designs passionately describes “The immersive experience of an impactful TV commercial and the tactile nature of a copy of Rolling Stone magazine are as important today as they were 20 years ago because of their lasting effects on your memory. Subconsciously you attach yourself to their brand emotionally, meaning they will stay at the top of your mind.”

Traditional media are just that – tactile and they exist in real time, physically. There are five main categories in this classification:

  • Print Marketing – magazines, newsletters, newspapers and catalogues.
  • Broadcast Marketing – radio, television and cinema.
  • Direct Mail Marketing – pamphlets and brochures.
  • Telephone Marketing – telemarketers or call centres.
  • Outdoor Marketing – billboards, bus stops and posters.

Digital marketing depends on the internet and the platforms it offers for a company to have a presence on it. It includes some of the following types of marketing strategies:

  • Search Engine Optimisation – the process of enhancing the volume and quality of web traffic directed to a website or a web page using keywords most commonly searched.
  • Social Media Marketing – the process of promoting products and services using Social Media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok or LinkedIn.
  • Paid Search Advertising – when companies or organisations pay search engine providers such as Google, Bing or Yahoo to pop up first on a specific search input by consumers.
  • Affiliate Marketing – the practice of an online retailer paying commissions to an external website to run ads or take up ad space on the website, in return for traffic or sales.
  • Email Marketing – works by sending a mass email to a group of people (usually mailing lists or newsletter subscribers) a promotional message that encourages website traffic or sales for example.

 

Death of TVThere are many different views on whether or not traditional media or marketing is dying or not. Those that say no are usually the bigger businesses with massive budgets that continue to plough their money into television, radio and other printed forms of advertising.

The trouble with these forms of media is that they do not appear on a person’s smartphone or tablet. With the whole world looking down these days to the lit-up screen in the palm of their hand, who’s to say they will see your billboard or poster, let alone read a newspaper or magazine? Even if they were to be interested in what you have to say, the effort of going into a physical store or having to memorise the dates and times of your event is just too much when compared to it’s ‘click and buy’ from your smartphone alternatives.

 

 

 

 

COVID-19 has pushed the consumer to digital channels

Let’s review what has been happening in each on the traditional marketing media industries in South Africa recently:

 

Print Media

In July last year (2020), as COVID-19 swept through the country and lockdowns started to roll-out over extended periods, Media24 announced the closure of many of their magazine and newspaper titles. CEO, Ishmet Davidson stated “the pandemic has accelerated the pre-existing and long-term structural decline in print media, resulting in a devastating impact on our own already fragile print media operations with significant declines in both circulation and advertising since April.” Ishmet also stated that Media24 is reshaping to further accelerate its transition to an increasingly digital world.

Magazine and newspaper titles were impacted as follows:

Magazine portfolio:

  • Move! and the Hearst portfolio (Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Bicycling, Runner’s World) have been closed.
  • DRUM was moved into a digital format only.
  • The frequency of the monthly magazines was reduced to six issues per year, and eight issues for tuis | home, SA Hunter/Jagter and Man Magnum.

Newspaper portfolio:

  • Son op Sondag and Sunday Sun have been closed.
  • The Eastern Cape edition of Son has been closed.
  • Die Volksblad and Die Burger Oos-Kaap have been moved to digital editions only.
  • Amanzimtoti Fever, East Griqualand Fever, Hillcrest Fever and Maritzburg Fever have been closed.
  • Several other titles have been consolidated into one.
  • The Witness has moved into a digital format.

 

Cinema

As we move to the big screen, we see a similar picture emerging where Cinema chains like Ster-Kinekor, Nu Metro, Cine Centre as well as other independent cinemas had to close completely for lockdown against an already dwindling attendance backdrop. The lockdown also led to record highs of streaming, with Netflix for example earning around 16 million new customers over the quarantine period. People love to be entertained, and will continue to watch movies, but perhaps they have found a cheaper, more convenient way to get their fix.

 

Television

Not everyone is on Netflix or another alternative streaming channel. According to the Advertising Media Forum (AMF), time spent viewing TV during lock down almost doubled. However, ad spend declined by 27% between March and April last year. This happened as a result of advertisers’ cash flow drying up due to their supply and demand slowing down. So, with a reduction in ad spend and resulting financial strain, we may see further changes in the television broadcasting industry in months to come. According to the Daily Maverick (Jan 2021), the SABC is already struggling and is owed R57.1-million in unpaid television licences and advertising fees by government departments, municipalities and state-owned entities (SOEs): R29.2-million was owed in advertising sales, with R4.5-million owed by SOEs, R9.2-million owed by provincial departments, R13.1-million by national departments and R2.3-million by municipalities.

 

Direct Marketing

While not as a direct result of COVID-19, in January this year MyBroadband reported “The South African Post Office (SAPO) is on the brink of collapse and is facing bankruptcy despite receiving R8 billion in bailouts since 2014.” It also reported that “Notices on the doors of some SA Post Office branches now state “Closed until further notice” without a clear indication of where people can now get services from.”

This is not good news for direct marketing companies or businesses that rely on post as a channel for marketing and has forced them to move their efforts to email. Findings from Statista indicate that there are nearly four billion email users in the world. Campaign Monitor research reported that 72% of people would rather receive marketing materials from brands through their email.

 

Out Of Home (OOH)

Out-of-home (OOH) advertising was one of the worst hit by the pandemic as lockdowns sent people home, away from their offices and CBDs and prevented them from being able to commute or travel nationally and internationally. This has dramatically reduced the amount of people exposed to billboards. This channel is expected to return, but who knows when and how long it will take to return to previous revenue levels as its share of the marketing budget may have already been ‘lost’ to other digital platforms like Google display or social media ads?

 

The benefits of digital media

Social Media and digital marketing have made customer engagement and personalisation so efficient. The benefit of digital marketing from the perspective of advertisers is that it’s so much cheaper for wider reach, than the cost it would be to use a traditional platform for less reach. Other benefits listed by LeGusTry are that digital marketing offers the highest return on ad spend investment, higher exposure to new clientele and higher engagement rates.

 

benefits of digital mediaThis also evens the playing field somewhat in that smaller businesses are now able to compete with bigger corporates in the same markets. Where before, spending thousands of Rands on television and radio adverts were simply not an option.

Unlike traditional media is can be said that digital marketing uses every touch point of your daily use of the internet to reach you.

Conclusion

Marketing is an ever changing industry and marketers are constantly being pushed to new levels to improve sales and drive traffic to their products and services. With the advent of Social Media, the need for traditional marketing techniques has shown a steady decline as more and more consumers have moved away from traditional TV, radio and print media, to news and entertainment via the internet on their mobile devices.

With the unique circumstances COVID-19 is presenting, the demand for traditional advertising channels along with locked down audiences has dwindled. During this time, companies have heavily relied on Digital Marketing strategies to stay relevant and drive sales. The shift to digital does not start or end with the pandemic, but a global lockdown definitely showed the power of social media in the absence of physical movement and real-time, real-life forms of media like billboards and newspapers. The question is whether or not this trend will reverse when COVID-19 is finally a thing of the past.