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The tech industry boom – where will tech be in the next ten years?

The tech industry boom

The tech industry boom – where will tech be in the next ten years?

Industry giants merging and major acquisitions of tech companies, assets and processes have broken global sales records in the first half of 2021. With an unprecedented frenzy of deals worth more than $671 billion, the tech industry led the way with its fortunes soaring during the pandemic, reports Quartz. Silicon Valley has notoriously become one of the most wealth-producing areas in the world with many tech companies settling in the area where innovation, production and creativity are nurtured. However, while Apple and Microsoft have led the way to reaching higher profits during the past decade, and that margin ever-increasing even during the COVID-19 pandemic (read more about that here), one still needs to ask the question: where will the tech industry be in the next ten years?

7 industries that will boom over the next decade

7 industries that will boom over the next decade – all because of technology

In 2016, Chivas listed 7 industries that were expected to boom over the next decade. Without any ability to foretell what was to come in March 2020, the company listed various industries that most certainly saw a huge rise in demand and profits. We break down the top 3:

1. The Internet of Things – Smart Appliances

With an increasing demand for easier access to apps like Facebook and Instagram and search engines like Google and YouTube, more and more daily appliances like refrigerators and toasters are being developed with built-in internet search engines that rely on at-home wifi. This prediction has certainly come true with Samsung and other leading appliance companies expecting their current sales-boom to continue into the near future (read more about that here).

Smart Appliances

2. The Shared Economy and the Apps that forge that path

With Airbnb and Uber becoming popular over the past few years, creating opportunities for those providing these services and the consumers themselves, the tech industry has helped to define and establish a shared economy and ecosystem where both the consumer and the service provider are given a platform to utilise or offer a service from the safety of their smartphones. Consumers have and will continue to seek out services this way with more platforms of a similar nature popping up.

The Shared Economy and the Apps that forge that path

3. Connected Schooling – EdTech

The internet has opened up a huge opportunity to change the way schooling is done and with COVID-19, nothing became more of a necessity than promoting online schooling. Millions of children around the world went from in-class learning to tablet and computer learning through services like Google Meets, Zoom, Skype and other video-conferencing tools. More, technology has now allowed for education systems to be integrated in-app where teachers and schools can monitor the activity of their students from their own devices. With the pandemic changing the way schooling occurs forever, the boom in tech-orientated learning will continue to rise and be further optimised to the needs of students, teachers and parents alike.

Connected Schooling - EdTech

So where will the tech industry be in the next ten years?

Everything has gone digital. And while innovation is tightly monitored and kept at bay as multiple companies fight to win the race of the century with new and needed technology advancements, one can only predict that the future of tech is leading the way. Without modern technology and the offerings of services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Facebook, TikTok, Zoom, Gmail, Slack, PayPal and many other major industries being accessible with just a click of a button, arguably, life would become inconvenient. We have already become so accustomed to the conveniences of modern technology like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, living without it seems baffling. This is why we can only predict that the tech industry can only expect to continue rising as a leading industry amongst all other industries.



The past decade has come and gone so quick and while it feels like not much can happen by 2030, so much has happened from 2011-2021. Skelia, a leading tech firm reiterates that the interconnectivity that the internet, software development and new technology offers, gives a global consumer access to tools and ways of life that has been life-changing.

Robots vs Humans: A compelling story of a powerful and impactful experience

4 - Assegai CaseStudy-01

Ads24 won a bronze in the 2019 Assegai Integrated Marketing Awards for its Food for Thought experiential media campaign. In its third year, the 2019 event was themed Robots vs Humans. This is the case study on how the award-winning activation was conceptualised and rolled out.

To cut through the plethora of activations and events aimed at media agencies and advertisers, Ads24 required a single-minded reason for its existence. It was out of this that Food for Thought was conceptualised, packaged and promoted to inspire and inform targeted individuals about cutting edge developments impacting on their careers and their lives.

In Food for Thought, Ads24 created a brand and a vehicle for giving back in an impactful and memorable way, with a healthy return on effort and investment.


Campaign context

In an industry consistently exposed to trends, strategies and knowledge about its field of expertise i.e. media and advertising, Ads24 wanted to create a campaign in which it could influence business and leadership thinking as well as refocus attention to the critical role media owners, brand owners and advertisers play in bridging the gap in the minds of consumers between the now and the future.

The objective of the campaign was to position Ads24 as tribe leaders and critical business influencers within the communication space. It should strengthen business relationships and encourage collaboration through a powerful and impactful experience while reminding key industry advertising leaders about the influential nature of media. Ultimately, the company wanted to grow high-level involvement with top decision makers at media agencies and direct advertiser clients.

The strategy was to ensure Food for Thought stood out from industry clutter via a media industry event that encouraged progressive learning as well as debate around the economic, political, environmental and technological forces shaping the future of business in South Africa. Ads24 had to ensure that the event challenged everyone’s thinking and drove curiosity in an impactful way.

Enormous attention was paid to creating details that provided a full sensory experience. Tactics used to achieve this was through a hyper-personalised and carefully planned invitation process; creating a thought-provoking experience and journey on the day for all attendees; developing an integrated PR plan during and post-event, and maximising social media during and post-event


The big idea and its implementation

The world and its economies are experiencing unprecedented times. In every aspect of life, humans face a complex array of sensitive challenges that call for extraordinary responses and creative leadership. There is a massive shift in consumer mentality and media organisations need to proactively adapt to lead this dynamic environment.

Ads24 created an event positioned between a world dominated by artificial intelligence and technology, and one desperate for human connection.

The invitation was issued in the form of a book written by one of the speakers called We Are Still Human, by Brad Shorkend and Andy Golding. The book led to a hidden message in one of its pages, creating engagement and appealing to the natural human inquisitiveness. It also led to another very important feature: the RSVP

For this, Ads24 used hyper-personalisation by using real time data and leveraging of artificial intelligence to deliver a more relevant and surprising experience for the audience. This was done through creating an algorithm as part of the RSVP which predicted a personal surprise for guests to take home, further illustrating the impact of personal consumer centered communication.


The event

This event was designed from start to finish to engage every sense and challenge thinking. Every aspect was created to juxtapose the human touch with robotic interpretations. The starting point was a taste bud hack. Each person was invited to take a pill made from the ‘miracle berry’, synsepalum dulcificum. A glass of freshly squeezed lemon juice was then offered. The pill had the ability to mask taste and instead of eye-watering, tart lemon, each person experienced a sweet orange juice flavour.

This served as a metaphor on how we consume news and how easily we are fooled to digest fake news – the very opposite of what we pride ourselves in – the facts, the news and the search for truth.

Each food experience contrasted artisanal, handmade delights with a robotic version of the same. Fresh flapjacks topped with creamy mascarpone cheese and rich berry jam was paired with 3D-printed mascarpone cheese on spirulina-infused flapjacks with pipettes of berry compote. The delicious aroma of fresh-pressed coffee was served side-by-side with coffee cubes.

Each table setting was also designed to represent robots or humans and each attendee was assigned one or the other version of the main meal. Although the outcome of the meal was the same, each component was created by hand or by machine. This created an exciting atmosphere of curiousity and experimentation, culminating in desserts delivered by drones.


Content and speakers

Ads24 focused on different aspects of the future by looking at the incredible pace of AI and technology and how it’s reshaping our existence in an increasingly automated economy. With so many areas in which the media and communication is changing, from how we consume news to social media, fake news, hyper-personalisation and programmatic buying, if we don’t keep pace and remain agile to these changes, we face professional extinction.

The line-up included public speaker, entrepreneur and author of the best-selling business book, Legacide, Richard Mulholland, Brad Shorkend, one of the authors of We Are Still Human, and computer scientist, Rapelang Rabana.

Each shared their views on how to stay ahead of the game in a world where the word, ‘phigital’ (physical and digital), is the new normal. Comedian, author and speaker, Don Packett, refereed the debate by posing the questions: Where are we today in the fight between humans and robots? Where will our businesses be by 2030? And, how do we prepare for the journey? We explored the dangers of legacy thinking, how AI can be a tool to advance civilisation and how to be a good human in a technologically shifting world. They raised a few eyebrows, challenged the way we see our industry and our world, and opened the door to a spirited conversation around the future of media in 2030.


PR and social media

A series of thought leadership pieces were created based on each of the topics discussed at the event. Every week, for four weeks, a piece was circulated to media. Included in the pieces was a short 30-second video taken at the event relating back to the specific speaker/topic. This insured that when the article was published, readers would have full context to what was discussed/debated at the event.

Key messages were taken and posted on social media with either images or short 30-second videos from the event.


Return on investment

Ads24 Food for Thought 2019 provided insight into a world where human connection and artificial intelligence create new opportunities and challenges for the media industry and our world. The event solidified Ads24 as a thought leader among influential media partners and as a competitive media owner in a dynamic and constantly evolving industry.

  • 73 % of those invited attended the event
    • 80% gave us a perfect score for relevant content
  • Organic Social media engagement on the day of the event increased to 6.2% compared to the average rate for May of 1.8%.
  • Content series allowed for further organic reach:
    • Post reach increased by 107%
    • Post engagement increased by 300%
  • Page likes increased by 23%
  • Page views increased by 78%
  • Page followers increased by 14%
  • Average time spent on integrated content: 3 minutes

We achieved an overall PR value average of R6.8 million

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Sunday Ted Talk – The human skills we need in an unpredictable world

Writer and entrepreneur, Margaret Heffernan says that the more reliant on technology we become, the less prepared we’ll be when faced with unexpected problems that may cross our paths. Heffernan says that we determine our own future and explains why mankind needs to become less dependent on technology to solve our problems and focus on improving our ‘human skills’ instead. Watch this thought-provoking TED Talk here:

12 Digital Marketing Trends and Innovations For 2020

12 Digital marketing trends and innovations for 2020

Alex Membrillo

Source: https://www.cardinaldigitalmarketing.com/blog/12-digital-marketing-trends-and-innovations-for-2020/

Technology has turned the world into a global village in terms of effortlessly connecting people from all different countries and cultures.

Sharing information is more accessible than it ever has before, making it much easier to generate product awareness or promote your service. And since the internet is such a powerful tool that can be used to generate ROI, investing in digital marketing cannot be ignored. According to eMarketer, “worldwide digital ad spend is predicted to reach over $375 billion by 2021.”



12 Digital marketing trends and innovations for 2020 B

Therefore, to keep up with your competition then you must keep up with the trends. Take a moment to think critically about the impact of change in technology to your business. And then take advantage of the successful existing business techniques that are out there as well as try to predict where technology is going to go in the future. Your business will grow if you retain and actively reach new customers in a proactive way rather than getting left behind.

However, Cardinal Digital Marketing Agency understands if you don’t have the time to research all these trends and that’s why we’re here to help! Request a free proposal today.

That being said, we’d like to share 12 digital marketing trends for 2020 you should watch out for:

  1. Chatbots Take Off

Many companies will continue using a chatbot, they’re effective software programs that interact with website visitors and customers. Chatbots communicate naturally with people viewing the site and can answer their questions in real-time.

12 Digital marketing trends and innovations for 2020 C

Chatbots either use verbal interactions or chat windows to help web users find what they’re looking for.

Hiring an individual to monitor and communicate with visitors on your website can be expensive, but chatbots save costs by answering questions on your behalf. And subsequently, customers tend to appreciate the personalized service and getting their questions answered.

Additional Benefits of Using Chatbots in Digital Marketing

a). It Saves Time: Unlike humans, a chatbot can provide answers quickly to all kinds of questions. And quick responses mean that customers can make decisions faster.

b). Customer Satisfaction: Unlike humans, the chatbot doesn’t need time to rest. Any time the customer wants information, it’s right at their fingertips. And as the chatbot responds more accurately, your sales conversion rates will increase as well.

c). Good Humor: A chatbot is never moody. You will never hear customers complain about being turned away. They are unbiased, clear, and informative- all the qualities that make your customers feel at ease. 

  1. Use of Private Messaging Apps

As 2020 approaches, many companies will start shifting their focus on how to better utilize private messaging apps. Smartphone apps like WhatsApp, Viber and WeChat are already gaining popularity. And instead of using emails, companies are adopting the use of private apps as well as private messaging groups.

12 Digital marketing trends and innovations for 2020 D

Major brands are already undergoing experiments in monetizing messaging apps and soon enough, customers will be able to pay for products directly through messaging apps. Sending and receiving money will be much easier.

Some applications like WeChat Pay have already made significant progress in making it easier to pay online; WeChat, Venmo, and PayPal users are already getting into the habit of using these types of apps to transfer money to their peers.

  1. Increased Use of Artificial Intelligence

The name “Artificial Intelligence” is exactly how it sounds; it refers to robots or machines having the ability to work like humans. AI uses a combination of different features such as chatbots and voice assistants to quickly find answers.

For instance, Alexa and Siri are voice assistants that provide excellent customer care. Just like a human, they can take orders from the users and work behind the scenes on their behalf.

12 Digital marketing trends and innovations for 2020 E

The AI robot does this by using sensors and human inputs to gather facts about a situation and can also collect/store the search data to improve the user’s future experiences.

Cardinal Digital Marketing even has an AI-powered healthcare marketing software called Patient Stream that allows doctors and healthcare providers to streamline their processes to gain new patients.

  1. Hyper-Targeted Advertising

Companies use digital ads to market their products, but have you ever come across an online ad that was straight up annoying or had nothing to do with you? Not only do online consumers tend to ignore these ads, but they may also end up hating the product and doing everything in their power to stay away from the brand.

Forbes magazine states that because of this overwhelming digital connection, unrelated ads or brands that keep on bombarding people with their irrelevant ads will be disregarded by 49% of people.

But on the other hand, people love great content.

12 Digital marketing trends and innovations for 2020 F

If your brand keeps consistently sends tailored messages, then 36% will respond by buying the product.

Many companies are aware of this trend and are already planning accordingly. And we’re predicting right now that by the year 2020, most companies will be targeting precise audiences and users will only be viewing (and responding to) hyper-relevant ads.

  1. Personalization

Currently, only a few companies are using some form of personalization. And big conglomerates like Amazon are already doing it well.

This household name built their huge internet business by analyzing customers’ behaviors and promoting products based on assumptions and the user’s past purchase history. It showcases products that a person may be interested in by putting forth similar or complementary products in a Recommendations tab, and Amazon found that this upsell tactic works in getting more business.

Personalization is truly the future of digital marketing. And these days, it’s what consumers expect…one study even shows that 79% of consumers feel frustrated if the content their viewing isn’t tailored to them.

12 Digital marketing trends and innovations for 2020 G

According to Gartner, by 2020 at least 90% of online advertisers will start using marketing personalization in some shape or form. And by 2021 there will be a significant increase in fully personalized websites.

Personalization is truly the key to a successful digital marketing campaign in 2020. According to Dale Carnegie,“a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

12 Digital marketing trends and innovations for 2020 H

This quote says it all in terms of the importance of personalization. This is one of the reasons why companies and marketers address you by your first name whenever you see it in your emails.

It is ultimately the best tool for increasing conversions, and this is the reason why some marketers have been leveraging it for decades to improve their marketing efforts.

One study shows that personalized email campaigns receive 29% higher email open rates and 41% higher click-through rates than traditional emails with no form of personalization.

That means if you haven’t tried out personalization in your digital marketing strategy, then you’re leaving a lot of benefits on the table. Here are some reasons why:

The primary benefit of personalized marketing is having the control to reach a specific group of customers. And by collecting user data from list segments, surveys, or studies, you’re better positioned to create more relevant and effective email campaigns towards targeted audiences based on their buying habits, interests, and behaviors.

For example, if your target audience likes movies and general entertainment, you can embed pop culture references when sending your emails, creating blog posts, or even in your email opt-in forms to deliver a more personalized experience with your content. Hopefully, your audience will appreciate the references and better relate to your brand which will ultimately boost conversions.

  1. New Customers’ Behavior

Along with keeping your existing customers happy, your business should also actively be bringing in new ones as well. Here are some of the ways this will apply to the digital marketing space in 2020 and beyond:

i). Companies will have to work with influencers: Just recently, studies show that about 86% of women have to consult social media before deciding on a product. And this is important- consumers want brands to be honest, friendly, and helpful.

12 Digital marketing trends and innovations for 2020 I

If a brand gets positive feedback from other users, then it’s likely to bring in new users.

ii). Companies will have to focus on video content: A survey done by Wyzowl indicates that about 95% of people have watched a video explaining their products or services.

Through publishing self-made videos, companies more directly engage with their customers by actively providing useful information.

The companies also increase their transparency as customers tend to trust and respect their expertise.

  1. Transparency

Research indicates that companies producing transparent and easy-to-digest information are likely to retain 94% of their customers.

12 Digital marketing trends and innovations for 2020 J

However, how you handle a customer’s private data is vital. In 2018, the GDPR policy was more actively enforced to ensure that companies handle customer data transparently.

This means that there will be more emphasis on this in the future; companies will be required to be completely transparent on what kind of information is being shared to promote their products.

Here’s a Tip on How to Improve Transparency

  • Establish your company’s core values.
  • Make sure that selling is not your only goal.
  • Be an open book to your customers- tell them as much as you can about who they are doing business with.
  • If customers raise some concerns or questions, respond immediately.
  • Be able to take constructive criticism from your customers and respond in a friendly, non-judgmental tone.
  • Create space and encourage people to give different suggestions to help improve your products- facilitate a community around your brand.
  1. Growth in Digital Marketing

TheDrum indicates that by 2020 and through the next few years, the global digital software industry will grow by $74.96 billion.

Consequently, more money will be channelled towards digital marketing. CMO predicts that by the year 2022, around 87% of marketing budgets will be spent on digital marketing.

In fact, this growth in digital marketing will result in a form of marketing referred to as “Agile marketing”, which is a form of marketing that measures how efficiently a brand or company is at achieving its marketing goals and objectives.

An agile marketing team develops winning strategies and theoretical results to inform their stakeholders with the purpose of implementing it quickly. There’s no perfect way to implement agile methodology in your organization (although we’ve found that a hybrid seems to work best).

12 Digital marketing trends and innovations for 2020 K

Essentially, growth in digital marketing translates into the speed in which new products and services are developed and distributed to meet customers’ needs.

Agile marketing is growing in popularity on social media since brands and marketers have spent the last few years figuring out how to connect and communicate on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and others.

These social media channels provide enormous insights and data into what types of content works and how best to create it.

Want to leave agile marketing tactics to the experts? Cardinal Digital Marketing Agency can help! Contact us today.

  1. Single Marketing Software Provider

Currently, there are a ton of marketing technology vendors. Just to give you an idea…an average enterprise is using up to 91 marketing cloud services.

This number is overwhelming, which is why many people are switching to one software that syncs every tool. HubSpot has embraced this trend already and others are starting to follow.

12 Digital marketing trends and innovations for 2020 L

Soon, many enterprises will be using a single marketing software provider.

In case you’re wondering if paying and implementing a marketing software tool is beneficial, here are the benefits:

  • It reduces tedious work: It helps in getting rid of repetitive duties and helps you establish a daily routine.
  • Streamlined marketing efforts: You can keep track of where you’re at in the buyer’s journey with your customers and can communicate with them more effectively.
  • It improves accountability.
  • It makes customer management more manageable.
  • You can document progress much faster and easier.
  1. Next-GEN SEO

Right now, a lot of different changes are taking place in the search engines industry and updates are happening constantly. These changes in the search algorithms have profoundly affected the user’s search results.

Every new algorithm comes with different benefits or problems, depending on how you look at it. Ultimately, the goal of search engines is to help users get specific results that answers their questions.

Therefore, you will see in 2020 and beyond that the quality of search results will improve dramatically.

  1. Voice-Powered Search

As the growth in technology continues to increase rapidly, we will start to see more people using smartphones with voice assistants.

Features like Google, Alexa, and Siri are useful in digital marketing. Voice assistants can search for things, read text loudly, and even voice dictate text messages for you so that you can be hands-free.

Voice search is also essential when using it for your business. It’s helping in the growth of a mobile-friendly movement and adding value to local SEO. Voice search also boosts the use for Artificial Intelligence and prioritizes semantics of searches.

Tips for Power Search Optimization

a). Understand the Language: When people use search engines, many use long sentences with specific keywords. Therefore, to optimize the opportunity to be found in voice search results, use longer keywords and complete sentences (think of what someone would ask a friend about a specific product or service).

b). Be Conversational: When implementing voice search in your website, use an engaging conversational tone when creating the text but remember to use complete sentences and be grammatically correct.

c). Answer Questions: Most people use the internet to get information, whether they are researching a product or service that they need or are trying to Google an answer to try to cheat in a late-night trivia contest. Therefore, think about this when creating content for voice-powered searches. Include any questions that people may ask concerning your products and provide detailed answers.

  1. More Focus on Customer Retention

In the coming years, companies will also start to divert their attention from acquiring new customers to retaining their existing ones.

These companies understand that it takes less money to keep existing customers happy and will channel more effort in the middle and last stages of the buyer’s journey. Because collecting better data and focusing on market segmentation helps save costs.

12 Digital marketing trends and innovations for 2020 M

Retaining customers helps increase revenue because when you keep your existing customers then they tend to tell their friends and give you referrals. Loyal customers are also likely to be more direct and honest with you regarding any issues or problems, giving you a chance to improve your brand.


If you are operating a business, it’s important to know about the current marketing trends and be able to stay on top of where digital marketing is headed in the future.

And just like Amazon, you can start personalizing your products, using social media to answer questions, and implement video marketing to gain trust and show that you are transparent. Remember, if you are handling any client data then transparency is critical. And there are plenty of marketing software systems that can streamline all your online activities and customer relationships.

How 4IR will change the way we work

How 4IR will change the way we work

Technology, the big disruptor, is itself constantly disrupting, and the challenges this brings demand a shift in our attitudes and perceptions, too. LUCINDA JORDAAN talks to Shavani Naidoo and Deborah Schepers.

Whether you’re a farmer or urbanite, student or CEO, there’s no escaping the disruption of 4IR on all aspects of life – and none more so than the world of work.

According to a McKinsey Global Institute foresights report on the future of work, up to 375 million workers may need to change their occupational category by 2030, and digital work could contribute $2.7 trillion to global GDP by 2025.

We’re living through shifts in all industries – media particularly – and have already seen the creation of job titles that didn’t exist 10 years ago. Technology, the big disruptor, is itself constantly disrupting, and the challenges this brings demand a shift in our attitudes and perceptions, too.

Primedia Group’s data science expert Shavani Naidoo and Deborah Schepers, Group Head of Analytics and Insights, gave a combined presentation that succinctly brought home the current reality of 4IR by outlining the rate at which civilisations and societies have transformed, and how this has sped up over the past century alone.

Their presentation illustrated how the hunter-gatherer era lasted for aeons, phasing over centuries into agriculture and settlements, before the first industrial revolution took hold with the invention of the steam engine. This spurred a shift in production, “from muscle to mechanical”, as Naidoo noted, with mass production and rapid tech development leading to the second and third industrial revolutions – the latter being the digital Information Age, which began in the ‘70s and which we’ve transcended in just a few decades.

The duo pointed out that one of the first really big markers of 4IR was a “shift in the balance of power between retailers and consumers”. “We are becoming wiser,” noted Schepers, “with consumers looking to one another to understand how they interact with brands”. Amazon, she pointed out, has created the review culture that sees consumers ‘working’ before and after the shopping process by researching product recommendations and reviews.

Call out culture, too, adds to the power shift, with manufacturers and brands now called on to account for flaws and discrepancies in their products. Castle Free’s ad claims of comprising zero alcohol is a case in point, noted Schepers, explaining how a consumer tested the claim, found the product to contain 0.39% alcohol and forcing the withdrawal of the ad.

In essence, noted Schepers: “What the brand says is cool, but users’ recommendations, more so.” A growing trend, she adds, is that of “everyone’s an expert” – which, advantageously, will see a shift towards higher standards, because “personalisation puts the consumer in control”.

“Personalised ads boost engagement, and we have become active – not passive – consumers of media,” she added.

Q&A with Deborah Schepers and Shavani Naidoo

What are the most telling differences between 4IR and previous industrial revolutions?

4IR will fundamentally change the way in which we work, live and relate to each other in comparison to previous industrial revolutions. We now live in a deeply interconnected world that is evolving at an exponential pace. This revolution will transform humankind itself – we are already seeing augmentation

in our ability as our phones have become an extension of us; allowing us access to unprecedented computing power and shared knowledge within seconds at the click of a button.

Where are we seeing the biggest impact in 4IR – and what can we expect within the next 5, 10 or 20 years?

Every aspect of marketing and media is being affected by the 4IR. There’s already been a switch in power between brands and consumers due to the hyper-availability of information and the connectedness of platforms and information sources.

Where seductive ads used to be enough, marketers now need to deliver on value throughout the brand experience. Consumers know everything – and they’re willing to work before, during and after the purchase process to share this, because it makes them feel empowered. Euromonitor calls this trend ‘Everyone’s an Expert’.

The implications of this trend are that marketers need to begin building a great end-to-end experience. As Jeff Bezos says: “In the old world, you devoted 30% of your time to building a great service and 70% of your time to shouting about it. In the new world, that inverts’’.

The next big changes will be in the area of personalised, curated media streams – accessed naturally via voice as our interface with machines and the world becomes more seamless.

What are the key drivers of this revolution – and its impact?

There are many key drivers of this revolution but the most interesting ones which come to mind are the Internet of things, connectivity, 3D printing, autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence and Virtual reality.

3D printing and virtual reality are having significant impacts on healthcare. This year South Africa pioneered the first successful middle ear transplant using 3D printed middle ear bones. Further away in California, neurologists are able to see the brain of a patient in 3D using virtual reality before entering the operating room.

The hope is that this will enable hospitals to train surgeons faster and better where their skill could mean the difference between life and death. Artificial intelligence is having a significant impact in ambient computing: Apps such as Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri provide a glimpse into the power of artificial intelligence which is advancing at a rapid pace. Today, voice recognition and AI are progressing so quickly that talking to computers will soon become the norm. Our devices will become a natural extension of us, anticipating our needs and helping us when required.

How will this change the way consumers navigate the world – and what does it mean for marketers?

The long-term future sees the weak AI platforms of personal digital assistants become stronger and being able to edit our worlds based on our preferences, appetite for experimentation, and price elasticity. This raises interesting questions for marketers, who will need to bid for the attention of these digital assistants.

‘Putting the Me in Media’: Personalisation and data analytics go hand in hand in effecting consumer control – but what are the pros and cons of personalisation?

Personalisation has been found to lead to business growth, with research by Boston Consulting Group suggesting that brands which offer individualised products, services or experiences, are growing revenues by 6-to-10%, 2-to-3 times faster than brands that do not.

A study by Adlucent showed that audiences exposed to personalised ads are almost twice as likely to click through for an ad featuring an unknown brand if the ad was tailored to their preferences.

What is the reality and impact of a shift from an ‘attention economy’ to actual money?

Attention economics treats human attention as a scarce commodity. Put simply: Attention is a resource: a person has only so much of it. We have seen a proliferation of content and choice, especially in the video space, and the reality is that there are only so many waking hours in which to consume content.

This means that ad revenue models can’t continue to grow, and that publishers will start looking to subscription models. In this case, money becomes the scarce resource again, and content providers need to start producing content that delivers long-term value, not short-term attention.

What determines success or failure is the entertainment value of the content.

Premium content will always attract the masses. Game of Thrones is an excellent example of this: the series finale ended with a staggering 19.3 million viewers. What’s more, consumers are willing to pay for premium content. For publishers, this means that a lot more focus should be placed on delivering premium content – and for marketers, it means we need to seek out premium content to partner with, as well as find ways to deliver advertising creativity and entertainment value that competes with premium content. 

How marketers can counter this revolution: Shavani Naidoo and Deborah Schepers share top tips

  • Marketing needs to shift focus from shouting about products to building a great end-to-end experience
  • Deliver on personalisation while maintaining a mass effect
  • Make sure that your brand has a sonic identity
  • Look to integrate and associate with premium content
  • Prepare for a future in which we may need to market to new entities

A critical skills shortage in digital marketing could mean job opportunities for 2020 school leavers

A critical skills shortage in digital marketing could mean job opportunities for 2020 school leavers

Why School Leavers will battle to find a job 

As the class of 2019 are released into the big wide world of work, many parents are holding their breath, hoping that by some miracle their school leaver finds employment and start a successful career. Sadly, according to an unemployment report released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), youth’s (15 to 24) are far less likely to find a job or to be absorbed in the job market than those that are older. There is a general belief that total lack of experience counts against them and firms would rather employ older people who have more work experience. It is therefore not surprising that the youth unemployment rate in South Africa rose significantly to 58.2 percent in the third quarter of 2019, reaching its highest level since the first quarter of 2008.

A critical skills shortage in digital marketing could mean job opportunities for 2020 school leavers B

Dalein van Zyl, CEO of IMM Graduate School says, “with this pressure on parents and households, the obvious next step is to look to tertiary education to solve the problem. Unfortunately, only 33.6% of candidates (2018), who wrote the NSC examinations received a bachelor pass and were eligible for studies at higher education institutions. In addition, unless the programme of study is highly practical in nature, jobs are still hard to come by. The industry wants graduates that are job-ready.” 

It is critically important for parents of school leavers to identify where the biggest skills gaps are and then get their school leavers upskilled (with experience) in one of these areas as quickly as possible.

The world has gone digital

The world as we know it is changing, with one common element driving everything – digital transformation! Businesses can no longer ignore the fact that digital technology is the key to future success and therefore are constantly on the lookout for people that have a talent and skills in digital technology.

Parents should therefore be looking at careers for their school leavers that involve some sort of digital technology if they want them to even be considered for future employment, globally. One of the fastest growing industries in the world today is digital marketing – the science of knowing where to find customers online, how to develop a relationship with them and how to communicate with them in a meaningful, efficient and effective manner. For a while now those in the digital marketing industry have taken note of an escalating skills shortage. Digital marketing skillsets are in high demand, but ultimately in short supply.

There has never been a better time for school leavers to develop a digital marketing skillset

In a recent global survey published by The Economist Group, research from across nine countries highlights an alarming shortage of critical skills and talent within the digital marketing space. Interviews with more than five hundred international marketing executives, reveals that 74% of marketing executives believe their industry faces a critical talent shortage of digital marketing experience and soft skills needed to meet customers’ increasing demands. Areas of ‘customer experience’, ‘strategy and planning / brand management’ and ‘data and analytics’ were identified as crucial to an organisations’ success and business performance. The survey further points out that many of these marketers will need to place a strong emphasis on recruitment, meaning they are on the lookout for new, young talent with verifiable skills. According to the report, securing talent with the right skill set is the most cited challenge faced by marketers today.

“There has never been a better time for school leavers to develop a digital marketing skillset. That’s why we set out to understand what skills are required for entry into this industry and developed a 12 month skills focused course that could both address the skills gap and solve (to some extent) the unemployment issues that school leavers are facing,” added van Zyl.

Practical skills valued over credentials

One of the challenges in the industry it seems is that digital marketers tend to be too specialised and there is a need for candidates to have a broader understanding of the digital marketing landscape and overarching strategies. “Furthermore, 60% of digital marketing executives we surveyed indicated that they did not care whether or not a candidate had a three year degree and were happy to accept someone with a Diploma, Higher Certificate or even an online short course, as long as they had the skills to do the job,” adds van Zyl.

Successful candidates are chosen for their ability and understanding of basic design and content creation, this means having practical skills such as copywriting and blogging abilities, knowledge of research techniques such as keyword research, blog topic research, social monitoring and clickstream analysis and an understanding of top of funnel versus bottom of funnel strategy and tactics. The need gets even broader where candidates need an understanding of marketing fundamentals and useable knowledge in SEO, segmentation and targeting, various testing strategies, reporting and analysis using online tools such as google analytics. The marriage of creativity and analytical thinking is central in today’s landscape of digital marketing.

“After assessing the feedback received from industry it became apparent that we had to develop youths with generalist skills and that their specialisation would happen later – through on-the-job training – or more formal education channels.

With this understanding in hand we proceeded to develop what we believe to be the best and most relevant 12-month certificate course in Applied Digital Marketing”, added van Zyl.

Equipping school leavers with practical digital marketing skills.

This course is an online blended learning course with interactive content, webinars, gamification and one-on-one coaching with industry experts. The intention of this course is to provide students with knowledge and then get them to apply the knowledge in order to develop specific skills that are aligned to industry requirements. All of this culminates into a hands-on, skills-based portfolio whereby students can showcase their ‘experience’ to the industry, hence improving their chances of employment. While this course has been designed to specific industry requirements for minimum entry as a junior digital marketer, it’s also ideal for those already in the industry wanting to broaden their knowledge and future-proof their careers.

Included are eight learning blocks and one overarching portfolio project where students will

  • build and manage social media business pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube,
  • design and create content for social media using online tools,
  • apply basic writing skills for online copy and blogging
  • apply online research techniques including keyword research, blog topic research, social monitoring and clickstream analysis
  • develop a good understanding of how to plan and implement SEO strategies and create content for search ranking purposes,
  • gain skills in building reports and interpreting data from google analytics and other social media insights tools,
  • build a basic website using Wix,
  • Learn how to navigate the backend of a WordPress site,
  • utilise online tools in the Google Suite such as Gmail, Google Drive and Google Docs,
  • use Mailchimp to create email campaigns,
  • leverage tools like Grammarly to typo proof copy,
  • understand and use HubSpot as an online CRM tool,
  • use tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer as a social media management tool.
  • understand the in’s and out’s of PPC (pay-per-click) advertising,
  • know how to use tools like Google Ads and Wordstream.

Portfolio of evidence

“This course won’t just leave students with an impressive paragraph on their CV, it will also give them an extensive portfolio of evidence demonstrating their new digital marketing skills,” ends van Zyl.

Interested candidates can get a more detailed breakdown of this course here. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the IMM Graduate School on 0861 466 476.

Why we should welcome automation in the logistics industry

Logistics and automation have gone hand in hand since the beginning of the first industrial revolution; from the steam engine, the forklift and now robotic pickers and packers. Drone delivery, automated self-driving trucks and fully automated AI controlled warehousing are all already in the prototype stage and will most likely become common place in the next 10 years.

There are more products being produced for more people than ever before. There is increased demand from the retail sector and the explosion of e-commerce which in the United States alone has shown an average annual growth of 15 percent over the last decade is placing an immense strain on the logistics industry making it one of the fastest growing sectors and resulting in a severe shortage of skilled labour and management worldwide. This problem is even greater in developing economies where there is accelerated industrial expansion and limited opportunities for skills development.

The Problem

The shear growth in volume of products that need to be moved and managed has resulted in the demand for skilled supply chain talent to be at an all-time high. The challenge is that the number of people earning relevant degrees and certifications are not enough to meet this demand. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • Demographics – there is a trend particularly in developed countries where skilled baby boomers are retiring but the “Millennial” generation which are currently entering the workforce are not yet skilled enough to fill many of the middle management positions that are going vacant.
  • Changing Skill set – The increased importance of technology means that even relatively low-level skilled employees such as forklift drivers need to have more technical and analytical skills. Similarly, as logistics managers are taking on more strategic roles on their companies there is a greater need for them to develop more “soft skills” including project management, leadership, communications, and relationship management capabilities.
  • Cost Cutting Measures – The recent economic downturn has resulted in many companies cutting back or eliminating their skills development programmes.
  • Lack of training programs – In developing countries, there are not enough colleges, universities and other institutions offering courses in logistics and supply chain management.

Furthermore, a more demanding consumer who expects shorter delivery times and more complex requirements such as customisation and omnichannel distribution networks is forcing logistics companies to look for faster more efficient methods of managing their operations.

The advantages of automation

The biggest and most obvious advantage of automation is increased productivity. Machines don’t need to sleep or eat and can work 24/7. While they do occasionally break, if properly maintained they will give you a much higher production rate than their human counterpart.

Machines can also work much faster than we can, and they can do things we can’t, drones can fly, and they can be designed to fit into spaces humans will not

A robot will repeat the same task over and over with the same level of accuracy, they do not get bored or need motivation and do not suffer from “human error”. They can also compute faster than the average human, do not forget and have capacity to store and access a lot more information than the average human. A computer for example with be able to track the position of every item in a warehouse and instantly retrieve it from storage.

Finally, automation can be cost effective, apart from the increased productivity and eliminating all the inherently human costs such as salaries etc. They can result in other savings such as reduced warehouse sizes, less shrinkage and they are easily scalable to accommodate an increase or drop in demand.

Are there drawbacks?

A few. automation usually requires a large upfront investment. This can be very costly and even disastrous if demand suddenly reduces or technology changes and your automation machines become obsolete.

AI is still a long way from being able to create an intuitive machine. We will still need humans to make judgment calls when not all the variables can be captured as data.

Machines cannot adapt to new situations. Most machines are designed to do one or at the most a few limited tasks while the same human could perform numerous tasks depending on where they are most needed.

Be prepared

While it is predicted that in the transport, storage and manufacturing industries by 2037, 50% of jobs will be automated, there will simultaneously be an increase in demand for people who can build, programme and maintain robotic workers.

The challenge will be upskilling the current workforce to work side by side with robotic machines. Companies are aware of this but as this technology is all relatively new there is uncertainty as to exactly what training to provide.

Governments need to promote and support the development of accessible skills training for both those in the existing workforce whose jobs are currently under threat and those looking to enter the field of logistics.

Finally learning institutions need to insure they are providing relevant education so that those completing their studies are equipped to deal with an industry that is increasingly automated.

The IMM has numerous opportunities for those looking to upskill themselves. We have short courses in Logistics, Transport and Export Administration. You can now also specialise in Supply Chain Management when doing our BCom in Marketing and Management. To find out more visit https://imm.ac.za/