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The revolution has been digitised

The revolution has been digitised 

Three dynamic personalities, each of whom have taken the concept of digital disruption and melded it according to their particular creativity and experiences, gave delegates to the IMM Graduate School’s last Marketing the Future event of 2018 plenty to think about.

The IMM Graduate School reconnects with past and present students at its Marketing the Future events which provide a platform to stimulate thought and discussion around some of the critical challenges and opportunities emerging from the marketing industry today.

Here are some gems from trend analyst Dion Chang; Jay Badza, founder and head honcho of Orchard On 25; and Pepe Marais, founding partner and CCO of Joe Public.

Chang: The future you were waiting for has already passed

The first wave of digital disruption is long gone, and we are well into the second phase, where robotics, automation, algorithms, Big Data, and virtual and augmented reality have already significantly shifted reality as we know it.

“The important thing is understanding the cross-industry impact. People are so fixated on their own industries, they don’t look at the neighbouring and ancillary industries,” said Chang. “The lines are blurring more and more, and suddenly something that happens in say hospitality becomes a huge problem in healthcare … or something like that. It’s about reskilling or understanding that your skills are hybrid.”

Continual learning and upskilling are paramount to keeping your head above water in the sea change of our current age.

Jay Badza: The fine art of influencer marketing

“We are in the middle of a marketing revolution. It’s only those brands that are bold and ballsy who are going to stand the tide,” said Badza. A vital component of this is for brands to make clever use of social media and the rise of influencer marketing.

Brand Ambassadors are a thing of the past and the proliferation of social media platforms has seen the rise of influencers as the true marketers of the future. And like any professional, they deserve to be paid. It’s no longer acceptable to ‘pay’ a social media star with ‘exposure’ or free coffee and a donut.

To be successful, however, it’s key to understand your brand story and exactly how a particular influencer is going to fit into that strategy. By engaging with influencers, brands ensure that they are part of the broader conversation and play a part in changing cultures.

Pepe Marais: We’re only human after all

To become more purposeful as a human being and as a business, we have to move beyond money as the primary motivator. The way business is positioned at the moment is that the bottom line has become the top priority, with dire consequences. The world is changing, and legacy companies are crumbling in the wake of new age start-ups and the digitally enhanced reality of millennials and centennials. “We need to push for something greater than money to stand for,” Marais said. “In my experience, as being more of an artist, you put your hat down, you play your heart out, and the money follows, and I think that approach is lacking in the world. Which is why I’m pushing for something greater than money to stand for as a brand.”

The results can be dramatic. Joe Public faced bankruptcy in 2009, but since finding a purpose for the business it has grown into a JSE listed company that is well known for its creative, human approach.

Social media stories a vital ingredient in content marketing

Desh Govender, digital manager at Diageo, was the final guest at the IMM Graduate School’s monthly Marketing Friday sessions, seeing out the 2018 calendar with a healthy dollop of insight into the topic of content marketing, and the role of social media stories in communications.

In an age when many marketers are trying to wrap their heads around all the new developments in content marketing, the use of social media stories as part of their integrated communications is an essential ingredient for success. The session attracted marketers, agency owners and media publishing houses and created a lot of interesting talking points and reflections about brands winning on social media.