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Ranking the Analysts 2015

Authenticity brings cause-related marketing to life

We live in an age where brands are expected to do good and make a positive contribution to society. It’s less about what a brand says and more about what it does. Consumers expect the brands they support to have a higher purpose rather than just being in business in order to make ever greater profits. However, not only does any cause-related marketing need to have some kind of logical fit with the brand, it also needs to be seen as authentic and sincere.

Burson-Marsteller is named African Agency Network and Happy Ntshingila is recognised for lifetime achievement

Robyn de Villiers, CEO at Burson-Marsteller, says what makes an agency successful on the African continent is having a network of people on the ground who are familiar with each country’s cultural nuances, as they have a superior understanding of what is relevant and what isn’t.

Big Stories

FCB crowned Large Agency of the Year

It’s definitely been FCB’s year at the 2016 Financial Mail AdFocus Awards. FCB Johannesburg won the Large Advertising Agency of the Year award, largely due the committed way the agency delivers on its promises. This is in addition to its digital component, Hellocomputer, being selected Digital Agency of the Year and CEO Brett Morris winning the Industry Leader of the Year award.

OpenCo and Avatar win the AdFocus Small and Medium Agency categories

For the second year in a row, OpenCo claimed the Small Advertising Agency of the Year award at the Financial Mail AdFocus Awards.

Picture: ISTOCK

Preserving advertising standards

Almost 50 years since it was founded, the Advertising Standards Authority is in business rescue, racing to find a funding model to preserve self-regulation of commercial speech

Industry leadership, PR recognised at AdFocus Awards

FCB Africa CEO Brett Morris was named Industry Leader of the Year at the recent Financial Mail AdFocus Awards.

Grid Worldwide & Hellocomputer recognised at AdFocus Awards

The 2016 AdFocus Awards, announced this week, recognised Grid Worldwide as Specialist Agency of the Year and Hellocomputer as Digital Agency of the Year.

PHD Media SA is overall AdFocus Agency of the Year

For the first time PHD Media SA has won the AdFocus Media Agency of the Year award. In a coup for PHD, which is part of the Omnicom Media Group (OMG), the agency also clinched the overall AdFocus Agency of the Year award. The ceremony was held in Johannesburg on Wednesday evening.

Forrester predicts appearance of post-digital CMO

According to a recent Forrester report entitled “Predictions 2017: The Post-Digital CMO Appears”, 2017 will bring with it a post-digital climate where customers are beginning to care more than ever before about product and brand experiences. This means brands will need to become even more customer-centric.

Picture: ISTOCK

Ad spend: Higher, then slower

Figures from marketing intelligence service Warc indicate that global advertising spend will end 2016 on a positive note before slowing in 2017

Jonathan Deeb and Ahmed Tilly: Collaborators. Picture: SUPPLIED

Advertising: Creative friction

Ad industry folk are asking how two people can do what is traditionally one job — that of chief creative officer — without clashing

AdFocus awards take place on November 23

The annual AdFocus Awards are an eagerly expected event in the ad world, where both talent and excellence are celebrated. This year the awards take place in Rivonia, Sandton on November 23.

Trump’s win proof of how powerful consumers are

Donald Trump’s surprising win in the US presidential elections has implications for marketers, according to a recent study by research company Forrester. Titled “Trump’s win proves we live in the age of the customer”, the study argues that CMOs need to understand the strategy that led to Trump’s victory if they are to thrive in the age of the customer.

Pendoring’s first-ever ranking released

FCB Johannesburg tops the Pendoring Awards’ first-ever rankings in the professional agency section. It clinched the top spot with 56 points, while Ogilvy & Mather was awarded second position with 51 points. They were followed by the King James Group (46 points), Joe Public (39 points) and MullenLowe Cape Town with 27 points.

Richard Branson. Picture: SUPPLIED

Richard Branson on brands, his dyslexia and SA’s hiccups

A brand that loses its power to surprise or fails to react instantly to customer demands doesn’t stand a chance of survival in a fiercely competitive global economy, says Sir Richard Branson

How to reach affluent millennials

Brands may need to rethink their approach to millennials, according to a new study released by the BBC. It found that the majority of millennials (84%) globally are not so dissimilar in their beliefs to older generations.

The silly season goes mobile

Thanks to a study by Facebook IQ, SA brands have some inspiration of their own to use when it comes to their holiday strategies. Facebook IQ’s 2016 holiday outlook study is based on research that looks at holiday shopping trends in 2015, using Facebook internal data, as well as insights on how people shop in the holiday season, based on a survey Facebook commissioned Ipsos to undertake.

Half an hour with Ryan Bacher, MD at NetFlorist

Online florist and gifting service NetFlorist was launched in 1999, at a time when online retail was still in its infancy. The business managed to avoid the dot-com bust of 2002 because it had already translated its vision into profitable sales, something most online start-ups had not managed to achieve. The business then made the transition from Internet start-up to online retailer.

Euphonik at work. The size of influencers' following and their duties determine their fees. Picture: SOWETAN

Media & advertising: From fans to clients

There is a growing trend of using high-profile people to shape opinion and change consumers' relationships with brands through the use of social media

Picture: ISTOCK

Limits to digital

Despite the rise in digital customer service options, 79% of consumers prefer the human touch

Social innovation and business

As local brands grapple with a slowing economy, their challenge is to become more relevant in a complex marketplace. According to a recently published white paper by brand strategy and strategic marketing consultant Yellowwood, marketers today have to deal with more sceptical consumers who have grown weary of both organisations and their brands. As a result they interact with brands from a position of deep distrust, while at the same time having greater expectations of big business.

The era of connectivity

Spark Media’s latest Roots cellphone and Internet penetration data has recently been released, providing marketers with interesting insights into the local consumer market.

Managing an African network

While there is no doubt that managing a network of companies across the African continent has its challenges, it can be extremely rewarding – provided you know how to manage the business. With 55 countries in Africa, each with different languages and cultural nuances, companies seeking to expand into the continent need to understand that adopting a “one-size-fits-all” approach could be disastrous.

Loeries: Top rankings

Loeries rankings provide a useful indication of who’s who in the brand communications industry across Africa and the Middle East

Picture: ISTOCK

Targeting new trends in media and advertising

A fresh advertising research report on social innovation finds that understanding culture can help marketers anticipate where consumer behaviour is changing

Financial Mail AdForum shines spotlight on fashion & beauty advertising

The final Financial Mail AdForum for 2016, in association with Ornico, focused on fashion and beauty advertising. It’s a category not renowned for producing particularly interesting or very creative work and certainly there was much that did not inspire in this month’s line-up.

SA consumers dissatisfied with mobile service providers

The latest SA Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) for Mobile Data Service Providers has shown that not only do South Africans feel little loyalty when it comes to data service providers, they’re also disappointed with their service.

Half an hour with Rudy Hassiem

The key to an enduring client/agency relationship is trust – specifically the personal touch. When an agency and client trust each other, says Rudy Hassiem, MD of Brandnew Creative Agency, the result is evident in the work. And when there is a personal interest, you can tell the agency cares about the brand just as much as the client does.

Leaders on the move

It was perhaps fitting that the recent Sunday Times Top 100 Companies’ Leaders on the Move event was sponsored by Johnnie Walker, a brand that inspires purpose and recognises that the journey is as important as the destination.

All I want for Christmas

If you’re a baby boomer all you want for Christmas is material goods – anything to ensure you’re keeping up with the Joneses, which defines status and success. The Christmas wish lists of millennials, on the other hand, look quite different, according to a recent article by Dallas Lawrence, chief communications officer of the Rubicon Project posted on

Pay by selfie to revolutionise online shopping

If a patent filed by Amazon is anything to go by, consumers will soon be able to pay for online purchases with selfies. Aimed at making online purchasing more convenient for shoppers, the patent will allow consumers to take a photo of themselves instead of having to enter a password.

Industry Insights

Does your business need an app?

There was a time, not so long ago, when everyone believed an app was a necessity. Much as in the case of the dot-com bubble, mountains of investment went into developing mobile applications, as well as the companies that built them. Fast forward to 2016, and things have settled a little and businesses are starting to see that apps aren’t always the answer. More importantly, they are starting to see when they are.

Bus shelters – a canvas for advertising genius

Despite street furniture being a sought-after form of media in many parts of the world, bus shelter advertising has historically been underutilised and undervalued in SA.

Going beyond the click with programmatic buying

Programmatic media buying may be the latest digital advertising buzzword, but many media agencies have yet to explain to their clients why this tool works so well when used properly, not to mention what using it correctly entails.

The hand that creates the content, rules the world

Clickbaits. Nobody falls for them anymore. Nobody falls for much anymore, unless it has appeared on the Internet practically that same morning. With so much information around, ideas fall in and out of favour in what seems like seconds. Even the idea of information overload itself has become redundant. We thought that we created technology, but in a strange twist of fate, it seems more accurate to say that technology is creating us – affecting how we think, act and communicate. It’s a classic sci-fi story: the machine becomes more powerful than its creator and takes control. It’s like Hal, the robot in 2001: A Space Odyssey, but infinitely bigger and more powerful.

In a world of less, how do you create more?

The world seems to have gone mad. A potent mix of politics, war and terrorism has left many economies in free fall, with disposable income tight for both consumers and the companies that want to sell them things. Even the global golden child of shareholder value, Apple, experienced a plateau in its results recently. CEOs are being forced to focus on the extreme near term when it comes to the decisions they make; a myopic view that has meant a macro focus on every business expense, especially marketing. So: in a world of less, how do you create more?

Crossing the chasm

Picture this. On the one side of a chasm is your business. On the other, the people you would like to do business with. Most teams developing a business strategy spend the bulk of their time examining what the business can do to build a bridge that will reach across the chasm to the people on the far side.

Where’s the research?

In the digital age, some agencies no longer see value in brand immersion – the research in the more traditional landscape was the nucleus of brand strategy. This intense comprehension of a client’s products or services – including who makes them and who buys them, and taking this information to inform the strategy and the campaign, is suddenly no longer the alpha and omega of brand strategy that it used to be.

Why social media will never overtake PR

Scan the headlines of public relations and marketing industry publications, and you will read dire warnings about the future of PR, as I wrote in a piece originally published on Mobile Marketer. The 2015 Holmes Report identifies a 5% drop in the growth rate of the global PR industry. Some pundits suggest that PR has lost its way and that social media will eventually replace PR.

Predictions for 2017

The world we are living in is so fiercely volatile at the moment that it would be foolish to predict with any level of certainty what the market is going to do.

Staying focused on revenue and customer experience in the digital deluge

It used to be tricky to know whether to invest in a new communication channel and to work out how to measure the effectiveness of existing channels. It took a considerable amount of skill to establish the link between marketing initiatives and their impact on sales. The digital age changed all of that. Today, digital marketing efforts can be forecast, measured and tracked with an alarming degree of accuracy – and there is always return on investment to report on.

The value of creativity in branding

Creativity is elusive and sought after, and has piqued the interest of researchers and professionals from various backgrounds, locations and industries for decades. In a post by August Turak on, creativity is aptly described as “a skill that can be developed and a process that can be managed”. It begins with a foundation of knowledge, of learning a discipline and mastering a way of thinking.

Key trends that herald the dawn of the Age of On-Demand PR

When Facebook and Twitter brought social media to the masses, it fundamentally changed the way PR practitioners applied their craft. Agencies scrambled to understand how this new way of communicating would affect their strategic communications efforts as well as those of their clients. It’s arguable that not a single PR agency has had the luxury of “business as usual” following social media’s arrival. And now we’re facing an even greater change in the way PR services are delivered.

Political branding lessons for marketers

Donald Trump’s underdog success in the US presidential race has baffled the predictions of political pundits, but marketers and advertisers could have seen this coming from a mile away. Voters, after all, are just another kind of customer and, whatever else you might think of him, it’s hard to deny that Trump is a marketing and branding force.

Digital on its own is not enough

Almost every company’s marketing budget has a portion allocated to digital marketing. But simply having a digital strategy is not enough for a company to be relevant and stay ahead of its competitors.

Ready for the Internet’s third wave?

The way we use and understand the Internet is changing. We’ve long surpassed the first wave and are just about done with the second. On the cusp of the third, we’re about to face a host of new opportunities and challenges. Are you ready?

The chicken and egg of business and brand

It’s a classic case of what comes first: the chicken or the egg? When it comes to business strategy, there is a company’s sense of purpose and there is its “difference that matters”.

How shop fitting can reinforce a brand

Shop fitting plays a subtle but important role in reinforcing the overall brand. Brands establishing retail outlets or a presence in a department store typically issue design briefs and layout plans in line with the overall brand identity, leaving it up to the shop fitter to follow orders and simply get the job done. However, few major brands consider the impact a shop fitter’s approach to getting the job done can have on the brand’s reputation.