Archive for the ‘ Real Marketing ’ Category

Some Statistics for Digital in South Africa.

I have been meaning to write a blog post just after I got back from doing A Digital Masters in New York at HyperIsland. An experience that really changed me, not only the way I think or see the world but the way we are supposed to deliver work for a new digital world. That blog post will come, eventually. Below one of the Key Insights from Tim_Leake & Mark Comerford

It is definitely no longer a question, we are living through a digital revolution. It is about time my generation get to really live through something, from mobile phones, the internet, personal computers, digital cameras, social networks, augmented reality, online shopping! The list goes on.

We are also living through a Financial crisis, and it was very interesting this morning on Sky News – they were talking about increasing unemployment rates and the slowing economies globally, even Germany which has always been seen as the sustainable master of economies experienced below expectation growth. I couldn’t help but turn up the volume when the conversation turned – Digital Media Companies, Social media consulting firms, Digital Marketing Agencies, Mobile Application development houses etc these are all businesses experiencing tremendous growth, and I am not just talking about the tech / social network bubble with inflated  IPO’s ( Groupon, Linkedin, etc) we are all expecting to burst anytime soon. It is the entire eco-system, from ecommerce, ecommunication, IT, software houses, conferences, development houses, hardware etc – all together serving the modern consumers and business’s holistic digital experience need. The industry slowly infiltrating every single other industry on the planet, serving the need of everything and everyone going online, social, in the cloud and mobile.

Apple briefly became the largest listed company last week – overtaking Exxon Mobil. And American Express saw an increase in their share price after their deal with Foursquare. President Obama is on Foursquare now. And Social Software is exploding. The times of seeing everything in isolation is over, we have entered the era of Social Business Design where Technology, Business and People come together.

And yet, I have meetings here in South Africa where people are still asking the question – is this just a digital fad? Is this really where our country is going? It is completely understandable taking our current social and economic situation into account, majority of our population live in poverty. No one can see into the future, but we can have a look at statistics indicating the current situation and growth of Digital as a whole in Africa, and more specifically South Africa.

Below is a couple of my favourites to share:

Happy Wednesday 🙂

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The Changing World We Live In

We all have different opinions and experiences influencing our perception of when the world started changing, personally for me it all started back in April 2005 when Thomas L. Friedman published one of the most influential books probably released that year –

http://www.thomaslfriedman.com/bookshelf/the-world-is-flat
We were entering Globalization 3, and it happened whilst we were sleeping. The world has changed from:
Countries ——>    Companies ——>    Individuals
The world became a flat global playing platform, the product of:

horizontal convergence of the Personal Computer, Fibre Optical Cables, Workflow Software & Standardized protocols, The Internet and later the WWW which brought about a technological revolution that transformed every aspect of business, life & society, which not even the Global Conglomerates could have prepared for.

My favourite flattener and most indulged concept since, that day in April 2005 when I read the whole book in one day, have always been “The Steroids”
“ Technologies that turbo charges and enables information  – digitization; at high speed; wirelessly (mobile) shared on personal devices –
FASTER< FARTHER<CHEAPER and more easily!

And this is exactly where the Google’s, the tweeters, the ipads, the Facebook’s of the world fit in.Soon after the “The World is Flat” , the discovery of things exploded as more and more journalists, authors and bloggers  illustrated the changing world we live in, and each in their own individual right trying to make sense of this phenomena we find ourselves living through.

Think, Freakanomics, Tipping Point, Google, Life Inc, 7 habits of highly effective people, Good to Great, Who moved my cheese? , The Power of Now, The Innovators Dillema and more recently – SUPERCONNECT

Snippets below from a presentation illustrates where my thoughts are floating:

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Opening Keynote at the Creative Company Conference by arne van oosterom (SOURCE)

Soon organizations started changing, with unconventional ways of thinking, where the old age of bureaucracy and people management are influenced by the changing world we live in –

The MEDIA REVOLUTION – key ingredient in the changing world we live in:

And today we are presented with what is called Web 3.0:

Digital convergence is taking on new meaning as we start seeing the proliferation of  the internet across television, mobile devices and any other electronic devices both online & offline. The word interactivity takes on new meaning.

Technological innovations both online and offline brought about a modern day culture recently defined as the “ Innovation Insanity “ The media realized that the power are shifting into the hands of the consumers and publishing took on a different style of make up. People all over the world are realizing the playground is becoming smaller, and we are moving into an era where soon it will be one Global Technologically Connected world we live in.

The impact on society stretches into every industry where technological innovations and the internet changes the workplace, medicine, dating, drinking, eating, feeling, communicating, publishing, designing, developing, etc

In marketing, or real marketing as I like to call it, I feel the fight for digital can end now. It is no longer about budgets shifting or modern vs traditional or above, below, through or ontop of some silly line that no one even knows what it stands for. Technology is supposed to be integrated; it is about making lives better and bringing more relevant offerings. It is about increasing marketing effectiveness, lowering costs for research, it is about involving the customer. It is about publishers – no longer simply producing content, but rather “ packaged information” tailored according to behavioural and social habit analysis.

It is about connecting the dots, between people, products, places, information and this thing called life.

It is about the changing world we live in.

Integrate it.

A project I just Love

And sometimes when you see something it ignites a feeling inside, similar to how the guys at Epipheo Studios are changing the world of online video advertising.

The internet is designed to share experiences.

Everyday change is happening around us, every day we discover new things. Innovations are happening by the minute, innovations that changes the way we live our lives. Today I stumbled upon this article, and as it is relevant to my current project at Nedbank, I read it. And I liked the thinking behind it. So I shared it. And this I do about 20 times a day to about 20 people. You do the math…

Bank of America and Visa Working to Bring Mobile Payments to the Masses – click here to read full article.

Real marketing is no longer a word I just made up, it is a reality. The global vision is here.

“Create products that make our lives better”  “Tell us about things that will make our lives better” “Tell us in ways that ignite good feelings”

Companies are realizing that they have to start listening to what people are saying. True or False – well until I saw this new joint venture, I might have been in doubt. But now I know, that even the smartest of them all are realizing this. So new companies are formed – like this one. (I actually found this article in an Egyptian newspaper – random piece of information 🙂

Nielsen and McKinsey form Joint Venture to Help Companies Use Social Media Intelligence for Superior Business Performance – click to read full article

So i think it is safe to say, that the world of marketing is changing, it is forced ( unfortunately that is, i mean it is a bit idealistic to think that people will actually create things that are good for other people, willingly and make money, i mean who will buy that right?) – forced to change the way they used to do things, make things, communicate things, deliver things in order to make peoples lives better. In a more corporate way of saying it – as per the public relations officer over at NM Incite – ” The initial areas of focus are measuring and improving marketing effectiveness, product launch optimization and customer service experience ”

And that is what real marketing is all about, or at least the way I like to define it.

And as said in the beginning of this post, sometimes when you see something it creates a feeling inside, and my feeling for the day is this Project I just Love.

Imagine it actually happens. I might go to Time Square then next time I am in New York. Either way, the thought is there, the project is there, the movement is there, and that is a good start. Now all we need to do is share.

http://www.timessquaretoartsquare.org

Watch the video – CLICK HERE

Times Square to Art Square Teaser from Times Square to Art Square on Vimeo.

So it can be safely assumed, that we are living in a fast, flat and rapidly changing world, which is probably going to be the heading of my next post…

In the Know, Do you know?

I could not help but to get a warm fuzzy feeling in my mind, when I saw 3 of my favourite newsletters in my inbox about an hour ago – CoolHunter, Trendwatching & TED.

From the coolhunter

This is what i want to capture in my snap store today – everywhere all around the world, people are searching for information, some stumble upon it, others follow trends religiously, others are forced to through education, majority probably just satisfying some desire to find something, but one common thread seems to be coming through – we all want to be in the know, are you in the know? Living in a country with so many different cultures, social circles and living situations translating into a variety of lifestyles, beliefs, opinions and well, ” knows” – makes me wonder – what is the know?

FROM THE LATEST TRENDBRIEFING  – Statusphere

That in the end, with all of our “know how” and overflow of information and connectivity, is it possible that we still want what people have been wanting for years?

Everyone wants to be unique, except those who truly are… Do you know?

CONNECTING THE DOTS BETWEEN PEOPLE | BRANDS | TECHNOLOGY

Real Branding – as i like to refer to it – Is really what my mind has been occupied with. Today I found a new man that I will probably keep an eye out for online:

@paulisakson

twitter is such a magical platform to milk the minds of those you find interesting, without the negative connotations usually associated with being an information junkie – such as constant questioning, waiting for answers and explanations, or simple story telling of experience. I now find my answers in real time without bothering anyone on my phone.   # i am a trend and social media shopaholic.
So in my shopping bag today, I have a few random links I would like to keep in my snap store. Perhaps I have not yet connected the dots between them – but I think often the lines of relevance and interdependence comes during the exploration phase. If you look closely enough, everything is related, or at least in my 25 years of exploring various elements of the world as a whole, I have noticed – PEOPLE. BRANDS. TRENDS.  – WE. IT. THEY. – all connected.
So to me it seems evident that – WE NEED TO ALLOW TECHNOLOGY and THE INTERNET, TO ENABLE A CONNECTION TO OUR WORLD. NOT THE OPPOSITE.

Firstly, I just have to touch on Google Wave – just because I haven’t yet, and I think it will be silly to leave it off the list, as it fits so perfectly into the maze of connecting the dots.  This video is really what got me excited:

Secondly, I mentioned Paul Isakson earlier, and this presentation is  what made me realize that REAL branding, is not just a word I came up with (refer to some of my earlier posts) – it is a reality and hopefully –  we will be able to see local brands adopt the mindset, sooner rather than later.

I always find it most enlightening when what has been rolling around in my head, gets summarized and set out coherently by someone else, so that I can pass it on to the world in a less upside down manner.

Paul perfectly illustrates how things are changing. Our new generation of marketers and brand builders who got taught with open source platforms, unlimited access to information and the downfall of traditional media – soon realized – it is time to put people back inside the world of Branding. Similar to Business – global awareness of “triple bottom line and increased focus on corporate governance and sustainable business development”, puts people back inside the world of Business. Think of the increased focus on organizational structures and corporate cultures, Google as a prime example, puts people back inside the world of occupation and careers. And as Tom Friedman illustrated in the World is Flat, COUNTRIES – to – COMPANIES – to – INDIVIDUALS.
We are all connected. And we are all human.
This is what brings me to my last bit of trend shopping for the day. Sixth Sense Technology. Not only did I watch this video about ten times, I simply couldn’t stop myself from trying to imagine it in my own life, and the resulting consequences and impact on the way we live our lives, simply by connecting the dots.

And Lastly, Just for fun:   ENJOY MILO!

Till next time, keep on connecting the dots…

B R A N D S

Once again life has taken me on a rollercoaster ride, this time through thousands of brands. This post is perhaps a bit random, but mostly motivated by “storing” and documenting moments experienced in the lives of the B R  A N D S  I have worked with – ultimately shaping the way I view and contribute to the world of branding.

brandz 100

Apart from the logo, the packaging, the emotional & inspirational elements, communication and associations, modern brands are becoming real identities striving for integration into our lifestyles.
So before I embark on a journey with one of my favourite South African Brands – I thought it will be worth my while to list the brands that helped to bring me to this point. The knowledge, experience and ultimately insight derived from working with the brands below, is definitely worth capturing in my snap store ☺
1.    Cell C  –  gospel market
2.    T-Systems – employee involvement
3.    Dunhill – the power of design
4.    MTN – infrastructure
5.    Amdec – heritage
6.    Melrose Arch – style
7.    Evergreen – niche markets
8.    Nokia – trends
9.    Tom Ford – innovation
10.    Gateway Shopping Centre – customer relationship management
11.    Cape Town Alive – passion
12.     Blues Restaurant & Bar – repositioning
13.     Glaceau vitaminwater – real public relations
14.     Sirdar – corporate governance & vision
15.     Lifebouy – CSI
16.     Colgate – product
17.     Tastic – health trend
18.     Revlon – glamour
19.     ProSano – no nonsense
20.     Spekko – variety
21.      Twenty – south african
22.     Camel – activation
23.      Sanex – functional benefits
24.      Maggi – convenience
25.      Amstel – experiental
26.      Windhoek – target market
27.      Foundry – finding the gap
28.      Strongbow – branding
29.      Heineken – knowing their “flavour”
30.      Smirnoff – reach
31.      Johnnie Walker – the power of aspiration
32.      Jose Cuervo – calling it by name
33.      Captain Morgan – appeal

My involvements with each of these brands have been to a different extent, but each one taught me the power of a different branding element. Viewing, analyzing and simply being exposed to the “innerworkings” and blue prints of all of the above brands is really what got me thinking.

HOW REAL & HONEST are South African brands? Do the story really exist, or is it simply made up by a bunch of marketing guru’s in the chase for yet another award? I couldn’t help but notice that the Brands succeeding to connect with me on a level that will make me “live the brand” far beyond the little work I did for it, are the one’s who told a real story. It will be interesting to inspect the sustainability and success of these brands in the long term…
Yesterday I read a very interesting quote by Farran Adria –

“The only way to be creative is to be honest, and it is hard to be honest”

quote

I found this quote on one of my favourite websites – http://www.thefearlessexecutive.com/
–    a South African Strategic Agency which managed to break straight into my thought patterns with unconventional thinking.

Another addition to my “snap store” is from one of my favourite newsletters brightening up my inbox once a month – www.trendhunter.com
Disney, CNN, MTV, Hyatt, Burger King, FedEx, Microsoft, Apple, Gillette, AT&T, Texas Instruments, 20th Century Fox, IBM, Merck, Hershey’s, IHOP, Eli Lilly, Coors, Bristol-Myers, Sun, Amgen, The Jim Henson Company, LexisNexis, Autodesk, Adobe, Symantec, Electronic Arts, Fortune, GE, and Hewlett-Packard.

These iconic companies were all founded during periods of economic recession – I couldn’t help but share in the excitement for their upcoming Sept 1 book launch for EXPLOITING CHAOS, which has already been named one of 800 CEO Read’s books to watch in 2009.

A final addition to my snap store today is something I couldn’t help but to share –
http://huddlemind.net/profiles/blogs/top-brands-of-2009-report
– my ever so informative friend Chris Rawlinson brought this to my attention and it was with inner delight that I indulged in yet another brand bedtime story. The top 5 brands came as no surprise – but the rest of the report definitely contributed to how I am going to breathe light into my new baby brand… top5 brands

In a world where consumer preference is changing by the day, what are the special ingredients that keep the flavour of a brand sizzling? Perhaps something I will learn over time, but for now, it seems like one main ingredient – real honesty. Lets see which South African brands will manage to make it into the “Real Marketing” case studies…