Last week Kantar, WPP’s Data Investment Management group which includes TNS, Millward Brown, Vermeer and Added Value, invited marketers to “accelerate” their marketing. To help them get data driven marketing right, Kantar lined up four expert speakers including Alistair Mokoena, the newly appointed CEO Ogilvy & Mather South Africa, and Nikki Harding, a client partner at Facebook. Kantar was represented by Jonathan Sinton and Nigel Hollis.
Sinton, Kantar’s global digital director, shared some trenchant points from the Kantar 2017 Connected Life study. (This study, carried out in 56 markets and covering over 90% of the world’s internet population, explores how connectivity is reshaping consumers, connections, content and commerce.) He reminded us that South Africa is one of the most mobile-centric nations in the world: the percentage of time locals spend on mobiles daily places South Africa in sixth place globally, behind Myanmar, Thailand, and on this continent, Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana.
Despite South Africa’s excruciatingly high data prices, connected South Africans manage to spend more time on their mobiles than Americans (3.7 hours versus 2.2 hours)! The cost of data does, however, shape the activities that locals undertake on their mobiles: they are more likely to be engaged in messaging and social media than in watching TV or video, or even reading online articles. Connected South Africans spend a whopping 2.2 hours on social media a day, compared with their US counterpart’s 1.4 hours. They are however, remarkably loyal, using on average 3,6 platforms compared with the 5.6 used by Americans, on a weekly basis. (Facebook and WhatsApp are the dominant players in South Africa.)
The connected market is not uniform
Even though this points to a relatively simple market structure, Stinton warned that, like every market, the connected market is not uniform. To address this, Kantar has developed a useful segmentation of Super Leaders, Leaders, Connectors, Observers and Functionals, which each require different strategies. I was intrigued to see that these segments exist even in the 16-24 age group.
Sinton made some truly frightening points about the amount of wastage occurring in the digital sphere: 20% of touchpoints create 80% of the impact, and even worse, only one in 20 pieces of content actually creates engagement. With statistics like that, and issues like viewability, ad fraud, incomparable metrics, transparency issues, walled gardens, questionable ROI and the unethical use of data, Stinton acknowledged that globally many people are claiming that digital marketing is ‘broken’.
While he conceded that these issues need to be worked through, he encouragingly argued that “leading brands are taking control of their own destiny through developing a Single View of the Customer”. They are collecting first party data, developing a direct relationship with their customers and retaining data around a single profile.
He illustrated that data delivers competitive advantage, enables “intelligent” marketing and enhances ROI through international and local case studies. The local KFC Supa Strikas Golden Shakes campaign produced enviable results, but the it was the Unilever Kan Khajura Station that stuck in my mind as the epitome of consumer-centric thinking.
The company wanted a way to communicate with rural Indians, who have limited electricity and live in ‘media darkness’. However, 80% of them are mobile phone users. The solution was to develop a ‘free mobile radio’ providing users relevant entertainment content through their phones. The station became the biggest media channel in the state of Bihar.
A statistic confirmed my observations, is that connected locals are not particularly concerned about the amount of personal data that companies know about them: only 35% regard it as an issue compared with 60% of Americans. Curiously 36% of connected South Africans feel constantly followed by ads online, slightly ahead of Americans (at 33%). Not surpringly, the final piece of advice that Stinton gave, after suggesting that marketers work to build their data advantage and measure everything, was simply “Don’t be creepy!”
What can digital do for your brand?
Also dispensing sensible advice was Nigel Hollis, prodigious blogger and chief global analyst, Kantar Millward Brown, with his presentation, Effective Advertising in the Age of Search, Skip and Share. His injunction “Ask not what your brand can do in digital, but what can digital do for your brand” resonated particularly with me.
I have had many conversations with young agency digerati, who seem enthralled with the technical capabilities of digital, but completely oblivious of what consumers need or want. Hollis showed, what one might have suspected: many digital campaigns are undermining brands rather than building them. The bottom 20% performing ads actually impact negatively on metrics such as message association, brand favourability, and even, purchase intent.
To avoid such disastrous results, Hollis reminded marketers that while marketing is fragmented, the consumer is not: everything you do, builds your brand. If integration is important, so is understanding that to use digital effectively, requires having properly defined the objective, and having answered the question of what digital needs to do. His third point was that “attention is a reward, not a right”; marketers need to understand why consumers will pay attention.
He made the point that the real power of brands is in memory and that good marketing can help create positive memories across moments of exposure, choice and experience. A brilliant example of marketing success being as simple as triggering fond memories of the brand at the right time was Wall’s in the UK.
The brand needed to declining market share, and predictably had a limited media budget. The solution was to use frequent fun reminders close to point of purchase. A combination of traditional on-street media (posters) and new on-street media (mobile, Facebook and Twitter) was used. On the smart side, 80% of spend was temperature activated and 30% of spend was geo-targeted. The campaign generated three times UK packaged goods average in terms of revenue.
Again, Hollis stressed that without an objective you are unlikely to get anywhere and provided a checklist of the ‘5 Cs’, that should be addressed to ensure that digital campaigns are profitable. They are:
1. Change objective – what is the best opportunity to grow profits?
2. Consumer insight – what human truth can you tap into?
3. Campaign idea – which creative idea best leverages that insight
4. Channel choice -how do you reach the audience when they are likely to be receptive?
5. Creative execution – will your key executions earn attention in the chosen channels?
He provided excellent examples, Burger King’s ‘Food Envy’ campaign and a Walker’s crisps socially-led campaign to demonstrate how campaigns can benefit from the 5 Cs.
To me, who began my career in the “old” media world, it was, indeed, refreshing and reassuring to hear such sensible advice.
Having spent some decades working in the media agencies, Britta Reid now relishes the opportunity to take an independent perspective on the South African media world, especially during this time of radical research transformation.