It is vital that marketers and planners understand how South African consumers engage with brands.
Werner Lindemann, managing director at Mediamark, reports that the average South African consumer spent eight hours consuming content on a daily basis in 2014. Today that’s increased to around 12 hours, with TV averaging two to three hours, four hours on radio, three hours on mobile phone and two to three hours on a laptop. “Consumers are using multiple-screens and that leaves us, the media players, struggling to capture the consumer’s attention,” he said.
Speaking at the Cape Town launch of the company’s In the Know Now training and education academy, Lindemann said, “The challenge for brands today is how to build loyalty which is underpinned by two issues: how to break through the clutter and how to reach audiences consistently.
“The conundrum for brands is not about generic reach, it’s about reaching audiences that matter and ensuring that audiences are engaging in the ways that matter for your brand,” he said.
Lindemann said that Mediamark was transitioning from a digital first to a mobile first company. “We need to stay on top of all the new trends and this is something that’s presented a challenge to us, is how to continuously upskill our own people internally. That’s how the concept of In the Know Now was born. From there the concept grew because we realised the industry is facing the same challenges of learning and applying new knowledge and information at a rapid rate of change,” he said.
‘Profound change’ in media research
Head of media and market intelligence, Lerlynn Latief, believes 2017 is a year of “profound change” in terms of media research. “In this first quarter alone, the new RAM survey and the soon to be released Establishment Survey will force both seasoned and new media professionals to re-orientate themselves in terms of their understanding of the composition of the South African population, as well as its media consumption habits. We are committed to helping our colleagues find their direction in this new landscape, providing them with useful planning resources and insights that will aid them in building more effective campaigns,” she said.
Mediamark is concentrating on two priorities: Continuing with their multi-platform focus to engage audiences where they are, as well as focusing on multi-solutions i.e. content, commerce marketing, gamification and mobile technology engagement.
Mediamark is creating a benchmark in the industry for training and education with the aim of keeping media and marketing professionals at the forefront of industry trends, as well as providing the skills and knowledge to newcomers, and refreshers to the more experienced people in the industry on how, why and when to use specific media platforms, Lindemann said.
“By constantly sharing what we KNOW NOW, we aim to create more mutually engaging opportunities with our clients and partners, rather than challenges,” he said.
In the KNOW NOW aims to keep media planning professionals at the forefront of the latest industry trends and upskill young media planners.
Charlie Wannell, Mediamark’s marketing manager, said they aimed to connect with junior, mid-level and senior planners, buyers, creatives, strategists and people working in the radio and digital space.
“We believe there’s a real need and a gap in the market for training new incomers into the market, as well as upskilling senior staff, because the trends are changing so quickly. With us becoming a multi-channel organisation we are learning things at the speed of light. We’re passionate about upskilling our own staff and it was an obvious next step to open it up to our partners and clients in the trade,” she said.
This included using the latest tools and trends through a variety of platforms such as webinars, conferences, roadshows and workshops, formal lectures and presentations, as well as experiential learning in the field and thought leadership forums,
“As our business grows, we’d like our partners to grow alongside us. We really are giving back to the industry because companies don’t have the time and necessary resources to train their staff continuously. From our side we’re upskilling our staff and building vital relationships with the new incoming generations in the industry,” said Wannell.
The Advertising Media Association of South Africa (AMASA) has welcomed and endorsed the initiative. “The KNOW NOW initiative complements some of the existing programs we are running and the content is varied enough to appeal to both newcomers as well as experienced communication experts. It promotes an understanding of both quantitative and qualitative elements of media, helping us unearth better insights to foster more effective media campaigns,” said a spokesperson from AMASA.
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