An IMM Graduate School event, hosted by Nedbank, rallied together three insightful, thought-provoking speakers to brief attendees on the media sectors’ hot button topics.
Trend analyst and founder of Flux Trends, Dion Chang, discussed the second wave of disruption for business, and the skills and mind-set required for brands to pivot.
“I call it the second wave of disruption, because you should be asking yourself ‘what was the first wave and did I miss it?’, and generally brands have missed digital transformation, and now we’re in the second wave,” Chang explained.
Rapid changes have taken place and “value chains have collapsed”, Chang said. “Ask yourself where you sit in the value chain and are you in the firing line. If you are, it doesn’t mean your job will be completely obsolete, but it means you have to fragment your services to become relevant,” he added.
Legacy companies are dying, challenged by new age start-ups, so older, more experienced brands needed to ensure they keep up with the times and evolve their strategies and models. Diversifying their services to include offerings that make sense to their core business would assist. “It’s no longer about big versus small; it’s about fast versus slow,” said Chang.
The sharing economy was also changing the business landscape, an important element that brands needed to note.
Tech making an impact
The major tech advancements that are disrupting, according to Chang, are robotics and automation, algorithms and big data, and virtual reality and augmented reality.
When incorporating tech, the nature of future jobs will change. Chang gave the example of a mechanic and software developer merging to create a self-driving technician specialist. “Industries are starting to poach talent from completely different sectors,” he revealed. Continuous learning and upskilling is crucial for employees to remain relevant.
Chang’s top tips for brands to survive the second wave of disruption
- Solve problems by providing solutions
- Understand that disruption is bleeding and blurring boundaries
- Forget about certainty and be curious
Chang’s top five skills for the future
- Build your personal brand and its digital presence
- Digital fluency
- Have a network (tribe)
- Make sense of complexity
- Forget about certainty and be curious
Here’s Chang speaking exclusively to The Media Online after the event:
The rise of influencer marketing
The second speaker was Jay Badza, founder of Orchard On 25. He discussed the death of the brand ambassador and the rise of influencer marketing.
“Brand ambassadors used to be the face of brands, but they have disappeared. The rise of influencer marketing obliterated them,” he said.
This trend has been driven by the proliferation of social media which, according to Badza, has allowed brands to be a little bit more flexible, fun and not be stuck in the olden days
“We have entered an age of two way communication, whereas before marketing used to shout at people … Social media has democratised creativity,” he explained.
“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,” he added.
Badza’s top tips for successful influencer marketing
- Know your brand’s story and how the influencer is going to fit into the strategy
- Just start. Start intercepting conversations and being part of broader conversations
- It’s not about pack and brag. Rather insert your product or service in a more subtle way
- Don’t take yourself too seriously
- Don’t be intimidated by the trolls. There will always be people saying negative things about and having a negative perception of your brand. Focus on your core audience
- Pay your influencers, not just in exposure, but with rands. Posts aren’t just posts, they are productions with a lot of time and effort
- Don’t feel afraid to use influencers that other brands are using. If it works then get that right person
Find your brand’s purpose
The third speaker was Joe Public United founder and group chief creative officer, Pepe Marais.
He took attendees on an emotional journey as he spoke about breakthrough creative advertising and communication.
His main takeaway for the audience was that, “brands need to be more on purpose”.
“The world is perfect as it is, as it’s pointing us to a new way. But it’s a bit upside down as the bottom line is everyone’s top priority. Everything is about market share gains, sales and the numbers… We should push for something greater than money to stand for,” he explained.
Creative that makes a difference
Marais also made the shocking statement that, “Less than one percent of what we do in our industry actually makes a significant difference to the community at large and to the brands. I’m surprised by the amount of money we waste with wallpaper… We should do work that inspires consumers and attracts them to your brand, which goes beyond the selling proposition.”
Here’s Marais’ exclusive interview with The Media Online after the event:
Here are some pictures from the event: