Is TV still the main medium for viewing football? Andile Qokweni – Business Unit Head – Carat

Those who know me well will know that I’m a Manchester United fan and I’m a media strategist by trade. andile

I’m combining my two passions to try to get an understanding of whether Television is still the main medium for viewing football… To do that let’s get into the psyche of a football supporter:
It’s been very easy to support Manchester United since the start of the Premier League era as they’ve been very successful, so much so that it’s become more trendy over the years to ‘love to hate’ the club. You’ll see as you read the piece that this is a word that appears regularly because as people that’s what we tend to do, follow what everyone else is doing.
So in the early to mid-90’s it was trendy to support Manchester United and that’s how they built up a global following of millions. If we go back 12 months, the club had just secured a record 20th English Premier League title and that signalled the end of a dynasty, Sir Alex Ferguson had finally decided to retire.

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As with anything trending, you’re always going to have people who adopt it quickly, like most social networks, after which, you’ll get those people who catch on because the influencers have given it a positive recommendation.
In terms of audiences, football – if you didn’t already know- is huge in Africa and the English Premier League has a very large, very loyal following.

In South Africa, by standards of any country who deem themselves die hard followers of the sport of football, we have a very poor match attendance culture, which helps to explain to some degree the appetite for the overseas content.
We prefer to sit at home or have friends over for major sports events. The anomaly of course being the 2010 FIFA World Cup hosted in this country, but as mentioned this is not the norm.

In general we just do not go to live football games in South Africa; a possible reason for this is that the fans of the English/European football have a high expectation for the general quality of the football they watch, one which can’t often be met by South African clubs (or the national team to be honest).

Exceptions such as the Soweto derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates do occur, but then again those two clubs have the largest fan base in the country.
According to Supersport and AMPS, football is the most watched sport in the country with the English Premier League reaching over 40 million South Africans (All Adults 15+) over the space of a 10 month season.

If we look at the data, you will see on the graph below that 2012/2013 season had higher total viewership for the selected Manchester United fixtures, whilst in 2013/2014 the audience declined by 18%.

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It’s easy to deduce that people simply lose interest in Manchester United.
Manchester United lost 10 of their first 31 league matches; they were knocked out of domestic cups early. Hence the interest from a fan perspective will have subsided more so than in seasons when the club was chasing trophies.

The peak in April 2014 will have been caused by the fact that David Moyes was eventually relieved of his duties and club legends Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt were installed in his place as a temporary solution until the end of the season.

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The CEO of the English Premier League has even admitted that the popularity of English Football will decline if Manchester United doesn’t recover from last season’s slump.
Having said that remember, I mentioned that this is not specific to sport or football, it’s just the way trends work: MXiT was once the main mass market instant messaging application but has since been overtaken by newer more user friendly options like Whatsapp.
So the TV data says audience numbers have declined, fair enough but what I can categorically state is that in New Media, Manchester United have never “trended” the way that they have in the past 12 months: I can still remember one of the comments on the article confirming David Moyes as the new Manchester United manager – “MOYES OUT!”..

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He hadn’t even taken up his new role yet. By the end of 2013 Manchester United and David Moyes had become the laughing stock of social media. Some post match reports on popular sites such as The Guardian.co.uk would reach over 1 000 comments, within an hour! This became “the trend” of the season.

As much as the TV audience figures locally may have declined, they only declined by 18% and one can hypothesis that all of those people who had become tired of watching Manchester United winning everything watched in their droves to see the slow and televised decline of a global superpower, it made for good TV if you weren’t a Manchester United supporter.

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Further to that, in light of the way that new media works these days, television is definitely not the medium it once was.

In South Africa, PVR and the prominence of network providers with uncapped data options has made it very easy to get content of any variety online through and thereby changing viewership behavior.

In the context of football an example of this is live streaming and even something as simple as a ‘’Minute By Minute’’, ‘’Live Match Report’’ on mobi-sites or website. We all know that today’s consumers especially the younger audiences are constantly on the move, so media needs to adapt to account for this and many touch points and platforms have done exactly this.
We know that young consumers are on different devices (TV, PC/Tablet/Smartphone) at the same time and this is a perfect example of how they can work together. They’re reading a report, whilst streaming the game, whilst tweeting and retweeting but engagement and interactivity is the key insight here. One MBM (Minuted By Minute) that immediately jumps to mind as a case study is the Manchester United vs. Fulham below:

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So audiences are shifting to new media spaces (Facebook, Twitter, IM, Instagram) and here it’s clear to see that the Manchester United audience grew astronomically, which is in converse of what’s happening on our local TV’s.

Most of it was negative but ultimately it was publicity and regardless of a poor 12 months in terms of results, it still remains one of the biggest clubs globally.

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Many of the partners who have aligned themselves to the brand to grow their own brand equity need not worry.

Closer to home for me, Chevrolet have recently taken up a 500 Million Pound sponsorship and internally alarm bells may have started ringing as results became worse week on week.

The club will continue to be in the public’s eye so I strongly think General Motors’ investment is safe with a brand like Manchester United, even during their worst season in decades they continued to be the topic of conversation in touch points that allow for exactly that – conversation.
Interestingly, the English Premier League as part of their content offering has an interactive TV show called Fan-Zone that’s broadcast out of the UK but a relatively conservative estimate would suggest that at least 50% of the people who either email, Skype or call-in come from Africa and at least 50% of that would be South African.

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Therefore it is my opinion that globally the trend is that consumers are increasingly switching from traditional modes of sport consumption to new media touch points that allow for them to voice their opinions.

Television still has a role to play in less developed markets like Africa and South Africa and even in developed markets broadcasters are following consumer trends by providing platforms where consumers can voice their opinions.

Local advertisers who have always focused on television can rest in the knowledge that the audiences are still there, they just need to follow consumer trends and understand that viewership behavior is changing, content and engagement has become the key.

To listen to Andile in conversation with media – click here

 

FORBES chats to iProspect Global President Ben Wood | #Bruce Rogers

On the occassion of the 2014 Creativity Festival in Cannes, I caught up with the Global President of iProspect Ben Wood on his perspective of the changing search agency landscape and how his agency is evolving as one of the Dentsu Aegis agency brands…
Bruce Rogers: Tell me about iProspect and your new role as Global President. How is the agency expanding beyond search?

 
Ben Wood: I think about three simple services: customer insight, content creation and content amplification. It’s reassuring to me that we’ve always been brilliant as a global media company at understanding consumers, really understanding what motivates those consumers and trying to get into the intent as to why those consumers are searching for what they’re searching for. You can’t fill a content pipeline without really understanding how that content is going to resonate, motivate and engage with the receiver. It’s good old-fashioned account planning.

 

ben woodBen Wood, Global President, iProspect

 

Then you have content creation which again is a whole new space for us–having the skill sets in house to create at scale digital assets for our clients that will help engage with consumers and therefore drive digital performance. Let’s imagine we have a travel plan, like grappling with wanting fresh content for some hotels that are advertising in Portugal.

 

For that plan they might want for us to send a video crew over to Portugal to create some unique footage of those hotels. At the other end of the spectrum you might have an e-commerce client who has 25,000 SKUs they’re selling on a web site and every three months they might just need new product descriptions for all of those items because they want to keep them fresh and they want to keep them different from the competition.

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In the middle you might have a B2B brand that’s looking to create engaging and exciting white papers to try to bring to life a particular proposition. It’s a fairly broad spectrum of delivery of content. I don’t think for a second I’m talking about the kind of high creativity that you find in R/GA or the major creative agency. I’m talking about a more factory-like production.

 
Rogers: Is it more akin to what traditionally was called contract publishing?

 
Wood: Yes. Companies used to be able to create a magazine for their customers and prospects. Now they were going on a journey toward trying to be more digital. So the skill sets that we’re looking for in the origination space is about strategy and insight. But in the creation space it really is about employing journalists. It’s about employing editors, journalists, writers, graphic designers.It’s about having this exciting mix of different talent that can suddenly help us create content at scale.

 
The third area is content amplification and that’s equally important. Once we’ve built the right content, we need to amplify it and get it out there. What’s interesting for us is we cluster our services around what we call the owned, earned and bought media concept. All of our traditional services and expertise in bought media like search can help amplify content. We’ve paid for distribution of the content through native advertising; plus you’re using your client’s assets, web sites, blogs and apps to distribute that content through their own channels.

 
And then in the earned arena, we’re leveraging social through blogger outreach, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter– whatever it might be. We’re helping our clients leverage those channels to push content out in such a way that engage consumers. And if you do those three things together brilliantly, ultimately what you’re starting to see is the delivery of digital performance, which is what’s at the heart of our proposition. What’s different about our approach at iProspect is that everything we do is underpinned by a rigor in terms of what the output is being delivered. I think that’s the biggest challenge for more traditional creative businesses as they move into the space.

 
Rogers: Right.

 
Wood: When it comes to how do we build into this content great analytics? How do we optimize content? How do we create a program so that we use data to personalize that content in such a way that it becomes incredibly motivating to a consumer in a particular place in time? Those are the elements that comprise this new content space. Those are the places where that most people struggle with because we’re not talking about static content. We’re talking about content which is fluid and is bespoke for particular individuals knowing what we know about where they are at a particular buying journey.

 
Rogers: Are you leveraging the network? Is that part of the advantage of being part of the Dentsu Aegis holding company?

 
Wood: That’s a good question. We have what we think is a pretty unique approach to servicing our clients, which is that rather than our agency brands racking up globally they’re lined-up locally. So a U.S.-based client can work with iProspect, Carat or any other agency brand in the Dentsu Aegis network they all report into the person who ultimately owns the P & L for the U.S. Whereas in other agency holding groups, what you find is that each brand has its own global reporting structure. So as the global president of iProspect, I’m not that obsessed about who does what in any particular country. What I’m obsessed about is the products, the services and the vision for the services iProspect provides. As a result, we can build cross-brand solutions with clients in a way that other agencies can’t.

 
For iProspect, for example, there’s a lot of very smart tools within Carat that helps with consumer insights. We have a tool called CCS (Consumer Connections Study) which interviews between 10,000 and 20,000 people in 60 markets around the world and helps us understand those consumers’ consumption habits, their motivations, their lifestyles, and their media consumption. It’s a bit like TGI or MRI. It’s a study into how consumers behave, how they consume media.

 

That’s an amazing place to start when it comes to content origination. And that’s not a bad place to go when you’re thinking about amplifying content and when you thinking about the channels and what you need to amplify content. We can leverage some of Carat’s smartsto help us with content development. Then at the other end of the spectrum we’re talking about one of the world’s biggest global creative agencies in Dentsu. We also have amplifiers through our global trading business.

 
I’m not sure publishers have quite yet realized the potential revenue in creating content for brands. As brands go on a journey to being storytellers, and realize they need to find new ways or narratives about consumers There is such a huge opportunity for the world’s biggest and best and most personal kind of publishing companies. So in the UK a business like IPC or EMAP are starting to create that content for brands. They’ve got reams of journalists and fantastic libraries of images and video. And they’ve got the talent to create the content. So we can start to leverage the Dentsu Aegis network relationships with those publishers in such a way that then they’re going help us with this content and then distribute that content. I think publishers are going to be incredibly important as we think about how we build out this proposition.

 
Rogers: I call it the journalist re-employment act. You can’t wake up one day and be a storyteller if you’re creating spreadsheets on advertising performance. So what’s your journey to getting here? What’s your personal vision for where you want to take iProspect?

 
Wood: I’ve been talking with Aegis for some time. Ten years ago I was with Carat Digital. It was right before Carat realized everything was going digital. I ran Carat Digital business for 12 very happy years back in the early 2000s when there was explosive growth in the category. Having established Carat’s Digital business, I went to establish the digital business for Vizeum and did the same for them. I know the culture and the way that those two companies worked.

 
I was in the UK and there was a small business in the UK that doesn’t exist anymore a business called Diffiniti, a digital start up that we acquired. They needed a bit of reinvention I think. It was one of those companies that had done well by being a digital specialist and the big agencies weren’t very good at digital. Suddenly it found itself in a place where big agencies got good at digital and they’d probably do it cheaper.

 

Their clients all had legacy relationships with big media companies. Clearly it wasn’t going to evolve as a continuing proposition. So I joined Diffiniti and very quickly saw that there was an opportunity to take the iProspect brand out of the U.S.

 
This was about five or six years ago. I re-launched Diffiniti as IProspect and started to trade under a slightly different proposition which was this digital performance proposition, which sufficiently differentiated us and started to get some traction. What was really important is that this is the thing that has created the momentum and the traction for our iProspect globally to grow into one of the biggest search firms in the world. What’s given us the traction is the a while back when we failed to establish the business outside of the U.S., we created an operating model which set up all of the search marketing for Carat and Vizeum clients to be managed by iProspect. So we created an internal marketplace but gave the business immediate scale.

 
So from day one in the UK we launched iPropsect and upgraded every client that Carat andVizeum had for all of their search.

 
Rogers: So iProspect became the defacto search agency for every client in the network.

 
Wood: We become the internal specialist agency and instantly gave us scale everywhere.

 
Rogers: Are you number one in search?

 
Wood: Globally yes.

 
Rogers: That’s what I thought.

 
Wood: We applied that template globally and that has left a crazy ride for five or six years. At the end of it, I’ve kind of tumbled out as the global face of the brand. I’d say that’s kind the end of chapter one. It’s been really exciting. Everybody likes to work in a fast-growing environment.

 
I think chapter two though is even more exciting. We now need to change. We’ve got to evolve. I’m really excited about the opportunity from my business to start to create emotive content – content that is emotionally engaged with consumers. We’ve been brilliant at harnessing consumer intent. So really that’s going to be stage two. But the other thing about that second stage of our evolution, which is important, is that we’ve also been a business that has ultimately played at the bottom of the funnel. So it’s not a bad place to play. We need to help out customers become more sophisticated about overall marketing effectiveness.

 
Rogers: You are referring to having a greater understanding of consumer intent beyond last click activity?

 
Wood: I think as we drive that stage we will be champions of a more sophisticated approach. What it means is that if you’re optimizing digital advertising to a business outcome you can’t just optimize the bottom of the funnel. You have to optimize throughout the funnel. So we’re going to need to build a much more full funneled proposition as ultimately marketers will become more sophisticated.

 
Rogers: Partly what I see, and I don’t know if you see the same thing, is that in the beginning clients knew nothing about search. They had to go to folks like iProspect. That’s how the business started. I now see that a lot of those services are being brought in house as clients increasingly want to own their own data. How do you play when those basic services get moved in house?

 
Wood: First I would say it’s much more up front in the U.S. than elsewhere in the world. That’s not to say that I don’t think it will localize as a trend, but for now it’s specifically U.S. Look at companies like Expedia. It’s all in house. Some of the big travel aggravators have also brought it in house. It’s definitely a trend and I completely agree with your assertion that clients are thinking increasingly about data.

 
We’ll see clients coming to us and saying “We’re going to win the data. We’re going to win it together to go choose the technology. We’re going to have you guys manage it.” And actually doing it that way it’s pretty transparent. Everybody’s happy. But I do think there are implicit challenges for clients around scale and resources. Then there are challenges around measurement across channels, including mobile.

 
Rogers: Are you helping folks on that journey?

 
Wood: Yes. We spend time with the guys that have been here forever like Microsoft. They’re the ones thinking about it. They’re offering Windows free of charge now on mobile devices as they start to distribute their assets across device. Because it’s through those assets that they’re going to be able to create a single view of the consumer. I think Facebook is going to do it well. Facebook is doing smart stuff in terms of how they’re fusing web and offline data. They’re doing a lot of work around fusing customer databases into their back office which is smart. I think it’s going to be fascinating to see how that goes.

 
But we are completely agnostic about technology. We will simply look at our clients’ business objectives, make some recommendations about the media channels they flag, what content they need, and what technology we utilize to build that out. We think that’s the best place for us to be, especially as things are changing so fast. We need to be the experts in selecting the technology and the data in cases so when they approach you just run through the plan. I don’t think we want to be in a place where we own a DMP, a DSP, or an ad server. We’re a media agency. We’re not very good at investing in stuff.

 
Rogers: Those who do go down that route will wind up competing against Google

 
Wood: Yes and then you can’t. Google seems to be quite happy not to compete with us in the agency space.

 
Rogers: True, now. Might that change?

 
Wood: They don’t fancy the business. Let’s be honest.

 
Rogers: Why, because they can’t make enough money?

 
Wood: I think for them it’s messy and there’s not enough margin in it. Google is a data driven business and they’ll do whatever is right for them.

 
Rogers: They’ll just live wherever data lives.

 

Wood: Yes and their decision’s are completely unemotional.

 
Rogers: They are amazing.

 
Wood: Then there’s Facebook. For a long time they were obsessed about keeping people in their ecosystem. So it was all about run ads, drive people to the page where you engage them . What they’ve realized actually is that they can just use that data to build this huge performance advertising solution. So we’re leaning in quite heavily to Facebook. We think it could be big.

 
Rogers: And they’re starting to share that knowledge with you?

 
Wood: Yes, we love Facebook. I think that they’ve invested significantly in the resource that they place around agency and agency relationships and we have a good relationship with Facebook. And they’re smart enough to know that they need to lead into our organizations in different ways.

 
Rogers: Thank you for the overview. Good luck with phase two of iProspect’s evolution.
Wood: Thank you.
This article was published by Forbes (online) - http://www.forbes.com/sites/brucerogers/2014/07/06/interview-with-iprospect-global-president-ben-wood/

 

Storytelling still matters!

cpl on air

Marks and Spencers in the UK has shaken up their executive team in an effort to be ready for ” the future realities of retail”…..Craig Page-Lee unpacks this a bit further for us. We then move onto whether the advertising industry needs to change its core business model and finally a piece on why stories still matter despite the various forms of technology that have innovated entire sections of the economy:

Brands have always known how to spend loads of money to grab consumer mind-share, how to shout the loudest and say “pick me, pick me.” But at last week’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the Oscars of advertising, the best work did something essential in an age of integrated content, conversation and commerce: it created not just moments but movements.

 
The Cannes Lions honors the best in brand creativity on a global stage and motivates and inspires marketers and agencies to raise the bar creatively every year. The work that broke through this year forged meaningful connections based on utility, authenticity and good old-fashioned storytelling.

 
The challenge, though, for creative marketing in a digital world is that the definition of “story” is changing. Not in the traditional sense of a beginning, middle, and an end, but in terms of the narrative. The story along the way is being told in fresh new ways and delivered through new platforms – where the media being delivered remains native to the platform being seen or touched.

 

These are becoming compact short bursts of rich content packaged as sight, sound and motion, ultimately creating emotion for brands by touching people. Increasingly, it is less about format and more about becoming a brand of use, where the brand delivers purpose and utility.

 

Utility is the reason Uber is valued at $7bn and Priceline just snapped up Open Table. The best brand experiences provide a service that’s useful and seamless to the end user. The next generation won’t distinguish between devices, and products won’t determine our whole lives – instead all the technologies will speak to each.

 
This year’s Grand Prix Mobile Winner, a print and mobile ad for Nivea Sun Kids, showed the promise this holds for great consumer experiences. “Sun-Band” from Nivea and FCB São Paolo was a kids’ sunscreen print ad that turned into a wearable device, letting parents monitor how close their kids were to the water.

 
This is brilliant marketing on a number of fronts: it provided parents with an instant utility, proved that print can be innovative and it aligned with Nivea Sun’s brand message around safety.

 
Consumers today are creators, curators and critics – personal expression is a new form of entertainment. We’re moving towards a place where brands are valued because they are accessible and relatable.

 
That’s why Pharrell’s 24-hour music video for the song “Happy” was a Cyber Grand Prix winner at this year’s Festival and one of the best creative efforts this year. The interactive video featured more than 300 people dancing and prompted more than 1,500 fan remakes. “Happy” reached 9 million people in 24 hours, who watched for an average of six minutes and went from $50,000 in sales before this experience to $7m after.

 
For brands to make a lasting impact, storytelling still matters. The best creative at Cannes this year wasn’t necessarily about gadgetry or innovation, but telling a smart story.
Volvo Trucks’ “Epic Split,” another Cyber Grand Prix winner, nailed storytelling.

 

To showcase the stability of Volvo steering, the spot featured action star Jean-Claude Van Damme doing a perfect spilt between two reversing trucks. Volvo found a way to make the technology behind truck steering compelling not just to the key target audience of truck drivers, but also to a general audience .

 
Impactful storytelling doesn’t happen in a vacuum. What gave “Epic Split” staying power was the long-term strategy Volvo Trucks put behind it. Volvo seeded the idea for months with ongoing videos using outrageous stunts showing off the trucks’ features, racking up more than 100 million YouTube views over two years. The campaign then had additional legs with spoofs such as YouTube clip promoting “22 Jump Street” and featuring Channing Tatum.

 
So what does this mean for marketers? The brands that react with relevant creative tap into the relevancy of the moment and that are delivered in remarkable ways will continue to stand out. It could be brands creating experiences that tap the “selfie” culture by allowing themselves to be at the heart of your brand, driven by sight, sound and motion (think “First Kiss” by Wren and “This Built America” from Ford), or brands that are prepared to “hack” their own brand and create something completely unique by tapping into their DNA (think Honda Senna’s “Recreation”).

 
It’s about experiences that invite people to explore and experiment with them. We’ll see more brand experiences that adapt to the environment, both in established channels like digital outdoor (think British Airways, “The Magic of Flying”) to new advertising platforms not yet released – of course, with updated ways to measure the effectiveness of the creativity.

 

One thing I do know for sure is that Cannes Lions remains an important place to celebrate creativity. It helps crystalize themes, ideas and trends across creativity while inspiring us to think about how to deliver through new platforms and channels. As Rob Norman, global chief digital officer at GroupM said during an interview with me last week (see below), “Cannes encourages clients and agencies to do great work.”

Click HERE to listen to Craig Page-Lee discussing the above

 

Make your brand loved, now! | Dawn Rowlands

I am constantly asked what makes a brand loved and in today’s fast moving world of inter-connectedness it is essential to have a framework of key points to work from, so below I have put together the top 17 that will assist any marketing person in this field.

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Build contacts – Penetration will become more important than anything else. Focus on building brand contacts to grow your volumes. As a result media reach will become more critical than how often you talk to people. Right Time, Right message. No Duplication.

Recruitment – The loyal consumer bucket will become leakier for your brand, so you need to constantly recruit new users and re-recruit existing users. People are more loyal to what brands can deliver socially or as a utility than they are to brands. Re-recruiting people will be more cost effective than trying to create loyalists that don’t really exist anymore.

Invest in communication – Brands that invest at a lower rate than their market share in both the trade and on communication, will decline faster than ever before. You’ll need to be available at multiple points 24/7, as will your brand content.

Be clear – Brand Ideas, which drive content consistently across complex media ecosystems will gain ground. Brands that lack this clarity will lose ground.

Stand out – Brands that stand out will create commercial success by attracting more users, more often. Brands that make it easy for consumers to recognize them (and love them) will win.

Be contagious – Creativity will drive talk value and will deliver a better ROI than brands that still rely on old media / bought media thinking. Make your brand content as contagious as possible. Content that others won’t share on your behalf is simply not worth sharing yourself.

Build opinion – Brand Advocacy in both the physical and virtual world need to be built via education. You need to help consumers build confident opinions.

Always open – A multi – channel media mix is not an integrated approach. Only communication ecosystems that have no dead-end and are interconnected will drive real value for brands. Consumers who cannot continue or pick up a conversation with you 24/7, virtually or physically will move on.

The TV screen – TV is still a cost effective mass medium, which can help your ongoing recruitment and re-recruitment programs, but consumers are viewing this content in tandem with other screens and when it fits into their agenda. People don’t watch channels; they’ll find a way to consume good content. In Africa there’s a good chance this will be via a mobile or mechanism like content sharing in an OOH environment, just ask any street vendor in Nigeria.

Out of home – Consumers will continue to spend more time away from home and will expect their content to be as easily available there as it is at home. Understand the last minute of the consumer journey and how virtual and physical experiences converge to drive a sale.
Understanding – Understanding Media is more important to your brands success than ever before. Understanding the role of global media partners, how people search for you and your need to hand over temporary custody of a brand to consumers, will determine your overall success.

On your toes marketing – Marketing teams will need to execute multi-channel and integrated campaigns fluidly, in real time. Remember agility is key!

Data with soul – Big Data will influence how you recruit and re-recruit consumers. We need to keep testing new approaches and how consumer needs are driving technology. 70% of our budget should be focused on what we know works. Good data will refine this better. 20% of the budget should be invested in innovation with identified purpose and 10% on developing new media partnerships that can further refine our data or create new connection points.
Creating stories – Data alone without insightful and consistent brand stories and ongoing management will deliver poor results. Data center’s made up of layers of data, will help brands refine their story, create immediacy/ relevance and reduce the cost per contact dramatically. Your data needs soul.

Incubate ideas – Incubation of technology ideas that provide rich brand experiences will create a massive competitive advantage. The creative use of technology in a retail environment will enhance brand love and drive sales. Up –scaling will become less difficult as the cost of technology declines.
Targeted – Setting targets for media must be more performance driven than ever before. Ensure that you’re on the front page of every search and that your share of voice in this area is more than your market share. Set targets for building your data set, you’ll need it faster than you think. Understand the metrics and relationships between traditional media and search for your brand. You may need to spend less in bought media and more on Search and Performance than you have ever considered.

Content counts – Quality Content partnerships that allow you to leverage a consistent brand story across your media ecosystem will count! Quantity wont. Content is everywhere and consumers want and need a relevant curator….. Could this be your brand?

A theme that runs throughout these points is that planning, preparation and engagement with clientele are key aspects that keep a business on course for growth; this is even truer in the 21st century. This now needs to happen real-time. Are you ready?

“Mappable Edibles” – What on earth is this term all about?

Find the nearest food sources, post your own locations and pictures, and learn about the huge number of ‘mappable edibles’ out there.
In the summertime, one of my favourite things to do is go fruit-picking at a local farm. The fruit is fresh, seasonal, and delicious; it’s much cheaper than buying fruit at a grocery store; and I can freeze or process large batches of it. I get even more excited at the idea of free fruit – picked from wild trees that grow on public land. The good news is that we can all do it now, thanks to a giant interactive online map that was just launched in April by an organization called Falling Fruit.

For years Falling Fruit has been part of the underground ‘freegan’ and dumpster-diving community, providing information about where people can forage for food, but now its founders, Caleb Phillips and Ethan Welty, are making a push into the mainstream.
Their new online map shows the locations of over half a million fruit trees, berries, nuts, herbs, vegetables, mushrooms, and other food sources around the world, including 2,500 dumpster bins.

cpl on air

Anyone can add new locations and pictures to the map. Phillips and Welty estimate that 500 people use the map daily – a number that’s likely to climb as summer comes. They are working on a mobile app and currently accepting donations for the project at Barnraiser.us.
One major motivator for urban foragers is the reduction of food waste.

A shocking forty percent of food in the United States goes to waste. This works out to more than 20 pounds of food per person per month that gets tossed into dumpsters or garbage cans and taken to landfill sites. This food is often perfectly good and edible, but has been thrown out because it has passed its (usually meaningless) expiry date.

Not everyone will jump at the idea of going dumpster-diving, but picking ripe fruit from local fruit trees is more accessible and appealing to the general public. It’s a wonderful way to take advantage of the abundant seasonal food that surrounds us. It doesn’t directly reduce food waste, but it does divert, or at least reduce, one’s dependence on the store-based food system. It can be a great way to connect with neighbours and bring communities together in harvest. Urban foraging also empowers those with limited budgets, providing more and healthier food choices.

If you’re heading out on a fruit-picking mission or a dumpster-diving expedition, Falling Fruit reminds people to be responsible and respectful in public spaces. Ask permission from landowners. Pick only as much as you will consume. Don’t leave a permanent mark, and do watch out for chemical contamination in public areas.

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The future of global food production will mandate a paradigm shift from traditional practice to resource leveraged and environmentally optimized urban food growing solutions.

The MIT CityFARM is an anti-disciplinary group of engineers, architects, urban planners, economists and plant scientists exploring and developing of high performance urban agricultural systems.
Through innovative research and development of hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponic production systems, novel environmental, diagnostic and networked sensing, control automation, autonomous delivery and harvest systems, data driven optimization and reductive energy design;

MITCityFARM methodology has the potential to reduce water consumption for agriculture by 98%, eliminate chemical fertilizers and pesticides, double nutrient densities and reduce embodied energy in produce by a factor of ten.

By fundamentally rethinking “grow it THERE and eat it HERE” to “grow it HERE and eat it HERE” we will dramatically reduce environmental contamination and depletion while creating jobs for a rapidly urbanizing global workforce and increasing access to diverse and affordable nutrient dense produce in our future cities.

Craig Page-Lee in conversation with eBizRadio – Podcast | Click HERE to listen

 

Apple’s got the Beat(s)

Apple has agreed to pay $3 billion to buy Beats – as noted earlier, Beats produce high end speakers and music gear and a streaming music service.

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The company was founded by rapper producer ”Dr Dre” aka Andrew Young and Interscope-Geffen Records chairman Jimmy Lovine.
What is interesting to read is that Beats main “intangible asset” is something Apple finds itself in need of: coolness. Well, is this true? Has Apple lost its coolness, did Apple ever have coolness and could the cult-like status of Apple be defined as “cool?”
What has got everyone in the business abuzz with conversation and opinion is the price that Apple paid for Beats. A mere sum of USD3billion.

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Beats got into the streaming music business in July 2012, when it acquired MOG for between $10 and $16 million, but didn’t launch its new service until this past January. Since most analysts seem to think that streaming service is the core value brought by Beats, we have to agree that was quite a good investment. This deal is telling us a few things, and it’s important for retailers to take note.
1) The rate of social and technological change continues to escalate
It was only seven years ago that Apple introduced the iPhone. Completely transforming the way we communicate shop and take photographs was good enough for a while, but by September 2013, Samsung was mocking iPhone users as old and out-of-date. That’s fast. Financial Analysts are clamouring for something NEW from Apple. Beats is part of that solution.
2) Wearable tech is the next big thing
There’s no escaping it. Bose headphones may be the status symbol of business folk on airplanes, but the young’uns are wearing Beats. And the Beats brand is going to move way past headphones into apparel and footwear. Wearable tech will be way cooler and useful than that.

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Fitbit was only the beginning. If you’ve ever used the device, you know it’s basically a glorified pedometer. Not so helpful if your exercise of choice is swimming or weight lifting. I see tech embedded in all our exercise equipment, chips monitoring various vital signs. Even us older folk will gain opportunity from these embedded technologies. And they are going to look good. Circling back a few months, I think that’s the answer to the question “Why would Apple hire Angela Arendt away from Burberry?” Because it’s all going to converge. Fashion is fashionable tech.

 
What about the store?  What can retailers use?
Respondents to our annual store benchmark survey see an opportunity coming. Thirty-one percent highlighted in-store technology as a top-three way to react quickly to changes in the business environment, up from 15 percent last year.
In-store tracking is not going to be the solution. And it’s not going to be mobile payments either. It’s going to be a combination of things:
• Self-directed solution seeking by shoppers. In other words, they have to be driving the questions and in-store employees may be required to deliver the answers
• Digital touch points anywhere and everywhere that provide a consistent customer experience
• More innovative products that turn them on. Food is a necessity of life.
• Fashion is fun. Fashion can be the cool new device, or it can be a cool new outfit. Ultimately, it will be a combination of both.

 
Tim Cook is a smart guy. He ‘smelled’ the death of Apple cool coming, and has started taking steps to change the game. He may not be Steve Jobs, Instead, he’s being like an orchestral conductor, bringing together the best people, products and solutions he can find. That’s probably the most important trait most CEOs can hope to have.

 
IPhone is still the hottest phone to have in NYC, despite Google’s omnipresence. I do believe that streaming was a big a focus of the acquisition. Despite the power of iTunes, streaming services like Pandora have thrived, when all bets would have been that they were to be crushed by iTunes. So Apple buying into Beats gives them both sides of selling a very lucrative virtual product, music, without having to build any infrastructure or market a service.

Craig Page-Lee in conversation with eBizRadio – Podcast | Click HERE to listen

 

Beyond borders: The media prize north of our borders | Craig Page-Lee | Posterscope

As certain individual African countries achieve GDP growth rates in comparison to the US and the Eurozone, and as more and more countries fall into the middle-income bracket, one can expect consumer spending to increase exponentially across the continent, making Africa a real destination for global investment. READ MORE

Understanding your Niche Market | Craig Page-Lee | Posterscope SA

New Product Trends: Power-filled results, exciting experiences

cpl on air
RI’s exhaustive yearly study of new product launches — and we’re talking approximately 30,000 in the last three years — have yielded valuable lessons in how CPGs should approach product development and marketing. The firm sees successful products (and the avoidance of costly mistakes) boiling down to a three-step process:

• Gaining an understanding of the deep context of consumer attitudes, usage and shopping habits;
• Developing business plans to meet consumer needs in ways that are incremental, profitable and sustainable;
• Rolling out products that fundamentally change consumer behavior in a long-lasting way

Continuing forward, IRI sees budget-conscious consumers taking a very deliberate approach to grocery shopping. But that doesn’t necessarily lessen potential gains for CPG innovators that understand the importance of helping consumers live well for less. IRI sees the following new product trends being pervasive in 2014 and into the next few years ahead.

1. Wellness as the foundation
Consumers are seeking opportunities to make their homes, menus, bodies and minds healthier. CPG marketers — including those catering to pet owners — are revving up nutritional profiles, balancing the mind and spirit with sensory stimulation, and doing battle with germs in consumer households.

2. Powering up the ROI
Sheer power is moving the needle with consumers, whether in more potent dishwasher capsules (Cascade Platinum) or “three times more visible lashes” (Maybelline Volum’ Express the Falsies Big Eyes). “Power” can be a direct route to enhanced value perception by giving consumers the wherewithal to get the job done faster, more easily and with better results.

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3. Boosting energy
Food and beverage marketers are offering consumers an energy boost, adding protein, caffeine and other power-generating ingredients to existing and new product lines. Dannon Activia Greek and Mountain Dew Kickstart are just two examples.

4. Exciting experiences
Sensory benefits — unexpected flavors and/or textures — can meaningfully boost the excitement profile of products, such as those found in Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts Gone Nutty!, or fresh and mysterious scents offered by Old Spice Wild Collection.

5. Always… an eye on changing demographics
Marketers must serve today’s consumers, but plan to serve the consumer of tomorrow. Consider that, according to PEW Research, 65-and-older consumers will outnumber under-15 consumers worldwide before 2030. Ethnic diversification is also escalating. The Hispanic population will represent 29 percent of the U.S. population by 2050. Likewise, the Asian and African-American populations within the U.S. continue to grow.

Podcast | Click HERE to listen

Ebrahim Damoes will help drive talent at Dentsu Aegis Network

Ebrahim Damoes has been appointed at the Cape Town office of Dentsu Aegis Network’s Human Resources division and will be a driving force from within the business to energize our talent through unique experiences to continue to deliver our current commercial edge.

He will partner with the entire network brand staff of Carat, iProspect, Isobar, Vizeum and Posterscope, all within the Dentsu Aegis Network SSA.

Ebrahim

Ebrahim holds a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) Honours in Human Resources Management and has more than 7 years solid Human Resources experience, with a background in finance under his belt.  He is a family man, a go-getter and health fanatic.

Consumers are now their own supply chains | Craig Page-Lee | Posterscope SA

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In todays world of hyper-connectivity, social media and online shopping, the consumer is no longer just the end of a supply chain…. In many circumstances, people have begun to use their ”purchasing power” to influence the way companies or even countries operate.

A case in point would be the recent rumblings over the conditions that workers for famous shoe companies work in East Asia, specifically China,Vietnam and the Phillipines. Consumers no longer are just purchasing products and services and exercising moral ambivelance in regards to how the product was manufactured. Another example would be recent protests over certain rare-earth minerals used in laptops and smartphones amongst other technological devices.

This major change in consumer purchasing patterns has the potential to fundamentally change the way companies operate globally, especially in the so called third world, where many means of production exist.
Today Craig and Nick discuss the emergence of this new trend in consumer shopping.

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Craig Page-Lee in conversation with eBizRadio -Podcast | Click HERE to listen