As a qualified and proficient journalist, I have enjoyed an extensive career in the media publishing arena in my role as both an Editor and a Managing Editor responsible for producing 22 titles per annum, working with top South African brand marketing and management teams.
With in-depth experience covering a variety of industries, I have since adapted my communication skills to encompass the digital platform. These include content marketing, social media management, and public relations.
Enthusiastic and receptive to new ideas and methodologies, I am currently looking for a challenging position which aligns with my professional abilities.
Berea Girls High Matric
Journalism Higher Diploma: Natal Technikon 1990
Anton van der Post: Effective Speaking
Targeted Account Selling (TAS)
Professional Selling Skills I
Professional Sales Negotiation II
Best Autodesk Reseller Award (x 5)
Transformational Writing 1 & 2
Four PICA Magazine Awards from the Magazine Publishers Association of South Africa (MPASA).
Areas of Expertise:
- Writing, editing, proof reading, speaking, teaching, training, design principles, editorial development, commercial awareness, budgeting.
- Hiring and Management of teams over multiple titles/projects, interfacing with high-profile accounts and company directors, sales negotiation, sales and lead management, marketing, and reseller channel principles.
- Digital content, knowledge and experience with online social media marketing, website, and digital content management.
- Public relations and media liaison across various national brands in South Africa.
- Project management/ Administrative structuring/ Mentorship.
(Jan 2015 – current)
Clients & Products:
- Publicist and Social Media Manager for 5-star Hayward’s Grand Safari Company (October 2016 – Aug 2020).
- Publicist and Social Media Manager for 4-star De Bergkant Lodge (current).
- Social Media Marketing for 4-star Devonport House Tamboerskloof (current).
- Content, copywriting and press release writing support for Jhb-based PR and media companies Media Ink and iCandiCQ working with clients: Nielsen, Investec, immedia, House of Brave, KFC, Crosse&Blackwell, SA Institute of Welding and the Stainless Steel Association for both external and internal communications channels (current).
- PR Account manager for GrandWest, consulting to The Mailroom PR: Sun International account (a period of two and a half years ending June 2017).
- Consulting Communications Manager for digital media buying agency Atmosphere Orange (www.atmosphereorange.co.za). Responsible for Content Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media Management (Hootsuite), User Engagement over multiple digital platforms, Email Marketing, Website Content, Newsletters and Copywriting.
- Publicity, project management, editing, proofing, copy writing, blogging and ghost writing of digital ebooks for a portfolio of both local and Jhb based clients and consultancies.
(Jan 2010 – March 2015)
Stationery, Home & Office Products Association of Southern Africa (SHOP-SA)
Position: Print Publications & Online Editor, Marketing Manager and Office Management.
- Office Manager in charge of Advertising, Membership, Events & Publications (5 staff reporting to me)
- Editor & Publisher of a monthly print publication My Office magazine, an Annual Office Products Directory, Member E-mailers and Crime Alerts, Strategy sessions with 12 Board Directors, Event management which included an annual Golf Day, monthly Annual General Meetings and Minutes, regular Member Infotainment Events and Industry Speakers
- Website Content www.myofficemagazine.co.za and Social Media Management on Facebook.
Duties: Managed the content and profile of the association across all platforms. Recruited three staff members. Attended and presented at regular board meetings with the 12 board directors regarding revenue streams, opportunities, and membership management. Together with the accountant as a co-signatory, we acted as stand in for the then absent Executive Director organising, managing, motivating, and mentoring the five other staff members. Oversaw the production process from concept to final product. Proactively networked and presented as a brand ambassador. Hosted events. Worked with Events and Membership staff to expand commercial focus areas to ensure membership and readership growth and monetization of the printed products. Attended client meetings and cultivated new relationships with potential advertisers. Ensured the content across all platforms was compelling and cutting-edge. Created and maintained content that generated audience growth and engagement and assisted advertising targets. Conducted copy editing, editing and visuals across all platforms, Signed all copies off to the printers.
Reason for Leaving: Following my divorce, I requested a transfer to Cape Town to open and manage a Cape agency for the shop-sa association. This was approved and I established myself here in Cape Town. Two years later, new management within shop-sa requested I return to my Editorial role in Jhb. Wishing to stay in the Cape, I declined the offer and resigned from the company.
(Oct 2004 – Jan 2009)
Push Media Solutions: Independent Publisher
Position: Managing Editor
Clients & Products:
- Publication Editor: International Marketing Council (IMC) of South Africa – Journal of Trade & Industry (monthly business magazine distributed internationally to foster trade into and with South Africa).
- Publication Editor, Website Management: Link Pharmacy Group – Editor Life & Family monthly magazine (health and wellness).
- Publication Editor: Wit’s University – Arena monthly magazine for Wits Alumni.
- Publication Editor: Sun International – Editor Privé monthly magazine (gambling/lifestyle).
- Website Management: Online Health – Content Editor for www.onlinehealth.co.za on the Web 2.0 platform.
Duties: Managed the content and profile of the five brands, and online platform of two of the brands. Recruited two editorial staff members. Worked closely with the publisher Grant Viljoen. Attended and presented at management, marketing and sales meetings internally and with client brand team members regarding revenue streams, opportunities and brand initiatives. Managed, motivated and mentored staff members. Oversaw the production process from concept to final product. Proactively networked and presented as a brand ambassador. Attended client meetings and cultivated new relationships with potential advertisers. Ensured the content across all platforms was compelling and cutting-edge. Created and maintained content that generated audience growth and engagement and assisted advertising targets. Made a consistent and effective brand statement across all client brands. Conducted copy editing, editing and visuals across all platforms, Signed all copies off to the printers.
Reason for leaving: Publisher Grant Viljoen closed the company when the International Marketing Council of South Africa did not renew their publishing contract.
(Sept 2001 – Sept 2004)
Cadplan: Autodesk reseller of Architectural Design software, a family-owned business.
Position: Marketing & Sales working within the Autodesk Reseller Channel.
- Our company received 5 awards by Autodesk South Africa as the top South African Reseller in the South African marketing channel.
Duties: Over the many years spent working in my husband’s business I covered all departments of the business including management of front office and the architectural training centre, accounts and bank recons, events and public relations promotions, marketing research and the publication of success stories, sales targets and sales teams within the Autodesk reseller channel. I concurrently ran corporate accommodation at Westbrook Suites for incoming architects who were booked on Autodesk software training at Cadplan.
Reason for leaving: I left my husband’s reseller business Cadplan to return to the publishing world and earn an independent means of income.
(Feb 2001 – August 2001)
Position: Executive Publicist
Clients: 702 Talk Radio, Decorex SA, Delapse, Plascon Paints, VWV and worked in tandem on accounts: Association of Marketers, Red Nail Advertising, and AMASA for which I compiled and produced the Loeries Annual for the Annual Loeries Advertising Awards. We also hosted the AdVantage Ad Mag Awards for Primedia.
Duties: all written work and press releases as required, attended client and association meetings, copy-editing and publication of the Loeries Advertising Awards Annual.
Reason for leaving: Retrenched
(July 1998 – Dec 2000)
Redsand Interactive (Pty) Ltd:
Position: Editorial Director:
Clients & Products:
- Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) – monthly AA Motorist magazine.
- National Tourism Departments for Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana – produced four annual country directories: Namibia Focus, South Africa Focus, Zimbabwe Focus, and Botswana Focus.
- SA Golf Association – Golf Focus sport and travel magazine.
- Launch of the first edition of Maxim men’s magazine into South Africa.
- SA Rugby & Football Union – SAFU bi-monthly magazine.
- International Marketing Council (IMC) – South Africa: Journal for Trade & Investment.
- South African Bureau of Standards – SABS Standards Directory.
- SA Independent Builders Association – Home magazine (building/interiors).
**Four PICA Magazine Awards received – Magazine Publishers Association of South Africa (MPASA).
Duties: Managed the content and profile of all the client brands across 12 publications produced either monthly, bi-monthly or annually. Recruited three editors and managed and maintained relationships with satellite editors nationally and worked with international syndication libraries. Attended and presented at regular board meetings regarding revenue streams, opportunities and client brand management. Managed, motivated and mentored four in-house Editors and Sub-editors. Oversaw the production process from concept to final product together with the Production manager. Proactively networked and presented as a brand ambassador. Attended international events such as World Travel Market in London. Worked with client marketing and management teams to expand commercial focus areas to ensure brand facilitation and growth and monetization of the printed products. Attended client meetings and cultivated new relationships with potential advertisers. Ensured the content across all platforms was compelling and cutting-edge. Created and maintained content that generated audience growth and engagement and assisted advertising targets. Conducted copy editing, editing and visuals across all platforms, Signed all copies off to the printers.
Reason for leaving: Redsand Interactive was bought out by the Core Group and was eventually liquidated.
(March 1998 – June 1998)
CBM Publishing: Independent Publisher
Position: Editor AirTales magazine, Jhb Editor Bon Vivant magazine.
- British Airways Comair – Air Tales magazine (monthly in-flight publication for BA Comair airlines).
- Bon Vivant Food & Travel magazine – Johannesburg.
Duties: Managed the content and profile of Air Tales magazine and contributed copy and columns to Bon Vivant magazine. Oversaw the production process from concept to final product. Proactively networked and presented as a brand ambassador. Worked with sales staff to expand commercial focus areas to ensure readership growth and monetization of the printed products. Attended client meetings and cultivated new relationships with potential advertisers both nationally and internationally. Ensured the content across all platforms was compelling and cutting-edge. Created and maintained content that generated audience growth and engagement and assisted advertising targets. Conducted copy editing, editing and visuals.
Reason for Leaving: Personal/Family reasons.
(Oct 1997 – Feb 1998)
David Barritt & Company: Public Relation/Photographic Library Services
Position: Head of Publishing
Clients & Products:
- Sun International – Winners newspaper and Gaming Gazette tabloid.
- Standard Bank – Editor of Standard Bank’s Plus magazine
- The Blue Train coffee table book and various pamphlets and promotional brochures.
Duties: Managed the content and profile of all client publications and books. Recruited a sub-editor. Organised, managed, motivated and mentored the Editorial and Design department staff members. Oversaw the production process from concept to final product. Proactively networked and presented as a brand ambassador with clients. Hosted and attended events with the owner including the M-Net Face of Africa pageant in Zimbabwe. Ensured the content across all platforms was compelling and cutting-edge. Created and maintained content that generated audience growth and engagement. Conducted copy editing, editing and visuals across all platforms. Signed all copies off to the printers.
Reason for Leaving: Owner was downsizing with a view to immigrating so I accepted a position in a publishing environment.
(May 1996 – Oct 1997)
Panorama Publications: Independent Publisher
- SA Airlink airlines – monthly Skyways magazine (in-flight publication).
- African Panorama bi-monthly magazine (wildlife).
Duties: Managed the content and profile of the brand. Oversaw the design and production process from concept to final product. Proactively networked and presented as a brand ambassador. Worked with internal staff and external consultants to expand commercial focus areas to ensure readership growth and monetization of the printed products. Attended client meetings and cultivated new relationships with potential advertisers. Ensured the content across all platforms was compelling and cutting-edge. Created and maintained content that generated audience growth and engagement and assisted advertising targets. Conducted copy editing, editing and visuals across all platforms, Signed all copies off to the printers.
Reason for leaving: The company was experiencing financial difficulties. I was offered an advertising sales position or retrenchment package, I accepted the latter.
(Aug 1991 – April 1996)
Contact Publications: Independent Publisher
Position: Editor, Jhb Office Manager.
Clients & Products:
- South African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI) – SA Conference Guide monthly magazine and Annual Directory.
- Security Association of South Africa (SASA) – monthly Security Focus magazine.
Duties: Managed the content and profile of the associations across all platforms. Oversaw the production process from concept to final product. Proactively networked and presented as a brand ambassador. Attended and presented at local events and attended travel events and media tours internationally. Worked with sales, design and production staff to expand commercial focus areas to ensure readership growth and monetization of the printed products. Attended client meetings and cultivated new relationships with potential advertisers. Ensured the content across all platforms was compelling and cutting-edge. Created and maintained content that generated audience growth and engagement and assisted advertising targets. Conducted copy editing, editing and visuals for the printed products. Facilitated with marketing and advertising sales where required.
Reason for leaving: I was asked by the Durban-based Publisher Godfrey King to open a Jhb-based office which I accepted and ran for two years before deciding to extend my career opportunities with other publishers in Johannesburg.
You’ve finally realised that you need a website – well done!
With a fast upload and modern appeal, your new website will provide you with a global platform and a personalised voice to market your products and services to a potential market of 3 billion people (the number of current web users worldwide) – statistics you cannot afford to ignore in today’s digitally connected workplace.
Your website will instantly go to work to highlight your unique selling points, to educate audiences about the benefits of your brand, position you in the marketplace and keep customers connected with the latest news updates and user information through regular posts to your blog and social media sharing buttons.
Warning: We strongly advise that you don’t attempt to build your own website yourself. We have also seen the Wix advertisements and it can be tempting to think you can save a few bucks on some website DIY. Now is the time to remember what your Granny always said… buy cheap, buy twice. Unless you are IT savvy and have lots of time to play around with design ascetics, understand SEO content and have kept up-to-date with the latest security plug-in to prevent you from getting hacked, you are only going to waste precious time and money. Trust us, we have seen way too many customers fail along this route.
We suggest that instead you focus on your core competencies and entrust our tight-knit team of professional entrepreneurs with your website build, monthly back-end maintenance, blogging and social media sharing (where required) for a stress-free and effective reach out to your targeted audience online.
As a core group of tech professionals, we help you get your business online in the fastest and most effective manner without the headaches of trying to understand tech, back-end strategy and current online marketing tactics. And we do it because we care!
What you pay is…
1 page Scrolling Website – R5 500
Basic Website – R7 500
Standard Website – R9 500
Premium Website – R13 000
What you get…
A mobile responsive WordPress website in your field of specialisation using the latest DIVI Premium theme.
Installation of all necessary plugins for website aesthetics as well as seamless functionality. This includes Security plugins to protect your website against spam and hacking activity.
Set up of new email accounts.
SEO processes offering a Search Engine Optimization plugin that will be populated accordingly, thereby improving the site’s Search Engine Optimization with Google and other search engines. This plugin will also pull through your previous history with Google so as not to lose that from within Google’s Search Console.
Your own branding guidelines implemented over logos, images and design integrity.
Social Sharing buttons for site visitors to share your site on their own Social Media platforms.
Google map to your office premises.
Contact form to build your own database of customers.
A pull through of blog posts on the front page. There will also be a separate blog page where all your blog posts will be easily accessible to site visitors. This blog page will include a signup form.
Video clip Training session to familiarise you with the backend functionally so you can effectively upload your own content and media as and when required.
Monthly updates and security checks to keep your website running effectively.
The above pricing includes all content and images supplied by the client. Should you need assistance with web content writing and image sourcing, an additional fee will be quoted.
Prices are quoted excluding Vat
Development of your site will only start once content and graphics have been supplied and a 50% deposit paid upfront.
Depending on which website you choose to go with, full functionality and an layout blueprint will be provided to you for agreed before commencement.
Please contact Mercedes Westbrook on email@example.com to request a quote specific to your needs or call C: +27 789707633.
We look forward to chatting further with you
“Publicity is absolutely critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front page ad.” – Richard Branson
All human relationships are based around communication. You may have great business ideas, but if you can’t convey them to others, your ideas won’t get you anywhere. A public relations company knows best how to package and present your story to the media in order for it to get seen and heard without the costs associated with advertising spend.
Each of us has a unique story to tell. A professional public relations company is practiced at breaking through the multi-channel, multi-device marketing noise and helping you to engage with your selected audience with targeted messaging that will raise visibility about what you do.
Their sole purpose is to give your business credibility so consumers can gain trust in your product, service or brand. At all times you remain in control about how your identity, company culture and values are being presented and what is being publicised about your brand.
Not only will a good public relations company be able to attract potential customers and grow sales enquiries and leads, they will assist in establishing you as a trustworthy company that invites interest from talented future employees and industry investors.
What is the difference between advertising and public relations?
A public relations campaign offers more credibility for your product or service than an advertising campaign. This is because advertising is paid media and public relations is earned media. Your story has to be good enough to be seen as newsworthy to an editor or reporter in order for them to write a positive story about it. When your article appears in the editorial section of the magazine, newspaper, TV, radio station or website, it is perceived as information being served up by the media title or platform on which is it being distributed. This means the information has been approved by a reliable information source rather than you just paying for it to appear there. Statistically, more people are likely to engage with published content over advertising, giving it an estimated value of between 3 to 5 times more value than its equivalent in advertising.
A public relations campaign is also less expensive than an advertising campaign. There is no need to buy advertising space across numerous publications and news platforms. A well written story will get you there for free. Too often huge expense is laid out in creating an advertising campaign involving creative design and production processes and the purchasing of space over targeted media titles that will need to be repeated in order to gain influence for your brand. In advertising this process is known as the effective frequency: the number of times a person must be exposed to your advertising message before they respond and before exposure is considered wasteful. Currently, in the advertising world, this is considered to be between 5 and 7 times. Alternatively, a well written, stimulating article is more likely to be shared virally, emailed, reposted on other sites, receive feedback and comments, and get tweeted on trending topic channels.
An additional advantage for public relations is that as newspaper and magazine readerships drop due to the increased reliance on the Internet, there are less writers and editors being employed. This means titles have fewer resources with which to travel, research or source news the traditional way. Rather, more and more news outlets are relying on citizen journalists, leading research from corporate companies, and industry spokesmen to feed them current news and events.
How does a public relations campaign work?
Public relations is a process of building media relationships and then managing the spread of information about you or your business through news releases, compelling stories, educational articles, tutorials, reports, trending topics, success stories and testimonials of your clients.
The key to building a reputation in the market is for information to be relevant, consistent and easily digestible. This is where a public relations company will assist you with a goal specific, measurable PR plan, backed up with professionally written content in the correct style and format of the media platforms being targeted.
Information may be packaged as media releases, white papers, e-books, media tours, road shows and press conferences, competitions, seminars, speaking engagements and product launches. Additional tactics might include vlogs, blogs, webinars, and gamification.
A public relations campaign needs to be measurable in order to determine its success. Not only do the results of the campaign need to be measured but also a review of what worked and what didn’t and their attached media value. This is where a media tracking company such as Newsclip Media Monitoring will assist you in seeing where publicity is being published along with a variety of functions to determine meaningful and measureable media insights and analysis.
In addition to spreading good news about your business, a public relations company is able to provide damage control should a business crises arise or hostile rumours start circulating about your company. A professional PR consultant can react quickly and efficiently to addressing and dispelling rumours and getting your brand back on track.
Interested in learning how Firehorse Media can help make your company shine? Contact Mercedes Westbrook on C: +27 789707633 or E: Mercedes@firehorsemedia.co.za
“They read all the time, but not newspapers or magazines,” says Craig Utermark, CEO of Cape Town’s Atmosphere Orange, a programmatic advertising agency. “But they are all zeroed in, whenever and wherever they can, surfing the social freeways on their phones. It is there that advertising brand managers are targeting them among the noise of millions of gigabytes of information. And it’s possible, with the latest technology, programmatic marketing allows brand managers to reach 95% of the Sub Saharan African market with 34 global exchanges, giving us access to 70 000 websites that are relevant to the South African market.”
Frukt, an international ad monitoring agency says that 65% of consumer spending is attributable to young people, not necessarily with buying but as influencers too of their parent’s spending decisions. “Unlike their somewhat spoilt Western counterparts, Africa’s Millennial generation is not pessimistic about its future (even with rapidly rising unemployment rates), in fact they are infectiously optimistic about what lies ahead. With the youth population in Africa set to rise faster than any other continent over the next decade, this ‘A Generation’ is one to watch as the next wave of youth pioneers tap into the country’s rich cultural heritage and make their collective voice, and spending power, known.”
Frukt says Africa has “arguably the strongest and most passionate musical culture on the planet,” and that is one way to get attention of the A Generation. They say that by 2020 youth will dominate Africa’s $1.3 trillion (or around R180-trillion) consumer spending.
Utermark concurs, “This generation of youth is incredibly sophisticated. The South African Social Media Landscape 2015 report recently revealed that just in this country Twitter has 6.6 million users and visual platforms YouTube and Instagram have seen a user increase of 53% and 65% respectively over the past year. So our young people, like those across the world want ads with great visuals, ideally set to a great musical beat, something they can share on social media and be seen as cool by their friends.”
The 2015 Youth Psyche report by Branded Youth showed that although social media is important, reposting has lost its allure as young people focus on building their personal brand. “Programmatic marketing, the hottest trend coming from the United States and Europe, allows brand managers to essentially look into the heads and hearts of these young spenders,” said Utermark. “At present, mobile internet advertising revenues are at R172 million and rising fast with social media accounting for 79% of that according to the latest IAB South Africa ad revenue report. They’re paying attention to word of mouth on social media, it’s impacting on spending and in 2014 when we had the highest youth voter turnout yet we could see it was even having an impact on politics.”
The Youth Psyche report showed that young people are visual and want to feel an ad has been developed just for them. Youth Marketing Strategist at Branded Youth, Bradley Maseko has pointed out that, “Instagram now has 300 million monthly users, picking up 100 million since March 2014. The photo- and video-sharing app has surpassed Twitter’s official user count of 284 million. 2015 will see a further rise in visual content being shared amongst the youth and this will be aided by the fact that Facebook is also shifting to video due to increased demand.”
Utermark said, “Brand opportunity is strongest when it focuses on empowering youth through content marketing, driving conversations with youth influencers who have an audience of people who trust them. South African’s tweet a million times a month that has amazing opportunities for clever business owners.
“For creative advertising agencies Youth Day on June 16th offers an exciting reminder of the influence of the young. Backed by the power of digital to enhance its reach and tell a connected, multi-screen and multimedia story across all the different audience generations, brands are using new technologies for big data, especially programmatic marketing, which allows for audience targeting, predictive modeling, optimisation and dynamic creative.
“The future is where it should be, the young are taking control of their destinies and propelling us in amazing and imaginative new ways forward”, Utermark said.
Storytelling that speaks straight to the human heart makes advertising campaigns memorable. Who can forget the BMW ‘Beats the Bendz’ ad campaign shot on Chapman’s Peak Drive with its clever play on words? Or the deliciously bling Kimmy Kool wannabe rapper for the Halls ‘Just Breathe’ campaign? Or any one of Nando’s famously witty and controversially provocative twists of humour?
While the science of data and analytics can help create a digital communications strategy, only when it is married to good storytelling will it put a brand on everyone’s lips. Today’s digital strategies need to be rooted in creative dynamic storytelling in order to shape consumer’s perceptions about a brand and dictate their next action through their digital journey.
With brands able to message in milliseconds across digital, mobile, and video platforms, it is programmatic media buying’s analytics which ensures a multi-layered story reaches the high-income forty-year-old male online at 9pm at night in search for a luxury sedan; the busy mom checking her emails on her smartphone while waiting to collect her kids from school; or the youth alert to cool brands worn by his favourite rappers on YouTube. And with data technology so sophisticated today, it can intuitively present the same brand message to a different audience in language, colour and placement in order to target the individual consumer better. The challenge now falls to the marketers and media creatives to craft advertising concepts that speak to this multi-channel audiences with creative content aimed at the individuals defined profile and place of engagement.
Nelson Mandela provided a story of inspiration, one that upheld one of the most powerful African ideas of freedom. Today it lives on at the voting polls; in history’s annuls; and in hearts spanning continents. In this digital age, it is ideas which attract and build audiences. Mandela’s ideas upheld beliefs that fuelled a nation; beliefs based on one man’s story that ultimately lead a country.
Let us take a programmatic journey with a man that became an unwitting icon, who birthed a journey of story relevance. A story which will be honoured once again on his birthday July 18th, and will serve to relive the ideas, beliefs, attitudes and connection to his culture that has shaped South Africa’s democracy.
Storytelling within the dynamic creative process
Step 1. Audience: To unlock the value of your brand’s story, understand that everything begins with the importance of storytelling. Some of Nelson Mandela’s first learnings as a boy were from listening to the tribal elders around the fire. As he grew into a man, he valued the art of storytelling as a way to instruct his legal clients and negotiate within politics and yet also gain the trust of the most humble people within his community. Mandela understood both his opponents and his people. He understood what they wanted and needed.
Data will define your audience, right down to individual eyeballs, the device in use, the time of use and their location. This is data that will enhance your creative message, you are targeting your message one moment in the language of a suburban mom who likes running on a sunny day; or the next moment for a tween wanting the latest video game.
Step 2. Awareness: Mandela’s actions created experiences which formed his story. Stories live on to produce more experiences. A relevant and dynamically creative advertisement that behaves, looks and speaks appropriately to each of your audience segments along their journey will create even more unique audiences and new sets of data for further optimisation of one core brand message across every digital touch point.
Step 3. Memorable: In order to be memorable, your brand story needs to be authentic and resonate with those who are viewing, working or listening to it. Your brand story is more authentic when it is reaching a consumer in the right place and is underpinned by a responsive style of storytelling. The value of your core message represented by your story reveals what makes you unique.
Step 4. Emotional glue: Storytelling brings a brand to life and creates the emotional glue that connects your brand to your audience. Despite being incarcerated from the world for 27 years, it only served to increase the power of Mandela’s story as his advocates carried through the engagement of his ideas, leading to new forms of creativity and storytelling.
Step 5. Relevance: Each ad impression is not only targeted to the right person, but also presents the right person with the most relevant message. A story responsive to its target market will shape information into meaning through the story telling of it. The most relevant message wins. Programmatic segmentation looks at the consumer’s larger motivations and is based on big data across a longer timeframe, and is intuitive in its predictions of future customer behaviours.
Step 6. Reinforcement: Message reinforcement to consumer segments ensures customer longevity. Like Mandela, brands are required to be a visionary, to find advocates, and write stories motivated towards a goal, an action, sharing and then more storytelling.
Mandela preferred to speak face to face with people, to get to know the person first. Storytelling driven by programmatic’s dynamic creative process creates connections, based on data gathered on the digital journey of its audience. Tell your brand story in a way that is customised and precision-targeted so it will grow audiences who continue to learn through your brand message as they carry the core value within their mind’s memory.
Want to know more about the art of storytelling for your brand when linked to the power of programmatic marketing? Book your free, customised Insights session here:http://atmosphereorange.co.za/training/
Image sponsored by: Tay Dall Cell – 072 116 9029. Website www.taydall.com
Advertising spend has traditionally been expensive but digital media buyers are able to cut costs by up to ten times the budget by understanding and efficiently using Programmatic Media Buying (PMB). Delivering a targeted message across all devices, the advertisement reaches the right audiences with the right messages at exactly the right time in the customer’s buying journey.
Programmatic marketing is the latest technology solution available to South African marketers. Already a $12 billion market globally, it is expected to reach $33 billion by 2017. With an outsized share of the pie, currently, 85% of US advertisers and 72% of publishers use programmatic strategies and its fast gaining ground in South Africa’s digital and mobile-connected landscape.
Shrewd marketers and media buyers use automation to track and trace a customer’s journey across South Africa’s multiple media channels. By combining all the data into one dashboard, programmatic provides a transparent view into an advertising campaign in real time. It allows for a more targeted analysis of data, dynamic creative adjustments and delivery of a more relevant conversation with the required audience.
So what does it mean for brand marketers? No wastage of brand budgets, more accountability of spend for chief marketing officers (CMO’s), and increased efficiency. Programmatic advertising technology removes the spreadsheets, manual insertion orders and menial tasks and makes the ad buying system more efficient and effective. It empowers brand managers to align organisational workflows to programmatic’s automation technology – capable of working faster than any human capabilities. This means marketers can spend more time planning and interacting with the client and creative departments towards more customised consumer campaigns. It allows creative teams time to focus on formulating more relevant and engaging campaigns for their target audiences.
What does it mean for consumers? Audiences are more likely to engage and respond at the moment of delivery when the message is most relevant to them. It serves direct response and branding because it targets the eyeballs and not the channel. It is a direct path with a relevant message.
What hasn’t changed within the branding landscape is that advertisers don’t want to waste money. The benefit is that they maintain direct control of the budget. Programmatic media buying holds budgets accountable and returns the highest amount of value possible. It exponentially increases and quantifies the chances of an advertisement being viewed by the right audiences to drive the sales return of a message. Back by full reporting, programmatic data delivers transparency of spend.
Programmatic marketing is recognised as a powerful tool for marketers to gain the most leverage from their marketing spend. However there still seems to be confusion in the market that it is merely real-time bidding (RTB).
“Programmatic buying is not the same as real-time bidding. Real time bidding is automated ad buying through real-time auctions,” explains Craig Utermark, CEO of Atmosphere Orange, one of the first digital media management companies to deliver a bespoke programmatic marketing service into the South African market. “Programmatic marketing automates the buying, placement and optimisation of advertising and delivers a higher ROI through digital platform efficiencies across Exchanges, trading desks, and Data Management Platforms (DMPs). It is a more far-reaching platform that performs more complex decision across a variety of systems, including website content management, email, call center enabled chat, mobile apps, and CRM systems.”
This means that media buyers have access to far more data than ever before as they reach wider and better targeted audiences. With the speed of sales generated by click-through and conversion rates, digital marketing allows demographic, behavioural and contextual targeting and remarketing to niche audiences. Constantly refining audience targeting means more metrics. With more metrics comes more measurement of cost per conversion (CPC), effective cost per thousand (CPM) and overall online reach and scaleability to support inbound marketing strategies and calculate the return on investment (ROI) of marketing efforts. Lead nurturing is one of the most powerful aspects of programmatic as it is capable of identifying exactly where people are in the sales journey.
The shift from traditional to digital advertising means delivery of a more responsive cross device advertising campaign. Campaigns run seamlessly over multiple digital platforms and the different screens on which they are being delivered, be it on a phone, tablet, laptop, video or television. Dedicated teams – such as that of Atmosphere Orange – interact with advertisers and brand marketers to integrate and leverage the data, optimising and recalibrating campaigns in real time. Not only does the campaign benefit from an increase in scale and targeting potential, it ensures operational speed and efficiency. This is backed up by transparent tracking and reporting and an opportunity to optimise and recalibrate campaigns continuously.
Programmatic marketing is without a doubt the future of online advertising. South African brand advertisers will need to embrace this new technology within the marketing process if they want to increase business revenue and achieve true omni-channel, customer-centric reach.
What is delaying uptake in South Africa is that not enough marketers truly understand the process and how to best navigate their brands through it.
Says Utermark: “For our clients already on-board, we find that once they see the process in action they are better able to understand and see the advantages and opportunities it offers as a powerful channel to market. Experience is the best teacher. With that in mind, we offer South African brand marketers the opportunity to engage with us on a provisional campaign basis so they can see the results for themselves. One of the strongest tools in the programmatic box is its efficiency and transparency. Once they see the results and experience the reach and conversations, we usually end up sitting across the desk from a very happy CMO wanting to know more.”