Editorial Team

Editorial Team

The global retail industry – already benefitting from a range of new technologies that enhance opportunities for customer interaction and feedback – now has a new addition to its communication armoury.

Several major retailers in the United Kingdom have begun using VMBeacon, a product which enables store mannequins to transmit information to shoppers about the clothes on display in the stores. At least one retailer, the upmarket Hawes & Curtis group, believes the concept could be “a complete game changer for the industry”.

Thursday, 28 August 2014 22:00

Getting the CMO and CIO to work as partners

To turn new technologies into profits and growth, marketing and IT will need to change how they work – and how they work together, says a study published this week by global management consultancy McKinsey & Co.

According to the authors, chief marketing officers and chief information officers are in the thick of the evolving a ‘big data storyline’ which is playing out in businesses around the world. “CMOs, who are responsible for promoting growth, need the CIOs’ help to turn the surfeit of customer data their companies are accumulating into increased revenue. CIOs, obliged to turn new technology into revenue, need the CMOs to help them with better functional and technical requirements for big data initiatives,” notes the study.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014 22:00

A tale of three marketing approaches

One of the things that set successful marketers apart is their ability to reach local consumers as they navigate their daily lives. What works as a means of influencing tech-savvy developed-world consumers might not achieve the same reach in a developing country like Botswana, for example. The secret is to know which avenue to use to achieve the appropriate brand penetration.

An example of how this plays out in practice was recently highlighted by international underwear and sleepwear manufacturer Jockey, which adopted different marketing approaches in some of the developed and developing markets in which it operates.

Brand tencity is essentially the process of harnessing tensions to make a brand irresistible. Although this may sound counter-intuitive, the concept of creating energy from divergent forces within a brand’s makeup is gaining traction in global marketing circles.

But what does it really mean and how does it work? In an article carried on the Young & Rubicam (Y&R) advertising and marketing agency’s international website in April, Global Planning Director, Sandy Thompson, touched on the concept of brand tencity in a piece entitled ‘The Year of Fearlessness’.

One of the fastest-growing tourism niche markets around the world is cultural tourism. This combines a geographic experience and unique ecological differentiators with compelling human history – thus helping to build positive country brand associations.

Recently Kenya unveiled plans to promote its cultural diversity to attract more visitors, with the Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts announcing that it was preparing a plan which included the establishment of a cradle of humankind centre at Turkana in the north-west of Kenya. The strategy also encompassed investing in the country’s 42 ethnic cultures to create more tourism-related opportunities.

While the African middle class may be smaller than some previous predictions, the number of middle-class households in the leading economies on the continent, excluding South Africa, will still grow to about 40-million people by 2030. This is according to a study released last week by the Standard Bank Group, which claims to be the largest African bank by assets and earnings.

The report said this would result in the growing wealth of the 11 main sub-Saharan economies being more inclusively distributed than before. The countries mentioned are Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Thursday, 21 August 2014 22:00

Logos can mean more than you think

Businesses need to do adequate research when developing or redesigning their logos, as getting it wrong can send the incorrect message to the marketplace and ruin the logo’s potential impact. This is the warning from Amitava Chattopadhyay, Professor of Marketing at Insead Business School, which operates campuses in France, Singapore and Abu Dhabi.

According to Chattopadhyay, logos can also influence consumer judgments of the physical characteristics of the brand. “For instance, our research shows that angular logos lead consumers to make inferences about the hardness (inflexibility of services) and durability of the product or service associated with the logo,” he notes in a recently published article. “Rounded logos, however, lead consumers to infer that associated products or services are soft (customer responsiveness of services) and comfortable.”

The ‘2014 Global Mobile Advertising Revenue’ study shows that global mobile advertising revenues almost doubled to US$19,3-billion in 2013. While Latin America grew 215%, North America increased by 122% and Europe by 90%, Asia-Pacific saw more modest growth of 69% – and the combined Middle East and Africa region just 45%.

The research noted that, in terms of revenue, North America was worth US$8,1-billion; Asia-Pacific US$7,53-billion; Europe US$3,35-billion, the Middle East and Africa US$225-million and Latin America US$144-million.

New research out of Australia claims that cinema advertising, as part of an integrated audio-visual media strategy, can boost brand consideration by up to 40%.

The findings, contained in the ‘Power of Cinema’ report compiled by digital screen advertising business Val Morgan, claim to illustrate the effectiveness of including cinema advertising in the marketing mix. The study polled 1 200 people across urban Australia and examined the impact of cinema advertising when compared with identical campaigns running on TV and online video, reports Warc, an online service which offers insights into global brands.

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