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Data marketing: people and process as NB as tech

Every marketer today knows that their biggest challenge is delivering the right message to the right person at the right time and on the right channel, but to succeed in this, marketers need to put in place processes, systems and data sources, writes RICHARD MULLINS, director for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Acceleration.

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Yet a global Wunderman study with research partner Penn Schoen Berland illustrates the yawning gap between this aspiration and the reality for most brands. While 99% of marketers agreed that data is critical to achieve success, 68% admitted that they are unable to use their data to create relevant messages.

While most brands know that they need to build unique audience profiles to identify their most valuable customer segments—and leverage them across channels—practical implementation remains a significant challenge. Fragmented organisational structures, processes and data are the biggest obstacles to success.  This was clearly evident when research done by Wunderman indicated that 73% of respondents had confirmed that their companies are siloed.

This is a major concern in a world where customers interact with brands across numerous channels and touchpoints—search, display ads, social, contact centres, physical branches, mobile apps, ecommerce sites, and more. With data residing in siloes, integrating it and get a complete picture of the customer is a big ask.

Even when organisations can pull data from multiple channels and systems into a comprehensive view of the audience for granular segmentation, finding and operationalising insights from an overwhelming volume of data can be difficult. The result is that many organisations and marketers are today grappling with the following challenges:

  • Less than optimal return on investment from marketing spend: Because they are not able to track customers and segments across channels in a consistent manner, many brands do not have the data and insight they need to optimise their marketing spending.
  • Difficulty identifying the best customers: Without a way to track customers across channels and understand their engagement and interaction with the business, marketers struggle to identify the best prospects and customers for segmentation.
  • Inconsistent customer experiences: Lacking a unified view of the customer, the brand delivers fragmented and inconsistent messages to the same customer across different channels.

Changing this picture demands investment in the right systems, technical architecture and processes. But it really all starts with people. The organisation should look at its structure, and seek to move beyond silos, products and channels. Today, technology has enabled us to organise in a completely different way: around real human needs.

We have the ability to give people what they want when they want it most. The technology exists to combine in-house, customer-level data with third-party data to create audience segments based on a variety of traits and behaviours. Marketers can use these segments to for advanced, multichannel segmentation and targeting.

But first, the organisation needs to share data from as many sources as possible: customer, relationship management, offline and online marketing, merchandising, point of sale, and more, to paint a complete picture of the customer. That requires new thinking, new structures, and new strategies—all of them human-centric and future-ready.

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As selfie cameras rise, so must selfie etiquette

Selfies were once a sign of narcissism or self-obsession. Now they are the new normal, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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You can blame Oxford Dictionaries for making the “selfie” respectable. After all, being named Word of the Year, as it was in 2013, does tend to soften some of the self-consciousness in this most self-conscious of actions.

Once seen as a symbol of narcissism and self-obsession, it is now the new normal, to the extent that most smartphones are sold on the basis of the front camera. Or, as that feature is now almost universally named by manufacturers, the “selfie camera”.

I was one of the hold-outs, having a near-allergy to the selfie. I still resist, but succumb more often than I would like. The reason for continued resistance is that it remains a big leap from the word becoming respectable to the action itself shedding its narcissistic image. 

For most, it’s already happened, and for that you can blame Ellen DeGeneres. She  choreographed the most famous group selfie yet at the 2014 Oscars, when she roped a bunch of actors into a group selfie, using the then-new Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone. Her tweet of the photo became what was then the most retweeted posting ever on Twitter, and was estimated to have been worth a million dollars in marketing value to Samsung.

Ironically, it was Samsung’s up-and-coming challenger, Huawei, that came up with a new word for this type of selfie: the “groufie”. Thanks to an 8 Megapixel front camera on the new Huawei Ascend P7 camera that year which took the highest quality selfies – and groufies – possible on a smartphone at the time.

It didn’t end there, and selfies and groufies have morphed into variations like selfscapes (selfie in a landscape), skyfies (selfies from the air, using remote controlled devices) and jerkies (selfies to make an idiot out of yourself). I invented all of those on the fly, so it’s easy to imagine a new word emerging for every type of selfie.

Continue reading about selfie improvements through the years.

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Mickey’s 90th for SA

Disney Africa announced the local launch of the Mickey the True Original campaign, joining the global festivities honouring 9 decades of Mickey Mouse, his heritage, personality and status as a pop-culture icon.

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As 18 November 2018 marks 90 years since his first appearance in Steamboat Willie in November 1928, a series of world-wide celebrations will be taking place this year and South Africa is no different.

The campaign will come to life with engaging content and events that embrace Mickey’s impact on the past, present and future. The local festivities kick off in earnest this month, leading up to Mickey’s 90th anniversary on 18 November 2018 and beyond:

  • An exclusive local design project where ten highly talented South African artists will apply their own inspiration and artistic interpretation on 6-foot Mickey Mouse statues.
  • Once revealed to the public, the statues will form part of the Mickey the True Original South African Exhibition, inspired by Mickey’s status as a ‘true original’ and his global impact on popular culture. The exhibition will travel to 3 cities and delight fans and families alike as they journey with Mickey over the years. Featuring 4 sections highlighting Mickey’s innovation, his evolution, influence on fashion and also pop culture, the exhibition is in collaboration with Samsung and Edgars, and will visit:

o   Sandton City, Centre Court: 28 September – 14 October

o   Gateway Theatre of Shopping, Expo Explore Court: 19 October – 11 November

o   Canal Walk Shopping Centre. Centre Court: 16 November – 26 November

  • Samsung continues their collaboration with Disney as they honour Mickey’s 90th anniversary nationally at all Samsung and Edgars Stores. Entitled Unlocking the Imagination, fans are encouraged to visit these stores, take a selfie with a giant Mickey plush toy using their Samsung Galaxy Note9 and stand a chance to win not only a giant Mickey plush, but also an international family trip. Visit www.Samsung.com for more information
  • Mickey’s 90th Spectacular, a two-hour prime-time special, will be screened on M-Net 101 later this year. The elegant affair will feature star-studded musical performances, moving tributes and never-before-seen short films. Superstars from music, film and television will join the birthday fun for the internationally beloved character.
  • In addition, look out for special programming on Mickey’s birthday (18 November) across Disney Channel (DStv, Channel 303), Disney XD (DStv, Channel 304) and Disney Junior (DStv, Channel 309).
  • In retailers, Edgars will be stocking a complete collection of trendy fashion, accessories and footwear for the whole family, inspired entirely by Mickey Mouse.
  • Mickey will be the central theme of an in-store campaign nationwide this November and December, with brand new products, apparel, toys, as well as titles from Disney Publishing Worldwide, including books, arts & crafts and comics
  • Discovery Vitality and Disney are celebrating healthy, happy families this festive season by offering helpful and exciting tips and tricks on how to eat nutritious, yet delicious, foods, all inspired by Mickey. There’s also a trip to Disneyland Paris up for grabs. Log on to www.discovery.co.za/vitality for information.
  • And much more – check the press for updates

“Binding generations together more than any other animated character, Mickey Mouse is the “True Original” who reminds people of all ages of the benefits of laughter, optimism and hope,” says Christine Service, Senior Vice President and Country Manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa. “With his universal appeal and ability to emotionally connect with generations all over the world, no other character quite occupies a similar space in the hearts and minds of a global fan base and we are thrilled to be sharing these local festivities.”

Mickey’s birthday is celebrated in honour of the release of his first theatrical film, Steamboat Willie, on 18th November 1928, at the Colony Theatre in New York City. Since then, he has starred in more than 100 cartoons and can currently be seen on Disney Channel (DStv, Channel 303) in the Mickey Mouse cartoon series and on Disney Junior (DStv, Channel 309) in Mickey and the Roadster Racers.

South African fans are encouraged to share their Mickey Mouse moments on social media using the hashtag#Mickey90Africa.

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