Archive for January, 2012

Marketing Matters Social Media Blog Series Part 1: Is Social Media a fad or is it the biggest shift since the industrial revolution?

Social media is an increasing trend in the 21st century, some may think it is just a fad yet it has actually become a fundamental shift in the way we communicate. The world has become obsessed with anything that is ‘social’ online and this has given marketers access to networks that are instant in response, multimedia rich and ever challenging.

In 2011, social media continued to make a major impact on the promotions of many businesses and brands. Google launched Google+ which cost $500 million in development costs. Twitter and Facebook have become a standard application in most smart phones such as Blackberry and iPhones. Blogging did not ‘die’. Facebook now has over 800 million users and Twitter has over 200 million.

The role of social media in the spreading and sharing of content and improving website and blog search engine optimization has never been more obvious to the professional social media marketer. We will no longer have to search for products and services because they will find us via social media.

“We do not have a choice whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it” – Erik Qualman

The following facts have been obtained from the You Tube videos, The Social Media Revolution (, which is based on the book Socialnomics by Erik Qualman:

  1. Social Media is about PEOPLE.
  2. 50% of the World’s population is under the age of 30 years.
  3. Facebook tops Google for weekly traffic in the US.
  4. Social Media has an impact on our ‘offline’ behaviour. 1 in 5 couples meet online, 3 in 5 gay couples meet online and 1 in 5 divorces are blamed on Facebook.
  5. Kindergartens are no longer using chalkboards instead they are using Apple iPad’s!
  6. Over 37 million people have watched the VW Darth Vader advert yet the child actor had never seen Star Wars.
  7. E-readers outsold traditional books on Christmas 2011.
  8. Wikipedia has over 15 million articles, 78% of them are NOT in English.
  9. If Wikipedia was made into a book it would be 2.25 million pages long and it would take 123 years to read.
  10. 10.  90% of all consumers prefer peer recommendations while only 14% trust advertisements.
  11. 11.  93% of marketers use Social Media for business.
  12. 12.  The ROI (Return of Investment) of Social Media means that your business will still exist in 5 years.
  13. 13.  Social Media has overtaken pornography as the #1 activity on the internet.
  14. 14.  Only 18% of traditional TV adverts generate a positive ROI.
  15. 15.  90% of people will skip adverts on TV between programs.
  16. 16.  24 out of the 25 largest newspapers are in decline.

We no longer search for the news because the news finds us. We will no long search for products and services because they will find us via social media. Social Media Marketing allows us to LISTEN FIRST and SELL SECOND.


DCCI’s Marketing Matters Conference Part 9: And in closing…

There were approximately 80 delegates who attended the conference and many of these individuals were representatives of some of South Africa’s leading companies. These companies include Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, Mondi, ABSA Bank, The Mercury, Old Mutual and many other top South African brands.

It is simply not possible to decide which topic was the most important as each topic is highly relevant for strategic marketers today. The first two topics are important for marketers as it helps them to develop strategies to adapt to changing financial and economic trends. The impact of technology on marketing is also a very important topic as technology and social media is a dominant force in this day and age. No matter what we do in life we are always governed by laws and rules so the talk on the Consumer Protection Act is a vital topic which will help marketers to obey all rules and regulations when it comes to selling their products and services to consumers. The concept of Green marketing is a fairly new topic and it is also extremely vital in times where there are many laws with regard to the protection of the environment. And finally, the exciting and new concept of Social marketing was also a highly relevant topic at this conference as it helps to broaden the body of knowledge for strategic marketers.

The fact that marketing departments are often the first to be affected by budget cuts in companies was a constant topic of discussion during the conference. Everyone was constantly reminded that marketers are STRATEGIC BUSINESS PEOPLE and if this idea is adopted in every company it will certainly help to improve the status of marketers within a business.

Jennifer Smith and the rest of the Marketing Matters team would like to extend a big thank you to all the organizers, speakers and attendees of the conference. The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry deserve a mention and in particular, Mrs Jane Pillay. The sponsors of the conference, Softline Pastel and The Mercury, also deserve a word of thanks. Without all the speakers and Jeremy Maggs, this conference would have not been the successes that it was therefore the above mentioned individuals all deserve the appreciation of those who attended the conference. It can be said again that this conference was a great success and the planning of the next conference is already well underway. We look forward to planning and attending an even bigger and better Durban Chamber’s Marketing Matter’s Strategic Conference in 2012.

DCCI’s Marketing Matters Conference Part 8: ‘Social Marketing for Positive Behaviour Change’ by Nonjabulo Hlengwa

The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry Marketing Matters Conference welcomed a total of seven speakers from very different segments of the strategic marketing industry. The speakers were all assigned a session of approximately an hour and these were followed by another short session which allowed the audience to ask questions about certain aspects from the presentation. Therefore there were a total of seven sessions that ran throughout the day and they covered topics such as the advances of technology and its impact of marketers, social marketing, ‘green’ marketing the King III report and other relevant strategic marketing topics.

The final session involved a presentation by Nonjabulo Hlengwa and she spoke about ‘Social Marketing for Positive Behaviour Change’.

Hlengwa is a proud African woman and she currently holds the position of the General Manager of Marketing and Corporate Affairs at Transnet. She has many years’ experience in both the advertising and marketing industries, and her specialization now lies in Social Marketing- specifically behaviour change. She has been on a USA Road show where she lectured on social marketing, but she currently deals with strategic marketing and corporate affairs at Transnet.

She adopted the idea that marketing is no longer just about growing your market share, but that marketing practitioners need to move beyond the classical 4 P’s and companies should focus on creating common goals for the company as a whole. Her speech aimed at using social marketing for positive behaviour change which would lead the company towards a legacy.

The whole idea of Social Marketing is defined in Kotler (2005) the application of commercial marketing technologies to the analysis, planning, execution and evaluation of programmes designed to influence the voluntary behaviour of target audiences in order to improve their personal welfare and that of their society. Nonjabulo preferred to constantly refer to Social Marketing as ‘Behaviour Change’ and it seems very appropriate as that is what the trend of marketing is all about.

This was certainly a new marketing topic and Nonjabulo presented the concept in a very understandable and impressive way. It made it accessible to non-marketers and strategic marketers alike and it is very likely that many of them were itching to get their teeth into a social marketing campaign now.