Aegis Media, in conjunction with Click Thinking/ iProspect and Bizcommunity.com, hosted its third Thought Leadership Digibate last Thursday and audio streamed live via www.bizradio.co.za. The debate, attracted between 5,000 and 7,000 listeners as the panel comprehensively debated and discussed topics around Search in the online media-marketing sphere.Dawn Rowlands gets the digibate started with an overview from Peter Stewart of the history of search. John Radcliffe talks about Google's prominence and domination of SEO and Etienne Beneke takes us through how SEO works, what it takes to be a search engineer and how search optimization can be of benefit to both business and customer.
Dawn asks the panel to explain the sometimes perplexing terminology around SEO. 'PPC', 'organic and natural search' can be mystifying to the lay person. Understanding the value of a click or keyword group, creating a seamless digital journey and converting a digital experience into an actual outcome such as sale is what it's about. Creating quality content on Google for the online customer ensures contented customers. Paying attention to the development of your online presence through your website is vital. Etienne shares insights into what it is that you need to know about how to make your website rank among the top sites when people search online.
So where are the examples of where it's working? Yuppiechef.co.za is a South African success story. Paul Galatis shares the story of the company that sells the world's best kitchen tools online and gives encouragement to businesses nervous about moving online. It's a fascinating account of how to successfully blend good old fashioned values with cutting-edge digital technology and give your customer an experience that will keep them on the line online.
Why are marketers still resistant to using Search as a marketing mechanism? There are a number of misconceptions and Peter Stewart sets out to debunk them. Did you know that South African businesses are lagging behind our Nigerian counterparts? What's more, small business and big business have a level playing field online. And it doesn't have to cost anyone an arm and a leg says Peter.
So is it all wonderful and amazing? What about the prediction of the impending demise of SEO and is it, like everything else, open to abuse? The panel addresses these concerns and discuss the merits and demerits of using the range of tools available for creating a rich media experience for users.
With a predicted 33m Smartphones in SA by 2013, optimizing mobile search is key given that it requires a different approach and focus from desktop. Jon Radcliffe talks about Google's approach to Africa's specific challenges and opportunities and how Google Plus is enriching the search experience in the market place.
Why is a third of SA's top 100 brands not online? Are they missing out on the mobile revolution? Marketers who understand the need for an integrated digital and marketing mix are reaping the benefits. But top level management has to buy in. There's room for competition to drive both improvement and innovation, says Google's Jon Radcliffe.
What of the future? The panel sums up with some intriguing examples of how Search is already adding value in unexpected ways and previews where trends may be heading. There's no reason to fear a journey on which the consumer is getting ahead of the market. The Search will continue with or without you.
Aegis Media and Bizcommunity host the digital debate which includes a panel of media marketing heavyweights in the out-of-home sector, addressing commuter and digital advertising. Participants Erik Warburg, MD of Posterscope South Africa; Bruce Burgess, out of home development manager at Aegis Media sub-Saharan Africa; Jacques Du Preez, MD of Provantage Media; Simon Wall, MD of Tractor Outdoor Media; and Adam Cherry, worldwide digital developer of Posterscope UK, linked in via Skype, talk about digital OOH at this second in a series of Aegis Media SA Thought Leadership Digibates. The advertising industry is on the verge of a digital revolution globally. Where is South Africa and the rest of the continent in this revolution? The SA experience is still very static with far too much 'billboard clutter' and one-way messaging. The panel spell out the exciting range of opportunities available for virtual yet real engagement between advertisers and consumers.
Ever notice how many outdoor ads are about alcoholic beverages? The proposed ban on alcohol advertising holds concerns for both the alcohol beverage and advertising industries. The panel discusses the future of both industries - the challenges and opportunities which the proposed legislation in South Africa creates. Listen to this discussion and other fascinating aspects of the development of OOH advertising in this podcast from the second Aegis Thought Leadership Digibate.
The Taxi terminus became a mini conference centre as it hosted Africa's very first digital debate (that's 'digibate' to the cogniscenti). In this podcast, panellists Nic van den Bergh (head of digital media, Trigger/Isobar), Arjan Pomper (CEO, Aegis Media Middle East & Africa and chairman of The Netherlands) and Peadar Hegarty (marketing innovation director, Diageo) address the core marketing challenges affecting digital strategies on the continent faced not only by the marketing business but, as critically, the all-important consumer.
The panelists respond to questions and talk of how research can be 'mapped' among consumers, the critical role of effective PR in dealing with feedback from consumers, why numbers are pretty much meaningless in the absence of 'connections', the difference between bought, owned and earned media and other related issues - all of which will get you thinking and leave you that much more enlightened about our fast-expanding digital world.
Trigger/Isobar head of digital media Nic van den Bergh talks about the particular challenges faced in Africa, citing as examples the strategies adopted in Nigeria and Kenya in taking product to market given the current limits of technological devices. How do the challenges weigh up against the opportunities?
Aegis Media CEO Middle East & Africa and chairman of The Netherlands Arjan Pomper gives insight gained from experiences in Korea, where digital media enables a whole new generation to use technology, eg, to watch TV on their mobile phones. He argues that Africa has the potential to leapfrog the digital divide and emulate what is happening in the East.
Diageo Africa director of marketing innovation Peadar Hegarty reflects on how businesses stuck in traditional ways of working are falling behind. Digital capability means acquiring not only a whole new skills-set but an entirely different mind-set. In fact, the less set it all is, the better positioned you are. It's all about collaboration. How and why, you ask? Then listen here.
Radio personality and The Taxi host Soli Philander asks the panel whether business has fully grasped that consumers are no longer satisfied with simply 'consuming' but expect - even demand - meaningful participation and engagement in the development of the services and products being brought to the market place. Arjan Pomper and Peader Hegarty respond with some surprising insights regarding the changing relationship between 'producers' and 'consumers'.
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