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Manufacturing Indaba 2018

Smartest Event offers agency awards, panellists, topical discussions

The Smartest Event takes place on Thursday, 29 November 2012, at the Wanderers Club in Johannesburg, where the annual marketing conference will launch the sixth edition of the Future Group's hardcover brand communication review, The Annual. It will also present the third Agencies' Agency award.

Debating women, brand control, digital future of advertising

In association with 49M, the energy saving initiative that urges all South Africans to reduce energy consumption, this marketing master class will tackle two main trends: Women control the TV remote and now they own the brand and digital - is it really the future of advertising, the brand and the universe?

There is growing acknowledgement that 2012 has been the rise of the female consumer who is exercising her influence with far more power and authority. If brands are to be successful in the future, they have to understand and talk to this market in their own language, tone and style. Andy Rice heads up this debate.

Future Group director, Jeremy Maggs follows with a discussion on just how powerful digital is. With the growing trend for brands to want to be seen in the social media space and communicate with consumers in the interactive digital space, so comes the need to understand the space beyond this need. Just as with any other medium, questions about implementation, management and measurement must be raised and answered to generate ROI beyond likes and followers.

The panellists tasked with delivering key insights into and hard-hitting debate around the power of digital are: Justin Spratt, CEO of Quirk; Musa Kalenga, head: Digital Marketing - Group Marketing; Mike Stopforth, CEO of Cerebra; Adrian Hewlett, CEO of Machine and Habari Group; Nikki Cockcroft, head of online at Woolworths Online; and Bernice Samuels, chief marketing officer at FNB.

Award debate

Wrapping up the morning will be the announcement of the fourth Agencies' Agency Award winner, following in the footsteps of DDB SA, Ogilvy Johannesburg and King James. The winner will debate with Maggs, Rice and two of their top clients about sustaining an effective client/agency relationship.

"This will be an honest debate, not just a praise-singing session," explains Maggs who instigated the award to provide advertising agencies with the means of rating one another. "The aim of the debate is to explore and understand optimum client/agency relationships, where the pitfalls are, how to overcome them, how manage and sustain the chemistry, and how to achieve measurability."

Award research

Prior to the award's implementation, now dubbed the 'Angy Award', there was no peer recognition programme within in the advertising industry.

The award is the result of a broad-based, independent research exercise, conducted by TNS Research Surveys, and includes all the agencies that participate in The Annual. "It's an aspirational award and the participating agencies are sent a questionnaire to complete. Every effort is made to get answers back, including several reminders. While a few agencies don't participate, most do," he adds.

Commenting on the criteria and methodology, Neil Higgs, senior advisor and head of innovation at TNS Research Surveys, says that the methodology is quantitative, insofar as the agencies appearing in The Annual represent the SA agency landscape. "The results are valid, reliable and robust. The calculation involves working out the rank sum of each agency from a 1st, 2nd and 3rd ranking provided by respondents."

"The trends we have chosen to focus on at this year's Smartest Event have been growing in importance for the marketing fraternity over the past year and I believe they're only going to continue to evolve the way we do business. I look forward to shedding some light on them along with what I consider to be some of the top minds in the industry and I trust that delegates will leave ready to face 2013 all guns blazing," concludes Maggs.

For more, contact Marcia Minnaar on tel +27(0)11 803 2040 or email .