Finalists for the Direct Marketing Association of South Africa's annual Assegai Integrated Marketing Awards have been selected by the panel of judges and the final 259 campaigns go through for the awards evening.
"The industry response has been rewarding, despite an incredibly challenging year on both the business and legislative fronts. This year saw 356 campaigns registered and worked on for submission. Each year, the Assegai Awards has grown in terms of entry numbers, with this year's final entry numbers increasing by 37% on 2011," says Michelle Perrow, chairperson of the DMA SA.
The association attributes this growth to the fact that interactive and direct marketing uptake is increasing rapidly and the marketing industry as a whole is constantly evolving. The quality of the work is also improving and many of the campaigns demonstrated phenomenal ROI coupled with outstanding creativity.
Head international judge and direct marketing luminary, Joost van Nispen who travelled to South Africa from Spain for the judging, comments: "The standard of direct marketing in South Africa is very high and is comparable to the rest of world, often better. It was so refreshing to see the level of creativity and dare I say that South Africans are a lot more adventurous in their marketing. The South African environment really lends itself to innovative work and it is great to see agencies and brands pushing the envelope. I was also really intrigued to see the excellent standard of South Africa's social media campaigns, which were world class."
Intelligent use of data
More businesses, from small entrepreneurial outfits to the largest blue chips, are investing in interactive and direct marketing that brings demonstrable ROI through the intelligent use of data.
"The biggest shift that I have seen is the dissolving of 'the line'," adds Perrow. "Integration is the name of the game and we are seeing a big upsurge in direct techniques and measurable strategies being used in multiple marketing areas. Of course, each area of the mix has a role to play but the manifestation of that role has changed. In short, it is about utilising every brand contact and intervention to build data, be this through drive to web or mobisite, through data forms completed at activations, through driving response and participation off social media platforms to the more traditional direct channels. For many years, direct mail has not yielded the excellent response and conversion rate that we see currently. Bring multiple channels together to create surround direct and you have a powerful formula for sales and relationship success.
"Based on an analysis of the entries in each category, it is exciting to see the growth in channel integration and use of multiple channels to reach consumers. Traditional direct channels, such as mail, remain very strong and active. There has been distinctive growth in the digital categories and particularly social media has been phenomenal. It is not just good creative but the strategy and tactics behind the creative makes the difference. In addition, another noteworthy aspect is the number of entries in the multiple channel category, by far our largest entry numbers out of 30 categories," concludes Perrow.
Joost van Nispen - International Judge
Chandrika Bhima - ABSA
Craig Page-Lee - Posterscope
Craig Mooi - SAPO
Debi Loftie Eaton - Mortimer Harvey
Diana Springer - M&C Saatchi Abel
Hilton Veldsman - Native
Jacques du Preez - Aqua Online
Joanne Cowie - African Bank
Kendal Smith - Freelance
Khardine Craven - Nedbank
Lechelle de Vries - SABest
Michelle Perrow - DMA SA Acting Chair
Paul Coetzer - Oscar Tango
Peter Oleksak - Lesoba Difference
Sandy Naransammy - ABSA
Shay van der Poll - Computer Facilities
Shelley Waterhouse - Ogilvy JHB
Tracey Clark - Standard Bank
Warren Moss - Demographica
Scores are currently in for independent auditing and finalists will be advised in the coming days. The awards evening will be held on November 15 at Sax Arena, Centurion. The theme for the event is "A Red Carpet Experience." To book for the gala evening, contact Nadine or Anne on tel +27 (0)11 894 2767 or email .
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