At the beginning of 2012, the Digital Media and Marketing Association (DMMA) announced its plans to accelerate the growth of the digital industry within a South African context. The DMMA has made significant headway this year towards achieving this objective by implementing a number of key initiatives that have positively contributed towards the growth and development of the digital landscape.
Launch of the Knowledge Network
In 2012, the DMMA launched the Knowledge Network, an initiative that aimed to promote the use, understanding and development of digital in the media and marketing environment through transformation and training. The strategy was rolled out through a number of initiatives which included job shadowing programmes, a digital textbook drive led by Quirk Education and the launch of a mobile phone Matric revision series called CellSchool, in partnership with MXit. The DMMA also launched a highly-publicised Transformation Pledge, whereby members were able to commit to training a pre-determined number of candidates by the end of the year. Nikki Cockcroft, Chairperson of the DMMA, explains: "We realised that many education establishments still did not recognise digital as a viable career path. Our challenge was to correct this perception, by making learners aware that digital media presents many opportunities for an exciting, lucrative and rewarding career."
DMMA and PDMSA Form Strategic Partnership
Earlier this year, the DMMA and Print and Digital Media South Africa (PDMSA) announced that they would be collaborating on several areas of mutual interest and importance, with the aim of protecting the interests of the print and digital media industries. Ingrid Louw of the PDMSA was asked to represent the PDMSA on the DMMA Transformation Sub-Committee, and the DMMA partnered with the PDMSA in representing the media industry to the Parliamentary Committee.
In July, the DMMA facilitated a Blogger Debate which aimed to resolve an issue that had arisen amongst those in the marketing space: whether bloggers are entitled to charge for promotional posts on brands or if it would result in loss of credibility. The debate received extensive media coverage and even trended nationally on Twitter. Cockcroft said: "Bloggers, PR representatives and advertising agency heads were given the opportunity to connect and understand what is expected of each other in these circumstances, thus promoting an open channel of communication between the respective parties. We were glad to have facilitated this very necessary discussion and as a result, the DMMA offered a free one year membership to bloggers as a means of further engaging with and representing this emerging community."
At the beginning of 2012, the DMMA announced that it would be sponsoring a new category at the 2012 Bookmarks Awards open exclusively to DMMA members- 'Best Company Contribution to Digital'. "We created this category as a means of recognising and rewarding the company that has made the biggest contribution to the digital industry in 2012, as defined by the DMMA's key objectives of fostering a member-driven society and accelerating the growth and development of digital," says Cockcroft. Quirk marketing agency scooped up this prestigious award on the night for its significant contribution to the industry in 2012, as voted for by DMMA members.
Earlier this year it emerged that NetDynamix, the official audio measurement provider to 2oceansvibe and Ballz radio, had been inaccurately reporting online radio listenership statistics. In accordance with its belief in the importance of consistent and accurate media reporting, the DMMA undertook to investigate various measurement tools that could be used to standardise metrics around digital radio.
"The DMMA is currently in discussions with Triton Digital to devise a suitable solution for the industry," says Cockcroft. "Thereafter, the DMMA will be working with the major stakeholders to ascertain the needs of the industry around digital radio metrics and based on this information, will work with a selected measurement provider to allow digital radio publishers to accurately report DMMA approved metrics.
"This has definitely been a busy and eventful year for the DMMA and the digital industry as a whole," continues Cockcroft. "We are excited about the significant progress we have made in our objectives established at the beginning of 2012, and we look forward to further consolidating this progress in 2013."
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