Sarah Britten is a freelance strategist and writer based in Johannesburg. Having worked on brands from Standard Bank, Wimpy and Kulula to MTN and SARS, she now focuses on social media and content strategy. She paints with lipstick (seriously) and once wrote a PhD thesis on the Castle Lager ads. Follow Sarah on Twitter (@Anatinus) and read her blogs at www.nicolandsecond.com and www.thoughtleader.co.za/sarahbritten.
I work for Y&R part time and consult on communication strategy with an emphasis on social media. I have been blogging, and writing about blogging, for years. With a regular column for Strategic Marketing magazine, I freelance for other publications (you'll have seen my byline in the Sunday Times Lifestyle) and regularly speak at industry events and on radio.
I am working on a couple of books, both fiction and non-fiction, at the moment and paint with lipstick. (You can see pics of my work on my Facebook profile.)
I'm also lucky enough to be a Land Rover social media brand ambassador - a fascinating learning experience - and since November 2011, I've been tootling around Sandton showing off in front of all the investment bankers in the brand new Range Rover Evoque they're letting me drive for a year. It's been great!
[Sarah Britten] Whenever I'm having a bad day, I remind myself of this: at least I'm not one of those people who used to wear a yellow Livestrong bracelet. Or worse, one of those diehards who still wear them (earlier today, while having lunch in a coffee shop in a Sandton shopping centre, I spotted a man wearing one. He was wearing a checked shirt and chinos, so he wasn't being an ironic hipster).
[Sarah Britten] "Great ideas don't keep office hours," as the ad for Standard Corporate and Merchant Bank used to say. It flighted at around the time I arrived at Hunts some time in the Precambrian, but the insight is just as valid today. Great ideas really don't keep office hours, which causes havoc with timesheets.
[Sarah Britten] If Helen Zille is so marketing savvy, why is she making so many glaring tactical errors? The "refugee" tweet debacle is just the latest example. The DA's communications strategy team must surely be aware of where it's going wrong, but if it isn't, here are a few pointers.
[Sarah Britten] Do you have a favourite example of how marketing can have a positive impact on the world? I never hesitate when I'm asked that question: the Outsurance pointspeople. Social good meets brand awareness and affinity: it's a win-win situation.
But Walter, to draw an inference from something Steve Jobs said, surely the conviction that people will actively be looking for information assumes that they know what they want? A lot of the time they don't. And even if they do, it's getting harder and harder to wade through the sheer volume of what's out there. The interruption approach definitely still works with me. There's also good evidence that more effective campaigns are those that have won awards (cf Campaign report, and the Loeries/ Apex correlation).