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#DigitalSummit2018: Championing diversity in digital

Catherine Grenfell, ex-5FM presenter who co-founded and manages The Eye radio station, opened this year's IAB Digital Summit sharing her experience of digital in the radio space in particular. "I've always believed that radio is the most personal, yet anonymous medium," she said. "I also believe that by telling personal stories and experiences, whether, through radio or podcast, you connect with your listeners, but you also connect your listeners to each other."

She explained how they do things differently. “We don’t use traditional time clocks but rather get people to come in and tell their stories. The shows are live and then put up as podcasts, and we have now started integrating Facebook Live into the broadcast.” As such, listeners are able to join the conversation instantaneously.

Radio is definitely not dead, it is evolving and so to be able to use all the digital tools and combine them is what is changing the world of radio. It gives the listener the power. The power to listen or to watch in their own time wherever they are; to be able to pause a show and then come back to it. It then fits into their lifestyle and this is the future: giving people the power over content.
Josephine Buys then gave her opening address, with a special focus on data and disruption in future-proofing digital marketing. She talked through a number of the IAB’s successes and mentioned that the event organisers, 360 Digital (an all-female team of five including herself), inspired her to create a line-up of dynamic women in digital in this notoriously male-dominated sector. “Today’s line-up of females blazing trails in our industry and the men who support them is proof that we are maybe slowly, but certainly surely championing diversity in digital,” she said.
The day's format comprised a series of PechaKucha-type, six-minute presentations in between longer keynotes. First up, Lotang Mokoena, junior digital conceptual strategist at VML South Africa, spoke about the art of intentional black representation for blacks, followed by Zach Louw and Qamani Loza Nyewe who shared their first-hand experience of Ogilvy’s internship programmes, and Gilbert Pooley from Umuzi who explained why he thinks Design Indaba is a white privilege and talked about creating value, improving access to value creation and sharing value.
This was followed by numerous other talks on everything from augmented reality, brand safety, innovation and interaction, but more importantly encouraging and championing change and diversity and celebrating and supporting dynamic women in the digital industry. I’ll mention just a few.

Wayne Hull, MD Accenture Digital Africa spoke about experience as the new battleground powered by data and design. Accenture Digital has developed five dimensions for measuring customer experience, which they call the ‘Love Index’. The five things to ask yourself are, is it fun, relevant, engaging, social and helpful? And each of these elements needs to be underpinned by powerful design and applied intelligence that is exceptionally personal. “A great experience is one that is exceptionally hard to replicate by competitors. Innovative and engaging customer experiences are only created when powerful design and applied intelligence meet technology and brave business thinking,” he explained. Some examples of brands that are getting this right in his opinion are: Nespresso, Disney – My Magic+, Lemonade and of course Amazon Go, and some local disruptors include Ikeja, WiGroup, Bank Zero and Discovery Vitality.

Carmen Murray, founder of Boo-Yah!, explained how mobile is a catalyst and enabler of the connected marketer. Click through for my interview on the subject…

While Lee Naik, CEO TransUnion Africa spoke about the rise of alternative data in knowing the customer more personally. He believes the key might lie in drawing insights from places nobody has thought to look before, such as places of residence, qualifications, mobile data, movement, cars and lifestyles in general. Read more about this here…

Then, lastly, I thought I’d mention Mynoot and Clock Education CEO Musa Kalenga’s thought-provoking talk on the ability to act like a human and think like a brand. His key message was that being human is good for business and that the focus should be on impact investments: changing lives and then growing revenue in that order. In his opinion, technology should always be the slave to humanity because only once we get things right at a human level, will we be able to see real advancements in the industry and society at large. To further clarify this, he said that although “winning is fun and should be the objective, touching lives is much better, and should be the spirit.” Some local examples of businesses that are trying to figure this out are: Spazapp, M-Pesa and Zipline.
The Summit was followed by the 10th annual Bookmark Awards. In case you missed it, here's my overview of the ceremony:

About Jessica Tennant

Jess is Senior Editor: Marketing & Media at She is also a contributing writer. moc.ytinummoczib@swengnitekram
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