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- Key trade and investment trends in Africa - Part 2Ashlin Perumall and Janet MacKenzie
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[BizTrends 2016] Consumers as brand activists
There is no denying that there is a massive trend towards being more socially conscious; consumers are increasingly defining themselves through the brands that they buy.
Creativity in marketing drives brand growth - companies these days need to be more innovative and engaging in order to stand out and be noticed in our constantly connected and over-stimulated world.
Generally, 'doing good' is the job for your Corporate Social Investment (CSI) department. These days, however, there are highly innovative ways to marry marketing and CSI in such a way that you are not only creating sustainable change, but also creating real value for your company.
This value is created in terms of earning B-BBEE points, driving sales, building your brand and marketing your service or product - to name just a few.
Here are five trends that we at [dot]GOOD believe will become increasingly prevalent in South Africa in the years to come:
1. Impact Matters: There is a global trend towards sustainability. Giving back is not simply about giving, but rather about creating sustainable change - making a tangible impact on the community. Combining your marketing and CSI efforts pools resources and creates a sustainable change in the community you wish to support while creating real value for your company.
2. Family Matters: When considering a marketing and CSI campaign, think no further than the immediate beneficiary - ask how the initiative can extend to their family.
3. Community Matters: Always look for strategies and activities that will have a positive, sustainable impact on the broader community.
4. Connectivity Matters: Companies need to embrace marketing strategies that are focused on two-way communication. It is vital to connect with your customers and beneficiaries on a human level - today's beneficiaries could be tomorrow's consumers. Also important is that you involve and inform your stakeholders of what you are doing in the community - this includes staff, consumers, clients and the media.
5. Context Matters: In a world where consumers are bombarded with hundreds - if not thousands - of messages every day, it's important to consider when, where and how your message is being delivered. How can you deliver your message in such a way that it stands out, encourages personal interaction and aligns to your brand's voice?
A recent example of socially conscious, smart marketing is a project that we undertook in partnership with the Imvula Education Empowerment Fund, a 100% black-owned broad-based trust that facilitates the education of promising underprivileged youth at the fund's Maharishi Institute.
We selected and trained a group of students to participate in a long-term, volume driving campaign to promote the full range of Tastic products and build long-term relationships with its consumers.
The collaboration constitutes a virtuous circle: practical training was provided to the students in a real-world situation, while at the same time, giving Tastic products a sustainable and financially advantageous brand-building solution - a great example of a true win-win situation.
The umbrella campaign gave the Tastic brand an opportunity to comply with B-BBEE requirements and reach sales objectives, contributing to the learning and skills of the participating Maharishi students at the same time.