In the 1970s, people were served about 300 ads a day. Today it's about 5,000 ads a day. It's a product-polluted world with smart consumers, where it's no longer about differentiation, but about multiple and meaningful connections, says Carmen Murray, founder of Boo-Yah!.
Consumers are more connected than ever and this gives rise to a new breed of marketers. Marketers who are able to merge physical and digital touchpoints to create sensorial and emotional experiences.
Following Boo-Yah!’s launch announcement and its partnership with Paul Berney, founder of The Connected Marketer to facilitate these courses to South Africa, I caught up with Murray to find out more about this ‘connected marketer’ and how Boo-Yah! hopes to impact the industry with a different kind of education and a new way of thinking…
In the age of technology, the digital marketing and media industry continues to evolve at breakneck speed and consumers are becoming more and more technologically advanced...
Issued by Boo-Yah! 16 Jan 2018
Why did you start Boo-Yah!?
I’d like to think of myself as a fire-starter. I love getting people super excited and driving passion and purpose towards innovation and technology.
Boo-Yah! is a slang word used to express triumph but in Zulu ‘Buya’ means return. I want to give back to this industry, but the African way. Our challenges. Our technology. Our future. Our innovation.
From all my talks and masterclasses, I realised one very important thing:
For innovation, you need to spend 70% of your time to do day-to-day operations, 20% to improve and 10% to explore. What is really happening is 90% day-to-day and 10% crisis management.
We are becoming the ‘walking dead’ professionals of our time and more disconnected than ever. We are so busy keeping up with our jobs and KPIs, we neglect to invest the time to learn and relearn to find the answers we need.
I wanted to change all of that. I wanted to create a fun, witty company that not only gets people future-fit, but also supports brands with strategy post-learning.
Why are you passionate about marketing and marketing education in particular?
I love innovation and technology and I inherited the name “imagineer” because I love solving problems.
I love education, but I don’t like the way it's delivered. We teach the tools, not the problem. Everything has changed around us, but not the way we educate, and that boggles me.
If we teach that attention is a finite recourse, surely we need to create education with a powerful punch?
I believe knowledge is your superpower. When you improve your frame of reference, you become more innovative. It is like a chef. They would need to taste so many different foods and a combination of textures and ingredients to develop their palettes to create more innovative dishes beyond a recipe book.
What trends do you predict for the industry?
It’s very common this time of the year to start thinking about trends, however it is very important for each brand to identify trends that are relevant to their business and apply them with clarity.
As the Protection of Personal Information (Popi) Act comes into play, the impulse marketing days to exploit our consumers will come to a halt, and it will force marketers to rely on data. Data will be the catalyst and enabler of AI and ML to drive hyper-personalisation and relevancy to stop spamming consumers. AI might be in its infant stages, but you become more vulnerable the longer you ignore it. Ultimately, you’ll lose leverage, not gain it. Data should become a number-one priority, because if your data is junk, all the outputs will be junk and then this will ultimately lead you down the wrong track.
I foresee a high adoption of chatbot messengers this year and also believe that AR and VR will rise and be more adopted by brands.
What led you to bring The Connected Marketer to SA?
I actually attended Paul's courses last year. It blew my mind away and put a fire in my belly and excited me about the possibilities. It really added value to my way of thinking and how I approach marketing. Both Paul and I share the same views on the future of marketing and the position to ramp-up marketing efforts in a time of unprecedented change. If you look at Fortune 500 firms, 1995 vs 2017, only 60 remain. Companies are being out-innovated because they don’t stay on top of change. The marketers of the future will all be about stacking technology. The technology landscape was 150 in 2011, 3,500 in 2016, 5,000 in 2017. It’s only going to grow, not decline.
Comment on the rise of The Connected Marketer.
The more connected devices we have in our lives, the more constantly connected we are. The more we live in a state of connectedness, the more we are aware of that connectivity and the more it affects our behaviour.
Behaviour leads to the rise of the connected individual. If there are going to be connected individuals, there must be connected brands.
Why are marketers increasingly needing to merge and synchronise digital and their physical marketing efforts, and how does Boo-Yah! hope to equip them with the know-how and skills to achieve this?
The Connected Marketer is the umbrella and it forms part of many pillars that is the foundation of The Connected Marketer, from mobile to AI, programmatic, customer experience marketing, IoT, proposition development and many more to follow, as this is an evolving practice.
The connected individual is in a constant connected state. For example, if I was at a conference and the speaker talks about a good book to read, I will take out my phone, find the book in Audible, add it to my wishlist to buy it later and continue to listen to the speaker. I was only connected for a moment in time. How do I as a brand form part of that physical and digital journey? That is exactly what we will unpack in each course, and the layers and dimensions to drive and aid discovery, and how to build the experiences around it. It’s key to realise that journeys are not linear.
As we progress into the third wave of computing, physical products will become services, as we are able to connect our physical products to the internet. That can be anything from a plaster to a car, and we're already seeing this happening around us.
What are you looking forward to most with the launch of The Connected Marketer courses?
The Connected Marketer has already trained thousands of marketing professionals from around the globe, from hundreds of global organisations. Some of the organisations include Adidas, P&G, Unilever, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, FedEx, Kraft, Pepsi, Pfizer, Red Bull and over 20 mobile operators. Also agency groups, which include most big agency groups, like Ogilvy, Mediacom, Mindshare, Carat and M&C Saatchi.
I am thrilled that this will now be offered in Africa for the very first time and we are going to impact our industry with a new way of thinking.
Paul Berney will come down for the official launch in May and we get to co-present for the very first time.
How often do you plan to run these courses?
The Connected Marketer courses will run continuously after the launch and will be presented by myself in SA and Africa. Boo-Yah! will also introduce its own masterclasses, which will be aimed towards global case studies, innovation and technology, which will support marketers to always stay on top of what’s happening around them.
Currently, all courses are facilitated in Johannesburg. Any expansion plans or digital offerings in the pipeline?
Yes, for the launch of Boo-Yah! and The Connected Marketer we are focusing on Johannesburg for the launch, however we are hoping to expand into Cape Town, Durban, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe this year.
The Connected Marketer will not only offer courses, but will be supported by roadshows, private dinners and bespoke training.
As for Boo-Yah! we are working on an innovation incubation programme that can be offered internally in organisations to help drive a culture of idea hunters and problem solvers in the next coming months.
As Charles Darwin said: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
As a gift to our readers, Boo-Yah! is offering 50 companies a free one-hour masterclass on The Connected Marketer on a first come, first served basis. The only requirement is minimum of 10 pax, and it needs to be offered at the company’s venue. So what are you waiting for… Book your free masterclass by emailing az.oc.hay-oob@srezalbliart, or book for one of the upcoming courses on Boo-Yah!’s website.
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