The “golden thread” that connects consumers to businesses, almost all of our interactions rely on digital platforms. This exponential growth, and subsequent reliance, has facilitated more than 346 million new internet users coming online globally in 2020 and an equivalent of ten years of innovation in a mere six month resulting in no shortage of inventive and creative answers to business objectives and consumer needs. As such, recognising and rewarding work that provides innovative solutions, delivers results, and delights audiences is imperative. The Bookmarks Awards serve as the pinnacle of digital marketing and advertising excellence; these benchmarks then further inspire and galvanise the industry, and ultimately drive growth.
As we gear up for the awards, we asked our eight jury chairs to weigh in on two questions:
- The #2021Bookmarks is moving the industry forward – how does digital move business forward?
- What is the best advice on digital marketing that you’ve received?
Here’s what they had to say:
Kabelo Moshapalo, Executive Creative Director, TBWA Hunt Lascaris.
The global pandemic has sped up digitisation of business, so it goes without saying that for businesses and brands to connect with customers and drive sales, digital now plays a more significant role. In this rapid digitalisation, digital moves business forward by getting results. Whether it's generating leads or improving reputation scores, digital's measurable role in the marketing mix provides the opportunity for growth and personalisation at scale.
Digital marketing is still marketing – the digital part just means it is channel-specific. Furthermore, it has to start with real insight, a human truth that resonates with the relevant audience that’s then developed into a channel-agnostic idea that can be executed across different brand touchpoints – without losing the essence of the brand's soul. We live in a world of multi-screen experiences and it's important how brands show up and not get lost in the cultural blur. The fact is great ideas get great results because they stand out and get noticed.
Razia van der Schuur, Director, Fouir
The migration of consumers began many years ago. Digital is a touchpoint that allows businesses to connect with these customers in order to survive and thrive in the coming years.
Digital marketing is the much needed integrated approach that allows media organisations to survive and thrive in the coming years. Digital marketing allows for new thinking, agile methods, and effective approaches to reach audiences and customers. There should be more marriages between media and digital marketing – to do this, media organisations need to adapt to the modern consumer base just like digital marketing organisations have.
Audrey Naidoo, Head of Digital Marketing, ABSA.
Panel: Performance Marketing
I am thrilled to chair the Bookmarks 2021 Performance Marketing Panel with such an esteemed and experienced group of fellow judges this year. It is amazing to see how the Bookmark Awards are moving the industry forward through showcasing high impact, quality work that raises the bar in digital.
I believe that digital marketing is the bridge between consumer and business, the balance between art and science and a key growth enabler for the future. The economic benefits are significant. Over the years I have learned that in order to succeed in performance marketing, you need to be a polymath, a marketer who can embrace data, technology,creative, and most importantly measurement. Digital marketers are in a unique position to deliver positive returns on investment and position themselves as a core, critical function in any business.
Kalliebree Keynerd, Head of Social, Joe Public
Panel: Social, Community and Influencer Marketing
I'm so excited and honored to be chairing the second annual Social, Community, and Influencer Marketing panel at the Bookmarks 2021. This recently formed panel presents such a great opportunity to acknowledge the #DigitalExcellence it takes to expertly execute social campaigns and build communities. I'm sure I can speak for myself and the other judges when I say that we are so excited to review all the new work that came out of such a trying time; social media played such a crucial role in keeping us all connected.
I truly appreciate the effort the Bookmarks and IAB have made to drive digital maturity in the advertising and business industries, through initiatives like the IAB SA Digital Skills Gap Report powered by the Red & Yellow Creative School of Business. Now more than ever, business needs to be done differently for the benefit of us all. If we can push the digital maturity of our industry and that of our clients, imagine the job creation opportunities and creative possibilities we can create for South Africa.
One of the most memorable statements about digital marketing I can recall, came from my fellow judge MJ Khan, who said something to the effect of: “If you don't get it, it's not for you”. If you are faced with marketing and advertising that you don't understand, it wasn't meant for you. Simple. However, it opens the opportunity to be curious to find out more about the connection between the audience and the insight.
Robyn Campbell, Managing Director, Machine_
Hello everyone, I’m Robyn Campbell, the MD of Machine_ and IAB SA Agency Council Chair. I am really excited to be chairing the Bookmarks 2021 Builders Panel. I cannot wait to dig into the work and spend time with my talented fellow judges discussing, debating, and thoroughly interrogating the entries to find those gems that may win a pixel or two.
I have been a huge supporter of the digital industry throughout my career, and the work that the Bookmark Awards is doing to move the industry forward is showcased through the tangible growth and innovation we are seeing year on year in our community. I am a firm believer in digital marketing being the key that unlocks business growth, through ingenuity and building relationships.
One of the best quotes I have seen about digital marketing is: “Take a risk and keep testing, because what works today won't work tomorrow, but what worked yesterday may work again.” – Amrita Sahasrabudhe. We are in the industry of experimentation and measurement, it’s a wonderful middle ground between science and creativity that if done right, makes magic happen. Wishing all entrants the best of luck!
Dee Chetty, Director, Consumer Experience, Phillip Morris
Panel: Innovative Engineers
Considering the immense financial and performance pressure that most businesses are under today, digital is by far the most effective, efficient, and cost effective channel to execute business objectives. The data and measurability generated from interactions allow organisations to be remarkably specific in the experiences that they deliver to consumers on digital channels, and this level of personalisation, accessibility, and brand engagement typically drives growth.
As for the best piece of advice I’ve received with regards to digital marketing, it would be: “Innovation without purpose is a waste of creative talent and technical ability”.
Luzuko Tena, Paid Social Campaign Manager, Ogilvy
Panel: Youth Action
Digital marketing acts as a gateway for potential customers to feel connected and part of a brand. This is made possible through the various opportunities of engagement that more “traditional” channels of marketing don’t offer.
As digital marketers, we should never forget that we’re dealing with people – people with emotions and values. The work we put out needs to relay consideration for this. Most of the time, people’s purchasing decisions are based on how they feel about a brand or how the brand makes them feel.
Ryan McManus, Chief Creative Officer, VMLY&R
Panel: Special Honours
The way we interact with almost every business now is digital. We order cars, food, clothes, furniture. We buy data. We send money. We complain, research, share, and recommend. The business and consumer ecosystem is digital. And our lives – and the companies that service them – have been pushed even further along into developing the right ways to integrate their brands into your life by the pandemic. But digital is still not a channel. It is not separate from anything. It is inherently connected to everything. I think the traditional marketer’s view of it really has to shift out of that mindset. And start viewing it as the glue and connecting point to people’s lives. It is the connection point of story and system, and when viewed in that way, can move business, society – and hearts and minds – forward. There is no ceiling.
There are two quotes that I love, that say a lot about modern businesses in the connected age: “Buying a pair of our shoes should be the start of the relationship, not the end” – Stefan Orlander, Nike.
“People don’t want a product to buy, but an idea to buy into” – Paul Pollman, Unilever.
The work you create represents your purpose, approach, and philosophy. So I think it’s important to have a voice in this category, that is reflected in the work you put out there. Is it entertaining or useful? And if not, what is the point of it?
The Bookmark Awards play an integral part in the IAB SA’s wider remit, fulfilling three vital functions: showcasing the industry’s best work and talent, defining the work that the industry should aspire to, and serving as a platform for knowledge sharing and continued improvement.
If you haven’t entered yet, there’s still time – entries are open until Friday 14 May with the standard fee available until 30 April 2021. For more information on categories, criteria, and fees, click here.
The 13th Annual Bookmark Awards, Powered By DSTV Media Sales and brought to you by 24.com, Joe Public, iProspect, ABSA and Everlytic, will take place virtually on Thursday, 29 July 2021. The Bookmark Awards stand for more than just great digital work – it is the flagship platform to drive digital change.
For more information about the Bookmark Awards, click here.
For sponsorship opportunities, email IAB SA CEO Paula Hulley: ten.asbai@aluaP