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The Online Publishers Association SA recently commissioned our Head of Digital Activation, Andrea Mitchell, to compile a guide to online marketing in South Africa.

Download this useful and informative guide here


Marketing avenues have grown immensely in recent years, days and even hours with a constant flow of fresh forms of media and innovations, popping up all over the place. Interactive in-store promotions, new retail POS systems allowing space for major innovation, hyper-tags, e-coders, mobile bar-coded vouchers, skype, online magazines, my space, you tube, facebook, viral marketing, pod casting, mobizines and blogging, to name but a few.

Consumers are now taking the driver’s seat in the marketing industry, knowing the power they hold and taking ownership of brands, altering the way we approach consumers in terms of how we connect with them is being revised, as the outdated 4 P’s of marketing just don’t cut it! Sure, for today’s marketing strategies to even see the light of day, you have to know your product, price, place and promotion, but to be quite blunt, these have become hygiene factors in the bringing of your product to life in a differentiated and relevant manner. In order for marketers to now ensure their products are ahead of the pack and their marketing opportunities are properly optimised, you need to play by the revised rules – ‘the 6C’s of marketing’.

Out with the old P’s in with the new C’s

Customers – with consumers taking centre stage marketing strategies are now focused on understanding the consumers as individual people, considering their wants, needs and desires. Crucial here is to differentiate between customers, consumers and shoppers, and in each case knowing the person will shed a great deal of light on how their behaviour can be managed and/or changed.

Consistency – is of utmost importance, ensuring that all elements of the brand are consistent with the message. This will reinforce the brand in the minds of the consumer, known an integrated marketing communications.

Creativity – through imaginative marketing consumer attention can be captured, and in a world tangled with messages and the bombarding media this is imperative. Creativity makes marketing more vivid, which is a good thing as this attracts attention, maintains interest and stimulates consumer’s thinking. Quite simply, creativity informs, persuades and reinforces marketing messages.

Culture – to reach the consumer one must speak their language, this is where the marketing communicator’s ‘cross-culture’ research comes into play. Understanding the consumer’s culture will unlock how the consumer thinks, enabling marketers to persuade the consumer to purchase a product or service effortlessly. It goes without saying that brand activation knows how consumers and shoppers purchase a product and how their selection of the brand can be activated. It is very difficult to make brand activation successful if you do not speak to your target audience in the language and way that they dream in to ‘make the sale’.

Communication – consumers don’t want to be marketed to, but rather communicated with, building long term, profitable relationships. Talk to your target audience in a way that they find themselves wanting to listen to you – this builds brand value. This can be achieved by using the principles of brand activation, which allows brands to get inside consumers heads irrespective of what media channel/medium you use. Engage consumers on an emotional level – a level where their hearts make their heads understand your message.

Change – The only consistent in marketing today is change – be in the position to adapt accordingly. Nothing is worse than a stale marketing strategy. Courage could almost be added here as a 7th C as marketers should never be afraid or too cautious to try something new. Brand activation is the next step in ensuring your brand is abreast of changes, moving where your customers are and in many cases leading and pulling them to the place that they want to be.

By Morne Fourie


thirtyfour is a brand activation agency where creativity counts - not just for creativity’s sake, but strategic, channel-neutral solutions that creates demand in the minds of consumers and ultimately deliver genuine results. It promises liberated thinking in retail, experiential, direct, digital and sports marketing to get out of the rut of traditional advertising campaigns.
August 2007
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