Branding & media Managers in the eCommerce Era

In the burgeoning eCommerce era of electronic payments and heavy reliance on logistics firms for fulfillment of consumer demand the role of traditional brand managers and Ad industry media planning requires serious scrutiny…

Our discourse on online market places reflects questions such as;

  1. Where are brands defined – online or offline?
  2. In this scenario where traditional bricks ‘n mortar retail distribution networks are declining, what’s the role of traditional media for building and maintaining brand equity?
  3. On a praxis level – what are the budgetary/media spend guidelines for media planners who actually allocate this ad spend?

These questions merely highlight the very real considerations we all face in this feverish climate of change on the product/services marketing and distribution landscape.

Are there clear-cut answers to these questions?

Well, it would seem the jury is still out and their verdicts are likely to vary by market/geographical or socio-cultural disposition – despite globalization and the Internet. Clearly SSA’s emergent markets’ varied cultures have differing rates and development levels… Indeed, cultural acceptance of digitalization is being manifested in surprising and unexpected ways – developed nations are seeing increasing political resistance to globalization and the shift in economic powers to markets where economies of scale satisfies the need for constant growth that underlies consumerism. Arguments about the loss of privacy, fears about data integrity (sic: hacking of databases/customer profiles, etc.) and the manipulation of data are merely a groundswell. Modern marketing has always been about the development of tools/methods to manipulate consumer sentiment based upon consumer profiling.

SSA’s emergent economies, like China – most dynamic eCommerce market, show a greater willingness to espouse new products and service distribution models and technologies. From being near communication deserts, SSA economies have hungrily grabbed at the enabling technologies of the GSM phone revolution and a voice via the mass on-boarding to social media platforms.

eCommerce itself has further highlighted the inadequacies of physical infrastructure whilst revealing the depths of untapped consumer demand pools. So what does this mean for those in the advertising sector and the brand management partners? Obviously we need to adjust to the decline of traditional media such as print, outdoor and TV.

But as lauded to earlier, rates of decline or re-composition vary significantly and blanket solutions will fail miserably. We’re hoping that social media – which is fast evolving into a primary medium for consumer care, will afford a platform for discussions between practitioners on the ground in these various economies. Whilst we are becoming increasingly aware of the power of online “Influencers” – how do we integrate them into campaigns? To what extent should marketing budgets be cannibalized to accommodate digital platforms?

So, if Trump has mastered the role of tweeting as a political campaign tool, how do marketers of detergents, sweets and household wares use Twitter in their campaign mix? Should implementation be kept in-house or should the “digital natives” of the majority Gen Z be kept outside of traditional ad agency structures?

We’re really involved and intrigued by the unfolding dynamics of the advertising and media industry – let’s talk more and hear/feel your inputs on this blog.

At Greenworld our focus is on sub-Saharan W. Africa – we believe that with satellite TV and radio means we’re no longer the Dark Continent – unless we choose to stay silent! Have your say, because everybody from sign writers to screen printers, are experiencing the effects of digitalization…

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