Monday, August 19, 2013
Explaining a smartphone to a caveman
By Monique Leech – Director Digital Solutions, Millward Brown South Africa
Consumers have evolved, the essence of great marketing stories should too.
I recently attended the South African Mobile Marketing Association AGM meeting, where one of the most thought-provoking, entertaining and random conversations I have been involved in occurred. This revolved around determining how one would explain the concept of a smartphone to a caveman. On the face of it, it seems a rather simple concept, since technology is such a ubiquitous part of our everyday lives. But when you really give it some thought, it is a great deal more difficult than it seems.
After almost two hours of discussing how to explain phone calls, text messages, video, social media and the Internet to a person who would be devoid of any type of basic technological understanding, we concluded that the best way to explain it would be:
A magical device that allows the owner to access all the knowledge and wisdom of the known universe and can be used to communicate to anyone, anywhere, anytime, who possesses another magical device.
Fast forward a few thousand years to this century, we made the startling realization that (for the majority of attendees) none of our jobs in digital marketing and advertising existed when we graduated from university! Yet, there we were at a mobile industry body event discussing the future of mobile marketing in South Africa.
What does this all mean? Technology has progressed at an exponential rate and forced us as marketers to adapt our thinking in tackling how we connect with consumers. A recent presentation from HubSpot entitled “The evolution of advertising – How consumers won the war for their attention,” highlights that the survival of our brands depends on our ability as marketers to evolve our understanding of how consumers view and interact with advertising, and adapt our efforts to fit with those consumer needs. The conclusion? Craft advertising that creates a meaningful connection with brands, drives brand difference and brand salience – a view that Millward Brown shares.
Winning the war for consumer attention means creating conversations, which lead to great stories that consumers remember. It is an absolute certainty, that as technology continues to evolve, digital channels (including mobile) will become more prevalent pages in those story books. We know that when creative concepts are executed well, digital marketing works in building brand values.
Unfortunately in our part of the world, South Africa still needs to catch up to this evolved thinking. With over 40 percent of South Africans having access to the Internet (albeit via a phone), Nielsen figures show that total digital ad spend (as of July 2013) remains below 3 percent of total media spend. Which begs the question, are we publishing our stories where consumers are likely to read them? If not, then why? What are your thoughts?
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This entry was posted on Monday, August 19, 2013
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