Watch now as 'philanthropreneur', Masa Board member and MD and co-founder of the Kansy Group, Sechaba Motsieloa and chief evolution officer, Arc 8 Global, Ernst Kuhlmann discuss why, in marketing terms, human value is real value, in the 6th episode of Bizcommunity's video interview series, made possible by the ACA, Association for Communications and Advertising.
Rutendo Nyamuda hosts this series, which is aimed at unpacking the economics and contribution of advertising to business in a post-Covid economy. Here, some powerful insights from Motsieloa and Kuhlmann, pointing the way to futureproofing economies…
For the last few weeks, the series has focused on the value being brought to the table by the South African creative, advertising and marketing sector.
Commenting on our shared humanity and why the advertising and marketing industry is more relevant than ever before, Motsieloa said that for a long time, as marketers we have always been the closest to the consumer and the closest to consumer needs.
"We have been the voice of consumers inside organisations...we have an opportunity in the marketplace to make business sense and to make money. At the same time, we have an opportunity to solve proper consumer problems in the marketplace."
We've always been the ones that communicate to business on behalf of consumers and now more than ever, we have to be even closer to the consumer because everything is changing; their needs, their buying patterns, their contexts, how they shop - everything has changed. We need to make sure that we really listen not just with our heads but also with our hearts because it no longer makes sense to continue to sell a product at a particular price point to a consumer when we know very well, things have shifted.
He said that as marketers we've got a bigger responsibility, not just to extract insights but to make sure that we connect the business with the consumers' minds and hearts and really be empathetic, be in their shoes and be able to then say, "We have to package our solutions differently because the consumer - where they are - has changed."
He continued: "Just by taking a simple media strategy which considers the context in which the consumer is, how do you define that particular consumer, the channels that you use to communicate and the content that you carry through? If you were to take content that is upbeat into an environment that you know the peak of the pandemic is about to hit, how do you talk to that? How do make sure that you are sensitive to the environment? And it is us as marketers that can bring that heart and that feeling into the communications space so that we make sure that it sits comfortably in that environment, despite the challenges that we have."
Kuhlmann said that he thinks as an industry our role is to communicate to the consumer. "It's what we do for a living. It's our passion and our focus."
I think one of the biggest drivers to humanise a brand is to make it accessible and relatable for the consumer to be able to connect with that brand, so that consumers know that the brand cares and so that the brand understands what they're going through, instead of a forced campaign. That, then drives a stronger human connection. I think that's what everybody is yearning for at the moment. Being in isolation, being afraid, being nervous, these uncertain times, being affected by the economy, I think that there is such a huge opportunity for brands to try and aim to have that communication and that connectivity with their consumers.
He said that ultimately we should focus on creating and sharing hopeful stories. There is so much doom and gloom around us, but there is also such a beautiful opportunity to focus on the good news and to look for the silver lining. He said we have so much access and power to change that communication and he thinks we should grab every opportunity.
For more of Motsieloa and Kuhlmann's learnings and insights, watch the full interview.
This industry-wide initiative for conversations around sustainable solutions to common issues facing SA’s marketers and marketeers, to future proof the industry, is made possible by the Association for Communication and Advertising.