“Since 2003, Incubeta, through its agency brand, NMPi, and technology brand, DQ&A, has been servicing all of the group’s global performance marketing campaigns out of the Cape Town offices. NMPi in particular has faced a real challenge sourcing skilled performance-based resources, both in the commercial, client facing space as well as on the campaign management side,” explains Jonathan Gluckman, CEO of IncuBeta Africa and AsiaPac. “Most of South Africa’s skills are still in the early development stages of paid media management and are sometimes up to five years behind the more mature markets. We see this partnership as a practical means to close that gap and allow South Africa to position itself as a hub of excellence in the global paid media market.”
Globally, online advertising spend is about to overtake traditional advertising. As digital media spend grows, the conversation is also rapidly shifting in South Africa, with both agency and clients looking to prove digital media performance to justify the increased investment. IncuBeta, however, holds that most agencies and companies are still running campaigns for brand awareness and traffic, and are measuring performance on metrics such as impressions and clicks, rather than optimising for conversions and true ROI.
More than this, Gluckman says the pervading economic realities are adding to the challenges.
“While digital spend is not quite at the levels of our international counterparts, we are definitely catching up quickly. At the same time, marketing budgets are feeling the pinch and marketing professionals are under pressure to do a whole lot more with what they have. More than this, they are expected to clearly show the evidence of their efforts. The result is that the market is forced to hire junior skills, and doing very little to invest in their development. This sub-optimal situation will continue unless there is a concerted collaboration between industry players and academia.”
The IncuBeta group of companies have always invested heavily in their in-house training. Using its proven courseware, together with real-world global experience, NMPi worked with the Red & Yellow Creative School of Business to create a 10-week online course. This will equip local digital media professionals to deal with the complexities of both the new technologies and methodologies required to run performance-based campaigns. This adds to the tailor-made DQ&A offering to corporate clients who are looking to enhance their internal skills when it comes to the Google Marketing Platform (GMP).
Wesley Fredericks, Red & Yellow’s MD, concurs: “Most of our Exco team have industry backgrounds, so we’ve witnessed first-hand the dearth of performance media capabilities. This, coupled with repeated requests from industry and students, prompted us to seek out a knowledge partner with the right credentials and global experience to help us co-create an online course that would put local players in the same league as their international counterparts. We are very excited to see the results”.
The industry has already responded well to the offering.
"In a market where the demand for digital media specialisation is at an all-time high, it is great to see the training partnership between NMPi and Red & Yellow. NMPi already have a very robust training program internally and I look forward to seeing the remarkable expertise of their training team transferred in the market,” comments Lorraine Landon, Head of Agencies at Google South Africa.
Those interested in the 10-week online course can learn more on the Red & Yellow website