#BigQ2018: Let’s get back to creating magic again
by MarkLives (@marklives) What are the expectations for the marketing and advertising industry in 2018? We emailed a panel of key industry executives for their take on the macro environment, budgets, changes in messaging, movement in the industry and any consumer and communication trends they’ll be looking out for. Next up is Masego Motsogi of Grid Worldwide.
Masego Motsogi (@masegom) is the newly appointed managing director of Grid Worldwide; previously, she was MD of Ninety9cents (99c) Johannesburg. Her career in advertising and marketing spans over 15 years, having worked at Ogilvy & Mather, The Jupiter Drawing Room, South African Breweries and FCB Africa before joining 99c. She has a degree in community and health psychology and a higher diploma in integrated marketing communications.
It would seem that, like the rest of the world, industries across the board are in a state of flux. We are living in the age of fake news, discredited leadership, continued subjugation of minorities, compromised security, social injustices and many other ills that have many of us craving for some form of sanity and calm.
The advertising and marketing industries are not isolated from the rest of the world and its shenanigans. As we expect and witness, we ourselves are facing some difficulties which, in my view, have led to the less-than-stellar work that we put out — a reflection of the state of imbalance that we find ourselves in. Yet nothing stops us from reflecting and at least making an attempt at righting the wrongs and bettering our outputs — unless our egos get in the way or we adopt an insular and myopic view of the world.
We, therefore, would do well to get back to the middle; pay attention; and recalibrate and discard the nonsense that’s become part and parcel of what we do and how we do it.
All is not broken
I’d like to believe that all is not broken and that what we really need to do is understand that there’s been a shift. It is, however. up to us to make sense of the shift and apply the right course of action.
Very interesting to me, and in a way related to our own story, are the various issues that have dominated political discussions around succession — from the US President’s followers supposedly seeking a restoration of the “original” state of their nation to the UK’s divided opinion on whether to stay or to exit (in which outcome we are well-versed). Closer to home, we have observed the changes that have taken place in neighboring Zimbabwe and Liberia remains top of mind with an initially failed presidential, former footballer recently winning the presidential elections and, too, there’s our internal politics that have resulted in #CR17 succeeding as the president for the ruling party.
What’s clear is that there’s no formula to this whole succession debate. Clearer still is that each constituency has had to review what it stands for (regardless of how witless the stance may be) and base its decisions on that.
So, what do we as an industry stand for? Certainly, one of the table-stake reasons is that we’re here to make a difference to our clients’ business by impacting on the bottom line through the work we do. But what is the reason we exist as an industry? Why is it we do what we do?
Start doing the following
That leads me to the core of this topic: my expectations for the industry for the year and hopefully beyond. Expectation may be a stretch in some instances because it’d mean that I’ve a strong sense that what I point out is likely to happen. I do, however, hope that we start doing the following:
- We’re here for a reason: the creative economy has a role to play — and not just by being tactical and topical but by creatively yet sensibly narrating the country’s story through the brands we touch.
- The future: being part of a group of people who can, to an extent, shape popular culture, I expect that we’ll realize that we’re behaving much like the politicians we so often speak ill of and start having serious conversations about succession in the industry — neither sugar-coated nor addressed in a passive-aggressive manner. We ought to be resolute about the need to transform and acknowledge that diversity (race, gender and age) just might help us tell better and more-balanced stories.
- Much as we inspire culture, we are simultaneously a reflection of our society. This needs to show in the makeup of our companies, the strategies that inform our creative output and the eventual creative output itself.
- Understanding our audiences: we need stop with the few days out of the office labelled “immersion” and be part of what’s happening. To quote Incognito, “Don’t shake me by the hand, pretend to understand. To get into my mind, you gotta get into my groove. Step into my shoes, come and feel my blues. To comprehend my life, you gotta get into my groove.”
- The world is young. The young are the future. Let’s teach them what we should and can and also learn from them. They’ll be running the industry that we often lament as having lost its glory. The baton is with us and, if the young ones fail, we would have been dismal head-starters.
In short, let’s be real with ourselves by addressing the issues, respecting for our own industry and our craft, and getting back to creating magic.
- Nimay Parekh: #BigQ2018: Brands just need to be smart to reap rewards
- Wayne Naidoo: #BigQ2018: Time to make South African advertising great again
- Prakash Patel: #BigQ2018: Velocity of change going to be unprecedented & unpredictable
- Xola Nouse: #BigQ2018: Strained budgets, profit margins to impact in various ways
- Tara Turkington & Tiffany Turkington-Palmer: #BigQ2018: World of marketing & advertising a sea of complexity
- Wynand Smit: #BigQ2018: Security at forefront of consumers’ minds
- Mpange Chapeshamano & Mthunzi Plaatjie: #BigQ2018: The year the ‘new’ independents keep on disrupting
- Peter Khoury: #BigQ2018: Blend talent diversity, operational transparency to grow
- Lebogang Rasethaba: #BigQ2018: Brand films are TVCs that aren’t scared to be overly sexy
- Odette van der Haar: #BigQ2018: Creative effectiveness is channel-agnostic
- Mike Abel: #BigQ2018: 2018 is not the ad industry’s Kodak moment
- Johanna McDowell: #BigQ2018: Marketers to take digital in-house at unprecedented rate
- Ashish Williams: #BigQ2018: Brands adapting comms to be part of consumer journey
- Melina McDonald & Lorraine Smit: #BigQ2018: Production sees smaller teams, integrated offering
- Joshin Raghubar: #BigQ2018: Marketing evolves from campaign activity to a service
Launched in 2016, “The Big Q” is a regular column on MarkLives in which we ask key advertising and marketing industry execs for their thoughts on relevant issues facing the industry. If you’d like to be part of our pool of panellists, please contact editor Herman Manson via email (2mark at marklives dot com) or Twitter (@marklives). Suggestions for questions are also welcomed.