by Herman Manson (@marklives) We list the best-read media and marketing stories on MarkLives during 2018.

South African currency currency notes courtesy of Pixabay
Image courtesy of Pixabay

1. Salary Survey 2018: Who earns what in adland & marketing in South Africa

Recruitment agency, Ad Talent, released its 2018 salary survey for the communications industry. This annual survey was not intended to be prescriptive but was a report on what this specific recruiter had experienced over the course of the previous year.


Capitec2. Capitec’s 6 P’s of marketing

Published in 2012, the story remains one of our best-read features, month in and month out, year after year.

“Consumer discontent opened up the market for this ‘straight-talking organisation’,” according to Carl Fischer, head executive of marketing and corporate affairs at Capitec. Fischer said he had no idea how the Big 4 justified their costs and business practices and, increasingly, consumers didn’t either. Capitec wanted to change banking ‘like changed the airline market’, he said. That is, it wanted to bring about fundamental change to this market.

See also: Capitec’s marketing team on the Capitec way


magazines-reading-leisure courtesy of Pixabay
Image courtesy of Pixabay

3. The continued decline of printed magazines and newspapers

Our stories analysing the quarterly magazine and newspaper circulation data, released by the ABC, were among the top-read media and marketing features published during 2018.

See: Consumer magazine circ continues decline, shows ABC Q3 2018

  • Consumer-magazine circulation statistics for the period July–September 2018 (ABC Q3 2018) showed:
  • Total magazine circulation declined by 1% on the previous quarter, and by 13.7% year on year
  • Consumer magazines declined by 1% on the previous quarter, and by 11.5% on the prior year
  • B2B Magazines declined by 1.7% on the previous quarter, and by 8.5% on the prior year
  • Custom Magazines declined by 0.3% on the prior quarter, and by 15.9% on the prior year
  • Free magazines declined by 0.7% on the prior quarter, and by 11% on the prior year.

See: Newspaper circ Q3 2018: Sunday Sun, City Press lead losses

  • Newspaper-circulation statistics for the period July–September 2018 (ABC Q3 2018) showed that:
  • Total newspaper circulation declined 2.9% the previous quarter, and by 4.0% on the prior year
  • Daily newspapers declined by 2.2% on the previous quarter,and by 13.6% on the prior year
  • Weekly newspapers increased by 8.7% on the previous quarter, but declined by 9.6% on the prior year
  • Weekend newspapers declined by 1.5% on the previous quarter, and by 8.3% on the prior year
  • Local newspapers declined by 3.5%on the previous quarter, and by 8.3% on the prior year
  • Free newspapers declined by 3.9% on the previous quarter, and by 1.2% on the prior year.


WhatsApp logo4. What’s up with radio stations using WhatsApp?

by Paulos Dias. WhatsApp with its little blue ticks is an essential way to communicate and radio stations have integrated it seamlessly into the way they’re interacting with their audiences. So, how are stations using the Facebook-owned messaging platform on-air and does it offer any possibility for advertisers?


south-african-coins-banknotes-money-currency courtesy of Pixabay
Image courtesy of Pixabay

5. MarkLives Agency Revenue Rankings 2018

We updated our agency revenue ranking to help assist marketers gain a comprehensive overview of the relative scale of agencies in the South African communications landscape.


grave-cemetery-rip-tombstone courtesy of Pixabay
Image courtesy of Pixabay

6. Why I’ve left advertising strategy was a very popular opinion piece

by Bogosi Motshegwa. I’ve not left advertising (no-one ever does; those who claim to just don’t know their comeback date yet) — I’ve left agency strategy. There are two issues at play: ad agencies are dead (they just don’t know it yet); and strategists or planners are under threat. If agencies are dead, the biggest casualty isn’t creative departments but, rather, strategic planning, which is being dealt a huge blow (creative ideas will always be around as ideas are currency, whether or not they’re based on sound strategic thinking).


handshake-regard-cooperate-connect courtesy of Pixabay7. The first time this suit cried in advertising

by Jason Harrison. I was just a 24-year-old account executive (a title which my mother thought was very important), going about my business writing a very important contact report. Then he called — a very senior and important client who couldn’t get hold of anyone else, so he got put through to me by the receptionist. He was pissed off. Very, very pissed off. He used the first 10 minutes of the call to tell me how rubbish the agency had been on a job and then he used the next 10 minutes to then tell me how rubbish I was, too. He was swearing, demeaning and out of control.


Independent Media up to Stratcom tricks collage8. When newspapers get it wrong

‘Disgusting’ sums up Indy Newspapers today: Nobody really thought April 2018 could have gotten any worse for the South African media industry. But Independent Newspapers upped the ante and the South African National Editors’ Forum went on the warpath.

South African media tarnishing own reputation: The reputation of South Africa’s media establishment (and anti-establishment) had been taking a beating in April 2018. We collated some of the public reaction on the retractions, misogyny and what appeared to be personal vendettas. It was a shameful couple of weeks.


Meet Bheki the Mbhaco Maker screengrab9. South Africa’s youth more ‘culture creator’ than millennial

by David Smythe. South Africa’s marketers, strategists and advertisers should reconsider their propensity to classify local youth as millennials, and rather embrace a definition and understanding which is more accurate and more in step with what these young adults are doing, thinking and feeling.


Mozambique flag and emblem10. African Echo: Mozambique — become the country you’re destined to be

by Nuno Rainho. It’s no secret that Mozambique is a country gifted with an abundance of natural resources which include trillions of cubic feet of natural gas in the Rovuma Basin, considerable oil reserves in the southern part of the country, and holds some of the world’s largest untapped coal deposits. From an outsider’s perspective, the key question is: How can a country so rich below the surface in such resources be — above the surface — one of the poorest countries in the world?

More African Echo columns


Herman Manson 2017Herman Manson (@marklives) is the founder and editor of

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