by MarkLives (@marklives) Our weekly wrap of the latest market and consumer research:

  • Spatial fluidity in today’s youth market
  • Consumer health in SA
  • Evolution of event marketing

Transitioning platforms

Generation Fluid White Paper coverA new in-depth white paper, produced by Joe Public Shift, takes a closer look at the youth in South Africa and discusses trends that should be impacting SA’s shores in the near future. Market Research Wrap will present excerpts from “Generation Fluid: Understanding the dynamics of today’s youth market” in a four-part series. [Cheryl Hunter]

The traits presented in the paper are ‘universal’, according to Joe Public Shift; however, as with many other trends/insights, SA is often slower to catch on but many of the trends are expected to play out more strongly in future.

So, what’s the first trend that makes Generation Z any different from the generations before them? Spatial fluidity — young South Africans are fluid in the way they perceive the world and the spaces around them. This generation is one of reimagination, where spaces are reconstructed to create something meaningful. When it comes to spatial fluidity, the line between the online/digital and physical/tangible is increasingly becoming blurred.

Gen Z has an undeniable desire for authenticity and that desire, along with the pervasive digital world we live in, has caused a fluid blend between the two contrasts. Against this backdrop, physical spaces and the role they play are being reimagined as many traditionally digital brands turn to these locations to create meaningful, authentic connections with their youngest consumers. For example, Google has opened up pop-up Hardware Stores in selected cities around the world, where visitors may engage with its newest products.

There is a pressing need for brands to transition seamlessly and fluidly across physical and digital platforms.


Convenience impacts consumer health

Euromonitor logoConsumer health in SA recorded strong growth in 2018, with increased access to information and a widening product range fuelling demand for self-medication as the cheapest and most-convenient option. This is according to Euromonitor’s latest report on “Consumer Health in South Africa”. [Cheryl Hunter]

Chemists/pharmacies remain the leading distribution channel for consumer health, although supermarkets registered solid growth over the review period, with more grocery retailers now stocking a wider range of consumer health products.

Demand for convenience, whereby shoppers can find all they need under one roof, has led to a widening range of products in these stores in categories such as analgesics and cold, cough and allergy (hay fever) remedies.

Self-medication and a challenging economic climate have impacted growth. However, access to information through health blogs and online health forums, supported by increased smartphone ownership, will contribute to value growth.


HBR The Event Marketing Evolution coverThe Eardley Analysis

The Event Marketing Evolution
Harvard Business Review

B2B events drive more business value than other marketing activities.

Some things don’t change. Events still rank as the most-effective tactic to attract and retain customers. One finding from this first-rate Harvard Business Review (HBR) study should really resonate with B2B marketers:

Fastest-growing companies are investing the most in events. Respondents who have seen revenue grow 30% or more over the past two years have been increasing their event activity.

And these are big companies: half the survey’s 739 respondents say their companies generated more than US$1bn in revenue in 2016, with 29% generating revenue in excess of US$5bn. Only 8% had revenue of less than US$50mn.

  • 93% say their organisations place a priority on hosting events, including 57% who give it a high priority
  • 85% say their organisations also prioritise sponsoring events

Powerful insights

Although sponsored by an event-management technology company called Splash, the study doesn’t go overboard on promoting the firm’s wares but rather offers detailed insights into running events that will drive sales. And those insights are provided by some seriously heavyweight B2B marketers, such as Eric Stahl, Salesforce senior VP of product marketing, and his colleague Erica Kuhl, VP of community, who started the firm’s Trailblazer Community more than a decade ago and continues to oversee it. Their commentary alone — especially about measuring results — makes this a must-read report for event-marketers.

From a selection of 15 different types of events, here’s the top five:

Harvard Business Review Event Marketing Evolution top 5 types of events

As you’d expect from HBR, the study is exceptionally well-presented and firmly focused on achieving business results.

Mark’s mark out of ten (is it worth reading?): 10/10
How long: 30 mins


This weekly “Market Research Wrap” column offers readers a weekly overview and critique of the latest market and industry research.

Cheryl HunterCheryl Hunter (@cherylhunter) has written for the South African media, marketing and advertising industries for more than 15 years. A former editor of M&M in Independent Newspapers and contributor to Bizcommunity, AdFocus, AdReview and the Ad Annual, she has also produced for various television networks and currently consults on communication strategy and media liaison.


Mark EardleyMark Eardley (@mdeardley) advises B2B companies on how to govern their marketing to attract and retain profitable customers; several of his clients have grown to become market leaders. His monthly “Back2Basics” column covers how B2B companies and their agencies should manage their marketing.

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