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THE MEDIA APRIL 2018

BRANDED CONTENT “branded cont ent is ‘not a quick fix’. Even if the holy grail of engaging branded cont ent is produced, there is no guarantee that cons umers wil find it.” Thembisa Mdoda on Your Next Million potential opportunities, and stressed the necessity of having adequate time to work with brand partners. Related to the issue of time was a point that was repeatedly made: branded content is “not a quick fix” as Gird put it. Even if the holy grail of engaging branded content is produced, there is no guarantee that consumers will find it. The BCMA conceded that it was “important to acknowledge that branded content needs a content marketing framework, which often combines a pull and push logic. It also needs to be acknowledged that push-oriented approaches can similarly still deliver value for audiences”. Rodrigues illustrated this by explaining that Your Next Million has been “supported by owned channels, radio and OOH. We leveraged the property through activated radio and digital channels as well as an internal launch to staff at Standard Bank”. It is also necessary to engage consumers – especially Gen X, Y and Z – across multiple platforms and devices. Maximising the effectiveness of branded content requires an understanding of the unique format/ opportunities available to each. The final challenge is how to measure the effectiveness of this non-traditional form of communication. Rodrigues indicated that Standard Bank would use multiple measures, spanning metrics such as the reach achieved (ratings delivered), new customer acquisitions/ leads, engagement levels across other channels (including activated radio and digital ones) and communication tracker results. Any ongoing commitment to branded content also requires repeated assessments of learnings and content refinement. South African marketers have clearly embraced new branded content opportunities. This discipline is certain to grow, as will the understanding of the opportunities and pitfalls. • Having spent some decades working in media agencies, Britta Reid now relishes the opportunity to take an independent perspective on the South African media world, especially during this time of radical research transformation. The Media | wagthedog.co.za P 21


THE MEDIA APRIL 2018
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