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The JHB edition of the IMC Conference leaves industry buzzing

On 2 and 3 November, marketing and communication professionals gathered at Vodaworld in Midrand for the highly anticipated two-day, Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) Conference.
Speakers provided delegates with first-hand, case study exposure to the most innovative IMC trends, highlighting aspects of their most successful campaigns and give a practical view of how these techniques and tools are best implemented.


Day 1

Kicking off the first day of the conference was Graham Warsop - Founder and Chairman of The Jupiter Drawing Room who shared his personal view of where we are headed in this crazy world of marketing. "The world is infinitely more complicated in the ways we communicate with people and only business that embraces technology will succeed today," he said. He explained that the two things that marketers have to get right are quality of work and integration. It only has value when you have something worth integrating. He emphasised that if integrated marketing is done correctly, it is the only way one will have a competitive advantage.

Second keynote speaker was Richard Mullins - Managing Director for Middle East & Africa - Acceleration. He touched on the fact that marketers need to place the customer at the core to ensure value creation and future growth. "We talk about client centricity but very rarely do we see it," explained Mullins. As a marketer, it is important to understand the complexity of integration and to measure the silos in which customers engage with the brand.

Third on the agenda of keynote speakers, Lynne Gordon - Managing Director of Added Value discussed the importance of cultural vibrancy as the new essential insight for growth. Gordon elaborated on how in an increasingly cluttered brand landscape, growth starts with the ability of brand to stand out and create meaningful connections with the consumer. "Consumers are collaborators and owners of brand content, in order to achieve brand growth, one needs to create a culture within the organisation, define the brand's cultural mission and its role," explained Gordon. She ended off my emphasising that brands become meaningful players when they actually contribute to culture and not just spin off it.

Explain how good ideas are like drunken friends - pop in when you least expect them and at the most inconvenient time was the final dual keynote speakers by Yegs Ramiah - Executive Head of Brands, Sanlam and Founding Partner and CEO of the King James Group - James Barty. Together they explained the method to their brilliant partnership, clarifying the fact that asking for an integrated campaign from an agency partner is incorrect, what one should be asking for is a brilliant idea, so that a single idea can be made stronger and more effective by using additional communication disciples if necessary. Ramiah cautioned marketers not to buy a big idea if it doesn't speak to your brand strategy.

Day 2

Elaborating on the ever - changing face of communications and how we always need to go back to why people buy in the first place was keynote speaker Enzo Scarcella - Chief Marketing Officer for Telkom. He unpacked that the three key drivers for the future of communication are social, big data and mobility. "In order for us to progress, we have to go back to insights and emotion to preserve the value of marketing communications," added Scarcella. Building emotion, driving relevance, changing experience are the fundamentals for a great brand.

Next of the keynote agenda was Global Marketing Solutions for Facebook Africa, Aidan Baigrie, who explained the importance of mobile and the role of Facebook videos for brand purpose. He indicated that new ad technologies from Facebook can help brands to achieve their business objectives. Research has shown that clicks are a reflection of people and not content. He encouraged marketers to use Facebook as a media platform, consolidate spend on campaigns and measure what is trusted.

Lebogang Rasethaba - Film Director for Arcade Content unpacked the challenges and benefits of making brand films that people want to watch. He explained how subcultures can work with brands without being seen as selling out. Using case studies to demonstrate, he shared the importance of finding the right brand ambassador and engaging with subcultures on their own terms, so that the ambassadors can embrace the content as part of their own identity, multiplying its impact in ways money can't buy.

Second last keynote speaker and Group Head of Online for Woolworths, Nikki Cockcroft, elaborated on the role of data in delivering meaningful insight to change strategies as a result of the connected and engaged customers. She emphasized that an internet experience is as unique was the user's fingerprint and should be a curated and relevant customer experience every time the customer engages.

Ending off the Johannesburg edition of the conference, was final keynote speaker, Ahmed Tilly - Executive Creative Director and CEO of Black River FC. He explained how the buying power in the country has shifted into black hands yet, the people marketing to these audiences still haven't. Research is now the only guiding light. The problem is that everyone's getting the same research and very few people in our current landscape have the cultural depth and familiarity to interpret the research correctly. Tilly shared the Nando's campaign 25 reasons why we love SA to demonstrate his point - will the black market get this ad? He ended off by reiterating that a radical shift is need in order to reflect the South African demographic in the advertising, digital and marketing industries. It's not only the right thing to do it's also the business savvy thing to do.

About the IMC


The IMC Conference, now in its fifth year, is a two day event that takes place in Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg, with a central theme focused on applying various combinations of communication disciplines. The conference aims to expose delegates to the latest IMC trends by educating, entertaining and engaging them with the incredible line- up of industry experts, the unique event format and the customised workshops feature. The IMC Conference is divided into two sections: Keynote Presentations and Workshops.

For more information on the speakers and booking details, visit www.imcconference.com or call (021) 180 4111. Also connect with us on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest news.

Official Media Partners of the IMC Conference: Adlip.com, Africa.com , Biz Takeouts, Biz Community, Juice Content, Marketing Update, Omnibrands, SABI Magazine, TheMarketingSite.com , The Red Zone and World Wide Creative
Official Silver Sponsors: Everlytic, SAS, Continuon
Official Technical Partner: Ampere Event Technology
Official Sponsors: Meltwater Outside Insights, HelloCrowd, Deep VR, Neural Sense, GetSmarter and Ray-Ban
Official Travel Partner: Kulula.com
Official Event Partner: Colourworks

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IMC Conference
The Integrated Marketing Communication Conference (IMC Conference) is a one day, content packed event with a central theme focused on using different combinations of communication disciplines (i.e. Advertising, Direct Marketing, Public Relations, etc.) in synergy, with the purpose of delivering the right message to the desired audience.
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