Employees are an integral component of any organisation. It is for this reason that Hive Digital Media prioritises employees’ health, well-being and development.
A study by Walters & Rodriguez (2017), on the importance of training and development in employee performance and evaluation, states that employees are responsible for the quality of products, service and client satisfaction. This responsibility that employees hold makes them an asset to a business. Walters & Rodriguez (2017) study concludes that well-trained employees stay longer at the company due to job satisfaction. Therefore, development and training are essential tools businesses can use to improve employee performance. These tools also encourage employees to become more motivated, productive, efficient, innovative and satisfied in their working environment (Walters and Rodriguez, 2017).
Hive Digital Media strives to create a great working and learning environment for its employees. The Hive identity is a reflection of this, being Headstrong, Industrious, Vibrant, and Educative. Educative is defined as “We go above and beyond to elevate each other and our community through knowledge sharing. We work together to solve problems and provide insights”.
Each employee at Hive Digital Media is passionate about what they do and continues to upskill through studies, webinars, conferences and research in order to become experts in their field. Hive Digital Media currently has a few employees studying. Samantha Mckay and Ramondi Kennedy have almost completed their digital learnership through Red & Yellow; Norah Ndlovu and Hope Nkambule will start in March. Clarise Sha is completing a sales management course, and Joedache Madray a leadership learnership.
Apart from their work responsibilities and upskilling, employees are also encouraged to focus on their well-being. Once a month, 30 minutes is dedicated to a meditation session where employees refocus their energy. In addition, sessions and events are hosted to improve employee relationships and morale. Examples are show-and-tell sessions where employees can talk about their hobbies, an outing to a pottery place to paint pots and catch up, and the favourite year-end event – the Christmas party.
Hive Digital Media is a positive working environment of hard work and dedication. Team leadership is continuously working on ways to keep up with the constantly evolving workplace dynamics. This is done in order to keep employees motivated, productive, efficient, innovative and satisfied in their working environment.
Hive Digital Media is proud to announce that its longstanding partnership brand Guzzle has relaunched its website with a fresh look. Having celebrated its 11th birthday in 2022, Guzzle has embarked on a platform revamp to provide an enhanced user experience, better results and returns for retailers. All of these efforts are part of a strategic development plan to revamp the brand’s digital assets and infrastructure.
Hive Digital Media’s relationship with Guzzle is a mutually strategic one. Hive Digital Media uses its unique digital media expertise to elevate Guzzle’s position in the market and manage its sales prospects.
The launch of the new site is divided into two phases. Both phases are set to positively facilitate easier user navigation, a more visually appealing look and fall in line with the updated brand image, and improved value for paid retailers.
“Guzzle is a reputable brand, and we are proud as Hive Digital Media to be associated with a brand that has made great strides in servicing the retail sector. The site revamp is a milestone that speaks to Guzzle’s ambition and desire to become a leading market player. The launch of the Guzzle website is a timely move that will benefit shoppers through better user experience and our paying clients through more features and returns on investment”, said Hive Digital Media’s Digital Sales Manager Clarise Sha.
The first phase of this development offers the following:
Cleaner website which displays more content.
Revised look and feel.
Category Carousel on the home page.
New detailed filters on the latest catalogue page.
The second phase is set to deliver the following:
My feed, a personalised feature or timeline.
Tag following in retail talk facilitating brand engagement.
New user dashboard that lets you control your preferences.
Retailer and brand pages separated alphabetically.
Account dashboard with more details, including a default location feature.
“We’ve managed to increase year-on-year viewership by 40% from July 2022 to date and expect a larger climb moving forward. The new Guzzle website is cleaner and more user-friendly, delivering a seamless browsing experience which will further assist performance”, emphasised Muntasir Bester, CEO of Guzzle Media.
Retailers and shoppers alike can look forward to an improved Guzzle experience.
Digital marketing is an area of trade that has exponentially grown over the years due to the upsurge in internet access by the general public. There are, however, a number of myths associated with digital marketing and agencies in general.
Here are some of the common myths associated with digital marketing
Content marketing doesn’t help businesses
Research has shown that there is an increase in the number of consumers using the internet to search for products and services and make online purchases. Therefore, whatever business an entity is involved in, it makes business sense to capitalise on this available market. Some of the benefits of content marketing are better audience retention, lead generation and increased conversions, higher Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) rankings, improved brand awareness, generating industry authority and creating brand advocates.
Only larger businesses need this
Businesses of all sizes are characterised by the brand/service/product they provide. While budgets and strategies may differ, the desired outcome is often the same. A small business needs a digital marketing agency that can develop locally targeted campaigns to reach local customers. Therefore, small businesses are able to avoid competing with larger businesses by strategically targeting audiences relevant to their brand and product offering. This is likely to grow the brands return on investment as they are strategically making use of their media budget to target the right audience.
It’s not worth what agencies charge
Cost is considered a major issue when it comes to digital marketing. A common myth is that it’s not worth it, and the work done for the cost is minimal. What’s important to understand is that digital marketing has diverse components of moving parts such as pay-per-click (PPC), search engine optimisation (SEO), social media, paid content marketing, programmatic, digital & video, email marketing etc. All these elements require in-depth research and application of digital principles through strategy, guaranteeing sustainable business growth. The science and work that goes into the implementation of these tools is therefore worth the expense as the results tend to meet client objectives.
Digital marketing results cannot be tracked
A common myth is that digital marketing can be a shot in the dark without measurable outcomes. Realistically, there is a lot of tracking and analytical work done to ensure campaigns are optimised to reach the right users. Different tracking tools can be deployed, such as Google Analytics. This tool tracks the organic performance of landing pages, blogs and examines the path taken by the customer to reach their goal. Another tool is Ahrefs which measures the strengths of a website’s backlinking profile and organic performance. Google Data Studio can be used to assist with data for monthly and weekly performance summaries. These tools and many others aid with in-depth campaign performance tracking and performance communication with clients.
SEO is dead
Content is king but search engine optimisation (SEO) is a key traffic driver. As organic search remains a popular way for users to find specific online content. An effective SEO strategy will help improve an article or a web page search engine ranking. In a nutshell, better ranking means more traffic. So, while SEO practices can change over time, it is unlikely to die as long as users turn to search engines for their online browsing needs.
Digital audiences are too big to target effectively
The online audience is definitely a never-ending sea, but it doesn’t mean it’s beyond digital targeting tools. The power of digital marketing allows businesses to narrow down this broad audience with precise audience targeting. This is done by collecting data on online user engagement, allowing for digital marketing campaigns to be tailored accordingly.
For more on digital marketing products and services, contact the Hive team at[email protected].
Hive Digital Media has enhanced its diverse product offering by partnering with Private Property, a leading South African residential and commercial real estate brand.
Founded in 1998, Private Property has evolved significantly from its early beginnings as purely a pioneering ‘for sale by owner’ website to become a portal that facilitates a myriad of connections in the sector to do with buying, selling and renting properties, including developments and farms.
This partnership between Hive Digital Media and Private Property is a well-researched response to changing business dynamics which have seen an increasing number of property market players leveraging on the power of digital platforms to make decisions.
What is the value of this partnership?
This partnership will enable Private Property to tap into Hive’s innovative digital solutions that cater to diverse market segments and niche audiences through premium and brand-safe channels.
Through its established market presence and credibility, coupled with harnessed expertise in marketing services, SEO, content, conversion optimisation, as well as technical support and development for partners, Hive is well positioned to drive Private Property’s brand development initiatives and improve its business footprint. One way this will be done is that Hive will be selling Private Property’s inventory through premium & programmatic sales.
Hive will position the Private Property brand as the front and centre of the digital property space with exclusive ad space and exposure which is the best way to reach the target audience and create positive brand affiliation and awareness.
Advertisers can reap the benefits by advertising property-related services on an excellent platform. This platform has a constantly changing ‘living’ database of multi-thousands of properties, attracting millions of users who are empowered by tapping into the wealth of home-related data presented on the website. Advertising to audiences can be split geographically (by province) or by deal type (i.e., visitors looking to rent or to buy). This ensures that the most relevant audience is reached. Benefits to advertisers include:
Major brand awareness.
More qualified leads.
Bigger revenue gains.
Back-end analytical data analysis providing insights.
Targeted messaging to specific profiles and areas.
A wide variety of banner advertising options.
Run-of-site ensuring multi-industry and market presence.
“After working closely with Private Property for the past few years, we are thrilled to be taking our relationship to the next step with them and aligning our business prospects,” emphasised Hive’s General Manager Katherine Bell.
This business partnership is set to meet the needs and expectations of property enthusiasts and advertisers alike. For more on available advertising and marketing opportunities, you can contact the Hive team at [email protected]
Any salesperson can tell you that closing a sale, especially in the digital media space, involves an endless number of steps. While these steps, which include research, preparing, prospecting, presenting, etc, are all aimed at closing a sale, there is a significant difference between converting a consumer from a position of unawareness to a sale versus converting a consumer who is brand conscious into a sale.
“Did you know that how consumers feel about your brand or product could potentially make or break the entire sales process?” In a nutshell, this is what brand perception is all about says Aqsa Qureshi, the Premium channel manager at HIVE.
Qureshi says that it’s beneficial that remember that it’s not just brand messaging that steers the ship. Consumer interactions, first-hand experiences, and opinions from others (both digitally and physically) are important determining factors brand perception.
Qureshi states that the most important thing to understand, especially in the modern advertising age is that the consumer, not the business determines brand perception.
Brand perception is the way that a target audience perceives a brand based on what a brand says and how the brand says it (i.e., brand messaging).
Key influencing factors of brand perception
Brand perception is not about what you portray as a business. It’s about what consumers believe about your brand and the products & services you supply. Consumers choose you; you don’t get to choose them.
There is not only a direct correlation between sales and the quality of a product or service, but also a direct correlation between sales and the perception a consumer has with the brand. Simply put, positive brand perception means consumers are more likely to choose your business over a competitor.
Elements that can make or break consumer perception:
Advertising: What’s the content and tone of your messaging, which platforms are you using to relay these messages? Do these messages align with your brand persona?
Price: Does your pricing model match the quality of your products and services?
Personal experience: Personal experience not only speaks about Customer Relationship Management (CRM), but also refers to first-hand interaction (physically or digitally) that consumers have experienced with you brand. Given high market saturation in the new digital age, brands need to cleverly compete for positive mindshare to gain brand equity. Every brand wants prospective customers to always consider their products when they are in-market, but not every brand is investing in brand equity campaigns.
Brand perception impacts a company’s bottom line – a lot, which is why companies need to invest in long-term brand equity campaigns to ensure continued sales and consumer loyalty.
Qureshi states that “The holistic and strategic goal of companies’ brand campaigns should be to ensure better brand perception in order to gain increased brand equity in the market.”
What is brand equity?
Brand equity generally speaks to the premium value earned from brand recognition and positive brand perception. Higher brand equity is usually enjoyed by positively perceived and accepted brand compared to lesser-known and negative sentiment brands.
Advantages of strong brand equity:
Strong Brand Recognition: When you invest in brand equity campaigns you will have people constantly seeing your logo in an advertising journey. Having positive brand equity can help make it easier for you to grow your business in your main market, as well as in new markets.
Brand Preference: By helping consumers remember your brand through means of positive engagements, you increase chances of your brand being the brand that consumers prefer over other brands. Consumers tend to prefer brands that they perceive more favourably.
In market purchase consideration: Brands who have strong brand equity along with high positive perception will enjoy high consumers top-of-mind product awareness. This means that consumers will most-likely have your brand instantly come to mind when they are in-market purchasing in your category.
Competitive Advantage: In all honesty, the only people who won’t be happy about your company’s positive brand equity will be your competitors. Positive brand equity will mean that customers are willing to pay a premium price for your products or services. Positive brand equity in the long term will translate into customers willing to try your new product without question, just because it has your logo on it.
Creating positive perception and strong brand equity with Wi-Fi sponsorships
One example of a clever brand equity campaign that can boost your business bottom line – in tangible and intangible ways is Wi-Fi sponsorships.
Hive brings you Think Wi-Fi
Hive has partnered with Think Wi-Fi to offer our clients the ability to build positive brand awareness and strong brand equity in never before reached markets (with a combined spending power of R26Bn).
Think Wi-Fi provides internet access to communities and market segments which are economically, socially and historically disadvantaged.
New-age digital marketing and trends in South Africa have brought an opportunity to rethink how location-based marketing budgets are allocated and to invest in sponsored Wi-Fi services.
It goes without saying that subsidised internet access enables brands to increase awareness, create positive equity through positive mindshare, and attract business.
Many brands depend on their online advocates, who are over-represented in lower income brackets.
“Wi-Fi has become a new age basic service that many South Africans cannot afford, or have access to. More businesses need to be conscious of this and make a difference by recognising this innovative and impactful branding opportunity. Wi-Fi sponsorships are not only a great way to strengthen brand equity and positive brand perception, but it is also a great opportunity towards building a better and more connected South Africa especially for low-income communities, emphasises Aqsa Qureshi. ”
Brands, therefore need to make strategic investments in internet access to engage with this demographic. The benefits accrued in investing in sponsored Wi-Fi campaigns with Think Wi-Fi include broadened awareness, in-market purchase consideration, positive brand perception and massive loyal long-term sales.
Think Wi-Fi gives brands access to lower-income market segments where internet can be subsidised. Brands are reaching an audience who values connectivity (and the brand who provides it to them). In addition, Think Wi-Fi has a wealth of knowledge and expertise and can encourage action with this knowledge on when, where, and why consumers are accessing the Internet.
With Think Wi-Fi campaigns, brands enjoy the privilege of choosing to place sponsored Wi-Fi zones in geo-targeted locations close to, or even within their stores. With Think Wi-Fi brands can successfully deliver targeted, relevant messaging about the brand and related things like products and stores.
Brands are able to push tailored messages which take users, especially price and discount conscious ones, to touchpoints (Think Zones) such as stores, kiosks, taverns and within communities.
It is clear that internet connectivity is a big deal to many South Africans. Brands can tap into this incredible opportunity to make access possible while reaping the rewards of increased brand & product exposure and most importantly a long-term increase in their bottom line.
This partnership between Hive Digital Media and Think Wi-Fi is definitely the best way for brands to do their brand equity marketing. For more on Think Wi-Fi product, you can contact the Hive team at [email protected]
Hive Digital Media is excited to announce the appointment of Katherine Bell as the company’s new General Manager (GM). Katherine Bell takes over the reigns from Kristin Louw, who leaves the company to pursue new opportunities.
What are the details around this appointment?
Kath, as she is popularly known within business circles, held the position of Hive’s Operations Manager before the appointment. Her primary focus was to ensure that market products are competitive and that Hive Digital Media executes campaigns accordingly with continued optimisations and strategic reporting insights.
“Kristin has left massive shoes to fill, but I am excited to utilize my knowledge of the business to step-up to the task. I hope to continue the momentum Hive Digital Media has established and continue growing that. We have an incredible team of industry experts, and I aim to strategically steer this ship to the sweet spot that maximises the team’s potential and align this with our clients’ objectives. Our team is young and dynamic, as is the industry, and I aspire to grow Hive Digital Media in this direction as the market is ever-changing,” said Katherine.
“In a fast-moving world, change is inevitable. Katherine has been part of Hive Digital Media for a few years with an impeccable record. Katherine’s experience and qualifications (Honours degree in Business management) make her more than qualified to take over as GM and run with the challenge. She is a young digital native with a lot of positive energy and I am looking forward to working closely with her.”, highlighted Servaas de Kock, Caxton Group Executive-Digital.
For any enquiries or more on this new development, contact Katherine Bell at [email protected]. For available products, contact the Hive Digital Media team at [email protected]
Hive Digital Media has entered into an innovative partnership with Conversion Rate Pros. This partnership is based on an increasing need to positively assist brands in shaping and altering consumer perspectives towards brands and their online assets.
How will this impact businesses?
Established on the foundation of the emerging global digital trend of split testing, the Conversion Rate Pros business model is anchored around a keen desire to provide businesses and brands with an in-depth understanding of why online users were and weren’t purchasing from their online stores. This business model ultimately ensures businesses are driving their websites forward with customer insights rather than boardroom discussions.
This translates into businesses making more money from the budget they’re already spending and traffic they’re already generating. In a nutshell, Conversion Rate Pros is about sites becoming more effective and converting traffic into revenue and increasing marketing spend.
Businesses and brands can count on Conversion Rate Pros and Hive Digital Media to provide them with in-depth insights on consumer experiences as well as their fears and objections around purchasing and enquiring.
The long-term effects of having a structured approach to understanding customer problems and testing solutions to these generates powerful Intellectual Property (IP). This can then be leveraged through every area of the business from the online checkout process, PR strategy, packaging and even to product development road maps.
“As a business owner or marketing executive, you’re looking for low-risk strategies that can move the needle over the long run. Research and split testing is just that strategy. Making a real, data-backed difference for our clients is unbelievably fulfilling. It also places customers at the centre of website roadmaps, meaning better experiences for the customers that our clients value so much,” says Nicholas Wright, Founder of Conversion Rate Pros.
Paid media and conversion rate optimisation
The partnership between Conversion Rate Pros and Hive Digital Media speaks volumes about the great synergy between paid media and conversion rate optimisation services that every digital strategy should contain. This partnership, therefore, promises to achieve a two-pronged approach of driving quality traffic sites through paid media and iteratively improving the performance of the site with great and rewarding results for all parties.
“We have seen the benefit of this offering on our very own publications. No matter what a website considers a “conversion” to be, there are always ways to streamline the structure and layout of the site to support its overall end goals. While our core offering as a sales house has always been digital media, this services ties in so beautifully to a strategic client / partner relationship in the sense that not only can we drive valuable traffic to your site, but we can ensure that you get the best possible chance of conversion when users get there,” emphasises Kristin Louw, Hive Digital Medias General Manager.
For more on this new partnership and available products, you can contact the Hive team at [email protected]
In an age of ‘Tinder swindlers’, ‘Inventing Annas’ and ‘Fyre Festivals’, it is increasingly important for marketers to adapt their game plan in line with the latest consumer media habits and preferences.
A rise in distrust by consumers might mean having to strike a balance between new and innovative advertising solutions and ‘safe’ or traditional advertising channels.
For many businesses, budgets previously allocated to traditional paid advertising that focused on brand awareness have shifted to new media platforms – and to sponsored partnerships with influencers in particular. The expected trade-off for companies and brands working with individuals to promote their products more organically is that they would build trust more effectively with a target audience.
But that is not always the case, says Introducing!SA digital media strategy manager Aqsa Qureshi. Introducing!SA is Caxton’s multi-network marketing platform and content destination for brands and products.
Qureshi says that global research shows consumers are not only worn down by the disingenuous ads posted often by influencers, but that there seems to be a great deal of mistrust of influencers.
“When it comes to social media marketing, the UM media agency’s insights show that influencer marketing appears to be the least trusted form of marketing. This is in line with another survey by YouGov and Grey London,” she says. “They attribute this to a lack of clarity and transparency; that things might not be all they seem when people are paid to place products in posts.”
In 2018, Unilever, one of the world’s largest advertisers, stopped working with social media influencers who buy followers, citing unethical practices that defeat the purposes of a business choosing influencer marketing.
This raised the questions of whether influencers are knowledgeable about the brands they promote and if they follow due diligence before aligning themselves to a brand. In the recent Hello Darlings holiday fiasco, influencers who were used by the ‘travel agency’ to promote the business were left with their reputations in tatters.
It is important for brands to remember that influencers can bring both positive and negative attention to a brand. “The behaviour of an influencer can directly cause negative impressions of an associated brand, and the risk exists that consumers will associate people with brands, which rarely happens with local media,” Qureshi points out.
There is a direct link between the credibility of both the advertiser and the advertising medium and the impact on the audience, she says.
This is not to say that there is no space for new media and innovation. However, these days, research shows that consumers prefer non-disruptive advertising in ‘safe’ spaces. “Caxton provides a brand-safe environment with many measures in place to ensure that we are trustworthy and unbiased when it comes to marketers’ needs.”
While marketers trust TV and online video the most and consider podcasts and influencer content the most innovative formats, consumers think differently: They trust newspaper ads and events the most and consider digital out-of-home the most innovative.
Although news brands are often viewed as ‘low in the pecking order for brand building and sales effectiveness’, research by UK marketing body Newsworks and research company Future Thinking shows that news brand readers are attentive to advertising and are more likely to take out key campaign messages.
So how do news brands strengthen campaigns and how do they help drive behavioural change?
Spark Media marketing head Robyn Bishop explains: “The inclusion of news brands in campaigns contributed to higher awareness as news brands have high reach and readers are more attentive to advertising overall – second only to TV, while print creates higher awareness than digital news brands.”
This means that news brand readers are more likely to absorb, understand and retain the campaign’s key messages.
Spark Media is Caxton Local Media’s national print sales division.
Bishop points out that, according to Newsworks and Future Thinking, news brands are particularly effective among non-customers and when it comes to closing the competitive gap, compared with other media.
It has to be noted that key performance indicators increase as the number of different media used in the campaign increases. “If you are on a limited budget, a strong uplift in purchase intent still occurs when print news brands are one of two or three medium combinations,” Bishop notes.
Caxton Local Media has a long history of funding credible research to prove the readership of local print titles among purchase decision-makers and provide consumer insights to advertisers. The latest report of the group’s Roots survey (2019) shows that 65% of local papers are read every week. Roots is one of South Africa’s largest and longest-running consumer behaviour surveys. A new Roots report is expected later this year.
Bishop echoes the sentiments of digital strategy and eCommerce consultant Ludovic Martin, who thinks the weaknesses of print (no interaction, no digital output, passive reading, no spying) are its greatest strengths: “Print media is appreciated for its comfort, relevance and passive mode, especially regarding data privacy.”
Having said this, Caxton is not afraid to explore new territories.
Don’t get disenchanted with digital marketing
The digital advertising space has grown exponentially over the years and has become a lucrative avenue to advertise products and services.
This is due to its adaptability and ability to precisely target audiences. “Digital marketing affords advertisers the opportunity to precisely measure campaigns and even adjust advertising messages with ease,” says general manager at Hive Digital Media, Kristin Louw.
Of concern, however, is the ease with which advertising and content messaging can be executed online. It is possible for anyone with an internet connection to create a website and start offering services as an entrepreneur, often resulting in over-promising and under-delivering on campaigns.
But working with a trusted and experienced digital agency will get you a solid marketing foundation. “This means exploring the most appropriate channels for the greatest return on investment,” says Louw.
“The formula for traditional versus digital spend will vary greatly from business to business, so it is important that you consult an established media house which can advise you accordingly. As members of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, we pride ourselves in offering credible, reliable media choices.”
As Caxton Local Media’s national digital sales division, Hive represents well-curated news publications with a diverse but defined audience – offering marketers new media channels on established news platforms.
“Hive has at its disposal trained journalists and language professionals who are well versed in the principles of commercially viable, sponsored and advertorial content. This means clients enjoy the highest ethical and moral standards, with particular attention paid to credibility of information sources and references when it comes to content on our platforms,” emphasises Louw.
News content and credibility
How journalists gather news and how information is disseminated have changed substantively over the past two decades. Reach and public engagement have increased tremendously, but so has the ease with which ‘fake news’, disinformation and scams are disseminated.
The way readers consume news or content is also constantly changing and segmenting, and great differentiation is needed within the media sphere to retain audiences.
“What is not changing is the demand for news or content you can trust,” says Caxton Local Media digital editorial manager Aliche Bezuidenhout.
“Readers are becoming more visually and digitally literate, opinionated and woke, but they remain exploitable as algorithms advance and trends catch on. Through gatekeeping and credibility, established media houses are often a cut above the rest in terms of the content they publish online or offline.”
In this regard, the Covid-19 pandemic emphasised the value of community newspapers. “We became a go-to place and a trusted source of information on the pandemic, turning Covid-19 questions into informative, easy-to-understand articles,” Caxton Local Media’s group editor Irma Green notes.
Caxton newspapers also play an integral watchdog role in the communities they serve. “Even in the digital era, the printed versions of our publications are highly respected due to the success they have in holding businesses and lower levels of government accountable,” says Green.
Caxton is a member of the Press Council of South Africa and adheres to the Press Code, which not only guides the media’s conduct, but offers members of the public a platform to seek recourse when Press Code transgressions occur.
Although Caxton print publications have a high advert-to-news ratio, the company’s Roots research has shown that a considerable number of readers enjoy the adverts – most of which contain special offers from retailers.
Green sees a future for local media and believes that new media, if done right, will complement rather than compete with traditional media. “We have managed to create a symbiosis between our print and online versions to the advantage of readers and advertisers.”
Hive Digital Media has entered into a progressive business partnership with Think WiFi seeing to accelerate ad-funded WiFi access to under-served communities. Through Think WiFi’s strategically placed technology and infrastructure, along with Hive Digital Media’s sales and ad serving expertise, this partnership is set to offer advertisers access to a market that was previously highly challenging to reach.
How will these two service providers complement each other?
Think WiFi, an Ad Tech company that specialises in delivering high impact WiFi solutions. These solutions aim to provide dignity and equality through access to technology, with the subsequent ability to help create Smart communities. On the other hand, Hive Digital Media is a digital division of the Caxton Group that provides expertise in digital media sales, marketing services, SEO, content, as well as technical support and development for partners across the network.
Strengthening Hive’s current extensive audience reach, the partnership will assist brands in launching products and services in unique market segments and reach key market audiences.
Furthermore, this partnership will allow Think WiFi to continue strive toward its noble ambition of providing free public WiFi across South Africa. This includes offering connectivity and digital education solutions to schools, and enabling Think Portal “Lollies” (solar-powered community lights) – The responsibility of seeking commercial partners to ad-fund this venture will rest with Hive.
“This offering adds to the robust range of audience segments that we can currently reach through our media offerings, giving brands all they need to make the best possible targeting decisions. Hive is looking forward to working closely with Think WiFi from a strategic & operational point of view in order to give our clients a world-class experience,” states Hive General Manager Kristin Louw.
“Over and above, this offers a unique prospect to be part of something that brings economic and educational resources to poverty-stricken areas – an opportunity that we did not want to miss”, emphasised Louw.
As further highlighted by Janine Rebelo, CEO of Think WiFi, “Hive share our passion for uplifting communities and have the knowhow and foresight to embrace the new ‘Kasi’ economy with us. This not only provides brands with significant campaign ROI and affinity benefits, it also enriches the lives of millions of underserved South Africans, bringing them a plethora of new products and services that closes the digital divide and allows them to participate in the 4th Industrial Revolution”.
What’s the end user reach?
Think Wi-Fi currently has 321 venues in 5 provinces distributed as follows, Western Cape 221, Gauteng 94, KZN 22, Eastern Cape 34 and Northern Cape 1.
Some of the unique business features associated with Think Wifi include that the internet access services provided are uncapped, and that users’ details such as email addresses are never requested. This keeps access open to all, ensuring that it is user-friendly and straightforward even with the semi-illiterate population.
Brands and branding are vitally important factors in the social and business spheres. A brand reflects the business outlook, stature and credibility and how it’s generally perceived by consumers and the market in general.
In order to remain relevant, maintain and increase consumer loyalty and trust, every business must invest every available resource in developing and sustaining valuable brand assets such as products, services, images, company ethos, etc. All this is what constitutes brand development.
Brand development refers to the tangible application and utilisation of tools and interventions in order to promote and enhance the unique traits of a particular brand. This involves finding suitable tools, researching and knowing what consumers want, evaluating the strength and weaknesses of the brand and checking how competitors have positioned themselves. There is also formulating the message and strategy and very importantly, finding the right platforms and avenues on which you can positively expose your brand, and exponentially increase your brand’s equity in consumer minds and the market in general.
Ultimately, brand development strategy is not just about reputation and visibility but must be strategically aligned to set business objectives.
What types of branding strategies should a business consider?
Company name branding – This refers to a brand development strategy which is anchored around an established and recognised company name.
Attitude branding – Attitude in brand development is about the general feeling and emotional connection that consumers have with a brand. Brands can rely on feelings and attitudes like street cool, conservatism, sports, etc.
Brand extension branding – Depending on the success of a particular brand development strategy, it’s common practice to apply the same brand development strategy on to a business or product which is generally known as a brand extension strategy.
For businesses with multi-products lines, you can opt to give each product its own brand name, colours, packaging, etc. This however needs to feed into the broader company business objectives.
Key elements of brand development
Brand feel and look – The look and feel of your brand can make or break a brand. Brand feel and look is about brand personality and making a strong first impression which sets the foundation for the brand. Brand feel and look can be enhanced in digital platforms through brochures, sell sheets, mailers, business cards, signs and displays, logos, websites, cleverly designed social media posts, apps and content.
Target audience – What is a brand without an audience? The audience is the demographic which is likely to engage or buy your products or services. The goal is therefore to identify the audience, attract them and sustainably retain their loyalty towards your brand.
Content – Content is king. Content not only enlightens the audiences but it amplifies the different aspects of the brand through digital platforms and marketing collateral. A business must therefore curate content which is relevant, compelling, engaging and suitable for social media and other relevant platforms.
Targeted advertising – Once the audience is established and content in place, you need to communicate your message with precision. Targeted advertising and marketing incorporate information-gathering tools and mechanisms which define brand messaging in order to connect with the right audience better. This must be accompanied by selecting the right platforms which are visited by your targeted audiences.
What is Hives value proposition in the brand development process?
Hive Digital Media is now a sought-after digital media solutions provider for small, medium and large-scale businesses seeking to initiate or establish brand development initiatives in the digital space. Hive’s value proposition is anchored around key brand development cornerstones which are:
Know your audience
Hive has invested in Carbon DMP which is a publisher-oriented DMP (Data Management Platform). Carbon’s role is to provide Hive Digital Media with credible, in-depth and high-quality 1st and 3rd party data. Hive relies on this DMP to collect data & deliver relevant, targeted campaigns for brand-specific audiences that can be charged to clients at a higher premium. DMP offers a unique centralised overview of audience engagement.
Precise targeting is driven through audience interest or location data to deliver primed mobile brand messages. The audience is also directed to written article content via social media, newsletters and display advertising. This is achieved by offering social media boosted posts as part of an overall content campaign. This translates into content on a Hyperlocal website reaching the right audiences on 3rd party platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc. The benefit of this is that a brand is able to drive higher traffic and interested audiences.
Create your resources
Hive curates and publishes high-quality content on 59 hyperlocal community newspapers + social network pages in diverse communities dotted around the country.
By combining creativity with reliable, research-driven insights into consumer behaviour, Hive creates textual, visual and video content that captivates readers and keeps them on digital pages, engaging with your brand.70% of LNN audiences engage with content on this network through mobile. Precise targeting can be driven through audience interest or location data to deliver primed mobile brand messages where it matters.
Brands are also granted the opportunity to have their own content hubs developed for them with content provided by Hive. Content hubs showcase the breadth, scope and capability of what a brand has to offer in a centralised destination. Hive also offers brands a dedicated catalogue advertising platform called Guzzle. Guzzle has healthy audience numbers with over 700 000 users a month planning their shopping using this platform, browsing over 11.4 million catalogue pages.
Manage your brand growth
Hive’s value proposition in the brand development process doesn’t just end with providing you with tools and resources. Hive is interested in assisting you by managing your brand growth. This is done through monitoring brand campaign initiatives and providing in-depth reports which highlight diverse brand development insights. These insights touch on audience interests, demographics engaging with the brand and possibly how the brand is being perceived in the business market.
From the above, it’s clear to see that brand development in the digital space is a process which requires planning and relevant skills in order to be successful.