This month we talk to Cindy Rossouw, Digital Marketing Specialist at Homechoice, South Africa’s largest home shopping retailer. Having spent the last decade in various online marketing positions at companies like Clickatell and Acceleration Media, she shares some of her knowledge and insights into the world of digital with our readers, including what events to look out for this year.
The new year has kicked off with a bang! What digital trends should we look out for in 2016?
Yes, there has definitely not been a slow start to digital activities in 2016! A trend I am preparing for in 2016 is an exponentially compounded increase in Mobile! With the low cost entry of smart phones we are seeing in South Africa we can look forward to welcoming a large part of our population to digital and the many benefits it has to offer. This in itself creates many opportunities for the marketer.
Additionally, with all the innovation that’s happening around tracking and learning about an individual person on the web, advertising will become even more personalised, and useful, and omni-channel tracking capabilities will ensure that a customer’s experience with a brand is seamless. Commercially, I suspect that Marketing Automation (CRM, behavioural email marketing, web personalisation etc.) will make the largest impact for businesses in 2016.
What are the key elements needed to build a brand successfully online?
Key elements to building a brand successfully online all centre around focusing on your customer and putting them first. Building a relationship with your customer is imperative (social media and email marketing are great tools for doing this). Make sure that the product or service that you are offering will be of benefit to your customer, and make sure that you package it in a way that will communicate these real benefits. You need to create a distinct ‘personality’ for your brand, in order for it to stand out in the ‘crowd’. Create a unique voice, logo and slogan that your target market will relate to. Uniqueness is key. Lastly, trust. Credibility goes a long way in building a brand. Trust is of utmost importance and should be protected and highly regarded . It is very hard to regain a customer’s trust once it is lost, and as we know word of mouth goes an even longer way in digital.
SEM has seen a big uptick in South Africa the last few years. Is this likely to continue?
SEM in South Africa will most certainly continue to see an increase in 2016. With all the tools available and the continuous innovations in technology it will also become a lot more sophisticated.
How does performance-based affiliate marketing fit into Homechoice’s online strategy?
Having a network of affiliates available to us enables us to increase our reach and revenue, at a fixed cost. It’s an excellent relationship because when our affiliates see an increase in revenue, so do we. It a great way to share ideas on how to improve marketing via various tactics. We can share learnings with affiliates and they can share learnings with us.
What type of publishers/affiliate partners does Homechoice like to work with?
Homechoice likes to work with affiliates that are professional, serious online entrepreneurs. We like to have an open line of communication with our affiliates where can discuss what they think will work with their online audience, and we try to provide them with the necessary tools so that we can both benefit from increased revenue.
What makes a good website?
I could go on forever on this one so I will keep it as simple as I can: In one sentence: A good website provides the promised information and or products in a clear fashion that is easy to navigate. Additionally, an eCommerce website provides an easy and secure check-out with multiple payment options.
3 qualities every digital marketer needs to have?
A passion for analytics, a personality that invites fast-paced change, and a hunger for continuous learning.
Which digital marketing events will you be attending this year?
Three events that I have my eye on so far for 2016 are the “Digital Marketing Analytics & innovation Conference”, “Township shopper marketing summit”, “The digital marketing edge”.
Your favourite tech gadget?
My favourite tech gadget at the moment is my SyrenPro wireless Bluetooth speaker! It makes listening to music and podcasts from my phone a breeze.
For more information about the Homechoice affiliate program, please click here.