Why spend money on Digital Design?

Why spend money on Digital Design?

To quote Michael, our Group Operations Director, “Goedkoop is duurkoop.” To those of us who do not speak Afrikaans (or Dutch), what this means is that paying cheap prices up front can land up costing you more in the long run. I can’t really think of an English equivalent right now, but from a marketing perspective as most marketing departments know full well, “It takes money to make money.” Now I am not saying that you should just go out and throw money at everything you can just because you want to increase profit margins. What I am saying however is that you have to spend money in the right areas!

According to AdAge, “U.S. advertisers’ spending on digital advertising will overtake TV in 2016 and hit $103 billion in 2019.” The reason for this is not because advertusers are moving away from television, but because the economy has recovered and through years of testing it shows that digital dollars are well spent.

The New York Times published an article in March of this year stating that The 10 biggest advertisers cut spending by 4.2 percent in 2014, to $15.3 billion from $16 billion a year earlier, according to the latest report from Kantar Media, a research firm owned by the advertising conglomerate WPP. Procter & Gamble, the top advertiser, lowered its ad spending in 2014 by 14.4 percent, bringing its expenditures to $2.6 billion, the report showed.”

The U.S is still the single biggest spender on digital advertising with nearly two in every five digital dollars being spent by this region. In line with great design and this design day challenge from the corresponding 8brand design teams we have put together an infographic (rather trendy on Pinterest and across the digital world).

Take a look over for the top 10 U.S. ad spends of 2013.


Top 6 Digital trends to take note of today!

Top 6 digital trends to use as value-adds to your campaigns

These trends are attracting the most attention from investors according to Red Rocket Ventures.  We tend to agree.

  1. Digital Advertisers Shifting to Programatic Marketplaces.  Publishers beware, you are losing control of your ad sales efforts to third party computers.  And, the need for big teams of media planners will soon be a thing of the past
  2. Mobile Marketing More Hyperlocal.   Onsite discovery or communication, in-the-aisle shopping offers, and iBeacons are tracking mobile users every step of the way.  Scary to some, but very useful and relevant to others.
  3. Marketing Mediums Merging.  Content marketing, SEO, PR, social media all blending into one skillset.  No longer is the need for numerous boutique agencies, as these named disciplines are all inter-dependent upon each other with today’s techniques.  Look for agency consolidation here.
  4. Next Generation Social Networks Proliferate.  It seems every year is a new crop of social networks exploding (e.g., WhatsApp, SnapChat, Tinder).  That will put pressure on the big boys, like Facebook and Twitter, in years to come.
  5. Social Commerce.  Think Amazon meets Facebook, with executions like one-click ordering from Instagram.  It appears this generation of shoppers prefers to do it with their friends for recommendations and reviews.  No suprise compared to the offline analog of going to the mall with your friends.
  6. Social Intelligence. Many innovative companies are taking social data to the next level, “listening” to the billions of conversations on social media, to bubble up actionable insights for companies to make better decisions around their brand, marketing, product, etc.  I would be very worried how budgets will shift in this direction, if I was a traditional market research firm.

Credit: George Deeb

Car Owners In Nigeria To Earn Money Through Brandmycar.com

Brandmycar.com.ng (bizwatchnigeria.ng)
Image courtesy of bizwatchnigeria.ng

Mobile advertising in Nigeria has taken a new turn with brandmycar.com.ng launching a new advertising platform in the market. The company match make car owners wanting to earn extra income with brands that need effective out-of-home advertisements. People are paid to drive their branded cars, and gain exposure for the dedicated brand when moving around between various destinations on a daily basis.

This on-vehicle advertising is set to be beneficial to both the car owners and advertisers. To participate and enjoy this great benefit, all a car owner is required to do is sign up and register for free on the company website: www.brandmycar.com.ng.

Brandmycar.com.ng serves as the link between people who are willing to display commercial campaigns on their cars and the advertiser. Advertising spaces on billboards and traditional advertising mediums can be quite expensive for advertisers, hence the need for new and impactful channels. Advertisers benefit from getting enormous exposure for their brands, reaching their target markets for a lower cost than they would have to spend on other traditional and non-traditional medium of advertising.

New car scam
Image courtesy of Fin24.com

A similar advertising platform was spearheaded by the Satinsky Group of Companies in South Africa. The “Drive a new car from R699 per month” subsidised car payments for clients after showing proofs of the kilometres covered while driving the branded cars. This company however ran at a loss leaving hundreds of people in debt. Contrary to this incident, Brandmycar.co.ng might enjoy positive reception in Nigeria due to the fact that most car owners in Nigeria do pay upfront before claiming ownership of their cars, hence payment through this platform can only be done on a pay-as-you-go contract. Peradventure, there is a delay in the monthly payment as agreed in the contract between the car owners and advertisers, the car owners will be at advantage. Therefore, one can say this form of advert should be a win-win situation for both parties involved.

The application of vehicle branding cuts across multiple uses, SMEs, FMCGs, Political parties, NGOs, Corporate organisations etc. can all benefit from this form of advertising for their campaigns. Brandmycar.com is available to interested car owners and advertisers in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Owerri, Benin, Ibadan, Warri, Enugu and Calabar

Tips on How to Become a Blogger

By Steven W Daniel


Well, first things first… Pick up a pen, get yourself a notebook or a couple of pieces of paper, whatever works best for you, and start scribbling down some ideas of topics that you feel need to see the light of day. Where do you want this blog to go? What are its aspirations, what are its hopes and dreams? Know from the beginning what you hope to accomplish with the power of your words. Then make sure that your Google prowess is sufficient.

Next, get some idea of whom your target audience is. If, for instance, you decide that your blog is targeted at the business sector, you cannot one day turn around and write a piece about how nasty the bouncers at what was once your favourite nightclub have become. Unless somehow you package this nicely and use it as a lead up to a smart comparison of how similar those bouncers are to the receptionist for a CEO that you have been dying to get a comment from for several weeks, or an Intellectual Property Manager for an Organisation that you are trying to release a marketing campaign for and need them to sign off on some artwork but are told that you cannot proceed as you are somehow infringing on usage rights for free material that was broadcast across the internet for worldwide usage, or something to that effect…

In the words of Mark Twain “Write what you know.” Why I say this is not so that you exclusively write only about your past experiences because you love the Hank Moody and want to be just like him when you grow up, but if you have a concept or have been given a brief – put in the time and energy to learn as much as you possibly can about the topic. Know what it is that you are writing about and do the necessary research. Make sure you can actually write – write an article, print it out and give it to a couple of friends who you think might enjoy the topic and take a look at their facial expressions as they read it. Make sure they are honest with you with their feedback, but better yet, if they cannot tear their eyes away from the page then you know you are in for the money.

The next step, quite obviously, is getting it out there. It takes a lot of time and energy to building an audience, so be consistent with your posts. Be engaging with the people who do read your blog, show them that you care because without them you may as well not even blog at all.  That does not mean you have to be a suck up, or take every comment to heart. Be yourself as much as you possibly can, but remember how important your readers are. Listen to what they have to input and you might just be inspired, reply to comments and questions and be present – If you are not posting a blog daily then don’t make your readers wait, however long it is that you actually decide to space your blogs apart and still remain interesting, consistent and relevant, for your reply.

There are a lot of other people out there that write about similar topics that you may be writing about right now, connect with them. Go out there and check out what they have to say, read other people’s blogs and be engaging with them. There are many ways to build networks, just do not go and spam another person’s blog to get traffic to your site. Above all, try to have some fun with it – as my first girlfriend said “Life isn’t as serious as you tend to make it seem sometimes bro.” I used to hate it when she called me bro…

The Potential of Online Retail in Africa

African retailers are intent on making their presence known, online. But, can they achieve success despite the low numbers of internet penetration documented throughout Africa? The answer is yes. In 2012, Internet World Stats released figures of Africa’s online penetration. Nigeria was among the higher percentages, with 28.9% of the population actively using the internet.

Business Day reported that online retail in Nigeria generated N62.4 billion in 2011, N12.5 billion more than revenues measured in 2010. These figures are promising – as is investor confidence. It is estimated that Nigeria spent N100 billion on developing their internet technology over the last three years, says Business Day. They added that, “Konga, an online retailer, led by its astute CEO, Sim Shagaya, has reportedly raised about $40 million from Kinnevik and Naspers in its quest to develop a world-class integrated retail system for Nigerians.” Another successful online retailer, Jumia, claims to be “The biggest online shopping mall of Africa.”

At the 2014 Retail Leaders Conferences, held in Lagos, the agenda of customer guarantee was at the forefront of discussion. That is, the seller guarantee’s to take responsibility for their products, even once it has been ‘checked out’ of the virtual shopping cart. As with any retail, customer satisfaction is the key for online retailer’s success. Nigeria seems to have embraced this, and online retailers are reaping the rewards.

What about the rest of Africa?

As a whole, Africa has an internet penetration average of around 15%, some countries ranking as low as 0.3%. But, these numbers shouldn’t discourage potential online entrepreneurs. Africa stands as a strong example of technological leapfrogging, where the foundations of 20th century technology were skipped, and the continent was launched straight into the technological realms of the 21st Century. Africa has achieved this with high usage figures of mobile phones.

OAfrica argues that most internet statistics, have excluded mobile phone usage. So, while Internet World Stats says that South Africa has a 17.4% (2012) online penetration, more than 20% of the population own, and use smart-phones, according to Nielsen consumer research. In addition, online techies predict that most Africans will be in possession of a Smart-phone by 2018.

What does this mean for online retail in Africa?  

Considering this, if online companies are looking to reach a larger shopping demographic, the potential market gap for online retail in Africa seemingly lies in mobile phone technology. Marketing strategies aimed at mobile users are a must for any online business. Mobile coupons, virtual versions of the outdated paper cut-out discount coupons, is an example of innovative marketing that targets mobile users. These virtual discounts make online shopping, using mobile phones an intriguing and financially lucrative option for consumers. Groupon is an online company that offers vouchers and discount for online shoppers buying anything from food, electronics and fashion, to medicines and pet supplies. While you can sign up for Groupon using email, an app for android and IPhone is available on the site.

African consumers are more informed, brand conscious, and with increasing numbers of the urban middle class, retail expansion is a given. Internet access will always be growing as the African countries strive to improve their economic sectors, and keep up with evolving market trends. This in mind, online retail for mobile phone, is a market opportunity not yet entirely realized. It is also the opportunity that could launch many online businesses that are struggling to bridge the gap between, consumers without in-home or at-work internet access.

Innovation Is About Arguing, Not Brainstorming. Here’s How To Argue Productively

africa's marketing people

Turns out that brainstorming–that go-to approach to generating new ideas since the 1940s–isn’t the golden ticket to innovation after all. Both Jonah Lehrer, in a recent article in The New Yorker, and Susan Cain, in her new book Quiet, have asserted as much. Science shows that brainstorms can activate a neurological fear of rejection and that groups are not necessarily more creative than individuals. Brainstorming can actually be detrimental to good ideas.

But the idea behind brainstorming is right. To innovate, we need environments that support imaginative thinking, where we can go through many crazy, tangential, and even bad ideas to come up with good ones. We need to work both collaboratively and individually. We also need a healthy amount of heated discussion, even arguing. We need places where someone can throw out a thought, have it critiqued, and not feel so judged that they become defensive and…

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Why Is Facebook Page Reach Decreasing? More Competition And Limited Attention


Every Page on Facebook wants everything they post shown to everyone. But people only read a limited amount of News Feed per day. There simply isn’t room for everything, and the competition for feed space is intensifying. The total number of Pages Liked by the typical Facebook user grew more than 50% last year — a new stat that came from a 45-minute interview with Facebook’s head of News Feed.

The surplus of content and lack of space forces Facebook into the role of the ‘bad guy’ for filtering the feed in an attempt to show the most relevant posts (plus some ads). And so far, Facebook has done a terrible job of communicating how and why it filters the News Feed. The result is widely shared criticism like Eat24’s breakup letter to the social network that saw the company delete its 70,000-Like Facebook Page in protest of fewer and fewer…

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Can Africa Inspire the West to Live More Sustainably?

The world has always had its problems. Today, however, we have a term that encapsulates much of what is so profoundly wrong with our way of living. It is unsustainable.

Our consumptive lifestyle, reliance on fossil fuels, and relationship with the environment is unsustainable. If this doesn’t change soon we can expect catastrophic ramifications. Continue reading Can Africa Inspire the West to Live More Sustainably?


  ‘With the growing availability of opinions from experts and users, the importance of a brand name has diminished’ – Harvard Business Reviewthe power of online reviews





Jonney Shih, the new chairman of Asus told his colleagues that he planned to sell laptops under the Asus brand name, they all looked concerned. Asus is a Taiwan based technology manufacturing firm that’s been in business since 1989. Asus had been a successful manufacturer of other companies’ computers and console games, but as a brand it had no recognition. So how did Shih expect to play with heavy weights such as Dell and HP? Continue reading Marketers, YOU’VE UNDERESTIMATED ONLINE REVIEWS

Creating Corporate Identities, The 8brand Way

8brand has adopted a formal approach to to analysing the critical components of graphic design We study the boundaries of any product, service or corporation and utilise them to move the brand to its desired potential. The uniqueness of the brand experience is captured in defining the application of iconography, imagery, colour and typography. The thought process may involve the evolution, revolution, extension or creation of relevant and strong brand iconography that translates the design strategy into an impactful language that the consumer understands. Continue reading Creating Corporate Identities, The 8brand Way

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