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Picture: 123RF/JAKUB JIRSAK
Picture: 123RF/JAKUB JIRSAK

We’re moving into a world where the boundaries of physical and digital are becoming blurred. Audiences today are far more connected and marketers have to find innovative ways to stand out to make real connections.

During his state of the nation address, President Ramaphosa promised free data to South Africans in the low-income bracket. This is an opportunity for digital media specialists like us to reach an existing market that has previously been quite difficult to connect with on digital channels.

The media industry, digital in particular, is facing a tremendous growth period right now, which will only accelerate once we return to the new post-Covid-19 normal. But this also comes with its own challenges.

For example in our industry, as Generation Z (those born from 1995) start to enter the job market, we will be seeing significant changes in the ways that brands and consumers communicate as digital behaviours are expected to shift — faster than they did before. As we head into the fourth industrial revolution, Gen Z’s efforts are going to be more focused on using technology that allows for more personal and financial independence, diversity and competitiveness.

This audience is typically a self-starter, self-motivator and self-learner who places a premium on do-it-yourself, innovation and entrepreneurship activities. They respond to open, honest and timely messaging and prefer in-person, collaborative and transparent communication.

This leads to huge corporates like Google adapting to its consumer demands by providing more transparency, greater privacy, choice and control over how their data is used. It will lead to the death of cookie data, which will significantly change the way we use cookies to understand our audiences. 

About the author: Jarred Mailer-Lyons is head of digital at The MediaShop. Picture: SUPPLIED/MEDIASHOP
About the author: Jarred Mailer-Lyons is head of digital at The MediaShop. Picture: SUPPLIED/MEDIASHOP

Without cookie data, we are going to have to adapt our approach because for the past couple of years we've been using cookie data to track our website visitors, improve the user experience, and collect data that helps us target ads to the right audiences.

We also use them to learn about how and what these website visitors are browsing online when they aren’t on our websites.

We certainly have our work cut out for us in this ever-evolving digital ecosystem. We’re having to constantly reinvent ourselves and find innovative solutions, while still having a solid understanding of our audience and their behaviours outside the current brand ecosystems. We have to do this while, of course, maintaining an agnostic approach to digital media by focusing on media types that deliver against clients’ objectives.

At The MediaShop our data vision approach is about continued refinement, optimisation and collaboration to deliver the right message, to the right consumer, at the right time, with the right outcome. We do this by using our proprietary and industry tools that help deliver the most effective media agnostic solutions.

Tools such as Wave, Matrix, Similarweb, Narratiive and the many free-to-use Google and Facebook analytical tools can all help navigate an effective strategy that will ultimately hit all the right notes.

This article was paid for by The MediaShop.