My Design Indaba

I recently had the privilege of attending my first Design Indaba (DI). After years of hearing different opinions about the conference which is staged before the Design Indaba Expo where designers creations are displayed and available for purchase in the biggest hall the CTICC has to offer. I must say I was blown away and definitely will attend next year.

Source: Design Indaba

Source: Design Indaba

The conference offers a glimpse of truly creative people who do not work, they live their passion and it permeates every aspect of what and how they do everything. Creativity be it designing an orchard that is receptive to female hormones by changing stem colours or producing a multi-faceted international marketing campaign lives in each of the presenters. One has to step back and congratulate Ravi for having the vision and fortitude to grind through the struggles he must have faced while sculpting the DI into the collective energy of like-minded people it is today.

My favourite sessions were:

Robbie Brozin the founder of Nandos. I’ve seen him present/discuss the birth and continued success of Nandos probably 3 or 4 times and am always amazed at his dedication, ability to remain relevant and positive perspective of our South Africa.

Yoni Bloch who created the amazingly interactive platform Interlude. Story telling with this platform has taken a very unexpected trajectory and remains a marvel to engage with.

Dominic Wilcox seems to straddle the multiple worlds of tech, art and design simultaeuosly. Easily enhancing simple products we use daily into works of beauty which are practical. His blog is worth spending some time on and should get the creative juices flowing before you know it.

Joe Public shared their story, rising from absolutely nowhere to being one of the most innovative and creative agencies in South Africa. Another truly inspirational story highlighting hard work in the right direction with the right people on board are absolutely key to achieving sustainable success.

Quote to remember:

“If your’re not doing what you love then I think you are crazy” Stanley Hainsworth

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YOUR 10 COMMANDMENTS

This list is by no means complete. Its a summary of key considerations when creating and implementing a social media campaign within a wider marketing strategy.

Focus on people not tech

Technology is a hygiene factor, a ticket to the game everybody can buy. Connecting with people’s hearts and leaving them emotionally positively disposed to you is the only sustainable currency. It seems intuitive and very obvious but for most brands it remains elusive. Apple have repeatedly made a success of launching products that are people centric hence the sustainability of its success and its ever increasing share price and market valuation.

Build conversations, not campaigns

Campaigns have a finite timeline be it weeks, months and even days, but conversations linger. They push, prod and permeate your thoughts.

Content is an enabler

Content should not be the objective. Ultimately it’s a means to an end, it’s the firelighter sparking a call to action and hopefully the beginning of a lingering conversation.

Add value

Make a difference! Sometimes its tangible but most often its an intangible a feel good factor which over time is reinforced into a hallow effect for you and your brand.

Listen

Campaigns are perceived as communication in one direction whereas a conversation requires a speaker and a listener. Listening is inherently complicated, as missing messaging nuances can easily derail a positive experience. Listening requires patience, a willingness to understand and add value.

Spread the word

Positive reinforcement and remaining relevant requires action and persistency. Across multiple social media platforms this can easily be achieved without making the messaging redundant, stale or appearing repetitive. Get family and friends to share your content, remember sharing is caring.

Be prepared (Alert, Assess, Act)

Given the always on nature of social media engagement, remaining connected at all times is essential. Using an aggregator like Hootsuite allows for easy and timeous reviews of timelines without flipping through a number of web pages.

Measure progress

For a defined objective set up key metrics to measure the success of the engagement. Set benchmarks for specific milestones and never stop measuring. There is never too little data.

Continual optimisation

Tweaking and finessing interactions as they unfold is one of the key benefits of using social media platforms. Social media can be highly interactive or as dreary as a newspaper, the greater the investment in generating a positive conversation the greater the long-term engagement.

Be in it for the long-term (relationships take time to build)

Much like beneficial offline personal relationships which are developed over time through consistency of interactions, online relationships are no different. The same principles apply but are often forgotten given the perceived anonymity. Focus on remaining relevant.

 Until next time, please send your comments and thoughts.