The brand is everything in today’s social media-driven environment. And to market it requires every gigabyte of data, strategy, tact, and not to mention, oodles of creativity.
Shireen Jaftha seems to have quite the talent for it, driving award-winning campaigns and strategies as Head of Content at Omnicom Group, a marketing and corporate communications holding company in Johannesburg.
She develops opinions on the future direction of a company and its brand, based on existing and predicted conditions, working with clients to identify unmet marketing and business needs, goals, opportunities and the challenges they may face.
Through branding and marketing, she creates and oversees the execution of a plan through specific initiatives that meet the objectives of the strategy.
She started her career in the advertising industry, and it was sheer luck by chance.
“I went for an office interview for a ‘girl Friday’ temp post at an advertising agency and after that interview, I was asked to join the media team. I think that they picked up my negotiation skills. That agency taught me this industry,” says Jaftha.
Of all the campaigns she has done, she rates the Standard Bank Access Banking case study as the one that stands out as it has proven the potential inherent in branded and interactive content.
The campaign made use of all media and introduced a new level of customer engagement by adding broadcasting and client-generated content to the mix.
“It was about being more consumer-centric – using traditional platforms in a non-traditional way to break through the clutter of advertising, as well as educating the market which made it strategically aligned to Standard Bank’s ‘Moving Forward’ brand promise.”
The campaign walked away with two industry awards.
Although social media strategies have the ability to help build successful businesses, it is not without its pitfalls.
“Due to different behavior patterns on social media, many people always assume the success of a campaign based on the likes or comment posted by consumers. Most people assume that 1,000 likes is a winning campaign. Unfortunately it is not – as it doesn’t prove tangible sales. With social media you create leads, but you cannot track sales,” she says.
She says behavior is constantly changing on social media and the solution is to follow the behaviour of the user and by constantly checking consumer insight.
According to Jaftha, it is vital to remain relevant. And the brands she follows for inspiration? Adam Morgan, Seth Gordon, Contagious magazine online, Trendwatching.com and Mike Street.