Embrace The Shift Towards Nano Influencers


Ahead of her session in VMF South Africa, mobile marketing expert Hazel Chimhandamba talks about the current trends and the power of influencers.

“Brands need to tread carefully because some influencers tend to be over-utilised. As a result, there is a significant trend shift towards the nano influencers versus the more popular socialites,” said Hazel Chimhandamba, Executive Head of Marketing, Cell C.

Believing that marketing is a science that brings the magic and the science together for brands, Chimhandamba discusses South Africa’s trends and the technology that can impact the future of mobile marketing.

Excerpts from the interview

What mobile marketing trends can increase customer acquisition?

We’ve seen a rise in the use of influencers over the last few years.

And it’s no longer a trend per se, but how brands use these influencers to drive their core business objectives has evolved over the last few years.

As brands continue to learn more about the power that human-to-human influence carries, there’s a certain level of authenticity that these influencers can bring to brands.

But brands need to tread carefully because some influencers tend to be over-utilised. As a result, there is a significant trend shift towards the nano influencers vs the more popular socialites who fall in the macro influencers’ category.

Another trend brands need to leverage and utilise is AI, specifically chatbots. We often talk about augmented reality (AR) and machine-to-machine communication. But when you start to look at AI to drive brand and marketing messaging, brands can drive game-changing strategies. Moreover, it gives you 24/7 availability from a brand perspective.

Which emerging technology are you most excited about and how do you see it impacting the future of mobile marketing?

I am excited about the cookieless future. We’ve heard various conversations, and I want to see where that will take us from a digital perspective. It allows user tracking to circumvent the cookieless future, but there are different views depending on what side of the fence one sits on.

Another technology trend that we have witnessed in our local market is the digital sync with out-of-home advertising from a media perspective. It is currently leveraged to sink digital tools to the out of home inventory that consumers would be driving and walking by in the outdoor environment.

How is technology changing the way content marketing teams operate?

Personalisation has been around for a while. Marketers have been talking about consumers being individuals and their unique nature. But I don’t think it’s being utilised and leveraged fully.

Allowing a customer to feel like they are a unique individual will mean nothing if you’re not personalising the content that the consumer is receiving. Due to the digital capabilities, we can understand behaviours and the content customers want. But we need to track the nuances that apply and serve the right content at the right time.

With machine learning, that is possible. But we still have a long way to go as far as fully leveraging it. Additionally, I like to believe that user-generated content is king. It allows the consumers to own a brand narrative.

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