Greatest company contribution to Digital in SABackgroundWith digital being one of the strongest growing marketing sectors in the world and more soin South Africa with it’s relatively new uptake of digital marketing in the past 3 years, it is nosurprise that we face one of the most daunting task of finding digital talent in South Africalet alone new talent to help agencies to continually meet and drive the industries growthand development.In truth the digital talent pool is quite small with demand of digital marketers being farhigher than supply.What do we do? One strategy employed by many agencies is poaching staff from oneanother, which is helping meet particular agency demands in the now moment but in doingso increasing the supply and demand situation for the medium to long term of the industry.Business GoalInvest in the future of Digital industry by:• building awareness of digital to the potential future talent of the industry (graduates)• encouraging future advertising schools and talent about the importance of digital in marketing as an option for a real career• Create excitement and buzz around digital in South Africa• closing the gap between academic learning to real-life experiencesStrategy EmployedTo celebrate Prezence Digital10 year Anniversary in South Africa, Prezence Digital launchedthe Digital Student Brand Challenge under the initiative called ‘The 10Teams, 10Brands and10Days Challenge’ by:• Helping 1 brand (registered NGO) to executing a comprehensive digital solution to address one of their business problems• Challenging the future Marketers of Advertising in putting their practical learning to the test and by doing so raising the profile of the digital industry and the daily challenges we face• Giving students a unique and innovative real-life experience• Rewarding the best team with a 10 grand prize• Rewarding the best team-member (as voted by the mentors) with an internship• Educational mentor g through some of the Countries leading thought leaders
The Challenge• Universities and colleges graduates were targeted in taking up the challenge by speaking with their lecturers (only space for 10 teams with no more than 10 team members)• Each Team was assigned a Charity to work for (The Client/Brand). These charities were not affiliated or clients of Prezence Digital in anyway• Each team were assigned a mentor from within Prezence Digital for the duration of the challenge to provide advice, direction and practical experience (and nothing more)• The challenge was to identify a business problem that could be addressed via a digitally led marketing campaign• Teams had 10 days to meet the clients, agree on the challenge and formulate a digital solution that addresses at least one Business ProblemThe Process and Scoring• Prezence Digital allocated key personnel (mentors) with the responsibility of giving up their precious time to assist each team with the challenge• Time was given in the operational and logistical planning to ensure the challenge was professional and fair.• Each team had to present their solution to a panel of judges that included Mentors and Journalists• Each team had a maximum of 45mins to present their solution – to give a real-life scenario of pressure and priority in pitching• Each team was measured on the following scoring card: • Understanding the BRAND 10% • Articulation of the PROBLEM 10% • Solution and STRATEGY 25% • CREATIVE treatment 25% • Expected RESULTS 5% • FESIBILITY of Solution 10% • PRESENTATION skills 10%Results AchievedIndustry-Led Benefits• An innovative niche identified in helping foster a closer relationship between Advertising Schools / Students and development of digital in SA Agencies• A natural and real-life bridge between academic schools and agencies, by encouraging students to take up Internship with a digitally led agency• Longevity in the Initiative in addressing the long term gap we have in talent within our digital industry by investing in the future talent with the Digital Student Brand Challenge)
• Providing Student with educational benefits outside of their current core academic modules with real-life scenarios that allows students to put their academic learning’s into practice• Raising the importance of Digital led campaigns for Charities – with no or little budget• Mentorship of students with industry leading expertsTeam-Led• 10 Teams were identified within 1 day of launching and asking the Universities to partake in this challenge• 10 Charities identified within 1 week that included:• 8 teams went through to completing the challenge• 2 teams dropped out as it fell in between their exams and were spending more time on the challenge than their exams• All teams identified as winner based on the outstanding work, with one ultimate winning team (At the awards ceremony, #changealife was praised for their winning campaign that revolved around raising awareness of SHAWCO Healths need for a corporate sponsor in an inexpensive, feasible, and innovative way using digital at the heart of the solution, but also including experiential and offline elements.• 10 grand given to the winning team
• 1 team member to be identified for internship at Prezence Digital• 1 extended internship t be identified from other 7 teams (TBC)• Untold buzz and excitement amongst student of the challenge• Buy-in from Universities to continue challenge next yearTestimoniesJudges/MentorsAsked to summarise their thoughts in the ubiquitous word limit of the digital age, 140characters, the judges had this to say of the Challenge.“What an inspiring competition! Students affecting social change through digital” – RonaldBach“Anything is achievable with pure passion, determination and teamwork’ – LynetteHundermark“Blown away by the amount of time the teams invested in creating their prezos. They wereprofessional, well researched & exuded creativity.” – George Reed“Amazing, inspiring, and unexpectedly professional.” – Julian Mountain
“All teams joined the dots, creating sustainable, educational campaigns these charities canreally run with. What more could you ask? ” – Tim Bishop“What started off as a challenge, ended up being one of the highlights of my career withcommitment, professionalism, and dedication with regards to taking a brief.” – PrakashPatel"The Prezence Digital Student Brand Challenge gave life to theory, and meaning toclassroom lessons that is often lacking in the academic context. By creating a supportedframework for the students to interact with real brands, real business challenges and realclients the digital industry in South Africa will benefit from this Prezence Digital initiative byvirtue of emerging digital talent that understands not only creativity but also bottom lineand deadline." - Rachel Irvine, Managing Director; Irvine Bartlett"It’s The Apprentice meets an internship on steroids and it was absolutely brilliant. Thestudents learnt so much and came out of it so positive. We’d like to be more involved innext year’s Prezence Brand Challenge; it’s an amazing thing." - Dawn Ellingson, studentplacement manager at Varsity College Cape Town"The impact on students and their motivation for a future career in the digital industry hasbeen tremendous. We look forwarding to participating in the Prezence Student BrandChallenge again because of its ability to develop and realise talent and potential." - JohnCooney, MD Red& YellowChallenge Initiator’s“I can honestly say that in my 23-year career in advertising in both the UK and now SouthAfrica working with some of the biggest brands and brightest and most successful marketersin the world, I can truly say today was one of my most memorable, proud, and inspiring daysin advertising!” said Patel in a message to the students after the presentation day.In future, the challenge will partner with non-profit social initiatives, and potentially otheragencies, sponsors brands and the vanguard of the next decades marketing talent, taskingthem with the creation of a digitally-themed campaign for deserving charities under thementorship of marketing experts to help bridge the gap between academic learning to real-life experience.Closing the Challenge, Patel had the following to say of the students’ work: “Majorcongratulations to your lecturers, universities and institutions. They have taught you well.You have given us so much hope for the future of digital marketing not only in South Africa,but in the industry as a whole.”Students
Sean Gibbs (Red & Yellow), a student who worked on the campaign for one of the charities,echoed the sentiments of all the students involved in the Challenge when he said: “TheBrand Challenge provided us with an opportunity to remove ourselves from our comfortzone and really test our skills in the industry at a new level.”Kirst Bohle (Red & Yellow), Extracts taken from Kirsten’s blog(http://thejollyjammer.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/10-teams-10-brands-10-grand/) :In honor of their tenth birthday Prezence Digital put together this fantastic brand challengeexperience and invited marketing students from around Cape Town to battle it out for thegrand prize (pun intended) of R10 000 and one internship position.So in keeping with the theme, here are ten things I have gained from this experience:• The simplest ideas are often the best.• Trust your gut. You know when you have a good thing going.• A short deadline can be a blessing. Inspiration flowed due to time pressures, risks were taken out of desperation. And it worked.• Winning teamwork is about recognising each others strengths and about recognising your own.• Calm in the face of chaos, something I can do.• Probably don’t drink coffee just before you go into a presentation and are already nervous. The hands shake and the bladder cries.• We may be amateurs but we are not useless.• Advertising is power. Power to manipulate, power to convince. And power to change lives.• There is no greater adrenaline rush than standing in front of a roomful of influential people and presenting an idea that you already know is a winner.• This is the career I want.Huge thanks again to the team at Prezence Digital. This was truly an incredible experience
LecturersDawn Ellingson who manages student placements at Varsity College Cape Town said: It’sThe Apprentice meets an internship on steroids and it was absolutely brilliant. The studentslearnt so much and came out of it so positive. We’d like to be more involved in next year’sPrezence Brand Challenge; it’s an amazing thing.John Cooney MD Red& Yellow: The impact on students and their motivation for a futurecareer in the digital industry has been tremendous. We look forwarding to participating inthe Prezence Student Brand Challenge again because of its ability to develop and realisetalent and potential.Charities:CartHourse (http://carthorse.org.za/2012/08/prezence-digital-sas-ten-brands-challenge/ )We were chosen as one of the organisations who will benefit from Prezence Digital SA’s TenBrands Challenge!!! All very very exciting! A team of students from Red & Yellow School ofAdvertising have been allocated to us and they have to come up with a digital campaign forCart Horse in just 10 days! They are here now – interviewing Diana and some of the carties.If our campaign wins, Prezence Digital SA will build and implement the campaign for us!!!!The Campaign at this stage is TOP SECRET but all will be revealed in time … so watch thisspace and send lots of positive energy our way!