Craig Hannabus
Craig Hannabus

Relook at marketing strat going forward

by Craig Hannabus. After the year we’ve just had, I think it's important to interrogate and re-evaluate marketing efforts.

by Craig Hannabus. If you’re predicting trends, I say good luck to you. I don’t want to play. I wish you well, I hope you enjoy yourself. I’m going to take the financial investors approach to predictions this year… “there’s just not enough data”.

With trends articles usually, we tend to see the same things repeated over and over again, year in and year out. Things like mobile and user-generated content will continue to rise, and so on. It’s all very predictable, it’s all quite boring. I’m not against looking back though, and after the year we’ve just had, I think it’s important to interrogate and re-evaluate marketing efforts.

Do you know your audience?

Honestly, if all you know about your audience is their age, gender, and monthly income, you don’t know your audience. But, if you have some psychographic data generated by some good conversations with them, then good for you, you know your audience a little bit better. No matter where you sit with your audience knowledge, I have some bad news; you may have to go back to the drawing board.

During 2020, the sale of luxury goods dipped dramatically while consumer electronics shot through the roof. People have become far more focused on simplifying their everyday lives than they are with wearing trendy fashion items. The luxury brands that are weathering this storm are the ones that actually did focus on sustainability as opposed to paying lip-service to it. If your brand doesn’t make everyday life easier or makes some kind of positive and tangible difference to the world, you might be in trouble.

Community has also become a prioritised topic. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and isolation has definitely highlighted that community is essential to wellbeing. Brands that are focused on the single individual, using terms such as  ‘individuality’ as part of their brand promise will find that they no longer resonate with their audiences like they used to. So, relook at your audience. They might be different people.

Social channels

A couple of things have happened here that are noteworthy. Firstly, social has become a very solid sales channel. It’s something that Facebook has been trying to push for a while now and many brands are starting to see very tangible results from Facebook. Tools like Facebook marketplace have come into their own, but another factor is all-round better content and targeting from brands.

The biggest external contributor to sales across multiple social channels is lockdown. As I mentioned earlier, people have become isolated and they’ve turned to social media to fill those emotional gaps.

But, and here’s the thing, maybe you don’t need ALL those social channels.

I know, I know, you’ve been told you need a presence… but really? Do you? Is it a solid strategy to just exist on a platform without getting tangible results? The trend is moving towards optimisation, culling the under-performing channels and focusing on creating better content for the platforms that remain. It’s a big step to take and it requires a shift from a reach/engagement mindset to a conversion mindset. As I said, I don’t want to be the trends guy, but it’s worth considering.


While looking at trend reports does have some uses, and can sometimes be quite inspiring and insightful, remember that each brand ecosystem is different. The thing is, you need to keep your ear close to the ground and an eye on the value your marketing efforts generate. This is a rule of thumb. If you only remember one thing from this article, let it be this: throw away your checklists because you’re not in Kansas anymore. I am certain that 2021 will be a harsh master and if you’re not paying attention, it will decimate you.


Craig Hannabus is strategy director at Rogerwilco. He has spent 11 years in the digital marketing industry. During his career, he’s gained exposure as a community manager, content writer, developer, and UX strategist, before embracing a new role in business strategy. Craig has worked on blue-chip brands including the likes of Standard Bank, Nedbank, General Motors, Nestle, Reckitt Benckiser and Caxton, to name a few.


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