Robyn Wrote About

Digital Marketing Archive



February 2017



Paper: The Changing Structure of Marketing Departments in the Age of Disruption

Written by , Posted in Digital Marketing, marketing

Interesting and fairly recent (2016) paper on how digital is transforming the structure of the marketing department. It’s shifting to a centralized, customer-centric organisation with digital embedded throughout everything.

Good and insightful read. There’s an infographic if you’re pushed for time, but highly recommend reading the paper on The Changing Structure of Marketing Departments in the Age of Disruption.

Is anyone implementing a hub and spoke model in SA? I’d love to chat.


9 modern marketing organizational charts



June 2015



Tips to handle a PR crisis on Social Media

Written by , Posted in Digital Marketing

From ticket servers falling over, to event caterers failing to supply promised, free hamburgers, from artists cancelling shows an hour before their set, to calls for a nationwide boycott of a product, a PR crisis is rarely a pleasant experience, least of all when the bulk of it plays out on Social Media.

After igniting online, being liberally doused in retweets, likes and shares, the issue births a lynch mob and becomes a runaway inferno, engulfing every conversation in its path. So, how can you stop it? Well, the short answer is you can’t,  you just have to let the crisis follow the pattern until it dies down. Yet, while you can’t immediately extinguish the blaze, you can take away the petrol cans.

Each crisis is different and thus requires a unique approach, despite this, there are a few tactical steps that will make this time easier.

1. Keep calm

Arguably the most important thing to do when faced with the impending onslaught of a Social Media lynch mob, is to remain calm and keep your head. Panicking will lead to hasty decisions which often make things exponentially worse. 

Keeping a cool head will help you determine the extent of the problem and find the most effective solution.

2. Assess the problem

First things first, research the scale of the crisis and determine what kind of response it merits – is this code orange, code red or code dead?

Identify the issue, calculate the number of people talking about it and identify the significance of those participating in the conversation. A few questions that need answers right now are:

  1. Is the issue outside of your control?
  2. Has this issue come up in the past and what did you say about it?
  3. Has it been picked up by mainstream media yet?
  4. Are your naysayers credible? Are they known for trolling brands online?
  5. What is the frequency of the conversation? ie A new tweet every hour, or every 30 seconds?
  6. Who or what was the source?

3. Respond

Once you have your answers to the above, you can craft your response. The best responses own their guilt, list immediate steps that have been taken and are brief, factual and sincere. This is not the time to make excuses nor look for others to blame. The worst thing you can do is fob the Internet off with insincere attempts at pseudo-transparency – ironically they can see through this a mile away.

Assemble all the necessary stakeholders in the room and get their buy-in on the official response before you post it online.

4. Seed it

If you’re dealing with anything from a code red to code dead crisis, then it’s valuable to have some respected Social Media brand advocates in your corner. Hopefully you’ve been building up these relationships and can identify your sincere advocates, because when you need a relationship, it’s too late to go out and build one.

Give them a call, explain what’s going on and point them in the direction of the response. Some will spread the message out of the kindness of their hearts, some will ask for money and ultimately it’s up to you to determine whether the budget caters for this kind of thing.

5. Follow Up

Now that you’ve got your response up and running, it’s time to start following up with your customers. Respond to each tweet and mention received – this right here is your golden opportunity for positive PR. You’ll be praised for your swift response, your sincerity and applauded for taking the time to respond to each and every customer. Strike a fine balance between sticking to the official response, and not sounding formulaic. Remember, it is not wise to copy-paste your way out of this

6. Customer > Antagonizer

You’ll notice that once you’ve seeded your response, the lynch mob mentality will slowly start to abate and logic will begin to out. Rational voices who have heard both sides of the story will enter the fray and the online community will self-moderate. It can be quite terrifying getting to this point, but if you’ve followed the above, been honest and sincere and acknowledged and righted your wrongs where possible, it will eventually arrive. Cling to this knowledge when you’re staring at an average frequency of 12 tweets per minute. The storm will pass. 

Don’t rise up for antagonisers who cannot be reasoned with. Apply the 3 strikes and they’re out rule and after 3 attempts, abandon the cause. Do not waste time that could have been spent on a customer who actually does affect your profit margin. 

7. Monitor

There’s a pattern to these lynch mobs online and though the flames do subside eventually, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the conversation. Track any hashtags associated with the crisis, as well as any particular influential voices taking part in the conversation. Monitoring will keep you informed of any new developments and allow you to pinpoint triggers for online conversation spikes (e.g radio interviews, newspaper columns) which you can then respond to on a case by case basis.


Do not ignore the problem, this does not make it go away.

Own your mistake.

Do not lie, the Internet is the FBI and you are Sepp Blatter.

Spend your time on customers that affect the bottom line.



May 2015



How to improve your Influencer Marketing Strategy

Written by , Posted in Digital Marketing

There’s debate around whether or not influencers are a worthy line item in the budget and if they provide measurable value to the brand. I believe that if correctly researched, relevant and on-brand then they’re worth volumes and greatly benefit your overall digital marketing strategy. Influencer Marketing is nothing new, if you consider that powerhouse brands like Nike, Tiffany & Co and Chanel have undertaken this kind of marketing for years, albeit wearing under the guise of celebrity endorsement.

When you compare the two however, you’ll notice that there’s little difference. Both have a well-developed, respected personal brand, a niche following and allow you access to an audience that potentially fits the profile of your brand’s target market.

Here is a step by step to get the most out of your influencer marketing strategy.

1. Research them

Chanel isn’t endorsing Usain Bolt and Nike isn’t endorsing Natalie Portman, because simply put, they don’t fit the brand. Just like them, your brand shouldn’t be working with influencers who don’t resonate with your target market. Don’t fall into the trap of selecting the ones with the highest vanity metrics— instagram accounts with thousands of followers, twitter celebs — they can’t authentically deliver your message and it won’t resonate as powerfully as it could have. Trust me, your online audience can spot inauthenticity a mile away, so avoid it, as well as the resulting credibility loss. Explore beyond follower counts and engage in some legitimate, in-depth research.

Take time to look at the content they put out, the people they interact with, the language they use and most importantly what they’ve said about your brand in the past. Nothing loses your campaign credibility faster than someone who has loudly decried it in the past.

2. Pay them

Your chosen influencers have a niche audience and you want access to that audience. It’s that simple. You also want them to adhere to guidelines and complete tasks that you’ve set them. Do not fob them off with a free ticket or a hamper, because truth be told, you won’t get the desired results. What’s that saying about peanuts and monkeys?

3. Integrate them

You’ve bought these digital assets and now you need to use them. Look at your campaign in full and identify each and every opportunity where placing an influencer will add value.

Are there events they can attend?

Can they appear in the ad campaign itself?

When and what kind of content should they put out?

What channels should they use?

Can they be sent relevant, highly-personalised products to talk about?

4. Brief Them

In most cases, influencers need to be led by the nose and unless you specify what you want, you might end up with a few tweets. It’s worth getting them in the room and briefing them on the campaign, giving them context and ultimately ensuring they’re a better online spokesperson for your brand. Who knows, they might come up with some really great ideas that you hadn’t thought of. After all, they know their audience better than you do and how they can make your campaign work for them.

5. Create a Task List

After all the brainstorming and briefing, it’s time to draw up their task list. This outlines your expectations and helps the influencer determine if the price you’re offering is fair for the amount of work required. This list can be as vague or as detailed as you like, but the more specific the better.

Include event dates, a content timeline, the number of updates you expect, relevant hashtags and any rules that they need to be aware of. For example if they’re attending a dinner at a secret location, which you’ll only reveal on the day, they talk about the venue online.

6. Measure Them

No digital marketing campaign should ever go unmeasured and of course, your digital influencer is no exception. Thanks to the powerful analytics suites out there, you can now track, measure and quantify the value of your influencer to your heart’s content. Look at the traffic they sent you, the conversations they hosted, the content they produced and most importantly, the consumers they attracted. Use these numbers to improve your current strategy and determine if you’ll work with them again, or if you’ll try something different.

7. If they’re off brand?

If your influencer starts behaving in a way that doesn’t befit your brand, pull the plug immediately. Remember how quickly Kate Moss was dropped?

The less your brand has to do with hate speech, offensive language and general unpleasantness — the better.



May 2015



How to really amplify your event with Social Media

Written by , Posted in Digital Marketing

I really enjoy helping clients amplify their events and activations using Digital Marketing and of course, Social Media. I’ve worked with brands who are hosting sports events, weddings, fashion shows, celebrity twitter chats, obstacle races, award ceremonies, live TV shows and everything in between.

Each event provides new insights and after a lot of FAQ’s, I’ve put together a great checklist to help you make sure you’ve got your basics covered before the big day.

1. Create a Hashtag

The hashtag is the anchor point for all your consumer conversation, as well as your analytics around this particular event. Research your chosen hashtag throughly and make sure it’s relevant and not a hub for porn, or worse, tofies — toe selfies.

2. Introduce it into the conversation

Introduce the hashtag into the online conversation with your audience well ahead of the event. Consider setting up a countdown on social media marking the days to the launch (10 days is a good number). Ask guests and invited influencers to use the event hashtag in their updates around the event. Lastly, ensure that any and all event related content gets posted under the hashtag.

3. Have a giveaway

A giveaway is a cheap and dirty way to build awareness quickly. It’s really as simple as offering up tickets or relevant product on your social platforms, ahead of the event. Incorporate the giveaway with your countdown, or use it as a way to kick things off with a bang.

4. Talk about it

Bring the event into your content schedule. Find ways to talk about the event — the program, the celebrities, the star players and the invited influencers. Consider investing in soem adveritisng to boost specific content and target it to your audience. Personally Twitter ads outstrips Facebook’s advertising platform in terms of eyeballs and awareness and surprisingly targeting (allows for blocking competitors and seeking out consumers based on the followers of a specific twitter account) and it comes highly recommended.

5. Bring Social into the real world

Look for opportunities where you can incorporate your hashtag and pair it with a call-to-action on tangible items. Things like tickets, magazine editorials, arm bands, coffee sleeves, drink coasters — really the list is endless. Make your call-to-actions valuable and ensure they require the consumer to perform a task on social media in order to get a reward.

e.g Ask users to Tweet an image motivating why they need coffee and reward them with a free coffee.

6. Create Social Talking Points

Create talking points at your event that were born to be shared. Make the invites worthy of an Instagram. At the event invest in a photo booth with props (put it near the beer tent), a mirror commanding guests to “Stop and Selfie!”, cocktails with hashtags for names, surprise celebrity performances and displays that look like they walked out of a Pinterest board. The only limit here is your (or your ad agency’s creativity).

7. Hire a Social Media reporter

Brief them (content, tone, guestlistand any legal considerations) and hire smart. Do not hire a wallflower. Make sure they’ve got access to your platforms ahead of time and that they understand your brands tone of voice on social. Make a note to check out the quality of content they produce — blurry pics are the quickest way to take your event status from class to crap.

8. Invite select influencers

Research relevant influencers and invite them to your event. Draw up a list of requirements and expectations they’ll be expected to adhere to and communicate this from the get go. List the number of tweets, instagrams, the dates and even the times. The more specific — the better. Also ensure your reporter has their social media handles ahead of the event and can tag them when relevant. How to nail your influencer marketing strategy.

9. Leverage your social platforms

At the event, find ways to leverage your social platforms. Consider running a competition at the event that requires an action on social media as the entry mechanic . For example, you could have the MC request guests to Instagram their outfit, for a chance to win a complete makeover.

Aside from big competitions, there are easy and simple ways to use events to gain likes, follows and little red hearts. Get your social accounts printed on promotional material, have your hashtag displayed in prominent areas — walls, mirrors, field banners and even go so far as to paint them onto your runway models. Or simply have the MC mention them from time to time.

10. Follow Up Content

Don’t use all of your content up on the first night. You want to get longevity out of this event, so schedule follow up content in the form of event photos, reviews and details of the next event or activation. Encourage guests to tag themselves and friends in the images — again this is simple stuff that helps push you into users feeds. Follow up with guests who attended and encourage them to share their own content, as well as yours.

11. Track everything

Invest in some analytics suites and track mention and hashtags to help you measure engagement on the night. Use your numbers to pinpoint influential guests, influencers that weren’t worth the money paid, and elements within the event that were popular and should be repeated — e.g the social wall.

12. Exploit their 5 minutes of Fame

It’s a universal truth that people want their 5 minutes of fame and this is something that can be exploited for great engagement metrics. Both social walls, like Tint and social printing services like Nifty250 are brilliant for helping push mentions, engagement and naturally awareness through the roof. Ensure they have pride of place at the event and aren’t stuck in some obscure corner.

If you need a social wall, Tint are your guys— their software can handle an extremely high volume of mentions, allows for moderation and works across multiple social networks. Lastly, for social printing, Nifty250 provide a great service in South Africa, allow for brand customisation and are fabulous people to work with.



May 2015



Digital Marketing and Actors

Written by , Posted in Digital Marketing

Directors, casting agents and producers alike are all taking good, long, looks at an actor’s online presence when seeking that special something for their next big hit. They’re googling your website, checking your youtube views and even requesting a minimum number of followers on your Twitter account. And whilst your agent works hard to market you to the industry, a little self-promotion never hurt anyone.

I’ve helped actors get to grips with digital to build their careers and hopefully land their dream roles. Here are a few tips for actors wanting to get ahead with digital marketing.

1. Get a Website

This seems like a bit of a no brainer, but a lot of actors are put off by the amount of time and perceived skill they believe goes into building a website. Thanks to companies like Squarespace and WordPress, it’s now extremely easy to build yourself a website that you can have up and running in a few hours. If you’re strapped for cash (waitressing is tough ya’ll) then both of the above have free options that don’t need you to invest in hosting or a domain name.

Actors, your personal website is your opening line, it’s your first impression — so make sure it’s a good one. Your website is your central anchorpoint — a place for directors to view your work, a way for casting agents to contact you and something your Mum can be proud of you for.

2. Reserve your

If you do have some cash lying around, check if is free and if it is, grab it. This avoids awkward spellings, begging domain squatters and just general confusion for your fans when they get directed to a holding page for desktop wallpapers when you hit the big time.

3. Create your Online Showreel

Remember all those international commercials you hunted down on Youtube, those independent shorts that you helped students film and those full length films you featured in? Now’s the time to bring them all together and create an online portfolio of your work that showcases the best of your ability and your range. The great thing about online is that it’s really flexible (unlike a showreel DVD) and you can chop and change your portfolio to your hearts content.

4. Less is More 

Sadly, your website is not the place for your future Oscar acceptance speech where you thank everyone from your first teacher to your pot plant and the simpler the better.

  • Make it easy for interested producers to contact you and place your contact details and those of your agent in a prominent place
  • Showcase you – put your headshots and showreel on the home page
  • Keep the layout  clean and simple. If in doubt about a website theme, opt for a one-pager design (here are 85 of them you can use)

5. Start Blogging

Trust me on this, whilst blogging might sound like a drag, it’s still the best way to get press releases, film trailers and updated head shots up on your site quickly.

A blog helps you keep your website dynamic, gets you extra traffic and helps you build up your fan base. The more you update it, the better, but always aim for quality over quantity.

6. Get Social

Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ll have noticed that most of your on-screen idols are tweeting like there’s no tomorrow. They’re instagramming behind the scenes on their latest movie, posting stills or bantering on Twitter with a few of their co-stars.

Platforms like Youtube, Twitter and Instagram are a great way for you to build up an audience and loyal community of fans. Post your experiences as an actor, share articles and inspiring monologues that helped you hone your craft and even experiment with weekly 15 second video diaries on Instagram. The only limit here is your imagination.

PS A lot of you guys fall victim to the hashtag virus, there’s no need to hashtag every word okay? It doesn’t work like that.

7. Tie it all together

Make sure that everything you do online pushes your audience back to the central point — in other words, your personal website. Your social media profiles should link to your site and any piece of content you promote (a trailer on Youtube, photo diary, etc) should be hosted here as well.

8. Get creative — you’re an actor after all!

Start a Youtube series, film a parody, experiment with Meerkat, or get yourself dubsmashing like a pro — there are apps for everything you’ve ever dreamed of and you’ll definitely find one that’ll make you stand out from the crowd.

Lastly, good luck out there! Thanks to Twitter I’ve discovered great film projects, attended auditions and landed some fun roles. You see, digital helped me market myself in a way that an agent just never could. Hopefully it’ll help you too.