How agility affects influence – and results


See what is happening in our world – who is influencing whom and why.

How agility affects influence – and results

November 25, 2020

There is a South Africa-born flame-grilled chicken restaurant that is as famous for its chicken as it is for its incredibly clever and on-point marketing. The secret to their success? Owning the narrative.

As soon as something topical or talkable happens, this chain is there – on social media, on radio, on TV – putting their own spin on it, gaining new followers and further entrenching themselves as innovative and cheeky and irreverent. As leaders.

Other brands look on with envy. Marketers try to find the formula. Consumers eagerly await the next instalment.

But it’s not rocket science.

What sets this brand apart is not some deeply guarded secret, it’s something that any brand can take advantage of – agility. The ability to think on your feet. The ability to not only react to situations but to actively take reaction and convert it into positive pro-action.

It is something that is uniquely suited to influencer marketing. Big advertising campaigns take months to see the light of day. Traditional marketing campaigns take weeks of planning to ensure alignment with strategies and goals and KPIs and the different divisions of a corporate entity. And this is right. Big brands have a responsibility to make sure that what they are sending out is consistent and in line with what they are trying to achieve and what they are portraying to the public. But it leaves them vulnerable to playing catch-up. It makes owning the narrative complicated and taking advantage of a situation instantly almost impossible.

Once again, the perfect place to have an influencer or, better yet, a number of influencers who are adaptable and dynamic and ready to put you in front of the competition.

Expert influencers, and expert influencer marketers, are by their very nature adaptable and agile. You have to be to stay relevant in a fast-changing and dynamic industry. And some of these experts, like R-Squared in Cape Town, are coming up with incredibly innovative ways of making sure their clients are given the tools and people they need to be owners of the narrative, to be leaders who others can only follow.

R-Squared, for example, do not keep a ‘book’ of influencers that are pushed onto every brand and client that comes through their doors. They actively seek out influencers who fit the client when they come through the doors. And, while this ensures a true and authentic voice for the client, it also opens up a new and exciting possibility:

Always on dynamic campaigns.

Always on is not referring to a campaign that runs 24/7, it’s referring to teams that are always on point and in-touch with the world around them. Leading to dynamic opportunities for brands to engage instantly with their audience whenever the opportunity arises.

But this isn’t just some influencer posting random, stream of consciousness fluff for the sake of being ‘hip’. This is an expertly managed tool to promote their clients’ agility.

By sourcing a custom pool of influencers specifically for a client – a pool of influencers who are pre-vetted, trusted and have a connection with the brand – they are creating an agile and adaptable team ready to be activated at any time and for any message.

Influencer marketing is not just another advertising platform – it is a personal, one-on-one conversation between you the brand and your audience. And like any real conversation, you need to be able to mix and match topics, change the direction, be serious one moment and light-hearted the next. Engagement is all about adaptability, agility and having a real conversation.

Just ask the chicken guys.

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Influencing the trend towards excellence


See what is happening in our world – who is influencing whom and why.

Influencing the trend towards excellence

November 13, 2020

It is always an honour – and a surprise – when you find yourself rubbing shoulders with truly influential personalities, when the industry you love returns your passion with accolades.

This was how I felt when I learnt that I had been honoured with a place on the Global Influencer Top 50 list for the second year in a row.

Surprised. Joyful. Grateful. Proud. Amazed. Humbled. Determined to do even better for myself, for my amazing R-Squared Agency team and for the industry to repay this honour. (Hey, maybe these are the Seven Stages of Joy to counteract the Seven Stages of Grief?).

Getting awards and plaudits is not about a pat on the back. It is not a reward. It is a challenge. It is a challenge to go further, to do better, to lift those around you. Every person on the Global Influencer Top 50 list is someone who strives to make our industry better. While a large portion of the world hears ‘influencer’ and thinks of vapid, narcissistic, self-absorbed attention grabbers, these innovators are showing the world the power of influencer marketing when it is done right. They are guiding our industry from a trendy, fast-forgotten Insta post into a truly formidable tool for change.

With great power comes great responsibility (actually Voltaire not Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben but, whatever) and influencer marketing has certainly got great power. It is the leaders and innovators who are bringing in the great responsibility. I see it on a daily basis. I see it from the R-Squared Agency offices in Cape Town and I see it from our offices in London. I see it as a member of the IAB in South Africa and the IAB in France. I am intimately involved with helping to formulate guidelines and best practices and ensure fair treatment for influencers and brands around the world. I see it every day with my teams and my clients.

The hunger for excellence. The thirst for distinction.

Not for any spirit of dominance or praise, but rather as acknowledgement that what they are doing – what we are doing – is the right thing done in the right way. Acknowledgement that we are accurate, factual, appropriate, correct, precise and, above all, that we are making a difference.

We all know the buzzwords: trend, influence, like, click, audience, organic, viral, but how many are willing to go further, to go beyond a quick click and engage the world for the better?

These are the ones who change our course, who chart our future.

And I am proud and honoured to be included in their illustrious ranks.

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