A+ A A-
Re:Humanisation - What it is, why it is relevant and what others have said about it

Aiden Choles, co-founder and the managing director of The Narrative Lab discusses how they came across the topic of Re:Humanisation, through his work with narrative in the workplace. Covering areas of:

  • The change of understanding how people have purpose and meaning within South African businesses today,
  • De:Humanisation and how this happing in current work environments,
  • Why Re:Humanisation has relevance to organisations over and above "it being a nice thing to do",
  • People Focus vs. Re:Humanisation,
  • Is Re:Humanisation applicable to SME's as well as larger corporare organisations,
  • The effects of implementing Re:Humanising approach,
  • How previous FNB (First National Bank) CEO, Michael Jordaan, tributes their innovative approach in banking to incorporating Re:Humaning into their strategy,
  • The effect of Re:Humanisation on employees.

Subscribe content preview

To continue reading: Log-In above or Subscribe now.

Want the full story?

The SA Leader Magazine Cover


Get The SA Leader  the way you want it

  • One Year Digital Subscription - R320
  • 10 Issues Print Subscription - R580
  • One Year All Access - Just R900  Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only content on SALeader.co.za

If you are already a subscriber, please Log-In using the Log-In button found on the top right of the site!

click here
Published in Human Capital
Wednesday, 06 February 2013 10:28

10 lessons every business can learn from FNB

10 lessons every business can learn from FNB

Not every business has the budget or inclination to run a brand campaign. But there are some useful learnings for businesses of any size from the FNB You Can Help debacle. Whether or not you agree with the idea of big business wading into politics, it’s hard not to escape the conclusion that this campaign completely ran away with one of South Africa’s savviest marketers and left anger, misunderstanding and confusion in its wake.


No marketer ever wants to be in a situation like that unless it’s for very good reason (see lessons 5 and 6). Here’s how to avoid it:


Lesson 1: Have a clear objective

Was FNB’s objective purely to inspire the nation? Or did it want to attract business? Did it want to trigger debate? Or just have everyone feel better about life? The “switch to FNB” message in the middle of a campaign that seemed to focus on being more socially responsible was confusing and sent out mixed messages.


Lesson 2: Align your communication objectives with your creative execution

FNB’s stated objective for this campaign was to inspire the nation and help South Africans find the greatness within. But in practice, this message did not come through. The live ad featuring a schoolgirl reciting an impassioned speech was too negative, and the highly political tone of the supporting video clips on the website focused attention on lack of government delivery rather than our power as individuals to make a difference. Initially, the campaign achieved the opposite of what it set out to do – by reminding us of exactly what frustrates and depresses us.


Lesson 3: Don’t set up expectations you can’t deliver on

Calling a campaign “You can help” sets up certain expectations, especially when you launch it with a teaser campaign and then an unprecedented live broadcast across multiple channels. The website felt like a letdown after this – it simply doesn’t deliver on the promise.


Lesson 4: Look at your campaign through someone else’s eyes

One of my roles as a strategist was to play devil’s advocate, looking for any possible reason that someone might feel offended by an ad, and formulating scenarios to manage any potential fallout. It’s all too easy for agencies and clients to lose sight of how a piece of communication might look to others who haven’t been part of the process, and won’t understand the thinking that went into it.


Lesson 5: Controversy only makes sense for certain brands

Nando’s is a brand with a long and distinguished history of making satirical ads that talk as much about South African society and culture as they do about chicken. In contrast, FNB’s brushes with controversy (like those of Woolworths) are accidental. Both are mainstream brands whose values don’t sit well with ruffling feathers.


Lesson 6: If you’re going to use controversy, be strategic

Many advertisers think that being controversial or offensive is a way to attract publicity. But if you’re going to risk being hauled before the ASA, do it for the right reasons. Angering people for the sake of a bit of coverage is a short term strategy and not recommended unless it’s relevant to your target audience or your brand.


Lesson 7: Yes, there is such a thing as bad publicity

FNB generated what must amount to millions in coverage as a result of this campaign. But it was for all the wrong reasons, and in focusing on the ANC’s response to the campaign, it undermined what the bank was ostensibly trying to achieve with it.


Lesson 8: Use social media to get your message out

When news reports suggested that FNB CEO Michael Jordaan was planning to resign, he turned to Twitter to put out a message in his words: “I am not resigning as CEO of the world’s most innovative bank”. And when The New Age put out an inaccurate story, they were able to tackle misperceptions directly without having to rely on the media to put the message out. FNB did look like a deer caught in the headlights for a while, but when they did use Twitter to clarify their position, it made a real impact.


Lesson 9: Check, check. And check again.

When deadlines loom and you’re dealing with a campaign with multiple elements, it’s easy to lose track of what you’re putting out into the world with your logo attached to it. Most of the time it’s nothing more embarrassing than a typo, but sometimes the consequences can be much more serious. Don’t leave anything to chance.


Lesson 10: Employ people who are able to exercise good judgment

Senior management don’t have the time to check and double check – so they have to trust the people they employ to do that for them. Exactly who thought it was a good idea to post highly political video clips onto a brand campaign site when FNB has had previous run-ins with the government, and the ANC is notoriously sensitive to criticism, isn’t clear. What is obvious is that somebody someone somewhere in the process made a judgment call, and it was a bad one. Senior management had to take the flak for trusting people who shouldn’t have put them in that position in the first place.

Published in Advertising
Thursday, 20 September 2012 10:26

Going Mobile


How smartphones and tablet devices are shaping the future of the contact centre

The concept of integration in the contact centre has been widely discussed in recent years, with many companies having made great strides towards achieving a more unified environment. SMS, e-mail and web chat are gradually being incorporated into contact centres, and now afford customers the option to have their queries dealt with via a variety of channels.

But as businesses work to ensure that their contact centre offerings remain current, the increasing popularity of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets is about to change the face of the contact centre as we know it.
More smartphones were sold last year than PCs and tablets combined, and a new Forrester study indicates that mobile Internet users will outnumber those accessing the web via PC by 2016. As more consumers begin to search, browse and make purchases from their mobile devices, a new kind of contact centre will evolve in order to meet their ever-rising expectations.

The Rise of the Mobile Consumer

The surge in popularity of smartphone and tablet devices has created an unprecedented culture of immediacy. Users are now able to enjoy the convenience of checking their e-mail, downloading weather reports or conducting business transactions at a moment’s notice.

Additionally, the applications today’s customers use are becoming increasingly personalised, capitalising on built-in features like location monitoring to tailor offerings to a user’s specific requirements.

As a result, mobile devices are rapidly becoming the consumer’s number one choice for conducting all forms of business. The thought of having to turn on a laptop or pick up the telephone is almost inconceivable, particularly for a new generation raised in the information age.

As this type of empowered mobile user becomes the norm, contact centres are being forced to restructure their offerings in order to provide more immediate, intuitive service, or risk becoming obsolete.

Customised Self-Service

The rise in popularity of Internet banking and other self-service platforms reflects the mobile user’s growing inclination to resolve issues on their own where possible.
Unlike early mobile phone users, today’s consumers generally only decide to contact an agent as a last resort.
As such, companies need to start making allowances for this, and move towards the development of more intuitive, self-help applications.

By extrapolating location and device-based data, these applications have the potential to provide the user with a greatly enhanced experience, whilst at the same time alleviating pressure placed on the contact centre.
By moving more customer service queries into the self-help space, contact centres will be better able to streamline proceedings, whilst at the same time offering the customer the kind of personalised experience they would ultimately prefer.

Empowering Action

Whilst many customer interactions can be predictably automated or guided via a mobile application, there are just as many that are likely to be complicated, with variable solutions dependent on a customer’s specific situation.
As a result, contact centres need to find a way to incorporate both self-help and agent assistance into the mobile environment, creating a seamless process whereby customers can elevate their query to an individual in the contact centre.

Despite growing mobile user numbers, communication is rapidly moving away from the traditional telephony environment, with consumers tending to prefer the cost effectiveness that applications such as Skype afford them. As a result, it is imperative that companies begin to offer a greater variety of ways in which their customers can take action.

Rather than directing customers to a number which they can then dial from their phone, companies will need to begin to incorporate live assistance features within their application structures, using VOIP or video chat to allow users to make immediate contact with someone from the contact centre while at the same time providing agents with the customer’s interaction history.

This type of contextually aware escalation will allow customers to bypass standard IVR menus and be connected directly with a subject matter expert within or outside of the traditional contact centre. They can also be directed to agents that are specifically skilled and trained on various channels of preference, such as call, chat, text, social or video.

Not only will this type of application provide customers with a greater array of communication options, but it will also enable contact centre agents and other subject experts to be better equipped to deal with incoming queries, and allow the contact centre’s systems and processes to be streamlined accordingly.

Establishing A Competitive Advantage

In an increasingly cluttered marketplace, companies that set about providing their clientele with mobile customer care options have a real opportunity to set themselves apart from the competition.

Locally, organisations like FNB and Vodacom have already launched self-service applications that are proving increasingly popular, and are setting the standard for customer service in the South African market.

Companies need to realise that the shift into the mobile environment is not a distant eventuality that can be dealt with when the time comes. The mobile revolution is already well under way, and it is the companies that embrace this reality that will be the ones that succeed in attracting and retaining their customers in years to come.

Published in CRM & Direct Marketing
Thursday, 16 August 2012 10:32

mCommerce: Many ways to play

mCommerce: Many ways to play

From the get go, the business sector has been anxious to discover a way to exploit cellular services technology to access customers. Early mCommerce offerings failed to live up to the hype but excitement is again emerging, this time with a variety of options to suit the desires and budgets of almost any business.

No one anticipated the success that mobile telephony would achieve. According to Nielsen South Africa, more South Africans use mobile phones than radio or television. And an astounding 35% of South African smartphone users revealed in a Google report into worldwide smartphone usage and mobile marketing that they would rather give up their TV than their smartphone.

No other communication channel can deliver retailers an audience as comprehensive as the mobile phone.

Bouncing back

To my mind it was Apple's release of the iPhone, and shortly thereafter it's App Store, that offered mCommerce the opportunity to return to the spotlight.

Until this point, mCommerce strategies predominantly relied on wireless application protocol (WAP) technology. Its SMS delivery mechanism, however, proved to be problematic, and security and congestion drawbacks were significant enough to undermine its virtues and subdue large-scale adoption amongst SA retailers.

Apple's iPhone highlighted an alternative to these SMS systems with its glitzy marketing of actual applications. The impact of this promotion was and continues to be astounding, supported by improvements in modern mobile devices and development technologies, particularly HTML5.

A recent report released by international research firm IDC predicts that the number of annual mobile app downloads will increase from 30.1 billion in 2011 to 200 billion in 2016, an ascent it calls blazingly fast. A closer look at the state of the US market gives a clearer indication of what South Africa can expect to experience in the near future.

  • Huffington Post: mCommerce will be bigger than eCommerce within 5 years.
  • ABI Research: In 2015, $119 billion worth of goods and services will be purchased via a mobile phone.
  • Juniper Research: The market for mobile payments is expected to quadruple by 2014, reaching $630 billion in value.
  • ATG Inc: 20% of all consumers and 32% of 18-34 year olds are researching purchases via mobile at least monthly.

Ticket to ride

We can already see local organisations capitalising on the rise of mobile applications. FNB for instance has achieved significant success with the launch of its mobile banking application and not just in the realm of marketing either. Recently CEO Michael Jordaan announced on his twitter account that the bank had in excess of 200 000 transacting apps, delivering over 2 million transactions and R4 billion in transaction value.

Although FNB's return from its mCommerce initiative is certainly compelling, many companies will find that developing a native app is simply not appropriate for their businesses. The cost and complexity involved in developing, maintaining and continuously enhancing an application for numerous platforms, not to mention the approval processes required from the various app stores, presents a daunting hurdle that is only justifiable to a minority of businesses.

Fortunately the emergence of HTML5 – the latest iteration of the language used to create web pages – means organisations no longer have to deliver device-based applications but can look to web-based offerings accessible via a mobile device's browser. Native apps will still have a role to play, if well thought-through, but certainly look set to face major competition in the popularity stakes as HTML5 gains traction.

Alternatives to applications are also available. Mobile couponing, for instance, could be an influential tool in the retail fight to combat constantly slipping engagement rates. A recent report found this form of couponing to offer redemption rates often exceeding 50%; comparatively, paper coupons typically return redemption rates of up to 2%. Mobile couponing is able to achieve its high returns through the use of geolocated, relevant messaging which engages the mobile user with an offer that can be instantly gratified at a store which is at that moment in close proximity.

Location based marketing certainly should not be ignored. Location-based social networking site Foursquare enables users to check in their locations through their phones and informs them of their friends' locations as well as places to go and see close by. Large retailers and brick and mortar stores are taking advantage of this by providing coupons and freebies to those who check in often or first. American Express, for example, has expanded its Foursquare promotion internationally, delivering to its cardholders special offers only available through the application, such as buy one get one free promotions to customers looking for a place to eat.

There's significant advantage to be gained from using a number of mobile capabilities to improve the customer instore experience. Retailers can create a 'bricks & clicks' environment by combining location based services, barcode scanning, and push notifications as an example. In such an environment merchants enable their customers to access the benefits of online shopping such as product reviews, comparative information, and special offers while still delivering the physical instore shopping experience and promoting greater length of time spent within the store's walls.

Retailers simply cannot afford to dismiss the role of the internet in the performance of physical stores. The tendency to define the online influence by the number or value of transactions taking place fails to recognise the considerable number of consumers that turn to the web for information on the best product for their needs, stockists, comparative pricing and current availability within their travel comfort zone. This rapidly growing pool of shoppers may be making their purchases instore, but their decisions are often made before they've stepped out their front door.

Published in Mobile
Copyright © 2013 gdmc (Geoffrey Dean Marketing Corporation cc). All rights reserved. Material may not be published or reproduced in any form without prior written permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy. External links are provided for reference purposes. SALeader.co.za is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites.

Login or Subscribe