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I recently attended the IMC Conference. There was one recurring thread in each presentation; all the speakers challenged us as marketers to get back to basics. To strip away what we thought mattered and instead, focus on what matters to the consumer.

Greg Garden, CEO of the Marketing Association of SA (MASA) stated that 50-80% of CEOs don’t trust marketing. That is a jaw-dropping number! So, how do we change that and re-establish a sense of trust from the most lucrative markets available to us? We have to start laying our cards out on the table when we advertise, displaying our own personality in the way we speak and through the content we choose to share with our audiences.

Here is Brand Candy’s strategy for getting back to basics and reconnecting with your audience.

Darren Hampton, the GM of Digital and CRM for Nando’s asked this question: What made up the DNA of your brand in the beginning? He reminded us that it matters where your brand started. Sometimes, to move forward, it’s important to go back to what got your brand to where it is – to that original idea. This is who your brand truly is, so scratch away at any rubbish that’s built up quietly while you weren’t looking, and reconnect with your brand’s DNA.

Bongani Chinkanda, the CEO at HDI Youth Consultancy, spoke to us about marketing to the youth of today. Brands that are speaking to a greater purpose are doing better than those that are just pushing products. He challenged brands to be hungry and curious and make sure that your brand isn’t speaking AT the consumer but speaking WITH them. Aligning with their need to make a difference helps to establish a sense of camaraderie, which in turn establishes trust. Be warned, however, people can sense faked enthusiasm for a cause. Choose a cause you genuinely feel motivated to support.

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