Welcome to The Digital Monkeys podcast, with your host Frank and and Jackie, we’re going to look at what to expect in 2022
Frank: Welcome to The Digital Monkeys podcast. I’m your host Frank. With me is Jackie, and today we’re going to look at what to expect in 2022.A lot of exciting stuff! We’ll look at metaverse, meta galaxies, QR codes, e-commerce, and influencers. Quite a variety of topics to cover today, and I believe since we’re just one month into 2022, there is still a lot to expect within this year.
Jackie: Definitely, there is quite a lot because I feel like we’ll have a lot of innovations and growth in the digital and tech spaces.
Frank: It’s quite interestingly seeing a lot of innovation. Just looking back at the past two to five years, people have been talking about digital transformation. It is the hot topic of that moment and if you look at today things have really radically changed over the past two years.
Jackie: I think the acceleration is more to do with the pandemic which started in 2019. Could you expand more from that?
Frank: So interesting as you’ve mentioned, the pandemic I call it now it’s a pandemic transformation because it made us innovate and adapt to things we were not prepared for. In terms of what you have to expect from digital transformation in the next 5 years, it has brought that journey within a reach of two years within a reach of one year even months I would say.
And if I look at the context of digital transformation and what organizations can do, I think one of the key things that I’ve realized guys really need to have to guys have to really shift their focus.
Obviously, guys have shifted over the last year but there’ll be more emphasis this year as well and I don’t think they’ll ever go to a back-to-normal kind of situation. Do you think we’ll ever go back to normal based on the way we’ve developed we’ve innovated we’ve adapted to the now?
Jackie: From now onwards I don’t think we’re ever going back. What I can say is we are only going forward. We’ll have a new normal where things will be going really fast, innovation will be coming out day in and day out so it’s the new normal.
Frank: Just looking at how organizations structure themselves in terms of, I wouldn’t say the new normal but I’ll say the pandemic transformation normal at the moment, and if I look at the core principles of any digital transformation so we look at essentials, we look at things like team ability management buy-in.
We look at resources, then we look at readiness. That’s one thing I notice people are not ready for in terms of digital transformation that has a lot of governance and strategy and a bit of infrastructure and lastly, its performance which is purely financed, and innovation in itself and if I look at this year what should people do differently in your view?
Jackie: As you can see, it’s at the beginning of the year when companies are trying to strategize on what to do for the year but that’s a tough question maybe you can expound on it.
Frank: All right so when you think about the holistic journey end to end right now in 360 digital experiences the term metaverse has been thrown in galaxies and conversions. If you look at that transition even as we speak right now really needs introspection from companies to look at themselves and look at where they fit within the customer journey?
Are they part of that 360-chain and what tools or capabilities do they need to develop in a house to facilitate that positioning? One very good example, traditionally if you look at maybe some of the verticals insurance used to use forms then, they move to the digitization of forms, then they move to the digitization of products, then the whole acquisition purchase, then building that database that’s part of the transformation.
Jackie: If I may ask given that you are talking about strategizing and how they will adapt do you think in Kenya currently companies are in a position to are ready for that?
Frank: I don’t think they need to be ready, I think the environment has really shifted if you’re not really if you don’t adapt, things will move at a pace that even you expect so that the brands themselves the companies themselves need to react and be productive.
If they look up two years down the line what do they need to do and start that journey now because at the end of the day if you look at just that aspect of 360 journeys the user you’re targeting so many channels to reach them or nowadays,
Tiktok has come in, another platform will come in, and another new venture would come in where do they fit in that space how quickly can they adopt that technology? One of the key things I’ve noticed within digital transformation, there’s a lot of data loss and corruption
Data is a currency in itself in terms of understanding your user base, in terms of understanding the intentions of your audiences. So just in a nutshell when you think about transforming your agency, company or institution, you just have to look up what channels you have plans for.
Do you have teams, and capacity built to turn on those channels? Do you have audience management matrix tools so it’s just an integration of all those things and more importantly, often than not things are looked at in silos and IT is looked at as a department?
So on their own, they don’t correlate with marketing-related sales. There are many dashboards and fancy things I would say. But there’s no synergy within the systems, platforms, departments and the whole organization. Yet you’re always reacting to something. If a brand does this you react.
Jackie: If we look at the past two years we can see some companies and brands die and some come to light and the birth of new brands, do you think 2022 is going to be similar in terms of innovation, adaptation and transformation?
Frank: I believe new brands and tech companies will still come in. This space has not been clearly or rather, it’s not ultimate in terms of innovation that this is the end. I think tech companies will still, even when you look at startups so many startups nowadays look at the last reception in terms of payments. There are so many things to explore. There’s a lot that still hasn’t been explored but again the question is how can companies tap into that space?
I’ll give a really brief example, last year guys didn’t go through a lot but with respect to a case study from the west where they rolled out digital versions of those movies.
So let’s say for instance if you are a Marvel or Disney movie fan and today Spiderman came in and they had restrictions in terms of viewing that movie in the theatre, we’d actually watched that same movie on Disney+ on the same day that the movie is launched.
So things have really actually accelerated in a way that would not have been foreseen and you know change is inevitable we need to adapt, change and think of how we play out in this whole picture.
Jackie: That’s interesting it’s quite something that we look forward to this year.
Frank: Fair enough. Another thing that was caught our eyes these hotcakes (as I would call them) metaverse, NFTS and QR codes.
A social media marketingI’ll start with the lightest one, the QR codes which were invented in 1994. I think it was a Japanese car farm and my analogy of the thinking at the time before I did the research was whether it had any association with brick games which was an 80s thing. Was it inspired by them?
But I say QR codes because of this acceleration. Right now we’re not doing payments in cash as much as we used to. We’re scanning a code, making payments, and visiting websites.
I think one of the key things that will rise out of that is also the security of those QR codes because just in the same way the buzz of emails has given rise to phishing opportunities, I think this year people have to look out for as you’re scanning those QR codes.
What security measures are there within those QR codes because you know we’re progressing where we’re doing everything on the phone?
Jackie: When you talk of QR codes you said that they started in 1994 right?
Frank: 1994 but before that was the first invention but it took a while before they kicked off officially
Jackie: Means that the technology was ready before we were ready. We’re only getting ready right now, yet we are still talking about security issues that will come. Does that mean we are not quite ready for it or what do you think will happen this year?
Frank: I think we’re ready I think it’s not that awareness that mental cognition that we need to have at least security at the back of our minds. Each time you’re interacting with that QR code, you need to ask whether it is a legitimate QR code.
How do you distinguish a fake one those guys are out there to get your information.
Jackie: How do you see like, especially for Kenyans, how do you see them taking up their QR code technology?
Frank: Well, I’ve seen it at the moment when you go maybe ordering a coffee the menu you’re scanning for instance. Even right now when you’re doing your payments the bill has a secure code that prompts your M-Pesa app.
I believe in the technology being used even as they speak. I think not the other aspect just to look out for that security beat and how the companies that are dishing up those QR codes the ones that you’ve signed up for have good security policies and security measures as one of the things to look out for.
One thing that I noticed like you mentioned quite an interesting fact about technology coming before its time and I have this reference with M-Pesa 1-tap and quite an interesting conversation for me in terms of I believe the technology was advanced in its timing and if I look at the whole aspect of paying and the convenience.
Then I ask myself, what if it came as wearable as part of your wearable tech, it’s an application that is on your wearable watch, for instance, so you just go tap and go without looking at the physical device. I think that is something that can still be explored today in my view.
Jackie: That will be interesting because it will be easier and it will be accessible because most of the time you’ll find when you’re going out you are wearing a smartwatch when you’re running you have it so I guess that’s something they should explore.
Frank: So the other thing is the metaverse or the meta galaxies. It’s been trending the past few months with Facebook or Meta, Microsoft Amazons and gaming companies as well and people just associate it with only one end.Let me ask, I don’t know if you’ve ever done, this so right now you are your physical self and there’s the social self. Have you ever pictured yourself virtually interacting with virtual things as a virtual person like a virtual you somewhere?
Jackie: I don’t think I’ve ever thought of something like that but if that would be possible I believe it will be very interesting. Do you mean like chatting with you from a different country while sitting next to you?
Frank: Exactly so imagine attending not to mention bands but my favourite band is Coldplay and I’m in attendance there virtually, jumping up and down and in the midst of it all I a Safaricom or M-Pesa ad within the same space. I believe it offers a lot of potential and opportunity not just within advertising not just within the experiences, I think there’s a lot still to be explored there’s still a lot of questions to need to be answered but you’re still part of that wave.
Just like the same way when the internet came, there was a lot of excitement, yeah and then the time when guys were withdrawing money from the bank’s internet oh so I think it was the bubble of 2000 you’re going to the year 2000 internet has something to do with I need to withdraw my cash.It’s the same bubble that you’re in with this meta-conversation. It needs time but at least we need to be cognizant of the fact that you know it’s a conversation ongoing perhaps to think about what other experiences can i offer my audiences. Look at even social media in itself people lead lives that are not real in that sense,
Jackie: I wouldn’t say a majority like to show the side of their story that they would like to tell. Imagine a virtual experience that will be very interesting especially given that most people have access to Facebook which is pioneering the whole virtual reality thing.I think they are giving an opportunity to so many people including grants and it’s something i see them speaking really fast because they would like to be at the forefront of innovation. So it’s something to definitely look out for.
Frank: If you are to pick randomly in this metaverse which categories of brands would you see? I see retail being there are clothes shops, shoe brands being very strong players games as well.
Jackie: I also think communication companies, especially in Kenya such as Safaricom because they are always on top of their game in terms of any kind of innovation. I would bet that they’ll be the first one to pick it up in Kenya.
Non Fungible Tokens – NFTs
Frank: So another thing is NFT has been a hot kick since last year. We did our first NFT transaction through Kipchoge who sold two videos for $37,000. I believe with NFTS is it’s for the super funds you know, you’re a fan of something and you want to be that exclusive owner of something you need to own a part of that brand.I was reading just the other day where Adidas last year in the December campaign launched an NFT campaign where guys could get only limited edition stuff through trading with NFTs and I found it interesting because that means beyond the loyalists that are you know on another level of just being a super fan.I also see opportunities here locally and I can’t wait to explore it further. I think this year we can explore it further with music and art. What are your thoughts what do you think is it something viable?
Jackie: Yeah definitely it is something viable but that will only address specific people for specific areas and subjects. so it will be a good innovation. On the other hand, it will be like locking out some other people because as much as I’m not a really loyal fan sometimes, I enjoy some stuff so that will be locking me out. it’s a 50-50 thing.
Frank: I see opportunities with music personally I think it was two weeks or a week ago Bandana Ya E-Sir the music video was out the song was out and I was like what if there was specific memorabilia or stuff where super fans could actually go get maybe through NFTs I don’t know maybe it’s something that can be explored if personally, I was to invest in an item.Back in the days I was listening to a rap group called Kalamashaka and there was a song called Tafsiri if it was introduced where you can get the album art through an NFT, I’ll go ahead and buy it because it’s something that I have that nostalgic feeling. What about you do you think it’s something that you would want to get your hands on?
Jackie: If I may touch on, especially that’s on Bandana E-Sir. I read a story about it and it was designed by King Kaka and from the way I read it, it’s not more of he was about to earn from it because I don’t think he earned but it was that pride, that moment the connection with it so if that’s what you’re talking about then I see opportunity and if I had something like I’m really connected to that level then I’ll fight for it.
Website Analytics Tools
Frank: So moving on to tools a couple of things have changed or have morphed last year. Critically is google analytics; the change from universal analytics to Google Analytics 4. I believe the change is really it’s pushing the boundaries of measurement.
Jackie: Yeah before we go to that what do you think made Google think of making the changes to their tools, what pushed them to that level?
Frank: I believe it’s having that one dashboard. I’ll give a case in point. So you have your website you have your mobile application different tools for measure measuring those things. So you have firebase, analytics for mobile and google analytics for websites.So many different tools by the time you’re getting to analyze one piece whether something worked or not in terms of maybe a campaign, you’re doing how to look at very many dashboards and different data sets as well.So I think, unifying that or opening up that device range you don’t have to just look at one device segment and think of a specific tool for it. But looking at if I’m viewing my mobile app usage, it’s the same place where I can get my mobile website visit usage and website desktop usage measurements or metrics. I think that uniformity across reporting informs a lot and one thing that unifies all that is events It doesn’t matter if it’s up views page views, mobile views, or one simplified dashboard and if you look at it the reason why they push that envelope is they don’t want to be seen as a reporting tool they want to be seen as an analysis tool where you look at the data and you make some informed decisions.There are reporting tools that you can still use within google you have your google data report I believe that’s another independent tool that just picks the data from the analytic frame for instance and just provides the details and graphs and you know those good things for reports.
Jackie: so where do you see us going this year?
Frank: Well, it’s all about integrating it into your ecosystem. Are using it to its full potential because now that provides another layer of analysis to get more insights?
Are you using it are you experimenting? Are you know utilizing the capabilities of the tool I think that’s another thing that is going to be big this year.
And talking of measurement, death of 3rd party a year from now and we’re talking about brand assets the app, the website and it’s all about policies that were introduced back in the day. A very interesting conversation where brands really have to create their own first-party content deposit which means they have to create some value exchanged with the end user.
For instance, let’s say a beer brand and an advertiser thinks I need to get to this person and position this product. And then there’s the brand thinking how will I get this user? So value exchange is quite critical at this moment where they build their own sets of content and for that exchange so let’s say for instance a brand is telling me you need to explore PR and in value exchange, you can get an explicit tradeoff I would do rather than you know with that but it used to track every activity.
So looking at now brands and content creation do you foresee them being majorly involved because it’s an area to explore for them in terms of you know they really have to push the power to their audiences? I know the influencers are already doing that to these audiences they know who they’re speaking to the audience’s interests do you foresee brands doing that?
Jackie: As you are explaining I was thinking about it because I feel like brands will lose quite a good number of audiences and some will gain because I’m trying to think if will it affect the ranking of some websites.
Frank: I think it might take some way
Jackie: Will google still be suggesting websites the way it has always been?
Frank: I think it can suggest to some degree based on how you’ve optimized your assets. I believe the suggestions there’s the whole dominancy of owning a part of your content. So it does the suggestion. But you don’t click through entirely to the asset owner. So the suggestion has a bit of text let’s say with AMP pages for instance which are google-hosted. Click and read through before leaving the group ecosystem. So this is I think empowering the brands to create their own stories and their own content I think that’s where is shifting the conversation without change.
Jackie: This means like a brand should be really targeted to its audience.
Frank: Sure they should.
Jackie: Isn’t that the case right now?
Frank: It is but looks at it in this way right now those third-party cookies track in as much as they can about you. And right now it’s opening up this opportunity where you can actually get that data for yourself if you just you know put in the work reduce that content and target that person who might interact with the brand so I think it’s visible.
Jackie: From your explanation, I wouldn’t say I’m really conversant with it but from my explanation what I feel is that if the cookies that party cookies were removed then brands will have the freedom to get as much audience as possible through their content where people will relate with it so I see the potential, on the other hand, I see a loss as well.
Frank: That’s quite valid, you’ve talk you talked about loss and there’s something attention recession where right now brands are really fighting for your time how do you become top of mind for me and just looking about that attention recession, do you think uh the influencers of that power now do they have the potential to really leverage on it since they already have those audiences with them and the interests covered?
Jackie: What I’ve realized with influencers is when they start they have it but as they grow bigger they lose it. I can predict for this year that influencers will start scaling down to where they started. People are going for that person who has information they need not that person who has information for the sake. So I think some influencers have, but most don’t.
Frank: Will it dictate the types of content that they’ll produce?
Jackie: Definitely, it has to, cause when they start with that attention recession, it means like the content they are creating is for you, not for everyone it’s for you so if it’s for you then you’re interested in it and you’ll watch it. So I believe they do.
Frank: One of the key things I think has been a conversation over the longest is the authenticity of these influences. You know there’s a perceived lifestyle that people portray and believability is key as well in terms of you know if I’m consuming content that you’re pushing out, do you use those brands? A couple of things have come up mental health being one of them you know as a follower you believe this is the only lifestyle if the lifestyle has been positioned like there’s no other way in terms of this is how I need to set my life.Others do it to us to make you think it’s aspirational but others you know don’t have that level of further interrogation to see if it’s just another social aspect as well.
Do believe mental health will still be a conversation that will be hot this year over the coming years?
Jackie: Yeah, definitely mental health would be something that especially most brands will pick just because (I hope) we are phasing out from the pandemic era I hope by the end of this year probably wouldn’t have covered 19 we won’t have most of these restrictions. So at this time, most people in the world have started opening up and influencers have started at least leaving their glamorous lives. With the young generation and the low-income audience, they feel like that’s life.
So if they don’t have people to put them in check it will be an issue. I believe most brands and most companies will pick that up to try and explain this is not their everyday life. Actually, there was a trend on Tiktok just the other day where most influencers showed the life they don’t show.
So you get to see the behind-the-scenes hustles and the hardships. I guess that was more leading to mental health. Like you just don’t think this is their life. There is more to it than you see.
Frank: It’s interesting what you said about brands and then pushing the agenda. There’s a brand I think I read an article a couple of months backlash a cosmetics brand where they are pulling out of social media channels and it’s just that association I believe at some point where people think this is just it. It was a very bold statement for them.
But again like you mentioned it pushes the brand’s envelope in terms of even if they engage in these influencers you know that is a factor that they need to consider when they’re looking at the audiences they target as well or even not even target people at some point just view the brand or interact with these influencers.
JackieYeah, definitely that’s something that will happen.
Social Media Tools
Frank: That’s quite interesting for you know brands moving in that direction.
Another key thing I’m for seeing this year will be you know revision of tools social media tools measurement tools I believe reporting metrics have been always you know engagement reach you know those things that are superficial in some way. At some point, you always have to look at the impact or the return on investment.
Do you think tools will have some other forms of measurement you know we measure sentiment in terms of you know what impact a piece of the campaign did? Do you think there’ll be some form of you know refinement over time with these tools or what things would be perceived to be looked at when you think about measurement and metric?
Jackie: If you look at all these changes that are happening in the digital marketing area you find that if it’s the removal of that fatty cookies it’s leading to you having to go to your authentic audience.
If it’s something to do with influencers scaling down, it leads to authentic content so with that the brands will start looking for what am I getting in return for these and with that tools, we start trying to measure how much the content and engagement. and they’ll start measuring that for the marketing managers who will go back to explain like this is what we got from this influencer or social platform. So the tools will definitely innovate and enhance their offerings right now.
Frank: Another interesting bit you just mentioned about the whole content space and the old tools and the platforms themselves and look at the platforms you know they borrow bits and bobs here and there is one who does a bit of you know innovation and then it’s copied by another to enhance those experiences.
Do you think those platforms this year we’ll have to do a bit more just to tap into where can I know have this user the longest or this person engaged the longest do you think that will happen?
I think you’ve seen it on Instagram and Snapchat and Youtube shorts. Do you still believe I call it the cannibalization of innovation in itself but do you foresee tools or platforms you know doing that as well this year?
Jackie: I would call it the battle of the mighty this is because if one tool feels it’s great on this it’s right it’s trying to get what the other one is wrong on so that the audience will stay for the longest at its own platform. So that’s going to happen but another thing I’m thinking is that innovation will keep improving. We haven’t seen the end of innovation.
Before, it was Instagram, and now we are thinking Tiktok. What next? And I definitely feel like there is more to come than we have. So I feel at the moment the platforms will more or less look the same because, for instance, Youtube introduced still images.
I think they will look more or less the same but they won’t be given a chance by new platforms that are coming. I’m expecting to see at least two or three before the end of the year.
Frank: Valentine’s is just around the corner a very interesting month for brands’ audiences as well and you know e-commerce has been I think accelerated over the past two years I would say and there is no Q-commerce I don’t know if it’s something that this year will pick
Jackie: What’s Q-commerce?
Frank: So imagine purchasing something and it arriving within one hour of that like you just ordered and you’re sure within one hour it’s there. So I don’t know if that will change over here. I’ve personally experimented with Q-commerce. I’ve bought a few items delayed deliveries you know and you’re like you’ll just bear with the delay.
When I think about it in terms of moving into the next phase where Amazon used to try same-day delivery. I’m seeing Jumia pushing 24 delivery I think you’re crossing that envelope we are 30 minutes delivery 60 minutes. If we’ll get there it will be great to see. But do you foresee during this time, a lot of purchases no purchasing gifts purchases of colognes, chocolates and whatnot
I foresee people going back there this February I would believe where you just make a transaction and you have the faith that that thing will be delivered before that time lapses.
Jackie: Within that Valentine’s duration
Frank: Yeah you would imagine you wanted something and then it’s five days late it won’t make sense yeah so
Jackie: What I feel is that most people start making purchases earlier in advance because we’ve seen cases of things being delayed we’ve seen apologies from the companies that this thing did not arrive on time and stuff, we will compensate with this and all that we’ve seen all that. So people have learned people don’t trust their 1 hour, or 24 hours thing but they like making purchases in advance.
But in terms of one hour, that’s quite interesting but it is Nairobi, given the traffic and all that I doubt it
Frank: Do you foresee any interesting campaigns for these Valentine’s Day? I think in my head if I just analyze the past three-four years. I don’t know if last year was quite big but at least right here I think 2018-2019 there. Those years have been quite they were quite vocal in terms of the campaigns that were there back then.
Do foresee this year being the usual is it even a day that is just going past like any other day. Will brands just on any other day and they’ll do it because the sake they think they’ll be something that will really drop our attention?
Jackie. One thing you should realize is that in 2020 we didn’t have Valentine’s Day. 2021 we didn’t have Valentine’s Day either. So this year things are just opening up. I feel like it will be big it will be better and it will be exciting I’m not sure but I feel France will pick it up because it’s the first time in like two years it has to be big.
Frank: If may ask everyone any ever done uh quirky Valentine’s campaign? I know how I’ve done one. Back in the day, I was doing an incentivization valentine’s campaign and the winner was to win a Jiko.
I don’t know I thought that was a brilliant idea at the time and I remember delivering it to him and he was excited the first time. But he was expecting something a bit different I think it was the experience that was uh really lacking in terms of the delivery of the campaign.
I don’t know how you’ve done any quirky things that either worked or didn’t talk on your end
Jackie: I’m yet to do a big valentine’s camp. What I’ve done at the social media campaign yes so I think we should try that route.
Frank: So watch out for any clumsy and quirky ideas for these valentines from us.
Jackie: It will be delivered by the team
Frank: All right so thank you so much for this session. If you have any questions if you have queries I will do another session just going over the terms that you talked about today the metaverse we’ll have a separate session for that. The NFTs as well. We’ll also have a separate session for that we’ll go further even in terms of the tools that we’ve just given a highlight.
So thank you for tuning in it’s been a pleasure having this conversation make sure to tune in a few weeks to watch our next episode.