Conversation LAB Wins Darling and Frika

South Africa and UK – Adding to its recent Kinky Hair win, creative agency Conversation LAB now adds two new leading hair brands, Darling and Frika, to its growing female hair care portfolio.

Conversation LAB is now the digital agency of record across the complete stable of dry hair brands for Godrej, which ranks among the largest hair care players globally.

Darling, the best-selling dry hair brand in Africa, has operations in 14 countries, whilst Frika, also hair extensions and wigs, enjoys a premium positioning in the South African market and is the market leader in key accounts in organised retail.

Prashant Chako, head of marketing for Africa, speaking from Dubai, said: “We enjoy a close strategic partnership with the team at Conversation LAB which is fully entrenched in the world of ethnic hair. The agency has been leading the full portfolio of digital activity for Godrej wet hair brands, Inecto and Renew, for the past three years, delivering exceptional results and winning awards. So, it was the natural choice to appoint Conversation LAB as agency of record for our dry hair portfolio, including Darling, Frika and Kinky”.

The agency will be responsible for developing, implementing and tracking a multi-layered digital eco-system for both brands including management and development of all content across a range of social media platforms, websites and mobile sites, fully optimised for the huge search market as well as influencer engagement. It will offer a full end-to-end digital solution for Godrej SA’s dry hair care portfolio.

Commenting on the new business win, Samantha Hewitson, account director at Conversation LAB said: “Research constantly shows that the hair care category in Africa is one of the most competitive consumer businesses, and we at Conversation LAB are always up for a challenge. We are excited about continuing to grow market share for both Darling and Frika and further entrench them as household names on the continent”.

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4 Social Media Trends to Follow in 2018


By Christina Sirabella, Junior Copywriter

Long gone are the days when simple text or image updates made for effective social content. As new technologies emerge and online demographics shift, tactics that worked five years ago ― or even one year ago ― are rapidly becoming obsolete. So, to keep your brand content on the cutting edge, here are some trends to stay ahead of as we look to 2018:

1. Live Streaming

It’s no secret that video has become essential to any marketing strategy in the past few years, but live streaming is the most recent video application to take social media by storm. Between current devices’ increased streaming capabilities and the continued focus on video content, live streaming has already grown tremendously. Currently, live videos are broadcast on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and even Tumblr ― but with 82% of audiences preferring live video to social posts, expect this tactic to gain even more prominence next year.

2. Augmented and Virtual Reality

This year, an estimated 40 million people in the U.S. have engaged with some form of augmented reality at least monthly. With its lens features and real-time virtual camera effects, Snapchat has made the biggest push into this sphere. Mobile gaming applications like Pokémon Go have dabbled in AR as well, but in 2018 the widespread availability of AR and VR will create new opportunities for marketers to make their content on social platforms more interactive as well as engaging.

3. Chatbots and Messaging

Personalization is key in the current social media landscape, especially with regards to messaging. Two billion messages are sent each month between people and businesses through chatbots, which are relatively simple AI interfaces specializing in natural language processing ― think Siri or Cortana, but less sophisticated. They live on messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp and provide an automated but (ideally) satisfying way for companies to answer individuals’ questions or provide information. When done right, bots allow businesses to message audiences in a more immediate way, on a more personalized level, at scale. For brands, messaging apps have mostly been for early adopters till now, but expect that to change in 2018.

4. Influencer Marketing

It’s imperative for brands to access and tap into consumer trust, and one of the best ways to do that is through influencer marketing. 45% of online shoppers say they are influenced by the opinions of others, and 84% of millennials do not trust traditional advertising. In 2018, more brands will partner with influencers and embrace this tactic across channels as a more authentic way to build customer relationships.


What social media trends do you expect to see in 2018? Share in the comments, or contact Likeable Media to find out how we can transform your social media strategy in the new year.

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Always want to know what’s around the corner?

Us too!

It’s why Magnafi are looking for a Director of Content Strategy. Someone who shares our passion for exploring the evolution of film; challenging its conventions and continually searching out what’s next.

We imagine you’ll have the very latest technology, audience and platform data at your fingertips. You’ll be an incredibly resourceful researcher using an array of digital tools and desk research to mine for insights that blow the brains of creative teams. You’re a storming presenter; able to weave stories and generate excitement in the room from even the driest data. You’re someone who doesn’t shy away from delivering the tough news to clients and is confident challenging even the most deeply held beliefs. You’re someone who loves to take on a wide ranging brief, meticulously breaking it down and driving the work forward yourself rather than simply delegating. You’ll think of yourself more scientist than creative but know that the two go hand in glove. You’ll be a natural leader too – someone who enjoys nurturing a team and leads by example.

Magnafi is part of the MMI Group; the largest portfolio of content strategy and film production companies in Northern England (UK). We combine a full strategic agency set up with the largest TV commercial and content production engine outside London incorporating a studio complex & post-production facilities. You’ll work side by side with film directors, technologists, producers, designers, documentary makers, creatives, digital planners, motion graphics artists to name just a few.  It’s an unusual collection of skills all under one roof but it’s a set-up which our clients absolutely love.

And to continue to lead in this space, we recruit on a strong set of values born from a collective pride, ambition and inventiveness. Our shared ethos means we can run through walls together. The first question is always – are you with us?

If this hits you in the heart as well as the head then send us your cv or up to date Linkedin profile to

We encourage applications from those seeking return to work, part time or flexible working arrangements and candidates from diverse backgrounds. International applications are welcome with relocation packages available.

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What is customer segmentation?

We often get asked, “What is customer segmentation….?” alongside the follow-up question, “… and why do we need it?”.

Well, the key to successful marketing lies in understanding who your customers are and what makes them tick. It sounds obvious, but it is worth stating that the more you know about your customers, the deeper and more durable your relationship is likely to be with them. But, given the millions of people in the UK who could potentially be customers of yours (not to mention the billions in the world beyond), how is this achieved?

Which of them should be prioritised to achieve the greatest success, and how will that affect your sales and marketing strategy? There are two areas to understand when it comes to analysing your customers – customer segmentation, and customer personas. This article is primarily about customer segmentation, as this is perhaps the most important element to focus efforts on in a strategic sense, but it also looks at how customer personas – developed from data obtained from segmentation – can be constructed to give valuable insights when constructing tactical marketing campaigns.

At the highest level, pretty much every business will – consciously or otherwise – have a customer segment in mind when they start out; the people they think are most likely to be potential buyers for their products. Clearly, a company selling pet food will not expect any interest from people who don’t have pets, so a large section of the population will be right outside their sphere of customer segmentation from the word go. Proper customer segmentation really kicks in at the next level.

Demographic data

There are still millions of people who own pets, but they can be sub-divided into different segments based upon demographic data attributes, such as; age, gender, marital status, income, education and occupation. To a great extent, segments can be created using personal intuition and insight about the type of attributes customers are likely to have. It’s obvious that products aimed at teenagers need to be marketed in a very different way to products aimed at people in retirement. Where a product might appeal to both groups, segmenting them helps to establish if either group is more important, and to what degree and in what ways.

However, relying on gut instinct to create segments is somewhat dangerous – it may say more about the prejudices of the person creating the segments rather than anything useful about the people within them. Instinct may lead to incorrect conclusions about which segments are truly important, and about the particular marketing style that people within those segments would respond to. Researched segmentation from external sources based on objective data rather than subjective opinion is much more informative and reliable, although internal processes such as workshops and brainstorms can also help to paint a good picture.

For established companies, the initial data required to create segments lies in their own customer base. After all, these are people who have already bought, or expressed an interest in, the products or services on offer. Analysing an existing customer base can reveal a wealth of valuable information.

Often, a relatively small proportion of customers will be found to generate a high proportion of turnover – and, much more importantly, profit. It may become clear that many of these customers share characteristics, and that they represent a clearly definable segment; those shared characteristics can point towards a successful way of marketing to them in as effective a way as possible. It also identifies the potential attributes of prospective customers that fall within this segment, and at whom marketing awareness activities could be aimed.

Even for a business starting from scratch, there is a lot of decent quality data available. In the UK, a useful free source of information is the Office for National Statistics (ONS), whose website provides a wealth of data that shows how the population breaks down according to a whole host of factors. This can be a useful basis for starting to create meaningful segments.

Usually, though, a starting point is all this high-level data can provide. The data is demographic – it describes statistically which parts of a population fall into different groups based on objective information such as age, gender, income group and the like. While it helps answer the question ‘who?’ it doesn’t explain how they think or what motivates them to act as they do. This is where psychographic data is required.

Psychographic data

As its name implies, psychographic data is concerned with how customers think and behave: their values and views, motivations, what they respond to well, what turns them on or off, how they spend their free time, and so on. In this way, we move beyond the rational and into the emotional. The art of persuasion is a crucial marketing factor in winning sales that is often undervalued. Marketing needs to speak to people’s hearts as much as their minds. This is why psychographic data is just as important as demographic data. In fact, there are studies that indicate that most people make up their minds about the house they are going to buy in just a few seconds. This is the biggest purchase they are likely to make in their lives, and it is almost entirely emotional in nature. Ditto cars, jobs – and maybe even spouses…!

Gathering this information can be accomplished in a variety of different ways.

  • Gentle questioning of customers as they buy should be part of every sales process. It could be done face to face by the person making the sale, or via an online questionnaire after each purchase. Finding out why a customer is making a purchase, or considering one, will open up potential insights to making further sales in the future, either in the form of repeat business from that customer, or from others who share similar motivations.
  • The information gathered from day-to-day interactions with customers can be augmented by specific research involving focus groups and one-to-one interviews, where detailed insights into why people behave the way they do can be obtained. These days, the research can often be handled remotely, through online questionnaires or by setting up ‘virtual’ focus groups.
  • The internet has also introduced the concept of ‘Big Data’. With the numbers of people now browsing, buying and interacting online, an astonishing amount of data is gathered by the likes of Google and Experian as a natural biproduct of their services, as well as specialist data companies such as Zizo, Esri, Intel, etc. This data can be analysed and collated to create detailed segments showing behaviours across a wide range of different activities. This data can be cut and sorted into so many combinations, they are virtually infinite: if your products are particularly popular with people in tower blocks who use social media while travelling on trains, support environmental causes and enjoy oriental food, the data can tell you.

Collecting as much psychographic data as possible will help you focus your marketing efforts and spend on the most likely buyers. If you are advertising on social media, for example, understanding psychographic details about your customers can be especially helpful in ensuring that you are targeting customers with the right sorts of behavioural traits.

However, the best customer segmentation models combine both demographic and psychographic data to build up valuable and meaningful profiles which help to improve marketing strategies. In their most refined form, these profiles become customer personas.

Customer personas

Customer personas are fully-rounded profiles of fictional customers of a brand or business. Each persona has characteristics – demographic and psychographic – identified through segmentation. It is normal to have more than one customer persona to reflect different segments of your customer base – three is in fact about average, though more or less than this is not unusual either. It very much depends upon the size and complexity of your business.

As their attributes as individuals are considered, insights emerge that could otherwise have been missed. Some aspect of your communications might suddenly be revealed as confusing, unnecessary or downright irritating. A product feature thought to be minor could turn out to be a significant driver behind buying decisions for a particular customer persona.

Marketing collateral that has customer personas in mind is more engaging, because it is created for a specific – if fictional – person. In the same way that real people change and grow, so too can customer personas develop as new data comes in and external factors, such as the state of the economy or developments in technology, change. Just as personas should be created from data, so too can data-needs be informed by personas – they help establish which of all those myriads of possible combinations are most likely to generate information valuable to a business.

More effective marketing strategies

Customer segmentation and customer personas are complementary to each other, and increase the depth of understanding businesses have of their customers, thereby leading to more effective marketing strategies. Each one adds a different aspect to the mix and is worth pursuing in its own right, but investing time and effort in both areas creates a whole that delivers much more than the sum of the two parts. Businesses that recognise this are normally much more successful in generating sales leads from their marketing activities. And, of course, it’s not just about generating leads from prospective customers. Customer segmentation and customer personas can also help a business to up-sell and cross-sell, as well making customers more loyal in nature, leading to ambassadorial recommendations and word of mouth referrals.

In fact, we would argue that establishing customer segments and customer personas is essential to the long-term success of any forward-thinking organisation driven by a sales and marketing culture.

Conversation LAB goes back to school with Hilton College

Conversation LAB goes back to school with Hilton College

Conversation LAB have been appointed by Hilton College, one of the most prestigious private boys’ schools in the country, to design and build their new website and consult on their digital strategy. Hilton is a traditional all-boys private boarding school, who pride themselves on remaining contemporary and innovative within the educational space.

This win adds to the impressive collection of academic institutions that Conversation LAB currently works with. These include several brands from the ADvTECH Group – Varsity College, The Business School, Vega, Rosebank College, University of Africa – as well as globally recognised International Hotel School.

The scope of work covers all website activity: management, art direction and photography, search (SEO) and content management, UX, and analytics. The agency has also assisted in Social Media strategy.

Headmaster George Harris commented: “Conversation LAB was recommended to us through our network and we were impressed by their education sector credentials, as well as their design and development capabilities. We have full confidence that they are the right choice to help define our digital strategy.”

Conversation LAB UX Lead, James Murray, stated: “In a highly competitive education sector, a
website, or Facebook page, is often the first interaction that the prospect has with the school. It’s now more important than ever that the user experience is seamless and that a school’s website demonstrates the why and the how the school is the best in class.”

Conversation LAB, which is headquartered in Durban, recently expanded into Johannesburg, Cape Town and London.

For more information, contact Kevin Power at Conversation LAB.

031 536 3412 / 071 340 3119

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