It’s survival of the fittest, as young Digify Pro’s digital marketers strategise to impress industry expert.
Deep in Braamfontein, digital agency, Maverick Mind was sceptical they would find what they were looking for. Tall rustic buildings and modern skyscrapers rise up next to each other, each building’s use, identical to the next. But, on the inside, the difference is distinct. It is clear that creativity lives here. Here is Livity Africa, home to one of the South African digital industry’s best kept secrets, Digify Pro: a digital marketing boot camp powered by Google and the IAB. Maverick came because they wanted to test the brains of young thinkers. They wanted to think of unconventional ways to market a first of its kind UX conference.
It was simple.
Lay down the gauntlet to the bright young minds of Digify Pro, provide them with a few hours to plot and plan. Sit back, and watch the brilliance unfold. Reluctant at first to engage in some of the deeper questions of UX – they had, after all, just encountered the ins and outs of User Experience, what could they possibly know? – the Digify Pro trainees sunk their teeth into the challenge. Quickly, teams were split into groups of five: strategists, IT whizz kids and content creators thrust together in a delightful ensemble to create work hard-play hard think tanks.
THE CHALLENGE HEATS UP
And then came the reckoning. The Digify Cohort proposed various angles and approaches to the brand challenge. They posed questions and answered enquiries. They exchanged ideas and augmented solutions to come up with a world-class, failproof digital strategy. With a canvas to create, the winning team presented an integrated marketing approach by harnessing the power of current trends such as virtual reality.
The Digifiers certainly left their mark on Philani Mdingi, head of digital strategy at Maverick Mind, “I was quite impressed with the creative and strategic input that we received from the student teams that were tackling the brand challenge. I was particularly excited about this because it gave me a view of the calibre of students that will soon be entering the industry. They will also have the opportunity to drive the transformation agenda in the South African Digital landscape by bringing unique insights.” Each team gave the Pixel Up! Conference a star-rating, citing that Pixel Up could galvanize further niche conferences of the same calibre. How often did one attend conferences focused solely on UX? Rich in content, richer in experience, participants would surely be clamouring for more. The teams branded Pixel Up as a conference for the curious, for the problem solvers, for designers and developers alike, for anyone with a love for digital marketing.
The Digify Pro kids turned out to be right. Pixel Up! took place on the 14-16th of September and was an outstanding success. Maverick Mind richly awarded the team’s efforts with R17 000 seats at the conference. “We pride ourselves in being quite dynamic about how we integrate future talent into our business ethos,” one of the organisers of Pixel Up! Conference commented, “and competitions such as the Digify Challenge are a great way to engage with the students and hopefully give them valuable insight that will serve them well in their career.” They were a spoilt lot, who got a behind-the-scenes look into UX and sufficiently rubbed shoulders with the likes of international influencers in product development and User Experience. Surely, a taste of what their digital futures could look like.