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All posts by Mike Saunders

Mike Saunders
An expert in social media, digital customer experiences and helping business engage customers and employees though the use of digital technology An international speaker, he has worked with some of the worlds most prestigious organisations including KPMG, Vodacom, GIBS, IBM and The South African Presidency. Acknowledged by his peers as one of the Top 20 South Africans to follow on Twitter, Mike has won the respect of business by his determined approach to helping business navigate a diverse and complicated world of people and technology. As an entrepreneur and businessman, Mike has built DigitLab into one of South Africa's premier digital marketing companies and is a partner at TomorrowToday where he contributes to the future world of work as a speaker and consultan
  • User experience and the IoT: tech should be all about humans

    I remember reading about the Twittering Ferries a few years ago. This story captured my imagination and I started to explore the Internet of Things (IoT) in more detail. IoT, in essence, allows ‘Machines to speak to Machines’ (M2M), provide instruction, feedback on status, and even process artificial intelligence. The reason the Twittering Ferries intrigued me, however, was not the M2M relationship, but rather the fact that the code behind Twittering Ferries created a means where machines were now talking to people. They used social media to facilitate communication to human beings. This has been my interest point over the...

  • Beyond ‘the customer is always right’: understanding the social shopper

    The consumer has always been right, but now they are so informed by their peers that they are savvier than ever when it comes to choosing between products, services, and brands. A few years ago, ‘social’ meant Facebook pages and Twitter profiles; today, it’s about involving others in the shopping experience – whether they be friends, family, part of an extended social community, or complete strangers. With the rise in online shopping, the social aspects of in- store interaction become limited, leaving shoppers without the reassurance or assistance of sales staff, friends, or family members. The move towards social retailing...

  • Customer driven, unified channels: this is retail’s digital future

    The digital world has disrupted our marketing worlds and changed the way business communicates with people. Social media has opened the door to two-way conversations with data giving us a better understanding of our market and mobile making our message more accessible to the general consumer. Over the past few years we have placed much focus on developing digital channels to make the most of social media, mobile and data collection; however I believe that this focus has swung business to the opposite end of the pendulum and has put too much focus on digital channels and not the...

  • 7 top digital marketing trends to watch in 2014

    2014 should be a very interesting year in digital marketing. Businesses are beginning to show more mature digital mindsets which are driving their agencies towards innovation, new media platforms are changing the landscape and the past few years of experimentation should lean toward major advancements and changes in effective digital communication. In my research I have found the following trends that should become evident in 2014. 1. The rise of short video People hate wasting time. I find myself, like many others, looking at the length of the video before deciding to watch it. Anything more than three minutes and I...

  • 5 important things you need to know about parenting in a digital age

    How do you protect your child from the dangers of an online world, particularly online bullying and blackmail? This must be one of the most pertinent questions being asked by 21st-century parents, because the dangers of the cyber world reach into all of our lives, no matter what our socio-economic standing. Quite simply, if your child has internet access then he or she has the potential to be drawn into dangerous situations. The appropriate parental response to this new social landscape is not fear and reactionary behaviour but rather knowledge and engagement. Below we discuss some basic handles for...

  • 3 key factors to bear in mind when developing a social strategy

    Facebook believes in "social by design." In other words, something is not social unless your deigned it to be social. Social needs to be a core part of what you do and not just utilising social websites. Understanding this concept is key to designing social media strategies. A strategy becomes social when it leverages the social aspect of life rather than uses a social network. There are three primary social elements that we should be thinking about when we develop a social strategy. 1. Personalisation A social strategy will look to customise a campaign with a personalised interface for the user that enhances...

  • The state of LinkedIn in 2012 [Infographic]

    LinkedIn is by far the most useful business network on the internet. I say this because LinkedIn has grown from a social network that connects professionals into a powerhouse of business tools that can improve your bottom line. As is the case with much of the web, its prominence in emerging markets is also growing. In a country like South Africa for instance, LinkedIn grew 83% (600 000 professionals) in 2011 and...