In conversation with Mali Motsumi-Garrido (DMS Regional Sales Manager JHB) & Shamiel Sali (Regional Sales Manager, DMS Coastal) we’ve garnered some insight into how DMS has managed to withstand current local and global challenges and transform these into a positive demonstration of their agility, and ability to re-imagine their partnerships and build powerful relationships.
Shamiel offered that: “One of the lasting effects of the global pandemic was that traditional methods of building and maintaining relationships in the media industry, had like most “normal” things, been severely disrupted.”
“The interactive media owner events, regular global educational conferences, client lunches and networking parties, which were for the longest time used as the catalyst to build relationships with key industry stakeholders, were no longer possible.”
“More importantly our regular face to face client meetings and impromptu agency visits were no longer possible.”
“To further complicate our situation – South Africa, like the rest of the world, experienced an accelerated proliferation of media channels, coupled with a significant shift in consumer behavior caused by lockdowns and working from home.”
“But our resilience as an organization prevailed and despite the severity of these disruptions, it was our mission to navigate this journey and learn alongside our clients.”
“With customer-centricity at the core of our organization, we have always understood that the customer defines the level of service that they expect.”
“We also understand that customer value expectations are always shifting, particularly in this dynamic technological and now – socio-pandemic environment.”
DMS leaned into the new virtual only world with our client focused sales, marketing and operations teams, and we managed to use virtual video platform to pivot the manner and frequency with which we engaged with our partners.
Having recently won both the Trade Marketing and Service categories at the Media industries MOST Awards we feel like we on the right track and hope to continue to improve on this into the future.
Mali explained how the organization was able to apply an empathetic approach to their customer management.
“The combination of our organization’s robust infrastructure, technological expertise and innovation, and our future-proof strategy, both intrinsically within the organization and in our approach to the customer, stood us in good stead to absorb and adapt as an organization and transcend into the now virtual world of interaction and engagement.”
“This allowed us to stay the course in this heavy storm we continue to navigate – and deliver value to our customers in a way that sets us apart from competitors.”
“Our organization didn’t collapse, it thrived.”
“It thrived, whilst maintaining empathy for all our employees, suppliers, clients and customers, allowing us to maintain and nurture powerful partnerships.”
“We took care to listen to employee issues and problems – and responded with real, tangible solutions.”
“For example, instead of sending flowers in condolence, we understood how tokens like an Uber Eats voucher, or a food package or money contributions collected from caring team members could convey the same sense of care whilst addressing an essential human need.”
“Real solutions, that come from truly listening.”
“We empathized with our colleagues, by availing ourselves to do whatever work was required in their absence or time of need, in support of each other.”
“We stood united, even when apart, and that same respect, honesty and integrity within the organization permeated into every aspect of how we communicate – and deal with our customers, allowing reciprocal and transparent relationships.”
“As world leaders in the field of broadcast technology, the entertainment industry, and media, we willingly shared our knowledge and expertise in support of our clients, helping them weather the challenges of the Pandemic.”
“Our recovery was in our adaptation, and agility, as we changed the landscape around our clients’ needs.”
The JHB, and Coastal teams were grounded by the pillars upon which the organization stands: CARE, CONNECT, CREATE.
“We made practical adjustments: our reaction to the pandemic uncertainty, particularly towards heavily impacted categories was to cancel & defer campaigns, with no penalties, and through consistent feedback from our clients we identified a need to show more value to them.”
“We recalibrated with mindfulness: increased communication, shorter material lead times, and provided weekly audience insights in the form of our well-received DMS tracker.”
“Our marketing team produced groundbreaking virtual events in order to keep our clients in the loop and help them navigate the New Normal.”
“Through authentic care, interest and involvement, we proved our worth as true partners to our customers, building stronger relationships and earning their loyalty.”