Flume – a review of 2022 and plans going forward

We have asked our two Directors, Jacques Du Bruyn, and Ruan Oosthuizen to do a review for us on the year that was 2022. Read more below on what they have to say:

The Year in Review According to Jacques Du Bruyn:

As we are all very aware, the pandemic slowed business down to some extent and ushered in caution from business decision makers. That’s most likely why 2022 felt like a bullet train – I believe the economy was playing catch up. As such, 2022 was a year of having to adapt while surging forward. At Flume, we’ve had to make sure that we effectively batten down the hatches so that we are ready and geared up for what is to come in 2023. We believe markets will invest significantly in digital technologies and market these technologies via digital platforms with the help of digital agencies such as Flume.

Find out more about the digital marketing industry here.

Digital is growing up 

I noticed in 2022 that digital marketing, and specifically social media, has grown up somewhat. Brands have had to be far more deliberate about how they deploy their marketing strategies online and have had to take a far more authentic approach. Audiences are fatigued by brands jumping on the virtue bandwagon and are looking for honesty from brands. What I’ve noticed is that brands are starting to grow up and that authenticity is making a comeback. I believe in 2023 we will see more of this, more authenticity, and more meaningful interactions between brands and society.

What is the role of digital marketing in broader society? 

With Elon Musk buying Twitter, the fall of FTX, and other digitally-first businesses, trust in the online arena at times has been slim. It would seem that there is somewhat of a “shake-up” taking place, a paradigm shift, if you will, in the role that digital marketing should play in society. Likewise, what does this mean for the Metaverse and its goal to propel society into a virtual world? 2023 is going to be an interesting year – if anything, as a digital marketing agency, Flume is going to have a front seat as we keep our finger on the pulse. I’m confident that we are going to witness a shift in the role that digital marketing plays in society. We’ve seen Elon Musk say that he would like to see Twitter play the role of society’s ‘town hall’, a space for free speech and ideas. How then will brands find their fit in a town hall? With Twitter’s launch of Twitter Blue, there will be options to have an ad-free version of Twitter. Again, what does this mean for how brands show up?

Looking forward to 2023

2023 will be Flume’s 10 year anniversary. We’ve witnessed a lot of change over the past 10 years in the digital marketing arena. Technologies have come and gone, brands like Kulula have come and gone; and influencers have come and gone. We’ve had to adjust and be agile as we leave old technologies behind and embrace new ones. 2022 specifically has been a year of fortifying for Flume. We’ve won significant new clients and awards this year. We’ve seen an upswing in demand for what we have to offer, and this means we’ve had to put our internal house in order. In retrospect, I’m so glad we did. We’re now ready to take on the world. And when I say the world, I mean it. Flume is opening up an office in Europe in 2023, and we plan on expanding into new frontiers. There’s something almost digitally Star-Trek about that. I’ve never been more confident than I am now in Flume’s ability to provide best-in-class digital marketing services to the world’s best businesses and brands.

The Year in Review According to Ruan Oosthuizen:

2022 in review: One could say we went back to normal; however, this is not exactly true. Yes, we finally came out of lockdown and all forms of COVID restrictions this year, but I wouldn’t say things are back to normal.

We returned to a world at war, a global recession was looming, and we had grown accustomed to load shedding, water shedding, and a variety of other ills. Not necessarily great under normal circumstances.

Out of this, I’ll leave you with two thoughts for 2023: 

Back to good old-fashioned business principles

The time of cheap money is gone. Gone are the days when companies could raise millions of dollars from a good business idea without having proper track records. Gone are crazy prices for NFTs, and gone are the days of zombie companies. 

Cash flow is important again, and the simple basics of business matter again. 

Things of real value matter again. Value is relative and hard to pin down, I admit; however, showing value and adding value to people/companies is at the core of business. If you and your business keep adding value, then you will do just fine. 

How winning is done

What we have a lot of in South Africa are tenacity and grit. We take the knocks, and we keep taking them. Similar to Rocky’s speech to his son: “Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are; it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”

Now, based on all we have gone through, many would argue that South Africa as a whole has taken a lot of knocks and we have been given some reprieve, but that is not the whole of it; it’s how we deal with these problems in the midst of them that sets us apart. 

While other countries experience potentially momentary high inflation for the first time in decades and freak out, we wrestle with some serious problems, and that is the difference. We are sitting here working on it. We succeed because of this. We make a plan, and we get it done.

From the problem comes the potential for a winning formula. 

Electrical power problems – Eskom won’t solve the problem, but privatised solutions are and will. We’re making much faster progress toward a more sustainable electrical power solution.

Recession – companies are cutting spending globally!

The weak currency and new ways of working remotely allow us to offer quality work at highly competitive prices internationally. 

Off the cuff, I would prefer not to have these problems; life would be better without them. However, we are here, and we decide which way we are going to go. So although I hope for an easier 2023, I think 2023 will be much like 2022, tough, but let’s make the best of it and get busy winning!

Here at Flume, our clients come first. We offer various services, including web, app, platform production, SEO, Data Analytics, digital strategy, creative production, and publishing. Whether you need to revamp your website or create engaging social media content, Flume has the expertise to make it happen. So why wait? Contact us today to learn how Flume can help your business thrive in the digital world!

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