At 34° we speak to people, not numbers.

Posted: June 28, 2016

Human nature craves real and tangible interactions. It is in our genetic make-up and intricately woven into our psyche, regardless of culture or geographical divide. With advances in communication platforms and the endless evolution of ways to connect, real human interactions have become compromised, diluted and somewhat jaded.

It has been engrained in marketers and advertisers to refer to ‘The Target Market’, ‘The Shopper’, ‘The User’, ‘The Consumer’ or ‘The Customer’. Whilst there most certainly is a place for all of these naming conventions, what we often forget to do is remember that we are building brands or creating advertising to ultimately speak to people.

People who come in all shapes and sizes, with diverse personalities, beliefs and behaviour. People who engage with brands differently for the simple reason that they are wired differently.

These are the things that can’t always be accounted for in many of the segmentation tools used day-to-day. The phrase ‘Marketing By Numbers’ has never been truer and it is a reality that has only been amplified by the explosion of Big Data. Brands tend to have more information than they know what to do with but little that actually cuts straight to the heart of the matter.

By grouping people together we strip them of the unique traits that determine how they are going to respond to a piece of work. The issue is that we need to dig deeper to really understand the things that segmentation tools can’t always tell us, if we want to create smart advertising.

At 34° we understand that people are different and that they have unique connections with brands. We don’t believe in a ‘one size fits all’ and we get in front of the people whom we are trying to connect with to understand what moves them. We identify those key connection moments between people and brands to come up with the most meaningful and relevant way to influence behaviour and change mindsets.

These connection moments are those points where we have the opportunity to make a long lasting impact in the minds of the people whom we (and our clients) are trying to connect with. They are the moments where a brand has meaning and purpose in a person’s life for reasons that go beyond time and place, to those deeper emotional connections.

At 34° we believe that these moments are alive and beating – they’re what we call The Pulse™ and we just need to find them and harness them in the smartest way possible.

That’s where our proprietary research tools come into play. We secure and nurture relationships, with communities of different people, to help us solve our clients’ business problems whilst simultaneously keeping our finger on the pulse.


Our platforms form part of our very own ‘toolbox’ to help us identify these Pulse moments. From The Council of Women – where we engage with women across Facebook and Twitter to understand what they want – to 34° Families – where we step into the shoes of ordinary South African families – to 34° Chats and 34° DeepDives – where we flip the traditional focus group on its head – we get up close and personal through real human interactions.

“By getting our hands more than a little dirty and by being in on the action, we are able to create work that has (really) been based on deep and meaningful insights” states Head of Strategy Tenielle Maris.

Tenielle Maris Head of Strategy

“If marketers and advertisers want to make a lasting impact and pave the way for award-winning creativity, they need to go back to basics and engage in honest conversations with the people that matter or cease to be relevant”

“34° played a key role in positioning our brand in Kenya. Prior to our engagement with 34° the business had a functional and tactical mindset. Following the research in market, 34° were able to present a strong and relevant position for the brand, which we are excited to take to market” – Jason Kramer, Business Lead at Osiris Trading.

About 34°
34° is an advertising agency that believes in creating bold, curious and effective work.