How TMI helped a major fashion retailer break into the beauty and cosmetics market

How TMI helped a major fashion retailer break into the beauty and cosmetics market

With the launch of our client’s new makeup brand, TMI was challenged to develop a campaign that would make a splash in the beauty and cosmetics market. Renowned for being one of the largest fashion retailers in South Africa, our client moved into new territory where their name wasn’t known and there was heavy competition.


It is an exciting and stylish new product group type that had the potential to become popular among fashionable youngsters. Under the new brand, the client debuted 200 products across eight categories: lips, eyes, face, tools, bath and body, skincare, fragrance, and nails, all of which deliver on quality and affordability, which people have come to expect from our client.


Faced with a saturated marketplace where consumers are overwhelmed with choice from well-established competitors, TMI needed to come up with a winning strategy for introducing a new, unknown make-up brand. The goal was to keep the brand top-of-mind with the audience to ultimately drive traffic to the site and get sales going.



We understood that encouraging consumers to switch to our client’s brand takes time. That’s why brand awareness and consumer education were a crucial foundation on which we set out to acquire leads. 

Our team started with an in-depth audience analysis that identified our audience’s online browsing activities. In order to stay continuously visible and connected to consumers in different micro moments, we expanded our marketing reach across multiple channels.

The designs for the beauty brand were really compelling, therefore, we sought to make the campaign visually driven to pull consumers in. 



Based on our previous success promoting the client in question, as well as other retail clients’ products, we settled on an omni-channel strategy incorporating various online touch-points. 

We used a range of awareness channels with vibrant visuals to reach potential new buyers. The focus was on Youtube, Display banners, GSPs, Shopping, and Social Creatives on the Display network. Search was used for the lower funnel to generate sales for generic terms and capture any branded searches over time, which we hoped would boost our sales efforts. 

Waze was included to drive customers in-store. There were only a few selected stores that sold the products, so we worked toward promoting these locations.

By using custom intent audiences across Display and Youtube, we had very targeted campaigns that focused on users’ search behaviour to drive more engagement. We also included broader targeting to drive awareness in new customers.

The social elements included on the banners drove greater engagement as users are familiar with these elements. 

By targeting top, middle and lower Display funnels, we helped usher customers to the point of conversions. With the addition of the Search, Shopping and GSP touchpoints, we ensured that the campaign was reaching users everywhere. 



We have seen conversions coming in from channels that are normally only run for brand awareness. GSP delivered a high click-through-rate (CTR), indicating that our client’s existing audience is highly receptive and engaged.

While there has been some growth in clicks for Search, this channel was unable to provide the same conversion rates as Display (banners and social).

Remarkably, Shopping, which is very much about driving e-commerce sales and is a visual medium, provided a similar conversion rate as Search. This could be an indication that users were more receptive to visuals featuring models wearing the makeup as opposed to just product images.







How South African consumers are adapting in the face of the coronavirus crisis

How South African consumers are adapting in the face of the coronavirus crisis

The coronavirus pandemic is shaking the global economy, impacting the confidence, shopping behaviour, and social activities of consumers everywhere. With millions of people around the world under lockdown or ordered to stay home, a recent survey by McKinsey appealed to consumers’ concerns about the disruption to their daily lives and their overall outlook of the future. The survey tracked consumer sentiment throughout several countries including the USA, UK, Australia, and South Africa. 

A snapshot of the global sentiment revealed that Japan has the highest level of concern about their economic recovery, with only 6% of respondents having a positive outlook. China, which is making great strides in the battle against the outbreak, had the most positive attitude towards the situation, with 53% of respondents anticipating economic recovery. 


Even though people tend to spend less money on discretionary purchases during the crisis, the survey observed an uptick in spending in certain countries, most likely attributed to panic buying and stocking up on essential products. Online shopping increased globally as physical stores shut down and people are ordered to stay home, however, this trend has not come close to offsetting the overall reduction in spending.

In South Africa, confidence levels about the economy are low – only 28% of respondents are optimistic about an economic rebound. Consumers say they are planning to cut back across all spending categories during the April lockdown, except on groceries and home entertainment. 

Consumers also revealed which shopping channels they plan to use when purchasing goods during the crisis, divided between online and in-store: with home entertainment, books, magazines, and newspapers likely to be consumed online while they’ll likely go in-store for groceries, food takeaways, household supplies, personal care products, skincare and makeup, footwear, accessories, jewellery, furniture and appliances, fitness and wellness apparel, alcohol, and tobacco.

With more time spent at home these days, it’s no surprise that South African consumers project considerable behaviour changes. The table below shows how they were planning to allocate their time to home activities that will help them get through the tough days ahead.


Category Spend less time Stay the same  Spend more time
Cooking at home 3% 28% 69%
Texting, chatting, messaging 5% 29% 66%
Using social media 6% 32% 61%
Reading news online 9% 28% 63%
Watching movies or shows 11% 26% 63%
Watching live news 10% 30% 61%
Watching video content 13% 30% 57%
Online learning 24% 30% 46%
Meditation/ mindfulness 22% 36% 42%
Reading fiction/ non-fiction 25% 37% 39%
Exercise 24% 43% 34%
Playing video games 33% 27% 40%
Working 46% 33% 21%
Reading physical newspapers 49% 27% 24%
Online shopping for groceries 52% 23% 25%


McKinsey’s report shows that the coronavirus pandemic is causing disruption and uncertainty in all aspects of daily life, from work and finances to socialising and travel. By sharing these stats on how people are adjusting their shopping and online habits, we hope you’ll find some useful insights that will help you connect with customers and keep your Search and Display, and Social marketing strategies relevant during the current turmoil. 




TMI triumphs with spot on SA’s most favourite media agencies list

TMI triumphs with spot on SA’s most favourite media agencies list

TMI once again proved its place amongst the most-noted and long-respected names in digital marketing after being voted onto a prestigious list by our industry peers.

In a tradition that’s been running for seven years, MarkLives recently released the results of its Agency Leaders poll for 2019, and we are pleased to announce that we’ve been awarded joint runner-up in the category “most-admired media agencies in South Africa.” 

We’re in good company on this year’s list amongst The MediaShop, who claimed the first spot for the second year in a row, and last year’s runner up, PHD Media South Africa, whom we’re share the honour with. Agency executives and leaders evaluated agencies with the strongest reputations within their niche and across the industry, and based their vote on the agencies that displayed effective management and great creative leadership, and whom they believe will be their primary competition in the future.   

       TMI’s way of standing out is to not phase ourselves with what others are doing in the industry but instead focus on the business partners we are servicing and the teams that make it all happen. Our people drive our success; [it’s through] having great people who have developed great partnerships with our clients.

– Lauren Foster, TMI MD


We always want our teams to feel proud to be a part of TMI, so receiving endorsement and recognition for what we do is a true reflection of our success as an agency. We are extremely thankful for both the separate and collective input of each TMI employee to our dynamic agency. As we enter the new decade, we look forward to continuing our industry-leading approach to how we service our clients and develop our people in this always-shifting digital marketing landscape. 


TMI’s Growth Fuels Exciting Rebrand

TMI’s Growth Fuels Exciting Rebrand

For over a decade TMI (The Media Image) has operated out of South Africa, running complex and ambitious campaigns for some of the most recognisable brands in the world. The concept right from the beginning was to establish a modern, skill and technology led company based in the cost effective environment of South Africa which could service the needs of global brands looking for high performance at a cost effective exchange rate. South Africa was an ideal culture and time zone location for this type of digital marketing work.

When TMI founder, Peter Brooke-Sumner, moved back from the UK to South Africa as one of the first hires of Google in the region, he developed a keen sense of exactly how such a service model would need to operate to produce client focused, performance results. The model took off and a UK based office was opened while the company established itself. After a few years of operation, however, the UK office was then sold. Since then TMI has expanded its client base to the USA, Australia and the UK as well, with Cape Town being the obvious choice to run operations from. From highly skilled workers, convenient time zones and operational proficiencies, there are numerous reasons why the Mother City is the prime location for operations.

Growth and Direction

TMI made a name for itself first as a Search/PPC agency representing large global accounts as well as leading market players in Africa. As the client base grew, the company’s service offering expanded along with it to include Programmatic Retargeting, Search Engine Optimisation, Bought Media, Display, Video, Content Marketing, Creative Design and Social Media. By 2015 TMI boasted the largest DoubleClick-certified team in Southern Africa (and possibly globally at that time for an independent agency), with more than 40 qualified individuals across the Google Marketing Platform (formally DoubleClick integrated stack) including its demand-side platform (DSP), ad server and search management platform.

Over the years TMI has won over a dozen awards in recognition of high performance, ingenuity and campaign optimization. These include Bookmark, New Generation, AMASA and the African Crystal International Media Awards. In 2016 TMI entered into a joint venture with Quinton Jones to form TMI Media and collaborate on data-driven media solutions combined with the analytics and insights that digital provides. This strategic alliance has led to a unique blend of above and below the line expertise, allowing the agency to capitalise on every significant marketing channel from programmatic display to television.

The Rebrand

As part of the ongoing evolution, the agency gave its corporate ID a facelift to better represent the brand and its personality. Having adopted a new logo and aesthetics in 2019, the company officially changed its name to TMI Collective, which better reflects the wide range of marketing and communications disciplines on offer, across a global client base.

Says Peter Brooke-Sumner, “Although we’ve reinvented ourselves over the years, we’re still the same team committed to quality and service excellence. Whether you’ve been working with us for some time now or are meeting us for the first time, we will continue to drive results across global campaigns.”