JOHANNESBURG — Senior marketing executives from Mercedes-Benz, Sanlam, Microsoft and BDO have joined the speaker lineup for the 2017 African In2 Innovation Summit, taking place in Johannesburg next week on 29 March.

Microsoft head of advertising Eugene Chetty will explore how content can drive commerce in a session that also features Mercedes-Benz marketing manager Selvin Govender and Webfluential operations head Kirsty Sharman. 

Another panel, meanwhile, will explore the growing role of data in reputation management, featuring Professor Bheki Twala from the University of Johannesburg; analyst/investigator Jean Le Roux; and Sannah Wahi, senior associate at PwC's Strategy& unit.

In addition, Sanlam head of brand Mariska Oosthuizen will explore the changing nature of creativity in PR with Atmosphere ECD Daniel Pinch. And BDO marketing chief Ashley Truscott will discuss the industry changing talent equation.

The full programme can be found here. The heavyweight speaker lineup features:

- T-Systems South Africa MD Gert Schoonbee, who will explore why gender equity is fast becoming a business imperative in Africa, with Sasol SVP Wrenelle Stander; Barloworld executive director Samantha Swanepoel; Business Engage Association CEO Colleen Larsen; and, Burson-Marsteller Africa CEO Robyn de Villiers.

- Mail & Guardian editor-in-chief Khadija Patel and Destiny's Sheena Adams on technological disruption of the media

- Creativity with Sanlam head of brand Mariska Ootshuizen

- Tying content to commerce with Microsoft CMO Eugene Chetty and Mercedez-Benz marketer Selvin Govender

- Crisis counsel with Microsoft's Delia Sieff and FlySafair's Kirby Gordon

- Data and reputation management with Professor Bheki Twala from the University of Johannesburg; analyst/investigator Jean Le Roux; and Sannah Wahi, senior associate at PwC's Strategy& unit.

- Talent challenges with BDO marketing chief Ashley Truscott

They are joined by several agency heads, including Ogilvy PR national MD Joanna Oosthuizen, WE Communications GM James Wilson, Engage Jo Public managing partner Keri-Ann Stanton and Clockwork Media's Tom Manners

The conference, which is taking place at The Maslow Hotel, will explore how communications and marketing are evolving in South Africa and the wider African region. The conference is being backed by seven partner firms: Weber Shandwick, Atmosphere, Burson-Marsteller, Clockwork MediaFleishmanHillard, Engage Joe PublicMagna Carta and Ogilvy PR.

Limited tickets are still available here.