Pothole Patrol – Driving change on South African roads

Discovery Insure, in partnership with Dialdirect and the City of Johannesburg, has launched the Pothole Patrol which manages and repairs potholes across Johannesburg. For Discovery Insure, this unique data-driven initiative is aligned with the business’s core purpose of enhancing and protecting people’s lives. The Johannesburg public can help make that positive difference for this city and go even further with the Pothole Patrol App and WhatsApp Bot.

Since the initiative began in May 2021, the Pothole Patrol has repaired over 50 000 potholes. Ultimately, this effort boils down to making more of our roads safer to use, more often – one pothole repair at a time. By sufficiently fixing road infrastructure in this way, this joint partnership will effectively contribute to reducing the severity and prevalence of road accidents that occur as a result of potholes. For insured and uninsured road users alike, the Pothole Patrol team has started making significant inroads with repair work.

“Since the launch of Discovery Insure 10 years ago, we’ve endeavoured to push the limits and do things differently. We wanted to make people safer; we wanted to be more proactive about risk rather than reactive; and we wanted to share value with the broader society, as part of our ambition to positively impact the lives of people with whom we share our country’s roads,” says Discovery Insure Chief Executive Officer, Anton Ossip.

“We all know just how damaging, and even dangerous, potholes can be for road users. As a business, the collective impact of this hits close to home – and we’re always on the lookout for ways we can make a positive difference through initiatives that align with our core purpose of enhancing and protecting lives. Through shared value, repairing potholes is just one way we can make a difference,” Ossip explains further.

How it works
Ultimately, our ability to repair potholes depends on being able to identify their exact locations. Although our unrivalled telematics data does enable us to locate potholes quite accurately via our clients, we can reach countless more road defects with invaluable community input. All residents and road users of Johannesburg can now report a pothole using one of two digital channels:

The Pothole Patrol App is available for download on the IOS app store and Google Play. Once downloaded registration prompts are followed and users are set to report potholes as they come across them on the roads.

The app relies on a GPS location, with users given the option of uploading their pinned location on a map, and a picture showing where the pothole is located. Users can also view the status of their reported potholes within the app to follow up and ensure that they have been fixed.

Alternatively, the public can Whatsapp “Hi” to 084-POTHOLE (084 768 4653) and follow the prompts.

Source: Discovery Website. November 2021. Pothole Patrol – Driving Change on South African roads. [Online] Adapted from: https://www.discovery.co.za/corporate/good-driving-pothole-
patrol-driving-change. [Accessed 10 October 2022].


Source: BusinessTech Website. 12 October 2021. New pothole app launches in Joburg – here’s how it works. [Online] Adapted from: https://businesstech.co.za/news/motoring/528342/new- pothole-app-launched-in-joburg-heres-how-it-works [Accessed 10 October 2022

Question 1 (Marks: 25)
Pothole Patrol is an innovative digital service which aims to solve a real problem for the South
African road users. Considering this, answer the following questions.

Q.1.1 Explain why Discovery and Dialdirect should have a digital marketing plan. (10)

Q.1.2 Explain the difference between paid, owned and earned media. Use relevant
examples that would be applicable to the scenario to further aid your explanation. (15)

Question 2 (Marks: 60)
Discovery Insure has hired you to provide a proposal for a digital brand communication strategy. Write a proposal where you discuss the following four sections in relation to Discovery and Dialdirect in detail.

1) The situational analysis.
2) Setting objectives.
3) Target market and segmentation.
4) Positioning and Differentiation.

Question 3 (Marks: 5)
Provide a brief overview of how Search Engine Marketing (SEM) could be used by Discovery.

Question 4 (Marks: 30)
Discuss any two digital channels, mediums, and tactics (other than SEM) that should be used to achieve Discovery’s digital brand and communication strategy.

Ensure you cover the following in your discussion:
• Overview of each tool.
• Advantages and disadvantages of each tool.
• Explain how these offers further insight into the customer for your digital marketing campaign.

Questions to Above Answers on Digital Branding

Answer 1: Digital marketing plan is defined as the document that specifies the specific marketing goals that need to be achieved in a given time frame so that the business objectives are accomplished in a positive way. In the given case scenario of Discovery and Dialdirect, it is evaluated that the company is engaged in an innovative digital service known as Pothole Patrol. There is a need for a digital marketing plan to the company in order to accomplish the primary objective of this initiative which is to reduce the number of accidents that are caused as a result of potholes. With the help of a digital marketing plan, it can be possible for the company to reach as many audiences as possible that could provide good input in resolving the issue of potholes.

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