Marketers Making Waves – Lulu Mthimkhulu
Lulu Mthimkhulu was recently appointed head of marketing for PRIMEDIA Broadcasting. She previously had her own company, LuluM Communications, handling clients such as Tbo Touch and TouchHD.
What is the life quote you believe suits you best and why?
“I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.” ~ DH Lawrence
Why? I don’t do self-pity parties…
A perfect opportunity came from an industry an organisation I had always admired; it’s a bigger task and position with a lot of opportunities. Before starting my own business, I headed up Estée Lauder and Tom Ford Communications for South Africa and Sub Sahara, and before that I was marketing manager for Jacaranda FM. So, it’s a good change and one to an environment I’m quite familiar with.
What does your PRIMEDIA job entail?
Driving PRIMEDIA Broadcasting marketing strategies into action specifically for the Gauteng region. Reinforcing the company’s position to both trade and consumers respectively. We deliver responsive audiences where advertisers get results in an entertaining, informative and engaged manner through all our major formats: news, talk and music. So, my job entails finding relevant and innovative ways of telling our brands’ stories and what we do for advertisers and consumers.
What do you believe will be your key challenges there?
We’re living in a fast-paced world of instant gratification, where granular data and insights are the currency. Personally, I see challenges as opportunities… Audiences, both trade and consumer, are time starved and as such, being relevant, staying top of mind, and utilising multi layered tools is key.
Radio and broadcasting are sectors undergoing major upheaval, what with technology and online radio etc. What’s your personal take on the space, and your role within it?
We have multiple platforms and touch points at PRIMEDIA that have been developed through our vast experience and understanding of our premium audience. So, I’m excited to explore various opportunities and collaborations, entrenching our messaging, integrating our in-house platforms particularly at this time.
Why did you choose marketing as your career?
I think I’ve always been interested in human behaviour – what influences the choices we make in everyday lives that sometimes eventually become behaviour patterns. Over time and experience in the marketing and communication field my interest grew even further in the art of brand storytelling and power in it for the storyteller as well as the audience.
What would your advice be to someone starting out in marketing?
Harness the fundamentals. Know them as the back of your hand but be flexible, know your consumer… insight is king as they are the biggest game changer compared to any new platform or channel that comes into the market.
Do you believe certain people are cut out for marketing and others not, or can you learn your way into being an effective marketer?
You are the master of your own destiny. In other words, we are all already marketers of our individual brands… if there’s anything we can take/learn from social media, that would be one of them. I do think more can still be done formally in internships and mentorship opportunities in the media, marketing and communications fields for effective and meaningful skills transfer. So yes, with the right tools and support, I think you can learn your way into being an exceptional marketer.
Could you give us a brief outline of your marketing education and career journey?
I studied Mass Communication and Marketing Management. I majored in media/broadcasting
What are the five most important lessons you learned on that journey?
- Authenticity is vital
- Relationships are key
- Be open to learning, be a sponge – you never stop learning
- If you don’t know… ask
- You can lead from every chair: don’t be title focused. You can still make a change no matter what your position in an organisation
If you were writing a letter to your younger self, and looking back at that journey, what would you tell yourself and would you change anything?
No changes. Every path and journey has led me to where I am today.
Marketing is changing so much, so rapidly, with the technological advances of this era in media. How would you define the changes and how have you embraced them?
Evolution is the name of the game… is your marketing and communication plan flexible enough to adjust is the question. PRIMEDIA has been a pioneer in offering a multiple platforms to create content that engages, influences and holds our audience’s attention in our various platforms; digitally – especially in news and current affairs with EWN – we cater for the curious in our talk channel 702 and certainly entertaining you with 947 – our footprint in the digital space and outdoor are complementary and deliver a conducive environment for our clients to tell their stories.
How do you keep yourself educated on moves in your sector?
Mediums such as The Media are very useful
Do you have a role model in life and in work, or both?
My mother and her sister, my aunt – both in life and in work. Both are very strong, confident and most importantly for me, FEARLESS.
What is your view on social media marketing? A reminder of the continuous changing environment, it’s no longer business as usual. The digital landscape destination cannot be changed, we need to allow and integrate social media in our marketing efforts. For immediate engagement and message management social media marketing is proving to be the right tool to use.
What do you believe will be the top marketing trends of 2019?
- Amplified integrated marketing and communications approach (online, on air, social media, video)
- Further spike on video content on demand. Consumers consume video in any device any time
- I will have to say podcasts, the next step
What devices/technology can you not live without?
Wi-fi and my mobile phone