2022 Registrations. Registrations are open for 2022. Apply now.

Marketers Making Waves: Kagiso Musi

The IMM Graduate School | Marketers Making Waves: Kagiso MusiKagiso Musi was recently appointed managing director of Meta Media, the new kid on the Park Advertising block, and challenger to older sibling, The MediaShop.

What is the life quote you believe suits you best and why?

It’s not so much a quote, but rather a life philosophy – ‘I get my hands dirty for the clean stuff and keep them clean for the dirty stuff’. I think to really excel in anything one must put in the work (get a sense of the practical know-how and do so with absolute integrity). That’s what I try to do every day.

One that best suits me, though, is from Albert Einstein: “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant”. This is me to a T – a healthy balance between the soft and hard, the creative and business, the playful and serious.

You have just taken on a big role as MD of Meta Media, a media agency that has a strong focus on data. How is data science changing marketing, and how are modern media agencies harnessing that power? I think the biggest challenge for marketers lies not in the data itself (as there is an abundance of data we draw from) but in the analysis of it. The ability to find what is important in the data remains a challenge. Data science for us is rooted in analysis, modelling and really understanding metrics. Merging marketing mix metrics and metrics that drive the communication piece and media choices has just passed the nascent stage and is beginning to display signs of effective use.

There are still significant limitations to how the industry has used data and a limited understanding of cross-channel data analysis and cross-media integration. This naturally poses a difficulty in connecting customers holistically and spreading messaging and budgets efficiently.

We use client, customer and media data to look beyond the numbers; it allows us to overlay analytics and combine media sets to get costing efficiency, maximum coverage and impactful connections. This requires looking at big data and small data as useful pieces of information to improve our media strategy, planning and buying, and giving our clients equitable solutions.

Why did you choose marketing as a career?

Honestly marketing found me. It chose me. I was ready to go study dental technology (yep… I know right…) and I found the AAA School of Advertising, went in to get a brochure, was offered a bursary after a short chat… and here we are today.

I think marketing chose me because I’m curious, I love to create and solve, I love a challenge, and I love to be part of the solution. I like creating linkages and building stuff – great brands, great campaigns, great advertising people, great marketers. I then chose to grow in this sector because I knew that no one day would ever be the same.

What would your advice be to someone starting out in marketing? I’d tell them that they are here to be sales people and if that does not sound sexy, they should go be dental technologists.

Do you believe that certain people are cut out for marketing and others not, or can you learn your way into being an effective marketer?

I believe that great marketers are made. One must have a love for certain things and some natural abilities but generally, great marketers can be made. If a person does not like the sales pitch, solving problems and working with varied people, endless amounts of information and daily challenges – then they will most definitely not be made for marketing.

Could you give us a brief outline of your marketing education and career journey?

I studied at the AAA School of Advertising and then got into advertising; I shifted onto the client side, together with being an entrepreneur running my own PR and sponsorship company and a strategic consultancy. I’ve also led a number of agencies specialising in brand communications, advertising, digital and media.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been studying and I like to think of myself as a recovering academic, for now. The forever student bug hasn’t quite left me yet.

What are the five most important lessons you learned on that journey?

It is a lot more complex than it looks and it is definitely fun.

Useful information at your fingertips will set you apart, so read ferociously.

An increased vocabulary and learning to write will help you sell stuff.

Thought distillation really is a skill to master.

Change is a true constant when it comes to consumers and brands, so keep up, and never stop learning.

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?

There are many, many changes. I want to pull out two that I believe are most significant for me right now:

The gig economy means we need to hire differently and think about how to integrate teams in a better way. The office bound, nine-to-five employee no longer serves us fully, but the work we do dictates that we integrate. Therefore, embracing technology and the solutions it offers is an opportunity we welcome.

Utilising the power of AI is another exciting area. As an industry we’ve always been excellent at collecting large amounts of data, especially customer data, but have struggled with putting it to really good use. At Meta Media, we are starting to understand how AI can help in how we use data more effectively, for things such as customer insights, customer segmentation, retargeting, tracking etc.

What is your view on social media marketing and how does your agency manage these kind of campaigns?

Social media marketing is a powerful tool to converse, gain insights (brands and customers) and a fantastic meeting place for the two (brands and their customers). It is also a dangerous place when used incorrectly, which we see regularly.

At Meta Media, we use social media marketing extensively for our clients, to gain insights, to connect brands in a targeted way, to monitor trends and to stay connected as a business. We use a few proprietary tools that integrate the work we put out on social media and optimise our campaigns.

What will be the top five marketing trends of 2019?

  • Technology drives most of the trends.
  • The use of AI in data and analytics will grow – think live chat in search, social listening and cookie synching.
  • Influencer marketing will grow, but it will be richer and less about Twitter celebrities.
  • Native advertising will be the new creative opportunity and so content must be reimagined.
  • Afrofuturism will be a flavour, especially on the continent. This notion is interestingly about technology in the space of ‘future’ Africa. Think of how tech is integrated into telling a quintessential African story in the 55th country on the continent, Wakanda.
  • TV will still dominate! Radio will still connect.

What devices/technology can you not live without?

My mobile. Even though I know how to step away from it, I certainly wouldn’t be able to live without it. I see the mobile phone as Africa’s computer as I can do everything on it (type, chat, watch, read, listen, take photos, throw it at something… and easy to carry around). It’s the most practical connecting piece of technology ever invented! Coupled with that, definitely my music apps.

Marketers Making Waves – Lulu Mthimkhulu

The IMM Graduate School | 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…

You’ve had your own company but have now moved into a big corporate job. Why the change?

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