Suane is the Creative Head at digital marketing agency, OMM. Growing up as a social butterfly, it was only natural for her to fall perfectly into a marketing role! Let’s learn more about her on this segment of Women In Marketing
LET’S GET PERSONAL
THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR WOMEN IN MARKETING SERIES, SUANE. LET’S START ON A LIGHTER NOTE. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR MEMORIES GROWING UP?
I was born in Gauteng, South Africa. My favourite memories growing up have to be our family holidays on the farm and the beach. I have a BIG family and all the cousins are about the same age, so fun was guaranteed!
WHAT WERE YOU LIKE IN YOUR HIGH SCHOOL/COLLEGE YEARS?
I’ve always been a Social Butterfly and love being around people. So I would sum up my educational years as being 90% social, 10% academic. Just kidding (sort of)! Although socialising was very important to me, I was taught that a balance between Social Life and Professional life is important, so work hard, play hard!
IF YOU COULD BE ANY ANIMAL, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
I would love to be MY dog, he is so spoiled and gets to play and sleep all day while we work OR even a Giraffe, they are so majestic and tall (I’m only 1.52 m) haha.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MEAL? THAT ONE MEAL YOU WOULD FEEL NO SHAME FOR NOT SHARING!
That would have to be Sushi, I feel that sushi outings are always such a fun, relaxed, and social time!
IMAGINE WAKING UP $10 MILLION RICHER TOMORROW, WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH YOUR FORTUNE?
My boyfriend will be so proud to read this answer! I would invest about 80% and use the other 20% to travel the world with the love of my life. (Cheesy, I know).
WHAT IS THE ONE INTERESTING THING ABOUT YOU THAT WE WOULDN’T FIND ON YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE? ANY HIDDEN TALENTS PERHAPS? PREVIOUS WOMEN IN MARKETING CANDIDATE, DR. LIEZEL BYGATE SAID THAT SHE IS AN EXPERT HULA-HOOPER!
I’m only 1.52 m tall, but hey, dynamite comes in small packages!
CAREER AND WORKPLACE
WHAT ENCOURAGED YOU TO PURSUE A CAREER IN MARKETING? AFTER ALL, MOST OF US GREW UP WANTING TO BE DOCTORS, RIGHT?
I love that marketing is not your usual, day to day, very corporate work environment. I love getting creative and giving our clients the most epic campaigns.
GIVE US A SNEAK PEEK OF HOW YOU TYPICALLY START YOUR DAY. ARE YOU #TEAMCOFFEE OR #TEAMTEA? OR BOTH? YOU BEAUTIFUL REBEL!
I’m a beautiful rebel! I like waking up to a cup of coffee in bed and then a cup of Rooibos Tea when I get to the office.
HOW BEST DO YOU MAINTAIN A WORK-LIFE BALANCE?
I only work during office hours.
I plan my days and stay productive during working hours. Once my day is done, I switch off my laptop, go home and spend time with the people I love. We work in a very fast-paced industry though, so sometimes things pop up and you have to work late, this is why it’s so important to do what you love!
SABRA MWAURA WAS A FEATURE FOR OUR WOMEN IN MARKETING SERIES. SHE MADE A FEW GOOD POINTS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF MENTORSHIP FOR WOMEN. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON MENTORSHIP?
Ladies, we need to stick together and help each other out. I’m fortunate enough to be working for a boss that’s not only incredibly strong and built a business from the ground up but also goes out of her way to help you grow.
I’ve learned to trust my instincts, make my voice heard, and grow no matter what challenges pop up. I have learned so much from her. I truly believe in paying it forward!
WHAT’S YOUR SMARTEST WORK-RELATED SHORTCUT OR PRODUCTIVITY HACK?
Coffee, coffee, coffee!
Planning content and boosting it before it goes live. This takes the pressure off you in terms of day to day admin and you have more time to create epic campaigns.
JOB HOPPING IS A COMMON PHENOMENA ESPECIALLY IN THE DYNAMIC WORLD OF ADVERTISING AND MARKETING. WHAT’S YOUR OPINION ON JOB HOPPING? DOES IT HURT OR AID ONE’S CAREER?
I think it’s a little bit of both depending on how long you tend to keep a job. If you only stay at a job for 3 months before moving on, it can hurt you as most companies do not want to move accounts from one person to the next every few months.
On the other hand, experiencing different work cultures and being exposed to different workflows is a good way to learn and grow.
FOR IT’S 2019 MOST INFLUENTIAL CMO’S REPORT, FORBES LISTED 31 WOMEN OUT OF 50 CANDIDATES (19 MEN). IT APPEARS THAT MORE WOMEN OCCUPY CMO ROLES COMPARED TO OTHER C-SUITE ROLES. WHY DO YOU THINK THIS IS THE CASE?
Women tend to be better at admin and time management than men. These 2 factors are crucial in CMO roles, in my opinion.
Women also tend to work harder to prove themselves to break the only “Men in top position” stigma.
REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN IN MARKETING, PARTICULARLY, IN SENIOR ROLES IS ON THE UP. IN YOUR OWN OPINION, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES THAT WOMEN STILL FACE DESPITE THESE CHANGES AND HOW BEST SHOULD THESE BE ADDRESSED?
As a 26-year-old female, Creative Head at OMM, I find the biggest challenge is getting (usually older) men to take me seriously when we have meetings. I usually find myself fighting twice as hard to have my say and make my point.
The best way to address this is to not give up, keep trying until you are heard, and stand up for what you believe in. Don’t let anyone make you change your beliefs, you know what you are doing and talking about. JUST BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.
ONE OF THE LEARNING CURVES FOR MOST ORGANISATIONS SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE PANDEMIC, IS THE SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION OF DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURES TO FACILITATE REMOTE WORK. FOR TECH PLAYERS IN SILICON VALLEY THE TRANSITION WAS RELATIVELY SMOOTH WITH THE LIKES OF FACEBOOK AND TWITTER DESIGNING A FUTURE WHERE THEIR STAFF MAY POTENTIALLY WORK REMOTELY FOREVER. THE ARGUMENT THOUGH, IS THAT THIS IS LONG OVERDUE. IN YOUR OPINION, WHY HAVE COMPANIES TAKEN SO LONG TO IMPLEMENT REMOTE WORK OPPORTUNITIES?
The biggest issue is trust. Many employers believe that you will not be productive when working from home. I’m glad that the pandemic changed that.
WORKING FROM HOME IS AWESOME! MOST OF US CAN AGREE. HOWEVER, IT IS NOT WITHOUT IT’S SET OF CHALLENGES. EMPLOYEE WELLNESS HAS TAKEN A SIGNIFICANT STRAIN WITH PEOPLE WORKING LONGER HOURS AS A RESULT OF EMPLOYEES BEING ‘ALWAYS ON’ AND NOT BEING ABLE TO SWITCH OFF. HOW CAN EMPLOYERS GUARD AGAINST EMPLOYEE BURNOUT OR IN THE WORST EVENT, LOSING THEIR BEST TALENT?
Allow your employees to plan their day, even when working from home. Have set “office hours” where employees are required to be available. After that, they can do what they want.
BCG PUBLISHED ITS INNOVATION REPORT FOR 2020 AND AT THE CORE OF ITS SELECTION CRITERIA ARE COMPANIES THAT HAVE SUCCESSFULLY MARRIED ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN THEIR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES. ACCORDING TO YOU, WHAT MAKES SOMETHING INNOVATIVE?
Definitely when something makes it easier for me to do my job, report on stats or see how my campaigns are truly performing.
HEMAL THAKKAR, BRAND MANAGER FOR BURGER KING INDIA IS A RECENT WOMEN IN MARKETING FEATURE. ONE OF THE KEY AREAS SHE IDENTIFIED FOR CONTINUED GROWTH IS THAT OF INFLUENCER MARKETING. WHAT DOES THE FUTURE OF MARKETING LOOK LIKE ACCORDING TO YOU?
Influencer marketing is definitely on the rise and a good thing to tap into. Word of mouth has and will always be the BEST form of marketing, make sure influencer campaigns are true to the person’s experience.
This adds credibility to the brand. I believe that the in-influencer (your employees) will become the most credible source of info for your brand. Get your employees to share and get involved in your campaigns on the social side.
2020 AND BEYOND
IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
You are stronger than what you think, trust your gut, know your worth and fight for what you want!
WHAT CHALLENGE IS ON YOUR PLATE? WHAT ARE SOME OF THE PAIN POINTS YOU ARE TRYING TO OVERCOME IN YOUR LIFE WHETHER PROFESSIONALLY, PERSONALLY OR BOTH?
I’m very close with my family even though we live so far apart and all over South Africa (minimum of 6 hours). COVID has made it so difficult to see them, due to several restrictions we’ve had.
Missing so much of my niece and nephew growing up, not seeing my mom, dad, and siblings when I wanted to has been very tough. Luckily, our restrictions are easing up, and although we are still careful, I can’t wait to see them!
ANY BUCKET LIST ITEMS?
I want to get our training division up and running and make a massive success out of it!
I want to visit Greece (every single corner of it) and then go to Peru to climb Machu Picchu with my best friend, with whom I’m lucky enough to spend my life with.
WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR SHEROES?
I’m allowed to say this because it’s true. My mom. She’s been through so much in life and no matter what happens, she always bounces back and comes out stronger. She is generous and will give to people, not just in need but everyone, without asking questions or thinking twice. She taught me so much and I love her to bits.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
I’m old school when it comes to reading and love paperbacks. I’m currently reading, ‘The Best Dick: A Candid Account of Building a $1m Business‘ by Mike Sharman.
WHAT WOULD YOU COME BACK AS IN THE NEXT LIFETIME CAREER-WISE? DO YOU THINK YOU MISSED A CALLING?
I would love to be an Occupational Therapist, I love working with kids!
WHAT IS ON YOUR NETFLIX WATCHLIST?
Friends (ALWAYS) as well as The Crown and Murder Mysteries
WHO HAVEN’T YOU SEEN OR TALKED TO IN A LONG TIME AND HOPE THEY ARE DOING OKAY?
I talk to my friends and family quite often, but if I have to pick one, it will be a best friend from High School!
WE ARE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR AMAZING WOMEN IN MARKETING TO PROFILE. WHO WOULD YOU LIKE US TO GET IN TOUCH WITH?
Claudia McHaffie, founder of OMM – Online Media Management
A UNIQUE MESSAGE FOR ALL YOUNG PROFESSIONALS IN THE MARKETING INDUSTRY
Build your skills and get experience in all aspects of marketing, there are so many to choose from. It is an amazing field to be in.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME SUANE. WE HOPE THIS INTERVIEW WILL INSPIRE FUTURE LEADERS AND OTHER WOMEN IN MARKETING. HOW CAN PEOPLE FOLLOW YOU AND YOUR COMPANY ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
Our company is available everywhere online (yes TikTok too), give us a follow @ommsocial.
They can follow me on my social accounts:
LinkedIn: Suane Jacobs