Joining us on this segment of Women In Marketing is the Soweto-born creative, Tshireletso Moloi who is the Founder and Director at I am Multeemedia. She shares her thoughts on how brands should go about formulating a genuine influencer marketing strategy to achieve the desired results. Louder! Let’s learn more
LET’S GET PERSONAL
THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR WOMEN IN MARKETING SERIES, TSHIRELETSO. LET’S START ON A LIGHTER NOTE. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR MEMORIES GROWING UP?
I was born and raised in Soweto.
We lived in Emdeni at my Grandma’s (Gog’ Mamiza) house before moving to Protea Glen when I was about 3yrs old. One of my best memories was coming home from school every day and being welcomed with the sight of my grandmother (Ma’Paulie) waiting for me to get home while sitting at her favourite spot outside the house; my other memories include going to my very first concert with my sister and cousins when I was in grade 6 to see the Black Eyed Peas live at Ellis Park and lastly, I remember falling face-first onto a lit heater which resulted in me burning my whole face and everyone thinking I won’t recover but, God had other plans 🙂
WHAT WERE YOU LIKE IN YOUR HIGH SCHOOL/COLLEGE YEARS?
I think I lost myself for a while in high school trying to be something I’m not. I started doing art less and focusing on either becoming a forensic pathologist or going into computer science but that just made me unhappy for the most part. Luckily, I came back to my senses in Matric and decided to pursue something I’ll enjoy.
1st year at City Varsity school of media and creative arts was the best year of my school life. I was happy and able to express myself freely. From there on, I’ve tried to live my life as authentically as possible. It gets difficult. I often can’t keep up but, I always find my way back 🙂
IF YOU COULD BE ANY ANIMAL, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
I’m honestly not sure, I’ve tried Googling a few animal traits but, I don’t have an answer for this at the moment.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MEAL? THAT ONE MEAL YOU WOULD FEEL NO SHAME FOR NOT SHARING!
Honestly, I don’t mind sharing any of my food; but I could say my favourite meal is whatever I’ve been craving at that moment. (i.e. steak, bacon & cheese, ice cream, etc.) However, I’d feel no shame for not sharing my last bite of whatever I’m eating. Why would you wait for me to take my last bite to ask for food? Lol, no way!!
IMAGINE WAKING UP $10 MILLION RICHER TOMORROW, WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH YOUR FORTUNE?
I’d invest in a piece of land and supplies to build my dream home; get my mother a car (+license); pay off my sister’s house and car; put $5 Million aside in an investment account then country hop with mostly my mom and sister with what’s left from the first $5 million. (We are talking Dollar Bills here neh, NOT Rands!)
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!
It’s not necessarily a hidden talent. I love DIY projects and fun (kid-friendly) science experiments. I’ve recently started an Instagram account named @craftee_junkee, where I post my DIY projects for fun.
CAREER AND WORKPLACE
WHAT ENCOURAGED YOU TO PURSUE A CAREER IN MARKETING? AFTER ALL, MOST OF US GREW UP WANTING TO BE DOCTORS, RIGHT?
While studying for my Advanced Diploma in Multimedia and production, we had a chance to finish after the 2nd year or continue to do 3rd year. All my classmates chose to graduate after 2nd year and go work but, I had two choices, go study at the Cape Town campus since more students that side also wanted to do 3rd year or stay at the Joburg campus where they were willing to teach me even if I was the only student who’d be doing 3rd year.
Since I couldn’t afford to go live & study in Cape Town, I decided to continue with 3rd year alone. During this time, I would be hearing about all the places my former classmates started working at and realised that I don’t want that for myself. Art schools focus on teaching us to be employees. Independence and self-employment are crucial.
I pursued another qualification the following year at IMM Graduate School of Marketing. I enrolled for a BBA in Marketing Management because the modules offered covered everything I felt I needed to learn to work for myself. I’m grateful that my mom was so supportive of me going back to school and pursuing another qualification instead of pressuring me to get a job after she paid so much money at City Varsity.
GIVE US A SNEAK PEEK OF HOW YOU TYPICALLY START YOUR DAY. ARE YOU #TEAMCOFFEE OR #TEAMTEA? OR BOTH? YOU BEAUTIFUL REBEL!
I work from home the majority of the time. Once I have freshened up, I take my mom to work. Drive back while listening to my favorite playlist that includes pop artists and songs by my talented friends that they have shared (Shout out to Slim Rose, Thula Khumalo, SoAW & Thando Simelane). Then I get home and finally open my laptop, turn on my data for my work phone and handle business 🙂 Oh, I don’t drink coffee or tea. I visit them SOMETIMES.
HOW BEST DO YOU MAINTAIN A WORK-LIFE BALANCE?
I struggle with this so much.
I’m trying to do better and manage my time in a way that allows me to switch off from work. I recently got a work phone to help me separate my phone usage and work-related use. It came to a point where I was getting about 100-200 work-related Whatsapp messages several times a day and couldn’t stand having personal chats while all of that was happening. Now that I have a separate phone I have hours when the work phone is on and, when it’s off I know I’m not working.
There are other examples of how work has disturbed some of my time. I don’t want to go on forever. Just know that I’m finding ways to separate the two 🙂
YOU OBTAINED YOUR BBA IN MARKETING FROM THE IMM GRADUATE SCHOOL OF MARKETING. YESSS GIRL! ACCORDING TO CNBC, RESEARCH CONDUCTED BY GLASSDOOR FOUND THAT COMPANIES LIKE APPLE, GOOGLE, AND IBM (AMONGST OTHERS) OFFER WORK-FROM-HOME JOBS THAT DO NOT REQUIRE ANY FORMAL EDUCATION. IN YOUR OPINION, HOW CAN YOUNG WOMEN UTILISE THE INTERNET TO UPSKILL THEIR CAREERS PARTICULARLY IF THEY ARE NOT ABLE TO AFFORD A FORMAL EDUCATION?
So actually, I’m still currently pursuing my BBA in Marketing degree while working within the industry. I joined a learnership programme at Umuzi Academy while doing the 2nd year of my degree.
I finished the programme and obtained a Certificate in Advertising – Specialising in Digital Strategy. While I was there, I was encouraged to consider online courses such as those offered on the Digital Skills for Africa platform by Google and many other online platforms that offer free courses with certification. I then realised how much of an asset the internet is to people looking to advance their careers even if they can’t afford formal education. You learn valuable skills from the internet that could help you make money and get jobs at reputable organisations.
If you go on the internet with the right intentions and focus on your end goal, I believe you’d be able to master marketing and get a well-paying job.
YOU HAVE A GREAT RESUME. YOU’VE WORKED FOR COMPANIES SUCH AS KANDUA, UMUZI.ORG AS WELL AS SASOL. HOW IMPORTANT HAS LINKEDIN BEEN FOR YOU AND WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG WOMEN LOOKING TO ESTABLISH THEIR PROFESSIONAL BRAND FOR NETWORKING PURPOSES?
LinkedIn hasn’t made much of a difference in landing me work. However, it is a great platform to display achievements, track my work history and professional progress. It’s been a place to cement myself as a professional and showcase my professional brand.
However, I haven’t explored the networking side of it as much as I probably should. I’ve recently created a page for my company, ‘I am Multeemedia’. I’m hoping it will inspire me to post more often and share more of the work I do and have done. I worked for these companies as a result of real-life networking and referrals. I’m not sure of the effectiveness of the platform because it hasn’t worked for me other than getting me noticed by you lovely people from Naughty Banana 🙂
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?
Having a mentor allows one to see things in a way that they wouldn’t have, had it not been for the assistance of someone more experienced in a specific line of work.
I also think it’s nice to have a mentor who has time on their hands to help you on your journey even though they are busy on their journey too. It’s discouraging to have a mentor who’s here sometimes and unavailable most times when you need them. With all that said, if you’re lucky to find a mentor who genuinely wants to see you win and wants to help you get there, grab that opportunity with both hands.
WHAT’S YOUR SMARTEST WORK-RELATED SHORTCUT OR PRODUCTIVITY HACK?
- Using scheduling tools such as Buffer and Sprout Social.
- Writing a daily to-do list in order of priority (usually, things carried over from the day before becoming priority before today’s items)
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?
If you’re not happy or a particular job no longer serves you and your needs, then it won’t hurt to leave. Companies need to consistently work on impressing employees just as much as employees need to impress the company. I’ll always advocate for people leaving spaces that no longer benefit their needs or more especially hinders their mental health.
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?
I think it’s because this is tied to diversity and inclusion to bring diverse viewpoints on situations. From a marketing perspective, women are important because they usually make buying decisions at home even if they are married. We influence where the family should shop, from groceries to the kids’ clothes and everything in between, so if your company’s marketing efforts do not speak to women from perspectives they resonate with, you are reducing chances of your brand having an impact in the market.
Inclusion of women in these positions is positive because of the influence on the brands’ growth and how sustainable it becomes.
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?
Some of these challenges are as follows:
- Being treated equally – Amongst other things, unlike men, women don’t get to be invited to weekend braais/golf days as networking opportunities with top executives.
- Building sisterhood (networking)
- Building alliances with decision-makers
- Imposter syndrome (There’s hardly any support, you end up feeling like you don’t deserve to be there but you do)
Considering the points above, besides trying to get equal opportunities and support from the other gender, women in influential positions need to start creating these types of opportunities for other women and themselves so that there’s that support structure to rely on while fighting the good fight.
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?
Most companies believe that working from home hinders on productivity. However, I think the lockdown period has been able to prove them wrong. I also feel like they’ve noticed increased productivity, I could be wrong though. The fact remains, I’ve been working remotely since 2018 as I work for myself.
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?
They need to respect working hours.
If working hours are between 9 am and 5 pm, they shouldn’t require anything outside of those hours unless it’s overtime. Also with that, they still need to account for lunch breaks and not set up back to back meetings that don’t leave you with any breathing space in between.
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?
I think having the ability to make things easier and more impactful for the user can make what you’re offering innovative. Also, being able to stand out from everything else in the market and have a unique USP. I’m tempted to say innovation is in the eye of the beholder.
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?
I think the future of marketing is in authenticity, being in touch with the ever-changing trends & events (similar to the approach Nandos and Chicken Licken usually have with their ads).
With the rise of influencer marketing, brands need to choose genuine people who align with their brand. I’m so tired of seeing images of “influencers” posing for pics and having a product they’re supposedly promoting randomly in the background or somewhere in the picture just nje. There’s no creativity or effort but, just because they have 1000+ likes on the post, the brands will usually deem it a success. That’s so lame! (rolling eyes).
2020 AND BEYOND
IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
You are strong and beautiful.
Your dreams are valid
Always trust your gut
Believe in your decision-making skills when it comes to your life and what you want from it
You have a supportive structure, remember that!
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?
- Being an entrepreneur is quite challenging and trying to sustain consistent income is hard. The journey is worthwhile, though.
- Another issue is maintaining a work-life balance
- And making my mom understand that I’m busy working on real stuff even though I’m always on my phone and laptop all day with naps and TV watching in between. Lol
ANY BUCKET LIST ITEMS?
- Travel Africa (and the world but I really want to experience this continent more).
- Create a children’s book.
- Create a documentary.
- Growing my company, ‘I am Multeemedia‘ into a fully functional digital agency that holds some serious weight in the industry.
WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR SHEROES?
- My Mother
- My Sister (the Dee to my Tee)
- Sibongile Musundwa (Director at The Hive Network – JHB)
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
I’m not currently reading anything hey, I have a habit of buying books and not reading them. I’ve always liked the idea of having a bookshelf in my house one day, covering at least one wall space, so for now I’m just buying books in preparation for that I guess 🙂 Also, I prefer paperbacks because I love the smell of a new book and physically changing the pages.
WHAT WOULD YOU COME BACK AS IN THE NEXT LIFETIME CAREER-WISE? DO YOU THINK YOU MISSED A CALLING?
I don’t think anyone likes working if I could be wealthy and be a trust fund baby, I’d choose that over a career. But that does not mean I don’t love what I currently do.
WHAT IS ON YOUR NETFLIX WATCHLIST?
Jane the Virgin (better late than never), Chilling adventures of Sabria, “And the category is… (if you know, you know)), Diary of a future President (Not Netflix but yeah), The circle USA (recently re-watched it for the 3rd time), Locke and Key, Stranger Things, Julie and the Phantoms, Cursed, Warrior Nun, Anne with an E, On my Block and so so so much more! Lol 🙂
WHO HAVEN’T YOU SEEN OR TALKED TO IN A LONG TIME AND HOPE THEY ARE DOING OKAY?
Everyone I ever had a close connection with at some point in my life. Even though we’re not close anymore, I will always be rooting for them to win at this thing we call life.
WE ARE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR AMAZING WOMEN IN MARKETING TO PROFILE. WHO WOULD YOU LIKE US TO GET IN TOUCH WITH?
My sister Dineo Mofokeng
A UNIQUE MESSAGE FOR ALL YOUNG PROFESSIONALS IN THE MARKETING INDUSTRY
Your authenticity is your superpower, so do you boo-boo. Haha, but on the real though, here are some gems:
- Learn not to take criticism and rejection personally.
- Stay curious and never stop learning because things are forever changing.
- Take advantage of free resources to learn as much as you can.
- You can’t know it all. It should not be an expectation placed on you either. It’s all good and well to have additional skills such as graphic design, photography, copywriting and so forth. Try not to let these companies take advantage of you because of them. Their pay needs to reflect your scope of work. You can’t be out here as a marketer and be expected to do jobs out of your job spec just because you have the ability to.
- I’ve also realised that experience means more than a degree. I also believe it’s always better to have the qualifications as a safety net.