Let’s start at the beginning
Back in 2009, Programmatic ad buying was in its infancy locally, despite its success being celebrated internationally. This spurred on the birth of Mark1, a company that would go on to pioneer technology and data-driven media buying in the South African market.

Fast forward to 2020, incomprehensible changes to the industry were on the horizon. With limited data accessibility, existing marketing technology efficacy being called into question and future innovation being disrupted, the traditional approaches to programmatic were eclipsed, and what we came to know as the ‘marketing building blocks’ of the internet (cookies), were about to disappear for good.

Born from a need for flexible, tailored Martech and Adtech solutions ungoverned by the status quo or sole concentration on revenue growth, Carbon1 was created. With the sole mandate to go beyond the standard efforts to ‘future proof’ businesses, Carbon1 is the perfect blend between an expert-led advisory and best of breed agency. Empowering people to build capabilities for brands, in-house, through innovative initiatives is where rapid growth and marketing success now lies.

With the need to fully leverage available data within organisations being at an all-time high, Martech and Adtech has now been established as a top priority with Marketers, Corporates, Brands and Enterprises alike.

What we do
Carbon1 prides itself in guiding and enabling SA’s most reputable brands through bespoke methodologies to understand, build, implement and run a fully integrated data and scalable technology architecture.

Marrying the valuable human elements involved in carefully crafting relevant marketing communication strategies and technology to efficiently collect and analyse data, Carbon1’s mandate is to equip enterprises with the tools and knowledge to take full control and ownership of their data and technologies – enabling sustainable growth of communication and engagement with their target audiences effectively.

What sets Carbon1 apart
Carbon1’s unique access to senior industry expertise alongside a formidable team of SA’s most experienced and successful marketers combined with world class technology platforms, culminates in an unrivalled ‘collective intelligence advisory’ which truly sets them apart.

This, combined with a proven track record in the technology and datadriven space, creates the opportunity to provide Enterprises with the best possible independent advice on Martech and Adtech approach and implementation, essentially guiding businesses through their entire Digital Transformation journey.

To answer the needs of the local market effectively, it has been critical for Carbon1 to ensure that internationally available technologies have been streamlined and made wholly relevant to the African market, ready to roll out.

Carbon1’s Vision
Our long-term vision beyond answering our own client’s needs is to ultimately invest back into organisations that offer programs in sustainability, specifically from a food and energy perspective, as well as aid young individuals with an interest in pursuing a career in this space. Through our ‘Make Your Mark’ trust and in partnership with like-minded organisations, we hope to make a positive, sustainable impact for future generations whilst investing in initiatives to ensure marketing technology and engagement remains top of mind for aspiring youngsters.

About Joe Steyn-Begley
After initially pursuing a career in Information Technology, Joe’s journey in Digital Marketing started in 2005 when he joined the industry trailblazers, Interface Media in a Business Development role. Over a 4-year period he lead various teams within the organisation, taking the regional office to multiple record-breaking revenue figures. Interface Media went on to acquire Incubeta Holdings (NMPi, DQNA), the brand it operates under today.

In 2009 he co-founded Mark1 after doing a management buyout of a UK-owned digital media sales house. The business is known as pioneers in technology and data-driven media buying in the local market and have over the years supported the majority of South Africa’s largest agencies and brands in Programmatic, Social and Search implementation, winning multiple awards and accolades along the way under his leadership.

In 2016 he and his business partner, Daan du Toit, acquired Primedia’s digital business assets in Dash of Lime and 365 Digital and lead a successful relaunch under a combined 365 Digital brand – a publisher-focused monetisation specialist that is operating successfully and independently in the local market where he acts as a Non-Executive Director.

In 2019, Mark1 joined forces with 2 other agencies, namely ATL Brand Strategy and Creative agency DUKE and PR and Influencer Marketing specialists Positive Dialogue to form the DUKE Group in which he played a pivotal role in integrating Mark1’s digital media and creative services into the broader group offering.

“The key differentiator between Carbon1 and existing consultancies is the provision of comprehensive end-to-end customer, training and technology strategies, ensuring that all projects are seen all the way through implementation, activation and ongoing management alongside client teams – often where most consultancies fall short,”

– Joe Steyn-Begley

In 2020, he started work on launching a standalone Marketing Technology advisory out of Mark1, named Carbon1 where he takes up the role of Managing Director, stepping into a Non-Executive role on the Mark1 board.

Carbon1 partners with businesses to advise on, evaluate, deploy and integrate best-in-class technologies to automate marketing and advertising processes across the entire value chain and will have a collective intelligence of some of the most seasoned and respected industry heads that marketers and other stakeholders can align with to assist with their Martech, Adtech and broader Digital Transformation strategies.

He has lead both the IAB Innovation Council and Tech Lab and has helped develop industry whitepapers on subjects such as Ad Fraud and Viewability.

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