INNOVATE South Africa

As Featured In:

INNOVATE™ South Africa

I have always connected with people. I love their inherent curiosity; I love the idea of collective thought, and I thrive on the energy I get from engaging with people across all facets of life. From my early days at Grey Advertising, through my founding role at Pod Communications, and now as CEO of Integer/Hotspot, my love for people has not waivered, but how we engage with them has.

I’ve watched as society has evolved and how business and technology have evolved alongside it. I firmly believe that in order to be innovative, you must be transformational and Integer/Hotspot’s growth, against the backdrop of an ever-changing society in South Africa, with a continued focus on engagement and result-driven communication solutions, is a key reason why we are continually recognized both locally and internationally as a leading commerce agency.

Understanding consumers and their shopper-based behaviours are at the forefront of what we do; however, the recent Covid-19 pandemic showed us just how quickly established norms can become a thing of the past. It demonstrated the need to adapt to new realities and to reengage in meaningful ways. As an agency, we shifted our approach almost overnight to address the changing needs of consumers and ensure that we represented our clients as best we could. E-commerce took a giant leap forward, and we made sure we shifted to address this. Through perpetual innovation and reinvention, agencies like Integer/Hotspot were one of the few to hold their heads above the murky lockdown waters. You have to be proactive and always think one step ahead. Integer/Hotspot has always actively sought out new partners, channels, and tech opportunities. And I believe this allowed us not only to survive lockdown but to flourish within it. As harsh pandemic restrictions saw an end to physical consumer engagement, brand teams cut back on marketing spend, Integer/Hotspot, however, picked up four new clients and shot six new TVCs.

Our success in these challenging times can not only be attributed to our agility in matching consumer needs but to our people. I have always maintained that people are the most important part of any organisation – they are our lifeblood, and we recognize them for their incredible talents and contributions they make. Testament to our focus on people is the fact that our management team has been in place for almost a quarter of a century! How many agencies can claim that?

‘You can’t rest easy in this space; it is constantly changing, and I believe it is imperative that our rate of transformation continues at a steady pace. One of the joys of living in these interesting times is that no two days are the same. Growth, innovation, evolution
– call it what you like – is happening in real-time and shifting our approach to address this makes me excited for every challenge that comes my way.

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