Abey Mokgwatsane on finding your purpose

14 Jun 2019

As a marketer, aligning your purpose with that of the brand you work for is the secret to career success, says Vodacom head of brand and communications, Abey Mokgwatsane.

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“The key attribute that I’m looking for, in any company that I work for is whether my purpose is aligned to what the company’s purpose is. Because the rest is just transactional," says Mokgwatsane, Chief Marketing Officer at Vodacom, South Africa’s largest mobile network operator.
 
Mokgwatsane spoke to Danni Dixon, head of Marketing for Investec South Africa, about his journey from advertising to corporate marketing at the inaugural Investec Focus Talks event – a monthly series of discussions with leaders, innovators and change-makers.
 
“Our purpose at Vodacom is to connect for a better future, and I genuinely believe in the ability of that brand to connect people, communities, and governments, in creating a better life for all.”

Listen to podcast

Focus Talks podcast with chief marketing officer at Vodacom, Abey Mokgwatsane.

Marketing is now measurable

Mokgwatsane, former CEO of Ogilvy & Mather South Africa, found his passion for marketing at a young age while working in his parent’s shop in Mabopane, North of Pretoria. “I was fascinated with why people chose different products. As little experiments, my sister and I used to make our own billboards in the store, and see if those could get people to buy things that they normally wouldn’t buy.”
 
His career has seen him working through the glory years of beer advertising in the early 2000s for SAB to a role leading VWV Group.
 
Talking to an audience of marketers at Investec, Mokgwatsane said that in today’s digital world, proving your worth to an organisation is a lot easier. “It’s a great time to be in marketing because you’ve got so many tools at your disposal. You’ve got analytics that you can get on a daily basis. You’ve got access to insights. You’ve got access to so much that can help you prove that what you’re doing is working, or to course correct what it is that you’re doing.”

Focus Talks Danni

Transformation in advertising

For Mokgwatsane, transformation in the marketing and advertising industry is not happening fast enough. And it’s not just about race, but gender equality too, which is why 90% of his leadership team are women.
 
 “I have no doubt that women are more intuitive and empathetic than men are, and it should be standard that you should be over-indexed with having women in your team if you’re  serious about engaging customers and consumers.”

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