Burning Questions with Wendy Mbatha

Wendy Mbatha is a Marketing Specialist who joined Talk360 in March of this year. Wendy is located in South Africa, where she works tirelessly on creating partnerships, building campaigns, and measuring results. We asked Wendy a few questions about marketing, and you can read her answers below.

How were your first 3 months at Talk360?

Do you mean 3 years? Because that’s how it feels like! Jokes aside, it’s been very pleasant. This is the exact job that I had been praying for. I love the amazing work culture and the positive and exhilarating work environment at Talk360. The team has such contagious positive energy and spirit and is always available to support me. Overall, it’s been nothing short of amazing, I’ve been exposed to so many parts of the business, from engaging with the partners and taking ownership of the company’s overall campaign programs. The level of trust and autonomy still blows me away.

How is it working in a hybrid team? How do you feel connected to your colleagues around the globe? It’s been quite an adjustment, but I enjoy it. Globally at Talk360, we share a very similar working culture which helps us connect. Aside from regular Marketing meetings with the global team, we host a meeting called ‘All Hands’ on a monthly basis where the whole company joins. This always ends with virtual activities. During these sessions, we get to interact and learn about one another’s cultures, interests, backgrounds, and more. This helps me foster a connection with my colleagues around the globe and understand them better. We like to celebrate our differences, and that’s what makes Talk360 so unique to me.

How did marketing change over the years in Africa?

To my knowledge, it has changed drastically. Research methods, new job roles, and advertising platforms that did not exist are now huge! For example, the advertising pillar of marketing previously consisted only of traditional marketing methods like newspapers, television, flyers, radio, etc. Although these methods are still being used, it’s extremely difficult to measure and monitor how much value they bring to the company. Today, there are multiple digital platforms that have enabled marketers to easily monitor the reach, impressions, and engagements of campaigns in real-time. Data is readily available as and when needed to determine the success of campaigns while they are running. Digital platforms have also enhanced the ability to reach greater audiences, larger markets, and niche groups based on many demographics from people you might have never known existed.

How did you end up in marketing? And did you expect it to be this way?

I was initially supposed to study Industrial Psychology. However, I did not get accepted and therefore studied marketing. During my first year of university, I thought I would swap out psychology for marketing. That didn’t happen because I thoroughly enjoyed the marketing assignments we were tasked with. One of the greatest moments from one of the assignments was for a multinational company. I was selected to present to the employees of the company. Man, was I blown away by the big and beautiful building and the perfect corporate environment. It made me want to work for them, and fast-forward 2 years and I was doing my internship with that company. I still love marketing and am now a marketing specialist at Talk360! I didn’t expect marketing to be this way. I thought it would be all fun, glitz, glam, creativity, and lots of travel. Instead, it is the “science of art”. There is so much strategic thinking, research, conceptualization, and experiments that are performed before the “glitz and glams” of a marketing campaign that the rest of the world sees. There’s actually a whole lot more! And wait... it doesn’t end there! After the campaign, there’s the analysis. Nonetheless, I absolutely love marketing because it’s challenging and unpredictable each and every day.

What is the biggest misconception about marketing?

The biggest misconception is that marketing is only what you see on television or hear on the radio. I recently reshared this on my Linkedin profile. This post sums it up so well in a diagram. People only see the campaign ads and think that’s marketing. But there is so much more effort that goes into it, like planning, data management, creativity, research, process, technology, execution, and reporting. Simply put, there is more to what meets the eye in marketing. The result that is received by people involves a lot more work than what they would assume!

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