My name is Marilize Nel.
I am excited that you are here – because we share a love for digital, a need to make it work for us, and the desire to build a different world with it.
This means that neither of us can take our decisions lightly. As a business owner, I am sure you know how crucial strategic decision-making is when it comes to digital, and how hard it can be to make those decisions on your own.
But that’s why I am here. I work with businesses to help them get more traffic to their websites, more leads and more sales. I do this by building a great strategy, implementing the necessary skills to carry out the strategy, and imparting the knowhow to track and analyse how well these efforts are doing.
Social media is analytical creativity – we use data and information to analyse what works and what not, and then we utilise creativity to adapt and optimise our strategy in order to reach our goals.
I love what I do. (And dogs. And Game of Thrones!)
I’m a digital native who started fiddling with computers as a toddler. My first computer in the 90s was a fun SmartStart computer which offered users a variety of Mensa type tests to develop a child’s mental agility and intellectual development.
By age six, my mother preferred to ask for my help with our DOS operating system rather than hire a technician. Graduating from DOS to Windows, the troubleshooting and general management of computer software and hardware in our household fell on my youthful shoulders.
During high school, I had the opportunity to complete a Computer Driving Licence as they called it at that stage. This involved in-depth practice in all Microsoft software products, including the entire Office Suite.
At varsity, I was elected as the IT representative for my residence in my second year. During this time, I worked with the IT team to ensure that all residence members had the necessary network access and software as required by the University of Stellenbosch.
But I’ve never had any real interest in managing networks, writing code or troubleshooting. My passion is for the written word.
I wanted to write. I wanted to be a journalist and a writer.
I finished my B.A. degree in Value and Policy studies which focuses strongly on decision making, strategic planning and intelligent analysis with politics, economics and demographics in mind. I went on to study Journalism at CityVarsity where we gained experience in online content production.
Ask any journalism student and they will tell you how hard it is to find work in this saturated industry in Cape Town. After a year of working part-time for a PR agency, I was approached by a private publisher to help launch a health magazine for the poor. Despite the budget constraints, limited staff and distribution problems, we were proud that the first issue featured Archbishop Desmond Tutu on the cover.
Towards the end of 2010, I interviewed for a dream job at a Media24-owned 4×4 magazine where they needed a Web Journalist. I got the job, and I quickly realized that if you needed one thing to succeed in digital, it’s the ability to adapt whenever and however necessary.
This role exposed me to digital content and marketing on many different levels, and it set me up perfectly to graduate to a more senior role in Digital Marketing and Community Management at the Media24 Club Group.
After a few years, I left Media24 to test the waters outside the corporation. I was employed as an Account Manager at Creative Spark where I spent one horrific month managing the traffic between the studio and the clients. The work was boring, tedious and repetitive, but I still performed well enough for my manager to beg me to stay in the role. But I stuck to my conviction because I knew that this role wasn’t the right fit for me from the very first day.
It’s hard to acknowledge your failings as a human being, but it’s even harder working at a job that you hate. So, I decided to do something I’ve never done before: I tendered my notice after only one month on the job.
Luckily, I walked right into a wonderful opportunity to become the Communications Manager for the Kennel Union of Southern Africa (KUSA) where I could fulfill a lifelong dream of working with dogs. This role gave me the chance to try my hand at various marketing materials from pamphlets, posters and business cards to events, partnership deals and advertisements.
I am still employed by KUSA as a consultant to this day. But since I left their offices in Cape Town I joined the Dentsu Aegis Network and iProspect, a performance marketing agency. I worked exclusively with the Mercedes-Benz brand team to take care of their social media platforms.
Colleagues know me as a highly organized, goal-oriented go-getter who can always be trusted to put complex plans into effect. I’ve learned that good execution comes with proper planning, and I never neglect to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. Good ideas can drive a business to new heights, and creative thinking is a fundamental part of my education and skillset.
Currently, I am working independently as a digital media and marketing consultant in various industries. I specialize in the creation of quality online content including articles, ebooks, videos, audio podcasts, presentations, graphics, photos, emails, webinars and more.
Contact me today to learn more at firstname.lastname@example.org or join me on social media by clicking on any of the links below.
Here are a few photos from my years in corporate: