This #InnovationMonth, we go behind the selfie with technophile Darren Mansour, digital director at So Interactive digital agency.
Mansour being So Interactive – that’s what I call brand innovation!
1. Where do you live, work and play?
I Iive in the north of Johannesburg, work in Rivonia and play in Cape Town when I can. I love that city!
2. What’s your claim to fame?
Not sure how famous I am yet. But watch this space...
3. Describe your career so far.
I started out in traditional advertising working on South African famous food chains, but my passion always lay in the digital arena.
Now when I look back, that stint in the traditional space has given me the upper hand in today’s digital world.
I have been very hands-on building this agency over the past 10 years and it still gives me a thrill to wake up and be challenged every day by the ever-shifting landscape of digital.
Apart from being passionate about marketing, I never shy away from a real challenge; a few years ago I found myself running an Italian restaurant with three partners and an online retail store during the daily buzz.
4. Tell us a few of your favourite things.
Definitely my wife and son. They make me feel very lucky. I am also passionate about food, I love cooking and dining out whenever I get the chance.
5. What do you love about your industry?
That we are all creators at heart and, with the right idea, we can make a big impact on the world.
6. Describe your average workday, if such a thing exists.
Arrive at the office at 9am and try to break my day up into team, clients and business. My day always starts with a team meeting, catch up and reviews; then segues into mails, communication and to-dos, which is a mix of strategy, new business and innovation.
I try to leave by 6pm to spend time with my family.
7. What are the tools of your trade?
We use an array of tools that are best fit for the job, but our staples are Basecamp, for project collaboration; Evernote, for notes and ideas; Outlook; and GSuite.
8. Who is getting it right in your industry?
Our industry is filled with great work that is backed by brilliant strategy. The industry is evolving every day. The agencies that are getting it right are nimble and are able to adapt to change fast.
9. List a few pain points the industry can improve on.
There’s just not enough time in a day.
Skills are still scarce in certain service areas.
10. What are you working on right now?
A brand campaign that is launching soon.
11. Tell us some of the buzzwords floating around in your industry at the moment, and some of the catchphrases you utter yourself.
Take it to the next level
12. Where and when do you have your best ideas?
A great idea can land anytime. My best thinking happens between 5am and 7am.
13. What’s your secret talent/party trick?
I once sang two songs with a band for one small show as a bucket list challenge – if not, why not?
14. What would we find if we scrolled through your phone?
Lots of pictures of my travels, wife and ‘newborn’ son, who is already one.
15. What advice would you give to newbies hoping to crack into the industry?
Don’t only rely on your tertiary education to land a great position. Self-education and a brilliant portfolio are the ways to make a huge impact. Never stop learning.
Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com and one of our Lifestyle contributors. She loves milkshakes, word play and alliteration, and can be reached at .
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