This extended #EntrepreneurMonth, we go behind the selfie with Dale Ferreira, MD of creative digital marketing agency, Sconetent (it rhymes with 'content', if you're not sure).
Ferreira says, "This is Sconetent."
1. Where do you live, work and play?
I’m in either Cape Town or Johannesburg. As a digital business, we’re rewarded with the fact that we can do great work anywhere. Our office is in Cape Town, but I find myself in Johannesburg at least once a month which is awesome, because I’m (somewhat) proudly from Boksburg.
2. What’s your claim to fame?
Emotional connection: Everything we create is with the aim to drive some form of emotional connection with our audience. When you feel an emotional connection with something, you’re engaged with the story.
I’m also convinced that I’m the reason the City of Cape Town has to consistently fixed the Promenade!
3. Describe your career so far.
I got into advertising late: I was the world’s oldest intern. I understood the value of learning fast, adapting your talents and developing meaningful relationships.
Sconetent started on the 1 March 2014 when was retrenched from a data software company where I was in a sales position.
When I was working as a writer/marketer for a magazine in Dubai we decided to use Facebook to create a fictitious character. Before we knew it, we had a lot of new friends. We didn’t realise it at the time but we were creating a story online that people were buying into and I loved how they reacted to the content he was creating. So the Sconetent journey has been epic, and like every epic, there are ups and downs. Luckily our ups have been better than our downs and for that reason, we’re still alive and keeping our clients happy.
I’ve been pretty excited about developing a team of people around me who buy into our culture here and I get to come into work every day and enjoy it and the people around me, the work and our clients.
4. Tell us a few of your favourite things.
I love to write. I only realised that I could after a death in the family. That was the catalyst to all of this. I’m also trying to write a novel, which has been a really cathartic (using big words to prove I can write) experience.
Having had that relationship and understanding its importance, I’ve also found a real passion for people development. We have such talented young people at Sconetent. So being a fan of people extends to my social life.
I love people and giving people a surprisingly lovely experience through our work. I love how content makes people react in the social space.
I am also fond of whiskey and music and for that reason, I spend a small portion of my time running on the Promenade.
5. What do you love about your industry?
The people. I’ve worked with, been mentored by and enjoyed friendships with some of the finest storytellers. I’ve had the pleasure of developing ideas with business leaders and interns. I wake up excited about the day. Every day is a day to create.
We create something meaningful every day that can elicit an emotional response from an audience of consumers who give real business insights. I’ve never been bored and every day is an education.
6. Describe your average workday, if such a thing exists.
It changes all the time, but every day I start by writing a 10-minute stream-of-consciousness. This has helped my focus and writing tremendously. Then I crack on with emails.
I spend a lot of time looking at our clients from a broader level while the team attack content and community management. So I bounce between client meetings and team briefings.
My favourite thing in the world about having a team is to develop them creatively. I’ve watched every single member of my team grow. I want them to push boundaries or ‘new normals’ collectively. It’s the idea that we can always just get a little bit better through experience.
7. What are the tools of your trade?
You can’t create an emotional connection with anything if you don’t know your audience.
Nobody knows a brand and its audience like a community manager. Every day they’re in the trenches. They know what people love and hate about your brand and they know who is engaging with your brand and how they do it.
These are real business insights that can inform proper business decisions.
8. Who is getting it right in your industry?
The digital space is so small that everyone has had some impact on everyone else. I’ve been lucky to work with exceptional people and also use the space to meet some of the more extraordinary people in the industry. I’ve also been really lucky to have some of the coolest team members here at Sconetent and they’re the people I owe the most to, they’re this story.
In terms of brands I admire, Rocomamas have really made a clear impact, with some really cool day-to-day content that talks to its audience.
Internationally I’m so fond of Paddy Power, they’re witty and naughty and not afraid to take risks.
9. List a few pain points the industry can improve on.
It’s necessary for us to equip every person with the education and importance of how content is used to elicit emotions from us, sometimes to even deceive us. We all need to understand the importance of everything that we put out can’t be erased. Social content is now a strong political tool.
10. What are you working on right now?
Our biggest campaign so far has been #TomTomkms, and I couldn’t be prouder. Everything worked, from client buy in to consumer reaction, I couldn’t have been happier with the results. This campaign helped people take notice of our agency.
We’re pretty excited that we’re going to be doing some work for Mr D Food. We’re looking to put together some great content for them.
Embracing online food delivery, Mr D Food's delivery service app has been downloaded more than 200,000 times in the last six months...
8 Aug 2017
We also did some seriously hot content for an Alpaca compost business for a free content competition we ran a couple of months ago.
We also have some great new clients starting with us over the next couple of months, but I can’t chat about these just yet. I hope we continue to do really great work for awesome brands that the consumer loves. I hope to continue to grow and learn from a team of awesome individuals.
I’ve always loved the idea of the Sconetent School for Kids Who Can’t Digital But Want to Digital Better, so there might be a bit of that. I refuse to be scared to try something.
11. Tell us some of the buzzwords floating around in your industry at the moment, and some of the catchphrases you utter yourself.
We’re talking about new normals all the time at Sconetent. This is about our personal development as well as the services we deliver. We have to continue getting better and never stop learning.
We’re working on a solution for this using a unique bit of thinking around the emotional drivers. With this, we can give smaller business access to top content at a reasonable price.
We want to make everyone's social space stunning.
12. Where and when do you have your best ideas?
When you find out, let me know, they seem to come to me at very different times!
Showers used to be awesome for this before the water crisis. I once thought that my best ideas came from running. I was particularly stuck on a problem for a client so I went for a run, but ended having to call an Uber because I was buggered. I didn’t solve the problem.
13. What’s your secret talent/party trick?
I have the uncanny ability to make people’s eyes roll after I tell an excellent joke that I have been working on.
14. Are you a technophobe or a technophile?
I’m not. I’d like to think I am, but the truth is that I have to Google to find out everything that might be wrong with my laptop or phone. I try to learn as much as possible, but I’m afraid I’m not a technologically gifted human.
15. What would we find if we scrolled through your phone?
I have a secret folder where I save really great lines from books that I have read that resonate with me. I just finished the History of Love and this hit home. I’m getting it printed to post on our wall at Sconetent.
I feel this every time that I put pen to paper.
16. What advice would you give to newbies hoping to crack into the industry?
There is no science. Experiment with content, media and your audience. Test everything. There are some awesome people in the industry – get to know them.
Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com and one of our Lifestyle contributors. She is passionate about issues of inclusion, equality and diversity and was the only SA finalist shortlisted for the Women in Marketing #WIMawards2017. She's also on the 2018 Women in Marketing: Africa advisory panel, an #Inspiring50 nominee, and can be reached at ...
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