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    #Newsmaker: Tshego Tshukutswane, Wunderman Thompson SA's new group chief strategy officer

    Earlier this year, Wunderman Thompson SA announced the appointment of Tshego Tshukutswane to its executive team as group chief strategy officer. Tshukutswane joined this month succeeding Moagi Bodibe, who has taken up independent consulting.
    Tshego Tshukutswane
    Tshego Tshukutswane

    Tshukutswane has 20 years of brand strategy experience with Unilever and Kimberly Clark's client roles. She gained deep brand consulting experience at Added Value and most recently as business director for Kantar Consulting. She has also served as a non-executive director on the NCC Environmental Services and Standard Insurance Limited's Board of Directors.

    “I’m so excited to be joining the Wunderman Thompson leadership team in South Africa. When Miles [Murphy] and I started talking, I immediately saw the visionary positioning of Wunderman Thompson as a technology and data-led creative and consulting powerhouse. I also love the can-do culture and commitment to diversity and inclusion,” expressed Tshukutswane.

    How do you feel about joining the agency and the new role?

    I am excited and looking forward to the adventure! Starting a new role is always a good time to reflect on past experiences and think about leveraging all the successes and lessons of the past for the new role. So, I’m doing a lot of that and basking in the energy that comes with anticipating new possibilities and opportunities for growth.

    What does the role of group chief strategy officer entail?

    The role entails building and leading the agency’s strategy capability, and ensuring that our strategic output delivers against the brand promise of inspiring growth for ambitious brands.

    What are you most looking forward to?

    Three things: I look forward to serving with a dynamic and diverse leadership team, collaborating with talented people locally and globally, and I look forward to bringing that together to create impactful solutions for our clients.

    What excites you most about the agency and its visionary positioning?

    Delivering sustained growth and measurable business impact is one of the most significant challenges facing marketing teams today. This means that agencies have to go beyond insight and good ideas to deliver disruptive and innovative solutions that drive business growth.

    Wunderman Thompson’s mix of capabilities makes this possible. The agency is founded on being a part-digital, part-creative and part-consulting and to me, this means using data and insight to fuel strategies that inspire creative solutions that deliver growth for ambitious brands in today’s digital world.

    Furthermore, transformation is very important to me and it is a core strategic priority for the agency, which is evident in its staff complement and its symbiotic partnerships.

    All of this excites me!

    Comment on the current state of the industry, how the industry has responded to or is responding to Covid, and how you plan to navigate the agency through this.

    Being responsive in a Covid world is the new order of business. In my view, the industry is responding well, considering the circumstances. For me, protecting people is the number one priority while sustaining business performance remains a key focus as our clients continue to navigate recovery and rethink demand strategies. We need to stay responsive in how we operate internally and how we partner with clients to find fit-for-purpose solutions to their business challenges.

    What do you love most about your career and industry?

    I love the dynamism of our industry. I also love the space I have to reinvent myself and grow continually.

    Tell us a bit about your background/experience and how this has equipped you for the role.

    I spent the first four years of my career in Trade Marketing (Unilever & Kimberley Clark) before moving into Strategic Consulting, where most of my experience lies. Strategic thinking remained a dominant competency as my career progressed from trade marketing to insight-led brand marketing to organisational transformation and human-centric customer experience. I credit my years in consulting for teaching me how to get the best out of people and bring together different perspectives to solve problems.

    So, my experience's compound effect lies in using the power of human understanding and insight to fuel strategies that grow people and transform businesses. That is what I bring to this role.

    What’s at the top of your to-do list?

    Taking time to listen to our clients and our teams. I strongly believe in gaining understanding first and then responding with a well-considered to-do list.

    What are you currently reading/watching/listening to?

    I’ve just started reading Quantum Marketing, written by one of the CMOs I admire, Raja Rajamannar, and I’m already inspired! I’m watching a lot of reality TV (I can never get enough!), and I’m listening to Graves into Gardens by Elevation Worship.

    Tell us something about yourself not generally known?

    I am awful at small talk. I often have an out-of-body experience where I watch myself suffer through it and just cringe. LOL!

    About Jessica Tennant

    Jess is Senior Editor: Marketing & Media at She is also a contributing writer. moc.ytinummoczib@swengnitekram
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