#YouthMatters: Kim-Lee de Vries, marketing director at Bateleur Brand Planning
Can you tell us what your role as marketing director entails?
To coordinate and assist in executing all the marketing activities, including generating content, social media marketing, nurture and email marketing, etc. to build brand awareness and love for our brand with clients and consumers.
What sparked your interest in getting into marketing?
Our company has annual fireside chats where we discuss our growth and future within the company. In January 2020, I expressed an interest in marketing; soon after that, I was appointed the marketing director, very exciting times! And then Covid-19 hit.
In the spirit of seeing the glass half-full, Covid-19 fast-tracked my marketing career. We had not had projects for a few months, and our focus turned solely to our marketing activities. Our team became much closer and stronger during our brainstorming sessions, and I welcomed their ideas (and critique). I worked closely with the managing director as he guided me in my new role and executed our marketing campaigns, some successful and some not. That’s the joy of marketing, you never know what the outcome will be, but you learn as you go.
How did you get into the industry?
I was fresh out of school and started at the company as an intern. My duties included telephonic interviewing, back-checking, post-coding questionnaires and other administrative tasks. The managing director, Gordon Hooper, saw potential in me. Within five months, I was appointed a research assistant working closely with the senior research execs on projects learning everything that a project entails.
I remember wanting to work on qualitative projects because it allows you to be creative, but I was assigned the role of a technical researcher, working with the numbers. Working as a quantitative data analyst opened me up to many more skills.
I learned how to pay attention to detail, how to be well-organised, how to manipulate data and how quality data leads to strategic outputs for our clients.
The opportunities are endless. The way in which marketing is continuously changing and evolving is an exciting challenge that keeps you alert. The most exciting thing about marketing is that there is no one formula out there to get it right; one minute, you think you’ve finally mastered the art or formula of a successful marketing campaign, and before you know it, there’s a new trend on the horizon.
Besides marketing, what other talents do you have?
I am excellent at designing surveys and producing insightful, fun and engaging research presentations.
What would you say are the qualities a marketer needs to have?
My role as marketing director is still very fresh and new, but I can say that having worked at this company for as long as I have, and starting from the bottom getting my hands dirty in administrative tasks, has given me a greater respect for understanding the industry and our business. Armed with this information, I think I have an advantage in utilising my current marketing role.
What are the victories that you’ve had since starting out?
After being with the company for five years (started in 2013), I was made a shareholder and director in 2017.
If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give yourself?
Our words have power, so speak kindly to and about yourself.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I see myself as the managing director of Bateleur Brand Planning.
As we celebrate Youth Month, do you have any words of encouragement for the youth?
Have faith in yourself, be patient and don’t stop learning. I started at this company after completing Matric two years prior, in an industry that typically requires experience and further education. My unwavering work ethic, determination, persistence, and motivation to succeed have allowed me to grow in my various roles and personal life.