#BehindtheSelfie with... Dale Hefer

This week, we go behind the selfie with Dale Hefer - author, founder of Chillibush and CEO of the Integrated Marketing Conference (IMC) and IMC Academy.
Hefer’s all about ROI, the bottom line and naked marketing.

1. Where do you live, work and play?

I work and play in Parktown North.

2. What’s your claim to fame?

Other than being second only to Andy Rice in height…

I am the founder of Chillibush, which I sold in 2014; author of the bestselling marketing book, From Witblits to Vuvuzelas, Marketing in the new South Africa; former businesswoman of the year; and new owner of the Integrated Marketing Conference (IMC).

3. Describe your career so far.

I’ve loved it, warts and all, so far! Thankfully I was ignorant enough in 1998 to think I could start my own agency, so Chillibush was born out of a suburban garage – not sure I would have the courage to do it all again.
The 18 years of running the agency were fantastic – we achieved wonderful things and I was very proud of the team and the work we did.
I sold it in 2014. I then spent some time with my young children, started a charity and launched Afterburn, a purpose-driven marketing consultancy. In 2017 I purchased the IMC and have very exciting plans, starting with the Nedbank IMC Conference in March 2019.

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"An absolutely formidable array," is how IMC CEO Dale Hefer describes the speaker line-up for the 2019 Nedbank IMC Conference happening in March 2019...

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4. Tell us a few of your favourite things.

My ten-year-old twins, James and Grace. My garden. Good, crisp communication. Not feeling guilty about not exercising any more.

5. What do you love about your industry?

The passion, especially of the youngsters.

6. Describe your average workday, if such a thing exists.

Missioning with kids, then to the office and touching base with the team and doing admin. Then, anything could happen. Whatever it is, it involves enormous amounts of caffeine!

7. What are the tools of your trade?

Curiosity. Enthusiasm.

8. List a few pain points the industry can improve on.

  • The pitching process
  • Putting more behind the youth
  • The need to be more ROI-orientated

9. What are you working on right now?

The 2019 Nedbank IMC Conference.

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10. Tell us some of the buzzwords floating around in your industry at the moment, and some of the catchphrases you utter yourself.

ROI is a big one for me, as well as bottom line and naked marketing.

I combined these into the theme for the conference, in fact: “Marketing gets naked. It’s about the bottom line.”

11. Where and when do you have your best ideas?

When I am with inspiring people.

12. What’s your secret talent/party trick?


13. Are you a technophobe or a technophile?

Phobe, I’m afraid.

14. What would we find if we scrolled through your phone?

Lots of boring family pics. Even videos of my dog. Skande!

15. What advice would you give to newbies hoping to crack into the industry?

Work hard. Focus on client service, irrespective of what you actually do in the industry.

Simple as that. You can email Hefer on and click here for more on the IMC Conference, taking place on 14 March at Fox Junction, Newtown. Follow the IMC Conference on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates.

*Interviewed by Leigh Andrews.
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About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality. She's also on the Women in Marketing: Africa advisory panel, was an #Inspiring50 2018 nominee, and can be reached at ...