Women In Marketing 2020 Edition ft. Sumaya Mogola from Skeem Saam
Sumaya is the Public Relations & Social Media Manager for the hit South African TV series, Skeem Saam. Sumaya is a Vaal born creative and a bonafide sneakerhead. She recently took up DJ lessons and hopefully, we’ll get a project from her in the not so distant future! Let’s learn more about her on this segment of Women In Marketing 🇿🇦
There is a place for influencer marketing, and I think it will be here to stay for many years to come. Consumers want to be catered to according to each of their individual needs and influencer marketing can help do that
LET’S GET PERSONAL
WHERE WERE YOU BORN? WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FONDEST MEMORIES?
I was born in a place called Roshnee in the Vaal. It’s a very quiet area that is strong on culture and religion. Most of my childhood memories I’m fond of, those were times when one had no worry, stress or much responsibility in the world. Makes me wonder why we were all in such a hurry to grow up.
SHOW OFF TO OUR READERS. ANY HIDDEN TALENTS YOU CAN SHARE WITH US? A CLARINET STAR IN THE MAKING PERHAPS?
Before Covid, I had been attending DJing classes. Once our situation gets better I’m hoping to go back to it.
WE WOULD ALL LOVE TO WIN THE LOTTERY RIGHT? IF YOU WON $10 MILLION TOMORROW, WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH YOUR FORTUNE?
I would open a coffee/sneaker store. Those are 2 things that I’m passionate about, so why not merge them in one. I would also open an arts centre for the youth. Music, dance, painting anything you can think of to empower that child that one day wants to see themselves doing big things in the entertainment industry. Mmm, the rest of the money I’ll see what I do with it…
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEAL? THAT ONE MEAL YOU WOULDN’T SHARE WITH ANYONE!
Gees there are too many. Eggs Benedict with smoked Salmon makes the cut. Eggs super well done, please :)
WHAT MADE YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH THE WORLD OF MARKETING? WHAT PARTICULAR MOMENT IN TIME PUSHED YOU TO PURSUE THIS CAREER? AFTER ALL, WE ALL WANTED TO BE DOCTORS GROWING UP, RIGHT?
Wrong! Lol. I can’t say a Doctor was one of the things I wanted to do. I always loved the world of advertising. Advertisements on Television would amaze me, and I always thought to myself that I would like to see myself doing something similar. In front of and behind the camera. So I decided to study Advertising Management which of course includes Marketing and some Public Relations. After that, the rest is history.
IF YOU COULD BE ANY ANIMAL IN THE WORLD, WHAT ANIMAL WOULD YOU BE AND WHY?
I would be a Hawk. It flies high enough, almost camouflaging itself from things he doesn’t want to be seen by, and also high enough with sharp eyes to observe exactly what’s going on at the bottom.
WHAT’S THE MOST INTERESTING THING ABOUT YOU THAT WE WOULDN’T LEARN FROM YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE ALONE?
That I am a sneaker collector
ENTERING THE WORKPLACE
GIVE US A SNEAK PEEK OF HOW YOU TYPICALLY START YOUR DAY. ARE YOU #TEAMCOFFEE OR #TEAMTEA? OR BOTH? YOU BEAUTIFUL REBEL!
I am team BOTH hehe. But I like to start my morning on black coffee first. Then everything else can follow. I go onto Twitter, see what’s trending, who’s doing what, and what’s going on in our industry and the world. Attend to any unanswered emails, then continue with my checklist for the day.
HOW BEST DO YOU STRIKE A WORK-LIFE BALANCE?
I don’t think I’m very good at that. I always find myself checking and responding to my emails and texts even when I’m meant to have switched off. But sometimes one has got to take a time out
JOB HOPPING IS A COMMON PHENOMENA ESPECIALLY IN THE DYNAMIC WORLD OF ADVERTISING AND MARKETING. WHAT’S YOUR OPINION ON JOB HOPPING? DOES IT HURT OR AID ONE’S CAREER?
I think there are pros and cons to job-hopping but I see it as a way to further one’s career and being able to learn new skills and in a way forces you to adapt to a new environment. It’s also a way of meeting new people, making new connections.
Having said that, make sure that you have a good enough reason to leave your current space, it can’t always be about the money, your mental state also plays a big role. Can you learn anything new at your current company? If so, maybe think about it further. Maybe there is still an opportunity for growth. But if not and you do decide to one day leave, do it on a good note, because our industry is way too small to burn bridges.
FOR OUR INTERVIEW WITH YAEL TAMAR FROM SOLIDBLOCK, SHE REMARKED THAT WOMEN ARE MOST LIKELY TO OCCUPY THE CMO ROLE AS COMPARED TO THEIR MALE COUNTERPARTS. WITH WOMEN CONTROLLING OVER $20 TRILLION IN GLOBAL SPENDING, WHY HAS IT BECOME INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT TO HAVE FEMALE CMOS IN YOUR OPINION?
It’s important because for years and years women have been sidelined and compartmentalised to just a ‘homemaker’, ‘wife’ or ‘mother’ and while we can still be those things if we want, we can also be working women that are career-driven and strive to be leaders
SYSTEMS AROUND REMOTE WORK AND VIDEO CONFERENCING ARE INCREASINGLY BECOMING STAPLE IN MOST ORGANISATIONS. ACCORDING TO VISUAL CAPITALIST, ZOOM IS NOW WORTH MORE THAN THE 7 BIGGEST AIRLINES IN THE WORLD AT A WHOPPING MARKET CAPITALIZATION OF JUST OVER $40BN. SUFFICE TO SAY, REMOTE WORKING IS AN ASPECT OF MODERN-DAY WORK THAT HAS BEEN LONG OVERDUE. IN YOUR OPINION, WHY HAVE MOST ORGANISATIONS STRUGGLED TO CONVERT TO THIS WAY OF WORK?
I’ve come across a lot of companies that were able to, and still are working remotely. With some only being able to jump onto the bandwagon a little later. Working remotely was very rare 2 years ago, or even a year ago until Covid19 had forced us to adapt to a new way of working.
However, I would imagine it is a little simpler, for instance, a Social Media or Pr agency to quickly adapt to these changes, as opposed to a restaurant or a bar, where a waitress can’t work from home or Production Companies, that still need to Produce content, on a certain TV set at a certain studio, they don’t have that opportunity to all work from home, or content falls flat. So, as much as I think some companies can now work from home going forward, their counterparts, unfortunately, don’t have that option.
REMOTE WORK HAS COME WITH ITS OWN SET OF CHALLENGES, PARAMOUNT TO THIS IS THE FACT THAT EMPLOYEES ARE NOW ‘ALWAYS ON’ WITH WORK CARRYING OVER. EVEN BEYOND WORKING HOURS. IN YOUR OPINION, HOW CAN ORGANISATIONS MANAGE THIS BETTER TO PROTECT THE WELLBEING OF THEIR EMPLOYEES?
It’s easier said than done, but if an employee on a normal day is bound to the office from say 9 to 4 on weekdays, the same should apply to when working remotely. I think the analogy of “switching off” should be adopted by the employee and filtered down, where while there is time to work, there is also time for things outside of work.
STORYTELLING SEEMS TO BE THE NEXT RISING BUZZWORD. WHAT’S THE Skeem Saam STORY? HOW ARE YOU TELLING IT IN AN INTERESTING WAY?
Skeem Saam is a Tv show, so that’s what we do! We tell stories. And we tell them well. It is a show that uses several adversaries to address social issues that are prevalent in the country. More than anything else, we are considered as an ‘Edutainment’ show that focuses on stories that affect us all in our society today.
We keep our stories real enough so that people can relate to it. Along with an end message that leaves our viewer with food for thought and hopefully some type of positive resolution. We must educate our audience. From saying no to drinking and driving to practising safe sex. Education and finishing school, then going onto university/higher studies is also a factor that we focus on because education is always key.
BCG PUBLISHED ITS INNOVATION REPORT FOR 2020 AND AT THE CORE OF ITS SELECTION CRITERIA ARE COMPANIES THAT HAVE SUCCESSFULLY MARRIED ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN THEIR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES. ACCORDING TO YOU, WHAT MAKES SOMETHING INNOVATIVE? HOW DO YOU DEFINE INNOVATION AT Skeem Saam?
I define innovation as something new or never seen before. An idea that in a way makes life a little easier or safer. Apps like Uber Eats or Mr D I find it very innovative. Same as your phone connects to your car radio via BlueTooth.
AT THE TIME OF PUBLISHING, THE DIGITAL MARKETING INSTITUTE ESTIMATED THAT THE INFLUENCER MARKETING INDUSTRY WILL HIT THE $10BN MARK BY 2020. WHETHER B2B OR B2C, IT’S EVIDENT THAT BRANDS AND ORGANISATIONS HAVE HAD THEIR SUCCESS WITH THIS MODEL OF MARKETING. HOW WILL THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AFFECT THIS INDUSTRY GOING FORWARD AND DO YOU BELIEVE THERE IS STILL A PLACE FOR INFLUENCER MARKETING?
There is a place for influencer marketing, and I think it will be here to stay for many years to come. Consumers want to be catered to according to each of their individual needs and influencer marketing can help do that. Why not support a brand that makes you feel special? Covid 19 has affected IM… in a good way. I think it may have pushed some organisations out of their comfort zones despite covid 19 and lockdown to find safer ways of reaching out to their audience.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS SOME OF THE MAJOR TRENDS IN DIGITAL IN THE NEXT 12 TO 18 MONTHS?
I see some companies already using Whatsapp as a way of communicating directly with consumers. In the next year, I see many more companies jumping onto this trend. Whatsapp is affordable and personal enough to know exactly what your audiences are consuming.
WHAT’S YOUR SMARTEST WORK-RELATED SHORTCUT OR PRODUCTIVITY HACK?
Since I’ve been working from home, Creating dedicated workspace has always been key for me. That way, I’m able to get into a professional headspace. Use a space that is warm and comfortable. Sometimes I also prefer specific music in the background that might help calm me down on my anxious days. Also, waking up early, taking a shower and getting dressed for the day (even though you’re staying home) helps me be much more productive and ready to work.
2020 AND BEYOND
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
I’m very picky when it comes to books. It needs to be gripping enough to catch my attention from the very first page. I could read actual books if I had to, but I’m an Ereader, so I prefer reading off my phone or laptop. (If all our documents, magazines and books could be stored electronically it would be easier to find and also less clutter). I like self-help books, books that empower or help guide you through certain things in life. ‘This book will make you Calm’ by Jessamy Hibbert is what I’m currently reading.
WHAT IS ON YOUR NETFLIX WATCHLIST?
My list goes on and on but I can mention ‘You, Money Heist, Ozark, Dirty John, F is for Family, How to get away with Murder, Next in Fashion, Glow Up’ and any dope Horror or Thriller.
AS WE LEARN TO LIVE WITH COVID19 IF YOU COULD REPLACE THE HANDSHAKE AS A FORM OF GREETING, WHAT INTERESTING NEW GREETING WOULD YOU INTRODUCE?
I like that elbow thing that everyone is doing right now, it’s safe and one is still able to keep a distance. If I was a dancer I would have come up with a young dancer, but alas!
WHO HAVEN’T YOU SEEN OR TALKED TO IN A LONG TIME AND HOPE THEY ARE DOING OKAY?
‘Lily’ My old hairstylist, that I have lost contact with! Please call me if you see this message!
A UNIQUE MESSAGE FOR ALL YOUNG PROFESSIONALS IN THE MARKETING INDUSTRY
Current, current, current! Stay in the know with what’s current and trendy within your spaces. If there is a certain group of people that you’re trying to appeal to stay in touch with the things that they are into, the things they think are cool, and incorporate it into your ideas or campaigns.
IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
That there is a reason that things happen, and a reason that things don’t happen. There is either something you have to learn or something that the Universe doesn’t want you to experience.
ANY BUCKET LIST ITEMS?
Professionally, I would like to go back to school, attend more workshops. Personally, Travel more. Maybe 1 day move to a different Province, then move to a different country for a few years. Oh, and Bungee jumping!
WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR FEMALE HEROES?