Off the Cuff: With Christo Swanepoel

In this Off the Cuff feature we chat to one of NZ’s industry experts and gain knowledge and insight into key trends in the Digital Marketing space. Meet Christo Swanepoel, Marketing Director from Moustache Republic.

Please introduce yourself?

My name is Christo (@christoswanepoels on IG). I am heavily involved in Marketing eCommerce businesses and have been involved in the marketing industry for a number of years now. My speciality is in Social Media and have been voted as an elite Facebook Marketer. I will be heading to their HQ in June to look at new product developments, give some user consulting on what we would like to see for the platform and check out their offices.


Describe a typical day for you?

1. Research
2. Understand
3. Practice.

With the digital industry within the eCommerce marketing space continually changing, there are new products, apps and features rolled out and staying on top of them requires research.

Making programs work together and finding better ways to leverage platforms comes with the research, it makes you understand it. So after I find what I like, I make sure I understand how it works.

Like one of my heroes say "Do not be a headline reader, be a practitioner" so I want to ensure that new products for the eCommerce space have been read, understood and then ensure I have spent enough time actually using that particular platform so I can understand the metrics, ROI and the benefits for the brands we use it for.


What have been your career highlights?

Finding my Passion.

I have been a car salesman, I have worked in insurance, but the biggest highlight was realising the power of the internet and telling stories through it to build a business.


What current trends have you observed in your industry?


There is a large amount of investment and development into finding a way to have a centralised platform for accurate attribution readings. Google Analytics is good to a certain extent but there is always a mismatch between Google Analytics, Facebook and other marketing platforms. People underinvest in good marketing channels because the platform they read their metrics off tells them that that platform is underperforming.

So a big trend is a discussion of Attribution but also a development into platforms that take an entire digital journey to sale into account.

I look forward to the release of Attribution by Google that understands this issue and wants to make sure that people are getting read the correct data in the eCommerce space.


What would your top three pieces of advice be for those looking to establish or further their digital marketing?

- Network - The more people you talk to in the industry, the more you learn about what is out there. There are 110 apps for one thing and someone else might be using the perfect app for you or your client's needs.

- Surround yourself with Experts. I feel constantly driven and pushed to be better and know more because I am surrounded by people that know more than me on a daily basis. More than just networking, these are my immediate surroundings.

- Be a practitioner, not a headline reader. SnapChat is dead...don't just read a headline like that and expect it to be true. In practice you will learn that the average CPM on SnapChat is around $3 and targeting is continuously developing. SnapChat is more alive today than ever, but if you just read an article saying it was dead, you would never find the benefits that lay within that platform.


What are your interests outside of work?

Love being active and fit and planning some crazy MTB adventures when I have time. My last adventure was through the old Ghost Road on the South Island. I am also an extremely amateur filmmaker (when I have time) and have grown a reasonable following on Instagram with a few of my travel videos.


How do you stay motivated?

By losing and learning. I think I might have been really lucky on this topic because I just keep going and going and the more I do, the more motivation comes my way. In saying that, there are always some days where all I want to do is stay in bed and watch the Grand Tour and not do any work but that quickly disappears when I get into my day and start working on some exciting things.

What I'd say to myself is that I found something I enjoyed, so my motivation has been self-sustaining.


What is your secret to success?

When I find it, I will be sure to let you know. I have just always enjoyed the journey, more than the destination and hope it always remains that way in my professional life.