There’s no such thing as digital marketing, Corrine Bennett, CBR’s Marketing Solutions’ newly appointed GM – Client Services and Relationship Management, told stunned University of Johannesburg marketing students. She was making a point. “When people say we need to focus on digital or grow in digital marketing, they’ve missed the boat. We cannot afford to think of digital marketing as a channel any more – it’s an intrinsic part of the new age of marketing, it’s everything and it’s everywhere really fast.”
Bennett has been with CBR Marketing since March 2014 in the position of Senior Account Manager. Her background as a thriving entrepreneur stood her in good stead for her promotion to her current position, where she is applying the spirit of entrepreneurship to the challenging and fast-paced world of digital marketing. “I learned through hard work, dedication and passion what it takes to make a business successful and what effective client management entails – and I’m enjoying applying my experience and learning at CBR.”
She grew up in Orange Grove, Johannesburg and after finishing school, did a graphic design diploma at Inscape School of Graphic Design. She started working in 1991 at a digital presentation company, Digital Pictures, as a designer doing 35mm slides. She rapidly progressed through the business to the position of General Manager heading up the digital multimedia and design division. After 10 years, she started her own business in Johannesburg – Amoeba Designs – with a strong focus on the overall marketing of her Mining and Industrial clients.
After 13 years it was time for a change and Bennett joined the CBR team. “Managing clients was a strong passion of mine in my own business. I have a love of people and I enjoy building great client relationships. Joining a digital marketing company was in line with my passion for digital marketing and the change that I was craving. Agency life is varied and fast-paced. No two days are the same, the fact that you work across a number of different clients means you’re constantly switching mind-set as we constantly strive to remain relevant to the needs of our customers and the opportunities that present themselves in the market.
Digital marketers are a very passionate breed. Their enthusiasm for their work is contagious which is why I love working at CBR Marketing. I’ve looked after CBR’s clients for the last two years and I will continue to oversee the strategy and creative conceptualisation, but my new role is more holistic,” she explains.
Her biggest learning at CBR to date is that because digital marketing is always changing, and you must actively learn every day to be your best but more importantly have fun while juggling the many opportunities it throws you daily.
Her positive outlook and her passion for the industry, its people, for strategising and seeing a concept come to life, and importantly, for seeing clients realise the benefits of a successful campaign and achieve great return on investment are what drive her. CBR’s SEO, social, and design & Copy divisions all report to her.
Her vision for her new role is to balance the competing agendas of the agency, clients and competition, and in the end, have happy clients, happy staff and a profitable agency.
Bennett, who has two children, a son (13) and daughter (10), says travel is on her bucket list – and in particular, climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. She is inspired by spirituality and by family and friends. Her younger brother is Kevin Richardson, The Lion Whisperer, who is an inspiration to her. He is a testimony that loving what you choose as a career, hard work and dedication do pay off.
Her interests include painting, anything arty, refurbishing old furniture, running, gardening, the outdoors, and reading – and at the moment she is enjoying a motivational book, The Heart of Change, by John Kotter.
How does Bennett stay on top? “I try to lead a balanced lifestyle, I eat healthily, I am spiritual, and I rest where I can. I spend quality time with my children who inspire me to be the best mom I can be. Laughter is the recipe for my happiness.”