A strategic skills exchange

With 17 yrs of experience in strategy and the nuances of classical and traditional marketing, Roberta Donovan is opting for a modern day barter. And here in the SearchKings™ Africa Kingdom, we are gearing up for an exciting skills exchange experience. It’s the classic tale of our relationship economy; two people meet through a mutual friend and instantly sense an opportunity for mutual growth and development.

Wanting to deepen her digital marketing repertoire and futureproof her strategic skills with an immersive and holistic digital experience, Roberta had canvassed her extensive corporate network and spoken to various industry players in the pursuit of the right opportunity. But with a consultant of Roberta’s calibre, with career experience that spans working at global giants such as SAB and Unilever and across some of South Africa’s most loved FMCG brands, an internship to learn on the job seemed incongruent for such a senior resource.

‘I had spoken to various MDs about wanting to immerse myself in digital marketing and get hands on experience but they weren’t too sure what to do with me.’ Roberta laughs. ‘I wasn’t particularly sure how it would work either, and then I met Brett.’

Brett Perlstein, founder of SearchKings™ Africa, lives and breathes the unlocking of his clients potential online but needed to streamline his internal marketing processes and cut through the clutter to attract new customers. On meeting Roberta, the compatibility of their needs prompted Brett to suggest a skills exchange – which made perfect sense to Roberta. ‘They had something that I wanted (the opportunity to learn and practice new digital skills) and I had something they needed (solid marketing and communications experience and skills)’ Roberta says. Having already been entrenched in an exchange mindset through previous consulting work, Roberta loved the idea.

Just a month in and it’s clear from both Brett and Roberta that they are both thriving. ‘It’s a brand new experience which is nerve-wracking’ says Roberta ‘but given that half the time the team are teaching me and the other half I am teaching them, it’s certainly a fast paced and exciting experience. The learning curve is also dependent on us – we can pick up the pace and steepen the curve however we choose – that is the beauty of this experience.’

What was originally going to be a three month ‘experiment’ is already evolving into a longer term partnership. ‘Ours is a business that believes in various forms of strategic partnerships’ says Brett. ‘Our eco-system is designed to bring in the right players to best serve our customers. We pride ourselves on continuous improvement and surround ourselves with subject matter experts to bring new and fresh thinking into our business.’

So what does good look like for Roberta? ‘I am hoping to eventually find myself in a ‘Head of Digital’ role for an established B2C brand but I am open to seeing how this journey unfolds and embracing opportunities as they become available’ she says.

Both Roberta and Brett are excited about this process, what it will uncover and how it could determine future engagement for them both. Stay tuned for an update on this agile transaction down the line.