“The biggest thing is Return on Investment and the beautiful thing with digital platforms is everything can be measured.”
For our first ever interview, we sat down with Stuart Attwell, Digital Director at Magooze. An experienced digital marketing professional with a well-earned reputation in the industry, Stuart heads up digital strategy for Magooze, working with clients across many industries. Find out what he had to say about working during the new ‘normal’, his most successful campaigns to date, and trends to keep an eye on over the next 12 to 18 months.
Name: Stuart Attwell
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Occupation: Digital Director at Magooze
Could you tell us a little bit about your background, and your career in marketing so far? What led you to joining Magooze?
I got a BCom honours degree, moved to London, then returned to South Africa after 2 years. My first “real” job was in the telecommunication industry and as the youngest I was tasked with looking after the website - from there my passion and knowledge for digital marketing grew. An opportunity arose with Magooze and it was too good to refuse.
What was your first job? What did you spend money on back then?
I coached soccer, rugby and cricket as a student, money was mainly spent on entertainment.
Prior to working at Magooze, you gained a considerable amount of experience at Pansolutions Holdings and Nashua Holdings, working in various marketing roles. What are a couple of key things that you learnt from these roles, which transfer over to your role at Magooze?
I think working in big corporate environments gave me a fantastic understanding of how business operates in general. This can translate into understanding how current clients assess their business and me understanding what they want to achieve through digital marketing and online platforms. The biggest thing is Return on Investment and the beautiful thing with digital platforms is everything can be measured.
Did you always want to work in marketing? What made you fall in love with the world of digital and pursue it as a career?
I majored in marketing at university as I found it interesting - then as mentioned earlier by default i was given the role of “the digital guy” in an early position and that's when i found a great interest in all things digital, particularly on how everything can be tracked, measured and adjusted in real time.
Tell us about a company whose marketing strategy you admire and why?
I like marketing strategies that are clever, successful and done on limited budgets when compared to competitors. An example is a local insurance company that despite not having nearly as big a budget as its main competitors has made significant inroads into the industry through clever digital campaigns.
What’s the best marketing advice that you’ve ever received?
Track and measure everything.
Describe the most successful marketing campaign you have ever worked on. What made it so successful?
Without giving too much away, it was for a liquor brand and had a viral element to it. It was so successful that we had to stop it for a period as the client could not keep up with the demand. The reason it was successful was mainly due to the use of technology in a “refer a friend” campaign.
Can you tell us a little more about Magooze. What’s Magooze’s mission?
Magooze is a small digital marketing agency that is results driven. We specialise in lead generating digital campaigns at affordable rates.
Storytelling is currently a big buzzword in marketing. How does Magooze tell stories? What is the brand story you are trying to tell?
We are very much a results driven agency and Storytelling is great for certain industries and clients, however our target market is small to medium sized companies that require sales - all that we do revolves around getting more sales leads for the client through various digital platforms.
What does a typical day at Magooze look like?
Coffee, check email, go through my tasks for the day. Tasks typically included analyzing statics of various campaigns, brainstorming new ideas and reporting back to clients.
Tell us a bit about your martech stack. What couldn’t you live without?
Google Analytics - when set up correctly this will tell you everything you need to know about web users and how they interact with the site.
Ahrefs -- the first stop for keyword research, SEO audits and ranking tracking
Hotjar - another great resource to see how users interact with the website
Mailchimp - fantastic tool when used correctly - great for marketing automation, tracking and far more affordable than other similar products.
What are three components of a successful inbound or digital marketing strategy at Magooze?
Track, measure, optimise and then repeat.
What is the biggest digital marketing challenge your organisation faces?
Time - we have limited resources and despite all the tools available you still need human input to analyse and make informed decisions.
What does data-driven marketing mean at Magooze? How do you leverage data to inform your decision making?
Data is the most valuable marketing resource. With correct information in hand you can make informed decisions. The data can give us better demographic targeting, better cross selling opportunities and ultimately lower the cost per acquisition
How have you and Magooze structured work since the COVID-19 pandemic?
We have always been a very flexible company and remote working was a thing for us before the pandemic - it has just accelerated the process to “full” at home working.
In terms of the recent shift towards working from home, do you think this is long overdue for many organisations or unsustainable in the long run?
I think it is fantastic, it gives you more time for your family, you don't get stuck in traffic and generally is better for everyone. I do think there is a need for office space for face to face meetings when needed, but i think companies will find a balance between the two and become the new “normal”.
What are some digital marketing trends that you believe we should watch over the next 12 to 18 months?
AI will continue to evolve and be used in marketing particularly in the PPC space. New platforms for marketing will emerge and the best mix will be needed to achieve the results you want. SEO will become more important than ever as costs on paid platforms increase due to competition.
What advice would you have for young professionals working in digital?
Don't specialise on one tool early in your career. Get a good understanding of all platforms and tools from setting up a website to Google Ads, to social media to marketing automation and everything in between.
In the ever-changing digital marketing environment, learning is a constant cycle. Which websites, blogs, and/or courses, are your go-tos when it comes to staying up to date with industry developments?
Following industry experts on social media offers great insight, Moz blogs are great for latest developments and keeping certified through regular Google partner exams. Chatting to people in similar positions and industries also allows you to bounce ideas off each other and gets the creative juices flowing.
If you had the time, what marketing skill would you like to improve? Why?
Content writing ability - well written content is a great sales tool both for SEO and inbound campaigns.
What are you currently reading? Are there any marketing books that you’d recommend to someone fresh out of university?
Eddie Jones My Life and Rugby: The Autobiography - a great read for fans of rugby and has some good insight into people management.
What did you last watch on Netflix? Any recommendations for us?
Ozark - cant wait for season 4.
Vikings is good and Black Sails.