JH 1 | Everlytic | Q & A with Digital Marketing Strategist Jonathan Houston

So, GEW is happening this week. That’s Global Entrepreneurship Week and it’s the world’s largest celebration of innovators, job creators and startups. We’re talking +3500 activities in over 140 countries to help get your venture where it needs to go. Good news is Everlytic’s taking part in the action. Everlytic MD, Walter Penfold will be joined by Jonathan Houston from Deloitte at the Endeavor hosted ‘’Getting Social’’ networking session on the 21st November. We’ve already “Q&A’d” Penfold and thought Houston rightly deserves a share in the limelight.

A digital marketing strategist from Deloitte, Houston is the self-described custodian of the Deloitte Consulting Technology division. Primarily concerned with digital marketing and eminence initiatives, he plans and implements search engine optimisation, social media and content creation.

Apart from ensuring a constant communications plan for the company, he’s got loads of credits to his name, including that of columnist. Houston contributes to African bi-monthly marketing journal, Marketing Africa Magazine and Memeburn and writes about online marketing strategies. A big hairy audacious achievement this year was having his book Internet Marketing for Entrepreneurs published.

Who do you help with your knowledge, experience and expertise?

Organisations that look to bolster their online presence and align their business strategy through their online channels.

When did you realise digital marketing was what you wanted to focus on?

I was working as a marketing consultant and started to focus on digital by virtue of its measurability. As I learned more about it; my passion for it grew and soon I was solely focussed on digital marketing; but with a good understanding of how the online and offline worlds intersect.

What is your GEW presentation about?

I’m talking about how and why entrepreneurs need to focus on having a strong online presence. I’ll talk through concepts such as Google’s ZMOT as well as some tips and tricks for various social platforms.

What do you hope entrepreneurs will walk away knowing?

They don’t need to be a huge organisation with massive budgets to be effective and relevant online.

If you had to choose one, which would it be – email or social?

I wouldn’t be able to– they work well together and serve different functions within the communications mix.

What social tendency annoys you the most?

You know when you meet someone for the first time and all they do is talk about themselves? At first you put up with it but then you get bored and annoyed. The same thing happens through social; you need to add value to the conversation and talk about things that your audience is most interested in– their needs and issues – not your benefits or solutions.

What top 3 things do companies need to do more of to maintain a social presence?

Focus on a few targeted platforms and get that right – don’t just immediately be on every platform – it’s not sustainable.

Engage with an agency or an expert to develop and understand a strategy – don’t let the agency run the platforms though.

Make someone accountable for your social presence and that needs to be their primary focus.

3 words to describe email marketing are…

Targeted; direct and call-to-action

What kind of value does Deloitte derive from email marketing?

We use email marketing to add to our social channels. It’s a measurable and targeted way of communicating with individuals whom we know are interested in what we have to say.