IAB South Africa announces maverick Philani Mdingi as Bookmarks Awards judge in the Publisher panel

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Maverick Mind Celebrates Appointment of Founder 

Philani Mdingi

Johannesburg, South Africa – Maverick Mind, a pioneering creative digital agency in South Africa, announced today the appointment of their Director of Digital Philani Mdingi as a Bookmarks Awards judge. Mdingi has been at the forefront of the ever-evolving digital industry for the last decade and boasts an impressive array of experience. Maverick Mind’s statement was preceded by the IAB SA’s own formal announcement.

Mdingi, digital strategist and media aficionado, enthralled by the announcement, comments, “I am judging the Bookmark’s for the second time now and it is always a good experience. I relish the opportunity to add my expertise in selecting some of the best in the industry. This year I will be in the publisher judges panel and having been a judge at the Pica awards, being in this panel is an exciting prospect.”

The Bookmarks Awards are renowned for celebrating a rich diversity of creativity and innovation across the digital spectrum, evidenced by the high calibre of judges.  Mdingi is no stranger to the judging process, as he was also selected to adjudicate the prestigious Pica Awards. Though the Pica awards focus solely on the publishing industry, both the Bookmark’s and the Pica’s reflect the high standards of industry excellence. Of this Mdingi states, “The industry is evolving quite fast, and new innovations are taking place in the digital space. Media houses have had to join the revolution. In this year’s Bookmark’s, I am looking forward to seeing how publications, especially news publications that have print titles, are monetizing their websites as circulation of print titles continues to decline.”

Second time judge, Mdingi will be one of the many formidable heavyweights in the Bookmarks publishing category. Having a strong background in marketing and digital strategy, Mdingi has trailblazed a plethora of projects as the Digital Strategy Director of Maverick Mind. “As an agency part of our business ethos is to be actively involved in industry associations. In my personal capacity, I involve myself quite a lot in the industry and keep up to date with what’s happening within.” Mdingi says, “So being chosen serves as testament to our efforts to keep abreast and involved within the industry.”

The annual Bookmarks Awards will take place at the beginning of 2017.

ABOUT MAVERICK MIND: Maverick Mind is a strategy-led digital agency that prides itself in being at the forefront of the digital revolution in Southern Africa. Maverick specialises in a wide range of integrated services from marketing and content strategy to digital sponsorship and online PR. With a flair for customer-centric solutions, and an immense passion for tech, Maverick Mind uses collaboration to create social business solutions around the continent.

Sources: IAB South Africa

Maverick Mind meets Digify Pro: Presents Pixel Up brand challenge to eager Digify Pro cohort

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 Digify Pro 8.0

It’s survival of the fittest, as young Digify Pro’s digital marketers strategise to impress industry expert.

Deep in Braamfontein, digital agency, Maverick Mind was sceptical they would find what they were looking for. Tall rustic buildings and modern skyscrapers rise up next to each other, each building’s use, identical to the next.  But, on the inside, the difference is distinct. It is clear that creativity lives here.  Here is Livity Africa, home to one of the South African digital industry’s best kept secrets, Digify Pro: a digital marketing boot camp powered by Google and the IAB. Maverick came because they wanted to test the brains of young thinkers. They wanted to think of unconventional ways to market a first of its kind UX conference.

It was simple.
Lay down the gauntlet to the bright young minds of Digify Pro, provide them with a few hours to plot and plan. Sit back, and watch the brilliance unfold. Reluctant at first to engage in some of the deeper questions of UX – they had, after all, just encountered the ins and outs of User Experience, what could they possibly know? – the Digify Pro trainees sunk their teeth into the challenge. Quickly, teams were split into groups of five: strategists, IT whizz kids and content creators thrust together in a delightful ensemble to create work hard-play hard think tanks.

And then came the reckoning. The Digify Cohort proposed various angles and approaches to the brand challenge. They posed questions and answered enquiries. They exchanged ideas and augmented solutions to come up with a world-class, failproof digital strategy. With a canvas to create, the winning team presented an integrated marketing approach by harnessing the power of current trends such as virtual reality.

The Digifiers certainly left their mark on Philani Mdingi, head of digital strategy at Maverick Mind, “I was quite impressed with the creative and strategic input that we received from the student teams that were tackling the brand challenge. I was particularly excited about this because it gave me a view of the calibre of students that will soon be entering the industry. They will also have the opportunity to drive the transformation agenda in the South African Digital landscape by bringing unique insights.” Each team gave the Pixel Up! Conference a star-rating, citing that Pixel Up could galvanize further niche conferences of the same calibre. How often did one attend conferences focused solely on UX? Rich in content, richer in experience, participants would surely be clamouring for more. The teams branded Pixel Up as a conference for the curious, for the problem solvers, for designers and developers alike, for anyone with a love for digital marketing.

The Digify Pro kids turned out to be right. Pixel Up! took place on the 14-16th of September and was an outstanding success. Maverick Mind richly awarded the team’s efforts with R17 000 seats at the conference. “We pride ourselves in being quite dynamic about how we integrate future talent into our business ethos,” one of the organisers of Pixel Up! Conference commented, “and competitions such as the Digify Challenge are a great way to engage with the students and hopefully give them valuable insight that will serve them well in their career.” They were a spoilt lot, who got a behind-the-scenes look into UX and sufficiently rubbed shoulders with the likes of international influencers in product development and User Experience. Surely, a taste of what their digital futures could look like.

Maverick Mind: A giant step for your business

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Maverick Mind Logo

Since the beginning of time, humankind has been sculpting the future out of nothing. A man dreamed that a computer could fit in the size of your palm and Apple was born. Another imagined an invisible sea of atoms could connect us all and, electricity was sparked into existence. We believe in the power of imagination.  Imagine a strategy thought up by the industry’s best, imagine your brand crafted to perfection. Imagine web development unconstrained by time and space. Now you can. You’re not afraid to dream bigger. Go further, with Maverick Mind. This is the future. We’re ready to take you there.

At Maverick Mind, we make it effortless to craft and manage websites, promote your events, put you first in social media and other digital platforms. It can be difficult to forget the simple yet effective solutions in the mad rush of marketing. Maverick Mind collaborates with you to navigate through this complex world. It’s our pleasure to guide you and your customers into true simplicity. Simplicity that sells.

You’ve got a message that the world is dying to hear. We’re ready to collaborate with you to deliver that message the way we know best, eMarketing. We want to help grow your digital ecosystem by using different online channels to get your message across. Loud and crystal clear. Our cloud based eMarketing software lets you build smart email campaigns and share them across social media. It might be an SMS or an email campaign that’s needed distinguish your brand from the rest, we’re ready to help you do it. Sit back and relax as you track and measure your growth. It’s digital made easy.

How we handle web development isn’t just impressive, it’s revolutionary. We treat each website as if it were a newly hatched idea, incubate it, expose it to the elements to ensure it’s the best version it can be. And then we release it to the world.  The results are spectacular every time. We ensure this “spectaularity” through our web analytics software which tracks and manages your website assets in one glance.

We also firmly believe in the power of collaboration. Which is why we place a strong emphasis on team-based content marketing. Our content marketing team is full of dreamers, innovators and strategists. As a team, we constantly on the lookout for cutting-edge tech to position your brand where it needs to be in the digital landscape. We aim to keep your brand relevant. We treat marketing like a marathon, not a sprint, and we’ve got our Nikes on to go the distance with you.  Finally, an agency that wants what you want: growth and innovation.

Optimize your eMarketing today. 

Help us choose the new MaverickMobi logo

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Maverick Mind will soon be rolling out a flagship rapid mobile application development platform.We have designed two logos for Maverick Mobi and we love both logos and are unable to come to a decision  on which one to use. This is where you come in, yes you. We would love to get an independent opinion on logo selection.We want you to help us choose a logo by commenting on our Facebook page with either logo 1 or 2. Mention us in a tweet with your preferred logo option. We will throw in a  BLACKWEB – 7″ (WIFI +3G) Tablet to one of our lucky participants.

To give us feedback on which logo you think we should choose, please tell us by simply posting the 1st or second option on our Facebook page, or tagging us on twitter with your favourite option. You can also do the same on our LinkedIn page.

MaverickMobi logo options
2 logo options

Terms and conditions for the giveaway

  • No Purchase is necessary to enter  the giveaway competition
  • Give us feedback on how we can optimise the MaverickMobi logo design and stand a chance to win a BLACKWEB – 7″ (WIFI +3G) Tablet.
  • The winner will be selected on 22 August 2016.
  • Only people residing in South Africa are eligible to enter the giveaway. Maverick Mind staff, their family, and associates cannot enter the giveaway.
  • To enter the giveaway simply give us a suggestion of which Maverick Mobi logo to choose. A winner will be randomly selected from the entries.

A passion for digital birthed Maverick Mind

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Maverick Mind is the brainchild of Philani Mdingi, who has an extensive background in copywriting; marketing and digital strategy. A passionate writer Mdingi is building his business and his army of skilled team members to satisfy the needs of their clients.

It’s no secret that the advent of the digital age has revolutionised the way in which the business environment operates, changing the way marketers and consumers engage. Today’s consumers have more access to information than ever before making the exchange between marketers and consumers a more interactive and spontaneous one. Maverick Mind is a digital agency at the cutting edge of providing world-class services to its clients while bearing in mind that different clients have unique needs and budgets.

At the wheel of this fast growing digital agency is Philani Mdingi, a maverick in his own right, whose vision for Maverick Mind is to help their clients connect and engage with their customers through dynamic and strategic marketing and digital solutions that are innovative and customised to suit their client’s needs.

With an extensive background in copywriting and digital marketing, the vision for Maverick Mind is growth and with Mdingi at the helm the business is growing exponentially with no signs of slowing down any time soon. We spoke to Philani Mdingi to look at his journey to becoming a sought after digital agency, some of the challenges they have faced as a business and looking at what sets them apart from their competitors in this space.

Q: How did you get into the space of digital solutions & software development?
A: I’ve always had a passion for literature and by the time I was in Standard 7 (Grade 9 to millennials) I had read all the prescribed literature books for my standard up until matric level. So Copywriting seemed be the logical career path for me to take. After completing my Marketing studies, I joined an agency in Johannesburg as a Copywriter for an e-commerce company – this is where I got my first taste of the digital marketing realm. I quickly realised that I enjoyed working in the online space and made a conscious decision to pursue a career in digital.

Q: Since those early days how has your career developed in the digital space?
A: After my short stint as an online copywriter, I moved on to work for a digital agency as a Digital Strategist, looking after brands such as Vodacom Colour, Microsoft, and eBucks to name a few. It was there that I developed an interest in not just how software is used, but how it is developed. I moved from the agency to work for a technology company as the head of their Digital Marketing team. It was a very ambitious South African tech company that wanted to expand globally to emerging markets. They brought me in to strengthen their marketing team and help them rebrand their anchor to what is now known as Everlytic. There was also a small matter of expanding the brand globally. After achieving most of the goals that we had set out to do at Everlytic I decided to move on to one of the biggest projects of my life – bringing Maverick Mind to life.

Q: What is the big idea behind the brand Maverick Mind?
A: Maverick Mind actually started out in my head in 2001 …when I was still an idealistic student studying Marketing in Durban. I was a young chap who believed he could somehow change the world. I knew then, that I wanted to start my own marketing agency in the future. I eventually registered the company in 2009 as a Digital Agency. The premise of starting Maverick Mind was to establish a progressive, solutions driven digital agency that would have technology at its core.

Q: What are some of the key drivers of the business?
A: The key driver is people, second to that is our ability to harness new technologies and processes in our quest to bring the best solutions to our clients.

Q: Tell us about some of your key successes as a business to date?
A: This is always a difficult question to answer, but I think one of the successes that is important to note is that Maverick Mind has managed to acquire more than 45 clients in a space of two years between our services and product businesses. That is remarkable considering the current economic climate if I do say so myself.

Q: What are some of the challenges you are faced with as a business?
A: The biggest challenge is finding and retaining highly skilled people in a competitive industry where software developers’ skills come at a premium.

Q: Who are some of your key clients that you have provided with unique/custom solutions?
A: We work with all sorts of clients both big and small, it’s always a challenge singling out certain clients but to give you an idea, here are some of our clients:

  • Legal Aid South Africa
  • Standard Bank Incubator
  • Sotheby’s International
  • Engel & Volkers
  • Sekela Xabiso
  • Innovator Trust
  • Southern Africa Trust

Q: What do you think gives your business the competitive edge in this space?
A: I believe that our software development studio and our ability to code bespoke software and applications for our clients gives us an edge over other digital agencies that simply focus on creative work and offering proprietary apps to clients.

Q: What is your vision for the future for Maverick Mind?
A: Growth! We have always had ambitions of growing our software business by expanding to the rest of Africa. We are eyeing countries like Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda for Growth.

For more information on Maverick Mind please contact: Penny Mathebula:penny@maverickmind.co.za (@MaverickMind1)

Tips to Help Generate Leads with Your Email Campaign

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Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways you can use to generate leads for your business, but the truth of the matter is, your email campaign may not strike a chord with most of the recipients, rendering it a pointless exercise. Here are some tips you could use:

  •  A good subject line is a good way to start. A subject line can make or break your campaign – Make sure it isn’t too long but it should give the recipient an indication of what the email is about.
  • Content – Written and visual content is another important aspect to consider, people want to be captivated and so you should ensure that your content is engaging and will add value to the recipient. Also important, you need to add a Call-to-action in your email, get them to sign up or subscribe.
  • Sharing options – If your campaign strikes a chord with the intended recipients, they may feel compelled to pass it onto other people, that is why you should have sharing options, social media integration, so that they may share with their Facebook friends, Twitter followers and so on.
  • Have a landing page – Once the recipient has read the email, you need to have a landing page that has all the information that they may need and may have been omitted from your email. The landing page cannot be different from the email, so it should have the same look and feel, also still offering the same offer that was on the email.

Online Marketing and Your Business

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What does marketing mean to you and your business?
Every business needs to have a marketing strategy, whether it is the traditional model of marketing or online marketing, you can’t push it aside like an ugly baby or your mother in-law, fact is you should be making it a priority as it can determine the success or failure of your business. But I would put my money on online marketing and here’s why.
Traditional marketing is a model that worked and to a certain extent still works but it is expensive and though it is not dead yet, people aren’t exactly rushing out in numbers to check out traditional marketing campaigns, but instead they are consuming information digitally, as they interact with friends and family on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and studies show that the time people spend online influences their spending decisions, as they also take the time to research products, businesses and services. So doing your marketing online, means you get to offer a personalised service to your clients as it is the most direct way of building relationships with your clients and establishing trust.
Now as a businessman, isn’t it time you took your business to the people? Considering that there is the potential to grow the reach of your business beyond the borders, at a fraction of the cost?
How do you execute your online marketing strategy?

My first advice would be for you to get a professional to handle all your marketing, because they are experts in the field and will know what works and what doesn’t, thus giving you all the time to focus on other aspects of the business.
• Getting a website domain for your business would be the number one step, e.g. www.hotchips.co.za or any name that is easy to remember and represents your business. Many people assume it is expensive to have a website and then choose to overlook it as an unnecessary luxury, but it is more of a necessity than a luxury, because having a website makes it easy for people to search and find your business online. Your website is your online brand identity and that is where you get the opportunity to tell your brand story.
• Social media integration – the aim of online marketing is to advertise your business online so why not start with your Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and share with them as you slowly build your business online presence. Using social media is inexpensive and can have a wider reach than the traditional model of marketing. Using social media can help you target your specific clientele in a precise way.
• E-mail marketing – with email marketing you are able to save on cost, as it is affordable as compared to the traditional model, it also is the most direct way to guarantee sales conversions. So if your email marketing campaign is properly executed, you can guarantee success, you do this by ensuring that in your email communication you give your clients useful information that will be to their benefit. One of the good things about email marketing is if your clients are impressed with your campaign, they can forward it to their friends or share it on their social media pages, that is why you have to pull out all the stops with it.

Getcho Life with Zama Maphango

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Sweet, soft-spoken and funny are just some of the words one would use to describe Zama Maphango. She is the Account Manager at Maverick Mind, but there is so much more to her. She will read you like church lady reading bible scriptures on Easter Sunday if you don’t “getcho life” which is her favourite line.

Zama was born in Johannesburg and grew up in Dube, Soweto later moving to the South of Johannesburg to Walkerville, where she’s been a resident for 20 years now. She did her primary studies at Aloe Ridge Primary and later completed at Queens High.

On why she chose a career in digital marketing, Zama says because it is an industry that is yet to fully ‘take off’ in South Africa, she was hyped about being a part of it and wanted to be part of those actively taking part in its establishment “I see myself as a nurturer and I love to see things grow” she said.

She has been with Maverick Mind for 7 months now and she says she can recall her first day on the job, she says she was supposed to come in at 8:30 to sign her contract but she showed up 30 minutes late, but before she knew it, she was already attending meetings and has enjoyed every aspect of her job since then, “I enjoy the atmosphere in the office, my colleagues and the final outcome, when you know you’ve given it your all and the client is happy with the finished product.

In her spare time she says she enjoys cooking, singing, watching reality TV shows, sleeping, eating and Tamar Braxton.

When asked where she sees herself in the next 5 years she lets out a chuckle, says she hasn’t thought that far ahead yet and then says she sees herself still being a part of Maverick Mind, just on a bigger scale, with many titles to her name and she wants to see Maverick Mind becoming one of the biggest agencies in Sub-Saharan Africa.


My First Day on the Job

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SEO, PPC, ROI was all I heard about  and call it vertigo, but I didn’t know my left from right or whether I was coming or going when I started working at Maverick Mind, because here I was, fresh from school and having studied Journalism and now I somehow found myself working for a digital marketing agency.

So there I was, dressed in a suit and tie that seemed to be strangling the life out of me, wearing glasses to hide the look of incompetence in my eyes, not knowing what to expect but nonetheless eager to learn.

Maverick Mind is an agency that is still relatively small, so that made the transition a bit easier for me as there seemed to be someone there to give guidance and support as opposed to working for a huge corporation whereby you get thrown into the deep end with no life vest.

Despite the size of the company, I found a team of people that is deadline-driven, overzealous about giving 110% in everything they do and ensuring client satisfaction is guaranteed.

From Account Managers Thantaswa Matshobongwana and Zama Maphango, Commercial Director Sydney Phakathi, Digital Strategy Director  Philani Mdingi, Web Developer,  Zweli Sikhakhane and UI/UX Designer Mxo Mathe, I have blended in quite nicely and give me a few months; I will be a walking, talking marketing campaign.

For Marketing Strategies, Web Design, Digital Sponsorship Strategies, Social Media and Content Strategies, Online Public Relations and Copywriting, we do it all with the objective to elevate your business to new heights and we do it with love in our hearts and a big smile on our faces.



If you sell chickens, make sure your chickens are great

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Global Entrepreneurship Week is always an exciting time for entrepreneurs all over the world. It is a time for reflection, taking stock and very importantly, learning from other entrepreneurs. For me, the 2014 Global Entrepreneurship Week has been a time of introspection and asking hard questions: the biggest question of them all is Maverick Mind’s existence as a business; What value are we adding to society?

My business partner and I, recently met with Pepe Marais, Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of Joe Public – South Africa’s largest independent communications group. It is no secret that I have tremendous respect for Joe Public as a business and have become somewhat of a groupie…but that was not why we met. We met to talk about the business of Advertising and Entrepreneurship. Our conversation began, and I immediately jumped to talking about our Company: all the intricacies involved in building a reputable digital agency and where our focus lies. I went on to describe how we are improving processes, our growth trajectory and the challenges of a small agency in the current climate.

Half way into my diatribe, Pepe politely interjected and asked me the very “simple” question: why are we (Maverick Mind) in business? I gave him a half-baked answer: I told him that we are driven by purpose, to create quality work and make our clients supremely happy. The question however, lingered in my mind, haunting me for more than a week. After much thought and introspection, everything became crystal clear: being an entrepreneur is no longer (or was never?) just about narrow economic interests, it is of cultural significance, an endeavour of the human spirit to be the best it can be.

In our harsh economic climate, with a projected economic growth of 1.2 percent for South Africa in 2015, our united job is to create an enabling environment, our job is to create more jobs. Our focus is and should be our clients – growing their businesses, driving results that benefit them and, the economy. We need to produce excellent work. We need to find the smartest solutions. Our deliverables should go beyond private interests. If one grows, we all should grow. Our approach to work is rooted in this passion. As Maverick Mind, we want to be the best we can be.The principle is very simple, in the words of Pepe “If you sell chickens, make sure your chickens are great”.