Heidi Custers has been around the South African Digital Marketing scene since its early days in 2006. She currently holds the position of Managing Director of an enterprise level tech startup called Dali, targeted at operations management in the marketing agency sector.
Before that she rose through the ranks to Business Director at one of Africa’s largest digital agencies, and worked in the Digital Marketing department of financial giant; Standard Bank.
Heidi is known primarily for her knowledge and interest in Tech Startups, Business Efficiency, Social Media, SEO and Online Reputation Management. She is passionate about the power of data to drive business decisions and enjoys educating people, both in the corporate sector and students. She has a passion for operations and marketing and takes a keen interest in the financial management and strategic growth of companies, which led to her being voted the President (honourary board member) of the Quirk Group in 2011. She quite likes fine wine, writing and gadgets (although seldom at the same time) – so she wrote for her own blog, as well as the GirlGuides Gadget Reviews (now: Htxt Women) and the RealTimeWine websites.
Heidi is nothing if not passionate. She’s opinionated about the state of the ICT industry and women in tech. This drove her to chair the NGO, Umonya Girls in 2010 – 2012 (we teach girls to code), and then head up the Student and Careers Portfolio on the Silicon Cape Exco in 2012 and 2013. She believes in taking a holistic, long term approach yields the best ROI for businesses, rather than an episodic, reactive approach. Businesses who are successful in this space take data seriously, like Heidi, they care about their people, communities and products.
Managing Director (Dali) and Agency Management Consultant – 42Engines42Engines
Heidi is the MD of Dali, a business incubated the 42Engines tech startup accelerator. The product is in beta, but operates under a stress-tested environment of ±300 users across 5+ business, 4 cities and 2 countries. Heidi and her team manage the software business from A to Z, and she is accountable for the budgets, product roll-out, people management, strategic business planning and marketing strategy for the business. In addition to this, she handles the reporting and consulting to the regional and group Excos of the Quirk agencies. Her passion for marketing, business data and her Communications Agency Ops experience mean she has become the go-to person in a large multinational agency when it comes to productivity and efficiency.
Business Director & Head of Engage - QuirkQuirk Agency
Heidi managed a team of 8 in Client Service, representing clients like Sun International, Cricket South Africa, SEACOM, Premier Foods, Nike, Sotheby’s and Surf4Cars. She was responsible for the financial management, relationship management, project/campaign management and business development of her client accounts, as well as the recruitment, day-to-day management and career development of her team. She sat on the Executive Committee of Quirk’s Jozi office. Her role required strategic and pragmatic thinking, while remaining ahead of the digital curve (especially in the SEO, Paid Media & Social Media Spaces) so she could steer the teams she worked with to deliver results for her clients.
Account Director, Senior Account Manager, Account Manager - QuirkQuirk Agency
Over the course of 2 years, Heidi grew from an Account Manager to an Account Director at work, managing the day-to-day operations on accounts like South African Tourism, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Mobile, Werksmans Attorneys, Nokia and Sun International. She was responsible for managing all aspects on the accounts and reported directly to the Managing Director of Quirk Jozi.
Online Marketing Coordinator - Standard BankStandard Bank
Heidi managed campaigns for Standard Bank’s Personal and Business Banking division. She worked with both bank and agency stakeholders to plan & deliver media and marketing campaigns, report results, manage campaign budgets and communicate day-to-day with the bank’s agencies; TBWA\ and Tequila. While in this position, Heidi pioneered the bank’s Online Reputation Management programme on social media, personally setting up the accounts on these platforms and responding personally to the bank’s fans and followers, pro-actively.
Graphic Designer - Standard BankStandard Bank
Heidi designed assets and did front-end development for Standard Bank’s Web Channel across multiple platforms. She was responsible for conceptualizing, designing, developing and reporting on the marketing emails sent by the bank’s PBB division, she designed and developed banners and campaign microsites for the bank’s website and designed the home page of standardbank.co.za.
Marketing Manager - BrownsBrowns of Rivonia
Heidi was the Marketing Manager at Browns of Rivonia, where she conceptualized, designed and coordinated the restaurant’s advertising, website, activations, media, events and PR activities. Heidi also performed event management, front of house management and wine tours for Browns, one of Johannesburg’s finest restaurants.