Homaira Mohamed is fas making a name for herself in the digital marketing sphere. From viral tweets to working on SA’s largest home appliances manufacturers, she shared with IOL’s Se-Anne Rall what sparked her passion and keeps her focused
SR: Name and job description?
HM: My name is Homaira Mohamed, and I'm a Digital Marketing Specialist at the largest white goods manufacturer in South Africa, Defy Appliances.
SR: What ignited your passion for your work?
HM: I've always been interested and curious about social media, so Digital Marketing was the most lucrative route to pursue. With the rise of Web 2.0 and now Web 3.0, there's a huge scope for how businesses and audiences can interact with each other beyond just the traditional marketing avenues.
SR: What/Where did you study?
HM: I studied a Degree in Management and Communications through UKZN and then pursued a Honours Degree in PR and Communications. When I graduated Cum Laude, I knew this was definitely my calling, and these degrees would afford me the flexibility of Public Relations, Communications, Media or even journalism.
SR: Take us through a 'typical day' in your line of work?
HM: We work with various stakeholders to get the best possible reach. As a brand, Defy has a footprint across South Africa, and there are expansion plans to the rest of Africa. With this in mind, we have many touch points that require attention - from Google ads to social media ads to SEO and CRM. We work closely with major national retailers, too, so there's always a lot on our plates. Every day is different but incredibly fulfilling when you're working for the leading household appliance brand in South Africa.
SR: What are some of the projects you've worked on?
HM: Growing our social media following has been a great project for me. This is an ever expanding landscape, and we're always testing new methods of communication and ad formats to best reach our audiences and grow the engagement we've had so far.
SR: What will always be your proudest moment in your career?
HM: Apart from a few viral tweets for the brand and launching store-in-store brand pages on retailer platforms, I think being a part of the organisation that reached a milestone of 12 million appliances manufactured in 2019 was a really special moment for me.
SR: What will always be one of your lowest moments in your career?
HM: Organisational changes are never easy, and when our Marketing Team was restructured, it caused a lot of anxiety to not know what the future held. Thankfully, it was a fairly smooth transition and keeping the work at the centre of our attention really helped to keep things moving.
SR: What are some of the challenges you've had to overcome?
HM: When we worked remotely during the height of Covid, it was a challenge that we had to navigate as we have always been a traditional in-office team. There was the added layer of the looting in July 2021 that negatively affected every sphere of business across the country, and we had to make snap decisions on budgets and projects. It was a very uncertain time.
SR: How do you find the inspiration to continue despite the challenges?
HM: Having a strong leadership team and high functioning colleagues has a way of motivating you to perform your best at all times. We're all very accountable for our work, budgets, timelines and key performance indicators. This way, I know how I'm tracking, and it's great to be recognised for my efforts from time to time.
SR: Tips of someone reading this who would like to be where you are one day?
HM: Don't take yourself too seriously, and don't be afraid to make mistakes. If you want to be successful, put in the work. Most importantly, a good attitude will take you very far!