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Dialogue with marketing’s leading lady

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Dialogue with marketing's leading lady
BOSSLADY: Cathy Omomregie

Her motto is ‘all things are possible’ and indeed the sky’s the limit with Cathy Omoregie.

She has just been appointed the new General Manager and Client Service Director at The Dialogue Group (TDG), which is widely regarded as Botswana’s leading marketing company.

This week The Voice Reporter SHARON MATHALA sat down with the Innovative advertising, marketing and communications professional, who has over 21 years experience in the industry.

Her career boasts of high-energy and she likes to think of herself as a results-oriented leader with an entrepreneurial attitude.

When she walked into The Voice’s Gaborone office Omoregie gives out the aura of a larger than life personality, She is a woman who knows her story and is extremely comfortable with it.

Q. How did your love for marketing come about? Has it always been your dream job?

A. No, actually as a child I dreamt of being a professional actress!

I loved participating in drama and dance productions in school because they allowed me to explore my creativity.

My love for marketing awakened as I was doing my postgraduate studies and it has been growing stronger ever since.

Q. 21 years later, having started out at the bottom, you were appointed the General Manager (GM) of one of Botswana’s leading marketing company, The Dialogue Group (TDG). Take us through your journey up the career ladder.

A. My journey with marketing started back in 1997 as an Account Director at a company called DDH & M Advertising Agency, which was housed in Harare, Zimbabwe.

I then came here to Botswana where I joined Optimum McCann-Erickson Advertising Agency as an Account Manager and left the company in 2007 as the client Service Director.

I would later join JL Communications Agency as Managing Partner in 2009.

I left the job to join TDG as the Business Development and Training Director in 2014 before I assumed the role of the GM a month ago.

Q. In what seems to be a male dominated field, how have you been able to keep up with your male counterparts?

A. You know I have been quite lucky in that I started at a company which was founded by women – so the company had always been female dominated.

Thus it has always been entrenched in me that this job can be done by anyone, no matter the gender.

Of course along the way, especially in the field, it is more male than it is female but for me because my roots are that women can be at the top of the institution, it never really affected me.

Q. Where do you see the marketing/creative industry in Botswana within the next five years?

A. I believe that Digital is definitely the way of the future.

As the market continues to use technology to simplify and reinvent, the creative industry is faced with the challenge to reinvent itself in order to remain relevant.

Q. Was there ever a time you felt like quitting Marketing?

A. Actually I did at some point.

Looking back, I think I came to that decision after realising that I had been doing the same thing over and over again.

At the time I felt my life was a stalemate so I decided to try something new and I went into consultancy.

But you see with consultancy there is hardly that thrill, the chase I was used to wasn’t there!

That is when I decided I might as well go back, because that is where my heart was, Marketing.

Q. In your view, how can the local marketing industry improve from the level it is at now, to be able to compete globally?

A. I feel there should be more research.

I have been fortunate enough to experience an era where the world transitioned from analogue to digital.

Back in the day the consumer believed what you told them. Now times have changes, it is actually the consumer who sort of dictates what they want to consume.

Now the industry is forced to do a little bit more and that is more effort on research – that is basically what I maintain at TDG, that people should research.

Q. What is the biggest stereotype faced by agency’s today?

A. Underestimating the intensity of the work involved and the dedication required.

This is a commonly misunderstood fact about the industry.

Q. Being a General Manager at Botswana’s largest marketing agency must be demanding, what keeps you going?

A. The brilliance of the team at TDG keeps me going no matter how insane the workload gets – and trust me it does!

Their drive and ability inspires me immensely.

The thrill of the constant dynamics it entails; there’s never a dull moment!

Q. Over the years, how would you say your organisation has added to the marketing landscape of the country?

A. TDG has contributed immensely to the growth of the top brands in Botswana by offering bespoke solutions to our clients in this ever-changing market.

Additionally, TDG employs over 55 permanent staff and our recruitment process allows for annual graduate programs, contributing greatly towards economic development in Botswana.

Q. How would you sum up working for the biggest marketing agency in Botswana?

A. It has been an absolute thrill.

The brilliance of the team and the dynamism of the client base we work with make it all worthwhile.

No two days are ever the same!

Q. The Dialogue Group is known to be both vibrant and dynamic. How do you keep up with the demands of staying ahead of the game as the team leader?

A. Communication. Knowing what’s going on on the ground allows me to better understand the needs and expectations of the team.

In addition, I try to stay on top of current affairs by reading as widely as possible and researching current industry trends.

Q. As a GM, your position is the highest point job wise of any company – what is next for you?

A. I mean I just got the job Sharon, (laughs)! On a serious note, I am all about progression; I do not believe in doing the same thing over and over again.

I think eventually when I leave I will join the consultancy world but still in the same industry.

Dialogue with marketing's leading lady
Omoregie

Q. All work and no play makes for a dull boy, what is your favourite thing to do when you are off work? Any hobbies?

A. Or a dull girl! Well, I enjoy burying myself in a good book or watching a movie or even listening to an album or two.

I’m currently re-reading Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime & Other Stories.

It’s such a good read.

Q. In just one sentence, how can a young ambitious person progress to your position?

A. Hard work, consistency and passion pays off every time!

Q. If you were to have a conversation with your 22-year-old self, what would you tell her?

A. I would say ‘keep on going’.

But I would definitely invest more in some of the lecturers I did not major in, like design and photography and all the like, because I am a really hands on person.

Q. How do you keep fit?

A. I walk whenever I get the chance and try to eat as clean as possible.

Q. What is the name of the movie you last watched?

A. The Sound of Music – for about the 20th time!

Q. Classic film – it always has me in tears! So, how would you describe Cathy within the workplace vs Cathy at home?

A. I’d like to think that I’m not too different at home than I am at work.

Even though I’m easy going, sometimes I need to put my foot down to get things done and I generally apply that to my lifestyle as a whole.

Q. Growing up, who was your biggest influence?

A. My parents; the most dedicated, hardworking and selfless people I’ve ever known.

Q. Do you have a motto which you live by?

A. All things are possible through Christ who strengthens me!

Q. And finally, Thank God it’s Friday – I understand you are raising two beautiful girls, what are your plans for this weekend?

A. Oh yes, I’ve been totally blessed with two amazing girls.

My pride and joy! I’ll mostly be relaxing at home, maybe watch a movie or start a new book.

Then, the cherry on top is going to church before the week starts again!