Nontokozo Madonsela | The Innovator 25 EMEA 2019
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Nontokozo Madonsela

Chief Marketing Officer

Momentum Metropolitan Holdings
South Africa


“My advice to the PR industry around embracing innovation? Do bold work, because every campaign is competing with Netflix and social media content”


Nontokozo Madonsela is known as something of a firebrand in the South African marketing world. Her 20-year career has been defined by an uncompromising commitment to delivering smart, innovative and memorable marketing across a range of industries. For the past two years, she has been group chief marketing officer at Momentum Metropolitan Holdings, the fourth largest insurance group in South Africa, where she has developed a new marketing strategy, working with new agency partners, to support and reposition the group’s brands as they reset themselves for future growth after their 2010 merger. Her leadership has helped to shift the organisation’s culture, enabled Momentum to shift its messaging to connect better with customers, and ensured Metropolitan stays true to what matters to its customers. Madonsela previously worked at some of the largest South African multinationals, including Standard Bank (improving its customer satisfaction index by 4.4% improvement with one campaign), British American Tobacco, Coca Cola, South African Breweries and Hollard.

In what way(s) does PR/communications need to innovate the most?
Seamless integration and being led by the idea vs channel. Social media and PR for example shouldn't have silos when doing campaigns.

How would you describe the communications/PR industry's level of innovation compared to other marketing disciplines?
About the same as other marketing disciplines.

Where is the PR industry's greatest opportunity for taking the lead on innovation?
Integrated marketing.

How do you define innovation?
Doing the unexpected.

What is the most innovative comms/marketing initiative you've seen in the last 12 months?
Womentum – Momentum's Women’s month campaign.

In your opinion, what brands and/or agencies are most innovative around PR and marketing?
Nike and Nandos.

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider innovative.
Most of my career, as I tend to thrive when I solve problems in unexpected ways.

Most underrated trait in a PR person? 
Their listening capability.

How do you get out of a creativity rut?
Instagram and YouTube.

What advice would you give to the PR industry around embracing innovation?
Do bold work because every campaign produced is competing with Netflix and social media content.
What are you thinking about most these days? 
Where my next holiday should be...

What one movie, book, TV show or podcast do you recommend to rent, read or stream tonight?
The movie “I Don't Know How She Does It” with Sarah Jessica Parker.