media update’s Nakedi Phala spoke to Silke Bucker, brand director of Castle Lite, about how marketers can maneuver in the industry as well as successful ways to achieve and outshine competition.

What measures should brands take to survive during a crisis?

The biggest challenge we face as brands is to remain relevant in a time of crisis. When consumers resort to basic human needs, the luxuries we afford ourselves are no longer driven by what influencers wore to the hottest party.

With that being said, brands have the responsibility to set a positive example for consumers during these unprecedented times.

To do this, you have to move from pushing sales to ensuring that you shape culture and conversation in a positive way. That is how you remain relevant and in touch — by prioritising the wellbeing of people over that of your brand.

What advice can you give to women looking to reach management, director and brand owner positions in the marketing industry (especially in the beer sector)?

The same advice I would give to men. Work hard, be clear on your goals and set your life up in a way that enables you to reach them. We all face challenges and, at the end of the day, it is your responsibility to shape your career.

I have worked harder than most people my age in my twenties because I knew what I wanted; it was easy for me to give up on some short-term gains because my long-term goals were clear.

That is where you need to start — then, back it up with work, remain true to what makes you unique and ensure you lean in and have your voice heard.

The one piece of advice I will leave with women is to not try to act differently to fit into a world that looks and acts different from you. Your power lies in being female, allowing you to connect while delivering at the same pace as others.

Don’t conform because you assume that is what is expected. Great work comes from diverse teams, so embrace your unique attributes.

What, in your opinion, should brands do in order to ensure customer satisfaction?

Gone are the days where brands speak to consumers. The tables have turned and consumers now speak to brands. It is the brand’s responsibility to listen and act, to build relationships that go past the sale of our products and into a space where you play an integral role in your target market’s world.

What advice do you have for a graduate hungry to enter the marketing space?

What characteristics make for a great leader in the marketing industry?

When I reflect on some of the best leaders I’ve worked with, I realise they were all very different. There is no recipe or checklist for being a great leader. What they had in common was authenticity.

Authenticity is a value that unlocks inspiration for your team and partners. It enables you to stand back and view work from other’s perspectives and it allows the freedom to bring diverse opinions to the table.

Leaders who are comfortable with who they are, who believe in winning through their teams and who put the consumers at the centre of their work are the best kinds of leaders in this space.

As a marketer, how have you managed to survive in the ever-evolving industry? Let us know in the comments section below.

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