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#Newsmaker: Roan Mackintosh is Incubeta SA's new MD

Roan Mackintosh has been appointed as the managing director of Incubeta South Africa. The appointment forms part of Incubeta Holdings' aggressive growth strategy that includes a burgeoning headcount and geographical footprint as the group's client base expands to include more enterprise brands.

Roan Mackintosh has been appointed as managing director of Incubeta South Africa. Image supplied.
Roan Mackintosh has been appointed as managing director of Incubeta South Africa. Image supplied.

Mackintosh has spent some time as the commercial director at technology specialist DQ&A, which is part of the Incubeta Group. His technology background made his shift into the leadership role a logical one after his predecessor, Adriaan Strydom, moved into a senior position within the group.

“Growth within the group generally, and South Africa in particular, means we need to shift our organisational structure to ensure we are optimally positioned to support our clients and continue with our expansion strategy. Roan’s experience and vision align perfectly with our strategy of being a tech-first company. We have no doubt that this will benefit both local and international clients,” explains Jonathan Gluckman, Incubeta director and CEO of NMPi Asiapac and Africa.

Here, Mackintosh elaborates on his new role, his career so far and how he plans to multiply growth opportunities within the business.

Congrats on your appointment. How do you feel about it?

Thank you. I'm really excited about the challenge. Incubeta is moving towards a single consolidated market offering across the three operating brands – i.e. DQ&A, NMPi and Joystick.

The timing is also pretty great as more and more clients are looking for an integrated services approach across tech, media and creative. So, I really think things are aligning and this will allow me to make a large contribution to my new role.

When is/was the effective date?

This appointment was effective on 2 September 2019.

What excites you most about the agency and where it’s going?

I think the marketing technology space is a fascinating one right now. We've all seen the trend of consolidation through acquisition amongst the tech giants (i.e. Google, Microsoft, Adobe, Salesforce etc.). Each of them has a marketing technology stack offering that is maturing to the point of actually allowing clients to finally get to that 'single version of truth' across multiple activation channels.

The silos are finally breaking down and, as one of only two certified Google Partners in the region, Incubeta is well-positioned to be at the forefront of leveraging these tech advancements and building capability within enterprise organisations to take full advantage of the possibilities afforded by the technology. And Google... well, is Google and they build some pretty amazing platforms – it's then up to us to make sure this is all utilised properly by our clients.

What do you love most about your career in technology in general?

Never a dull day! The pace of change is relentless and, although it can sometimes feel a little overwhelming staying on top of it all, there is also something immensely satisfying when you take time to look back on where you've come from and recognise that the work we are delivering today is streaks ahead of where we were even six to 12 months ago. I'm also a bit of a closet nerd who really enjoys where technology is taking us as a civilisation.

From Elon Musk's lofty space exploration goals to augmented reality, the internet of things and even my connected fridge that can tell me today's weather. For example, how amazing is that someone's just invented a "smart cane" to help visually impaired people navigate their surroundings!

Any career highlights you’re particularly proud of?

I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with some really amazing brands over the years. Across Naspers (various divisions from Kalahari to Multichoice to 24.com) Absa, Emirates, Woolworths, Clickatell, Takealot and now Sanlam, Clicks, Outsurance, DirectAxis, Shoprite, Loot and Rain.

I've really been at the coal-face of enterprise business in the MEA markets and, although the nature of our work tends to be more on the technology back-end side of things, it doesn't necessarily afford us the ability to be entering and winning advertising industry awards (the likes of Loeries, Assegais or Bookmarks).

I have helped deliver technical solutions to clients that deliver real business value, and that's something to be proud of. In one instance, we took an existing automated email communication stream with three pre-defined touchpoints and revised this to include eight potential touchpoints across the journey with customised content at each point – the net increase in booked revenue was in the hundreds of thousands of dollars!

Tell us a bit about your experience and how this has equipped you for your new position.

I've been in the digital marketing industry for over 11 years now. Prior to that, I spent two and a half years in a more traditional advertising agency focusing on experiential marketing. I moved across to Acceleration in 2008, a South African startup that went on to be acquired by leading advertising conglomerate, WPP. I've seen how local talent can shine on an international stage.

South Africans can be guilty of shying away from acknowledging our achievements. We are globally recognised for our innovation and have many world firsts we should be proudly showcasing.
BizcommunityWhat are you most looking forward to/enjoying so far?

One of Incubeta's differentiators are the people that work here. We have some amazingly talented professionals who pride themselves on delivering excellent work. There is a real team mentality in the office, and we've proven this in delivering global projects through inter-office collaboration. I'm really enjoying the can-do attitude that many of my initial initiatives have been met with and cannot wait to see what we can achieve in 2020.


BizcommunityWhat’s at the top of your to-do list (at work)?

Budgets. Money makes the world go round, right? In all seriousness though, Incubeta currently finds itself in the enviable position of multiple growth opportunities. Our main challenge will, I think, be focus. We need to be clinical in terms of how we translate these opportunities into sustainable long-term growth.

What are you currently reading/watching/listening to for work?

I regularly attend Google webinars on the latest happenings on GMP (Google Marketing Platform).

I'm also enjoying Blinkist as an app that curates personalised reading snippets (summaries of books basically) and I am also listening to Tim Ferriss on his regular podcasts – he has quite an eclectic take on how to approach productivity and success in business.

And lastly, something that I actually read a long time ago but that has really stuck with me – Who moved my cheese? by Spencer Johnson is a short but relatable tale of how change should be embraced rather than feared. A principle that I think has stood me in good stead in this ever-evolving digital marketing industry.

Tell us something about yourself not generally known?

For some reason, I enjoy endurance sport. I enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes from going beyond what you believe you are physically capable of and emerging victorious on the other side. Don't get me wrong, I'm not hunting podium finishes or anything, but I find great joy in stretching my own personal performances.


Currently, I am training for my second riding of the Coronation Double Century – a 202km road cycle from Swellendam through Barrydale to Montagu and Robertson and back to Swellendam through some spectacularly scenic passes along the way. It's a 12-person team event, which brings an added element in terms of ensuring that fellow riders also finish alongside you.

Out there you truly are only as strong as your weakest link, and you need to perform on your own while being mindful of how your team members are getting on. The training is pretty gruelling but I'm looking forward to the race on 23 November.

For the latest news and updates, click through to the Incubeta press office and connect with Mackintosh on LinkedIn.

About Juanita Pienaar

Juanita is the editor of the marketing & media portal on the Bizcommunity website. She is also a contributing writer.

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