South African Tourism was delighted to learn recently that chief marketing officer, Roshene Singh, has been named an Internationalist for her leadership in global destination marketing work that shows ‘outstanding thinking in brand communications’.
The honour was bestowed by The Internationalist, a global publication based in New York that explores the best of global branding and marketing, creating a resource for marketing and communication professionals; celebrating pockets of excellence; and stimulating fresh thinking and application in a world that is truly a global village.
Singh finds herself in the company of a small number of global marketers of excellence who have been awarded the honour. She is only the second South African to have the accolade bestowed on her, and also only the second destination marketing executive to be so honoured. Others who have been named Internationalists include former marketing Council of South Africa CEO, Yvonne Johnston and executives from global companies and brands such as MasterCard, the Boeing Company, Coca-Cola, Proctor and Gamble and Century Fox International.
In reacting to the news, Singh said she was honoured to be named a member of what has become an exclusive club of marketing professionals who are as dedicated to the art and science of marketing as they are to the brands they champion. “However,” she said, “I do not do my work alone. I work with an inspired and hard-working team at South African Tourism whose dedication to the brand and to the destination is the envy, I’m sure, of destination marketing organisations the world over. Credit also needs to go to the larger South African Tourism industry. As important stakeholders, they make it easy for us to promise an amazing experience in South Africa where the people are warm, friendly and welcoming where we connect with our visitors, and give them more than just a fantastic holiday… we give them the emotional gift of new friends and a yearning to return to South Africa.
“It’s always been a group effort. Our destination is successful because we work as a team. Together, we win awards, hearts, minds and an ever growing share of the global travel market.”
Singh has served as chief marketing officer at South African Tourism for four years. Under her leadership the destination brand has grown to become instantly recognisable in 16 key markets around the world. She has worked to entrench marketing partnerships with the world’s premier global media (some of which have won coveted international awards) and has worked to make South Africa one of the top five most prominent destinations on global social media platforms. The strategy for destination marketing is a consumer-focussed (rather than a product-focussed) one that has seen South Africa keep pace and sometimes exceed growth in the global travel industry in spite of challenging world economic conditions.
In commenting on the 18 winners of the ward this year, The Internationalist says: “Without their extraordinary efforts, inspiration and energy in today’s ‘always on’ world with increased emphasis on accountability and responsibility, many marketing programs simply would not have gotten off the ground. The Internationalists represent a variety of industries, locations and number of years in the profession, but all take the role of brand champion to heart.
“There may never have been a more exciting time to be a marketing leader, despite today’s complexities. The global overlay of regulations, carbon footprints, CSR, cultures, languages, political environments and a myriad of differing perspectives all contribute to describing one of the world’s most challenging occupations – played on a very public stage fraught with immediate customer reaction that directly affects a brand’s potential for success.”