Columnist and Author
Khaya Dlanga is a well-regarded marketing personality, having been listed in Jeremy Maggs’ “The Annual – Advertising, Media & Marketing” as one of the 100 most influential people in Advertising, Media & Marketing.
He is a winner of Financial Mail’s Adfocus New Broom award 2009, awarded to a young marketer making an impact in the industry.
Dlanga has also contributed to the South African discourse by writing weekly columns for the Mail & Guardian, News24 and the Cape Times. His online columns would always feature on the list of most read articles of the year.
Dlanga is the Author of In My Arrogant Opinion and the bestseller, To Quote Myself, a Memoir. His memoir had the dubious of honour of being the most stolen book in the country soon after it was published. To Quote Myself would receive the rare honour of a memoir being shortlisted for the Sunday Times Alan Paton Prize. A feat for a memoir. He has recently published his new book, These Things Really Do Happen To Me.
Dlanga was at the Coca-Cola company for six years where he raised the bar for its marketing and communications department. He led the Coca-Cola names on packs in South Africa. In 2015, Warren Buffett, a major Coca-Cola shareholder mentioned his work as an example of what results great creativity can achieve.
He has addressed organisations and events like Investec, FNB, Nedbank, Jacaranda, The Cape Town Jewish Board of Deputies, Suits and Sneakers, MCd the world’s largest design conference, Design Indaba two years in a row. He addressed the first annual Daily Maverick’s The Gathering, his talk was so popular that after the Daily Maverick published it, it was the publication’s most read article for over a year.
Dlanga was also the only African, including journalists to be given an opportunity to ask then presidential candidate Barack Obama a question on YouTube. He was later invited by YouTube to interview president Paul Kagame of Rwanda as part of a series called World View.
Dlanga has recently assumed a new role as Marketing Manager, Digital Acceleration at Heineken South Africa.
It’s not just about consumer insights anymore, but about empathy.
Insights need to extend beyond your understanding of the consumer. Marketing departments themselves need to be developed insightfully. It’s not enough to simply employ people who have the relevant degree. Do they have what it takes to understand the zeitgeist? They need to be curious sociologists who will not fall into the trap of making mistakes because they followed what some textbook told them.