Jennifer Smith, founder of marketingmattersmm, is a passionate marketer with over 30 years business experience, 28 of which were spent in sales and marketing. She has worked as a product and brand manager for leading brand companies like L’Oreal, Unilever and Tiger Brands. Her knowledge of the value chain was enhanced by spending time at Unifoods in Purchasing and as Category Manager for Juice and Wine at Tetra Pak.

As National Market Manager for the South African Sugar Association (SASA), she honed her skills as a marketing/business strategist. She has researched and implemented generic marketing campaigns. Conducting extensive consumer research and consumer segmentation projects and creating effective communication strategies to market the benefits of table sugar to consumers. Jennifer was also responsible for the R250m industrial rebate budget, for which she created strategies designed to deliver maximum benefit to the sugar industry stakeholders.

In May 2007 Jennifer decided to start marketingmattersmm. She has since worked with companies like Tiger Brands, Tetra Pak, Talbot & Talbot, The South African Fruit and Vegetable Canner’s Association, Lesotho Milling, Lesotho Sugar Packers, Amasiko Tourism and Training Services, Arbour Village, Matrix 121, Omega Conferences, SA Halaal, Services SETA, Sunshine Sugar, Taylor and Finlay, Talbot & Talbot, Kukhula Care, Kagiso Interactive, SiVest Engineering and Eaglefin Finance (partnering with Booker Tate). Other customers include The EThekwini Maritime Cluster, Syavaya Shuttle and Chauffeur/ Travel and Tours, Style Collections, Rubber Engineering, Alternative Retail Product Pty Ltd, and a number of other companies across a variety of industries. Her recent work includes Chillisoft Software solutions for which she conducted B2B market research, wrote the marketing strategy for their new training company and consulted on the brand architecture that would best suit the overall business strategy. The latest project was a business plan to obtain funding for a new apparel company to set up a 800 personnel factory in Phoenix. Jennifer worked as part of a team to raise R80m to finance the purchase and equipment for the factory. It launched in January 2019.  

In collaboration with her clients, she has used her experience to create value for them, from writing marketing strategies, negotiating increased sugar rebates, managing large consumer research projects in conjunction with Nielsen’s and MK2(a German research firm), advising on a generic marketing campaign, conducting brand audits, and more.

Jennifer lectures in Business, Marketing and Branding. She has lectured in  Marketing and Corporate Strategy at Varsity College Westville Campus and the DUT Business Studies Unit in Pietermaritzburg. She also lectured Marketing on the MANCOSA MBA and B.Comm programmes and at Regent Business school where she was an examiner. Her lecturing now focusses on Brand building and brand communication at VEGA School of Branding where she has lectured in the Digital BCom. and BA Honours in Brand Strategy and communication for the past 4 years. Jennifer is currently also tutoring part-time students in Advanced Marketing Leadership which focusses on Strategic Marketing Empathy.

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