Digital marketing doyenne

2017-08-08 06:01
Photo: suppliedMel Gard, businesswoman and mother.

Photo: suppliedMel Gard, businesswoman and mother.

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MOTHER, wife, sister and entrepreneur, 37-year-old Kloof resident Mel Gard, has many titles­ under her belt.

Living to be a great role model to her children, she lives by the motto, “Wake up, kick butt, be kind, repeat”.

“My husband and I have been in business together since 2001, first in the restaurant industry. We purchased the Durban franchise of WSI in 2009 as we needed a change of pace,” said Gard.

“WSI is the world’s largest network of digital marketing professionals. We help clients to use Google, social media and other digital technologies to spread their ideas to their target markets.
“KZNWIB [KZN Women in Business] is one of the oldest networking organisations in the province. We provide support, networking, mentoring and education to women in KZN, no matter what stage, or type of business she is in.”

She said her role in the WSI office is to oversee operations.
“I make sure our clients get the results they are paying for. I also try do to as much speaking as possible. I love to teach audiences about how Google and social media works. I have been privileged to be the 2016-2017 chairperson of KZNWIB, which has allowed me to launch the mentoring programme and well as a workshop series for the organisation.”

Gard said the best part of her job is learning.
“The world of digital marketing changes every­ day - we never know when there is going to be a seismic shift in how Google or Facebook’s algorithms are working.
“I also enjoy working with clients from a wide range of industries - it gives me the opportunity to learn about different sectors and their unique challenges.”

Gard said that the most rewarding or memorable experience in her life is being a mother.
“My children are my most rewarding experiences, hands down. Knowing that you are responsible for how another human being views the world creates a deep sense of responsibility.
“Ensuring that I give them every opportunity to become positive adults with great coping skills and a deep well of kindness - that makes me happy.”

Speaking about Women’s Month and Women’s Day celebrations, Gard said she looks forward to the day that Women’s Day is no longer needed.
“Imagine a world where women receive equal pay, where the rate of violence against women doesn’t leave us shaking and shattered, where no woman feels guilty about having to work as well as be a mother. 

“In that world Women’s Day would be pointless. Until that world is reality, we need a day to be able to reflect on the amazing steps our global sisterhood has taken in the past 70 years towards that future reality, and celebrate the doyennes of the past and present, who inspire us to keep moving towards that reality.”

She believes women can improve their role by “sending the elevator back down”.
“Women’s worst enemies are very often the women around them. When you have reached a goal, turn around and find another woman that needs mentoring or teaching, and gift them with your knowledge and experience.
“Don’t bring other women down in any way. If we all stand together, the change we can make will be astonishing.”

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