Dynamic and driven, Craig Munitz is a thriving entrepreneur and MD of CBR Marketing Solutions, a company he established with brothers Ben and Rowan Swartz, in 2011. While South Africa was, at that stage, lagging behind the rest of the digital world, Munitz saw digital marketing as a way to disrupt the status quo and to find exciting and effective ways to communicate to modern, consumer-driven audiences.
As Munitz expected, digital communication has swept through South Africa – becoming a primary mode of communication. As such, CBR’s growth has been strong and steady. Today, his fast-growing staff is sitting at 35 – offering a wide range of digital and traditional marketing services. These include Search Engine Optimisation, Web Design, Graphic Design, Strategy Development, Online Reputation Management, Social Media, Google Advertising, Programmatic Media Buying, comprehensive Marketing Solutions, and more.
Munitz comes from a solid background in sales and marketing, which began at the ripe age of 12. As a student at Highlands North Boys High, in Johannesburg, Munitz worked over weekends and during holidays, fast learning what enables businesses to grow and later, how to accomplish that with marketing technology. Fresh out of school, he and Swartz started an IT company, which he ran, growing the business and providing employment for around 200 people, before selling it 12 years later.
He explains, “When my partners and I sold our previous company, I took a year off to catch my breath and investigate options in the market place. Digital marketing caught my eye, as my brother was running a very successful business in Australia – and while South Africa was lagging by about 18 months, there were indications that we would be following a similar trend. That, combined with my passion for sales and marketing made it a fairly easy decision to give it a try. So I, together with my first employee at CBR, Sani Moyo – who is still with the company – started CBR Marketing Solutions.”
His vision for CBR is to grow a strategic digital marketing enterprise for the South African and African markets; to grow a business that enables multiple businesses, in many different industries; to achieve next-level of growth, and to see his staff grow within the company, achieving their individual goals and expectations.
Munitz says that one of CBR’s strengths, and an aspect that is likely to see the company continue its steady growth path, is that “we’re not a supplier to our clients – we’re a partner. This is a big difference to the way many other digital marketers do things. We get intricately involved with our clients’ businesses – their strategies, their objectives. We live and breathe their brand and their ambitions. And then we use digital marketing as a means to enable them to achieve their goals.”
He adds that it is CBR’s people who set the company apart from others in the market. They are passionate about getting it right and have the work ethic to match.
There are challenges facing companies embarking on strategic digital marketing, he notes. “Realistically, it is still early days for this marketing sector and many methodologies have not yet been adequately proven to be effective. Essentially, companies wanting to play in this space need to be willing to take a risk – to be disruptive. Digital marketing is not a one size fits all; every business will have different aspects that work for it – ensuring and building engagement with customers, with potential customers, and with staff. It’s much more than just a ‘like’ on Facebook.”
The biggest successes occur when a company embraces it as a strategy – where it is supported from CEO level, and down through all the ranks, says Munitz, who believes it’s equally important that the right partner is selected for the development and implementation of the strategy. “Choose a partner that can play a five-day game, not a one-day game. Digital marketing needs to be adopted as a long-term strategy and not just a one-off campaign.”
As digital marketing matures in South Africa, Munitz sees good growth for CBR, with more companies embracing digital marketing and bringing CBR in as partners to develop long-term strategies. “With Africa going through immense growth and countries looking to South Africa for resources, skills, and tried and tested methodologies, we also anticipate growth for the company from beyond our borders.”
Munitz is 42 and is married with two children, and while he often puts in 20-hour days, spending time with his family is a priority. Top of his bucket list is to visit countries, not among mainstream tourist destinations, with his family, to explore different cultures, to broaden their horizons, and to share memorable experiences.
He says that the people who inspire him are those in his life: his wife, whose resilience and support are a constant reminder of the power to overcome adversity; the personal growth and ambitions of his staff; clients who have grown through CBR’s activities; and his partners, who have steadfastly backed him and supported his decisions.
For more information on CBR, go to www.cbrmarketing.co.za.