Ex Tsogo Sun colleagues open new specialist marketing and digital agency in Cape Town.

Marketing Grit is a Powerhouse of Cross-Industry Experience. New specialist agency owners “see things differently”.

Marketing Grit’ is a Cape Town-based boutique marketing and digital agency that fuses ‘solid’ strategy, creative thinking and experience to create a unique offering that makes a positive difference to brands that desire accelerated and sustainable success. Co-owned by marketing aficionados Noëleen Bruton and Debbie Combrink, this recently established specialist marketing agency offers strategic support, digital strategy and social media implementation.

“We believe that our extensive joint cross-industry experience and strong strategic planning skills alongside our ability to see things differently through creative thinking enables us to create a unique offering to assist our clients to survive and indeed thrive in these challenging times,” says Noëleen Bruton. “Years of accumulated first-hand knowledge, across the hospitality, retail, property, tourism, entertainment and eventing industries combined  with our passion for marketing and focus on customer service  gives Marketing Grit the edge in a highly competitive market.” adds Debbie Combrink.

Unlike many marketing consultancies who offer conventional and cookie-cutter template solutions that may or may not be relevant or fit your brand, Marketing Grit is built around one core premise; to unlock real business value through the convergence of strategy and creative storytelling.

“We simply believe in the power of strategy, ideas and innovative thinking to influence people, change attitudes, stir emotion and inspire action. The kind that leads to revenue,” says Noëleen Bruton. “Our approach is creative, mostly innovative – yet always practical, and, above all actionable. We work with our clients – as the marketing and digital  extension of their business.”

According to Forbes.com (16 March, 2021, Samantha Todd), “One year after the Covid-19 pandemic upended the business world, the role of management consultants, responsible for guiding organisations through disruption, is more important than ever before.” A major challenge facing companies is to choose the right consultancy, especially in these trying times. Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. A smaller agency such as Marketing Grit offers core consultancy practices that are more personalised and focussed together with a fresh perspective and strong idea creation to benefit and empower its clients. While many companies have the necessary business skills they don’t have supporting work experience and it is this key component that defines Marketing Grit’s primary differentiation and advantage ahead of its competitors.

“In order to deliver a consistent premier client experience, we ensure that each and every team member within Marketing Grit,  not only has the requisite skills, but has the same customer centric approach and attention to detail that we subscribe to.” says Debbie Combrink.

Noëleen Bruton and Debbie Combrink previously worked together at Tsogo Sun in Johannesburg before independently relocating to the Cape. First to make the move was Debbie Combrink who joined The TOPS at SPAR Wine Show as CEO. During her three year tenure, the 7-cities national tour saw record breaking results owing to Debbie’s extensive marketing and eventing experience and her keen eye for detail. Since the beginning of COVID, with no opportunity to produce events, Debbie and her team have produced a number of online wine courses and virtual wine events, as well as launch the largest-ever consumer wine survey. The career move ignited a passion for the wine industry, which she continues to fulfil but now as a consultant to Southern Skies Investment Holdings, the owners of TOPS at SPAR Wine Show. Last year Debbie ventured into e-commerce when she opened her passion project; Positano Lifestyle Boutique, a successful resort-wear and accessory business which continues to grow from strength to strength, also benefitting the local community through employment.

After nineteen years at Tsogo Sun, including seven years as Group Marketing Director for Tsogo Sun gaming and properties (including one hundred hotels, fourteen casino’s, various theatres and entertainment venues, conference facilities, 90 plus restaurant brands, cinemas, retailers and a theme park) Noëleen Bruton resigned in 2018 and moved to Cape Town at the end of that year. In the early part of 2019 she took up employment with Pam Golding Properties as Group Marketing Director before finally ‘taking the plunge’ this year to pursue her passion to become an entrepreneur and run her own agency which led to the establishment of Marketing Grit and subsequent business partnership with Debbie Combrink. Having worked with or for many top local brands as well as a host of leading international brands, Noëleen Bruton brings a wealth of marketing experience to Marketing Grit clients. This experience, together with Debbie Combrink’s 25 year career in the hospitality and events industry combines the forces of two industry leaders and their impeccable skill sets to offer the services of a results-driven marketing and digital solutions company for medium sized businesses.

As part of their community-based initiative to uplift and assist local business owners and aside from their usual business model, Marketing Grit is currently running a four-part marketing training course for local entrepreneurs from Ocean View and Masiphumelele, that own or operate a business. This opportunity, which began on Saturday, 28 August 2021 and ends on 11 September is offered free of charge.

“The response has been phenomenal, way beyond our expectations,” says Noëleen Bruton. “With COVID-19 protocols dictating capacity we unfortunately couldn’t accommodate all qualifying applicants but, this is deeply encouraging as it clearly illustrates the needs by local business owners to learn and develop their skills. We are therefore in discussions with local community leaders regarding possible future training courses.”

If you have a business challenge or problem that you are looking to solve or an opportunity that you want to exploit and need some expert assistance either through an outsourced marketing department, or as added specialist support or to simply add a fresh and unique perspective to your business; in other words “to see things differently” then contact Marketing Grit.