Half American half South African, ex Joburgian now Capetonian. I have a passion for the advertising industry, and more so cars. Freelance journalist in my spare time, having written for cars.co.za, MensFitness magazine and this very blog, I love driving cars, and writing about them.
I am that guy that greats the labrador before the owner, and plays his music too loudly. There’s very little I won’t try, except for pesto, which got given one too many chance. Singing, piano and an unhealthy obsession with gym makes me a little less rounded than the average person.
More detailed career bio below-
Founder, Owner, and CEO of Eight Thinking media consultancy, John Beale started his career nigh on a decade ago, when he joined MediaEdge as a traditional and digital media planner, giving him his first taste of strategy, and formed the bedrock of his impeccable organisational skills
His talents were recognised by the MEC Group, when subsidiary Nota Bene hired Beale as their channel strategist in 2009. John’s largest client at the time was South Africa’s leading telecommunications provider, Vodacom, as well as Vodacom Business; Beale was responsible for developing, implementing and facilitating a full channel strategy for the operator, with a particular focus on digital media strategy, John’s speciality.
It wasn’t long before Africa’s social business authority, Cerebra, came knocking. Beale joined the Cerebra team as the head of Strategy in May 2010. He continued his work on Vodacom, and while he was the team leader responsible for establishing and growing the operators digital presence well beyond that of its competitors, Beale’s proudest achievement was building the operator’s digital resolutions channels – something that has become somewhat of an industry benchmark, with other operators, from MTN, to the now defunct Altech Autopage, trying to adopt John’s model to have a more customer-centric approach to its own businesses. John’s work on the Vodacom, Unilever and Toyota business secured him a nomination for Social Media Marketer of the year at the 2012/13 Bookmark awards – an award that is now occupying at least a third of his coffee table.
Late 2013 saw John’s return to the MEC Group as Managing Director. His focus shifted from winning his team and clients awards, to aligning Nota Bene to the new world of content-first marketing approach. During his tenure, he was responsible for setting and achieving financial forecasts, restructuring the business for more effective client delivery, as well as overall HR support and strategy. It was after John achieved integrating the Nota Bene approach to closely reflect the MEC Global model that he could take some time and start building the next amazing thing, which just happens to be his own dream – Eight Thinking media consultancy, founded in January of 2016.
When Beale is not in the boardroom, he’s probably out finishing a Warrior Race, flipping tractor tyres, motorcycling through some of South Africa’s more remote areas with whomever has the courage to join him.
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