This week we caught coffee lover, creative and Founder and CEO of PlusNarrative, Kyle Fraser, under our #DigitLabSpotlight to find out a little bit more about what makes him tick.
And we’re happy to say it worked – so get that cup of coffee (Kyle wouldn’t have it any other way) and settle in while you get to know this interesting human being.
1. What sparked the start of PlusNarrative?
Starting PlusNarrative was a creative solution to scratch an itch that I had during my tenure as Marketing Director at Colombo Coffee & Tea and co-founder of The Factory. At the time of the agency’s inception, my goal was to lead a small team of creatives who could take the existing social media communities and content production to the next level – while running all marketing strategy consultancy that came my way through the agency too. Andy (co-founder, whom recently left the agency for his own journey) and I named the business quickly as “Party Starter” in an attempt to get the cash-flow running as quickly as possible. A few fast months later I was fully dedicated to the agency, with a few founding team members.
Lliam joined us to head up all things technical (web, process and app development) and we re-branded to PlusNarrative shortly after, because Party Starter was killing our vibe, ironically. What we were thinking?
Fun fact: our name was conceptualized out of the team mantra; work with sincerely incredible businesses and tell their story authentically and empathetically to their people.
2. Which is your favourite social media platform at the moment, and why?
Twitter is probably still the most relevant platform for me. I have invested some time and effort into connecting with great minds through Twitter over the years and through speaking – so it’s not only my source of updates but also a place for me to discover my own brainwaves.
Recently I’ve spent a lot more time on LinkedIn for business networking and I’m working on publishing a lot more of my own content on it too.
3. Talk us through your average day?
Early morning, with or before sunrise for time alone (I’m working on including intense exercise, hold me accountable). I’m intrinsically introverted so meditation, reading and contemplating life gives me an energy boost for the day ahead. I prefer to achieve one goal before catching up on emails and other agency communications.
Our whole team meets before 10am (between JHB & DBN) to discuss objectives and then the rest of the day is segmented into briefing, sprints and the occasional pitch. Making time to write or research has been tricky of late, but I’ll scratch something into paper or put some extra effort into an email to get my creative juices flowing.
4. What would your 10 year old self think of what you’re doing now?
10 year old Kyle would be stoked that I have so many great friends, in and out of the business world, but he would probably want me to be more rock ‘n roll and less business. From a young age I dreamed of being a musician in some way.
5. You’re quite the coffee connoisseur – how do you make the perfect cup of coffee? And then how would you celebrate that masterpiece online?
There are so many options! I love to try new coffees as often as possible – from different growers (farms, co-ops and washing station) and different roasters too. My favourite brewing methods are alternatives to espresso (pour-over coffee or aeropress).
I have this crazy little “Internet of Things” coffee scale made by Acaia that allows you to weigh, time and graph out your brew-profile of coffees that you make and save taste notes etc. on a few different mobile apps. It’s all about sharing your techniques with the coffee crazy community.
Every now and then I’ll celebrate an especially delicious coffee by snapping a photo of the gear I used through the Acaia app on my iPhone – to share the brew profile and pic to Facebook or Twitter.
6. What’s your best piece of advice in 10 words?
I’ll share a great piece of paraphrased advice that I received from one of my mentors:
“Truly great businesses make more human sense than business sense”
7. Which content medium speaks to you most? And why?
Medium! I’ve started writing more long form content again, after years of 140 character twitter posts. I love the way Medium handles conversational comments without the troll effect taking hold. I’m a member on a few enthusiastic communities and I am inspired daily by how well-informed some of the world’s lesser-known writers can be.
8. What is the essence of successful digital marketing to you?
Human-centred design and content. It’s about starting with why people should care. Understand your customers as people (not targets) to meet your marketing objectives by achieving a shared value with your people. The experience should embody the most obvious goals or problems that your customer strives to solve. Yes, monitor too. We report on KPI’s that are reframed to discover the sweet spot between your goals and your customers’ goals.
9. What’s next?
In the words of George Carlin; “no one knows what’s next, but everybody does it”.
For the last year I have been concentrating on the practice or cause, not the effect. My hope is to continue to do incredible work that fulfils me, find balance every day (because I tend to be a workaholic) and practice what I preach.
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