After spending my early working years in the mining, and later the civil engineering industry, in 1999 I started an SEO company, Search Maestros, which became a leader in the online marketing industry in South Africa. Rebranded as Synergize Digital in 2008, the company grew into one of the top full service digital agencies in the country, it was acquired by the Publicis Group in late 2013 and merged with Saatchi & Saatchi South Africa (www.saatchisynergize.co.za), to become the hub of their global digital offering.
Professionally, I’m a digital solutions specialist, providing technical backup, marketing strategy and digital solutions to business of all sizes, primarily in the travel and tourism industry. I act as a partner to business owners, representing and assisting them in their relationship with online service providers. I also own and run a number of luxury self catering apartments in the Garden Route through my online portal Garden Route Stays.
My great love is to travel, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have had opportunity to do my share, I occasionally write about our travel experiences on my blog A Travel Junkie for any who are interested. A passionate photographer, my camera or GoPro are seldom far from hand. For those who are interested in such matters, I use Canon cameras (currently a 5D Mk4), a GoPro or my trusty iPhone. Computer is a Macbook Pro, with Photoshop Elements for photo editing.
- Search Maestros
In 1999, in the early days of the internet, a good while before Google was a household name, I started an SEO (search engine optimisation) company. The business became a great success, by the end of 2007 it had a staff of 8 and a growing list of clients.
- Synergize Digital
To complement my own skills, in 2008 I brought in a partner, Shaune Jordaan, together we built the company into a global player with a staff of 50 and an annual turnover exceeding ZAR20 million. The company was acquired by the Publicis Group in 2013 and merged with Saatchi & Saatchi South Africa to form the hub of their global digital marketing offering. I remained there as a director until early 2016, however the corporate world is not for me, and I made the decision to move onto another entrepreneurial venture.
- African Fusion Travel
In 2015 I purchased a 30% stake in a small travel business, African Fusion Travel. My role was to create a new and modern brand, expand and improve the web presence with a new website and to implement effective online marketing measures. That was all very successful, but differences in our approach to business led me to eventually dispose of my shares. We remain on excellent terms and I still provide them a consulting service, the business continues to be successful and grow, in no small part due to their cutting edge web presence.
- Garden Route Stays
I own apartments in Wilderness and Knysna, which are rented out as holiday accommodation through Airbnb, Booking.com, HomeAway and SafariNow, as well as through a dedicated website.
- Chris Corbet Digital Solutions
These days I focus on providing digital solutions to businesses of all sizes, often in the travel & tourism industry, working with the top experts in their field to obtain optimum results. I utilise my close relationships with the very best providers of online services in South Africa and beyond, and many years experience in digital marketing, as a “digital concierge”, managing the entire online process, working with clients as partners rather than as customers.