After spending my early working years as a surveyor in the mining, and later the civil engineering industries, 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 marketing specialist, providing strategy and digital solutions to business of all sizes, primarily in the travel and tourism industry. I’m also a passionate photographer, specialising in capturing quality imagery for the hospitality industry, in addition to owning and running a luxury self catering apartment in the Garden Route village of Wilderness.
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 passionate photographer, my camera, DJi Drone 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, DJI Spark drone 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 an apartment in Wilderness which is rented out as holiday accommodation through Airbnb, Booking.com and through a dedicated website: Garden Route Stays.
- Chris Corbet Digital
These days I focus on providing digital solutions to businesses of all sizes in the travel & tourism industry. I’m also a photographer, capturing high quality photos for holiday properties. I utilise my relationships with providers of online services in South Africa and beyond, and many years experience in digital marketing, operating as a “digital concierge”, managing the entire online process, working with clients as partners rather than as customers.