The staff at Inverdoorn hail from various parts of South Africa, and even other parts of the world. As a result they all have very different and diverse backgrounds, but are connected by their passion for wildlife and conservation.
Martial Viot, the Online Marketing Manager for Inverdoorn, was born in Brittany, France. He speaks English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and even Klingon. His favourite thing about South Africa, especially as a foreigner, is that "every single day is like a holiday! Weather, people, culture, food – every day is a new experience and a new travel chapter for me."
Q. How long have you been working at Inverdoorn?
A. 3 years – 1 month – 4 days
Q. Tell us a bit about your background and experience?
A. I graduated in Law, but decided that communication was really my path. I completed a course at a communication school in France and joined a TV broadcast company two months before graduating. This experience gave me a video and web design background, but I wanted to join an agency to sharpen other skills. I joined two agencies specialising in small and medium business communication and ended up doing all the graphic, video and web work. After a six-month assignment as a copywriter in Morocco I landed in Brazil and started my own web agency. I missed teamwork too much and flew to Cape Town and worked for a Google-outsourced support service in search, ad-serving and training. I visited Inverdoorn once and fell for it immediately. I contacted the owner and offered my services. Now I am now a proud member of the Inverdoorn marketing team.
Q. What is your favourite animal on the reserve? Why?
A. I am fascinated by the Cape Cobra. This snake is simply the most breath-taking animal ever. You literally bow to his powerful, dreadful presence.
Q. What sets Inverdoorn apart from other game reserves?
A. I work for Inverdoorn. Communication is honest and clever.
Q. Inverdoorn welcomes a lot of volunteers and interns throughout the year – what would be your first words of advice to them?
A. To the volunteers: Enjoy the reward of making a difference in this world. Getting up at 5.30 to save cheetahs is an excellent motivation for you to work.
To my interns: The job is tough and can be overwhelming, but the knowledge you get from it is worth it. Also, I like my coffee black with no sugar ;-)
Q. What do you love the most about your work?
A. Communication and online marketing is an endless field. You simply learn new things every day with every page you read, website you browse and person you meet.
Q. What do you miss the most about France?
A. Optic fibre, food and friends.
Q. What is the future of online marketing, especially for game reserves?
A. People are becoming more and more computer and marketing savvy. Smart, honest communication is the new trend. Real-time guest management via social media is as important as classic marketing, such as print media. From our side: tracking, optimising ROI and ultimately having fun learning new techniques which will make us move forward with a certain dynamism.
Q. What is the future of game reserves in South Africa, especially considering the escalating poaching crises?
A. Games reserves should consider collaborating and sharing their marketing expertise and offer a common front to fight animal poaching and species' extinction risks. There shouldn't be any competitors, but teammates, in our fight to save the rhino. I am personally keen on meeting all other marketing teams from other game reserves to discuss and set such an ambitious strategy. In the end it's not business, it's saving animals' lives and a country's legacy.
Follow me at @martialviot