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CUBE [ON THE SQUARE]: Luisa Mazinter & Winnifred Knight

A ‘pay it forward’ strategy pays back dividends for a marketing solutions company that establishes a local and international reputation as a thought leader.

Juliet Pitman



Luisa Mazinter & Winnifred Knight

When Luisa Mazinter and Winnifred Knight, co-founders of integrated marketing solutions company CUBE [ON THE SQUARE], launched in 1998, one of their key objectives was to share their knowledge with the marketing community about which they are so passionate.

Between them, the partners have more than 50 years’ worth of marketing experience. While Knight is recognised as a leading specialist in direct marketing, Mazinter is known for her digital marketing expertise.

“We set up as a ‘pay it forward’, to give businesses of all sizes strategic advice, guidance and access to relevant information related to marketing and sales,” explains Mazinter. It turned out to be one of the best investments they could have made for CUBE [ON THE SQUARE].

Launched entirely at their own expense, without the benefit of the usual advertising revenue which keeps such sites afloat, and offering invaluable information free of charge to users, continues to deliver significant benefits to their business, generating leads and firmly establishing their reputation as thought leaders in their sector.

The site has between 50 000 and 60 000 unique users a month, with 15 000 subscribing to’s monthly newsletter.

Deriving other business benefits

The knowledge-sharing philosophy extends to the rest of CUBE [ON THE SQUARE]’s business. “When we are involved in writing strategy for clients, we believe in transferring skills. “It’s an uncommon practice among consultancies and agencies but we feel very strongly that it allows the client to see a direct return on their investment.

We know we’ve been successful when we make ourselves redundant,” Mazinter explains. The company’s track record speaks for itself in this regard – Deloitte, MTN, Hollard and Absa are just a few of its most recent clients.

While the marketing industry in general suffered a significant dip during the recession, CUBE [ON THE SQUARE] enjoyed its best year ever in 2009.

“Keeping our ear to the ground both locally and internationally has been important, because it allows us to foresee tough times ahead and plan accordingly. And because there are only two of us and our business model is to outsource certain things to our long-term suppliers, we were agile enough to adapt in response to the changing market conditions,” she says.

The long-term relationships established with clients by virtue of the company’s willingness to pass on skills and intellectual property also played a key role in ensuring the business continued to flourish at a time when competitors were floundering.

Thinking global

“Investing in keeping up to date with the latest international and local industry trends benefits not only the content on but also our core business at CUBE[ON THE SQUARE],” says Knight, who has the esteem of the global marketing community.

She was the first woman and only person from Africa to have been elected onto the Global Advisory Board of the American Direct Marketing Association (DMA). This association, together with the partners’ reputation for establishing a truly useful marketing portal in South Africa, recently led to CUBE [ON THE SQUARE] signing a joint venture partnership with the DMA to develop a global portal for direct, digital and interactive marketing.

“The portal will become a central resource for marketing practitioners from around the world, sharing current trends, thought leadership, best practice, case studies, industry awards, the latest research, DMA accredited eLearning courses, a global suppliers directory and job board.

The idea is to provide a platform for networking, debate and discussion amongst a global network of marketers. Marketing associations around the world will have the opportunity to co-brand and customise the portal, update it with local content and then offer it to their own membership bases,” Mazinter explains.

Needless to say, the JV offers CUBE [ON THE SQUARE] significant opportunities to entrench its reputation as a leader on the world stage, and develop international relationships for new business. Both Mazinter and Knight were also invited to be judges for the 2010 USA DMA Echo Awards.

Recognised as the most prestigious direct and interactive marketing awards world-wide, judging for these took place in New York in June. “This opens up a whole new world of opportunity for us – and we mean to make the most of it,” Mazinter concludes.

Players: Luisa Mazinter & Winnifred Knight
Contact: +27 82 575 9922, +27 82 654 4021

Juliet Pitman is a features writer at Entrepreneur Magazine.


25 Of The Most Successful Business Ideas In South Africa

Find out who’s making waves in numerous industries and how they managed to differentiate themselves in local and international industries.

Nicole Crampton



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“Disruption is all about risk-taking, trusting your intuition, and rejecting the way things are supposed to be. Disruption goes way beyond advertising, it forces you to think about where you want your brand to go and how to get there,” says Richard Branson.

South Africa has its fair share of innovative and disruptive businesses taking both local and international industries by storm. From cutting edge space technology to reimagined logistics, and innovative business models, here are 25 of the most successful business ideas in South Africa:

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Colin Timmis Says ‘Position Yourself For Success By Starting With The Numbers’

People pay first who they feel pressure from, so people will pay you when they feel pressure from you.






Entrepreneur Colin Timmis founded South Africa’s first cloud accounting practice in 2011, Real Time Accounting. Then, a few years after being appointed as South Africa’s first Xero partner Colin became Xero Country Manager South Africa. Xero is the emerging global leader of online accounting software that connects small businesses to their advisors and other services.

Related: Pat Pillai On How He’s Helped Over 5000 Entrepreneurs Using 3 Key Steps

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Two 20 Year Olds Reshape Entrepreneur Landscape With New Social Investment Platform

The Merge vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

Merge Connect




Vital Stats

It’s no secret that finding the right investor for your venture is a challenge that most entrepreneurs face. The current process of finding investment is one that is outdated, and limits entrepreneurs due to a lack of time, and network that is needed to find the right investor. But, this doesn’t have to be the case in today’s digital society, says Zander Matthee and Brandon Bate, co-founders of Merge.

“By making the Internet the middleman, we are able to connect with each other much simpler and faster than before” was Zander’s response. “We have taken advantage of this, and have created a digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors” added Brandon.

Merge is a social platform that connects entrepreneurs and investors. It aims to simplify, refine and accelerate the process of finding investment for entrepreneurs, and the process of finding investment opportunities for investors. From idea to developed, the platform allows entrepreneurs to present a brief outline of their venture to a network of all investor types. While doing this, entrepreneurs are able to browse through, and connect with investor profiles that suit their requirements.

Related: 8 Codes Of Success That Helped Priven Reddy of Kagiso Interactive Media Achieve A Networth Of Over R4 Billion

From Private Investors to Venture Capital, and everything in between, Merge allows all investor types to join. Investors have the opportunity to personalise their feed to suit their investment preferences, and will be able to connect with innovative businesses – that are looking for investment – at their fingertips. Only once there is a mutual interest in each other, are users able to enter a secure private chat where they can discuss further and share documents under the protection of a digital NDA.

The two boys became good friends during their time in high school at St Stithians Boys College. However, it was only in their last year, 2016, that they decided to pursue their dreams and create the platform. They didn’t know how to code, so rather ironically, they needed some form of investment to get the platform off the ground.


“We knew we had a mountain to climb, but we believed in our vision and that we were really trying to make a difference, and if we could get others to see that, they would be onboard.” said Zander.

Related: Lessons From The Rich And Famous: Manage Your Money Like Oprah To Avoid Going Into Debt Like Nicholas Cage

Chris Peters is one of these individuals that bought into their vision, and became Merge’s first investor. As a successful entrepreneur and part time investor , Chris saw how much value the platform could bring to all entrepreneurs and investors alike. His marketing and strategic background gave him insight into how Merge could play a vital role in a lucrative space, Brand involvement.

“Entrepreneurship and SME development are two key factors that drive economic growth in developing countries like South Africa. That is why brands are currently getting involved, and looking to support entrepreneurs through various means. We have built a platform that allows these brands to successfully market, and execute on the programmes they have created to assist entrepreneurs.” said Chris

Merge was created to assist all entrepreneurs and investors in finding exactly what they are looking for, regardless of age, race, sex, financial position or social status. That is why anybody can sign-up as an entrepreneur. As long as you are determined and willing to work for your dreams. For too long has the investor space been seen as an “elite club for the select few”, and Merge is here to change that. Whether you’ve gotten your bonus at the end of the year and looking for new investment opportunities, or are an active investor, you can sign-up. Whether you’re currently working, or a retired industry leader, you can join as a mentor.

Their vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

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