IDENTIFYING alternative marketing methods for clients is what has kept media and marketing practitioner Mikateka Chauke on top of her game.

IDENTIFYING alternative marketing methods for clients is what has kept media and marketing practitioner Mikateka Chauke on top of her game.

Chauke is managing director of High Pitch Media, a company that focuses on a vast range of marketing methods.She says her passion for her job has made her stand out from the rest of her peers.

After obtaining a Public Relations degree from the Vaal University of Technology, Chauke worked at various PR companies, eventually becoming a director at one of these firms.

But this was not enough for this highly energetic marketer. She started her own company after noticing a gap in the market, in terms of product placing.

After familiarising herself with the concept, Chauke distinguished herself as a sought-after specialist in the field.

"Even though it is a thriving business in Hollywood, there is only one other firm in South Africa that does product placing," said Chauke.

She said the industry is worth an astonishing 3,6 billion US dollars in Hollywood and worth just under R1million in South Africa.

According to Chauke, product placing is a cheaper alternative to advertising, and at the moment, more and more brands are opting for the method.

Asked about the challenges that relate to product placing due to it being a subtle form of advertising, rather than an obvious method, Chauke said: "The South African market hasn't matured yet so the concept has been met with some scepticism. But that is why it is necessary for us to communicate with producers to ensure that the product is projected in the best possible way."

She said that certain products are governed by law and therefore, background information on the product was necessary to avoid controversy.

Chauke said in addition to product placement, her company provides clients with an all-round service, from PR to event management and radio dramatised advertisements.

Asked if it was easy for her to start a business, Chauke said the biggest challenge was getting start-up capital.

"Besides the funds, one also needs necessary business skills to manage those finances. It is also important to align yourself with successful people because in most cases they have already been through the various challenges of starting a business from scratch," Chauke said.

The support of family was also imperative when starting a company, said this marketer with an edge.

"It is not easy in the beginning. One does not really earn a salary and you do not have set working hours. So you really do need all the support you can get. I must say that I experienced a very smooth transition when I became self-employed because I already had all the necessary experience of being a director," she said

This creative mastermind enjoys travelling and going to the gym in her spare time.

She has a 13-month-old baby, but one would never guess, looking her slim figure.

Asked how she manages to balance home life with work, Chauke said: "I have a wonderful partner who helps out a lot at home. He's an excellent cook and he is very understanding. My business partners are also amazing because when I had my daughter, I literally took off work for a year and they did all the work."

Chauke said the most fulfilling moment about her job is seeing her campaign on BBC "or any other channel for that matter".