Howard Lonstein, Marketing Expert in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
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Howard Lonstein

Verified Expert  in Marketing

Marketing Expert

Location
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Toptal Member Since
April 1, 2024

Howard is a marketing expert whose approach involves analyzing diverse data and collaborating across teams to craft innovative brand and communication strategies. With a media strategy and communications background, he has overcome marketing challenges for numerous brands. Significantly, Howard launched and evolved the Russell Hobbs brand into one of the most sought-after brands—boosting brand awareness by 30% and market share by 14%—and reinforced its position through sponsorship.

Project Highlights

Increased Foot Traffic by 22% and Sales by 24% for a National QSR Franchise
Formulated a targeted, geospatially-focused out-of-home (OOH) media strategy that yielded a boost of 4% in-app delivery service usage, 6.6% in sales, and 5.09% in foot traffic, surpassing quarterly and YoY benchmarks.
Brand Strategy for Russell Hobbs | Grew Market Share by 14% and Brand Awareness by 30%
Elevated Russell Hobbs to a multimillion-dollar portfolio with widespread brand equity and product listings. After crafting their brand strategy, they expanded into a diverse home appliance range, emerging as the leading premium brand in the market.
Launch Strategy for Sony's PlayStation 4
Achieved a 22% market share boost and 150% ROAS.

Expertise

Work Experience

Trade Marketing Specialist

2019 - PRESENT
JCDecaux
  • Achieved a 12% growth in revenue from existing key accounts by helping monetize our data stack.
  • Reduced operational costs by 8% YoY by improving the product price modeling and introducing new processes and systems.
  • Contributed an additional six million South African Rand in annual sales after managing the project and introducing programmatic trading to the business.

Marketing Manager

2016 - 2019
PMG International
  • Contributed to the 21% growth in direct sales by introducing new products and commercial offers.
  • Grew the agency business by 20% YoY through trade marketing, affinity marketing, CRM initiatives, and brand licensing. Handled the rebranding and relaunch of the airport ads division, a clear positioning strategy that helped the business grow.
  • Managed end-to-end client relationships for a diverse portfolio of clients.

Product Marketing Manager

2008 - 2016
Ster-Kinekor Theatres Proprietary
  • Improved year-over-year marketing return on assets by 35% by diversifying marketing channels, focusing on e-tailer remarketing.
  • Grew organic page visits by 20% and followers by 30% by coordinating strategic social media content.
  • Increased the business market share by 16% after developing and implementing direct and digital marketing campaigns.
  • Led a cross-functional team of 16 and a retail merchandising agency to execute a multi-channel sales promotion campaign across 1,300+ stores nationwide. The campaign launched a new device and drove software sales, exceeding targets by 18%.
  • Managed the launch of Pyramat gaming accessories through a national activation roadshow, a strategic PR event, generating positive media coverage and retail support, and an SEO plan that increased organic landing page and search traffic by 118%.
  • Led a cross-functional team to successfully launch Pyramat Rocker Chairs and Game-Play-Gear range of accessories, managing the entire product lifecycle. Secured major retailer listings and exceeded sales forecasts by 12 million.

Brand Manager

2005 - 2007
Homemark Pty Ltd
  • Launched a home appliance via targeted campaign management and strategic brand positioning, incorporating online, paid ads, and trade marketing campaigns. Achieved an 8% increase in market share and a 25% lift in brand awareness within six months.
  • Implemented paid digital marketing campaigns, resulting in a 10% increase in website traffic and a 6% conversation rate while developing brand awareness.
  • Secured listing for new product lines with several leading retailers, resulting in a 20% increase in overall sales within the first quarter through strategic negotiation, market analysis, retail marketing, and relationship building,.

Senior Brand Manager

1999 - 2005
Home of Living Brands
  • Developed and executed a first-in-market TV advertising campaign leveraging my media relations and deep consumer research. Exceeded launch sales forecasts by 21%, achieving 60% brand awareness and a 15% increase in market share in key regions.
  • Drove 44% growth in retail presence by leading trade and retail marketing campaigns. Secured prime placement with special POS displays, increasing SKU listings and channel promotional features.
  • Led a public relations agency on a press tour with Mr. George Foreman, securing prime exposure across major TV, radio, and print outlets. This effort gained exposure with an estimated earned value of 3.8 million, reaching over 10 million consumers.
  • Executed all aspects of product management, developing, testing, and launching six new product lines under the Salton brand within one year, consistently meeting all deadlines and budget requirements.

Increased Foot Traffic by 22% and Sales by 24% for a National QSR Franchise

Formulated a targeted, geospatially-focused out-of-home (OOH) media strategy that yielded a boost of 4% in-app delivery service usage, 6.6% in sales, and 5.09% in foot traffic, surpassing quarterly and YoY benchmarks.

The leading quick-service restaurant saw sales decline due to intense competition and an excessive focus on its brand. To address this issue, I conducted an analysis of its media mix investment, with particular attention to its current use of OOH advertising and the competitive landscape in several geographical areas. My goal was to enhance product visibility and encourage impulse buys by improving the placement and volume of specific media formats in the directional area of retail outlets and within specific catchment areas.

Through this industry analysis, I recommended focusing on key convergence hubs with high saturation of key demographics and select audience segments—namely office workers, the informational sector, and the commuter market—that hadn't shown an aptitude toward QSRs, fast food and the chicken category, specifically. This creative matching considered consumers' tastes, preferences, spending power, and buying preferences to influence engagement. Various online and offline tracking systems were employed to measure outcomes, specifically mobile IDs, delivering data on usage lift resulting from campaigns online, on the app, or in-store, coupled with 1st-party data relating to sales lift.

Brand Strategy for Russell Hobbs | Grew Market Share by 14% and Brand Awareness by 30%

https://russellhobbs.co.za/

Elevated Russell Hobbs to a multimillion-dollar portfolio with widespread brand equity and product listings. After crafting their brand strategy, they expanded into a diverse home appliance range, emerging as the leading premium brand in the market.

I developed an integrated marketing communication campaign to position Russell Hobbs within the fashion, cooking, and lifestyle industries.

1. The brand position efforts led to a considerable increase in its market share, which resulted in the introduction of various product ranges. The distinctive campaign significantly impacted its image, making it synonymous with luxury, quality, and innovation, further strengthening brand equity in the market.

2. The campaign was backed by a strategic trade and retail marketing campaign, resulting in a 20% uplift in product visibility and a subsequent 15% rise in sales.

3. Implemented a unique public relations campaign, which secured extensive coverage across diverse fashion, lifestyle, and cooking publications and online platforms. As a result, the campaign generated a noteworthy 4-to-1 ratio of earned to paid media.

4. Established strategic partnerships with influencers in fashion and interior design, which resulted in a 31% increase in website visits and a 25% increase in brand mentions.

5. We sponsored lifestyle, home decor, and cooking expos as part of the brand positioning efforts. The collective effort contributed to an impressive 38% return on marketing investment.

Launch Strategy for Sony's PlayStation 4

Achieved a 22% market share boost and 150% ROAS.

The PlayStation is the fastest-selling console in the territory. The campaign secured coverage in top-tier news, lifestyle, and tech publications—reaching 10+ million impressions across traditional and specialist media outlets.

A national media strategy targeted casual and core gamers, aiming to maintain visibility for months to meet pre-sales goals and achieve a 2-to-1 software attachment ratio. Oversight of PR, creative, media, and retail agencies ensured extensive retail, paid ATL/BTL ads, and editorial coverage.

Leveraging first-party websites and social media via paid search, display, video, and organic content led to a 114% spike in website traffic and 28% growth in social followers, boosting customer lifetime value by 18%. A focused PR effort secured coverage in seven tech/gaming outlets, generating 23 articles, 1187 broadcast mentions, and an audience of 1.2 million.

High-profile retail campaigns featured geo-targeted mobile, web, and social efforts, remarketing, special displays, and launch events. Collaborations with influencers like gaming, music, sports, and media figures spurred a 35% rise in social engagement and a 30% increase in brand mentions.
2008 - 2009

Bachelor's Degree (Honors) in Business Administration

IMM Graduate School - Johannesburg, South Africa

FEBRUARY 2023 - PRESENT

Programmatic DOOH Advanced

Broadsign

FEBRUARY 2023 - PRESENT

Data-Driven Planning

The Trade Desk Edge Academy

MAY 2022 - PRESENT

HubSpot Email Marketing Certification

HubSpot

JANUARY 2019 - PRESENT

Online Reputation Management and Digital Marketing

Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)

SEPTEMBER 2013 - PRESENT

Social Media and Internet Marketing

University of Cape Town

Core

Media Buying, Social Media, Public Relations (PR), Campaign Strategy, Account-based Marketing (ABM), Market Research & Analysis, Facebook Marketing, Online Marketing, Campaign Management, Social Media Strategy, TV Advertising, Paid Advertising, Out-of-home (OOH) Advertising, Digital Out-of-home (DOOH) Advertising, Marketing, Retail Marketing Campaigns, PR Campaigns, Ad Campaigns, Marketing Budgeting, Social Media Marketing (SMM), Copywriting, Ad Design, Email Marketing, Content Marketing, LinkedIn Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Audience Targeting, Community Management, Pay-per-Click (PPC), Influencer Marketing, Brand Activation, Research Proposals

Platforms & Tools

Google Analytics, Google Analytics 360, Monday.com

Other

Product Management, Brand Management, Market Research, Sales Pitches, New Product Development, Business Development, Sales Strategy, Public Speaking, Retail Management, Data Analytics, Data Analysis, Marketing Management, Media Planning, Budgeting, Twitter, Online Reputation Management, Consumer Insights, Commercial Strategy, Kantar, Research, Paid Media, Agency Relations, Media Relations, Trade Marketing, Digital Media, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), Sales Promotion, Agency, Client Management, ESG, Project Management, Loyalty Programs, Management, Economics, Law, Human Resources (HR), Change Management, Financial Reporting, Leadership, Financial Management, Paid Search, Key Performance Metrics, Programmatic Marketing, Web Analytics, Internet Marketing Strategy, Programmatic Advertising, Bid Management, Slack, Attest, Financial Analysis, Google+, Organizational Behavior (OB), Sponsorship, Brand Licensing, Resellers, OEM Account Management, OEM Sales

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