Q&A with Christo Hattingh on Marketing His Business to Solve Problems

34484f1Computers hold the answers to many questions. From how big Australia is (approximately 3860 kilometres long by 4000 kilometres wide) to what the littlest automobile ever put into production is (the Peel P50), there are a lot of answers to find with your computer.

But the secret to using computers the right way, is to employ them to solve real problems, not just to answer my random thoughts. That is where Triatin IT puts their stamp on the business world. They implement IT solutions to the issues currently facing businesses.

They have a range of services targeting security, cloud solutions, data management and range of other offerings. Director of Sales and Marketing at Triatin, Christo Hattingh, recently shared his insight into what has made him and Triatin a successful player in the IT field.

1. You’ve been with Triatin IT for more than two years now. Can you tell us a little about the company and your role with them?

I have been with Triatin for approximately 2 years now, Triatin have 2 main areas of business they focus on – Business Intelligence and Infrastructure. With me having more than 15 years with hands-on work and management at various IT companies, I got involved with Triatin in a more strategic role as a Sales and Marketing Director.

Knowing the technologies driving these 2 verticals very well makes it easy to sell a fit for a purpose solution to a client. Since we’re a small company, I’m also involved in project management and lots of CIO work.

2. You have a great background in a number of different IT companies and projects. What projects and skills from your background have led to the most success you’ve had within your current role of Director Sales and Marketing and CIO with Triatin?

When I had the opportunity to emigrate to Australia, it gave me the ability to broaden my horizons and manage a very unique team of people. I learned to trust people more and how to delegate as we grew bigger. No one likes change, but the ability to adapt helps you to grow your business and grow as an individual. I had the opportunity to manage projects in nearly every industry type, and this helped me learn a lot and how to tweak a product and service offering to truly work in any industry

3. How has Triatin approached social media for their sales and marketing efforts? Which social platform has been most successful in reaching your clients? And why?

Currently, we do not use Social Media as we should. We try and post at least twice a month to keep things going, but this is an area where we can improve since it is a service we sell to our clients, but don’t use much in house. Our most successful way of reaching clients is still word of mouth, and this is how we are still generating 99% of our business.

4. What is it that sets Triatin apart from other IT service and consulting companies?

Every task we do is project driven, and we have built a process to do literally any task that makes it easy to standardize your offering and to get new people on board as they can follow a process. Everything we do is always a team approach. Most companies skills lie in a few individuals, but we support all our clients as a team that way there is always more knowledge to share and lots of people that know all the details of the project.

The third thing that sets us apart is our very flexible pricing model. We are very cheap if a client can meet all our payment criteria as set out on our website.


5. Triatin offers a number of different services that appeal to an array of clients in different fields from Sony to Billabong to the Australian Government. Can you explain how you customize your marketing campaigns to reach these different targets?

All our clients have one big thing in common and that is that they all own lots of data. If we can help them make informed decisions based on the data they have by building some intelligence into their data, they can save time and money. We sell standard processes and tools that can help any business to function more efficiently.

6. With digital marketing strategies, fads, and platforms constantly changing and evolving how do you qualify which are viable and worth investment?

We try not to invest in 3rd-party products, but would rather contribute to open source platforms and develop our own. This way we are never locked into a vendor and have full control over the front-end and back-end

7. What marketing channels have yielded the best results for Triatin in the past and why?

Direct Mail and word of mouth. I know this is old, but it still works for us.

8. What are some ways you have creatively stretched a challenging budget constraint to yield results?

There is a interesting book that I have read Marketing without Money. This just opened my eyes on some obvious things that you can do without spending any money and still build your business.

This book is a great help in my toolkit when things get tough. It just goes to show that with hard work everything will always work out, and there are always ways around a tight budget.


9. Can you describe one of the biggest successes you have experienced at Triatin since you began?

I can see how we evolved to build a work management system based on a open source platform. We have customized it to now run in a datacentre. The entire business depends on it, as it runs everything from accounts, project management, support tickets, and any custom report you can think of.

You know this product is a success when you see other companies asking you how they can get it or if we can help them to do the same. That is how you know that you have done something right.

10. Your company website mentions that you also work on SEO for some clients websites, where do you see the future of SEO moving?

We have built a recipe for SEO / SEM and know by following this recipe it will yield specific results. The problem with being in the SEO market is that there are lots of companies that offer the service without being able to measure the actual results.

I think by offering guaranteed results, we can differentiate ourself in the market. It will be harder selling SEO in the future as more companies enter with more creative ideas, so as long as you stay on top of what the industry demands, you will have a successful SEO business.