Jonathan Watcham – Incubator Mentor 2020

Over the next few weeks we will be profiling the mentors who will be involved in the Norfolk Island Incubator 2020 Programme.

This week we are featuring Jonathan Watcham.

Jonathan is an experienced, energetic and creative marketing professional. He has spent more than 20 years in advertising, marketing and publishing. He specialises in marketing strategy, communications and stakeholder engagement.

Jonathan’s skills include understanding and articulating a purpose and a vision for a business or organisation, then developing a value proposition and key messages, before creating a full marketing strategy and plan. He works with his clients to achieve better audience engagement, deeper customer relationships, and growth in both sales and profits.

Jonathan is also a copywriter, content creator and storyteller. He has developed ideas, content and copy for numerous marketing campaigns and community engagement programs.

Recently, he has developed and taught a marketing strategy course for architects, building designers, engineers and quantity surveyors to help them create more market-focused practices and earn continuing professional development (CPD) points for their professional accreditations.


Jonathan has experience across a wide range of industries and sectors, including property and construction, health, local government, communities, not-for-profit organisations and the start-up economy.

He has a passion for regional Australia and has worked and lived in different parts of Australia and NSW, including Sydney and the Southern Highlands.


Jonathan has a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Law and International Relations.


In 2018, together with a team of marketing professionals at a Sydney-based marketing agency, Jonathan won an Australian Marketing Institute (AMI) Marketing Excellence Award for the Best Not-for-Profit Marketing Campaign in 2018. A mental health awareness campaign across the Murrumbidgee and Riverina regions of NSW, the campaign achieved widespread community breakthrough and engagement using different channels, including social media, television, radio and the printed press.

Q & A  – Norfolk Incubator Programme – 2020

Where did you grow up?

In South Africa and the UK. I came to Australia more than 30 years ago and did what I believe was the third and final part of my ‘growing up’. In Australia I’ve lived in Melbourne, Sydney, and also in regional NSW and Victoria.

Given the choice between living in the city or country which would you choose and why?

I’ve always said; “I’m a ‘big-city boy with a country-boy’s heart”. I’ve lived in 5 different world cities, but when all is said and done I think I’d would still choose the country, or a regional area like the North Coast of NSW. I can’t be too far from a beach!

Describe your area of expertise?

Business ideas and marketing strategy. I am a strategic thinker and I believe I can foresee outcomes and then work out how and when to get there. I also believe every small business should do some focused strategic thinking at least once a year, just like big organisations do. It helps them to be successful.

One of the first and easiest places to start is to do a SWOT analysis – where you write up your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Do this at least once or twice a year. Use these answers to discover what you do best and for whom, what opportunities you may have ahead, and then plan around those, while keeping an eye on things that may come at you like a change in the economy, or COVID-19!

I’m also a writer and a content creator, so I love helping people and businesses with fresh, engaging content and copy.

What are you looking forward to most about participating in the Norfolk Island Incubator Programme?

Helping people and businesses uncover ideas and opportunities that fit with the ‘wellness’ brand proposition and direction. I believe people in regional Australia are very inventive and creative. I hope to help them harness this awesome ability and think outside the square so they can create ideas, position their businesses, and then communicate all the value they bring, really clearing and compellingly.

What wisdom or knowledge do you hope to share with the participants?

I’m an entrepreneur at heart and I’ve started and owned a number of businesses. So, I will use that experience and some step-by-step strategic frameworks I’ve developed to help participants think, plan and implement. That means testing a few things, adjusting and not giving up. I believe ‘mindset’ and sharing ideas, problems and then celebrating small wins is all part of the entrepreneur’s journey.

What is the greatest hurdle you have had to overcome in your career and how did you do it?

Having the confidence to go out and try a few things and then create my own viable service and business. Then trust myself and my ability – my natural ability, if you like to make it successful. This meant not letting fears, beliefs and attitudes get in the way.

There’s an old saying that says: “Trust your natural ability and focus on your target, then your focus will become your reality.”

If you could solve one problem or issue what would it be?

The COVID-19 pandemic! I’d get a vaccine ready and available, so we can return to ‘normal’ or an even better life.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Trust your natural ability and focus hard on your target.

If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be and why?

That would have to be Nelson Mandela, who is of course sadly no longer with us. Why? I think because he was so honest, authentic and forgiving. He was an example to all of us.

Best advice you have been given?

Humbly trust your natural ability, and then focus on your project or target with all you’ve got. Also practice gratitude daily to help you stay grounded, optimistic and positive.

What are you looking forward to most about participating in the Norfolk Island Incubator Programme?

Wow… seeing people, businesses and organisations blossom, come alive and realise they have much more of a natural ability, inventiveness and creativity than they think. Then helping them to  harness this and add some strategic thinking, clear marketing communications and bold execution/implementation, to take advantage of what clearly is a smart and exciting direction for Norfolk Island.


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