Leading CRM and digital agency launches in South Africa

“What you do with your data is vastly more important than acquiring still more of it.” – Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP.

The world comes to South Africa this week as respected world leader in direct and digital marketing, OgilvyOne, launches in the country.

Voted the number one global Customer Engagement company by the business researcher Forrester last year, the dynamic digital direct agency digs deep into data to uncover powerful insights and knowledge that turn big ideas into personalised experiences.

“The world of CRM and Loyalty has been revolutionised by digital insights and delivery. Add to this the power and benefit of location-specific mobile communication, particularly here in Africa, and a new world of marketing opportunities opens up to us,” says Brian Fetherstonhaugh, Chairman and CEO of OgilvyOne Worldwide, which spans 100 offices in over 50 countries.

Fetherstonhaugh visits Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town and Johannesburg campuses this week with OgilvyOne Worldwide senior leaders Patou Nuytemans, Annette King, Günther Schumacher and Paul O’Donnell to run training workshops with Clients and Staff and share global best practice.

“CRM, data, digital and direct are critical to our growth strategy for the future of Ogilvy & Mather South Africa. There is no doubt that a key aspect of the accelerating digital step-change is the growing importance of data and the ability to leverage the insights that can be gathered by learning from the way consumers behave and socialise. This unlocks enormous opportunities for optimising communication,” says Abey Mokgwatsane, Ogilvy & Mather South Africa CEO.

Ogilvy & Mather has made significant strides in the realm of CRM, digital and data in South Africa. “We’ve already gained significant traction in this arena and continue to lead the way in digital as a digital agency. We have more defining digital and mobile work than ever before. Last year we were number one at the Digital Bookmarks – not to mention an incredibly strong showing at The Assegai Awards (Integrated Marketing). We were also the runners up at the Financial Mail AdFocus Awards as the Digital Agency of the Year. And just last week, Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town was named the Cape’s best Digital Agency by its agency peers, so we look forward to formalising our offering to embrace this exciting era of communication,” says Rob Hill, Ogilvy & Mather South Africa Chief Operations Officer.

“We don’t just build brands. We extend beyond the traditional to create and develop innovative digital platforms that engage with all the right people in all the right spaces,” says Adrian Varkel, Managing Partner, OgilvyOne Worldwide, Cape Town. 

OgilvyOne is distinguished by its thought leadership and expertise in the data, digital and analytics arena. The recently released “Sexy Little Numbers: How to Grow Your Business Using the Data You Already Have” by Dimitri Maex, Managing Director of OgilvyOne New York, demystifies data analytics, offering  practical examples and actionable advice for companies and marketers striving to find and reach the most profitable customers and achieve the biggest return on their marketing spend.

“Before the digital age, it was fairly simple to target customers using direct mail and traditional CRM techniques. Today, the quantity of digital data that is now easily available gives companies an unprecedented window into how customers engage with brands – and more importantly – where that can lead to revenue,“ says Maex.

Despite global recessionary concerns, trends indicate a consistent growth for CRM initiatives, including digital and mobile mediums, according to Managing Partner and head of OgilvyOne Worldwide, Johannesburg, Shelley Waterhouse.

“In South Africa, businesses continue to invest in new, innovative and digital marketing solutions. Brands are dedicating higher media spend to digital platforms and there’s an appetite for CRM as marketers come to understand how it can positively impact a business. Clients are demanding efficiencies on existing businesses and now look to consolidating many of the services they require within one agency.”

Waterhouse continues: “The ever-increasing interactions consumers are having with local brands via mobile social media is an extremely effective digital channel and will continue to grow. Marketers and relationship management agencies have long been stating that this is a key differentiator for them. But has this been accomplished? Let’s prove once and for all that South Africa can be a leader in the space of Big Data.”

SA’s Digital Data Landscape

According to Waterhouse: “You know what they say about someone with Big Data… huge customer relationship building opportunities. And it’s true. I’m encouraged by the fact that many South African companies are becoming aware of the fundamental shift required to create meaningful customer relationships. This is the age of the customer. Individuals dictate their relationships with marketers, from customised experiences they want, to how and when they interact with companies. As a customer, I know I do! I call this CMR – Customer Managed Relationships.”

“Gone is the age of traditional communications and data gathering in South Africa. Customers have changed that through today’s digital mediums. Consider the broad ecosystem of digital technology and messages that customers are exposed to. They also influence each other’s choices through digital social media in South Africa. How do you manage that as a marketer? With as much customer information and insights as one can glean from traditional and social media. The bigger the data, the better for us as marketers.”

“While traditional databases will continue to be the bedrock for one-to-one marketing, progressive marketers today see the potential of evolving this practice to also mine for digital social media data in South Africa. They gather digital customer insights, predict trends and bring products to market faster. In order to attract and retain profitable customers and avoid losing ground to competitors, marketers have no choice but to dig deeper to gain new customer knowledge that will drive powerful ideas and enhance customer engagement and customisation.”

“The digital social media revolution in South Africa now allows us to capture and integrate digital data from as many new points as possible, including mobile – from aggregated web behaviour like digital search data, to what customers are doing and saying in digital social media spaces (Facebook “likes”, tweets about our brands etc,), all in real-time.”

“Even Pinterest and Instagram provide rich digital data. Digital social media data sources in South Africa just keep growing, and because it’s so unstructured, it makes it challenging to manage and analyse. On the other hand, it’s interesting and rich, and offers unparalleled value in being able to overlay qualitative information with quantifiable sales data.”

“Not only are digital web-based and digital social media data sources important, I’m not alone in believing that the next integral data source will be that of capturing customers’ interests.  Consumer interests have typically been identified or assumed based on their segmentation profiles and historical behaviour, however, interest-based profiling gleaned through digital social media platforms has the potential to be more effective in determining what brands, products and services consumers want and have the likelihood to seek out.”

“This new level of digital data can provide marketers with insights that guide product development, marketing budget spend, targeting, messaging and offers,  all resulting in more profitable marketing initiatives, success rates and ROIs.”

“All said, in order to thrive in today’s CMR landscape in South Africa, marketers have no choice but to listen to their customers at every possible channel touchpoint, including digital ones. The utilisation of both traditional and rich personalised digital data truly allows for relevant one-to-one relationship marketing.”

“The challenge for us South African marketers is the low penetration of internet use, but the ever-increasing interactions consumers are having with our brands via their mobile social media is an extremely effective channel and will continue to grow. Marketers and relationship management agencies have long been stating that this is a key differentiator for them. But has this been accomplished? Let’s prove once and for all that South Africa can be a leader in the space of Big Data. Who’s up for the challenge?”

SA Digital Agency | OgilvyOne Worldwide

About OgilvyOne Worldwide SA Digital Agency

Leaders in direct and digital marketing, with a four-decade track record and 100 offices in over 50 countries, OgilvyOne Worldwide, a division of Ogilvy & Mather, is a global CRM and digital agency that aims to help its clients grow by unlocking and increasing their customer value with solutions that sell, by turning big ideas into personal experiences that change behaviour. The agency’s breadth of knowledge and expertise about how to create enduring customer experiences extends well beyond traditional definitions, with services spanning consulting; business development; sales acceleration; ROI optimisation; creative ideation; multichannel direct response; digital dialogue; mobile marketing, and more.


OgilvyOne Worldwide is the leading Digital Agency in South Africa, offering full-service Digital Marketing, CRM, Data, Direct Marketing and other services.

We, at OgivyOne Worldwide digital agency, believe that an effectively harnessing digital customer data is crucial for any brand to truly succeed in today’s digital world and South Africa is no exception. We understand the dynamic and evolving world’s of digital, direct marketing and CRM in a South African context.

Likefollow us by using the #ogilvyonesa, or visit our website. Also visit us on YouTubeLinkedInPinterestVimeo, and Flickr. Read thought leadership pieces from OgilvyOne Worldwide here.

Contact: Lauren Woolf
Date: February 01, 2013
Office: Johannesburg