Oi“What you do with your data is vastly more important than acquiring still more of it,” says Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP. This week the world’s leading CRM and data specialists have come to our shores for the launch of OgilvyOne South Africa.

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 51 countries.

Fetherstonhaugh is visiting Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town and our campus this week with OgilvyOne Worldwide Board members Patou Nuytemans, Annette King, Günther Schumacher and Paul O’Donnell to run training workshops with Clients and Staff and share global best practice.

To be part of the discussion and share in the insights, follow along on Twitter via the #OgilvyOneSA hashtag. The launch will be taking place on our campus from 12:00 on Friday 1 Feb.

We’re glad to announced that we have kicked off our 2013 How To Friday schedule with style! Editor for Destiny Man and technophile Kojo Baffoe came to visit us this morning to share his thoughts on the print and digital worlds. With years of experience in both fields, he has more than enough knowledge to help us understand these two vastly different platforms.
The question burning on everyone’s mind is the outcome of the print versus digital battle. The truth of the matter is there is no battle and there is no true victor – according to Kojo the winner is content.

He argues that we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to digital platforms to showcase our information, but are we using the right platforms to share this content? Too much focus is put on where content is hosted rather than how content is created.

Think of content as a lump of clay; it’s a whole lot of information that you need to sculpt into something for a specific audience. You could sculpt a flamingo or an eagle. They’re both birds, but one is just better suited for a certain target audience than the other.

We’re all working on a trial and error basis. Through social media we’re trying to figure out what platforms work with certain audiences. Some work for all, but most are target specific, which makes packaging your information key to success.

So what is the answer? Well, in short, we don’t know what is dead and what is not. We’re still trying to figure out what works best.

For more of the nuggets he shared, check out the Storify below:

kojoKojo Baffoe is the editor of the men’s business and lifestyle magazine, DESTINY Man, and has been involved in a number of sectors, including Retail, Management Consulting, Publishing, Events, IT and Media (Television & Print). He’s been poet laureate for Gordon Institute of Business Science, was founding editor of Blaque Magazine, has written for a range of publications including as a columnist (2009 – 2011) for City Press’ lifestyle supplement, is an avid blogger, passionate about music, technology and the possibilities that the digital realm provides the continent. After tomorrow, he’ll also be able to add speaking at our How to Friday session to his illustrious CV.

He’ll be talking about how they approach content at DESTINY Man and how the landscape is evolving. He’ll also be sharing some thoughts on how journalists and creatives will need to operate moving forward – and why that means he’s deleting his Facebook profile. Follow the conversation on Twitter through #HowToFriday and also follow Kojo here.

shellyShelley Waterhouse is the Managing Partner at soon-to-be-launched OgilvyOne Johannesburg. She has a proven track record in driving measurable business results, with a focus on CRM, data, digital, social CRM, and mobile marketing. This piece is adapted from one she wrote for The Annual last year:

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 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. Customers have changed that. Consider the broad ecosystem of technology and messages that customers are exposed to. They also  influence each other’s choices through social media. 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 social media data. They gather 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 social media revolution now allows us to capture and integrate data from as many new points as possible, including mobile – from aggregated web behaviour like search data, to what customers are doing and saying in social media spaces (Facebook “likes”, tweets about our brands etc,), all in real-time.

Even Pinterest and Instagram provide rich data. Social media data sources 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 web-based and 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 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 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, marketers have no choice but to listen to their customers at every possible channel touchpoint. The utilisation of both traditional and rich personalised 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?

kasKajsa Claude is the head of Client Service at Ogilvy PR Joburg and has interviewed her fair share of hopefuls over the years. Here she shares what it is that she’s actually looking for in the ideal candidate:

“I’m the same age as Mick Jagger and I haven’t had a proper job in my life. But I’m a great writer.”

That was the first sentence of a job application letter I received about 20 years ago and it has stayed with me for two reasons: firstly because my immediate reaction was to set up a meeting with the guy and secondly because he told the truth.

Since then I’ve interviewed several hundred candidates, mainly in the field of corporate communications and PR and I’ve scanned and sometimes even thoroughly read several thousand CV’s of varying interest and quality. I hope I haven’t seen it all, but here’s a stab at sharing some of my experiences from a talent hunting and hiring perspective:

1. Be yourself. Don’t try and second guess who I want you to be or what I want you to say. It’ll only be disappointing for both of us when we start working together.

2. Avoid stereotypes. Don’t describe yourself as motivated, hard-working and let me guess… result-oriented, because then you’re like everyone else, as well as the ones who turn out to be lazy, uninspired and with no ambition whatsoever. Yes, there are quite a few of those out there.

3. Tell me what you suck at. If you’re in your twenties and you think you know it all and have seen it all, think again. You haven’t and fat cats are boring.

4. Do your homework. If you want to work with me at Ogilvy PR, don’t tell me that you love creative advertising because I don’t really care. The more you know about the specifics of what we do and what our clients do, the more I’d like to know about you.

5. Develop a can-do attitude. If I had to choose between a person with perfect skills and a poor attitude and a person with few skills and a great attitude, I’d choose the latter. If you think it’s possible, it probably is. As long as you work hard to make it come true.

6. Use your common sense. Don’t read lists with advice like this one if it conflicts with your gut feel. See point number 1.

7. Have fun.

If the above resonates with you and you’re working at a PR agency, please give me a call or drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you.

I’m the same age as Madonna and I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up.