Prakash Patel opens Fogg Experiential Design in Cape Town
by Herman Manson (@marklives) Prakash Patel has opened a Cape Town office for Fogg Experiential Design, the well-known Johannesburg-based digital and data-driven design agency launched in 2005 by Shervin Pruthab.
Patel is the former CEO of Prezence and chief digital officer at MESH Interactive (then owned by Draftfcb South Africa). It was at MESH that Patel and Pruthab first met; the latter served there as digital strategy director between 2009 and 2011.
Fogg has grown organically to 24 people. According to Patel, the Cape Town and Johannesburg offices will work together closely on servicing clients. He stresses that, while the agency enjoys a strong technical background, technology is not viewed as a driver for communications but as an enabler. Digital is unique in that it glues every consumer touch point together — it’s permanently in your pocket.
People, passion and tech
Fogg is built around people, passion and tech, says Patel, and focuses on establishing quality relationships with core clients, which today includes SA Tourism and Eskom, and allows clients to share strategic brand insights with the agency. The agency also takes technologists, not just creatives and account directors, to client meetings.
“We are taking the guys who used to sit in the corner, but hold all the knowledge of what drives brand revenue, to meet with clients and answer their questions,” details Patel.
“For us, we are in the business of people, and relationships that we build with our clients [are] based on shared values, common purpose and respect,” he continues.
“Our clients value us as their strategic partners in building their business. It is through this type of partnership [that] we believe clients get the best work out of their agencies.
“We are not in it to just chase awards — that’s not our main focus or KPI as it is for so many agencies — we are in it because we genuinely love conceptualising and solving challenges that push [us out of] our comfort zone and at times [require] our client to be brave and do the same.”
Fogg’s focus instead is to have happier clients for which expectations are exceeded, rather then constantly chasing more clients than may be serviced adequately. Hence, Fogg’s growth has always been steady, managed and calculated without rushing or growing too big, too quickly, without a solid foundation, says Patel.
Data holds insight and allows for intelligent digital marketing, he explains; it allows organisations to build their businesses in a digital environment. Patel believes its through “through data collection and interrogation that marketers may glean insight, which provides intelligence to drive more targeted, impactful, relevant communication.”
While data-driven strategies might now wow agency peers, it’s effective in delivering ROI to clients, he asserts.
The Cape Town office will initially act as a strategic consultancy, validating or devising digital strategies. It will gradually grow into an agency offering similar services to Joburg. Cape Town will also contribute to a data lab offering market insights and intelligence, and will test best-of-breed local and international products plus build custom digital marketing and data tools.
Says Patel, “With [the new Cape Town office] opened, we are excited about the prospect of Fogg servicing local Western Cape clients, based on the same values, culture and commitment as Joburg.”
Fogg is an independent agency and enjoys BEE 2 status. According to Patel, its leadership has extensive agency experience, mixed with a passion for digital.
Full disclosure: Prakash Patel writes the new monthly “#3D” (Data-Driven & Digital) column on MarkLives.com.
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