Agency strategy insight: Managing 100% growth over 9 months

by Herman Manson (@marklives) You’ve just doubled your revenue over a nine month period and grown your staff by 60%. For any ad agency that is a tall order. Now you have to ensure the market doesn’t perceive you as having grown too fast, you need to convince existing clients that the attention they are receiving won’t diminish and that the core of senior agency personnel won’t be over-stretched, all while joe publicplanning new business units and international expansion.

The team at Joe Public are juggling all of the above, with some success it would seem, while remaining true to their people centric growth philosophy. It’s a philosophy that have taken the business to new heights, as their growth figures show, in a tough market, and made them stand out in an industry where most of the recent buzz has centred on Cape Town agencies.

Joe Public MD Gareth Leck says this year has been a break-through year for the agency after it won the Jet ATL business earlier in the year. The agency name also keeps popping up on shortlists for important pitches.

The agency is managing the rapid growth through owner managed subsidiaries, like its brand and design studio, Shift, launched in January. It already employs a staff of 10. The agency has a stake in the business, but the culture remains entrepreneurial, and the team manageable in size. Similarly its BTL specialist agency, Ignite (which employs 8), has signed up clients such as such as Anglo American, SAB, Colgate Palmolive, Foodcorp, Jet and Unilever, and also houses a team of ten.

Look beyond digital campaigns to long-term goals – Antti Kupila

This year Antti Kupila (@akupila), the technical director at Sid Lee in Amsterdam, was invited as an international representative on the panel judging advertising entries. He spoke to us about the standards of SA work, emerging trends in digital marketing and the lack of a global reputation in our digital sector.

Going Dutch

Amsterdam has established itself on the international ad arena with its creative upstarts and numerous small but super-hot shops doing international work. It’s also positioning itself at the forefront of industry change with a collaborative model penned by Roger Beekman, founder of 60 layers of cake, the collaborative agency he launched in Amsterdam in 2005 and which last year spawned an office in Cape Town, as well as several competitors.

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