2010 was a big year for South Africa, for advertising, and for human.kind. Our rebranding from MGM to human.kind has taught us to walk tall alongside our new credo: 'Act with purpose'. Earth-conscious trends and the involvement in social issues are becoming more prevalent as they are adopted in some way or another by both the advertising sector and South Africa at large.
When will the recession end? How long is a piece of string? Most of our clients have seen this as an opportune time to spend rather than shy away from advertising expenditure. Some of our brave and visionary insurance clients experienced an increase in market share, directly due to their aggressive marketing spend during 2010's 'bad times'.
How did the World Cup affect you? The World Cup gave us an advantage over other countries during that period. No doubt South Africa is still experiencing an inflated economy, but it has given us a foot-up to create a positive business environment. This is likely to flow over into 2011.
The World Cup was also a great boost for staff moral and well-being. During this time we bonded over various team building activities and the focus was on fun and togetherness. We were not appointed to perform any World Cup work, but our clients kept us so busy that we didn't feel like we lost out.
What was your greatest business challenge this year? By far, human.kind's tallest mountain was the change that it underwent as a company to rebrand. It was not only the agency's physical relocation to Dunkeld, but also the repositioning of the business that added to this stress.
A further challenge was to manage client expectations regarding the impact of the recession as well as the perceived work opportunities from the World Cup.
How did you evaluate your success this year? Our yardstick for success was the growth we experienced. In 2010 our business doubled in size in terms of turnover and we grew 30% in staff numbers. All this in the last quarter of the year! This is big news for us as it shifts us from the small into the medium-sized category of agencies.
If you had to describe 2010 in an adjective or sentence, which would you use/what would you say? 2010 was the bearer of good things.
What in your opinion will be your greatest business challenge going into 2011? It would be to maintain the level of growth of our agency, and to develop meaningful and successful campaigns for our client. As always we will keep our ear to the ground and try to predict challenges that we may well come up against in 2011. One of the areas we will be focusing on is digital media and attempting to make educated predictions in this space.