Abey Mokgwatsane is CEO of Ogilvy & Mather South Africa (www.ogilvy.co.za; @OgilvySA). Apart from being one of South Africa's Mail & Guardian top 200 young leaders in 2011, he was voted one of the country's top 25 "game-changers" in The Annual 2012. Mokgwatsane also founding of Young Business for South Africa, Think Tank Initiative and Experiential Industry Association of South Africa. Tel +27 (0)11 709 6600, email and follow @Abeyphonogenic on Twitter.
John Buchan once said, "The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already." These are words to which Abey Mokgwatsane, CEO of Ogilvy & Mather South Africa, subscribes.
A graduate of the AAA School of Advertising, Mokgwatsane set off to change and influence the marketing world.
Abey began his journey as a marketing trainee at the VWV Group (www.vwv.com), the global brand experience agency which specialises in creating experiences that change perceptions and inspire action. Founded in 1981, VWV is a hub of specialist business units focusing on video and film production, event management, Internet and multimedia applications, and corporate and direct theatre.
He went on to join South African Breweries (SAB) as brand manager for the epic Castle Loud Programme, a young adult trans-media property for Castle Lager that went on to win the 2002 super budget Raptor Award for sponsorship excellence.
It wasn't long until he was appointed senior brand manager of Miller Genuine Draft and tasked with launching the brand into the South African market in June 2003. He also received three Managing Directors Award for marketing excellence at SAB.
Fast-forward five years later to 2005: Abey found himself back where he started, but this time as a majority stakeholder (46%) in the VWV Group business with partners Wanda Shuenyane and Jameson Hlongwane. Abey served as group marketing and sales director until December 2005, when he was appointed group CEO.
With Abey at the helm, VWV's bottom-line performance increased 10-fold in five years and also successfully executed the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The group is best known for its creative track record both here and abroad. It is also the most-awarded experiential agency in Loeries' history.
[Abey Mokgwatsane] How does your brand break through the clutter? If you're in the business of understanding and catering to the evolution of consumer needs, desires and expectations, look front and centre. Here are my predictions for 2013...
[Abey Mokgwatsane] If anything is about to transform the way marketing works, it's that four-letter word: data. Technological advancements that have made it possible for any brand and business to have authentic, meaningful relationships with consumers makes data all the more powerful and relevant.
[Abey Mokgwatsane] Recently I had the honour of speaking at Cape Town Entrepreneurship Week on how challenger-brand thinking can be used as a framework for entrepreneurship and some other thoughts. As per my usual style of presentation, it was made up of images that I spoke to, rather than words on slides. So since distributing my presentation won't help, I wrote this summary to share what I spoke about.
[Abey Mokgwatsane] In part I of this series, I looked at how the client environment is changing in the age of technology and parity. Here, in part II, I discuss how agencies will change as a consequence.
[Abey Mokgwatsane] The world is in flux: American politicians have played 'who blinks first' and arrogantly slid the world into economic turmoil; the euro is facing possible collapse; and all indications are that we're heading for another recession before even recovering from the last one. Added to this, technology continues to change the way people interact every day. It is in this context that I ask: "What will the future agency look like?"
[Abey Mokgwatsane] I was at the Mail & GuardianTop 200 South Africans launch last week. I was there because I was fortunate enough to make the list in this year’s business category. This, however, is not about me; it’s about the incredible people I met that day. I mean, what else could I ask for? Two hundred, young, bright minds in one place.
[Abey Mokgwatsane] I bumped into a group of post-grad students while I was at Vega last week. The brief interaction left me feeling really upbeat and reminded me of “intelligent naivety”, a term that I picked up in a book by Adam Morgan, titled Eating the Big Fish.
[Abey Mokgwatsane] Having read my blogs, you’ll know that this is my favourite topic. We need leadership to help us through this defining time of our generation – the world’s people are going through a process of re-evaluation of who they are, what they stand for, and where they are going.