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#StartupStory: Black Wolf Agency

Sven Wolf, founder of full-service marketing agency, Black Wolf Agency started his business with zero capital investment, apart from the income generated from the agency's services offered. Their only offering was consulting services, which afforded them to learn their clients' businesses from the inside before planning business and marketing strategies.
Sven Wolf, founder of full-service marketing agency, Black Wolf Agency.
Sven Wolf, founder of full-service marketing agency, Black Wolf Agency.

Wolf says that their model is a hybrid of consulting and implementation services with a focus on retainer income, and their goal is to re-inspire market trust and demonstrate that they're able to challenge the status quo through top-end, value- and results-driven marketing.

Recently, Black Wolf Agency completed its third year in business and is now looking at expanding the company's service offerings. Here, Wolf tells us more about what this exactly entails and explains what sets them apart from other full-service marketing agencies...

Talk us through the context of launching Black Wolf Agency.

Because of the initial setup (only offering consulting services), we depended on execution partners to deliver on creative and digital work. But between the high costs and low-value return, we recognised the challenges on the brand side to find the right partners. We decided to offer implementation services to our existing client base as a means to fill this gap.

To ensure we had an attractive pricing point to market, we kept costs low by incorporating an internal freelance contract model. However, these models are challenging to develop a healthy work culture. After attracting initial investment, we have since shifted toward a full-time employment model.

Since our launch in 2016, and as from the end of 2018, we have shifted toward a full-time employment model. We now have 11 full-time and four contract employees offering a full-service marketing suite of services.

BizcommunityTell us more about the business model.

We shifted from a 100% consulting model, toward a full-time employment model, working with clients brands on both project and retainer models. We offer big agency experience and product offering at better rates. Because of our flat system, we are nimble and able to offer speed and value without compromising quality.

We are a people-before-profit business, building with the heart first and betting that the profits will follow as more clients decide to work with authentic and experienced individuals.

How did you come up with the name?

One night after struggling to sleep, I was inspired to watch a wildlife programme. I ended up selecting a popular documentary called The Black Wolf of Yellowstone. It felt like spiritual symbolism of my life and many others who struggle to fit in, and I thought, this was a relatable story we could build a vision around. That same night, we booked the website domains and registered the business.

What sets you apart from other full-service marketing agencies?

We lead with the heart and have an inherent drive to deliver social and community impact. Because of this, we have developed a culture of intense curiosity, to find out more about ourselves and our clients' business so develop real solutions for business growth.

#StartupStory: Black Wolf Agency

Like the wolf, we are relentless, fearless and focused to create impact on both the commercial and our community. As of 2020, we are launching our educational and community services under an NPO to partner with other organisations to promote our mission of building communities using creativity, technology and education.

On your website, you say you believe in paying it forward and are committed to the development of students across universities in Africa. Tell us more about this and how you go about achieving this.

We have partnered with South African universities marketing departments to support mentorship, training and industry bridging services. As of 2020, we are launching our educational and community services under an NPO to partner with other organisations and grow our outreach activities.

These activities include arranging events and workshops for marketing students, one on one mentoring, paid internships and driving conversations around industry partnerships for placements and development opportunities. The main objective is to exploit opportunities for job creation.

What's next for you and the agency?

We’ve just registered a business in the UK, which we’re exploring ways to tap into the European markets. Maintaining education at our core, we plan to link our services across African continents. We are also aware of the importance of technology and social innovation space and thus are researching ways to develop products to support our mission and vision.

As for myself, I’ve always wanted to further my studies so I can continue to lecture and contribute in the areas of marketing and social entrepreneurship. I am looking at programmes in the UK which will be beneficial for my personal growth. In 2020, our team wants to showcase its creative muscle and are planning to develop exciting brand campaigns. All I can say is, watch this space.

For more info, visit the Black Wolf Agency website or connect with them on LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram.

About Juanita Pienaar

Juanita is the editor of the marketing & media portal on the Bizcommunity website. She is also a contributing writer.

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