Marketing Company news South Africa

Duke Group achieves 52% growth in one of the toughest years for the economy and industry

The eight-year-old independent agency has shown remarkable resilience and impressive growth that's a testament to its strong leadership and commitment to client service delivery.
Wayne Naidoo, CEO at Duke Group
Wayne Naidoo, CEO at Duke Group

  • 52% growth in 2022 driven by strong business gains and new customer acquisitions
  • Four new businesses were added to the Group since 2020
  • Six women make up the seven Group Managing Directors
  • Compatibility, creative thinking, strong values and measurable results define the culture of the company and its commitment to client service.

Duke Group, a full-service communications company comprising seven independent, award-winning agencies, showed a remarkable 52% growth in 2022, despite complex economic conditions and tough industry headwinds. The agency’s approach of steady acquisition across both clients and companies has built stable foundations that have allowed it to become even more flexible and agile, delivering exceptional customer service and high levels of engagement.

“We believe in resilience and forging forward through thick and thin,” says Wayne Naidoo, Group CEO. “This translates to doing the unexpected, writing our own rule book, and pushing the boundaries. It also is defined by our commitment to diversity, inclusive leadership and a collaborative internal culture.”

Over the past three years, Duke Group has added four new businesses, bringing the total of companies within the stable to: public relations company Dialogue; digital specialist Mark1; sponsorship company Champ; insights and research business Nude; production company Duchess; and media strategy and planning company Fame. This allows for the Group to deliver end-to-end capabilities and to provide high levels of collaborative creativity to clients.

The company is committed to delivering measurable results within tightly managed spend and with clearly defined ROI. This aligns with current market expectations – companies are pulling back on advertising spend due to the economic climate so creativity, service delivery and ROI are key factors in ensuring successful campaigns and sustainable relationships.

“We take our work and our clients extremely seriously,” adds Naidoo. “This is reflected in our leadership profile and in our promise to ensure that all our customers deal with senior, experienced agency personnel. Six out of our seven group MDs are women and three are women of colour, and our production company Duchess, owned and managed by women, was created with the purpose of empowering women in the creative production industry.”

The company set out on a very deliberate strategy of ensuring that it had the right blend of age, experience, gender and race, and all new senior employees are offered a three-month contract to ensure there is combability from the outset – this is key to ensuring that the culture of resilience, honesty and mutual respect is upheld. This ethos is further echoed in the awards and recognition accorded to the agency that has achieved the ranking of the top five creative agencies as listed by the Creative Circle’s Ad of the Year Awards, and seventh in the Loeries Agency Rankings 2021.

It's clear that a strong culture, creative thinking, insightful strategy, diversity and a passion for the industry and sector combine to create a recipe for success that’s translated to a rich portfolio and an impressive stable of clients. Today, Duke Group counts Jive, Pepsi, Heart & Stroke Foundation, Woolworths, Food Lovers Market, Marriot International, Citadel, Coronation, Johnson & Johnson, Goldphish, Unilever, Nando’s and Cipla among its key accounts.

Find out more about how Duke Group transforms brands and creates enviable campaigns here.

DUKE is an integrated marketing and communications group encompassing DUKE Advertising, Mark1 and Positive Dialogue Communications. Our core function is helping contender brands transform and thrive in challenging times.
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