Thanks to a near ubiquity of mobile phones and significantly improved internet access, everywhere, digital is gaining traction among South African and international brands and businesses and is no longer viewed as a nice-to-have, but a strategic business tool that provides market intelligence, aggressively drives sales and provides a clear read on ROI. So says Charlie Stewart, CEO of digital marketing agency, Rogerwilco, this year’s IAB’s best Organic Search Marketing team.
Awards aside, he and co-founder Jakes Redelinghuys are focused on the industry’s and their agency’s future. Having recently appointed Reghardt Marais as COO – a position he previously held at Saatchi & Saatchi Synergize - it is ramping up its business capabilities to respond to the increased interest from international brands and local blue-chip clients looking for specialist skills in SEO, content marketing and Drupal web development.
“Reghardt joins myself and Jakes to propel Rogerwilco forward. His role will see him enhance processes at the company providing us with the foundation necessary to sustain our growth ambitions,” explains Stewart.
He’s also opened a Joburg office to service clients including Tiger Brands and WesBank. It will be run by Geoff Masuti, previously client service director at Aqua and a digital strategist at M&C Saatchi. “While production will continue to be run out of Cape Town, Geoff’s mandate is to drive strategy and business development in Gauteng.”
Innovation is also on Rogerwilco’s 2016 agenda and will now be headed up by Jakes Redelinghuys who moves from his COO role into an MD function. “Notwithstanding our core capabilities, we’re also investigating product development in e-commerce photography as well as an African entrepreneurship publishing platform – both areas we believe are commercially viable,” says Stewart.
Buoyed by the international interest in South Africa thanks to a competitive currency, favourable timezones and cultural affinity to the US and UK, Stewart says that local agencies have what it takes to compete on the global stage. “Many of our clients are international as they can acquire world-class development and content skills without the price-tag.”
It’s also why Rogerwilco is so invested in Drupal web development versus the more common Wordpress or Joomla platforms. “Governments, universities and large news organisations like the Economist use Drupal because it can handle higher volumes and complexity and offers far greater security.” While this is predominantly an international trend, he anticipates it’s only a matter of time before South African companies follow suit.
In the meantime, Stewart will continue to invest in internal skill and location expansions. “Over the past eight years, Rogerwilco has established itself as a key player in the local digital marketing environment. In 2016, we will build on this foundation and continue to engage business and organisations on the power of digital as a competitive, commercial and necessary tool,” he concludes.
Visit www.rogerwilco.co.za and follow @rogerwilco_sa for more.