Kgaugelo Maphai’s recently launched Matrix Communications Group and Quinton Jones’ TMI Media have joined forces as part of a growth strategy that will allow them to “compete and punch above our weight by giving clients integrated solutions while being as agile as possible”.
The partnership, announced today, sees a new 100% local and black majority owned business enter the market, driven by an experienced team with in-depth knowledge of the South African market. Maphai is the former managing director of The MediaShop (Johannesburg) while Jones has run media divisions at numerous big agencies including TBWA Hunt Lascaris and most recently as group managing director of Carat.
Speaking to The Media Online, the partners said in a written response to our questions that they were open to working with any clients that truly believe in giving innovative, accountable, locally-owned agencies an opportunity to participate in pitches or a seat at the table.
“Like any other media agency, we will be on the look-out for any opportunities to grow our business. The immediate benefit for clients to work with us will be competitive pricing, impactful, measurable campaigns, and a compliant business,” they said.
Jones said he couldn’t think of anyone better to partner with and to help us take the business to the next level in the journey. “I have always respected Kgaugelo and the fact that he puts people and agency culture first, resonates with me. I’m excited about the future and what this partnership and the Group will deliver for our growth,” Jones said.
Maphai believes it made sense to find one of the best, local, independent media agencies to partner with. “Quinton and his team have consistently punched above their weight. I’m impressed by their ability to win awards and clients in the last couple of years,” he said. “Our group strategy is to partner with businesses that are owner-led and managed, and who are experienced, passionate, driven to deliver great results for clients. TMI Media certainly fits the bill and together, we hope to achieve our ambitious plans. We look forward to the opportunities this partnership will provide.”
With the world living alongside the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s a tough time for business.
“We’ve been fortunate thus far to have survived the initial impact of Covid-19 pandemic. We’ve always put our people first and have made no staff cuts or salary reductions during this time. We believe this has primarily been because of prudent financial management of the business and importantly, we have walked this challenging journey with our clients and believe we will get through this together,” Jones and Maphai said.
“Our strategy is to offer prospective clients cost effective, performance-based results and assist them in acquiring new customers in this evolving consumer market. We are eternal optimists and believe brands will have to continue engaging with their customers and as such, marketing will continue to play a critical role within companies to keep them competitive.”
Competing against the huge, globally owned agencies has always been a hard slog for South African independents, but there are plenty of pros, which is what Maphai and Jones will play to their advantage.
Following the outbreak of the global Covid-19 pandemic, localisation has become even more important,” they stressed. “The reality is that the world has been reset and consumer behaviour has changed in many respects over the last few months. Many brands have to go back to basics especially those that have been making it ‘by default’. We are all now forced to re-understand our consumers and what their needs and fears are and quite frankly no research about a European, American or Asian country will be relevant to a South African business today because this pandemic has impacted every country differently.”
Their approach has always been about local insights and knowledge and that is what is going to be at the centre of brands rebuilding their USP. “Our key advantage is that we understand the South African consumer landscape by province, culture and various market segments and this will allow us to effectively connect brands using traditional and unconventional channels to reach the majority of consumers in the country to drive growth,” said Maphai and Jones.
This they will do in an economy that is under severe strain. Finance minister Tito Mboweni delivered his medium term budget policy statement on Wednesday, and it wasn’t pretty.
“Minister Mboweni is stuck between a rock and a hard place,” the partners said. “He tried his best to deliver a balanced budget that the country needs at this present moment. We believe that there will be clients looking for agencies that offer innovative, insightful and cost effective solutions. The bigger agencies generally carry high overhead costs and need to satisfy global shareholders with good returns on an annual basis and that doesn’t apply us.”
New client contracts and potential existing renewals will be contracted within the new entity and will continue trading as TMI Media, they said.
The group has plans to open an office in Gauteng and to also conquer key markets in the rest of the continent through a strategic partnership which is currently being finalised.
Want to continue this conversation on The Media Online platforms? Comment on Twitter @MediaTMO or on our Facebook page. Send us your suggestions, comments, contributions or tip-offs via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.