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This is big. Marketing giant Ogilvy & Mather South Africa (O&M SA) today announced that it has acquired a majority share in SA mobile marketing company, Strike Media Proprietary Limited. O&M SA says that the move is a significant step forward in developing its South African mobile marketing capability.
Strike Media (Strike) who’s client list includes Acer, Nokia and McDonald’s, has a service portfolio that includes customised mobile campaigns, payment services, business solutions and consulting. The company is headquartered in Cape Town, and lists a turnover of over R40m.
Strike CEO, Russel Stromin, who is also chairman of the Code of Conduct Committee at WASPA — South Africa’s mobile services industry regulator — describes O&M SA as an ideal partner. “Mobile needs to be integrated into the full marketing mix at many points along the customer journey and O&M SA has a class leading approach to integrated marketing and understands the potential for mobile to truly transform marketing. Mobile has the power to revolutionise clients’ business and brands as it is playing a significant role in enhancing customer experience,” says Stromin.
Abey Mokgwatsane, the CEO of O&M SA, says that the Strike investment will boost the digital transformation of the company. “Strike is a quality technology and mobile marketing company that gives us access to new ways to connect with consumers in the always-on world of mobile. Mobile represents the most intimate medium. It is with our consumers every waking moment and in Africa and South Africa, it is a priority medium for us to develop,” says Mokgwatsane.
As mobile internet traffic continues to grow, Africa’s mobile market has managed an annual growth rate of 44 percent as mobile connections surged to 475-million, according to a report by GSM Association.
“The timing of this acquisition is even more pertinent given the fact that we are announcing the partnership while actively participating in the 2013 Mobile World Congress,” states Miles Young, Worldwide Chairman and CEO Ogilvy & Mather. “Unlimited connectivity is the next state of progression and regions like Africa and Asia are core drivers in this evolution. Consumers are naturally adopting the phone as their primary means for communication. Welcoming Strike Media to the Ogilvy & Mather family is further proof of our commitment to growth in the evolving mobile marketing space.”
The Strike acquisition comes shortly after O&M SA’s launch of OgilvyOne Worldwide, the customer engagement and digital agency. This, together with Ogilvy’s Neo initiative in the search and performance marketing space as well as their investments in Social@Ogilvy bolster the company’s digital marketing arsenal.
Strike will continue to operate as a separate company but will form part of the global Mobile@Ogilvy practice. Martin Lange, Executive Marketing Director of Digital Strategy and global head of Mobile@Ogilvy, describes the Strike acquisition as a momentous shift for Ogilvy’s mobile ambitions in Africa. “Mobile is the medium that will galvanise African marketing. It is wonderful to be in partnership with Strike at this exciting time,” says Lange.