COLONYHQ (Pty) Ltd
Winner of the Blank Canvas International Award for Sustainability
Category for small enterprises
Campaigns that are relevant in a changing world
Here today, gone tomorrow – that’s the fate of far too many small businesses in South Africa. COLONYHQ is among the few that know how to roll with the punches, turning blows into blessings and – to borrow its own payoff line – campaigns into customers.
Ten years ago, premium-rated SMS competition lines were in their heyday and COLONY was one of many companies running promotional competitions for clients. Then in 2008, the Consumer Protection Act came into effect, clamping down drastically on this line of business. Virtually overnight, the market dried up.
Although few survived, COLONYHQ thrived. Reinventing itself as fully fledged campaigns company, it enhanced its own proprietary software into a powerful online platform, underpinned with an experienced campaigns team, to manage end-to-end marketing campaigns for a growing list of clients.
The campaigns market became fiercely competitive, but COLONY kept ahead, constantly adapting and innovating to offer clients more value for their digital, mobile and social media marketing investments. Sharpening its competitive edge, it used sophisticated data analytics to turn clients’ campaign interactions into actionable intelligence about their customers.
Now COLONY is on the move again, evolving from client service provider to client partner.
Going beyond efficiency
Claira Mallett, head of Client Partnerships, explains what this means: “Being efficient and responsive isn’t enough – it’s a given. We spend a lot of time getting to know the client’s business inside out so that we can meaningfully contribute to the campaign strategy formulation. It’s about more than playing out the Terms & Conditions; it’s about crafting a campaign that’s going to meet the strategic objective,” she says.
“A successful campaign is no longer just about achieving an impressive number of entries; it’s about stimulating meaningful data through the entries to learn more about the customers you already have and identify key segmentation criteria about the new customers you acquire with each campaign. Around the table when the strategy is planned, we are almost the voice of the customer because of the insights we learn directly from customers through campaigns.”
Being the customer’s voice means creating better marketing by investing the intelligence gathered from customers in previous campaigns into the campaign design and adapting as insights are drawn while new campaigns are under way. “In a living, breathing campaign, you apply the wisdom up front and dynamically within the campaign,” Mallett says.
There’s little point in talking to customers weekly if they only buy monthly, for example, or in targeting people who never intend to become the client’s customers.
Who, how and when?
“There’s a difference between consumers of a campaign and customers of the brand,” she says. Customers are either already buying the product or could be open to buying it. Consumers of a campaign enjoy the activation but aren’t going to buy the product. “In a time of limited resources, you need to reduce wastage and have a clear view of who to talk to and how often.”
Facilitating campaigns that are memorable, profitable, beneficial and sustainable to its clients is COLONY’s strength, as is its ability to keep thinking on its feet and rolling with the punches. It’s a company that’s shown it’s here to stay.