By Michael Orie
IN a bid to raise the bar of value delivery to its clients and optimise performance, Leo Direct Limited, Rosabel Leo Burnett's direct marketing and customer engagement subsidiary, has entered into a working relationship with Ikineo, a South Africa-based customer relationship management (CRM) agency.
The need arose, as a result of the firm's desire to meet up with world standard.
According to the General Manager of Leo Direct, Dickson Eze, the partnership is necessitated by the common values that both firms share.
Eze said, "as a matter of fact, our partnership with Ikineo is because we share a common goal to enhance and improve the quality of service we offer our numerous clients. Also, what we have brought to bear in this relationship is opportunity to combine Leo Direct's local know-how of the marketing terrain with international practices, which Ikineo represents."
He also revealed that the choice of Ikineo is not a mistake because the South African firm has a huge command of global brands that Leo Direct will automatically be labelled after.
"Its track record and resume of clients they have worked for, the sphere of competence, which cut across all segments of manufacturing service, products, the measure of practice that is very scientific, is highly commendable."
In furtherance of this partnership, which was brokered about seven months ago in Cape Town, South Africa, Ikineo, which is one of the top agencies in South Africa -consumer relationship marketing - sent a two-man team to Nigeria on a weeklong working visit to Leo Direct to know most of the outfit's clients.
"While in Nigeria, the Ikineo team interfaced with some of the frontline clients of the outfit keep them abreast of the new alliance and lay bare the benefits it promises for the clients. Among such clients are Cadbury, UAC Dairies, Grand Oak Limited, Toyota Nigeria Limited and Procter & Gamble Nigeria. These clients were taken through the work process that would characterise the new paradigm. Expectedly, the clients' initial responses to the new offering were overwhelmingly positive," Eze explained.
Leo Direct / Ikineo partnership is expected to be a mutually benefitting engagement for both organisations, sharpen service delivery of the six year-old Rosabel Leo Burnett's subsidiary with a view to re-positioning it as a top-line player in the emergent keenly competitive CRM space in Nigeria. Above all, it would help raise the bar with existing clients and also come in handy in wooing new ones.
For Ikineo, the partnership affords it a wider network that would complement the outfit's current cross-country operations. The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Ikineo, Joshin Raghubar, said the partnership is " a marriage and equally opportunity on both side, so, all our strategy, equity would be shared with Leo Direct and theirs with us: Any opportunity for their clients and ours to work in the different market we must equally embrace. We are building a team; and whichever brand it is working on automatically is our brand, so long as we have the permission to run the brand in the country."
The Ikineo boss said, "we see Nigeria as a phenomenon growth market where we want to pursue an opportunity and at the same time, seek the right partner. Leo Direct, being part of the Rosabel family, has a pedigree of success and well-defined relationship with their clients. We are bringing experience, and new strategy process to form a strong unit. We understand how to manage customer data, which is what is lacking in some Nigeria marketing sector.
Leo Direct opened shop in 2001 as the Rosabel Leo Burnett IMC Group's experiential marketing subsidiary. Since then, the outfit has handled the emergent direct marketing / contact marketing briefs of some of the group's clients as well as sign on new businesses.
The agency currently holds the portfolios of Seaman's Schnapps, Guinness, North American Airline, UBA Moneygram, Accion Microfinance, Cadbury, Nando's Kitchen (UAC Franchising), Toyota and Chi Limited. Some of the brands previously on its clientele list include Friesland WAMCO, Procter & Gamble's Always, and Gordon's Spark. The agency is headed by Eze, erstwhile Associate Director (Client Service), Rosabel Leo Burnett, who is highly regarded for his broad social networking and uncannily non-conventional work style.
Ikineo is a compact brand activation / customer relationship marketing outfit, established in 2000, with a knack for creating authentic connections between brands and consumers that are the basis of sustainable long-term relationships.
The outfit's areas of strength include customer relationship, one to one engagements, and brand activations, all of which are empowered by the convergence of marketing and technology. Its broad-based clientele list spanning continents includes MTN, Coca-Cola, Volkswagen South Africa, Heineken UK, Primedia Lifestyle, Old Mutual Bank, British American Tobacco South Africa (Lucky Strike, Dunhill, etc), British American Tobacco Japan (Lucky Strike), Cape Town Tourism, amongst a couple of others.