BizCommunity Interview

Flume funnels digital down to make it matter

If an agency that’s focused on fixing its clients’ business problems above winning awards sounds too good to be true, you haven’t encountered Flume, the agency that consolidated Old Mutual’s overall worldwide social media presence…

‘Flume’ may seem an odd name choice for a digital agency. But when you consider that a flume is an artificial channel conveying water, and that Flume agency sets up digital channels for its clients in order to convey information it starts to make sense, says Flume founder Jacques du Bruyn. It also helps that Flume, which was started in 2013, has a unique setup. The two founders come from completely different backgrounds: Ruan Oosthuizen has a financial, CFA footing from the JSE while Du Bruyn has a strong agency history. They feel this is the element that gives Flume an edge in its delivery on media budgets and numbers, while keeping it creative. Flume’s workforce is also made up of 50% ex-finance and 50% ex-marketing or agency staffers, providing is a good balance in understanding business and marketing. I chatted to Du Bruyn to find out more about Flume’s internal mantra to ‘make it matter’… Bizcommunity Firstly, explain how you ‘make it matter’ by incorporating this mantra into Flume’s basic workflow… Du Bruyn: Well, if the work we’re putting out there isn’t solving our client’s business problem, then we’ve failed at the job. Our strategy is to bring business to our clients’ business. We apply this mantra to everything we do, from typing an email to making the presentation we present to a client matter.

It all starts with understanding the client’s business model. We need to understand the client’s revenue streams, value propositions, key partnerships and cost structures in order to help bring business to their business. We then work out how we can creatively solve their business problems using our digital toolkit. We’re big into creative-strategy or strategic-creativity.

 Flume are running the Mageu Number 1 Facebook page for Foodcorp.

Bizcommunity Let’s dig a little deeper on this: Tell us about the achievements and new developments in the team that have enhanced Flume’s overall skillset. Du Bruyn: We’ve become a fully certified Google Adwords partner and worked on the consolidation of Old Mutual’s overall worldwide social media presence, which has forced us to become very involved in strategic and functional aspects of online platforms and their technologies. This is all while developing an optimal global structure to best serve Old Mutual’s clients and leverage off the social media brand equity established by each individual business unit across the world. In addition to winning Old Mutual Wealth’s UK social media business, we added Mutual & Federal’s online business to our stable, as well as CABS, an established bank in Zimbabwe as well as Old Mutual Zimbabwe and Alfa Romeo’s digital strategy work. Lastly, when we sent the M&F Mobi site that we designed and developed to Google to analyse, they came back and said that it’s one of the best mobi sites in the financial sector that they’ve seen!

Bizcommunity Good insight. What’s next for your agency? Du Bruyn: Growth and work that matters. Bizcommunity Lastly, what trends do you see as the biggest to come in 2015? Du Bruyn: It’s all about online advertising regulation, websites having to disclose cookie policies, the monetisation of certain social media platforms like Pinterest, and the internet of things. Sounds like we’re in for yet another interesting year. Follow Flume on Twitter or click here to find out more about Flume’s work. See the original article hereBizcommunity Sounds like 2014 was a good year. Do you feel the local advertising awards industry compares internationally? Du Bruyn: Yes, South Africa’s production is absolutely on par with the rest of the world, the only aspect that lets us down is our infrastructure. We’re sometimes limited to what we’re able to do because of internet speed and the vast dynamic of the market. However, opportunity abounds when it comes to mobile and market segments that are passionate about engaging with traditional brands.

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