James Moffatt, CEO and founder of the Promise Group, lives by two mantras. The first is “don’t drink your own Kool-Aid”. The other, “lean into the wind”, describes Moffatt’s insistence that he, and everyone else at the agency, should always feel slightly uncomfortable – just enough to ensure that they remain innovative and ahead of the curve. The Promise Group was recently named one of the top three agencies in SA in the Scopen “Client satisfaction” category, and Moffatt attributes this accolade to the fact that the focus of all the work of the agency is on ensuring that its clients win, in a business sense. It’s a tough time to be in the advertising business, for many reasons, says Moffatt. And in a gruelling and competitive landscape, understanding the needs of challenging and critical consumers is essential. Indeed, according to the Scopen 2016 research findings, 40.9% of marketers in SA believe the biggest challenge creative agencies now face is the need to better understand the...

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