Founder of marketing & communication solutions agency, TQ Group, Elbé Smith, says the partnership which saw Legacy Africa Capital Partners, part of Legacy Africa Fund Managers, buying a 25% stake in TQ Group is a culmination of a long-standing relationship between the principals at TQ and Legacy. “I had been grappling with the idea of how to grow the company further. Eventually, I realised that I was looking for a partner at the strategic level”.

Initially I had thought I needed someone in the business but then realised I needed someone to work on the business from a strategic point of growth. My long-standing relationship with Legacy and the fact that they have an intimate understanding of the TQ business made them the perfect choice. We have the same values and expansion vision. It all just came together at the right time,” she says.

Kgosi Monametsi, head of private equity at Legacy Africa Fund Managers, says the company will not be involved in TQ Group on a day-to-day basis but will advise on a strategic level to help drive growth. “This is both a strategic and a BEE partnership.  The existing management structure at TQ stays the same and Legacy will be represented on the TQ board by two non-executive board members who are both chartered accountants with previous board-level experience,” he says.

One has only to look at TQ’s key client, Standard Bank, to understand the intense level of customer engagement that the company is able to offer via its unique marketing and communication solutions. TQ was launched in 2005 in response to an identified opportunity to install and maximise the use of screens within the 700 bank branches Standard Bank had at that time. “Although we have a strong 14-to-15-year relationship with Standard Bank, and we do have other big clients such as the Road Accident Fund and Transnet, 2020 made me realise we need to de-risk the company by embarking on a strong expansion drive,” Smith says.

Smith believes that managing bespoke content on different platforms for the bank has enabled the group to showcase its ability to conceptualise technology and create and schedule content that provides a unified and cohesive service to the client.

She adds that TQ Group’s ingenuity lies in being able to measure and manage appropriate content based on intelligence: “We are able to measure who is watching which screen, for how long, and what they are watching.  With this information, we are able to ensure that the information displayed is relevant to that specific customer segment”.

One of her proudest achievements is the high visibility, high definition, electronic billboard (is this the interactive screen?) at the entrance of the Standard Bank branch in Bayside Mall in the Western Cape.

Intuitive AI and facial recognition software enable the billboard to capture the age demographic of approaching customers and then display tailored content relevant to that particular customer.

While the customer is engaged by relevant on-screen marketing videos, lead generation software notifies in-branch staff alerting them to a potential sale based on the customer’s engagement with the screen content.

Smith believes that both Anonymous Video Analytics (AVA) and AI are the future for businesses who want to meaningfully engage with their customers: “AI and AVA are the difference between a business owner dishing up what he thinks the customer wants and delivering information, services and goods that will add value to the customer’s life,” she says. She notes that TQ Group was first to market in terms of being able to tell clients exactly what content their customers are accessing. “That is our strongest differentiator in the market. We use big data information around how frequently and how long people are in front of screens to inform the marketing strategy of our content creation,” Smith explains.

Legacy Africa’s founder Godwin Sepeng says he has utmost faith that this coalition will prove a win-win for both businesses.  “Over the years, TQ have proved their mettle by consistently providing compelling professional multi-media communications solutions across organisations for both the state and the private sector. We are thrilled to join forces with the group that pioneered unique Audience Analytics product offerings in Africa,” he concludes.

Brought to you by TQ Group.