Vision and mission

When Gilles Bindels and Yves Baudechon created Social.Lab in September 2010, they had the ambition to build a different type of social agency.

Today, we combine hard working content ideas with smart targeting to drive results. Personal Media – like social – needs brands and agencies that bridge the traditional media / creative agency divide.

Social.Lab want to be the leading agency in this space.

Social.Lab crosses the divide between Harder-working Creative Content Ideas and Smart Targeting with Paid Media.

After years of hard work, the team has designed a unique offer powered by content, community management, targeted amplification, action tracking and results optimization that provides clients with a solution that ties tie social media engagement to business success.

Our growth plan is driven by offering our expertise to both local clients as well as to international clients through a multi-market footprint. From our base in Belgium we have been serving international clients from the start. In 2013 we expanded to France and the Netherlands.

To help us grow further internationally – robustly and with speed – we wanted a global partner. Because of their worldwide footprint, the potential collaboration with their operational companies (like Ogilvy), access to clients and talents both locally and globally, we have chosen WPP. They acquired us at the end of 2013.

Since the acquisition we have further expanded into North -America and the UK – with more markets in the 2015/16 pipeline. We are exploring the launch of an office in Dubai (to serve MENA) and in Asia.

We help clients gradually move from the traditional model – that is increasingly challenged due to low/nihil organic reach – to new models that unlock the power of social media.

So far we have observed social media to have been mainly leveraged around 2 models. We call them “Social Influence” and “Social Reach.”

The majority of brands are still active with the “Social Influence” model. They are focused on having social media pages/channels/boards for which they create content and manage conversations. Their KPI’s are centered on fans and followers and they rely on organic reach. This model is already outdated for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. We expect Pinterest and Instagram in the next year to also progress beyond their current model.

Some brands have evolved to what we call the “Social Reach” model. Those brands understand that organic reach is over, but that social media offers tremendous reach potential that can be unlocked through paid media. Their Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are often still centered on endorsements (likes, comments, shares, tweets, retweets only). Doing so, they measure what flatters, and not enough what matters. They count the impressions. Not the impressed.

Social.Lab is developing a more sophisticate version named “Social Reach & Frequency”. Where frequency of contacts play a very important role, with adapted KPIs. Social.Lab has excelled in making this model work, which we still do for many of our clients.

This is why Social.Lab has designed a third model we call the “Social CRM” model. It is based on an integrated approach that focuses on acquiring and retaining customers, growing sales and advocacy. This model is not Influence centric or Impression centric. It is Consumer centric. In this model, content is customized assuring more relevance and engagement. It’s narrowcast at scale. Or direct marketing powered by broadcast. Amplification (paid media) leverages advanced targeting options to prioritize audiences and results are constantly optimized. The model can be scaled up and down to deliver results on awareness, and/or preference, and/or consideration, and/or sales, and/or loyalty objectives – unlocking earned media throughout.

We are convinced this model has a bright future and addresses a lot of the current concerns around social media.

Our ambition is to ensure brands leverage the power of social media in new ways and position ourselves as the agency of choice to develop and/or execute their strategies, locally and/or globally.

Ogilvy and WPP

In December 2013, Social.Lab has sold a majority stakeholder to Ogilvy (part of WPP Group, the largest communication group in the world). The ambition of Social.Lab was to expand onto new markets and to leverage the Ogilvy network to facilitate the creation of new agencies. Some details:

  • Ogilvy bought a majority shareholding in the company. This means that the existing founders/partners remain shareholders.
  • Page Karma (Social Analytical Tool) is a company also created by Yves, Gilles and Cedric. Since June 2013, it operates independently, as a separate company (Social Karma SPRL) since June 2013, under guidance of its CEO, Thierry Soubestre.
  • Social.Lab’s Brussels office has been moved next to Ogilvy Belgium (Cantersteen 47 in 1000 Brussels) since December 2014 to maximize synergies (sharing reception, back office, administration and finance, etc.)
  • Our acquisition by WPP/Ogilvy was also meant to help Ogilvy Belgium transform into an “Agency of the Future” where creative content, social, and discipline expertise work fluidly together

Who is Ogilvy?

Ogilvy & Mather is one of the largest marketing communications companies in the world. Through its specialty units, the company provides a comprehensive range of marketing services including: advertising; public relations and public affairs; branding and identity; shopper and retail marketing; healthcare communications; direct, digital, promotion, relationship marketing.

Ogilvy & Mather services Fortune Global 500 companies as well as local businesses through its network of more than 450 offices in 120 countries (169 cities).

Ogilvy is the eighth largest advertising network in the world.

For more information, visit www.ogilvy.com.

Who is Ogilvy Belgium?

The Ogilvy Group in Brussels employs about 50 people servicing a wide variety of local and international clients amongst others Ford Motor Company, Electrabel, Nestlé, The European Commission and The European Parliament.

Ogilvy in Brussels consists of 3 units each with their own specialties:

  • O&M – Ogilvy Advertising (digital media and advertising),
  • OgilvyOne (direct marketing, e-mail marketing, database marketing),
  • Ogilvy Public Relations (PR & public affairs, public communications, digital influencing).

The CEO of Ogilvy is Koen Van Impe.

Who is WPP?

Ogilvy and Social.Lab are part of the WPP Group.

WPP is the world leader in marketing communication services. Martin Sorell is its Chairman.

Number of employees (including associates)

Number of offices

Number of countries

Billings of (in 2013)

In the advertising world, JWT, Grey, Y&R, Ogilvy are some of the agencies belonging to WPP.

In the Media world, Mediacom, MEC, Maxus and Mindshare (Group M) are some of the media agencies belonging to WPP.

For more information, visit www.wpp.com

Company values

CURIOSITY

 

An endless trail of ideas floats in the ether. You will only see them if you are curious

 

Creativity

 

What clients’ value most about us is our ability to find one-of-a-kind solutions for their business problems through intuitive leaps

 

Persistence

 

Great work is never done by temperamental geniuses, but by obstinate donkey-men

 

Playfulness

 

We are all born children. The trick is to remain one (P. Picasso)

 

Since the start of the company, Social.Lab ‘s founders pay a high attention to compose a team of people animated by a fighting spirit and driven by creativity, passion, reliability and pride.