Agencies should capture the value of integration: Rama Bijapurkar

MUMBAI: Service integration is the new key word in the advertising business. According to Strategic management consultant, Rama Bijapurkar, advertising agencies will have to re-think the whole business model. "We will have to capture the value of integration in the advertising business. Agencies should start doing this. They should take back the role of the integrator from the client so as to boost their relevance and value proposition."

Bijapurkar was speaking on the topic "Accelerating the renaissance of the advertising industry," on the final day of the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) symposium on 'The Future of Advertising'. She had company in Indian School of Business', Prof. S Ramaswami, International Newspaper Marketing Association executive director, Earl J Wilkinson and ad guru, Prahlad Kakkar speaking on diverse subjects with a central theme on the future of advertising.



"Advertising agencies have to re-assert and re-define their roles. Their activities should be relevant in the new world. They have to re-dedicate themselves at the eternal altars called client business partnering, brand custodionship and nation building," adding that new rituals are needed to keep the old religion going.

Bijapurkar asked the ad agencies to learn from the IT industry example. "They go for strategic sourcing and solutions through a one stop shopping. They invest in proprietory knowledge. They totally own their clients. They own their brands totally while in advertising, brand ownership is a no-man's land," she pointed out.


Speaking on 'The changing face of print market', Wilkinson stressed on the need for the right perception to fight competition from other media. "The sizzle business is all about management of perception. We will have to re-evaluate the unique selling points (USP). I would say Times Of India should worry about the emerging competition from technology companies such as Google instead of the competition from rival print companies such as Hindustan Times and The Hindu. For this, we will have to devote our attention to the emerging local market," he said.

Wilkinson asserted that print is still a powerful media for advertisers. He picked up the UK and Canada examples to support his theory. "The client should change their marketing practices instead of changing the media. It is more about perception and reality. We will have to create segments of information where reader and the advertiser meet," he said.

During his speech, Wilkinson commented on the kind of changes today's newspapers have been undergoing. He spoke about the new trends in looks as well as marketing strategies. "Today's newspaper is not what my father used to read in those days. Today it is multimedia, vibrant and lively, environment friendly, technology crazy, respectful of your time, and value bundled. Marketing-wise also, we have been experimenting a lot and experimentation is the need of the hour," he said.

Producer-director, Prahlad Kakkar, speaking on the subject, 'The Indian experience', offered a glimpse of the coming of age of the Indian advertising over the last ten years. Kakkar said the advent of Hindi advertising was one of the best things that happened to Indian advertising. "With advertising in our own language, we started addressing the whole country as a whole, not the creamylayers of the cities. It discovered its uniqueness and character," he said.

Kakkar noted that today the perception of ourselves had changed. "Today everybody watches Hindi movies, Hindi songs are played in the discos. Ten years ago, it was difficult to imagine such things to happen. It is all about chenge of the perception.Whether it is Hindi advertising or Tamil advertising, we are feeling oneness."

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