MAM

THE GROUP M BUYING PHILOSOPHY

Group M Central Trading Group National Director Lakshmi Narasimhan is the most powerful buyer in the Indian media space. Known as a tough negotiator, Narasimhan reveals his buying philosophies which the Group M agencies utilise as a common pool.

CTG's entire buying department is divided into five clusters; every cluster working across regions specializing on a particular segment. Every buyer also has an added client servicing responsibility. "Every team handles large volumes but smaller set of suppliers. If a buyer is not rooted with the client, he will not able to customize the buys. This system helps leverage volume and fine tune into a client's needs. The CTG follows a matrix structure where every buyer is responsible to a client for all buying issues, but accountable for a certain set of channels."

Mindshare leverages volume in two areas:

1) Market knowledge derived due to the volume of clients handled by all the Group M agencies. "Hence we have a good sense of the market and an operating sense."

2) Bulk buys which yield a better rate from media owners.

The five buying clusters of the CTG are as follows:

  • Print & radio
  • Unicontent (Niche channels)
  • Regional channels
  • Sports & DD
  • Hindi Satellite

CTG's Philosophy: "Our buying is analysis based and is not done by plain arm twisting. We follow stringent implementation processes via our MIS systems and most importantly we test the bottom of the market . We never tell a client that we have got deals below the market price. Our rates are benchmarked on real rates by striking the right price-value integration.

"In group M, buying is not a back line but a front line function."

Profile of people: " We prefer to hire people with a well rounded background. Most people have been planners in the past and are buyers now or have extensive experience with media companies. We take on people with an average experience of 6.5-7 years.

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