because it is English speaking, in addition to all the
other factors, has every global brand, executive and
company vying for a place in the sun. Exchange rates
and need of funds coupled with the revered Silicon Valley
philosophy of getting bought has made buying of media
assets, namely smaller agencies, very lucrative. They
called it 'Consolidation and this phenomenon was
big in 2012.
seems to be the name of the game with agencies today
and has caused a lot of excitement with the media too.
It signifies growth, scale, of having arrived, of expansion
- resources, fresh finance, services, markets, leverage
and professional management, for the partners. Sure,
it includes all of it and monopolistic rates for the
a sluggish global economy, emerging markets are havens
for international companies, advertising having dried
in their primary markets. This environment has been
great for a bear run to pick up preferred stocks --
digital is A list -- at the best price to scale up the
portfolio and create volume. Economies of scale drive
this from all sides agency, client, target audience,
brand and along with the online ad world being truly
flat, it makes perfect business value for groups with
deep pockets or who wish to be right at the top.
want it too, more so planning and buying over creative
as did Marriott International. With global presence
it needs a global agency from the best aspect
of brand understanding and inventory.
are the Pros and they are far more. It builds market
share, creates brand opportunities, allows buying options
and deals, has finance and human resource, markets and
clients can be leveraged, knowledge and systems are
at the core and so on.
the Cons part is not without its challenges internal
acquisition culture shock has far reaching effects on
work output, people morale and also unknowingly to their
client . The essential attractive part that defines
them comes from their environment. Chances are this
could get lost with the change of culture.
Independent or smaller agencies are more nimble having
fewer or no bureaucratic networks of process, reporting
and enterprising they go to the client with a 'less
is more' approach; redefine the brief and some come
up with radical solutions.
their survival they are democratic and encourage creativity
from across the board.
to mandated thoughts is not career suicide.
is more focus on ideas over targets, while targets
never lose sight
is more interaction and integration with the boss
and across teams.
smaller clients get the attention of the boss.
adjustment factor takes place from both parent and network,
working fruitfully only when financial and human value
other aspect is monopoly and stifling of competition.
talent moves to the highest bidder. They cut their teeth
and shift; which can lead to boxed horizons right in
formative years, as agencies get more specialised and
the gurus do not really interact with them.
business increasingly goes to the behemoths that command
better rates, use their network and media relations;
small and medium sized agencies are restrained from
delivering their best work. In the long term this does
not auger well for client or industry and certainly
not for the agencies who put their best foot forward.
in many ways was a landmark year of endurance for media
in India, in yet another dismal twelve months of depressed
global and local economy.
when markets do not perform the first thing that gets
cut is secondary expenditure, marketing and adverting
first. The overall growth from 2011 was about 8 per
cent; even the festive seasons did not see the spurt
of good times as also the duration of activity which
was more curtailed.
note is that from this 8 per cent not more than about
2 per cent would be new advertisers or channels, attributed
towards new brands or media vehicles. The major share
is rate increase in cost of purchase.
is not the strongest of species that survive, nor the
most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
taught agencies yet again to be more responsive to change:
Advertisers with their experience of recessionary
years have learnt to deliver more with less. But 2012
brought to the fore that this might be here to stay
for a longer time and have learnt to work around the
client within their budgets and deliver.
Media and Clients
Digital and mobile are now an essential part
of a clients marketing plan. They ask for it directly
or need to be led towards it. Most have already been
approached by at least 2-3 agencies or are already
being serviced. They know they want to be up there
but many are either not savvy enough or not sure exactly
what should be done. Agencies, who force too detailed
a brief and asking the client what exactly they want,
stand to lose the business to a smaller incumbent.
frequency capping and changing of creatives,
altering the ad in real time; alternate ad formats
using content and sponsorship have gained prevalence
for clients especially those focused on digital; and
all are learning fast.
the first time since its inception almost a decade
ago, TAM stopped, chaos was anticipated but clients
trusted their agencies and agencies did their job.
Advertising continued, inventories were bought, plans
were auctioned and the results after the data was
released justified that TAM was a report card for
good performance not the sole reference point of disbursement
of client investment. The "GUT" did return.
Finally, the much awaited digitisation set in and
2012 will be a milestone year for TV in India. While
it is not complete it moved at a faster pace than
people actually expected. Viewers have been sensitised
to pay. It will open alternate revenue
streams, create new and differentiated content as
also patterns of viewing and grow the platform.
Integrated & Innovative solutions are the flavour
of the season. Agencies are positioning themselves
as integration specialists along with dedicated teams
for clients to become their extended marketing arm
in the true sense. Different communication touch points
impacting the different stages of the purchase funnel
are being looked at as key differentiators.
More agencies are coming to the fore and marketing
themselves, availing the opportunity the industry
media and marketing associations afford them. They
are more present, more vocal with a shifting mindset
from even the more restrained ones.
is not going to change the economic or advertising scenario.
We should see an overall growth of about 9 per cent
but when you break it, it shows how lean advertising
break-even is and the positives and negatives of economies
these are realities the industry must contend with.
Given its past record, agencies large and small will
deliver some great work and value to most of their clients.
what will not change are the growth targets both for
top-line and bottom-line.
wish for happier times going forward. As they say there
is no harm in wishing for the best!!