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Our unspoken mission is to save the world from ineffective marketing: Ed Pank

Pank is an evangelist for smarter insights and strategic thinking.

Mumbai: Day 2 of Goafest started with a musical morning with Divya Kumar and Asees Kaur. caught up with WARC APAC managing director Edward Pank on the sidelines of the Goafest.

Pank is an evangelist for smarter insights and strategic thinking, who regularly brings to life WARC content at marketing conferences across the Asia Pacific.

On the role of WARC in today's advertising, marketing brand message?

We've positioned ourselves as the global authority on marketing effectiveness. Our unspoken mission is to save the world from ineffective marketing because there's a lot of pressure on budgets, there's more and more channel proliferation, new touch points to reach audiences, and fragmenting audiences. We are designing products and services to help agencies to help marketers really become more effective across all of their strategies, whatever they might be, whatever spend, they're leaning into whatever category they're in. So it's really kind of making sense of that best, so they can learn from it, and develop more effective strategies themselves. Often, it's about having the confidence to take the right decision. And you need evidence and data to inform that good decision. That's what we are providing through our services.”

On China being part of WARC?

China is the second largest economy in the world and they operate in different ecosystems. But I think the fundamental principles of marketing stay true, no matter which market you're in. If you're looking for a compelling and emotional insight to reach new audiences, to appeal to them, but also to remember your brand in the future, then I think those principles stand true for any market.”

On moving from  Bates, and now WARC, and how are you enjoying this role as an advisor?

It's great. I left Bates quite a few years ago, and I started working in WARC in the APAC 12 years ago, and building it from the ground up and it is fantastic. Now we have offices in Singapore, we have a team on the ground in India, and China, and also people on the ground in Australia. So it's been great. I love great work. I love great ideas. I no longer develop them myself. But I also get to share, get involved in evangelizing that kind of great work. There are great ideas, and they're great thinking. And that makes the job incredibly interesting, also incredibly challenging because the whole marketing landscape is changing at such a fast pace. So how do you make sense of that? How do you lean into that and help our clients navigate that chain so they can develop more effective strategies?”

On the messaging in Southeast Asia, including China different from what is being said in Europe or in the US?

Well, the economic situation is down in most markets, it's more down in others, I think the west is having more of a recessionary impact than some of the Asian markets. Having said that growth in Asia is not as high as we expected. So that dampens confidence. So people don't necessarily invest when they should be investing. But it's about proving the right word where creativity can work and that's the justification for building bigger budgets and bigger investments in the future. Actually, in a recession, recliner is a good opportunity for brands to stand out. Because if your competitors aren't spending, you can stand out and kind of create that unique emotional bond with less money.

On the advice to the advertising world in India

Don't forget about long-term brand building, the tendency in economic turbulent times is just to focus on the short term. But that's wrong. We can't just drive immediate sales, you've got to create future demand for future sales, because your consumers aren't necessarily in the market right now for your product or service. But they might be in six months' time, or they might be in a year's time. So it's about ensuring that the brand is recalled very coherently and consistently when they're at that point of purchase. And you do that by building that brand over the long term. So don't ignore the long term and I'm not saying you should do either or you should do both. And it's very important to get that balance in terms of your investment.

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