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Mindshare Fulcrum upgrades skillset for HUL's integrated mandate

It won the integrated mandate from 1 January 2019.

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MUMBAI: Handling the complete integrated media mandate for the largest advertiser in the country is surely something that most agencies aspire to achieve. Imagine the glory of WPP’s Mindshare Fulcrum  when it was awarded  the digital media mandate of Hindustan Unilever Ltd in August last year. From 1 January 2019, the agency has also become the integrated media buying partner for the company and has been working closely with HUL to leverage this in a mutually beneficial setup.

As revealed by Mindshare India president, client leadership Amin Lakhani, the agency has been conducting intensive training programs for its teams at Mindshare Fulcrum for the past three months, equipping them with all the skillsets required to run a successful integrated media campaign. “Every person working at Fulcrum is going to contribute to this entire integrated media mandate. We did a mega talent program; right from acquiring specialists wherever we need one,” he said.

Mindshare CEO South Asia, Africa, and MENA Prasanth Kumar added, “From the last 90 days, there has been a long, strenuous digital training, as well as, integrated training for our people is being organised. We have been looking at an integrated purpose and thus introduced a number of programs, intensified training, and brought in a perspective from HUL itself, along with best practices across the world. There has been a lot of learning we have taken from HUL. The team keeps a close look at all the activities we are taking up.”

Mindshare Fulcrum senior vice president Premjeet Sodhi mentioned, “Right from the beginning, it was clear to us that whatever brand we are working with, we have to work in an integrated fashion. It was, in fact, the desire of the team. That was the outlook that we had and the whole training program had been designed according to that. We developed the digital aspect for the current team through rigorous training. That happened in two stages: first instilling a mindset into each employee that one can manage all parts of the media, and second developing the required skillsets, which was rather easier.”

Highlighting the key aspects around which the training was scheduled, Amin noted the ever so important video, voice, and vernacular. He noted that it is not only digital that is at the core of Fulcrum’s future strategies towards HUL but the team is looking at providing the “best possible media solution” irrespective of the platform it will be put on.

He added, “We followed bottoms-up approach, keeping the customer at the heart of everything. We decoded the consumer; we decoded the consumer behavior and patterns, and then developed the relevant skillsets. It was a phase of discovery for the whole team.”

Speaking on HUL's perspective of the integrated planning, Unilever general manager- Media (South Asia) GauravJeet Singh said, “We are constantly looking at the key levers of what will drive our messaging rather than what will drive our business. First of all, we need to increasingly look at the effectiveness of media deployment. Secondly, data is becoming very critical. And with that happening, you need to have people who have deep skills in utilising this data effectively to drive brand growth.”

Highlighting the changing paradigms of the media industry following events like demonetisation, GST, and the latest being the tariff regime, GauravJeet added, “The biggest learning for us has been that it is a highly evolving industry. You just can’t take things for granted in terms of media deployment. You need to be super agile, fine-tuning your efforts on a yearly and monthly basis. Every single medium is important to grow. Also, the consumer is evolving. We, at HUL, have quarterly been changing our parameters based on readings of what the consumer behaviour is at a particular moment of time and how it is changing.”

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