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We expect the Indian market to return to strong ad expenditure growth in 2010: Kelly Clark, Worldwide CEO, Maxus & Guest Editor,

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We expect the Indian market to return to strong ad expenditure growth in 2010: Kelly Clark, Worldwide CEO, Maxus & Guest Editor,

Kelly Clark, Worldwide CEO, Maxus, turned Guest Editor of on March 24. Here, Clark pens down an exclusive article for exchange4media, wherein he gives an insightful comment on advertising in India post the slowdown. Clark also speaks about Maxus’ India plans and introduces the new proposition of ‘Relationship Media’, which is being rolled out this week. Read on…

We expect the Indian market to return to strong advertising expenditure growth in 2010 after the slowdown of the past 18 months. In GroupM’s ‘This Year Next Year’ forecasting series, we recently revised our advertising expenditure forecast for India upwards – to nearly +10 per cent for this year, from our previous estimate of +5 per cent.

In the first few months of 2010, we have already seen increases in client expenditures across all types of media, driven mainly by financial, auto and telecom advertisers.

Digital display and search enjoy the highest growth rates. The return of bank and financial services advertisers, in particular, helps digital media because of the attractiveness of the audience and the security of cost-per-action pricing models.

We also expect mobile marketing to grow quickly in the next few years, since most of the operators are now seriously committed to deploying 3G networks. There are challenges and limitations, but in our view, the next five years will see a huge uptake in mobile content services and the consequent marketing opportunities this will create.

While these ‘new’ channels will experience rapid growth in the coming years, we also see robust growth in TV, press, outdoor and radio as well. It’s not a zero sum game in India – traditional channels and new channels can both thrive in this high-growth economy.

Whenever I am in India, I am always impressed by two things: the incredibly dynamic media scene, and the creativity with which our clients respond to this fast-changing landscape.

Look at the enormous success of the Indian Premier League. In just three years since its launch, the IPL has become a world-class sporting event with impressive ratings and incredible marketing opportunities for advertisers.

And the full power of this event as a marketing platform was harnessed by our client Vodafone in their wildly-successful ZooZoo campaign in 2009. The programme brilliantly integrated TV advertising, promotions, publicity, social media and branded content to create one of the most successful marketing campaigns in the world last year.

It’s work like this that makes Maxus India a flagship agency in our fast-growing global network. Without question, the creativity and passion that I see here is among the very best in our world, and serves as an inspiration to our entire network.

But we are never satisfied, and we are pushing ourselves to do even better work for our clients. To this end, this week we begin rollout of our new ‘Relationship Media’ proposition. Relationship Media is designed to help our clients build stronger, more profitable relationships between their consumers and their brands.

The five key principles of Relationship Media are:

1. Finding deeper consumer understanding - To build a relationship, we need to understand and speak with smaller, better defined audiences in a more tailored way.

2. Understanding how channels interconnect to build a conversation – We build relationships by designing longer-term conversations with consumers; knowing what to say, when.

3. Creating communications that invite participation - We want greater interaction with consumers and digital media expertise will be critical.

4. Delivering a greater focus on customer loyalty - Not only helping our client acquire new consumers, but keeping them as well.

5. Reinventing traditional timelines - We need to think in longer timelines, but also work in much shorter timelines to refine and course-correct based on data feedback.

This new approach is being rolled out across all global Maxus offices – starting here in India – supported by a sophisticated toolkit and a major training commitment for our people and our clients.

So, in summary: At Maxus, we are bullish on India!

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