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A lot of clients today do not understand the business: Samar Singh Sheikhawat @Goafest 2016

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A lot of clients today do not understand the business:  Samar Singh Sheikhawat @Goafest 2016

The first day of Goafest 2016 saw the industry stalwarts discuss some important aspects that define a successful advertising campaign.  Samar Singh Sheikhawat, SVP Marketing, United Breweries Ltd spoke about some crucial factors that the agencies need to adopt during the ‘Industry Conclave’.

Speaking about the primary role of an agency he stated, “The number one thing that the agencies need to do is--get to know the business. A lot of clients today do not understand the business, so it is a bit difficult to expect the agency to understand.

Urging the agencies to invest more time in understanding clients, he further added, “I don’t think agency personnel spend as much time as they should in understanding the business. And it has been changing rapidly. I have been with United Breweries for the past six and a half years, and it is far more than an FMCG brand that it was. This is an era where the agency needs to invest more in terms of getting their team members to understand what the client’s business is all about.”

Elaborating further on the role of agency he said, “The second part would be understanding the consumer. India is a place of multiple realities. The consumer and the consumer behaviour is different in different parts of the nation. So, as marketers and agencies we need to recognise that and understand the demography, it is as true for clients as for advertising agencies. I encourage them to go into the market, to talk to consumers, to interact with them. If you stand at the store to buy alcohol you would notice there would be zero communication between buyer and seller. 90 per cent of the people buy from the same store and the retailer exactly knows what the buyer wants. Likewise, only if the agency personnel would know and understand what the buyer wants, only then would he be able to come up with creative solutions to business problems.”

He also made an announcement about the launch of a ‘Zomato-like’ app for liquor, ‘Pitchers’ that the company would be launching in another ten days. The app is named after popular web series by the same name.

Highlighting the importance of client-agency coordination, Sheikhawat added, “It’s easy for us as clients to sit and give a brief to the agency; sometimes the clients give the most confusing briefs ever. Unless we are not clear in our minds as to what we want, we cannot expect the agency to deliver. We critically examine that all the time and it really requires sublimating your ego. But once we have done that, for the agency to provide creative as well as business solution.”

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