Are clients buying into 360-degree branding solutions? Almost every agency makes a 360-degree pitch. And then the business is successfully bagged because the client doesn't want the headache of dealing with 5-6 points across the board. So if you are seeking an advertising solutions, why not attempt PR, direct marketing, below the line, in-film placements, media and digital as well?
To prove the point further, just take a look around. Leo Burnett's growth from non-advertising services rests upon its ability to create branded content in five areas - movies, cricket, music, Internet and telecom. Again, the Ogilvy brand focuses on a whole host of communication solutions, which include direct marketing, PR, below the line, etc. Mudra on the other hand has chosen to focus on media (through Optimum Media Solutions), digital branding solutions (creating ads or publicity material electronically) and out of home media (Prime Site).
Harit Nagpal, Chief Marketing Officer, Hutch, said, "Well, yes, clients definitely buy into the 360-degree agency approach. Simply because you don't want 15 people calling on you giving different pieces. It is almost expected now that an agency will bring in a solution that is not just advertising. It's happening almost everywhere and even though some clients may not eventually do it. They would want to be stimulated by it and I see that happening in more countries. Everything is getting more textured and complex and I think it makes us (the ones on the marketing side) much better at brand building."
He added, "Agencies are now a liberated lot, focusing on areas where there is a real gap in the market or where they have some expertise built over the years."
H.K. Press, Marketing Head, Godrej Consumer Products, believes that a one-stop destination is all that most clients need, as long as there is no shift in the ultimate focus, which is the brand. Press said, "A 360-degree campaign means a one-time brief to all the divisions of the agency. But as all of them are different business units, having their own financial bottom lines, accountability could become an issue in the long run. Again, is there a tendency to lose focus in a one-time stop? How can the client be sure that the agency is not just trying to plug in its various divisions, leading to undue wastage of time and resources?"
Kiran Khalap, Co-Founder, Chlorophyll, believes that in the entire 360-degree platter, independent brand consultancies have a vital role to play as a neutral body. "If you don't define what your brand is and the basis for your choice of media, you can plunge into the 360-degree platter all you want. But it just wouldn't fetch the right kind of returns. How do you ascertain that your ad agency is watching out for your immediate requirements, and not just making you invest in its various divisions just for the survival of those divisions? Here, brand consultancies have a huge role to play as they can articulate the personality of the brand and the right communication solutions," he explained.
When the world's going gaga on full-fledged integrated solutions, the need of the hour is focused media spends. Just jumping right in would suit no one. Neither the agency, nor the client.