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exchange4media Conclave 2013: What do clients expect from agencies?

21-November-2013
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exchange4media Conclave 2013: What do clients expect from agencies?

There has always been a love-hate relationship between clients and agencies. Though some agencies have a close bonding with their clients, very few live up to their expectations. But the situation is changing rapidly as the relationship between clients and agencies are improving day by day. The dynamics are becoming more transparent and open, and agencies are not just creating good ads, but are looking at providing solutions to the client’s problems.

The Mumbai leg of the 13th edition of exchange4media Conclave taking place on Monday, November 25, 2013, presented by NewsX and powered by ZEE, will delve deeper into the expectations of clients from their agencies.

The panel discussion will include respected names from the industry such as CVL Srinivas, CEO, GroupM South Asia; KV Sridhar, Chief Creative Officer, Leo Burnett India and Subcontinent; Shubhranshu Singh, Marketing Director, India and South Asia, Visa; Ravi Deshpande, Founder, Whyness Worldwide; Karthi Marshan, Head Marketing, Kotak Mahindra Group; and Nandini Dias, CEO, Lodestar UM.

Shubhranshu Singh, Marketing Director, India and South Asia, Visa said, “As a ‘client’ (but equally as a professional marketer with a genuine belief in collaborative excellence) I expect the agency to have a hunger to excel beyond a project or a campaign. It must be an active agent in inspiring ideas and strong advocates of its work. A partner that is unconstrained by channel, technology or platform, but looks at the brand as a timeless and precious trust is a must. Finally, the agency team should be a bunch of happy, inquisitive people who believe in creativity and are inspired by it.”

The digital space is still at a nascent stage in India and clients have started increasing their budgets for digital. Hence, their expectations from the agencies are also growing.

According to CVL Srinivas, CEO, GroupM South Asia, in an increasingly complex environment, agencies have a far greater role to play. Clients need help to not only navigate challenging times but to also stay on top of developments, especially in the digital space.

Karthi Marshan, Head Marketing, Kotak Mahindra Group said, “Be an agent. Not an agent of media though. Be an agent of change, of impact, of symbiotic partnership with me. In short, be my agent, represent me to the world, not the world to me.”

The agency should have a sense of ownership for the brand. They should just not create ads but help the client in building an iconic brand. Many experts believe that the client should not pay by commission or fees, but they should pay by sales. They should follow the pay-for-performance model, linking compensation directly to client growth.

KV Sridhar, Chief Creative Officer, India Subcontinent, Leo Burnett feels that the clients want agencies to contribute to the solutions to their problems. They are sick of dealing with routine vendors. The more the agencies take charge of their communication, the happier they are. Clients are asking agencies to build capabilities and provide solutions.

In the changing media landscape, agencies and clients have to work in coordination with each other for the growth of a brand. There should be a cordial relationship and the clients should respect the agency’s work and provide them with sufficient remuneration to fulfill their expectations.

The Conclave will help in bringing both, clients and agencies on the same platform to discuss and debate the right path ahead for a healthy remuneration for agencies and meeting the expectations of clients.

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