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From an agency point of view, I would put my money on India and China: Irwin Gotlieb, Global CEO, GroupM

14-June-2010
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From an agency point of view, I would put my money on India and China: Irwin Gotlieb, Global CEO, GroupM

Irwin Gotlieb, Global CEO, GroupM, had the audience enthralled with his Keynote Address on ‘The Digital Distribution of Media: The Opportunity’ at the exchange4media Conclave 2010 in Mumbai on June 11. The annual flagship event of the exchange4media Group, the Conclave is special this year as it marks the commencement of the Group’s 10th Anniversary celebrations. The theme for the Conclave this year is ‘Rebooting the Indian media and advertising industry’. Full coverage of the Mumbai leg of the exchange4media Conclave on June 14, 2010.

Gotlieb saw tremendous opportunities for marketing and advertising industries through the digital distribution of media. According to him, “All we need to do is embrace change and have a bit of vision. And you have to know when not to get in the way of change. The fact is that vision requires acute observation and deep understanding.”

He cited the key factors that GroupM took into consideration for forecasting the future. These were: Content, Technology, Fragmentation and proliferation in media choice, Government regulation/ deregulation, Business Consolidation/ Mergers, Marketplace factors, and the Consumer.

According to him, digital capabilities could help reduce the cost of content creation while improving distribution through digital technology.

Technology provided more effective and relevant media targeting opportunities and also enabled greater levels of fragmentation and proliferation.

Noting the growing importance of consumers in all this, Gotlieb said, “Consumers will have ever increasing control of media content. They will be able to search, filter and organise with little effort. They will be able to choose when and where to consume and on which digital device to consume it.”

Moving forward

He further cited nine key points that one needed to consider in the move forward:

• It is no longer about traditional media versus new media. The new media isn’t that new anymore. And, the old media is reinventing itself as it embraces and develops digital distribution and capabilities.

• Today’s definitions for media are becoming irrelevant. TV, print and others will have broadly similar functionality.

• What will be relevant is the form of media consumption, and there will be three variations: lean forward, lean back, and mobile.

• Each of these forms of interactivity will have linear and non-linear consumption modes.

• Targeting will move from predicting behavior to reacting to intent.

• It should not be about reach or engagement, but about reach and engagement. It isn’t one at the expense of the other.

• Technology may be making the world smaller, but strong cultural, technological and economic differences will continue to exist.

• We will need to work with media that is earned, owned and paid.

• Every form of communication will have the ability for individual addressability, telescoping, device or census level data reporting, response gathering, and even transaction capability.

Talking about the scenario in India, Gotlieb said since India was not the first to implement digital, the country had the opportunity to learn from the mistakes and inefficiencies of others, and select and deploy more efficient and cost effective solutions.

He added that though digital distribution required some form of digital infrastructure, it didn’t have to be off-the-wall expensive. Mobile could help achieve better marketing opportunities at scale. But for that, infrastructure needed to be 3G or better, bolstered by broadly available Wi-Fi.

He further said, “What we now refer to as ‘traditional media’ can leapfrog today’s ‘digital media’ in terms of accuracy of targeting, message specificity, and sequencing. Technology is on a path to making media more effective, more targeted. It can offer the consumer more rewarding content and information.”

Concluding on an upbeat note, Gotlieb said, “The opportunities that await us are enormous. There is no need to fear the changes that new technologies and applications will bring us. Indeed, just the opposite is true. All we need do is embrace change, learn how to use it wisely, and prepare for an exciting and robust future.”

Following the keynote address, session chairman Sunil Lulla, CEO, Times Television Group engaged Gotlieb in a special one on one. When asked by Lulla to share his views on what went on in the minds of consumers, who had access to so many screens, Gotlieb replied, “This is the case where the more things change, the more they remain the same. Today’s generation is informed and capable of consuming from multiple screens.”

Gotlieb further said, “Mobile, with its high reach in a market like India, has helped achieve better marketing opportunities, we are now at the cusp of second generation mobile and its functionalities are very different. iPad is just the tip of the iceberg, very soon we will see 20 different devices. India has a very balanced government, it does not have a single family company and it has a free market. From an agency point of view, I would put my money on India and China.”

On India’s growth in the digital space, Gotlieb added, “The opportunities that await us are enormous. There is no need to fear the changes that new technologies and applications will bring us. Indeed, just the opposite is true. All we need do is embrace change, learn how to use it wisely, and prepare for an exciting and robust future.”

The exchange4media Conclave 2010 is presented by Dainik Jagran. CNEB is the Associate Sponsor.

This year, readers can follow the latest developments and discussions regarding the Conclave on Twitter, the hashtag for which has been set as #e4mC2010. An exchange4media brand page has also been initiated on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/exchange4media/117658164936658.

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