GoaFest 2011 Ad Conclave began at Zuri White Sands, Varca, South Goa on April 7, 2011, with an interesting session on ‘Are the advertising agencies ready for the new decade?’
The session witnessed Srinivasan Swamy, Chairman of the GoaFest Conclave as the moderator and Rajiv Dube, Director, Group Corporate Services and Director, Aditya Birla Management Corporation private limited along with Mayank Pareek, Managing Executive Officer, Maruti Udyog, being the key speakers.
Srinivasan Swamy said, “Technology today is so developed that we are capable of creating multiple campaigns overnight, and most advertising is promoting parity brand perception. The future expects us to be ‘Jack of all trades and Master of some’ (not none). We might well see agencies becoming more entrepreneurial in nature and this scenario in return will attract better talent”.
Rajiv Dube opined that advertisers are not yet ready for the coming decade. “It’s too much of an expectation to think that they are actually prepared for it. As we look at next ten years agencies should look forward to becoming the strategic partners of the advertisers and we will require those partners to sit and think of the future together, even in terms of creating future products. I hope they together try and understand the consumer’s point of view. Agencies should look to becoming more integrated so that they can deliver all that an advertiser wants under one roof itself. They have to build a long-term relationship with the advertiser, so that the advertiser finds no need to call for a pitch for a decade or two. Tomorrow the world will require the building of stronger relationships; having talent and retaining it is what is expected. We need to find new and innovative forms of communication. Advertisers are not shying away from paying; the only difference that the future might bring is that the agencies get a 15% commission out of which 8% is fixed and 7% variable, based on the results. Lastly I think that the engagement of the senior level throughout the process is very important”
He ended with a tongue-in-cheek remark: “I expect the agencies to get over self-obsession. They must understand that our world revolves around advertisers and not agencies.”
The last speaker for the session, Mayank Pareek, agreed with Rajiv on the thought of agencies being unprepared for the future, adding that the last decade was one of the most exciting. “Facebook saw more people than the population of two countries, more mobile phones than bank accounts in the country. What I want to know here is, are we ready for integration? Well, the goal is not predicting but imagining the future. Understanding the media as well as the mediums is vital. Focus on new talent needs to be there, but keeping in mind that the old talent does not disappear. Talent creation is absolutely great but talent should be retained as well. Advertisers are ready to provide support but the agencies have to initiate it.”