On Day One of Goafest, at the Industry Conclave, Sanjeeb Chaudhuri, Global Chief Marketing Officer and Regional Head, South Asia, Standard Chartered Bank, shared his insights on relationships between clients and communication partners, as they exist today and what could be done to create effective partnerships.
He said the reality today is that partnership lengths are becoming shorter and shorter. Brand relationships are abstract and they require maturity on both sides to make them timeless, he said.
One of the biggest problems facing us today is fragmentation and changing dynamics. Specialisation needs that have been created today and blurring of lines between advertising, PR, digital and social media agencies is making it essential for brands to work with these various partners, but while doing so one needs to check strategically.
Another fact is that the number of people in marketing is reducing with leaner teams which provides brands an opportunity to embrace agency as integral part of their marketing team.
Chaudhuri said it is the nature of the advertising beast that many people are involved in the whole process and agencies have to deal with it. ROI in marketing investment is increasingly becoming a topic of conversation between shareholders and board members.
A few reasons why agency-client relationships get fraught is because rapid turnover of people and lack of interest or understanding of the client’s business.
Chaudhuri suggested some measures that can be taken to address these and other issues. One of them is to instill a spirit of partnership between clients and agencies. Another step to consider is establishing clear expectations or briefs. There is critical difference between brand advertising, segment advertising and product offer advertising. Thus context of the content is just as important as the content. It is important to treat agency people well and the keep the approval process simple, said Chaudhuri. Scheduling assessments becomes important as it is only fair to give the agency fair return on profits.
Agencies, on their part, can contribute to the growing B2B needs of the clients, apart from B2C. This can be done by showing thought leadership, introducing conceptual ideas that help the client’s business.