In context of the new age of communication and the role that media agencies play for advertisers as their advisors, Madison Media has designed a new brand position to articulate what the agency means to its clients. The new position is set to launch soon. At the heart of this new position is one word – iEngine. The ‘i’ has been empowered to signify what Madison Media services would be to its advertisers at that particular point, and the word Engine is to reflect the forward thinking process of the agency.
Putting the thought in perspective, Punitha Arumugam, Group CEO, Madison Media, states, “Whatever our positioning is, it needs to represent systemisation, so it can become a part of our day to day work process. At the same time, it should be forward looking. Hence the word Engine, to connote process and moving forward.”
However it is the ‘i’, which has indeed become a new age mnemonic that would define the agency’s services to its clients.
Sam Balsara, Chairman, Madison World points out, “Today a media agency offers expertise in various areas – investments, insights, innovation, invention, inspiration, internet, immersion, impact, implementation, intelligence and the list can go on. The letter ‘i’ fit to be at the core of our new brand position, because as a media agency and given the evolved market scenario we are in, these are some of the services that we offer to our clients.”
Depending on what is appropriate, Madison would apply that particular ‘i’ to a unit, for a particular client, in a specific year.
Flexibility in Approach
While arriving at the new positioning, one key defining thought for Madison Media was that the agency’s role and service towards its clients had to be flexible to suit the client’s needs. Punitha observes, “We did not define the ‘i’ to stand for any one ‘i’ in the Madison Media positioning, as we wanted it to be able to adjust to the needs of each client, and enable us to adapt to their changing requirements, year-on-year.”
There were two thoughts behind this point. First, all clients don’t need the same ‘i’. Hence, for Client X, Madison Media could position itself as the Innovation Engine but for Client Y, it could be the Investment Engine. “While all clients want all these services, depending on their need and life stage, they need one ‘i’ more than the others. Madison Media will offer all of these services, but we will define that one focus ‘i’ for our client, in conjunction with the client,” says Punitha.
And the agency would do this for each of its clients, across each of its units.
The second guideline for the flexible ‘i’ was that, clients’ requirements change ever year. As the client’s needs and life stage evolves, his need for a different ‘i’ comes in play. It is possible that a client may focus on Investment for one year. For instance, when the economy was on a downturn in 2008-09, most clients were looking for better investment efficiencies as the single most important ‘i’ from their media agency. But in the next year, depending on market and brand situation, the core need could have evolved to consumer insights in order to be able to distance his brand from competition. “In year one for this client, Madison Media would be the Investment Engine, but in year two, it would be the Insights Engine,” says Punitha.
She also clarifies that this does not mean, Madison Media will stop being the other ‘i’s to the client. “We will continue to deliver all the ‘i’s, but we will focus on one ‘i’ more,” she says.
An important aspect of this is that any chance of a disconnect between the media agency and the client would reduce when Madison Media and its clients together decide what the client’s objective of that year would be, and hence what the focussed ‘i’ for that client should be.
Covering the Last Mile
Madison would go all the way to ensure that its teams would embrace this new brand position. A unit’s score would also depend on the ‘i’.
Madison is developing what the agency calls the ‘i’Score. Punitha divulges more on this, and says, “Every document and work that the team will send to the client would have an ‘i’Score on a scale of 1-5. For example, if we have decided on one client that Innovation Engine is what we will be in 2012, then every plan, every buy, all strategy work that goes to the client, from that client team, will carry the ‘I’nnovation Score, thereby ensuring that Innovation as a philosophy, permeates the bloodstream of that client team in everything they do from thinking to buying to implementation.”
Madison is already working on orienting its teams in monthly meets to embed the iEngine brnad position in the company, which Madison Media believes would play a key role in driving the agency to its future.
(Read the complete report of the various changes at Madison, with comments from Sam Balsara- Chairman and MD, Madison World, and Lara Balsara, who was the chief architect of these changes, in the latest issue of IMPACT)