Marketers and media owners should build a better eco-system and the latter should be accountable to the former, said Mohit Beotra, Head, Brand & Media, Bharti Airtel, India and South Asia.
Marketers today are willing to spend considerably in the media ecosystem, provided the media agencies too are equally willing to share the success and failures of the former, thus maintaining a fair equilibrium in the system.
Beotra pointed out that the telecom industry was one of the biggest spenders when it came to investing in media. “To become a successful mobile business, it is imperative to spend wisely in media,” he added. This is precisely why Airtel believes in making substantial investments in the media eco-system to develop a strong brand in the market. However, he pointed out that marketers today expected an enduring partnership from the media buying and planning agencies to ensure a level playing field for both partners.
He explained that the media eco-system was a place where the demand and supply equilibrium determined results, and of late, it had come to recognise the potential and value of innovations. The system not only encourages and displays innovations at the media planning and buying level, but also in terms of actual content and programming. Thus, it also gives ample opportunity for reinventions to take place, however, it is a clear-cut merciless system where it ruthlessly punishes losers and generously rewards winners.
Beotra further said that a mobile operator worked in a ‘1 Cent Market’, where the permanent realisation was as less as one cent. Thus, it is crucial for the business to offer quality service with obsessive focus on higher ROIs. “That is why we look at optimising costs and that need not necessarily mean cutting costs, but reducing irrelevant expenditure and diverting funds to fetch higher ROI. The same rule applies to media options,” he explained.
He pointed out two driving principles that focused on greater ROI and stronger camaraderie with the media agencies. The first and foremost need is to build a greater sense of accountability between partners, where winning and losing together is crucial. “We believe that if we win, partner should win more, and if we lose, partner should be willing to win less,” added Beotra.
Thus, the onus of decision making should not rest just on the marketer, but also the media agency when it comes to sharing the outcome. Beotra felt that today, new media such as the Internet was providing a platform for such engaging partnerships between marketers and agencies.
Secondly, the need of the hour is to get better data, which lags behind in terms of depth and accuracy. “A focus on the quality and depth of data will benefit the media ecosystem automatically,” he noted.
Thus, he could foresee a greater association between the two partners on account of sharing accountability and fetching quality data to reach successful targets.
Mohit Beotra was speaking at an event organised to discuss the findings of the Pitch Madison Media Advertising Outlook 2011, presented by Star Majha, in Delhi on February 25.