2015 was a very challenging year as an industry for most agencies. Kartik Sharma Managing Director, Maxus South Asia calls it a ‘mixed bag’ with the first half of the year slightly sluggish, followed by a second half filled with momentum from a business standpoint.
Speaking from a Maxus perspective he shares that the agency added more than 15 new clients and many existing clients added additional mandates in the area of digital and content, bringing new business in the range of Rs 400 crore for last year.
Last year also saw Maxus play a key role in the Paytm –BCCI deal, a first for a media agency. “The BCCI deal for Paytm is a first of its kind initiative by a media agency which was earlier dominated either by sporting specialist companies or by individuals who claimed to have lot of knowledge about sports. Our focus in building the sports practice has proven that when we demonstrate value clients will back us. This year too you can expect many bolder initiatives from Maxus.” Shares Sharma.
Edited excerpts from a freewheeling chat with Kartik Sharma Managing Director, Maxus South Asia on the agency’s focus on the trinity of data, digital/technology and content, many more bold initiatives from Maxus India and more..
In today’s scenario of real time data, how does Maxus link investment of TV to actual sales which is the key for ecommerce players?
Our proprietary tool T2D helps us link the impact of each TV program/genre and key business metrics for ecommerce brands such as app download, website and visits, using sophisticated analytical algorithms. Using T2D, ecommerce brands can adjust their TV plans within a very short window (48 to 72 hours) thereby not only improve their business but also bring in lot of efficiency in planning
Can you tell us which clients are using Mesh?
We were the first agency to deploy a customized marketing command center for a client in India viz Nestle. Through this experience we learnt the power of a marketing command center and wanted all our clients to benefit from this. We therefore built this command center inside Maxus, and we now call it MESH, as it truly meshes information from various sources and helps us make the right decisions for our clients. Over the last year MESH is getting used in two ways. One, where clients want us to set up MESH for them (similar to Nestle) and manage it. The other, where clients want to use MESH for specific projects, typically during a big event or campaign. Clients like L’Oreal use MESH on a regular basis.
Maxus stands for PACE, how have these values grown in the last year?
PACE as you know stands for passionate, agile, collaborative and entrepreneurial. This translates into innovative solutions to clients on a consistent basis. Some of the notable examples of PACE last year included Sports analytics for Vodafone, which proved the ROI of investing on sports like IPL.
Study proved that investing in IPL not only improves business but also protects the brand from competitive pressure. This was the first of its kind study which went on to win several national and international awards.
The PACE behaviour also translated into 3 breakthrough initiatives for clients which included:
Synapse – a proprietary tool which marries TV ratings with social buzz, thereby helping planners make informed decisions, particularly around high impact shows. This tool was awarded the Gold in the research category at the Emvies.
Mesh – our marketing command center and dialogue engine that reads environmental signals in real time and keeps our clients one step ahead of the curve. We now have 2 centers one each at Mumbai and Delhi fully operational
T2d – a proprietary tool which studies real time impact of TV on e-traffic (tool aimed for e-commerce brands)
Finally PACE translates in to breaking our own benchmarks each year in every aspect of the business which eventually helps our clients grow their business
What are your focus areas for Maxus this year?
Our focus this year will continue to be on data, digital/technology and content. We call this the “Trinity”. We have already announced several big initiatives. The first is our alliance with IOT Bangalore. IOT Bangalore is the world’s largest meet-up group focused on IOT. This partnership will focus on building new products and consumer engagement solutions.
We recently launched our new planning framework globally called Change Planning. This framework uses some cutting edge new tools to answer brand problems. Our teams have been trained extensively and have already started using this across several clients.
Earlier this month we launched Kaleidoscope a first of its kind tool which maps the moods of the consumers through data gathered via social media streams on a real time basis. The power of the tool is to identify receptive moments across geographies and tailor make relevant content and deliver it across platforms.