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Advertising agencies beef up interactive operations

13-January-2004
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Advertising agencies beef up interactive operations

FCB Ulka Interactive, the digital arm and direct marketing wing of FCB Ulka Advertising, is planning to extend its services to countries like China, Australia and New Zealand soon. Meanwhile, Ogilvy & Mather Interactive, the relationship marketing arm of O&M Worldwide is shifting its focus to fresh opportunities in mobile space. In fact, the agency is now in talks with cellular companies for various marketing tie-ups. Yet another major player in this niche segment, Euro RSCG is drawing up an expansion programme for its interactive arm Euro RSCG Interactive. In essence, realising the significance of online marketing plans in this digital era, major ad agencies are now planning to expand the operations of their interactive arms.

FCB Ulka’s interactive wing is creating tailored customer data management packages for FCBi’s (the parent company of FCB Ulka) clients in Indonesia, Singapore and other countries in that region, informs FCB-Ulka Advertising executive director MG Parameswaran.

Says Mr Parameswaran: “With FCB Ulka Interactive being earmarked as the regional hub for direct and database work, we have handled many regional projects from India. Also, we have taken our customer relationship package to many countries.” Recently, FCB Ulka Interactive developed a CRM package called ‘Customer DataAsset’ which helps companies manage customer data and contacts in a cost-effective manner. In India, FCB Ulka has used this package for managing data across sectors which include automotive, pharmaceutical, healthcare and financial services.

As for the trend of Indian interactive agencies entering international markets, FCBi DataBase manager Pushkar Sane is confident that this trend will grow in coming years as India and Indian direct and database agencies build a reputation for quality, timeliness and value.

Meanwhile, O&M Interactive is looking at using the mobile space to offer value-added services to its clients this year. Explains Ogilvy & Mather Interactive business head Sandeep Joseph: “With increased mobile penetration in India, we are looking at going beyond contests into m-commerce, using the phone as a customer-response device. To this end, we are looking at working with various partners by forging marketing tie-ups.”

Mr Joseph says O&M sees the mobile space as a channel to help marketers build bond between their brands and consumer. “Typically, the space is used to run contests or promotions and we’ve done some work like that for brands like ICICIdirect. That kind of work would definitely continue in future,” he adds.

Yet another major player in this segment, Euro RSCG Interactive is now scouting for competent professionals to handle the influx of new accounts. Says Euro RSCG chief executive officer Ishan Raina: “We are planning to expand our interactive cell by recruiting talented professionals. We are also looking at major expansion plans for our company ‘Mediaturf.’ ”

Competition is truly hotting up in the interactive communication industry as major players are chalking out expansion plans to offer value-added services to Indian advertisers.

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