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Min Chang

President Asia Pacific | 13 Sep 2013

A lot of our clients see mobile and digital as areas where they should be investing in, however, they are still somewhat sceptical as it is difficult to measure the RoI and impact. Hence, the budgets aren’t as large and the spends still go the traditional way. I don’t think brands and markets are utilising the medium as much as they should, but at the same time there is some great work happening in terms of quality.

Min Chang is President - Asia Pacific at DAS (Diversified Agency Services), a division of Omnicom Group. She is leading business development and operational activities in the Asia Pacific region and works with all the group agencies in the region as well as globally. Prior to this position, she was EVP of Business Development and Client Relations Asia, SVP of Operations and VP of Operations at DAS.

Prior to joining Omnicom, Chang led the Procurement organisation at Honeywell International as Vice President of Procurement Transformation. She was also Vice President of Purchasing at AstraZeneca. In addition, she has spent over eight years in the industry in various leadership roles globally with three of the largest Fortune 500 companies: Procter & Gamble, American Express and United Technologies.

In addition to industry experience, Min has over 11 years of management consulting expertise as a Partner at Accenture and Associate at Booz Allen & Hamilton and Ernst & Young.

In conversation with exchange4media’s Priyanka Mehra, Chang speaks at length about evolution of digital, social and mobile media in India, leveraging experiential marketing in a more effective way and more...

Q. How have you seen digital, social and mobile evolve in India?

I have been to India a few times in the last two years and I have seen changes here. In terms of digital, social and mobile, there is work here that is leading the world, both in India and China; most of it is better that what we do in the US, it is ground breaking.

Q. So, you see India doing well in these areas?

Yes, especially in mobile. The huge mobile user base in India is driving innovation; you don’t have some of the trappings of the US. The market there has reached maturity level, but here in India, digital, social and mobile have an edge of newness, freshness and more effectiveness.

Q. What are the other significant trends that you have observed?

Indian brands such as Tata, Godrej, etc., which have a rich heritage, are expanding outside the Indian market and I see this as an increasing trend. These brands are really about how do I build my awareness broader with other consumers beyond India.

Q. What, according to you, are the challenges?

I will speak more personally about Omnicom. Our biggest gap in India is in capabilities; sometimes, our clients are smarter than we are. They know the challenges and the marketing savviness of some of our clients has improved a lot. So, we need to ‘up’ our game and make our innovations not just on par, but better. The challenge for us is to build better skills and hire better talent and for that, we may need to bring some of the best practises and talent from the US or Europe.

The other part of the equation is that I think we need to build some of that pool of resources and skill set here as well.

Q. How are you going to bridge this gap?

Part of this involves taking some of the interesting thinking globally to India. Regarding the activation landscape in India, we need to take a step back and analyse what is really the purpose of the brand, besides also look at it from a consumer’s perspective as to what is the brand bringing to me. We need to look at activation as an opportunity to be with the consumer, touch the consumer and create an unforgettable experience for the consumer that is powerful – for instance, the Dove – Sketch campaign, and Dumb ways to Die campaign. We haven’t reached this level yet in India.

A lot of our clients see mobile and digital as areas where they should be investing in, however, they are still somewhat sceptical as it is difficult to measure the RoI and impact. Hence, the budgets aren’t as large and the spends still go the traditional way. I don’t think brands and markets are utilising the medium as much as they should, but at the same time there is some great work happening in terms of quality.

Q. Do you think experiential marketing is being under-leveraged in India?

It is such a large umbrella. Consumers may not respond to traditional conversation anymore, so you can start with in-store event and activation instead of a TVC; it is more cost effective with social media integration. I think India is at par with other countries, but experiential marketing still has immense potential that needs to be tapped.

The need for CRM in India is very high. There are tons of data, but what are you doing with it? Analysing this data and then driving your campaign with the insights derived from it is critical.

Q. In your view and experience of the region, are clients today experimenting more with new media forms?

Clients are hungry for innovative ideas and engagement, if you can show value in your approach or an idea, they are willing to take that on.

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