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Econometrics and Engagement – The way ahead, according to Carat Media

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Econometrics and Engagement – The way ahead, according to Carat Media

India is rocking and the fact that every agency is taking time out to express more on the importance of the market clinches the point some more. This time it is Carat Media’s Asia Pacific (APAC) officials giving their point of view on the importance of concepts like ‘Enhancing RoI of marketing communication through Econometric modelling’ and ‘Communication Planning’.

The agency organised special sessions in Delhi and Mumbai, where Carat APAC officials shared examples of different strategies and communication ideas undertaken for clients with varied objectives and the results thereof. The host of the sessions, Charles Berley Jenarius, Group CEO, Carat Media reiterated the importance of the India market in the Carat scheme of affairs and the promise of more actions coming from the group in days to come to ensure better offerings to their clients.

Thomas Wong, Regional Director, North Asia, Carat Asia Pacific began the session by bringing out the fact that Carat’s media independent position played a key role in allowing it the benefit to offer media centric solutions to clients.

He informed more on the performance of the agency in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, America) market, where it enjoyed leadership position according to some reports vis-à-vis the APAC market, where it is in the fifth slot. “But we are very young in these markets,” said Wong, “Unlike some of our competition, who have been around for 35 years, we are just 10 years old.”

Another point that Wong brought out was that in the transforming markets today, where attributes like multi-tasking, consumer control, new targets and cannibalisation of TV were some of the key factors, the way forward was in focus on digitalisation. He said, “The Carat vision and philosophy is to move from passive exposure to active engagement.”

Giving more shape to the action that Aegis is taking to ensure better returns to clients, Michael Johns, CEO, SPI Japan, spoke on the science that could be brought to the art of media communications. The prime examples that he discussed with the audience were based on Econometric modelling.

He also spoke about SPI’s intentions to launch in India next year and in Singapore shortly. The case studies that he discussed with the audience revolved various models like marketing mix modelling, consumer marketing modelling where the agency has been able to draw out strategies for various brands and even predict the effect of those in the market. “In various cases, we have been very accurate in being able to tell the client what the effect of a move would be on the brand,” said Johns.

In all, he explained that with econometrics various actions around a brand could be done that would allow a brand to reach its objectives.

One of the most popularly spoken about topics in the India market today – Communication Planning – was brought under the scanner by Rob Kabus, EVP, Communication Planning Carat APAC. He began with the changes on the media scene today that required a different mindset to speak to the consumers.

He said, “The consumer media relationship is changing and where at one point we were the messengers targeting them, today the consumer is doing the targeting. The consumer today has control on what he wants to see, when and how much. With this, everything contributes to the brand and we have to see how we orchestrate it.”

Johns explained that where at one time, the conventional plan of action for a brand commenced with Brand Ambition, followed by establishing Brand Essence and then coming with a creative theme and a media plan, in today’s requirements, there was an intermediary level of building engagement platform, which came before the creation of the creative theme. Consequently, instead of a media, there was an engagement plan devised at the end of the process.

He then explained more on the Carat Deep Blue process, which identified the need for ‘engagement’ given the mentioned rationale. The process looked at the challenges, consumers and the creative component. “What is needed is to have an engaging brief, an engaging theme and then an engaging plan. We have to move from cosmetic integration to true integration.”

Explaining his idea of true integration, Johns said that one strong idea could be taken across mediums to feel the same, but not look the same. The examples he brought here included Adidas and Curious.

He spoke a little on Consumer Connection Study, a key planning tool that played a significant part in allowing the agency to engage the consumer, “if you aren’t engaging them, then you aren’t reaching them.”

With this, he enumerated eight rules of engagement – Start at the end, create a rewarding experience, live the brand first hand, action speaks louder than words, Idea = Clout, surrounding is believing, and finally, it’s never been done before. With this, Kabus emphasised on the need for re-thinking on creative and media components to be able to provide a communication plan to clients.


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