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Youth Quotient: "Negotiation skills are crucial as OOH industry thrives on sales"

23-October-2013
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Youth Quotient: "Negotiation skills are crucial as OOH industry thrives on sales"

Neeti Gupta is the Team Leader – Agencies at Global Advertisers, Mumbai. Using her operational experience, she has played a crucial role in identifying opportunities for the financial sector in outdoor.

Gupta’s nine years of experience in the outdoor media industry includes handling of mainline agencies, and developing and maintaining marketing strategies to meet organisational objectives.

In a free-wheeling chat with exchange4media, Gupta talks about her passion for outdoor advertising, projects she is proud to be associated with and her wish list of brands she would like to work on… 

Excerpts:

How does your typical work day look like?
My day begins with a cup of tea without sugar on my table, interacting with my team and colleagues on daily updates. After a little gossip session, I move to work. Proper execution of campaigns, new pitches, client research and meetings becomes everyday schedule in season time. I am glad to have a mentor like Sanjeev Gupta, Managing Director, Global Advertisers, who has always been supportive in trying out new concepts in the field of outdoor advertising.

I believe in one philosophy, i.e. work hard and party harder. By the second half of the day, I try to freeze my plans with clients and media planners as availability of premium hoarding is very momentary. Every day comes with a challenge and opportunity, and I simply face them. At the end of the day, it’s purely about business and your negotiation skills, as outdoor advertising industry thrives on sales.

What do you love about your work? And what do you dislike?
I love the negotiation part. However, to convert a deal with good profit margins, one requires spontaneous decision-making ability and confidence in your product. Due to multiple small outdoor agencies, there is no standard price for any outdoor inventory. Thus, it gives an impression of disorganised sector.
 
Which is that one project you are proud to have associated with?
I have worked on various outdoor campaigns, but the ones which I really liked are Bank of Baroda's branding initiative that included new logo launch and its first IPO campaign, where we had explored new possibilities of outdoor advertising. Huge display formats, transit media, 3-D cut-outs were for the first time deployed for the brand. Beside these, I have executed Wadhwa Builder's outdoor campaign for its new projects, where our premium sites located at Bandra, Marine Drive and western suburbs hoardings were extensively used for innovation. India's prominent outdoor agencies such as Kinectic, Lintas, Posterscope, Madison and Milestone have always showed faith in our potential.

Who is that one industry leader whom you look up to?
For me, it is Sanjeev Gupta. He has contributed to the growth of OOH industry with ideas, innovation and technology since 1996.

Five brands you would want to work with….
I would like to work with Tata Group and PSUs (SAIL, GAIL, National Insurance, etc.)

Five things outdoor advertising has taught you…
I have been in this industry for nine long years. It has taught me many things…
• Never take things for granted
• Always cross check on availability of inventory
• Innovation is the future of OOH
• Know your product and company
• Never commit anything you can’t deliver

If you wouldn't have been in outdoor advertising, what do you think you would be doing?
I would have been a fashion consultant or designer. I like to live a quality life with high-end brands. However, I look at my work quite differently; if I am enjoying my work, I will succeed in life and no challenge will be impossible to overcome. Hence, I am in the right profession.

Where do you see yourself five years down the line?
Probably, in the same company, handling bigger accounts and responsibility.

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