Data can better connect the entire marketing value chain: CVL Srinivas

As WPP holds its first data summit- Date with Data- on October 16, we speak to CVL Srinivas, Country Manager India, WPP, about the industry’s love and need for data and the changing role of CMOs.

e4m by Naziya Alvi Rahman
Updated: Oct 15, 2018 8:58 AM

Ahead of ‘Date with Data’, WPP’s first data summit scheduled to take place on October 16, CVL Srinivas, Country Manager, WPP India, speaks to exchange4media about the changing role of CMOs in this new data-driven industry. He also shares his insights on the impact that the use of data has on ROI for clients and the need to have a first-of-its-kind data summit in India.  Excerpts:-


Data hasn’t just changed the CMO’s role, it has disrupted it. CMOs were traditionally communication and campaign-focused, but it has changed now. As an industry expert, what advice would you like to give to budding CMOs on the use of data in marketing?

The starting point is to understand what all is available across first, second and third-party data and how the relevant data sets can be combined to unlock richer insights for the business. From sharper consumer insights to understanding the full consumer journey to campaign planning and measurement, data can better connect the entire marketing value chain. CMOs will do well to reimagine and rewire their teams, making it a more data-centric marketing organisation. Apart from better marketing ROI for existing brands, data can help unravel new products, new consumer segments and new distribution channels.

With a stricter data privacy regime, CMOs need to fully understand the implications of new laws like GDPR and the recommendations put together by the government-appointed committee in India, to get a clearer sense of where things are headed.

Keeping the above in mind, CMOs should be wary of falling into the trap of a data-only approach, which could undermine innovation and creativity. The power of ‘the idea’ or the marketing gut is an equally strong driving force towards a successful marketing approach. In the overall scheme of things, data shines in its role as a partner and supporting force for the development of great ideas. 

Everyone loves data and digital because it is measurable. Is the lack of uniform third-party measurement in India making agencies and marketers rethink the real impact of their campaigns? And therefore, could marketers be rethinking digital budgets?

Audience attention is shifting every day and if you are a brand or an agency, you need to identify where the interest of your audience lies. However, measurement is a concern. As you have rightly pointed out, there exists the lack of a third-party measurement in India.

Every digital platform has a different way of counting views/engagement and impressions on videos; whereas we know that the TRP (television rating point) evaluation is fixed and we can calculate it, regardless of whether it's on cable or satellite.

Ad agencies, clients, partners and brands need to come together to collectively work on measurement standards to advocate for digital spends.  If one takes a more holistic view, digital has more data and can drive more accountability than any other medium. An industry measure will only help create a standardization for the benefit of all. However, often what’s missing is the ability to make right connections between data points to build actionable insights and attribution models.

This is the first time WPP has called for an initiative like 'Date with Data' in India. How do you expect the industry to benefit from this?

All of WPP India have come together to create this data summit. So firstly, it's a great example of collaboration towards creating value for our clients, partners and people. Being a leader in this space, we felt it's time to create a forum to help accelerate the growth of data journey in a responsible way. This attempt targets getting everyone's understanding on the same page. The forum will give a global and local perspective, a balanced view between today’s requirements versus future opportunities, and bring data & creativity together onto one platform. We’ve had a tremendous response and are eagerly looking forward to hosting and enabling our industry's growth and future together. 

If we were to quantify the impact of data, how much direct impact the use of data has had on ROI for your clients?

As discussed earlier, having a data orientation will not only deliver better ROI for existing brands but can help uncover new products, new distribution channels and new consumer segments. We have numerous examples of clients getting better ROIs across the value chain. Our clients will be showcasing some of their successes during the summit. 

Where do you place Google and Facebook? Are they friends or enemies of the advertising community? Is this competition with tech giants healthy for the growth of the industry?

India is a unique ecosystem where the best of global and local players compete. This helps drive innovation and opens up opportunities for marketers. Even the big global players have innovated specifically for our market. In our super connected world, it will become increasingly hard for anyone to not integrate with the larger ecosystem. We have great partnerships with all the players and work together to create value for our clients.

With media buying going programmatic, marketers are taking the job in-house. Your take.

If the idea is to integrate better with business, then we completely subscribe to it. In fact, we are co-locating our teams and embedding critical functions with many of our clients’ businesses. It helps improve coordination and speed of response. As a group, we are pioneers in kickstarting this many years ago.
Having a fully-owned and operated model of in-housing comes with its own set of challenges. Some clients have tried it in the past. It needs the right people, culture, products and orientation to become successful. In my personal view, it can be really hard to replicate all the strengths that an agency brings to a client set-up and run it successfully. 


For more updates, be socially connected with us on
WhatsApp, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Youtube

Stay updated with the latest news in the Marketing & Advertising sector with our daily newsletter

By clicking Sign Up, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.