My job is to accelerate the client’s business: Saket Sinha, m/SIX India

Saket Sinha, Senior Vice President, Client Leadership, speaks about m/SIX’s big wins such as Emami, Burger King and Frankfinn in its four-year-long journey as WPP’s youngest media agency in India

e4m by Naziya Alvi Rahman
Updated: Jan 7, 2020 9:38 AM

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Saket SInha mSIX

Barely four years in existence, m/SIX - one of the youngest and smallest WPP agencies in India - has won Emami- one of the biggest and oldest accounts of India. This, however, is not the only big brand that the agency is handling. It manages Burger King, Bank of Baroda, Frankfinn, Lovely Professional University, Toppers, Valvoline,  Veeba Foods and many more.

Ask Saket Sinha, Senior Vice President, Client Leadership, m/SIX India about the perfect formula that his agency has cracked to woo the clients and Sinha will attribute it to his commitment to accelerate client’s overall business.

“As agencies, we need to work as the right partner with the client. Today it is not only about how efficient you are but also about how effective you are. So what works for us is all the data, technology, and the kind of offering they (clients) see. For example, we have analytics as a division, we have the whole host of offerings within one single agency and that's what they really like and the reason why they engage with us,” says Sinha.

Explaining further about the expectations of clients these days, Sinha said media agencies now are not just helping build brands but also taking accountability for sales.

 “It is no more a day of brand building; those days are gone. Every dollar you spend, you need to know what has changed and what has changed for you. It could be in terms of the recall factor, or it could be in terms of the products moving out in the market, etc. So every client has that today. Today, media is also accountable for sales and that's how every client is looking at it now. So every client has a Key Performance Indicator (KPI),” Sinha added.

Sinha feels over the years, the role of an agency is to help the client accelerate the business. “For one of our clients, they had a very strong presence in the East. So when we got the mandate and they said they wanted to advertise in the North, our simple question was, what is your distribution network? They said they wanted to set up a distribution map. So we told them that advertising and distribution are your KPIs. I suggested helping them set up their distribution. We have a WPP company called Smollan, which has expertise in retail distribution,” says Sinha.

Explaining his agency's role further as an accelerator, Sinha said they also help their clients overcome marketing challenges. My job is to accelerate. So I set up their distribution in 25 cities, and I incubated a partner. So what I'm doing for my client, is actually helping them in their business, to overcome their marketing challenges. Once our client's distribution was in place, we started with their advertising. That's a service provided to the client. Another example is of a client who is not in the online marketplace, so guiding them on how to get into the online marketplace and ensuring they are still in the marketplace is also acceleration,” he adds.

Sinha's most talked about achievement in 2019 was to win the mandate for FMCG giant Emami. Ask Sinha about his plans to build a brand like Emami that has been in existence for the longest time, he says it is more about taking it to its target audiences than building the brand value.

 “Remember the days when we only had Doordarshan? The client used to have the choice of what to advertise there. Then suddenly we had 400 channels coming in. So what did a media panel or client do? Then we got into analysing how best to reach out to the consumer. Today, we have 400 channels, plus this World Wide Web. The consumer is the same, but they have moved, the time spent on media is changing. So what will a client want? The client would want someone to help them reach to their target audience in the most efficient and effective way,” he said.

 Sinha further believes that in the times of slowdown most clients are asking for ‘outcome-based advertising’. “Most of the efforts of the clients have been on the sales side, but I would say outcome-based advertising had increased. People are moving towards outcome-based advertising. Outcome-based advertising is anything that gives the client the results. So for example, outcome-based advertising for an FMCG would be if I advertise now, how has it moved up sales in the purchase cycle. So that's what has increased. Advertising sentiments have been a bit low, in the last few months, but as I said, what we were expecting as an investment from the client, I don't see much change in that, but I do see them going towards outcome-based advertising and whatever can give them ROI,” he added.

Finally, as we begin the New Year, Sinha feels digital will continue to be the biggest trend in the advertising market in 2020 as well. We know digital has become the Number 2 media now. Within digital, if you look, there is a different world that exists. There is a world of OTPs which exists; a world of marketing which exists; there is a world of engagement marketing which exists. More clients are trying to get on this trend, and data is going to play a very important role, because ultimately what the client is looking for is to talk to the prospective consumer, whether it's through an engagement platform, or through a communication platform, or whether it is through performance. So that's one big trend that is going to continue and data is going to play a very important role here. I term it as a consumer contact programme, where you contact the consumer on digital, or an engagement through an activation or a roadshow because we need to know the consumer who is likely to be a purchaser. So that is the trend which I think is likely to come up,” he concluded.

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