Time for the media ecosystem to change strategies and adapt: Industry leaders
An esteemed group of panelist spoke about how to adapt in the ever-changing media ecosystem at the Pitch Madison Report unveiling in Mumbai
Published - 14-February-2019
The Pitch Madison Advertising Report, the most awaited report of ad spends in the media and advertising industry was revealed on 13th February 2019. The report was launched by Pitch, in partnership with Madison World.
Sam Balasara, Chairman, Madison World revealed that the growth forecast for the media and advertising industry is 16.4% for 2019. The growth in the media market is at an all-time high and it is time for the media ecosystem to change their strategies and adapt.
The panel discussion with speakers from the advertising and broadcasting sector focused on 'How to improve in the ever-changing media ecosystem'. They also touched on the topic of the relationship between the client and an ad agency.
Moderator Raj Nayak, former COO, Viacom 18 posed a question to the panel about what they think is wrong with the media ecosystem. “We harp so much on accuracy and data. Data is the biggest area of concern for the media industry. As an industry, we still do not have data for mediums apart from TV. A unified system of measurement is required”, stated Subha Sreenivasan, Head of Media Services, GCPL. Anagha Bhojane, Group Brand Manager-Media, Asian Paints comments, “We need to look at data of viewers across media platforms. Media integration should be taken seriously. Getting individual data is potent but we need to look at the data as content measurement and not just a platform measurement.”
The media industry has been playing it safe and doing what works for them. “No matter what ecosystem we belong to whether it is media owners or ad agencies; we need to invest time to nurture and grow. We need to look back and reflect on how we have grown and how an ad agency can improve their relationship with their client. It's about how much time you invest in the media ecosystem. We need to improvise and come out of our safe zone,” remarks Anagha Bhojane.
The key focus area should be consumers. Vikram Tanna, VP, Head of Advertising Sales and Business Head of Regional Clusters, Discovery India says, “ Consumers never fail us. Especially with the video platforms growing and attracting consumers. We ought to create a mass ecosystem, develop and overlap the borders of the ecosystem. The sum of the individual parts is going to be much higher than the individual parts. We need to distribute talent as well. Better talent should be all under one umbrella. Integration will attract a larger audience”.
Digital is one of the rapidly growing areas in the media industry. But the question arises: How are digital platforms recorded? “It is largely based on what platform it is. But we need to unify the data of broadcast and digital”, says Subha Sreenivasan, GCPL. “A lot of money for advertising is going to digital. But it is not that effective. A 90-second Facebook commercial is skipped in one second. On a digital platform, we know that viewers for commercials are very low. It depends on how the business is valued and the new world business depends on the number of users, it is about where the consumers are putting their money and time. The problem arises when we try to pitch one medium against the other. There is a certain comfort of consistency; as long as something is working for us we don’t change things. I have data that the majority of people in the morning while commuting is watching Netflix, the data is impossible to be content with. The consumer is also passing by an outdoor advertisement but won’t pay attention to it. The data record should be of both the platforms. It depends on what data and platforms are important for media buyers”, states Gaurav Jeet Singh, General Manager Media (South Asia), Unilever.
In the media ecosystem, especially in the advertising industry, clients keep moving from one agency to another. What seems to be the issue? There should be a common goal and a strong relationship should be built. Subha Sreenivasan, GCPL, says, “Media houses in the past were about efficacy and efficiency. They were looked at as a service provider. As business started to get competitive the role of an ad agency has changed from a service provider to a partner. If we don’t adapt to this changing role, we won’t survive. We partner with Madison because we have equal stakes and equal growth. Our brands are flourishing together.” “Partnership is essential between the client and the ad agency. In a typical ad culture if you are looking for something which is not a longer partnership but immediate gain, that would ruin a partnership”, comments Vanita Keswani, Madison Media Sigma. Gaurav Singh, states, “It is about how agencies are structured in their thinking if there is a team who only works on pitches. agencies are spending money on teams to keep clients. It is quite a relationship. It is about keeping the client”. The scenario has become about results v/s rewards, where the clients are at the top and not the consumer. The new emerging platforms are the only thing that is changing in the media domain. The key factors to focus on is content and talent. Lack of data measurement in the digital space should be changed.
Speaking on the relationship between a client and the agency, the more both of the ecosystems match their goals, the more the relationship will strengthen. The common goal on both sides is savings and that should change. Agencies should be partners and not vendors. Commoditizing the partners is where the problem lies. It should be about two partners working in cohesion. “Not everything is hunky-dory in the media ecosystem. We have depended on the ideology that if things are running in a particular way it should remain in that manner and that should be changed”, concludes moderator Raj Nayak.