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Ad agencies strengthening their interactive marketing divisions

02-July-2002
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Ad agencies strengthening their interactive marketing divisions

Recognising the growing importance of online communications, interactive divisions of leading ad agencies are now strengthening their operations to meet the new media needs of Indian corporates.

To handle the influx of new online marketing accounts, Ogilvy Interactive, the interactive wing of Ogilvy & Mather India is now on a recruitment spree. And iContract, the interactive and direct marketing wing of Contract Advertising is planning to expand its operations beyond three cities namely, New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.

As part of its future plans, Ogilvy Interactive is looking at partnership with a couple of technology-oriented companies. Recently, Ogilvy Interactive won a host of online accounts, which include, Hutch, American Express and Jet Airways.

On the growing importance of online marketing, Internet gurus predict that the online advertising industry will continue to grow but the use of new forms of communication vehicles will be seen.

According to sources, the present size of the online advertising industry is around Rs 50 crore. It is expected to touch Rs 200-400 crore in just three years.

As for the rationale behind iContract’s expansion plans, Mr Bimal Nair, president, iContract, says the agency now wants to reach beyond three cities where it’s currently operating. “So, we plan to extend our operations to Chennai and Hyderabad now. Also, we won a host of new business recently,” explains Mr Nair. iContract’s new account wins include, Pinnacle Systems (Delhi), Carbon (Mumbai) and Wipro Technologies (Bangalore).

According to company sources, Indian agencies are now investing in new areas to meet the evolving needs of its clients. The agencies whose intention was to only ‘generate billings’ appeared and disappeared like every fad.

Finally, a leading advertising professional based in Mumbai predicts that the online advertising industry will continue to grow but the use of new forms of communication vehicles will be seen. “Banner advertising in its traditional form will decline. Tower banners, island banners and monster banners will be used. More and more online programmes will have to get integrated with offline activities. Which is what I call ‘hybrid marketing,” adds the professional.

Clearly, the future belongs to ‘hybrid marketing’ in the Indian marketplace.

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