Top Story

Home >> Advertising >> Article

We have re-crafted the media agency model : CVL Srinivas

06-December-2016
Font Size   16
We have re-crafted the media agency model : CVL Srinivas

The analogy of changing the engines of a plane while in flight is what CVL Srinivas CEO South Asia  GroupM popularly known as Srini, uses to explain how GroupM has embraced change and pursuit of new disciplines without sacrificing its core competencies or market share, when we quiz him on the next level of growth  for an organisation the size and scale of GroupM in India .

Srini who has earned the moniker of a disruptive thinker from his colleagues, has  found a new trajectory of growth for an entity that already is a market leader in the Indian media agency space.

 In a freewheeling chat Srini talks about GroupM going through a silent transformation, and creating a solid data & tech nucleus that holds together media and content services. Winning several interesting mandates from client that go beyond the traditional boundaries of media agencies and more ………..

Edited Excerpts: 

As a market leader, what is the next level of growth that you are looking at?

We have stayed ahead of the curve by investing in newer practices that benefit our clients. In the past few years we have re-crafted the media agency model by moving from a trading centric to a data centric organisation. By being a data centric and digitally charged agency we are able to unlock a lot more value for our clients.

Securing the best price on media is only a portion of what we do. Equally important today is how we can use our scale in data to find or create valuable audiences and technology to do so efficiently.  

Agencies that have failed to invest in technology, data, diversified skills will find it hard to stay in business.

With the recent announcement of (m)Platform the world’s most powerful collection of data, technology, and expertise enabling audience addressability and accountability across all media we are well positioned to take our product to the next level.

We see Digital and Data dominating our next phase of growth. They are helping us re-engineer not only our agencies’ services but also our trading, content, activation, rural marketing practices.

You have often talked about the Agency of the Future model. Is this now operational?

‘Agency of the Future’ isn’t one static model but a perpetual beta… of an organisation adapting to change. From managing throughput 10-15 years ago, media agencies today have a wonderful opportunity to move up the value chain to positively impact their

clients’ business. The GroupM platform that supports our agencies here has undergone a silent transformation in the last 3-4 years. We have created a solid data & tech nucleus that holds together the media and content services. This has led to us winning several interesting mandates from clients.

Do you formally announce these ‘interesting mandates’?

These assignments are strategically sensitive and very important for our clients; they cannot be discussed publicly. Moreover, we prefer our work speak for itself. You would have noticed the complete domination of GroupM agencies in terms of winning new clients, growing market share year after year (as per latest RECMA we have further expanded our lead in market) and topping industry awards.

Going forward do you believe ad- spends pre-dominantly more data led?

While it will be more data led and on digital platforms, agencies need skills to capture data, derive the insight and weave the story… all very seamlessly. Clients face the challenge of working with too many agencies and in too many silos. There is a huge transmission loss as a result. Going forward, integrating the value chain with one lead agency partner who can hold things together will become very important.

You have launched a new vertical for ecommerce and digital, what is happening with that as a specialist division?

We put together an ecommerce consulting practise as part of our data centric vision and offer clients looking at ecommerce a suite of services. Our first couple of assignments have just been signed up, including a very large one in which we conceptualised, created and help manage a service.

When we look at agencies under GroupM umbrella, we have not been hearing much in terms of business wins……..

Our agencies won over 70 new clients this year so far. And like all previous years have a 90%+ strike rate in pitches. We stayed out of a few pitches this year either because the terms were not favourable or because we were not taking part globally. Given our position and diversification, we fortunately don’t need to run after every opportunity. Also, we continue to have a 99% client retention rate.

What will you consider you biggest achievements and what is next?

As an organisation, we can feel proud of our embrace of change and pursuit of new disciplines without sacrificing our core competencies or market share. In fact, all of our performance metrics have shot up simultaneously! The analogy of changing the engines of a plane while in flight is appropriate and we’ve flown faster while doing so.

We’re also proud to have launched the WPP data alliance in India. This will gain momentum in the months to come. Xaxis, our programmatic platform is being scaled up with a lot more tech led innovation. We have the full support as always of our regional and global management.

You said that there was momentum for digital that was building up and it is still important for print to stay relevant, what is your take on it?

By end of this year digital will account for approximately 13% of the ad spend in India. Some would say this is still far lower than what it should have been. D. ShivKumar (of Pepsi) put it very well  at the MMA Forum where he said, ‘marketers look for truck- loads of proof points when it comes to spending on digital, not realising that the proof points are behind them’. Along with MMA, GroupM is working to evangelise mobile marketing in India. We recently released the Mobile ecosystem & market sizing report that throws up several interesting opportunities for marketers.

Traditional media will continue to play a big part for the medium term. TV continues to grow and will soon account for 50% of the ad spend in India.

Print’s share has declined and is definitely facing the heat from digital. It is important for Print to stay relevant in a market with our kind of diversity. Advertising in print is still yielding results and one cannot dismiss the medium completely.

The past one year has seen two major developments that should positively impact the print businesses. IRS is back on track and we should have the results out in 2017. And ABC getting into digital measurement. This will go a long way in helping publishers make the transition from one format to another.

Tags CVL Srinivas WPP

Varun Raina, Marketing Manager, Airbnb India speaks to exchange4media about the successful #LiveThere campaign and how Bollywood helps them connect with its young consumer

Tim Castree is all praises for his team in India and trusts it to be a result of “an excellent execution of agency’s global strategy” headed by Kartik Sharma

Siddharth Dabhade says Criteo’s technology allows brands to engage with shoppers, create relevant experience on retail apps, thereby driving sales and profits

Shantanu Gangane says OTT platform Viu plans around 20+ originals and is all set to enter the Tamil market with a mix of syndicated and original content

right
left
BREAK THE CEILING TOUCH THE SKY 2018 SEES OVERWHELMING INDUSTRY PARTICIPATION 10TH EDITION OF ABC EUREKA AWARDS IN MUMBAI CELEBRATES WORK OF PARTNER AGENCIES EMINENT JURY PICKS LOUDEST’S 100 MOST POWERFUL INDIAN MUSIC BUSINESS LEADERS MODE LOFT BY SABGROUP LAUNCHES SIGNATURE MENSWEAR POWER DRESSING CLOTHING LINE TOP MARKETERS DISCUSS ART AND SCIENCE OF EFFECTIVE LISTENING @PITCH CMO SUMMIT 2018, DELHI THIRD SEASON OF ‘INDIA’S TOP DIGITAL PLANNERS’ RECOGNIZES EXCELLENCE IN THE DIGITAL INDUSTRY WOMEN ECONOMIC FORUM 2018 SEES DISTINGUISHED GLOBAL PERSONALITIES IN ATTENDANCE PEPPER CREATIVE AWARDS 2018 RECOGNIZE THE BEST IN ADVERTISING IN SOUTH INDIA RADIO CITY’S POWER OF RADIO MEET HOSTS TOP ADVERTISING INDUSTRY LEADERS TOP INDUSTRY PERSONALITIES ATTEND ZOOM-MYNTRA EVENING TO CELEBRATE THEIR PARTNERSHIP LEADING MARKETERS, EXPERTS SHARE INSIGHTS ON DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION @ADOBE SYMPOSIUM IN MUMBAI NICKELODEON TRADE PARTY SEES MARKETING INDUSTRY LEADERS AND THEIR FAMILIES IN ATTENDANCE GOLDEN MIKES RADIO ADVERTISING AWARDS 2018 RECOGNIZE INDUSTRY’S MOST DESERVING ACHIEVERS AIMA MANAGING INDIA AWARDS HONOUR THE BEST IN THE INDUSTRY BW BUSINESSWORLD’S GREAT INDIA DEBATE BRINGS TOGETHER INTELLECTUALS ACROSS INDUSTRY SECTORS BW BUSINESSWORLD SMART CITIES CONCLAVE PATNA 2018 SEES EMINENT INDUSTRY LEADERS IN ATTENDANCE EMINENT JURY PICKS WINNERS OF GOLDEN MIKES RADIO ADVERTISING AWARDS MADDYS 2018 SEE TOP ADVERTISING AND MARKETING INDUSTRY LEADERS IN ATTENDANCE LOKMAT MAHARASHTRIAN OF THE YEAR AWARDS 2018 RECOGNIZE EXCEPTIONAL TALENT CNBC-TV18’S INDIA BUSINESS LEADER AWARDS HONOUR HIGH-ACHIEVERS, OUTSTANDING LEADERS AND TOP VISIONARIES

Telugu channel Star Maa is launching two new serials in the afternoon slots on May 21- Kante Koothurne Kanali and Shambhavi

CCI in February fined Google $20 million for abusing its position in online web search and also slammed the company for preventing its partners from using competing search services

Bhattacharya was has now set his sights on entrepreneurship with plans to set up something in content and fashion tech space