A brand’s presence on mobile is crucial: Gerry Boyle

Mobile is another screen for investments and innovation, says the CEO of ZenithOptimedia, UK

e4m by Deepika Bhardwaj
Published: Aug 10, 2012 7:54 PM  | 5 min read
A brand’s presence on mobile is crucial: Gerry Boyle

Since the adaption of the new proposition of ‘LiveROI’, Senior ZenithOptimedia executives from around the world are crossing borders to share, brainstorm, co-create and strategise actions in order to ingrain the new thinking in every process.

exchange4media caught up with Gerry Boyle, Chief Executive Officer, ZenithOptimedia, UK on his first ever visit to India as a part of this movement to understand nuances of the proposition as it gets implemented in various markets, his view on future of mobile, influence of Olympics on the market in UK and more...

What marks your first visit to India?
We as a network are supporting each other in every way not only in India but Latin America, China and Russia. I have worked with Russian businesses and provided support to help people there. This is my first time in India and a great opportunity. The idea was to plan a strategy for next three years – be it technology, acquisition strategy, people strategy, new business development or existing business – to grow business over a sustained period of time.

How do you think is India adapting to the Live ROI positioning?
It is early to comment but LiveROI from an understanding perspective is gaining insights from the last two days. Through Google insights, social tools and social listening we are using insights in planning that we learnt yesterday rather than those from six months ago. The next stage is to build brand experience on basis of how different touch-points come together to deliver a dynamic engagement and to have a metric system that is agreed on with the client and can be looked up on a daily basis. That would be true LiveROI. Our people here are embracing it. I think it’s a fantastic proposition and as internet penetration grows in India, it would become even more meaningful.

What are some of the challenges you have seen implementing the same in UK?
Our biggest challenge has been encouraging use of internet from a brand perspective and really proving that it delivers against brand type metric. We have worked constantly on this front in the last couple of years. It took us lot of years to see it through but internet habits have changed and things are different now. I was surfing the internet on an $80 Micromax mobile yesterday and it was seamless, which proves that the growth will happen very quickly.

UK has produced great digital campaigns. T-Mobile flash mob was in fact a rage and India had its own share of its adaptations in campaigns. What is your view of digital creativity in India?
To me the definition of creativity is – as long as you can do something better than what was done before it doesn’t matter if it’s not necessarily new. T-Mobile was not the first ever flash mob but they did it in a completely fresh and original manner. It made us laugh, it made us share and that made it work. I haven’t seen enough work from India but the same rules apply to digital that apply to any form of advertising. It has to be relevant and ideally it has to be humorous so that you honestly feel like passing it on to your friends, otherwise it should just not be done – it has to be good advertising, good communication.

How would you compare the Olympic fervour here in comparison with other markets and UK? How have brands made optimum use of the sporting extravaganza?
The Olympic fervour in the UK is phenomenal; something like this has never happened before. It has literally ignited public imagination in a positive way. I think we are finally getting a feel good factor in UK and all of this is because of Olympics. I can’t comment on India as I am here for a very short time. In terms of branding and marketing by brands, the official sponsors have of course carried the work with great aplomb and I think all the brands have done great job in activating the partnership. There have also been few good examples of branding by the side, particularly by local brands. For example, Specsavers (An optical retailer in UK) wisely capitalized the opportunity when South Korean flag was shown ahead of North Korean football teams clash with Colombia. The ad immediately with ‘Should’ve gone to Specsavers’ slogan written in Korean immediately caught attention. Nike has also done very interesting work. But most importantly, Olympics have brought a smile on faces of brands and businesses and built consumer confidence, which is always good for advertisers.

If you had to highlight few lessons that India could learn from UK – the do’s and dont’s – what would they be?
Do – Be brave and constantly try and push the boundaries of your learning. Do understand the impact mobile will have on market and start working aggressively for mobile.

Don’t – Don’t underestimate the effect of change. Change is going to happen and it will have huge impact on the market.

You rightly mentioned that mobile is the future, but mobile still forms very small percentage of advertising budgets. How is ZenithOptimedia looking at this space?
Everyone has been guilty of thinking about mobile as a phone. If mobile is considered just a phone then there are limited communication opportunities. Google looks at phone as a super computer in your pocket. Clearly, as phones become smarter and screens become larger, we will have to treat mobile as another screen for which we need to innovate separately. So normalising mobile as another screen is important for innovation and investment in this space. I also think that optimising sites to mobile is a really important step. We at ZenithOptimedia are constantly focusing on that and also creating content that is made dedicatedly for these screens and not copy from TV. Our focus is on content, video, search and getting clients site optimised for the mobile experience.

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