It's good to work with the pressure of ROI : Pratik Gupta

Pratik Gupta, Director, New Business & Innovations, FoxyMoron, says high expectations from digital is an encouraging sign and ROI is quite achievable

e4m by Sonam Gulati
Published: Apr 28, 2014 7:58 AM  | 5 min read
It's good to work with the pressure of ROI : Pratik Gupta

What started as a summer project between four friends has now become a full functioning digital agency. FoxyMoron is one of the known names in the world of digital agencies and boasts of high-profile clientele including Google+, L’Oreal, AXN,  French Connection and many more.

In conversation with exchange4media, Pratik Gupta, Director- New Business & Innovations, FoxyMoron, talks about how digital agencies have changed the game. He is also one of the few who derives pleasure in the sometimes unrealistic expectations from digital. More than once he ends up stating that digital is a fun place to be in. “All factors aside, the space is only going to expand for the next five years and more,” he says.

Is there a talent crunch in the market?
Yes it’s an imminent truth that there is a talent crunch. We have learned that lesson the hard way too. About 90 per cent of all our talent is in-grown.  In a way this talent crunch is a two-edged sword. It’s a challenge since the overall perspective of the business and expansion rest with the people who started the organisation and no one else. But good thing is that you manage to create and sustain a certain quality in your work.

Now, a lot of transition from traditional agencies to the digital agencies is also happening. This is also because digital is a faster growing medium and it provides a better diving port into the sea of growth. In digital opportunities are unlimited which is why a lot of migration is also happening.

How has the digital advertising ecosystem changed over the years?
When we started 5-6 years ago it was a very different space. People used to spend very little money on Google AdWords, if at all. The jump now has been unbelievable. The best part is that people who have been working are aware that how digital can provide new opportunities to their business. Digital is a very open space and fun space to be in.

What are the challenges that you face?
The biggest challenge is that brand managers are not optimally looking at digital at same wavelength. In digital space there are two kinds of people on the brand side:some know all about digital and its prospects but the others just want to tick off digital from their to-do list. Sometimes people don’t understand what digital can do for them.

Is there a gap between ROI perception of marketers vis-à-vis agencies?
This is a debatable topic as of now. But I feel that it’s a great thing that people expect a lot from digital. ROI is possible but it’s also about how you use it. We are able to bridge the ROIgap and over time we will be able to bridge the gap as to how digital is actually affecting sales and brand awareness.

We have worked with brands that have increased spends from Rs 10-15 lakh to Rs 4-5 crore.  Yes the ROI perception is a little unrealistic but it’s a good pressure to work with according to me. If I was on the other side I would be asking the same questions about returns.

When will we see spends in digital at par with TV and print?
I have a couple of brands who have made digital as their mainstay. Everything they do links back to digital. If you give them the right ROI people do spend more on digital. Other media will never be redundant but digital is soon becoming the centre of the idea since all media is linking back to digital as of now. It depends on the category also. Some digital brands are spending 35-40 percent on digital whereas some spend just about 8-10 percent.  The money will come if you are able to show reach and impact. Digital will be at the centre of everything, just give it some time.

What are new trends in digital marketing?
Video consumption is one trend that is going to be big. With cheaper phones and 3G, it’s only going to grow. Google+ is going to be the next big story. It will be used to bridge the search plus social gap.
Some other trends are online reputation management and big data.

With digital marketing coming to the fore and becoming a prominent part of the marketing mix, how has the pitching changed?
The way agencies pitch has changed. Now all of us pitch together but that is also because of consolidation since a lot of digital agencies have been bought by traditional agencies. Also, one has to keep in mind that earlier digital agencies werenot taking away thatmuch from traditional agencies. But now we are getting 10-15 percent of the total marketing spends and that is somewhere taking a hit on traditional agencies. That is also one reason that inclusive pitches are happening.

Pratik Gupta is also part of the esteemed advisory board of exchange4media’s Indian Digital Media Awards (IDMA). To recognize, celebrate and encourage the work being done in the ever-growing advertising and marketing communications activity in the digital media space, exchange4media’s Indian Digital Media Awards 2014 will be held on 6th June 2014.

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