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PMAR 2018: Growth has to be found by understanding the business: Experts

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PMAR 2018: Growth has to be found by understanding the business: Experts

At the unveiling of the Pitch Madison Advertising Report 2018, Vikram Sakhuja, Group CEO- Media & OOH, Madison; Rohit Gupta,President, Sony TV; Apurva Purohit, President, Jagran Group and Vikas Agnihotri, Industry Director, Google India discussed insights from the previous year in their talk, ‘Learnings from 2017'. The key points discussed here were learnings from 2017 so that 2018 can be brought to the projected 12 per cent, market outlook, how the dynamics are likely to change between radio, print, television and digital and ways to bring up the prices of inventory.

Looking at the year gone by, Gupta pointed out that despite facing demonetisation and GST, SPN didn’t witness a slowdown in growth “It’s the business model you create in the organization and how you run the business,” he said. 

When asked the reason behind the slow growth of the industry overall, Gupta pointed out that they don’t look at industry numbers. “We look at our own businesses. We have an MRP over three years that we have to achieve.” He went on to add that if the industry is growing at 8 or 10 per cent there are some companies growing at 20-25 per cent while some at one or two per cent. “Everybody is not growing at the same rate.”

Purohit talked about 2017 being a ‘bad year’ with subdued advertising because of the obvious economic hurdles demonetisation and GST (where the implementation of the latter was a challenge), implementation of RERA (which largely affected print and radio) and government subdued spending. Radio and digital grew by 8 and 30 per cent respectively. However, she chose to look at the positive side as she said, “Within media we have to look at specific businesses which did extraordinarily well and what are the learnings there.”

Compared to print, TV, radio and digital were relatively at a much better space what with growing at a steady rate. Agnihotri suggested looking for clients who have a long-term strategy in place. “You need to start focusing on that. You have to take a stand if you are there in the business to sell ads or provide business solutions. Once you take that stand in your strategy you will find clients tilting towards you.” He also suggested that there is a sentiment cautious optimism as far as the industry is concerned but he too is positive as things are now looking up. He cited the example of Unilever, which fetched strong numbers for its latest quarter.

The discussion then moved towards growth. “Do you have to keep finding opportunities to lure advertisers?” Sakhuja asked Gupta. Gupta explained that one has to work deeply with brands as some of them allocate 50 per cent of their spends on them expecting a lot in return.“This helps us in the long run. You have to look at categories doing well,” said Gupta.

Sakhuja also enquired if the classic way of looking at categories is now changing as he asked, “How would you look at growth if not categories?” Purohit answered, “I won’t discount categories completely. Different categories have different styles of selling and expectations of that medium. I think you get growth even if you just do your internal implementation right.” She also pointed out that with media and advertising accounting for just .5 per cent in GDP there is scope for everybody to grow. Also CPT in India is one-tenth of the slice of CPT anywhere in the world.
Even Gupta felt every medium is going to grow in India. He said, “We still have a long way to go.”
Purohit advised advertisers to invest on media research while Agnihotri said, “You need companies that can process data and insights and can combine multiple avenues of data to understand customers and engage them. Choose your partner carefully."                                  
Sakhuja signed off saying, “If you want to get growth don’t look at the overall aggregate. Growth has to be found by understanding the business. Try to see what the boom areas are. Then use insights, data.”

Tags Apurva Purhoit Rohit Gupta Vikas Agnihotri Vikram Sakhuja Pitch Madison Report 2018

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