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Ex GroupM Sai Nagesh floats Matrix Marketing to knit integrated marketing communication alliances. Retail media big on agenda.

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Ex GroupM Sai Nagesh floats Matrix Marketing to knit integrated marketing communication alliances. Retail media big on agenda.

After months of working behind the scenes, Sai Nagesh has decided to announce his return back into the thick of media action. Nagesh has turned an entrepreneur and is launching his company christened Matrix Marketing Communications. Matrix will foster communication alliances through deployment of mass media, public relations, direct marketing, events and other marketing communication tools. Nagesh is also planning to work closely with leading retailers to develop India’s first in-store GRP. A media professional to core, he was heading the marketing and corporate affairs function at GroupM.

What’s even more interesting is that MMC (India) will also be working very closely with major retailers in the country to develop the India’s first in-store GRP. This in turn will help advertisers to look at retail chains as a measurable medium and as part of the alliances activity, MMC will incubate ideas to develop innovative participation among retail outlets and advertisers.”

Nagesh explains, “Today retail is not a measurable medium. If I walk into a retail outlet, and inform them that I need to use their premises for a promotion (for a month or so), the number quoted to me would be somewhere in the region of 30 lakh. But the question remains, what kind of returns am I drawing for the entire effort? Is it possible for me to get an estimate prior to my taking on this kind of promotion? For instance, a mall may have 100 footfalls per day, but of these there would only be 35 who actually make purchases, and there may have been only 25 who have cruised the entire outlet. How can I guage aspects such as the average time spent in a particular corner of the mall? How many purchases are made per week or per month? To answer some of these questions, we have something called the in- store GRP which would work across seven distinguished parameters.”

He goes on, “Retail is a Rs 900, 000 crore industry today, growing at the rate of four and a half per cent per year. It’s going to be one of the biggest media in this part of the world. You can publicise your brand at one-tenth the price of a STAR or a Sony and still get visibility without clutter. For instance, newspapers are struggling to make their presence felt overseas. My point is – I can take you to the US market, launch your edition there at a fraction of your budget, I will give you the entire chain of Wal-Mart outlets and I can even name particular sections within these outlets which Indians are most likely to frequent. All of these work through a well-knit system of alliances.” All agreements with leading retailers in India would culminate by December.

Nagesh adds, “Considering the direction that the industry is moving towards, companies are prospering with the aid of good partnerships. Strategic alliances are becoming commonplace and MMC (India) understands the need for the companies to utilise this as a communication tool to make it big.”

He continues,” I don’t really expect any hurdles in my way. It’s really a win-win proposition for all concerned. While other intermediaries expect you to spend through your nose in order to reap the desired dividends, my point is, spend a nominal amount, but spend it wisely, so that you get the desired number of eyeballs.”

Nagesh is a well-known face in the media circles. Prior to setting up MMC, he was a senior member of the management team at GroupM and served as Director, Marketing and Corporate Affairs, after which he was allotted the role of heading the GroupM’s Team LG. As a hardcore media planner, Nagesh has 18 years of planning experience behind him, having spent time at agencies such as Lintas (now Lowe), Mudra Communications, FCB-Ulka, Contract Advertising and MAA Bozell. He set up the Maximize (now Maxus) office in Mumbai when GroupM, which was then WPP Marketing Communications, was formed in January 2002.


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