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Digital will be the best connecting tool between brands & consumers: Havas Media’s Tom Goodwin

Goodwin, SVP - Strategy & Innovation, Havas Media Group, speaks about the current scenario of media agencies and how brands are coping with changing consumer demands

Aanchal Kohli | Mumbai | May 27, 2015

Tom-Goodwin Tom Goodwin

Tom Goodwin, who recently joined Havas Media Group as SVP - Strategy & Innovation, understands new technology, behaviour and platforms, and ideates and implements solutions for clients that take advantage of new opportunities. Prior to joining Havas, he had founded Tomorrow, an agency that provides innovative advertising and marketing solutions for the post-digital age, positioned at the intersection between digital agencies, creative agencies and management consultancies.

Prior to founding Tomorrow, Goodwin had served as Director, Partner Developmentat IPG Media Lab, driving growth and innovation. He built client relationships, provided strategic insights, and conceptualised new product offerings and revenue models. Before that, he led new business development and strategy for companies, including Huge Inc. and Lowe Worldwide, holding global roles based in the UK and the US. A passionate futurist and technology trend forecaster, Goodwin brought the western world’s first QR code-based campaign, developed the first interactive outdoor ad, and created the first click-to-install mobile ad.

BestMediaInfo,com caught up with Goodwin who was in Mumbai last week for MELT 2015. He throws light on the current scenario in media agencies, challenges that brands face in a complex marketplace, programmatic technique and more. Excerpts:

How would you define the current scenario of media agencies in India and internationally?

I feel media agencies are going through a lot of change. For a long time, their role was to buy advertising but now I think the notion of media is changing, whether it is through shared content on social or earned content or organically spread content. Therefore, the role of media agencies in various markets like America is starting to move towards providing business advice and solutions to brands in terms of utilising various media tools. With the growth of mobile and internet in India, the role of media agencies is very interesting and has different challenges.

India is witnessing growing penetration of internet and mobile. Do you think Indian brands have been able to cope with this technological shift?

Yes, brands are able to cope up and are matching up with speed of consumers too. The problem here is that the large companies are not meant for shifting with speed, but having said that, they are coping up with their communication and marketing strategies. The whole generation of companies is in some or the other way trying to grow faster as per the growing needs and demands of their consumers.

What are brands looking for?

Brands these days are looking to deal with complexities as marketplaces are getting complex day by day. The increasing new and technological shifts are enabling the brands to navigate their way to deliver to the needs and demands of their consumers.

What is that one strategy that brands should adopt?

For me, everything today has started working around ‘people/consumers’. Unlike the earlier days when advertising agencies and media agencies used to revolve their strategies around media channels, now there is a need to revolve every solution around consumers. Another thing that is important is to understand the notion of organic marketing.

What are the challenges that brands are facing?

The biggest challenge is to cope up with the fragmented market where consumer’s time spent is very small on every media channel. The wayconsumer behaviour is changing with mobile penetration and with mobile becoming the primary screen for majority of consumer exercises, brands are kind of finding it a bit challenging to disseminate their messages with the cross-media approach.

You recently came on board at Havas Media. How would you define your stint?

It has been great working with this group. I have worked with quite a few agencies, but I always wanted to work with Havas Media. My approach is grounded in the belief that the role of technology is to solve problems, address consumer needs, and support business goals.

Are you contentwith the strategies that you follow at Havas Media while providing solutions to brands?

Yes, I am. Havas Media is one of the most agile agencies. While other agencies talk about accepting changes, we at Havas Media had already started to change and evolve as per the technological shifts that the world is witnessing. Now we no longer focus on television, but we constantly focus and talk about video. I am really excited about the way we are going to build ourselves in the future.

Another notion that brands are talking about is ‘programmatic technique’. What is your take on this?

I feel it is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it is tainted by various problems and challenges, while, on the other, it permits people to advertise in a much more relevant way. I feel the key with programmatic is getting the right balance between premium inventory and personalised service. It also helps brands to build better reach and awareness about the brand with the consumers.

What are the trends that you visualise?

According to me, there will be screens all over. Everything is going to become a screen going further down the line. Digital will be the best connecting tool between brands and their consumers, which will enable newer avenues of advertising and marketing.


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