The CEO, Group M, South Asia, touched upon points that are important for an agency to stay abreast in times of tough competition
Akansha Mihir Mota | Delhi | August 29, 2016
The celebration of marketing and communication event Zee Melt 2016 started off with an insightful session of CVL Srinivas, CEO, Group M, South Asia, on the topic ‘Agency of the future’. Srinivas talked at length about how agencies should make themselves future-ready in the times of cutting-edge competition.
Srinivas commenced the presentation with a video where a man talked about what can happen to an agency if it doesn’t adapt to change. He said that the last 10-15 years can be divided into three phases. First is the era of debundling, where there was only one single agency. Then the ’80s-’90s witnessed the era where the creative and media agencies separated. Over the next 10 years, specialist agencies were set up. They start getting into digital, mobile and outdoor, etc. In the last couple of years, we have entered the era of disruption, where a massive change is happening at a very massive pace.
To get into the main problem, Srinivas first took up the case of the clients and said, “It is important to know what is disrupting clients? What is keeping them up in the night? Everything is undergoing massive change and disruption. Disruption leads to the following: One is that the cost pressure, procurement, planning cycles are getting a lot shorter and the ecosystem has become so fragmented that the disruption is coming in and affecting the clients.”
Coming to the agencies, Srinivas said, “The agencies have to bear the brunt as the clients are getting disrupted. The agency sits between the brand owner and the consumer. The entire value changes, whether it is delivering insights, measurement and so much more happening.”
Further moving on with his presentation, he started showing ‘the agency survival kit’.
He said that first it is important to contemporise the existing model by being updated with the latest technology. Secondly, the agency should become more adaptable. Thirdly, the agency should be ready for the future. Lastly, he would discuss further how to run an efficient organisation because there is always a cost pressure.
Explaining it further, Srinivas said, “Clients and the agencies still operate with the models of the past. With whatever data, technology and efficiency, everything boils down to one excel spreadsheet and at what rates can we buy media for the ads. The more chaos in the industry, the more relevant the agencies will become and more value they can provide. The whole point is that the existing models won’t work. Last but not the least, all of this is only possible if we change the mindset.”
He moved forward by presenting 10 steps to building an agency of the future: