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Our focus is more on engagement than clients: Anil S Nair of L&K Saatchi & Saatchi

The CEO and Managing Partner of L&K Saatchi & Saatchi says the agency is poised to post a solid double-digit growth. He talks about the opening up of non-traditional verticals as major revenue streams and why they aren’t picking any low value projects anymore

Anil S Nair

L&K Saatchi & Saatchi is one of the few integrated communication agencies which is dedicated towards giving its clients business-building and business-enabling services and not just a creative campaign salient service.

According to the agency's India CEO and Managing Partner Anil S Nair, the agency is not only focused towards creativity but is also an ROI driver for the clients. Nair hopes that this approach of looking at clients’ problems will reap rewarding benefits for the agency.

While maintaining its current double-digit growth YOY, L&K Saatchi & Saatchi will now focus on increasing ticket size with its client. “Our strategy is to focus on minimum number of clients and maximum number of engagements. We will not be picking up low-value projects or one-off projects because the market is full of them. We realised it is neither working for us nor for the clients,” said Nair.

The agency’s growth has been a continuation of its 2017 plan. Unlike other agencies, L&K Saatchi & Saatchi has seen its growth coming from non-traditional sources which are beyond communication in terms of whole lot of engagement, content, production and new short assignments. According to Nair, the year has been quite good for the agency both in numbers and quality of work.

Talking about the role of non-traditional sources in the agency’s growth process, Nair focused on Publicis Groupe’s Power of One initiative. He said, “We have kept an entire specialist unit as part of the entity. It is an integrated joint team set up for clients’ requirement. This technology-enabled solution for retail strategies helps clients to give customers a better experience.”

The multi-disciplined, integrated team towards solving a singular problem or challenge that a client is facing has been working for the agency quite well. The agency is planning to use this as its driving factor for the next year.

The agency started its marketing platform, Silver Bullet, in early 2018 where the solution goes beyond ad campaign or advertising. It delves into the problems of clients ranging from fewer footfalls or conversions. “We take it as a problem statement and work on an entire package comprising strategy and implementation,” Nair said. The initiative was rolled out with only a few clients but has reached a massive number by the end of the last quarter. The agency hopes to carry this forward in 2019 as well.

Prodigious, the agency’s content platform, is giving tough competition to its rivals. With latest technology coupled with digital intervention, it has been able to execute whole new ideas to its clients. However, Nair feels the time has not yet come for content marketing to be mandatory. It will reach that stage in a few years’ time.

Giving a glimpse about Marcel, an AI-Powered solution platform, Nair clarified that it will be rolled out only in a few cities globally. India will have to wait a little more to get Marcel. But he assured that whenever it’s started, it will be a life-changing experience.

According to Nair, there is a simple yet big challenge that the industry is facing. “There is a loss of relevance which leads to loss of revenue. As an industry collectively, we have to have one voice when it comes to relevance instead of defining it in multiple levels.”

L&K Saatchi & Saatchi has been absent from the award front this year. Though the agency will be seen in the awards next year, it has a specific policy for it. According to Nair, awards are momentary and hold nothing if the work cannot woo clients. “We are focusing on one national and two international awards. We have realised that too many award shows make no difference. We will have our own focused approach and are keen to win in categories or the kind of awards that are new in terms of the discipline,” he said.

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