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White Rivers Media’s 4P approach helps them create an impact and hack subcultures

Shrenik Gandhi, Co-founder and CEO, White Rivers Media, spoke to about how the business has evolved to become swifter and more in-depth during the course of the agency’s decade-long journey

Shrenik Gandhi

In its decade-long journey what has worked in favour of White Rivers Media is not only its quality to create impactful work and hack subcultures but also its speed and depth of doing work, as per Shrenik Gandhi, Co-Founder and CEO, White Rivers Media.

“We are an independent brand of integrated, data-led creative marketers, moving from milestone to milestone with ground-breaking campaigns driven by innovative tech solutions. Our strategy is powered by the 4Ps, it has driven us to evolve and set new milestones in what we do, all because of a strong foundation,” he added.

Elaborating on its 4P strategy, Gandhi stated that the four constituents are- Purpose, People, Persistence and Practise.

“While Purpose is necessary to develop solutions aligned with the brand's purpose to make an impact, it is our understanding of human behaviour (People) which enables us to unlock in-depth knowledge of initiating and sustaining conversations with consumers on various touchpoints,” he said.

Furthermore, he also went on to add that because the digital marketing agency is Persistent in evolving continuously, it is able to hack popular and unexplored subcultures that break the clutter and deliver an inventive mix of effective solutions to create broadening recognition for clients.

“From presentations to campaigns, we put into action all that we learn (Practise) every single day- crucial consumer and business insights, everyday trends, platform-specific updates, and more,” Gandhi added.

Gandhi also stated that in the past ten years, the agency has grown exponentially and currently stands strong with a team of over 350 people operating from four offices across three cities.

Moreover, he also went on to state that WRM’s strength lies in the speed and depth of work-  where the agency uses its independent status to execute fast-paced campaigns in an even faster evolving social media space, and brings depth with its full array of integrated creative solutions.

Gandhi said, “We stand as marketers to the world and cheerleaders for one another - this is how we make magic happen.”

Commenting as to how WRM has hacked subcultures to build recognition for clients and brands, Gandhi stated that the agency has actualised some of India's most viral Instagram takeovers – especially when it roped in internet sensation Khaby Lame for his first Indian brand collab with Dream11.

“Our persistence to ‘be the most’ has helped us formulate campaigns like Shark Tank India Season 1, Dream11's #YehMainKarLetaHoon, Khali X realme, and Brahmastra Part One: Shiva. It is what got us in business with Pernod Ricard, Reliance, Amazon, ITC, CavinKare, TCS, Astral Adhesives, and other such titans of the industry,” he emphasised.

Upon being questioned as to what sets WRM apart from its competitors, Gandhi stated that the agency’s USP lies in its core philosophy of 'being the most' and giving its most to the world of advertising.

“A very thin line exists between 'most' and 'best'. While we focus on being the 'most,' if we tick all boxes, being the 'best' will be a by-product,” he stated.

He also went on to add that because WRM stands true to its belief in creative effectiveness, the agency never rolls out any of the campaigns just for the sake of awards, and thereby the brand's ROI always triumphs to be the real award for any campaign for them.

“The popular business philosophy 'Kaizen' (a Japanese word that means continuous improvement) defines our approach to active learning at White Rivers Media. It blends seamlessly into our unique value system to create a sustainable, scalable, and self-rewarding learning model that motivates members' individual growth,” he elaborated.

When questioned as to what were some of the key takeaways from some of the major campaigns rolled out by the agency in 2022, Gandhi replied, “Consumers react or engage with content when it adds value to their interests, which is why relevance is the key to ensure a longer shelf-life of campaigns. Even if something great is created, if there’s no help or relevance for the target customers, it cannot sustain for long.”

“Trending ideas can be used to thoughtfully weave the narratives and the tech features of the platforms selected to develop some value-adding campaigns. Also, listening to customers and engaging them for further brand narrative also goes a long way,” he added.

Touching upon how WRM has strategised its business and growth plan for 2023, Gandhi said that the agency is currently working with major OTT players, entertainment channels, film production and distribution houses along with music production labels.

“We support our clients and people such that they can achieve the most of their potential. With the diverse and dynamic needs of the industry in mind, and the aim to scale their uncharted potential at heart, we deliver creatively effective work that hacks subcultures to build recognition for clients and brands that span business verticals and champion causes that change lives and lifestyles for the collective good,” he added.

Gandhi also pointed out that it is important to leverage the latest technology tools in the digital space to offer clients the best services and results, as content creation taking care of what’s trending is vital and social media is on the rise.

“With mobile being the primarily used device, mobile-optimised websites with a good UX are ranked higher. Such specialised awareness and expertise are the need of the hour to cement all gaps that may exist in putting together the most beneficial strategies for our clients,” he added and claimed it to be the success mantra behind WRM’s ability to deliver positive outcomes.

Furthermore, Gandhi also emphasised that sticking to one’s roots is highly crucial in modern times as it’s easy to get overwhelmed and lost amidst newly emerging trends, technology and formats.

“While you put your best effort into being in touch with what’s new, don’t forget about your existing efforts- like your social media, website, SEO, digital ads, media ads, and most importantly, your reputation,” he added.

He also went on to state that if there’s one objective that WRM strives to achieve in the adland, it is going to be increased recognition of the Indian agency ecosystem across the globe, especially when it comes to meeting objectives.

Upon being questioned as to what were some of the challenges the agency had faced in the past decade, Gandhi replied that learning and unlearning continue to remain a key to leading the way in digital media.

He affirmed that while it is exciting to witness the explosion of diverse digital platforms, the agency has to reinvent its methods and marketing mix almost on a daily basis.

“Because the fragmentation of categories is such that it calls for short-burst, high-impact campaigns, the onus is on us as creative consultants to innovate new ways to reach desired audiences within crisp timelines,” he said.

Having said that, Gandhi also highlighted that the volatility of audience sentiment online challenges WRM’s creative forces to apply themselves and create something that not only stands out but also appeals to the target audience of their clients.

“Any marketing strategy that is relevant to the brand's voice and implemented at the right time always has more chances of being successful. The crux of the matter is that quality should always be prioritised over quantity to achieve sustainable outcomes,” he said.

Additionally, Gandhi also suggested that assessing and choosing only the right social media platforms, even if they are fewer, is the right way forward to sustain and scale the advertising landscape in the long run.

“Going forward, we are entering a world of more advancements and technologies, like Web 3.0, that might change the face of advertising. But we must ensure that the marketing efforts flow smoothly and align with the brand’s values. A forced fit strategy is always recognisable,” he concluded.

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