The takeaway: Digital will play a bigger role than conventional advertising for the start-ups; agencies should be prepared to take a partnership approach and some hand-holding
Archit Ambekar | Mumbai | February 8, 2016
At the onset of 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the much-touted ‘Start-up India’ initiative. A big move for industry, the initiative encourages entrepreneurs to get into business with support from the government.
However, the initiative may not get its due publicity and generate awareness if people are not aware of the policy details, and information about start-ups does not reach out. That’s where advertising comes into the picture. While many start-ups cannot afford advertising at the moment, the ones who have budgets are making the most of it.
BestMediaInfo spoke to some advertising professionals to get an idea of how the ‘Start-up India’ initiative is likely to benefit the advertising industry. Here’s what they had to say.
Arun Iyer, ?NCD, Mullen Lowe Lintas
“It’s going to be good for the advertising industry because at the end of the day awareness will be required by a lot of these start-ups. At the same time, brands have to be built. Trust and faith that people place in brands is immense. So a lot of these future players have to turn themselves into brands. And for that they are going to have to depend on the advertising industry. In terms of the approach, that is something that is evolving and will continue to do so. We have the conventional mediums which have very large reach, which digital still doesn’t have in India. But at the same time, there will be immense use of digital. It’s going to be a mix of all of it.”
“As a start-up, you’re not going to have a massive advertising budget. So I think it’s about finding innovative ways to promote these start-ups which don’t rely heavily on traditional advertising media like television. A few of them might have those deep pockets, but many of them won’t. So I suppose new media is going to be utilised more to promote start-ups. Another point is what kind of companies will come to advertisers. The nature of business is important. Some of them might be the new age kind of business and that will determine the kind of strategies that need to be taken. Eventually, every business needs advertising, so this boom will be good for the advertising industry.”
Ashish Bhasin, Chairman & CEO South Asia, Dentsu Aegis Network
“Advertising as an industry has always supported start-ups, because the definition itself says that they are unknown in the market, that’s why they need to get known. And if you see large e-commerce companies today, which were start-ups earlier. It has been through advertising that they’ve come into public dominance. Relatively speaking for this industry, it’s not new. The second point is that there is a different mindset that we need to have. It has to be much more on the partnership mode with start-ups. The entire focus has to be partnering in what could be the relatively difficult times and hence this approach, whether in creative, media or otherwise.
“People working on start-up clients need to be more entrepreneurial, because the needs of a start-up are usually very different from the needs of an established company. So the whole approach must be very entrepreneurial.”
Anita Nayyar, CEO, Havas Media
“The initiative will definitely help the advertising industry with more start-ups coming into existence. And for obvious reasons they will have to get into advertising. I think it is a slightly long-drawn process because they are start-ups, and they won’t have so much advertising budgets. There will be baby steps but definitely when they grow they will start advertising. The second thing is, we as an agency have won a lot of start-up clients in the last six months. We feel that the agencies have to gear themselves to the rising demands of start-ups; their response time and agility are extremely important. One cannot just take it easy and be slow in terms of responses. These organizations need a lot of hand-holding, understanding of the business and a lot of agility in terms of business. Agencies will have to gear up to such demands and services.
“There are some factors like how to keep the brand alive when the start-up is out of funds; what kind of media they want to use when they have funds and so on. The agency will have to adapt to when they are dealing with start-ups.”
Harish Bijoor, Founder & CEO, Harish Bijoor Consultants
“Start-ups require the viral and digital approach. Start-ups admire metrics and the best metric-converter is word of mouth and word of digital. This is a different competence from traditional advertising.”