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Sudha Natarajan: Opportunities lie in tailor-made solutions

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi and Mumbai | In Advertising | February 10, 2011

All's well that ends well.

Last year was a tough year but the industry grew very well and is back in the reckoning. The level of servicing has increased and we did work twice as hard. 2010 was a year of huge learning. When there is lot of stress, quality needs to improve, as does the maturity that teams need to display. That has happened and the output has been very positive.

On the people front, it was a year where I saw a lot of maturity coming in. The youngsters took on more onus and accountability. The seriousness with which they are looking at their career and jobs went up. Clients have seen tremendous growth even during the recession. So, all those clients have responded by increasing their budgets. We won lots of new businesses last year and I see that momentum being kept alive for next year too.

I see 2011 as a far better year in terms of growth and, hopefully, slightly less stressful. While we have enjoyed all the hard work this year we want to enjoy the 2011 a little more. Some of the growth opportunities in 2011 will come from extremely tailor-made solutions for brand issues and not just media issues.

There are many more players coming in, in every category. The challenge will be to continue to give solutions to brand and marketing issues. How can a media agency work even more closely to have a direct or indirect impact on the net sales and profitability of brands? Understanding that relationship and establishing the ROI has been the challenge for the industry and for us. To make ourselves more relevant to categories and brands is what we constantly work on. This will continue in 2011 as well.

There will be an emphasis on digital this year. We have been mouthing words like web and mobile for a long time, but there hasn't been a significance push towards either the medium. Reach-wise, the web and mobile are very large, but they are not advertising friendly. The deal will be to crack these media creatively and technologically. The effort will be to try and make this media more friendly to advertising, get consumers to help in brand building and also to make it more relevant to more categories. There is a lot of work that we have done this year to touch media points and how consumers of different categories relate to different them. By media touch points, I don't mean television as a touch point. Its what's on television that is more important. And what grabs the attention of my consumer.

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