afaqs! news bureau

afaqs! Marketplace promises business enquiries on its 1st Anniversary

The online platform, which helps advertisers discover the right agency, has changed both, its membership rates as well as its proposition.

afaqs! Marketplace, India’s only platform that helps advertisers identify the right ad agency, has a new membership offer on its 1st anniversary.

With a hundred agencies, production houses, design studios and content companies as paying members, Marketplace has unveiled a new online campaign, ‘The Power of 100 Agencies’.

“Nowhere else in India can advertisers browse through the work of 100 potential agencies and other creative partners,” says Sreekant Khandekar, co-founder and CEO, afaqs! “We have branded it ‘The Power of 100 Agencies’ to underline that we have an array of agencies with varying expertise across the country.”

Sreekant Khandekar
Sreekant Khandekar

The first year is often the hardest, says Khandekar, but with teething troubles out of the way “we expect an exponential increase in advertiser interest and agency memberships during the second year.”

To facilitate that, the pricing structure for annual membership has been made employee-based: it now starts as low as Rs 2,000 per month for agencies with 10 employees or less. The maximum annual membership fee is Rs 4,000 per month for agencies with more than 100 employees. All fees are payable annually.

afaqs! Marketplace allows agencies to upload an unlimited number of projects on their web pages. But smaller agencies sometimes don’t have a lot of work to showcase. “That’s why we have dropped the membership rates for them,” explains Khandekar.

He says that compared to the earlier version, Marketplace has also been made more result oriented. “We are now committed to generating at least 50 business enquiries annually for every member. We have done that because marketers are increasingly looking for agencies online,” he says.

The platform is currently free for advertisers. What is more, advertisers can seek assistance if they so desire in the agency shortlisting and pitching process.

All the other terms remain the same as before. Agencies can upload as many projects as they like on their page, including a showreel. The pages are dynamic and the agency has full control to add or delete projects during the membership period.

When asked about the kind of advertisers looking for agencies Khandekar says, “It’s like the real world: there are many small and medium advertisers as also some large spenders. They represent a broad swathe of categories such as foods, beverages, health supplements, cosmetics, dairy products, herbal products, real estate, online education, e-commerce and fintech.”

Many are first-generation enterprises but others are traditional businesses where the second or third generation is trying to take the business online. “It’s really quite exciting to see up-close how all kinds of businesses across India are using advertising to achieve their ambitions,” says Khandekar.

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