Creative Challenge: Media Agency opportunities

There is a lot of potential in the Asia Pacific especially for new entrants to exploit. The brand has still some way to go and needs time. This is the case of OMD, the No 1 media agency network in the world that is the Asia Pacific CEO of Omnicom Media Group, the media services division of integrated marketing communications giant Omnicom.

For some time now management did an exceptional job of building a substantial platform for OMD in Asia Pacific helping the agency rise from being a non-entity to a “No. 2 challenger brand”. According to their new CEO, the opportunities are significant and the agency’s priority will be improving its digital and content offerings.

The media agencies who have already established can look for growing resources in digital and content management. They are already good but they need to be the best in class. India, China and the ‘virgin’ Asean markets like Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos hold immense growth potential, unlike the established markets of Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong and Malaysia, where “budgets don’t increase but costs do.”

India is exciting; it’s just the question of how you manage your growth. There is no OMD anywhere in the world that is not successful. In India, OMD works only with TBWA India, and not with the other creative agencies in the Omnicom fold namely, Mudra Communications and RK Swamy BBDO.

Speaking of creative, this year, for the fourth consecutive time, OMD was ranked the most creative media agency in the world by The Gunn Report for Media. That isn’t entirely surprising, considering the agency shares bloodlines with three of the world’s most creative ad agencies — TBWA, BBDO and DDB. In fact, most of OMD’s senior management comes from one or the other of these agencies (going back to the full-service agency days).

The role of creativity is increasing within media agencies. Creative in media has changed dramatically over the last 10 years, with the onset of different new media. It is no longer about just grabbing eyeballs. The successful have an infinite amount of research at finger tips to show where consumers are interacting with media and can influence consumer touch points in a number of ways, talk to them in a number of ways.

The ability to ‘influence’ consumers as in the past is diminishing and fast changing. An idea can come from any quarter — the brand agency, PR agency, creative agency, media agency as long as it can help understand the motivations of consumers and is the right answer to clients’ needs. The challenge is to ensure meeting the market demands of the clients locally.

Delivering results for the client is top priority. Results mean Clients, business, growth and media agencies have to be involved in that metric because and must have business metric measurements, whether they are KPI (key performance indicators) measurements or whether they are genuine metric measurements. Major clients around the world still want to work off and set commission, the traditional model. However, that model doesn’t keep pace with the challenges of digital, content and mobile marketing. What OMD is trying is to get a fair input analysis, result analysis and resource analysis with all of those things are put together against set KPIs and the fee is worked out in collaboration with the client.

What matters in media agency business is how long you hold on to your clients, how long you have worked with your existing businesses. Being No 1 is great but expectations are also high.

What the agency has done of late is put in place several tools to enhance its offerings to clients. OMD Checkmate, for instance, fuses the science of media with the art of media to create efficient, effective and distinctive communications strategies.

BrandScience is a media monitoring and research unit that will offer services aimed at providing marketers with more measurable information regarding their campaigns. And OMD recently announced the launch of creative group to focus on developing creative ideas, new media consulting, and marketing and promotional ideas. Additional resource will help strategic planners and research people to help fast-track ideas that work.

These tools will not be rolled out in all the markets, although everyone can access them. And whether a tool needs to be implemented is a call that the CEO of each region has to take keeping in mind its relevance to that market. If someone finds it relevant for the business or the market they operate in, they know that the facility is available to them.

In this field growth will not come at the cost of damaging the relationships the agency enjoys with existing and prospective clients. Growing too quickly is a dangerous thing. The agency needs to have the right talent in place. Spreading people thin and killing them is not what they should work for.