Fluid business scenario demands specialization

Today’s fluid business scenario demands specialisation even when it comes to the vendors. However, if one looks at what’s taking place in some agencies, one will find specialisation of a different kind. It’s akin to becoming an all rounder, rather than a specialist batsman or bowler. The specialisation in one word is integration that is becoming a one stop shop for your clients. One example of the integration theory is Mudra.
The agency has created what it calls ‘India’s first full-service media agency’ by bringing its diversified media portfolio under the Mudra Max umbrella. Mudra Max umbrella now comprises Tribal DDB, Rapp, Primesite, Kidstuff, Multiplier, Mudra Videotec, Celsius, Terra, 10 Integrated, Prime Retail, Prime Consult and Prime Green among others. In revenues Mudra Max would easily enter the big league of top-three media agencies post integration. The integration is aimed at giving Mudra Max operational scale and will leverage expertise across functions.
Mudra Max will take the media planning function to the next level, what is called is ‘investment planning’. The group is already beefing up its planning function by training its planners to think in a holistic manner and plan media beyond the obvious TV-print-radio-outdoor combination. Thinking out of the box is also high on the agenda of Rediffusion YR, where integration has taken the shape of ‘One Rediff’. At the Goafest this year, the Rediffusion team were seen sporting T-shirts that said ‘One Rediff’.
It was not a statement reflecting their state of mind on the awards night, but a teaser of a larger game plan — one of consolidation. According to Mahesh Chauhan, group CEO, Rediffusion YR, “One Rediff is the new matrix of the organisation where the idea is to make accountability ‘the core’. There are two kinds of clients, one who demands specialisation and the other wants a one-point-contact.
One Rediff is about offering the bouquet as one entity. Across agencies looking to hard sell the integration plank, the overriding thought is to bring value to the client agency relationship. Citing an example, the first pilot of ‘One Rediff’ was when the agency presented the complete array of services at the client pitch. “The client said my budget is not Rs 100 but Rs 180. Now come back with a deployment plan.

Suddenly the scope of engagement spans across creatives, media and even public relations. The re-calibration of the structure was also put in use at Mindshare India in early 2008 with an emphasis on simplifying complicated structures.

Three integrated collaborative groups were created namely Business Planning, Invention and Exchange. This replaced the old branch system and instead former branch heads formed a new Client Leadership ring with responsibilities ranging from a single big ticket or a cluster of clients. The vision MD Mindshare India illustrates is to move towards a non-transactional based model and move the top 20 clients to the top of value chain.

Even as some agencies have given a nomenclature to their respective integration exercises, CEO – South Asia, Starcom Mediavest Group believes different verticals within the network have to work in harmony if the client demands it, even if formal integration is not in place. As an agency it is important to understand a client’s problem and give the best solution.

We draw from various verticals within the group to deliver results. In the B2B space branding may not be that important, because what the client is interested in is the solution and not the product unlike in a consumer space. To integrate or segregate is an issue which ad land has been grappling with for sometime. Whether the latest version of tying all ends together will work? Only time will tell.