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BW Businessworld

Working As A Team Can Help Achieve Key Objectives, Drive Growth

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In its evolutionary process, advertising  witnessed super specialisation and, now, the next level is about collaboration, or as WPP’s Martin Sorrell famously calls it, horizontality. It is important for the marketer that different marketing service disciplines work together. Havas, the smallest amongst global marketing services holding companies, took the concept of collaboration to a new level when it embraced the Havas Village format last year, suggesting that all its agencies, including Havas Worldwide and Havas Media Group, would sit under the same roof. The year 2015 began with Havas Together, wherein the global leadership combined efforts to define the company’s future growth drivers.

Playing Lik A Team
“Hitherto, while engaging clients, media and creative disciplines focused on their own areas of expertise. With Havas Together, we are gearing up to combine efforts to achieve the same objective. So from playing tennis, we are now into rugby or soccer, where it is important for all disciplines to conjoin efforts,” says Alfonso Rodés Vilà, deputy CEO, Havas, and CEO, Havas Media Group. This, however, in no way means that Havas is moving towards the full-service model. At least, not in the conventional sense. The company’s media and creative assets will continue to operate with independent profit and loss accounts The first change will be in the mindset, and then in the focus areas of the company, with the spotlight on technology and content.

In fact, the changes are already visible. Havas signed several deals in the last few months with Facebook Atlas, Universal Music, Myriad and NewsCred to help its clients get access to the marketing technologies and content expertise of these companies. According to Vilà, Havas agencies in markets such as India will benefit from these relationships. He says, “India has been a priority market for us. The sheer size and complexity of the market makes it important to bring in new-age solutions. The nature of partnerships we have signed is a reflection of our desire to be close to technology and content and invest in understanding these better.”

Content & Data
Havas agencies in India are not only exploring concepts such as people-based marketing and content marketing but also advertising technology via programmatic routes. But is India ready, especially at a time when traditional media continues to grow? Vilà believes it is. “Marketers, irrespective of geography, are looking for effective and efficient solutions to connect with consumers. We expect programmatic to grow because it makes sense. When it will hit the tipping point is perhaps a question everyone is seeking an answer to. But the operative word here is ‘when’ and not ‘if’,” he says, adding, “The government of India and the private sector are investing in broadband and mobile, and these are the most crucial ingredients in transforming the communication landscape.”

In India, the company plans to focus more on mobile and data, an area that it has been investing in globally for over a decade now. Vilà points out that “in markets like India, mobile is the first connected screen for many consumers. This opens many new possibilities. We are reinforcing our capabilities and developing mobile-focused products. We have been investing in data agencies too, and these are the areas where you will see us grow inorganically as well”.
 
(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 23-03-2015)