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Agencies Are Changing From The Inside: Leigh Terry, CEO APAC, IPG Mediabrands

Leigh Terry, CEO APAC, IPG Mediabrands says agencies need to keep up with clients to flourish

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The agency business is under stress. Marketers are increasingly doing work in-house and some others are experimenting with bold new agency models.

Listen keenly to Leigh Terry, CEO APAC, IPG Mediabrands and his advice is clear: Keep up with the clients’ needs to flourish in these tough times

Terry delivered a power-packed masterclass on the agency side of the business at the launch of the 14th edition of the BW Businessworld Marketing Whitebook 2018 in Mumbai on July 20, 2018, in a fireside chat with BW Businessworld editor, Noor Warsia.

“Forthright marketers are looking to change the agency model,” observed Leigh Terry, adding that agencies need to be smarter, better, faster to keep up with the changing needs of the clients.
Commenting on the emerging belief that creative investments are more important than media investments, Terry stressed on the combination of a great creative idea supported by an effective media investment. “They are both yin and yang. One is not premium than the other,” he said. P&G Marketing Chief, Marc Pritchard, recently set up a first-of-its-kind agency model that breaks down silos and puts creativity centre stage.” Referring to Pritchard’s outlook Terry said, “if Marc changing the model is creating better creatives, then I am for it.”

The age-old agency business model is very much changing, said Terry. “Agencies now need to be lots of different things to lots of different clients,” he said. Agencies work with a wide spectrum of clients; they each have different needs and some of whom are evolving at a greater pace than others. “While from the outside it may not look like the agency business model is changing, it is changing from the inside. In fact, in some cases, it is almost unrecognizable in terms of the kind of technology and talent that drives the business.” In fact, technology itself has changed the media landscape making it very complex, Terry pointed out.

India is a crucial market for brands and agencies alike. But how does India compare with other markets in terms of leveraging technological developments like AI, AR/VR? “There is phenomenal talent in the Indian market,” he said. He further added that while India may not be at par with some other markets, the country has immense scope for growth. “India is in the best position for fast-paced growth especially in the APAC region,” he said.  

Finally, Terry advised agency staffers to keep up with all the new developments from technology partners like Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. “Seeing the very many applications of the technology is a great learning experience,” he added.

He further said, “I am very adamant that there is no United States of Europe and there is definitely no United States of America. So everything we do needs to be a balance of consistency of approach aided by local market inputs.”

(Venkata Susmita Biswas)

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