While the Indian economy is poised to grow at one of the highest rates in the world, its advertising industry is facing stagnation as marketers reassess their marketing strategies in light of a rapidly changing media, consumer and communication landscape.
On top of this, consultancies, brand consultants, media agencies and digital agencies are all chipping away at the brand communication pie. As a response to this, the agency market has seen consolidation of business between proliferating boutique creative hot-shops with low overheads and the large agencies with the advantage of scale.
In this scenario, TBWA had to carve a niche for itself. "While everyone pays lip service to Integrated Communications, the industry essentially looks at a TVC script as the growth platform," says an agency executive. TBWA decided that rather than being overwhelmed by change, it decided to find excitement in the uncertainty and see possibilities in that scenario.
The agency's objectives in 2017 was to build on the foundations of emerging needs of CMOs, rather than historical precedents, to create a sustainable model for profitable revenue growth. It also wanted to increase the contribution of local client revenue through winning local new businesses that were steady.
In 2017, TBWA also started a design lab with specialists that use design thinking to design brand identity, utilities and experiences design. It also launched Disruption Consulting to help clients tackle interesting marketing problems, without necessarily tying them up to a classical campaign solution.
The kind of solutions that this consulting business provides includes helping clients find new revenue models, helping create a new organisational culture and so on.
To fix responsibilty among its employees TBWA decided that employees need to have an output that could be measured. The agency reconfigured people’s job descriptions /designations on how they contribute to the three specialisations that clarified every individual ask within the framework of our positioning.
Under such a system, each individual is clear about their objectives and deliverables within the three verticals: Disruption, Disruption Live and Disruption Innovation. The other dimension of this re-configuration was responsibility.
The agency assigned each individual with one of four responsibilities: Executive, Leader, Director and Partner
a. Executive: Makes it happen
b. Leader: Delivers the expertise /specialization on an on-going assignment
c. Director: Sets a direction on an on-going assignment
d. Partner: Delivers growth for the agency, while partnering senior clients
The agency promoted an internal training program called ‘Muscle Up’ to hyper-train chosen individuals on the three specializations. This was further bolstered by participation in regional and global training programs for key personnel.