If a client-agency partnership lasted 15 years a quarter of a century ago, it came down to five years about eight or nine years back – and has gone down to three years or less now, said Sanjeeb Chaudhuri, global chief marketing officer and regional head, South Asia, Standard Chartered Bank. He was addressing delegates at the Discovery Industry Conclave on day one of Goafest 2015.
“The context has changed and the platforms have changed, but some of the fundamentals of relationship with communication partners have not changed,” he noted. On the shrinking tenure of partnerships, he observed that the shorter durations don’t help in creating good working relationships. And while clients may not move accounts fully, they are forced to work with multiple partners in the fragmentation age, he noted.
A holistic perspective
“The problem is that, clearly, because of fragmentation, specialisation needs in communication and blurring of adjacencies between advertising, PR, social media marketing (and others), marketers are tempted to work with myriad partners. On the face of it, that seems right. But if you look closely, it doesn’t work,” said Chaudhuri.
He contended that with online proliferation, there arises an opportunity for communication partners, which according to him agencies are yet to embrace fully. “You need to have an end-to-end communication and specialist perspective,” said Chaudhuri.
Citing the example of the #tributestothecaptain campaign run by Standard Chartered Bank across markets, leveraging its association with the Liverpool EPL team, the speaker noted that such opportunities need to come from the ‘regular’ agency, but are often found coming from specialists instead. The campaign is getting responses to the tune of 80,000 in each market within three weeks of launch, he revealed.
“We have been a little myopic. If we take a larger view, there is an opportunity to expand and create adjacencies for business development,” Chaudhuri noted.
Context as important as content
Keeping with fragmentation and the digital-first theme, the speaker said, “Context of your content is as important as the content itself in today’s digital world.”
The speaker contended that in the backdrop of increasing conversations on ROMI and accountability, the size of marketing teams have shrunk globally. Chaudhuri added, “The way I see it, it is a fantastic opportunity to embrace and in-source communication partners as an extension of the planning function.”