Campaign India Team
May 21, 2010

"Media Arts is about brand belief:" TBWA CMO Laurie Coots

TBWA Worldwide’s chief marketing officer Laurie Coots acknowledges first up that her role is an unusual one within a typical agency structure. Coots, who has been with the Omnicom owned agency for the last 26 years, has a multi-faceted role within the organisation.Besides being involved closely in most of the key global pitches within the network, Coots is also responsible for how the TBWA brand is positioned worldwide, in each of its 75 offices.

TBWA Worldwide’s chief marketing officer Laurie Coots acknowledges first up that her role is an unusual one within a typical agency structure. Coots, who has been with the Omnicom owned agency for the last 26 years, has a multi-faceted role within the organisation.

Besides being involved closely in most of the key global pitches within the network, Coots is also responsible for how the TBWA brand is positioned worldwide, in each of its 75 offices.

In addition, she works as a consultant for a number of global clients, keeping her in touch with the pulse of what clients need. Coots also needs to track what services and offerings the agency needs to have in the marketplace, from time to time. In India for a week long visit, Coots spoke to Campaign India about the need to align TBWA’s brand attributes with all of its 12,000 employees around the world, including its India office, how agencies never seem to invest enough time into marketing themselves., and on Disruption and Media Arts. The role of a global marketing officer was set up within TBWA. Coots says of the move, “We felt it was important because there was a lot of energy spent on pitching, which is probably the most expensive and unproductive way to win a piece of new business. My idea was – How can we behave ourselves more like how we would request our clients to behave? Figuring out how to behave like a true global agency, required us to have the dedication to having to market ourselves."

"We (in the advertising industry) are great marketers for our client’s brands but we work on the task of trying to build our own brands in our spare time, or in between pitches. We have to be better marketers because that’s how we will build the right solutions for our clients and understand what they need."

Another major part of her job is related to Disruption and Media Arts. "Media Arts is really about brand belief and the big brand behaviour outside of each brands. Making sure that every office knows what that is, is a big part of my job. India is looking at what’s next for advertising. That’s a good time for us to talk about Media Arts here, which is about managing brand behaviour. India is ready for that now."

The need to push for thought leadership is also key. She adds, "We know that if we speak at six events or more in a market, our new business leads double. That’s a proven track record. Teaching appointments also help. One of the points that I made was that in India, where teaching is key, we should be on the guest faculty of every single business school. That’s helped us in other markets."

Source:
Campaign India

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