“The global economic situation will unfold in quite a negative way this year in India” – Shripad Kulkarni

Shripad Kulkarni, chief executive officer, Allied Media shares his thoughts on the year gone by

“The global economic situation will unfold in quite a negative way this year in India” – Shripad Kulkarni

How was the year 2011 for Allied Media, and how is the new year looking?

For us, 2011, like our last five years, have been very good and we had a healthy 35% growth. However if you see the market trend, especially the last six weeks, one can see the global recession impact is visible and there is little cautiousness being exercised by marketers. We are pretty much comfortable this year till April 2012, as the budgets have already been frozen, and are confident that we will easily be above market trends in the coming year as well. However, it does look like that the global situation will unfold in quite a negative way this year in India and that will impact agencies.

How can this impact be nullified?

I don’t think media agencies per se can do much to change the scenario because marketing budgets are driven by market situations and sentiments of the advertisers, and we can do precious little for it. But I think what we can do is, we can look at innovative solutions for our clients. We can look at innovative solutions, far greater ROI and very often the answer is in IMC solutions, which I would say, not all Indian media agencies are well equipped to handle.

Measurement has been a major issue among marketers across mediums. What is your take on that, especially OOH?

I think every advertiser has metric for RoI measurement of sorts. While some are primitive, some are fairly sophisticated. In the OOH space, hopefully in the next couple of years we will see some sort of measurement tools in place from industry bodies like MRUC who are developing tools. Anybody who wants ROI in digital, there are various tools already available. However, there is an issue in terms of the ATL vs BTL spend ratios and the split within ATL and BTL. That is where we are taking steps along with Point Logic with the M3 model, which primarily focuses on these.

What were the key growth drivers for Allied Media in 2011, and what do you think will be the drivers going forward?

In 2011, the growth driver for us was the organic growth from all our existing businesses and the new businesses that we got in the last two to three years. The key growth drivers for us in 2012 will be use of world class research tools for ROI, across IMC campaigns.


Campaign India

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