Arati Rao
Apr 17, 2012

"We need to drive digital throughout the process": Amanda Richman, MediaVest Digital

A conversation with Richman, president – digital, MediaVest Worldwide and digital lead for emerging markets, Starcom MediaVest Group, and Arnab Mitra, national director, SMG digital

Amanda Richman,  president – digital, MediaVest Worldwide and digital lead for emerging markets, Starcom MediaVest Group, was in Mumbai recently. 

Asked about what brings her to India at this time, she said, "I'm here to meet the teams and the clients, and to see how we can drive digital growth in this region and catch up with consumers."

On the current state of the Indian operations, Richman was of the view, "There's a tremendous base of talent and great momentum here in this location as we won 18 clients in the past year. We're driving digital growth across different industries and categories and really bringing our human experience proposition to life."

Arnab Mitra, national director, Starcom MediaVest Digital, revealed of the 20 pitches the agency went for last year, 18 were won and the biggest were Aircel and Dabur.

The area Richman is keen for the team to focus on is driving digital throughout the process. "From human insights to understanding how to connect with consumers," she explained. "This includes understanding digital interactions, becoming part of the transformation to a three-screen world, and building up capabilities while having data at the core, to drive the best product in the region."

Mitra said, "In terms of focus areas, we see a lot of our traditional clients transitioning to the digital medium and embracing the change. We need to spend a lot of time with our clients to help them make the transition."

The questions that clients have and digital challenges they face are quite similar across regions, according to Richman. "These would be the interest in understanding measurability, focus on content and how it can be used to connect with consumers, and understanding how digital complements traditional media and how all of it can drive towards sales," she said.

The trend across emerging markets is the rapid rate of mobile adoption. "At the speed at which people are connecting for entertainment and information to each other, we need to accelerate with that to understand how we can connect more deeply, not just in a mobile environment but if we can bring them into a PC or television experience as well," said Richman.

Richman couldn't reveal the revenue models at MediaVest Digital, but she added, "The good thing about digital is the opportunity to be flexible to client needs, whether that's looking at dedicated teams or cost per lead models."

On whether there are any plans to build the team size in India, Mitra said, "We're already about 30 people and plan to grow another 30 to 50% in the next 12 months."

Campaign India

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