In the middle of a whirlwind visit to Mumbai, John Sheehy, president, global operations, Starcom MediaVest Group, took the time to answer a few pressing questions:
CI: Thoughts on how to stimulate business in India
John Sheehy (JS): We expect the world’s emerging markets to continue to be a growth engine for the network, and we expect China and India to be leaders of that segment. While I won’t get into specific percentages or estimates, we expect the overall market to grow by double digits, and we anticipate outperforming the industry average.
Moving into 2012, we will continue to build on our three-pillared strategy of digital, insights and research and content as we move SMG India beyond mere “media agency” offerings to becoming a "Human Experience" company that grows client business by transforming behaviour through uplifting and meaningful human experiences. In doing so, we’ll become more than an agency that simply releases advertising across a variety of channels, but as a storehouse of research and insights that can help integrate communications plans across media and non-media channels. While others in the marketplace are still working in the commodified world of planning and buying, we feel we’ve carved out a unique place to operate that’s focused on where the industry is headed, not where it’s been.
We will continue to focus on diversifying our revenue streams and capitalize on the growth in digital and interactive media. In India, for instance, 10 per cent of our revenue comes from digital which is a strong performance for this market and I fully expect that percentage to double within the next two years.
CI: What have been other initiatives in emerging markets last year?
JS: We continue to aggressively invest in talent and future focused capability. Clients are looking for SMG to innovate in the areas of consumer insights, content, digital leadership and analytics.
CI: Since there is talk of slower pace of growth, how can media agencies creatively invent opportunities for business?
JS: For 2012, the clients are still in a wait and watch mode to see how the economy fares. But to ensure a future-proof business strategy, media agencies must go beyond the traditional sources of revenue and focus on diverse revenue streams. SMG is uniquely positioned to move beyond planning and buying static things to creating meaningful human experiences, key investments to build global capability in consumer understanding, analytics, digital and content will enable SMG to lead our clients to effective brand building.