“It’s a very competitive business, I don't think there is going to be any easy answer as to how we deal with the issue of margins,” says Kelly Clark, CEO, Maxus Worldwide.
Clark was in Mumbai last week and spoke to Campaign India about a range of topics, including procurement, margins and digital investments in talent and resources.
Clark was of the view that the only way that agencies, including Maxus could hope to deal with the changing landscape was by continuing to innovate.
Talking about the issue of agencies investing significantly in digital talent and resources, while clients expected the fee to be a part of their existing agency remuneration, Clark was of the view that clients were, in fact, paying for the value add that agencies like Maxus were offering for digital services. "Across our client base, we have clients paying more for digital services than they are for traditional media and buying. That's a recognition of the fact that we have a number of clients who are leaders in digital marketing, whether its Vodafone, Nokia or any of our other client brands- these are fantastic examples of leadership in the digital media channels. And they pay for that service as long as we are delivering a high quality product." Talking about the importance of Creativity in media agencies, Clark said, “There is no better place to talk about creativity than here in Mumbai. I think the success of the Maxus India team over the last three years in all of the major awards both here in India and abroad speaks volumes. Our team has put an enormous premium on creativity and innovation. I give great credit to our clients for pushing us in that respect and rewarding us when we deliver.”
Clark is optimistic that there is a better understanding, today, of the value that media agencies bring to the table as far as procurement departments of most multinationals go.He adds, “There are still some companies that are driven solely or predominantly by price and have, perhaps, not learnt in the most effective way possible how to value agency services. That probably applies across the board to media and creative agencies. Having said that, there is more collaboration between marketing and procurement departments within the client organization today than there was a few years ago. When you have that partnership within the company, the agency can be an effective partner.”
Watch the interview here.