7 takeaways from a candid conversation with Isobar India’s Shams Jasani

shams jasani

As Isobar turns 10, Shamsuddin Jasani, Group MD, Isobar South Asia shares some insights on how to build and nurture a Digital Agency in today’s day and age. 

Isobar was launched in 2008 followed by a short conversation between it’s founder Shamusuddin Jasani and Ashish Bhasin, Chairman & CEO, South Asia – Dentsu Aegis Network. The company rolled out it’s Delhi operations in 2009. After a decade long journey, Isobar now aims for organic growth and will look for newer acquisitions in the areas of e-commerce and more. 

Here are some key takeaways as Jasani gets talking live via Social Samosa’s Samosa Talks where he shares some great insights on varied topics concerning the industry.

1. Advice to Young Guns attempting to starting off  in digital advertising

Don’t view this industry as a separate one, especially the digital marketing side of it; it has to work in tandem with everything else. When we talk about omnichannel, don’t think of digital isolation. For youngsters today it’s a very easy medium to understand because they are the digital natives. But the basics of marketing remain the same.

Create opportunities and do not wait for them.

2. What can the Indian digital ecosystem learn from it’s digital counterparts

I was slightly disapointed with the kind of shows that the Indian digital agencies had this year at Cannes. I think we need to up our game. We need to be better at packaging. We are 99% of the way there and need to do a better finishing of the products.

3. Trends to foresee in digital

‘Voice is something that’s not only going to change digital marketing but also how we as humans interact with our surroundings.

  • The usage of mobile phones will start dropping down because you will use more of ‘voice’ for interaction. Eg: Alexa
  • Voice also breaks the english barrier – language content is going to expand more
  • The driver of this is going to be the Rs500 Jio phone. All Jio phones are equipped with voice technology.
  • Ecommerce will explode
  • Augmented Reality- AR is going to be much bigger than virtual reality.
  • Digital is going to be omnipresent

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4. Attrition rate in advertising

Here it is not just the agencies who are competing for talent but also publishers like Facebook, Google and the Amazons of the world. Digital Marketing needs to be the part of courses on the academics. One of the follies that I have seen is people are only doing the digital marketing course and not attempting basic MBA in it. We need to create a bigger base of talent who need to come into the industry. The way we work is that we empower people. Each individual in our organisation is like an entrepreneur. Some people take it up as a challenge. At Isobar, we invest time in an individual’s career.

Also Read: Isobar expands Shamsuddin Jasani’s role to Group MD for South Asia

5. Defining the right set of clients

It’s all about the clients to believe in you. It’s the rapport that you share with the client which allows you to do great work. Great work comes if you have a great relationship.

6. Machine learning over powering digital marketing landscape

This is not going to happen. Although 95% of the cars are made by machines and not by humans today, that doesn’t mean that the auto industry is not employed. It is just that everyday mundane jobs are done by machine learning. It makes your output much better. But people pay a whopping amount for a Rolls Royce which is completely hand-made. Humans are here to create much better sense out of machine-learning. It is going to augment us to do better things.

7. Driving nostalgia and integrating emotions in campaigns

Nostalgia is always something which people have worked on. The mediums have changed but the concepts, ideas and thought process behind them does not change. Campaigns like Cadbury’s Kuch Khaas Hai, Reebok’s Bruise Can  be Good and Ariel’s Share The Load – they all strike an emotional chord which comes from the insights. I don’t think you can use these as the painting brush and say this are the canvases of nostalgia. It really need to come from an insight. If there is no connect, there has to be done something else.

Watch the full live session here:


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