The last day of Goafest saw a knowledge seminar on breaking the old ways of media agencies. The panel addressed and spoke on the possible solutions to the issues that the media agencies are struggling with.
On the last day of Goafest 2023, the knowledge seminar called “Media Agencies Panel – Breaking the Old Mould”, moderated by Sam Balsara, Chairman - Madison World with panelists including Aditi Mishra, CEO - Lodestar UM, Amin Lakhani, CEO - South Asia - Mindshare, Mohit Joshi, CEO - Havas Media Group India, and Naveen Khemka - CEO South Asia - Essence Mediacom.
The panel addressed and spoke on the possible solutions to the issues that the media agencies are struggling with, further diving into the future of media agencies and the bones the industry needs to break.
Creating an ideal structure within the agency
Speaking on the structures a media agency needs to shape into, Aditi Mishra pointed out what agencies need to keep in mind. She dwelled on the need for fluidity within the teams. Additionally, she also suggested that agencies go client-centric rather than function centric, which will in turn ensure that learnings move across in different directions.
Finding high-quality talent
Amin Lakhani talked about and dwelled deep into the crucial problem of missing out on high-quality talent in the industry and the agencies’ hunt for finding it. He added by saying that agencies need to reflect back and bring in the aspect of technology and solving.
Lakhani further stated, “The need to break structural automation; agencies need to bring back the attitude of problem-solving as they do for their clients.”
The discussion further talked about the importance of holding agencies accountable for outcomes, not for saving clients' money, was highlighted. Since agencies are not in control of all aspects of the marketing mix, especially distribution, clients often need to view agencies in that light.
Re-training the young industry
Naveen Khemka spoke about the importance of training media agencies’ people, especially the young leaders of today. He mentioned how the media agency has come a long way from the first era of advertising, where the scale was important.
Khemka went on to add, “2000s was the time when the digital era of advertising rose to its fame, where digital platforms became very important. In the next 10 years, we’ll slowly move into the next era of advertising. Here, we won’t be able to call it either scaled, digitized or specialized. The age-old way of working for advertising agencies will not work anymore. We will have to offer a full funnel of services.”
Moving up the value chain in the client’s mind
Talking about the long-term survival and prosperity of media agencies, Mohit Joshi mentioned that the agency’s value chain needs to be boosted in the client’s minds.
He further stated, “In spite of the fact that the agencies are working on every aspect of the client delivery, we are seeing that consultants get a much better revenue or value out of the client’s pocket.”
Joshi also suggested that the only way for agencies to move up the value chain is to train themselves to start thinking as problem solvers rather than media plan providers.
He concluded by saying, “The people at the top are media planners who evolved and become CXOs. We have to understand the problem that the brand is facing, and create a solution for that.”
Overall, this session served as a platform to inspire and ignite a spirit of transformation across various domains through the process of unlearning and relearning in accordance with the advertising era we are in.