COO, South Asia, Group M
• More integrated plans that go beyond just delivering a message efficiently to providing a consumer solution through use of multiple media, plus greater use of content, digital and brand-consumer meetings in brand plans.
I see exponential growth in retail media, cinema, Internet, mobile, with strong growth (about 20%) while the usual suspects (television, print) continue to grow at low double digits.
The more things change, the more they remain the same. Understanding of brands will be key to helping them grow.
CEO, Lodestar Universal
• I see two broad issues which need to be addressed from a long-term perspective, not just 2008.
Firstly, thinking of 2008 alone is the fundamental problem—global organizations force us to think in short periods which mean quickfix solutions which is not going to help resolve the talent issue, which has many dimensions such as profitability of organizations, pride in the business and recognition for quality.
• Secondly, my biggest worry is that the India success story which is true for advertising also will be our biggest enemy. I just hope this glowing confidence does not lead the industry to a sense of complacency; because of organic growth, the discovery of Indian advertising and Indian admen by global ad networks leads to a drop in quality even before we have made any real material impact on the global stage.
Managing director and CEO, Mudra Group
• Coming of age of OOH (out of home) industry: technological innovations will enhance the value that OOH has been providing till now.
• Total branding solutions will have arrived. Digital media and the launching of super specialist niche channels will mark 2008. Integrated solutions will need to become the norm. I personally expect exciting work from new breed of national creative directors (NCDs).
It will be interesting to see how agencies capture the growing toplines and drag it to the bottom line characterized by an era of increasing levels of compensation, fight for talent, media costs, etc.
Chairman of India subcontinent, Leo Burnett India
• Growth rates exceeding 20% for the industry. A number of factors will accelerate the growth: growing budgets of current clients (they are a natural outcome of clients across sectors experiencing high growth rates); entry of many more international brands into India; new local start up activity; investment in branding by players from hyper-growth sectors such as infrastructure. Media and advertising players who can keep and attract talent are in for great times.
• Importance of non-mass media marketing services. This trend has been apparent for several years. Services such as CRM, events, promotions, design and merchandising are witnessing high growth. Growing share of sectors such as finance, telecom, automobiles, infra-structure, entertainment and retail, which tend to be big users of these services, in the overall advertising pie will accelerate this trend further.
Country head, WPP Group
• The opportunity and the challenge will be the digital space where most of the large agency groups are buying into existing digital hot-shops or trying to build up their own digital offerings.
It will be interesting to see how fast they can actually acquire proficiency in the digital space. This is a huge area of weakness among traditional agencies (Ogilvy and Mather India, Lowe India, McCann Erickson India—the whole works).
Some of the focus has to shift from looking at opportunities to win awards in traditional media and getting some real business in the digital medium.
CEO, South Asia, Starcom MediaVest Group
• Demand for integrated marketing will be higher than ever. ATL-BTL divide will vanish. Media noise levels will take a sudden jump, due partly to about three dozen new television stations and dozens of print titles launching.
• Radio, digital, out of home, and place media are good opportunities.
• Experiential marketing will zoom.
• Issues will be managing growth, including managerial bandwidth, new talent infusion, training, managing processes, quality assurance and application of technology.
Compiled by Marion Arathoon and Anushree Chandran