Glocal is a hybrid word that best describes the global and local digital plays by media planning and buying specialists. Lintas Media Group, Dentsu India Pvt. Ltd, Aegis Group Plc. (which owns Carat Media Services India Ltd) and others are either acquiring independent local specialists in various streams of digital media or forging non-equity alliances with them. Many media firms are also importing their global digital companies, and these global-local (glocal) interplays are creating unique digital structures.
A global digital company can sometimes host local acquisitions. For example, Aegis Media is buying a majority stake in search marketing firm, Communicate2. The venture could remain Communicate2 or merge with iProspect, Aegis’ global search engine marketing company, says Patrick Stahle, CEO of Aegis Media, Asia-Pacific. It will, however, function under Aegis’ global digital network Isobar, now in India. Future acquisitions in Web production and digital creative development should also come under Isobar. Stahle says theirs is a “global sourcing” model, allowing members to access skills from group companies anywhere. In contrast, Lintas Media Group has five functional collaborations, including one in the digital space where it has a non-equity collaboration with Pinstorm, an independent digital company with offices in Asia and Silicon Valley. This venture will undertake creative and media digital work for brands. It can tap Pinstorm’s proprietary technologies from search engine marketing (SEM) to blog management. Interestingly, the agency pays for the media and creative execution and clients pay for results. Some alliances are also looking at payment models based on returns on involvement, instead of returns on investment.
Some ‘glocal’ models are more local, since in-market insights are key for digital media. Clickstreamers India Pvt. Ltd, a digital media agency, is a 51:49 joint venture between Dentsu India and a local digital firm, Connecturf India Pvt. Ltd. It offers the entire gamut of digital services, including social media optimization. Sandeep Goyal, chairman, Dentsu India, says that Clickstreamers is a local Dentsu initiative. A separate Dentsu associate company has launched a fantasy gaming site, and Goyal says that another Dentsu associate entity is looking at a presence in the digital space to cater to a young audience. More consumer-facing initiatives with substantial mobile play—also under separate companies—are also in the works.
Dentsu’s digital strategy seems to be two-pronged: Enablers such as Clickstreamers create value for their clients in the digital space. And some digital initiatives are creators of value for the agency. Both can tap parent Dentsu Inc. in Japan for consumer knowledge. Dentsu has more than 50 digital entities globally, though only those relevant to the Indian milieu will ultimately roll in.
Roll on, glocal.
Marion Arathoon is Mint’s advertising editor. Your comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org