Archive for the ‘Strategic forecasting’ Category


My next boss. Is it you? Or the one you know?

April 27, 2010


How we perceive this 3 letter word differentiates people who work and people who enjoy the work.

I have spent quite a number of sleepless nights in the office not because my boss wanted me to, but because I enjoyed every opportunity that came my way. It is great for anyone to have had bosses like Mr. Vijay Shekar, Mr. Sreeram, Mr. Madhusudhan Rhenius and Mr. Suresh Narasimha who trusted my ability and gave me a great platform to learn. I am what I am today only because of my all of my Bosses who have guided me even after I left their respective companies!

The last decade has brought some interesting challenges to communication professionals. One has to keep in sync with the consumers, their media consumption habits, etc. And that exploration led me to look out for new challenges. Who would have thought to move on from a prestigious company like RK Swamy BBDO for an exciting start up, especially during the FIRST recession for people of my age?

After all, people who never take chances, never get ahead!

After 4.8 yrs. I am perfectly bundled with learnings from my advertising career and great exposure to mobile marketing and social media. Having realized that I believe that I can be a value-add for any communication outfit where there is a need for brand communication with the consumers, I am open to explore opportunities in advertising, digital communication, brand management etc.

So now: My next boss. Is it you? Or the one you know? Check out the ‘prezi’ embedded to this post below. If it’s not displayed, check it out here!

If you think I can be a great value add to your team please check out my resume by simply clicking here! Let’s catch up over a coffee.

Appreciate if you could share the following message in your facebook/Twitter/Linkedin/Gtalk status, that will be great help:

Who is @manojksamy’s NEW BOSS? #mynextboss


Why I believe JWT is one of the few agencies with great vision.

February 7, 2010

I love the creative piece of work from Ogilvy where they just transform a simple insight in to a amazing creative expression. In fact I do believe every agency has its own essence and expression(BBDO, W+K, BBH, Leo Burnett etc). Traditionally, AdMen are considered to be laid back and party maniacs.

If you have worked in any agency before then you will realize that they actually DESERVES that! Have you ever managed a campaign that involves 3 months of hard work, few weeks of sleepless nights, few days of pain in the a@#? As natural to human beings, admen tend to have a few days of normalcy and obviously to party to cherish the success or forget the failure :)

Keeping aside all these attributes, when it comes to forecasting the trends and having the thought process aligned to that requires some vision. JWT is one of that agency, which looks very promising and looks like they got it right. For the uninitiated, JWT Intelligence tracks the shift in consumer attitude, changing business Eco-system etc.

To me this is a great initiative which every agency should follow which will help them to align their vision with a logic sense of the future. And one more thing, WPP has an amazing section called “Reading room”, how many of you guys know this? It has amazing collections of articles from its agencies around the world. And yes, most of then are for free!

Following is an amazing collection of interesting insights by JWT on 100 things to watch in 2010.

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IF consumer is god, then WHO has the Holy Grail?

January 30, 2010

What do you want?  This is the question marketers have been asking consumers since the commodity begun. They asked my grand dad. My dad. And now Me. And yes, they will ask my grand son too.

The fact is that the consumers themselves don’t know what S/He wants! It’s foolish to expect them to fit your strategy just because you are from the Harvard or Oxford Business School. The consumer expects you to surprise him with your offering. BUT yes he won’t tell you what he wants. For instance, let’s take one of those evenings when you visit a restaurant and grab the menu. Most of the time you see is a BLANK PAGE. You are not sure what you want. Now let’s imagine that the waiter over there observed you during your last few visits and noticed that you loved sandwich with a fruit drink and that you are also calorie conscious. Now if he suggests you a fresh vegetable salad with a sugar-free fruit drink, how do you feel?

This is what they expect you to do. They don’t care if you observe them. They don’t care if you track their behaviors without affecting their privacy. They believe they are smart, which is true. But they expect you to outsmart them! But again, I strongly believe that all great minds in advertising and marketing are working based on perceived assumptions, supported by year long research done on SAMPLES not CONSUMERS. Focus groups which tell what WE want to hear. And my favourite weapon SEC A, B, C A-, B+ etc.

Consumers are human beings! Why do we need to follow SEC categories derived from census which is 10 year old?? In this fast paced world, status of a person is changing with every great invention. With a new job, suddenly a consumer moves from SEC C to SEC B. Just by upgrading from Nokia to iPhone, a normal youth becomes a trendy, lifestyle dude! When you go to buy a pair of jeans would you tell the store assistant that you are SEC B, monthly earns around Rs. 20K, loves to stay connected with friends, a go-getter???? Or just say that I need that low waist jean. Show me new designs???

Have you ever noticed that consumers ignore product details in print ads, but they never mind doing research, product comparison, check out customer reviews online? Because traditional media tries to STEAL their time, but interactive media EARNS their time. When you talk to most marketers you can clearly understand the frustration why it is becoming harder to get the pulse of the consumer. But if you look at the brands that never advertised but created conversations and played a host for consumer’s interaction, they will see the potential of walking with the small guy – The consumer.

See you after a commercial break ;)

As Graham Brown of Mobile Youth points out, marketers need to answer the question “Am I trying to marketing TO consumers or marketing WITH them?”. “Let’s get it to our heads that youth don’t wake up thinking about our brands!” Check out for more of his insights on Youth marketing at his “10 Quotes for Youth Marketers”. The fact is: youth of the world are waiting out there to put their brand names to test.

If you observe developments in global brands, especially after last year’s recession, you could have realized that change has already started to happen. First time ever Unilever and Coke appointed Digital AOR, Pepsi has stayed away from Super bowl for its socially embedded initiative “refresh everything” and so is Coke which has decided to rely on social media for  its much awaited Expedition project.

Who can forget the run away success of the Ford Fiesta movement, an idea by Scott Monty, Ford’s Social media head? Dell, which was considered as a falling brand once, now one of the preferred brands after they realized the potential of social media and had embraced social media for good and created one of my favourite initiative Digital Nomads. For your information, Dell has generated revenues of $6Million ONLY through Twitter! Though the numbers looks small compared with their huge revenues, $6Million is a HUGE amount!

I believe we are living in the awesome era, where we witnessed innovations which are potentially the triggers of change. The iPhone. Evolution of Google. Facebook. Twitter. FourSquare. Technologies like these has made possible to move closer to the consumer’s mind. First time ever in the known history of our mankind, marketers of the future can ACTUALLY give what consumer (my son??) wants.

Consumers today are connected like ever before which provides marketers with loads of insights and opportunities. For instance imagine a very simple probability offered by social media today. You update your Facebook status that you need a break and “would love to go to Hawaii to recharge yourself”. 5 of your other friends ‘likes’ it. Now a tour operator offers you and your other 5 friends an exclusive ‘Group’ package to Hawaii. How about that? According to Prinz Pinakatt, Coca-Cola Company’s interactive marketing manager for Europe, “We would like to place our activities and brands where people are, rather than dragging them to our platform” – BINGO!

Marketers today have the luxury to measure and provide what a consumer wants. And there is one company that can make it happen. Who else than Google? What do think Google dudes have been doing all these days? They made smarter moves by pairing hands with Twitter. Prepared to take on Microsoft with the futuristic Chrome OS. Created a dream run for Android through Droid, Nexus One. Introduced awesome Google Goggles and smart Favourite places. How can I miss the acquisition of Admob?

Connect the dots and you will realize the vision of the cool chaps at Googleplex, Mountain View. They track your social media conversations, your Google search history, your locations through Google maps, your usage in Android powered mobile, your collaborations in Google Wave and your every actions using Google tools like Goggles, Favourite places etc.

Then what you have is the ‘Holy Grail’ in the hands of Larry and Sergey ;)

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Are ad agencies future ready?

January 12, 2010

What was the market for “Cola” when Coke was launched? Or what was the market for Burgers when McDonalds was launched? It was virtually ZERO. All those great brands have been built by advertising brick by brick. But the problem is we admen glued to the past rather than steering towards the future. When we can help all the brands of the world to get ready for the future, what made us to ignore our own backyard? That’s because we have taken the consumers for granted. When we controlled what they see and when they see, every thing was going good. But the consumer slowly evolved and today HE decides what to see and when to see!

Think about industries like IT, Aviation, Telecom, FMCG, Retail etc. They are what they are today because they understood the need for change to evolve with the consumer. The truth is advertising never liked the change. Agencies ignored the power of online 10 years back since it affects the revenue stream from traditional media. Even today internet is considered as NEW MEDIA (?). Even when the internet has finely embedded to the consumers’ life in form of WEB 2.0, agencies shy away from social media marketing. Because they wanted to push that out of the world TVC which opens in Hawaii, or that superb print campaign in all leading dailies. All agencies are capable of doing great work. But consumers no more want great TVCs, or amazing Print ads. They want transparency from a brand and a great brand experience.

The future of advertising is in the hands of mobile, online, social networks, and LBS. But traditionally, both admen and agencies have stayed away from adapting new skills like the IT companies and their programmers. But no more, brands will always tailgate consumers. It’s the time for agencies to adapt to the change. We can argue that clients pay agencies very less. But who is responsible for this?

Advertising is truly a knowledge based industry. When other knowledge based companies like McKensey, Deloitte, Earnest & Young, Reuters, Bloomberg etc get the fee what they wanted, agencies at the end got trapped in to the commission and less fee model. Because we fear that If we say ‘no’, then some one else will say ‘yes’!

The latest IBM Study indicates that the change advertising industry will witness in the next 5 years will be equal to the change in the last 50 years. It also warns us on the “End of advertising as we know it”.

What does this mean? End of advertising? Hell, no!  Advertising won’t be vanished but forced to change.  It’s about advertising re-born. Reaching the Holy Grail.

“Giving consumers what they want. Not what Marketers/agencies want?”

No more, consumers need to find the news. The news finds the consumer. Same way, the future holds tremendous opportunity where products find its consumer. Thanks to the technology, innovations like Mobile, social media, augmented reality etc provided us a solution to walk-with the small guy-The consumer.

The global advertising networks like WPP, Publicis are getting ready to face the future. While Publicis revamped their offering like Vivaki, Razorfish, Phonevalley etc, WPP too have created specialized divisions to face the future.

No one including Sir Martin Sorrell can’t pinpoint the perfect agency of the future since today’s business is dynamic and changing every day! Marketing communication needs to walk along with the consumer. And the consumer is not walking today! He is stumbling! The issue here is except few brands and agencies, most marketers haven’t found the perfect formula to pair hands with the modern consumer.

Opportunity today is that nothing is a success formula neither a flop formula! Mobile and Web 2.0 has empowered us to engage with the right consumer for a brand. Every brand need to channelize the brand essence in an more engaging way. We don’t need to afraid of failure in digital era. In digital era, when a brand makes a mistake, the rescue comes from an unexpected end – Brand Loyalists!

The future advertising agency is the one where it has a Digital DNA. We better watch out the agencies like AKQA, Razorfish etc.

Why so serious? Just register your views here :)


New Generation Agencies. Can we see some in 2010?

December 10, 2009

Personally, the year 2010 looks very interesting and promising for advertising.  I strongly believe this is the year that will determine the future of the advertising industry. And obviously this year will bring the best innovation in agency format and the working style of agencies.

Are brands going to get more the specialized agencies on board by rejecting the biggies? If we go by the early indicators, things are not so great for the global networks. The Wrigley’s recent agency shake down might be the beginning of the end of the mind set “everything under one roof”. How many times have we heard this statement from clients “our last agency did a great job, but they don’t get interactive”!

On the other hand many experts in traditional setups feel that digital agencies are struggling to transform their technology knowledge in to long term brand value, because traditional agencies have 100 years of brand building experience! Read few interesting debates on whether digital agencies are ready to lead here and here.

But, Facebook is a brand that was built online and so is Twitter! These two brands clearly showed the world that, a brand can be built in a short time, without using any traditional methods! Apart from these brands there are thousand other brands that have been built online, which proved that brands just need a clear vision and mindset to evolve along with the changing consumers. Even bigger brands are moving towards interactive communication. Here is the list of Ten Smartest Big Brands in Social Media, by Mashable.

We have to accept the fact that, traditional agencies are changing, but not at the required speed. The day when agencies start thinking to channelize the brand thought in an interactive way rather than their favourite traditional media which brings more profit, it might bring some bloom to the credibility of agencies. But the transformation should not be at the cost of traditional media! Agencies just need to do marketing WITH the consumer rather than marketing TO them. Agencies just need to figure out the art of pairing hands with the consumers and build the brand in the age of crowd sourcing. When the performance based incentives are round the corner, agencies need to buckle up!

I really liked a thought from a recent article from iMedia “It’s the agencies with digital DNA that can think strategically like traditional agencies that will thrive in future”.

Have a look at the following presentation from Köksal Abdurrahmanoglu regarding new generation agency model. Its worth your time.



Bulls eye from google.

December 9, 2009

When Google thinks, it will be simple, smart, powerful and obviously futuristic. They have clearly identified the future of mobile which was clear when they acquired Admob. Now, they are going one step ahead by offering a simple and very powerful tool for local businesses.

“Google Favourite places” is not a complicated tool. But the potential it holds to transform the local business is amazing and i really liked their move towards location based targeting. Because future is all about location, location, location!

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The future of advertising.

December 4, 2009

I just came across this wonderful presentation on the future of advertising. This blog is dedicated to discuss and share this thought, but, the presentation gives us a completely new perspective, relatively easy to follow and super simple! The presentation is from John Willshire.