The rules of engagement in an Enterprise Sales Scenario for Advertising

Types of Accounts /Clients/Brands:

  1. Know your KEY Accounts-Guard them with your Life…these are the ones who are on your competitor radar and these account for your top line/bottom line and within the 80:20 principle constitute being among the best of the breed clients that you manage and serve.
  2. Know your competitor’s KEY accounts- Give everything that you have to break into them and win them on to your side, these accounts determine the acceleration that your business will get as each account won. This is where you need a dynamic sales force and sales acumen to come to the fore front.
  3. Regular Retainers: These are the accounts which will be there year on year but how will not show appreciable value in terms of the returns that they give back in sense  of  the effort table and the amount of work that has gone into these accounts. These are however important from the context of ensuring that operation al break-even is leveraged for the entire firms working through the collective revenues realized through these accounts.
  4. Dormant Accounts: These are the ones who have little or no impact at all whether it is the top line or the bottom line of the firm and also the nature of work that one needs to engage with them is one off projects which requires little or limited expertise and resources.

The Approach:

  1. Respect 80:20 principle and arrive at a practical model for the agency-this will mean making the entire machinery lean and mean in terms of delivery/revenue realization and operational excellence and profitability in terms of per employee per brand team kind of a perspective.
  2. New Business Development needs to be sharp and ruthless especially while snatching away competitor key accounts with regular intervals and ferocity. In case where in conflicting brands from same sector happen to be the brands in question, the best possible win- win solution will be to develop a separate entity to handle it all by itself which can wither be a dedicated unit operating at the clients place or could be a subsidiary operating on that brands along with a couple of more other brands so that the resources allocation is trimmed and further streamlined.
  3. Service Excellence – These attributes are needed to ensure that a great amount of value foes into the Regular Retainers so that they feel valued and are there to stay for long time ahead and this in a way is done not by having multitudes of people on a single brand but rather creating a model wherein efficiency and flow chart basis work environments are based to address queries and brand concerns in a timely and systematically proven scientific manners. This could be as simple as an email based ticket system wherein the client‘s every interaction with the brand team is channeled into a specific set of pre-determined communication messages (kind of regular communication/ job to be done/ need changes/ urgent/request for in person meeting) etc.

This way of managing it in an effective way ensures that the operational costs are trimmed at a base level and are ultra-responsive to the revenue realized from these accounts.

  1. Internalization of a brand is the secret of success in the agency world, does not matter what function you choose or what task you perform, but knowing the answers to the Why? What? , Where? Who? How? Will eventually differentiate between Good Work and Great Work.
  2. More importantly also the DNA of the agency in the sense of what it proposes and to what extent it wants to be a brand champion will definitely effect the approach and also eventually determine the outcome of the approach that is eventually take.

The Enterprise sales approach discussed here was just a brief overview, there are of course many details that go in to this further to make it a refined concept that can fit into an agency specific environment and need to be tweaked around to align more aptly to the sensitivities and sensibilities of the agency world.


Disclaimer: The article is purely based on my experiences and bring forth my personal views on the topic. It by no means indicates/suggests/advocates anything apart from what has been mentioned in the article. These views are not binding and do not intend to impact/influence decision making process or question any processes or systems which are in practice. This is purely an observational essay for intellectual pursuits.

Brands in 2014…

Brands in 2014…let’s roll and rock!!!- All About “Brand Companionship**”

Given the way the global macroeconomic indicators have been over the last few years…particularly from the start of 2008, we may finally see well measured and meaningful recovery which is purely driven by real requirements and a phenomenal urge by products and services to go out in to the market and re-engage with a more persuasive and meaningful dialogue!!!

If one analyses the business environment, it is now evident than ever before that although one may deliberate on global cues and macro indicators to arrive at compelling strategic overtones to business decisions’, it is more often than not the last mile connect and the direct engagement which is the need of the hour and the call of the day across categories and segments and across brand values and ethos!

This is a great time and really a fortunate time to be in to bask in the glory of being able to engage with target groups and customer segments in a very direct manner, evaluate the engagement on basis of scientific metrics and then devise strategies to continue and take these engagements to the next level.

As Marketers and Brand custodians the shift now is more lateral than from being a custodian in a conventional sense to being a companion on the brand journey!

A “Brand Companionship” concept where we necessarily develop an ability to partner on the brand and form a core team of “friends’ of the brand” wherein Brand Values and Brand Promise is held above all else and before anything else at all. This is the new way that will rejuvenate the thinking that we have so far yet to unravel.

Arguments and counter arguments to the theory of “Brand Companionship “can be further deliberated upon in the right forums and time, but the founding principle of the Brand being the core to the entire work that goes into making the Media and Marketing Communication universe a Multi-Billion Dollar Industry cannot be overlooked …never at all.

As a true Brand Companion, going ahead in 2014, especially from the Agency perspective it will be imperative for all those who are associated with brands to internalize brands in the real sense of the word internalization.

Needless to say, delivery pressures, creative opulence and the thought management of creative ideas translating and sublimely transforming creative briefs will go on as usual, however the differentiator will come to force only and only when the Brand Companionship concept is truly assimilated and applied to address brand concerns and challenges’.

 The Brand Companionship concept allows to amplify the throughput of brands and their performance vis-à-vis the performance metrics on brands that the clients may have established but more importantly it opens a newer dimension to critically analyze effectiveness of marketing communication strategies through processes in a very rational and scientific manner in terms of amplification measurement on Brand attributes (like recall, registry and movement) which have always been so core to the ethos of valuing brand performance and management.

2014 will see brands evolve not in stages but rather will demonstrate the power of responsive brands and responsive communicative strategies which primarily tend to pre-empt the ever increasing aspirational attributes that come up with a brand.

This in itself will lead many a strategists’ to do a philosophical rethink on where the journey is heading currently and many case alter the course of this journey either in sense of the direction or in many case in terms of the duration of the journey.

Of course demographics will do their bit to skew the tables and at time affirm but many a times confuse and dilute the cause of Brand Companionship concept.

Without further dwelling into the nuances of my concept, let me quickly come up with some interesting insights for 2014…..of course the Brand Companionship concept can be revisited in greater detail and appreciated for applying and executing brand concepts and culture… separately.

2014 will see phenomenal growth in the area of Healthcare and Pharmaceutical marketing Commucnaitaion…in certain geographical locales/regions like Asia and South East Asia and Africa this will contribute a sustained long term average growth of around 30% beginning 2014 right until 2020…. Healthcare sector hence needless to say will be one of the mainstays of any marketing communication strategists plan for a long time to come. The most interesting aspect of this however will be the ever increasing technological prowess and technological advancements that will be embedded in the entire aspect of Healthcare communication right from conception of idea to the right execution and further implementation; very very importantly metrics deployment for measuring Communication Effectiveness which will be largely based on the Brand Companionship model.

 The next in line of course will no doubt be the FMCG and White goods space but there will be a big change in the consumption patterns forcing brands to use more proactive and more responsive strategies to counter other brands and safeguard their own, This ultra-aggressive mode will be clearly visible among categories like Food, Confectionary and Personal Hygiene segment within the FMCG category. All in All FMCG category will see an increase in the area of 12-15 % in terms of the realignments to brand promises and communication styles to sustain and surge ahead. These percentage figures are largely levelled out global estimates having varying micro impacts in much focused pockets of highly fluctuating consumption patterns.

Manufacturing sector, wherein manufacturing has been blended with technical advancements and is primarily related to impacting lives through manufacturing services….such industry brands will see a change for the better and grow globally at an average of around 12 %. Many industries that will come within these sets would be Aviation, Heavy Engineering and Specialist Manufacturing and Turnkey Solutions specialists’ from the Engineering domain having a considerable cross functional area of application.

2014 for Media will be a year that will mark a big change in terms of variances in buying planning and very certainly the media format and medium that will be used to share communication and convey value driven and life changing messages with a fair amount of conviction and fair play! Digital and Gizmos especially the personal space electronic gizmos (namely Smart phones and Tab and Portable carry on devices will account for almost 50-60% of undivided attention of brands who want to consolidate or acquire their niche segments.

Needless to say customer profiling and target based segmentation will be a new avatar in itself in the year ahead.

All in all 2014 looks quite promising and exciting and a year that will eventually bring to the forefront the Concept of Brand Companionship in its truest sense!!! Number for growth definitely above 10%.


Disclaimer: This article is an original thought shared by the Author. It has no intention either implied or otherwise to suggest, create opinions or influence or contradict any subject matter discussed within this article with any other matter presented by anyone else in any medium. This has no bearing or suggestion or any reference to any organization directly or indirectly. This is a first-hand essay based on purely personal observations’ of the general trends and details which are normally available on the public domain for public consumption.