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Interview: Laurie Coots, CMO, TBWA Worldwide

Clients are more pitch based and the agency business is highly pitch based these days, remarks Coots.

After showing her mettle to the world by heading a new come-back strategy for Apple, she took some time off in making understand the marketers the mistakes that they should not commit at the Goafest 2011.

Neha S of BestMediaInfo.com entered into a brief conversation with the marketing specialist as she shares her up brushed up marketing mantras with her.

Q) You put forward a very interesting point for marketers that when it comes to shopping India is a very different market. In what respect do you substantiate it?
Oh my god, it’s the most complex, social market as compared to any other developing market in the world. When we were thinking about our ‘shopper marketing campaign’ at TBWA, one thing we thought about is to understand that how the change will affect the others. Remember the dotcom burst, when people had said that with the evolution of web, everything else will die, but that is not true. And most importantly, shopping is one phenomenon that can have a ripple down affect on everybody related to it. Be the guy at the little corner or the delivery boy- all are part of the big system. Thus one of the biggest things that will happen in this area is that the marketers will conduct a detailed study as in who is shopping where. Because what we are known to do is that No. 1 shopper’s company will watch guard No.2 shopper’s company that will follow No.3 shopper’s company? Thus we want to understand if a consumer makes choices, then why he makes it, or rather why he likes or dislikes a particular thing. Then we need to understand what we can do to influence the consumer. So it will be a great area of focus and it will not be about recommending products but understanding the country’s rapid change.

Q) At one time, dotcom was the biggest bubble. And today the marketer’s are harping on the social media to gain leverage for their brands. But how far will it stretch further?
I think that Indian’s have not figured out online yet. So there are lot of brands that have used face book as the medium but there is not much of online visibility. For a country that uses a lot more of phones, that medium is completely immature and creatively unemotional right now. I look for the digital becoming live so that it communicates things to me. I am on the social network but as a consumer I want a financial company not to give me information ever time but also to be funny at times through communication. The biggest problem with digital is that companies don’t focus on it completely. One has to focus on being who you are and then using it effectively.

Q) You bought novice concepts like “Com-vergence”, “A Brand Strategy Called ‘Purpose” et al. But when do you these marketers and advertisers implementing these concepts in real in India?
I think the right time is now, because there is so much going on. If you think about the way the brands engage today with consumers, then there is no second though to it. Also I believe that brands that communicate with the consumers will have a lot more love and integrity in nature as part of strategy.

Q) So how agencies need to market themselves?
At least we are trying to market TBWA in a proper manner. Clients are more pitch based and the agency business in most of the countries is highly pitch based these days. Thus we are doing a lot new in this area especially in India. Like investing in research, creating stories and monitoring it. And I believe all of these practices will make a great impact.

Q) You recently conducted “Social activism 2.0” and also planning to further take it to 15 countries including India. What’s the idea behind it?
The reason behind conducting a huge survey like this is because in next few months time I want to have details about each and every part of 20 something consumer behaviour. It’s all about understanding the generation and feels their needs. How they behave in different situations and third generation reactions to it. As all these things will help us to further help our brands in their communication strategies.

Info@BestMediaInfo.com

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