Babar Khan Javed
Apr 6, 2018

Global clients demand consistency in strategy: IPG

Global clients expect consistency in skill sets and approaches towards the distribution and tactics that drive a brand strategy across the world.

Arun Kumar and Erica Schmidt.
Arun Kumar and Erica Schmidt.

In an effort to provide global clients with consistency in capabilities around data, programmatic and technology stacks, IPG Mediabrands recently held an internal conference and leadership training sessions for Cadreon in Singapore.

Speaking to Campaign Asia-Pacific, Arun Kumar, IPG Mediabrands’ first global chief data and marketing-technology officer, and Erica Schmidt, global CEO at Cadreon, shared details about the training for its senior leadership and the direction of programmatic.

"We're a logical extension of the agency front-facing team," said Schmidt. "It's helping everybody get prepared to be able to talk about programmatic, so it's not just an investment decision."

The workstreams focused on increasing traction and best practices in educating across the organization, with students comprising of Cadreon leadership teams from each of the APAC markets and analytics-focused representatives from the technology team of IPG Mediabrands.

"A lot of global clients now expect consistency on areas of the business which have traditionally not been under the focus," said Kumar, who is also the global president for Cadreon. "If you look at a global media assignment, it's been with media planning, media buying, we want the same communications strategy."

Now that data and programmatic play such a critical role, Kumar said there is a greater desire for consistency across the board, across countries.

"So what you've executed in other parts of the world, they want that same thoroughness and rigour behind how you approach it in Asia," said Kumar, adding that while distribution will vary across markets and segments, clients expect a consistency in strategy, which is often compromised under the guise of localisation.

"Programmatic has gone out of the lexicon of most marketers," Kumar said, "It's now precision marketing, and it has changed the way marketing is looked at. Fortunately, because of all the conversation around transparency, fraud, viewability, etc, I think programmatic is going to be one of those words that have changed marketing but will never get the credit it is due."

Kumar recalls that less than a decade ago, concepts such as precision in targeting, the context in messaging, and differential approaches, were either unheard of or cast aside by the same people who talk about it today.

Over the next two to three years, Kumar anticipates the industry will pay attention to concepts like brand safety, in that it is not just linked to what agencies do. While the conversation started with agencies, the most recent shift has been towards the Google-Facebook duopoly.

Kumar speculates the conversation will shift to the advertiser side, looking at the split between internal forces that on the one hand want to save money and the other side that wants to reach people within the parameter of context.

"Every single time you prioritize price, you put your brand at risk," said Kumar, adding that to take brand safety seriously means that advertisers must make the investments necessary to ensure the right trade-offs.

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