Deloitte Digital, global creative digital consultancy, which claims to offer the best of both consulting as well advertising services, is being launched in India this year. Andy Main, who has headed the business ever since its launch in 2012, visited India recently to streamline the launch process and better understand the business opportunities. “Through the India division we are looking to incubate innovation, drive digital mind share and grow digital offerings as well as the market,” he said.
With approximately 10,000 people working in 48 countries, Deloitte Digital has been bullish on ramping up its advertising capabilities. It has acquired European ad agency Acne and San Francisco-based agency Heat, apart from hiring creative leadership team of McCann Australia in September this year.
In an interview with Mint, Main talks about the India opportunity, what sets Deloitte Digital apart from an advertising agency and why video content will command an increasing percentage of advertising media spends in future. Edited excerpts:
What brings you to India?
India is a significant market for Deloitte because it is progressing quickly to becoming digitally aware and at the same time driving innovation in the medium. Therefore, we have decided to launch our creative digital consultancy Deloitte Digital. It is one of the fastest growing businesses that the company has launched globally and we are sure it will do well in India as well. Indian brands are ambitious and aggressive to embrace digital, so they will find our proposition compelling to help them achieve their ambitions.
How is Deloitte Digital different from an advertising agency with digital capabilities?
We are transformation partners for our clients, while an advertising agency is a communication partner offering only creative solutions and talking only to marketers. Through our work, we try to impact the business of a company by bringing a change in its balance sheet quickly. I don’t think a television ad has ever transformed a business. We can work with the brand’s chief executives, supply chain, sales, finance and even human resource managers.
Deloitte Digital brings capabilities like digital technology, experience design and linkage to back office systems. We can manage the company’s data leveraging new-age technologies like artificial learning and cognitive technology apart from connecting with the brand’s consumers through advertising.
Marketers in the past were only responsible for creating awareness and demand generation but now marketers have to get involved with sales, service and feedback. So, it is cheaper for companies to have their own data through cloud computing, have their own creative content through in-house creative studio and production unit. Instead of going to an agency, brands can directly go to media platforms like Facebook and Google to promote their ad campaigns. In my opinion, an agency’s business model is not sharp enough for today’s world because as an industry it has not reinvented itself.
Apart from data, what kind of solutions do you provide brands?
We define our client’s business strategy, innovation and design. Our firm offers services like digital customer (which involves advertising, branding, content and marketing) and human capital (where we design and execute HR and leadership programs). We do work in cyber security because with digital the points of breach have expanded. Deloitte Digital can gather data about customers from multiple sources; work on the insights to create personalized content to better target consumers of brands. We can do paid media (through TV, print and radio) and owned media (through brand’s website, apps and social media handles). We make our clients business “brainy and beautiful”.
What kind of brands does Deloitte Digital work with?
Our clients are from across brand categories including retail, banking and finance, health, public sector, media and gaming companies. Some of the key clients include LG Electronics, Pepsico, financial firms like Manulife Financial, pizza chain Papa Murphy’s and Pizza Hut, global beauty firms Estee Lauder and MAC, among others.
While digital is the fastest growing medium, television continues to dominate the brand’s media spends in India. What are the key challenges in this market?
The challenge is how marketers in India challenge the effectiveness of television marketing spends and run campaign more effectively on digital. Unlike a TV spot, digital campaigns allow brands to have a conversation with their consumers. TV advertising is still a powerful way to reach consumers but the problem with this is that it has no recall value anymore. Our internal research shows that every human, on an average, is exposed to 1,200 ads across mediums each day reducing the recall value by a wide margin. Therefore, personalizing video content has shown delivering better recall. We have built a product called Reactor which creates personalized video content helping brands to better target consumers.
Can you share any interesting India-specific trends?
We believe that an increasing number of people have smartphones in India so video content that runs on these devices has become extremely powerful. Going forward, personalized video content might command a greater share of ad spends. Unlike a TV ad, videos on mobile device can be made interactive by brands by either embedding a link of a website or social media handle. In India, there’s a huge opportunity of using video content in conjunction with social media to create a dialogue with consumers. Indians are hooked on to social media, therefore advertisers must listen to what consumers are saying about their brands on social media platforms.
What is the next big thing for Deloitte Digital?
We are going to be upping our game in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). Using these data driven technologies, we will be providing consumers with rich brand experiences.