Submitted by admin on Mon, 06/05/2017 - 13:16

Zenith from Publicis Media is all set to redefine and reframe ROI for its clients in its new avatar. Tanmay Mohanty, Group CEO, Zenith India talks about the changes that will come about with the rebranding, along with the agency’s increased focus on ROI-driven solutions


By Samarpita Banerjee


With a new global approach to communications along with relaunch of its brand identity, proposition and platforms, Zenith – the ‘ROI agency’ from Publicis Media - is now defined by its new identity ROI+. The new approach makes smart use of data and new technology platforms and is designed to give the agency the freedom to be inventive and to think more like advertisers.

Tanmay Mohanty, Group CEO, Zenith India is upbeat when he talks of the kind of transformation that the agency is going through as a result of the rebranding, and the changes that can be expected in future. Explaining the new brand proposition, Mohanty says that the agency’s ambition is to play the lead role in the full marketing value chain, to be a strategic partner to its clients, solving client business challenges with communications solutions and to be focused on the full consumer journey, while creating and orchestrating a broad range of marketing capabilities. “This ambition requires a more consultative approach and a new way of thinking and behaving. In order to inspire and galvanize our people around our vision and new way of working, we needed to relaunch the Zenith brand. ROI+ leverages smart use of data and new technology platforms. It gives our people the freedom to be inventive; to think more like our clients, i.e., advertisers. It enables our people to look at the bigger picture and to focus on developing a broader range of capabilities.

Apart from the change in the global approach, closer home, the agency will focus on business-transforming solutions and future-ready services such as Performance Marketing, Data and Analytics and Content,” he adds. “What most CMOs expect from an agency is whether they have depth and understanding of getting something done on-ground. And that requires capability-building. So, we have started building those capabilities along with data analytics, data technology around content or business transformation and this will be our focus for the next few years.”

Here are edited excerpts from our conversation with Tanmay Mohanty:


Q] What will your new global approach to communications entail?

Zenith used to have a roadmap approach to planning. This no longer supports our ambitions and client needs. We now have an approach with three pillars, focused on delivering more effective campaigns, taking a longer-term consultancy approach and building long-term capabilities. Our first pillar is our ability to create upstream strategies that deliver business transformation. Our ROI+ approach leverages the expertise we have in building capabilities for clients. For example, in ad-tech consulting, our upstream strategic development is greatly enhanced through ROI+. Second is our focus on the full consumer journey to deliver more effective communication strategies. In our consumer experience work, ROI+ helps us to shape a more holistic approach that can take advantage of people-based and platform-based marketing. And third is our market leading approach to maximizing downstream efficiencies. ROI+ enables us to apply sophisticated automation through AI and machine learning techniques. We believe we are market-leading in this area and last year announced a world first in automating digital planning through machine learning.


Q] What is the significance of the new logo?

Zenith’s logo is the distinctive ‘peak’. This points the way to brand growth. It’s always been a symbol of ROI. However, framing the client challenge with our capabilities is critical to our new approach, so, we reimagined our logo as a frame that we wrap around objects and images – a visual representation of framing the client challenge.  This is an evolution, but with revolutionary thinking. We are keeping the Zenith name. We still have ROI at our core, which is a very distinctive positioning. Blue is still our primary colour. Everything else has been evolved so we are ideally placed to exploit the opportunities of the future and deliver brand growth.


Q] From the agency point of view, how will the new approach be implemented? What will be the changes in the way you work?

We are taking a more consultative approach to solving business challenges for clients. But we are far more than management consultants. Our unique and differentiating advantage is that we are able to do all the work that delivers brand growth. We bring assets and capabilities at scale. Only an agency of the size, strength and experience of Zenith can do that.  Zenith will blend data, technology and brilliant specialists to scout out new opportunities, solve complex challenges, and grow client businesses.


Q] Tell us a bit about your refurbished global website.

The look and feel needed to showcase our refreshed brand identity. It needed to embrace the latest technology and be fully responsive across all mobile platforms. We have accomplished that in good measure. The site properly showcases our work and our people. It has our new Global Intelligence offer, centre-stage. This is our integrated ad spend forecast and thought leadership section. The site has a lot more video content to bring out our thought leadership and market strengths.


Q] It’ll soon be a year since you took over the reins of Zenith India. How has your journey been so far?

Exciting! It has involved quite a lot of learning. With Jio coming in and demonetization, it was quite an interesting year. In terms of wins, we have had a good run - we won around 42 accounts between Zenith and Performics last year. A lot of senior people from Google, Facebook and multiple other agencies have joined us.


Q] With the major re-alignment last year, how different are things for you? What were the challenges that cropped up on the way?

In April 2016, Publicis Media was formed to bring in modern approaches for efficiency, introduce structures for greater collaboration and effectiveness, and drive new levels of scale and client value. Such a structure brings more value to Zenith’s clients and accelerates our growth. While I was previously the MD of Performics and Resultrix, now my role involves driving growth and expansion for Zenith and Performics.Resultrix, steering both traditional and new media. Our expertise in data, tools and insights and unusual thinking have led to a high pitch-win rate and great performance on existing businesses. In the new role, I haven’t seen as many challenges as opportunities. The opportunity here is to build on Zenith's unique and differentiated offering, unparalleled in this market. I will look to strengthen the teams further; and hire talented and highly driven individuals.


Q] How focused are you on growth through new business wins? Are any acquisitions on your radar?

We are very focused on new business wins, while consolidating and scaling up on existing businesses. With the new energies and synergies of Publicis Media, our growth rate is only accelerating. We are invited to nearly all of the big pitches. On acquisitions, we will examine opportunities in viable areas. There has to be the right strategic fit and direction, for us to move forward on an acquisition or partnership. It has to significantly enhance our present offering.


Q] Is getting the right kind of talent for the industry still a big challenge?

It’s a much bigger challenge. Twenty years back, ad agencies used to hire from top institutes. People used to look forward to working in this industry. However, over the years, the industry became a little de-prioritized. We didn’t pay, train and keep the talent well – so they moved out and went to the client side. Then we started thinking how to get the right people at the right cost because our clients are not paying as they used to pay, around 15%. However, today not just us, I can see other agencies too starting to hire from top institutes. This is a big challenge which will have a solution, but it will take time.


Q] Zenith has been working on automation in Digital planning for the past few years now. What is the update on that?

A clear example of how machine learning and automation can help marketers is the work we have done globally on Aviva. In an industry first, Zenith was able to automatically optimize Aviva’s digital planning by pushing the algorithm output back into the DSP’s stack. This dramatic move closed the automation loop – data collection, attribution and a full set of planning changes across multiple digital touch-points, all done automatically.  But we do not stop there. The network is adding first party drivers-of-demand data into the algorithm in order to enhance the effectiveness of the automated planning changes. In this way, data - such as how price affects sales or the success of creative assets - will be fed into the automated optimization. This radical automation of digital planning is being done using cloud-based technology, with the client retaining full ownership of their first-party data throughout the process. This application of machine learning saw Aviva benefit globally from a 6% CPQ improvement on car search through implementation of the automation programme. For display, Aviva saw a 10% improvement in CPQ through automation. This is the sort of offering that we bring to the market. We are well-prepared for what’s waiting round the corner.


Q] What is the scope of Artificial Intelligence in media planning in the future?

Personalization at an individual level is generating data on a massive scale with an ever-increasing need for relevance and engagement. This cycle will continue and these techniques are the most effective in generating the insight required and at the speed it is needed. In the future, success will be driven by how effectively machine-learned insight is tied to sound strategy, consumer engagement and engaging content. Our belief is that as all media becomes addressable and programmatically traded, humans cannot adequately optimize campaigns with the necessary frequency or accuracy. AI’s scope will only increase in media planning in the future.


Q] What differentiates Zenith India from the other agencies out there?

We are about business outcomes; the ROI+ agency. The differentiation lies in our approach. We apply a rigorous and objective approach to improving the effectiveness of marketing. In a world where business and communications have converged, we start with data and assets. We focus on the entire customer journey making marketing outcomes more predictable, enabling brands to invest with confidence. Zenith develops brand experiences that maximize the value of the opportunity and build rewarding relationships with valuable customers. Ultimately, we deliver profitable top-line growth for our clients. Within Publicis Media itself, we can tap into the resources, specialization and expertise of the key centralized practices - right from Data to Media Tech to Analytics to Content. Any other services that are not available within Publicis Media, can be leveraged from our group companies - Publicis Sapient and Publicis Communications, which also have strong set-ups in India. This is the Power of One.


Q] What is your larger vision for Zenith India going forward?

My aim would be to make sure that on an average, 80% of my clients spend 80% of their money on Digital.


Q] What is the one mantra that keeps you going?

The day work stops being fun, you won’t feel like coming to office. So, keeping work fun is the most important thing.



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