Q] Congratulations on the new role, Vishal! As CEO of Madison Digital and Madison Media Ultra, what will your top priorities be?
I’m going to be double hatting alongside my existing role of being the digital head and additional CEO across all the Madison units. I’ve got the additional role of heading an integrated media solutions unit called Madison Ultra, where I will be handling the traditional as well as the digital piece. The unit handles Marico and Atomberg amongst other clients.
Q] What is your vision for Madison Digital & Madison Ultra after taking over as CEO?
I would love to see some of the core outputs of our organisation, which are more to do with confidence, integrity at the heart and win big in terms of business. I would also love to reach a growth figure of 10x at least. Moreover from a business lens, I think we’re into value creation for our advertisers and clients. Because at the end of the day, we will only thrive if our clients thrive, and we’re in the business of value creation for our advertisers. From that lens, clearly that’s how we aim to set up our vision and grow multi-fold.
Q] Since the pandemic, we have seen an amazing acceleration across Digital. What were some of the key learnings for you during this past year?
From a business perspective, I would say it’s been a boon to the digital ecosystem, barring the pandemic stress that we all went through. And I would love to believe the fact that advertising to a large extent will still be the oxygen for certain businesses or categories and that they will come back. We saw a bit of a V shaped recovery in the last pandemic in the space of Digital and some staggered V shaped recovery on Television and some other mediums. My sense is that advertising as an ecosystem is just getting a lot more integrated. It is no longer just about silos like Television or Digital or anything else, but rather about integrated media solutions. That’s what most brands are looking for, and this is the way the industry will move forward also. Moreover, as we seem to be going into a second lockdown, I believe we will see the industry doubling up on this front.
Q] Since digital has become mainstream today, how has the marketing mix of brands changed in the last 12 months?
It really depends from category to category. In certain categories we’ve seen a digital contribution of 50%. And in certain categories, it’s also been as low as maybe 8% or 10% or at times even a little lower. But if I had to average it out, thanks to this whole evangelisation of the digital medium and the way it’s complementing the television investments, I would say that digital in the media mix is looking at an extremely stronger pace of growth at an estimated average of over 25% to 28%, which is a good sign for the industry.
Q] As the country is battling the second wave of COVID-19 which is looking tougher than the first, what kind of impact will we see on the advertising industry?
In fact, last time we saw a V-shaped recovery, and maybe traditional media took slightly longer time. I don’t think this time we’re going to see anything different. Definitely there’s going to be a V shaped recovery. For most businesses though, I don’t think they can stay away from advertising for too long. There will be an impact, but it is going to be a temporary blip. As we get into Q2, I see the industry fighting back in a big way and things will improve.