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Home / Brand Stories / Embrace technology, personalisation and specialisation to build agency of the future

Embrace technology, personalisation and specialisation to build agency of the future

Six brand leaders shared their thoughts on the future of advertising agencies in the fifth episode of season 2, HT Brand Studio Live.

brand-stories Updated: Oct 08, 2019 09:59 IST
HT Brand Studio
HT Brand Studio
The fifth episode of HT Brand Studio Live, Season 2.
The fifth episode of HT Brand Studio Live, Season 2.(HT Photo)

“In this digital age, agencies need to be the solution providers that can help brands achieve tangible business outcomes,” said Vivek Bhargava, CEO, DAN Performance Group.

The fifth episode of HT Brand Studio Live, Season 2, featured industry leaders like Bhargava, focusing on building agencies of the future. “An agency should ideally have a team of humans and AI systems where they collectively produce a billion ideas and campaigns. It’s not going to be one versus the other but, one and the other,” added Bhargava.

HT Brand Studio Live is a series that gets the brains behind India’s top brands to decode marketing innovations and more. It is anchored by Rameet Arora, Chief Operating Officer, HT Digital Streams, and co-hosted by HT Brand Studio and DMAasia. This episode was shot at the 9th DMA India Annual & Awards 2019 held in Mumbai.


Digital transformation has led creativity and performance to walk hand in hand in the hyper-connected world. It is necessary, more so than before, to create long-lasting impact through thoughtful execution of ideas. Shamsuddin Jasani, Group MD, Isobar South Asia, “We are designing experiences for the consumer. We are co-creating with the consumer. We need to have the knowledge of data, technology, consumer understanding and clients’ businesses and bring all that together to launch a product. That way, ideas are only going to get better.”

Even though the overwhelming influence of technology is everywhere, Partha Sinha, Vice Chairman and MD at McCann Worldgroup, felt that a discerning human connect can make all the difference. “Surprising your consumers with creative ideas has the potential to pave the way for a future-proof agency. I think that agencies should connect brands to cultures,” he said.

Utilising your creativity to personalise the consumer journey is important. Vatsal Asher, CEO, DMA Asia shared, “Don’t go on a path of discovery that you haven’t defined for yourself. It is essential to understand the essence of the brand even as you work towards personalisation.”

To create great consumer experiences, a good creative brief from client is must. However, it’s not enough, at times. Virat Tandon, Group CEO, MullenLowe Lintas India said, “When we get a brief from client, it’s often lacking in insight. Out of this necessity we have developed our own tools to really look closely at e-commerce, social media, crawl websites and find insights. Then we try to interpret the message from the original brand brief, link the two and create some interesting opportunity.”

For an agency aiming to achieve such a high level of customisation, it is essential to aim at super-specialisation and hire people with new skills. Sabyasachi Mitter, Founder & Managing Director, Fulcro said, “All of us are known to be great at something and decent at the others but, brand marketers are looking for specialists. I feel agencies have failed to step up as the solutions architect for them.”