Friday, March 02, 2012

Value vs ...

When it comes to Indian Digital Landscape, the thing which is valued most is the size of the operation of a firm or a company. Therefore, most of the work is divided between the big media houses who own advertising agencies, media buying agencies, public relation agencies and in some cases digital agencies. It becomes easy for the brands and the companies to hand over the digital work to these Big Daddy Agencies as they have the size and office addresses across the world. However, the important question is are these Big Daddy Agencies adding any value to the brands at all? Well, agencies think that by doing a Flash Website, Contests and running Ad Campaigns they add value. In that case the question can be narrowed down to what is the value? Now if you ask the representatives of these Big Daddy Agencies, the answers will be the number of impressions , number of visits/impressions, cost per click, click through rates, number of fans on social media sites and the sentiment of the brand. Interestingly all the above information is presented in not less then hundred slides presentations to the client, subjecting them to torture till they agree to hand over work to them.

What exactly is value? In simple language whatever solves a problem is of some value. Value is when you pay a baker for baking the bread, which otherwise you are not willing to do. Value is when you pay the dry cleaner to removed the stain without the wash. Value is when you pay clothing brands for the image which it brings to you. As it is evident that value is compensation for something which provides more than the functional utility. For example people bargain for auto-rickshaw rides as they only see it as a mode to take them from one point to another. However people using radio taxis like Meru Cabs do not bargain, in fact at times people give tips to the chauffeur as they see the value in using the service. Based one the above premise if one is to ask what value do agencies add to the brand's , all one gets to hear are the functional things like running ad campaigns, building websites and conducting silly contests. But are they really able to solve any problem for the brands? Are they able to add something more than the functional offerings? Can they help us understand what are the take aways for the brands and take aways for the users or the TG, which they keep in mind while planning grand campaigns which gets them awards at annual award ceremonies organised by them , for them and from them. As companies start spending more on the digital medium from the current 3 to 7percent to higher percentage, it will become important to answer the above questions. In the next blog post I will explore if at all going digital helps a brand or a company? Stay tuned.

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