Havas Media CEO on challenges facing the advertising industry
Trust is no longer the buzzword in ensuring the efficacy of a brand. What is more critical now is how meaningful and connected a brand is to a customer.
With that in mind, Havas Media Group Malaysia CEO Andreas Vogiatzakis shares with StarBizWeek the agency’s Meaningful Brands study.
“At Havas for the last 10 years, we have conducted the Meaningful Brands study across 33 countries and 15 industries, the largest global analysis of its kind to date and the most robust and fully validated research across the world.
“Consistently, a scary moment of truth for brands emerges – if 74% of brands disappear tomorrow, no one would care. This is based on the responses we receive year on year from more than 300,000 consumers across countries, and more than 1,500 brands.
“Therefore, our biggest challenge in such a disrupted ecosystem that puts the consumer in control is to be relevant and meaningful. As customers get more and more savvy, as the call for digital transparency increases, agencies will increasingly be challenged in terms of relevance and margins,’’ he says during an interview.
While traditional media buying and digital implementation alone will no longer be a sustainable model for agencies, the opportunity moving forward lies in the area of content, he notes.
“Driving value in helping brands create meaningful connections with their audiences via engaging content is key.
“This is because Meaningful Brands have outperformed the stock market by 206% over the last 10 years. There is a 71% correlation between content effectiveness and the impact a brand has on our personal wellbeing, quality of life, plus its Meaningful Brands ranking.
“And this is a wake-up call for marketers:
“Content delivered by brands is underperforming to such an extent that it’s having little impact on business results or people’s lives,” says Vogiatzakis.
He notes that 84% of people expect brands to produce content, but yet 60% of all content created by brands is poor, irrelevant or fails to deliver. And as there is no “rate card” for strategy and creativity, “the more value we are able to add to a client’s business, the more valuable we as an agency can become,” he says.
He stresses that much effort has been done by Havas at creating meaningful connections between people and brands in order to drive a successful business.
“Being meaningful and adding value is as much a mandatory premise to be successful for brands as well as us as an agency of the future.
“Understanding the challenges in the market and the future of our industry, we had placed data, technology and creativity in our core.
“We galvanise our teams to take a 360 degree approach in communications, with digital at the core and ensuring the Meaningful Brands platform is always their guide,’’ he says.
Elaborating on the Meaningful Brands platform, Vogiatzakis says the agency uses data in deriving insights and create content that is relevant to customers brands.
Content that is relevant drives true engagement and sharability, he says. The agency’s campaigns are fully data-driven and content-powered, strategically crafted to deliver meaningful connections – a successful and proven Havas Media recipe, he explains.
The mantra of Havas since it started just slightly more than a year ago has been the 3Ps: people, product and profit.
“We adopt this mantra in our daily operations and has been proven to be a successful in terms of financial growth and also by winning, for example, by bagging the Campaign’s Gold Award for Media Agency in Malaysia in 2017,” he says.
Commenting on the agency’s competitive strength in the media landscape, Vogiatzakis says powered by Vivendi, one of the world’s largest media and communication groups, Havas Media Malaysia enjoys the benefit of a global network with tremendous resources, available locally via its Havas Village concept.
“In addition, being a carefully crafted entrepreneurial local team, it is agile and shaped around the needs of our clients. Most importantly, it was built with digital at its core from the start. So as a young and agile team, Havas Media not only keeps up with the changes, but in many cases drives digital technology and innovation, shaping our media landscape,’’ he says.