ZMI ALPHA:The only thing that has remained the same for the agency is its name: Rubeena Singh, iProspect India

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ZMI ALPHA:The only thing that has remained the same for the agency is its name: Rubeena Singh, iProspect India

  • dentsu international introduced the ‘new’ iProspect to the world last week.
  • In the word of the network, it is now a game-changing agency that offers digital-first end-to-end media approach that could be marked as the beginning of a new era of performance-driven brand building in India.
  • We reached out to Rubeena Singh, CEO, iProspect India to understand what the new in iProspect is.
  • She shares a few factors that will help the agency get a clearer edge in the market, how changing people’s preconceptions about iProspect — that it is no longer just a performance agency — will be the biggest challenge ahead and the growth plan for 2021.

dentsu International’s new iProspect is the first agency in India to offer performance-driven brand building on a global scale. Earlier this year, dentsu International also integrated Vizeum with iProspect, bringing together the former’s media strategy and planning, storytelling, and brand-building capabilities with the latter’s digital expertise, audience knowledge, and performance mindset.

Globally, the agency network has been on a consolidation spree. It is trying to simplify how it operates to deliver greater agility and flexibility for clients through a more focused portfolio.

Rubeena Singh, CEO, iProspect India told us how everything is changed at the agency, but its name. It isn’t just a logo or website revamp. iProspect has a completely new all-sizes-fit-within approach to offer to its clients. It will look at the advertising world with a combined lens of human-centric solutions that drive growth for its clients; it is designed at the intersection of brand and performance.
She further shared with us how the agency will continue to keep inclusion at the centre of all its communications and why she thinks the agency will attract a unique portfolio of clients with its new avatar.
Excerpts:


Q) Walk us through all that new about iProspect now?

Two agencies with a lot of heritage and globally scaled brands have come together to make this new iProspect. We have a new proposition, a new approach to working, enhanced capabilities and integrated teams. The only thing that has remained the same is the name, the reason for this is two-fold… Firstly, and most crucially, we wanted to spend more of our time and energy on building solutions for our clients than building our own agency brand. Secondly, the iProspect brand name already has a huge global footprint and is universally synonymous with digital excellence that has performance at the centre. We, therefore, felt that keeping the iProspect name was the right thing to do, as so much of the brand recall is already in place.

By integrating two award-winning agencies, we bring Vizeum’s media strategy and planning, storytelling and brand building capabilities together with iProspect’s digital expertise, audience knowledge, and performance mindset. Clients will have access to the unique capabilities of both agencies, all from one integrated team of highly skilled experts from across a multitude of media specialisms. We are in a unique position to help brands accelerate their growth by offering a digital-first end to end solutions.


Q) From a structural perspective, how will things be different? Are you planning to train more employees in performance marketing in India or hire new employees?

We have reorganised ourselves in India to be able to offer this integrated approach to our clients. Where there were specialists that were looking at particular silos we have brought them together now and integrated them as a team. Today, at one unit, we’ll be able to offer clients access to expansive new audience insights, integrated and more effective strategies, market-leading planning and activation, and unparalleled business performance.
We will continue to upskill our current talent and also bring in new people as the business grows.


Q) What will be your focus areas as the agency dons its new avatar?

The launch is just a beginning. We will now start demonstrating our digital-first, end-to-end solutions and also focus on building a culture for our teams where our teams can thrive. As an agency, we want to be behind the biggest growth stories in the business. Our mission is to deliver smart, scalable, honest, and relevant work that grows business, enriches our clients and makes media momentous.

To do this, we need to focus on our current clients and understand how we can better help them succeed and grow their businesses through our dual-lens perspective of brand and performance. We will also look to partner with other brands, both domestic and international, who find themselves at a pivot point in their digital transformation in media. This is where we will make the biggest difference and where our skill sets can drive bigger and better growth for our clients.

Q) Tell us a bit about the gender ratio at the agency. Your press statement mentions that diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is inherent at iProspect and within dentsu international, tell us how have you tried to make your agency inclusive and what are some of the things you would be doing this year to make it more inclusive?
Because diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is inherent at iProspect and dentsu international, the new brand rollout also sees inclusion at the centre of all our communications.
At iProspect India, we are trying to do our bit to remove/reduce some of these hurdles/difficulties that working women face. Women@iProspect, an initiative launched in 2018, is a small step towards it. Enhancing one’s chances to climb the ladder with much more confidence is our way of producing tomorrow’s leaders. Similarly, we launched Female Foundry in India, 2 years ago, to support female entrepreneurs in the country. We want to build a healthy and rewarding digital ecosystem for all. Such small steps can create a big impact if we all come together.


Q) What is the future of performance-driven marketing in India?

As the world becomes more connected, we don’t believe in separating Brand and Performance. We believe growth lies at the intersection of brand and performance because all advertising is about performance; all advertising can and should build brands and drive growth.

We unite brand and performance to drive growth in a way that also builds brands. Brands must capture the value and potential impact of every touchpoint to both drive sales and build lifetime value. However, brands can’t just focus on driving short-term sales at the expense of long-term brand health. We balance optimisation and transformation delivering growth today whilst unlocking growth for the future.


Q) Now that you will bring a global perspective to the table for your clients, what would be some of the challenges and opportunities for you? How are you preparing yourself to face it?

I would say that we have the challenge of changing people’s preconceptions about the agency – and to show we’re no longer just a performance agency, but one which is new and offering full end-to-end solutions for clients. However, this is something our clients want; they’re looking for stronger and more integrated solutions from their agency partners.
By having just one go-to for our clients we’re able to make it simpler for them – a single-core team of experts that understand their brand, their customer and their business needs. A team that can drive real-time performance that can better inform the long-term acceleration of brand growth.


Q) What are the plans for 2021, in terms of expansion, new business targets, talent acquisition, and technology development? What is your vision for iProspect?

We need to focus on our current clients and understand how we can better help them succeed and grow their businesses through our dual-lens perspective of brand and performance. We will also look to partner with other brands, both domestic and international, who find themselves at a pivot point in their digital transformation in media. This is where we will make the biggest difference and where our skill sets can drive bigger and better growth for our clients.

We believe this new offer will attract a new type of client. Clients who are:

• Digital Economy brands – or brands who are trying to master it

• Brands who are focused on digital or data transformation to unlock new growth

• Growth and performance mindset brands who are looking to outgrow their category.
Increasingly, this will attract clients who measure business outcomes and not just media metrics and clients that are looking to challenge the rules to unlock new sources of growth.

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