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'Need more client participation to drive OOH innovation'

By M4G Bureau - September 02, 2013

Claudine Kwek, Chief Operating Officer -- Asia Pacific, Tenth Avenue, who comes with a rich experience behind her, having been the COO and CFO at different times for GroupM in China, besides being the APAC Finance Controller for JWT, among other important stints, shares her views on the group's OOH plans for India, particularly with respect to Kinetic Worldwide, one of its operating companies. Read on…

What is Kinetic Worldwide's mandate within Tenth Avenue's mandate?

Tenth Avenue has its presence in 25 countries around the world and mainly focuses on understanding consumer behavior and reaching them especially, when they are on the move, with the appropriate content created by our experts to reach the target group at the right time and at the right place.It is the umbrella company with four operating companies like Spafax, Joule, Forward and Kinetic Worldwide. Spafax creates content using multimedia format to tell branded stories and build the audience, while Joule provides mobile marketing services at different parts of the world. Forward is a multi channel content agency for building brand loyalty and driving ROI and Kinetic Worldwide is the world's largest Out Of Home media buying and planning agency with an in-depth knowledge pool.

What are Tenth Avenue's plan for South Asia and India?

We are planning to launch a new product'Aureus' exclusively designed for all sectors in the out-of-home media planning and buying chain. It will help to differentiate Kinetic Worldwide from the competitors in the market. The system brings together local market data; insights; industry and proprietary research and allies this to detailed inventory information. It helps in planning the campaign successfully and delivers in a simple format to ensure seamless access to the market so as to be a platform to integrate our business with the media partners.  
Initially Kinetic in South Asia was struggling hard to build the foundation strong, but now things are on the right path. We are having a 30% share in the South Asia market and we have the right team for Kinetic India. We require more skilled professionals in the market in order to be better positioned with media partners.

Kinetic is huge in China, by when can India see a similar presence?

The advertising format in China market is majorly digital. The way we are recognized today in China is something we built over five to seven years. Kinetic in China has a huge market and clients want more and more from us. India growing to the size of China is something very difficult to predict. We are first looking at strengthening our current business in India and then we can explore other best possible opportunities here. There is also a difference between the Indian and the Chinese markets. In China, the advertising market trend is different; we stay very busy with thousands of campaigns round the year. May be the markets are not comparable. But I think in both the markets people are equally creative and committed.

In your view what are the factors affecting the growth of OOH industry in India?

India is a great market. Our clients have a huge expectation from us; brands like Lufthansa and Citibank always want to be the first in the market to do something different. We require equal participation from our clients for the betterment of the OOH market. The vendors should be encouraged more. India has great talent pool in development of technology platforms but the industry requires partners like us to convey the technology and add value to the services. The client needs to change; if the client changes, then vendors will be under pressure to help bring in innovations.

Technology plays an important role and it needs to be used efficiently. Another factor affecting the growth is the measurement; we can't bench mark the performance against the traditional media like television and print. There should be some parameters to measure the ROI in OOH.

What is Kinetic India's aim in terms of positioning?

Kinetic India wants to be positioned as No.1 in terms of growth, innovation and bringing change in industry. Also, the media partners are changing, India is a dynamic market. The clients are investing in different areas for OOH campaigns in areas like airports. Our aim is to help our client reach the target group and achieve the'value for money' services.

How do you compare India with other Asian markets in the context of the OOH industry?

The markets are different, it's difficult to compare. In India one can get as creative and innovative as one likes in terms of OOH advertising. The development of infrastructure in emerging urban & Tier 1 corridors ,co-operation & collaborative thinking from the Government authorities will helps us grow in the Indian market. We now have good talent internally & going forward, talent management & development is a key focus area for us.

Any new OOH trends you observe in other markets in terms of format/innovations/client spend?

In terms of OOH, things are developing in India. India has a sound technology base; we are looking at exporting it to other markets. On the other hand China is doing well with the digital format. Delivering the right content in the appropriate format is very important. So if the digital format comes in India the scenario will improve.

Do you see the emergence of any new media in the OOH sector, going beyond the traditional format?

Introducing digital format in the Indian market and the infrastructure supporting it can be something new.  There are areas yet to be explored in traditional formats --  like the metro and subway lines that are coming up. Connecting the traditional format with some parts of digital format can be great to work at. 

What could be the reason for the slow growth of digital market in India?

Strong infrastructure and more OOH agencies like Kinetic Worldwide are required to change the industry. If the industry gets stable, our vendors and media partners can invest more in the OOH format and it could help to grow the digital OOH market in India.

Can you list four things that India needs in order to develop OOH digital market in India?

1)    Right content, at the right time and right place.
2)    Development of the infrastructure
3)    Working with the media partners in an organized way so that they know where they are investing.
4)    It is also necessary to measure the OOH format in order to bring in better changes  

On a closing note what would you like to add?

I am very excited about coming to India and I think India has highly talented and passionate people. For me it's important how we add value to the country.


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