A paradigm shift towards holistic measurement will be imperative in 2024: Initiative India’s Vaishali Verma

Vaishali Verma, CEO, Initiative India, on the agency’s 2023 report card and her to-do list for 2024.

By  Priyanka NairDec 19, 2023 9:46 AM
A paradigm shift towards holistic measurement will be imperative in 2024: Initiative India’s Vaishali Verma
Along with having holistic measurements in place, Vaishali Verma says, disruptive ideas in content creation will continue to dominate both linear TV and OTT platforms, pushing the boundaries of traditional storytelling.

Marketers are increasingly realising the need for comprehensive insights to drive return on investment (RoI). “This holistic approach ensures that the advertising industry moves beyond fragmented metrics, providing a unified perspective to guide strategic decisions in an ever-expanding and complex marketing landscape,” said Vaishali Verma, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Initiative India, in a conversation with Storyboard18.

Along with having holistic measurements in place, Verma says, disruptive ideas in content creation will continue to dominate both linear TV and OTT platforms, pushing the boundaries of traditional storytelling. Sustainability will also take centre stage for many brands next year.

Verma also shares the agency’s 2023 report card and her to-do list for 2024. Edited excerpts of the interview:

From a business perspective, what are the key achievements of the agency this year?

Initiative India experienced significant growth in 2023, driven by both new business ventures and the organic expansion of our existing client base. Notable additions to our client portfolio include ITC Foods, Centaury Mattress, Jos Alukkas, and the strategic entry into the B2B sector with Schneider Electric. For Schneider Electric, we successfully established a global hub in India, handling operations across more than 70 countries.

Our ability to leverage emerging marketing trends in technology, data, and content has provided a competitive advantage to our clients. We have a longstanding partnership with Amazon, which is one of our marquee clients.

Beyond the business metrics, our success is reflected in the high employee retention rate and Net Promoter Score (NPS), affirming that Initiative is not just a workplace but a thriving ecosystem where talent flourishes and innovation takes centre stage. This is complemented by our notable achievement of retaining 95 percent of our client relationships, showcasing our commitment to long-term partnerships.

Additionally, the introduction of Fame & Flow, Initiative's new brand positioning, signifies a natural evolution from our previous philosophy of Cultural Velocity. This innovative approach helps marketers tap into the profound power of media to unite people in culture, fostering brand fame while guiding individuals along their journeys and accelerating customer flow. This model expands the brand and performance debate beyond paid media, enabling clients to navigate the ever-expanding marketing world seamlessly.

What key marketing trends stood out for you in 2023?

The landscape of 2023 was marked by disruptive ideas in content across video, a surge in personalisation, metaverse-first launches, the prominence of live streaming, and a notable commitment to sustainable initiatives by marketers. We witnessed the transformation of digital channels into critical and preferred mediums for customer engagement and conversion. Data-driven insights played a pivotal role, providing nuanced consumer understanding and facilitating deeper engagement. The convergence of technology-led innovation enabled brands to interact with consumers in real time, driving lower-funnel initiatives.

What are the key tasks on your to-do list for 2024?

In 2024, our primary focus will be on comprehensive business growth across all streams. We aim to consolidate existing businesses by ensuring a differentiated product that aligns seamlessly with our Fame & Flow philosophy. As the industry evolves, we position ourselves at the forefront of audience and data strategy, recognising the increasing need for sharper choices with measurable business outcomes. The year ahead promises to be a dynamic one, and we are geared towards scaling new heights while maintaining our commitment to excellence.

What trends do you foresee shaping the advertising industry in 2024?

In 2024, the advertising landscape is poised for transformative shifts, embracing a spectrum of trends that promise to redefine the industry. Disruptive ideas in content creation will continue to dominate both linear TV and OTT platforms, pushing the boundaries of traditional storytelling. This evolution extends to personalised experiences, metaverse-first launches, and the widespread adoption of live streaming, painting a vibrant canvas of diverse engagement opportunities.

A pivotal theme guiding the industry's trajectory is its resounding commitment to sustainability. Brands with a higher purpose will not only navigate the evolving consumer landscape but also foster deeper brand loyalties. As we navigate this sustainable journey, the rise of premiumisation emerges as a balancing act, compelling brands to strike a delicate equilibrium between perceived value and profitability.

Amidst these dynamics, the integration of generative AI into creative processes heralds a new era of efficiency. From product development to talent acquisition, the effectiveness of content creation is set to soar. Marketers, recognising the potential of AI, will seek comprehensive measurement tools to scale these creative endeavours further.

Furthermore, a paradigm shift towards holistic measurement emerges as a key imperative in 2024. Marketers are increasingly realising the need for comprehensive insights to drive return on investment (RoI). This holistic approach ensures that the advertising industry moves beyond fragmented metrics, providing a unified perspective to guide strategic decisions in an ever-expanding and complex marketing landscape. As we step into 2024, these trends collectively shape a future where creativity, sustainability, premiumisation, and holistic measurement converge to redefine the very essence of advertising.

First Published on Dec 19, 2023 8:58 AM

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