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|OMG Stays Relevant through Ideas and Innovation|
|Tuesday, 01 December 2009 15:04|
OMD Malaysia turns 10 this year while PHD completes four years in the market. When it comes to OMG, Andreas explains, the two companies operate as one family with one vision and contribute equally to the resources of the group with one focus in mind; to do the best work and be desired while staying relevant.
The development of PHD is to strengthen the need to consistently produce better work. “Omnicom Media Group developed PHD because it enhanced the arsenal of Omnicom that was different and better and I believe it complemented where OMD was at that moment. I think it is healthy to have that within OMG as it provides differentiation and very healthy competition internally.”
PHD is a media and communications agency with over 60 offices and 2000 staff globally. It has been built on a culture of thought leadership, creativity and innovation. “At our core is a strong belief that great media ideas matter. In our hearts is a commitment to lead the industry with thought provoking opinions and pioneering thinking.”
With over 8,000 employees in more than 97 markets across every region in the world, OMD on the other hand is uniquely positioned to provide market-leading service. They believe in the power of ideas to deliver compelling business results. “Our ideas do not happen by chance. They are the product of highly talented and imaginative people, powerful research-driven insight and a hard-nosed negotiation approach.”
Though both media agencies are under the same group, they are separate in terms of legal structure, profit and loss and management, but so are the different teams in OMD. The group took a couple of conscious decisions to separate the two companies a few years ago when structuring. First, they did not want to have a buying unit. Instead they created within OMD and PHD independent brand teams so each team is capable of the carrying out the whole process from ideation to implementation and buying, hence each team operates as a small agency.
Talent development and retention
When it comes to daily operations, Andreas has always believed in adhering to the principal of the 3Ps; People, Product, Profit. “The key is you keep the three in that order.”
Andreas has always believed that ‘People’ come first. Even the greatest research tools would be meaningless if the people do not implement it. It is a fairly simple principle but a hard one to practice. “Because we are a public company and we are driven by share price and audits and numbers, thus we have to ensure numbers are given importance while keeping the people motivated and engaged. If the people are motivated, engaged and satisfied, the rest will follow.”
OMG also claims to have the best welfare programme in the industry. “We do relentless training and we leverage our HRDF. Last year alone we engaged more than 70 training programmes for all 65 staff.”
Andreas also shares with us their “pride and joy”, a new industry training programme to be launched by the end of the year. “Up till now we have been doing ad hoc training programmes, but we feel it is time we launch the first ever industry training programme. The 10-month programme is an internal university level programme complete with exams for all employees of different levels. It covers subjects such as Media 101 to research, personal development and negotiation skills. We will be exporting it from Malaysia to other OMD companies around the world.”
Andreas says there is no other agency running a structured, certificate programme such as theirs which culminates into a real project to test the “students” at the end of the course.
Molding the future
The youth are the future of the industry and with the ongoing issue of lack of new talent, the industry needs to realise that they have a responsibility towards the students. Hence OMG takes personal accountability to engage with students through three essential touch points - seminars and talks such as previously done with KDU and USM, internships to give an opportunity to students to experience the real world and the AIESEC programme.
AIESEC is a student-run programme whose proposition is to build leaders. OMG is the official media advisor for AIESEC, advising in areas of media and PR. This year the Malaysian chapter played host to the AIESEC global conference, held at the Palace of The Golden Horses hosting 800 delegates from around the world. OMG faithfully saw them through the project and generously lent help in their area of expertise.
Prediction for the year 2014 media landscape
The book ‘Media Agency 2014’ paints an interesting picture on the possible landscape of the future, based on the speed of technological change, the evolvement of usage patterns, and the potential impact that these would have on entertainment and advertising.
PHD is an agency that places an emphasis on pioneering – in that they seek to be at the cutting edge of the industry. Because of this they believe it is important to have a view on future - five years from now to be precise. “Therefore we have carried out a research piece that predicts the media agency of the future – the media agency of 2014. We spent a lot of time focusing on new technology as this has a direct effect on how the media landscape develops and how the media agency develops.”
Technology in the world of media can be grouped into four areas: Power, Storage, Connectivity and Interface. Keeping a close watch across all four areas with a particular focus on Connectivity and Interface, PHD makes predictions on what will happen to media and what we need to do to create the media agency of 2014.
The book ‘Media Agency 2014: PHD on the Future of the Media Agency’ went on sale on Amazon.com for download. With a price of US$5, all proceeds will go to charity: UNICEF in EMEA, Asia Pacific and Latin America and United Way in North America.
The Corner Stones
Every year the group invests a significant amount of energy and funds on research, because apart from the individual positioning, what really drives the media process are the insights. “Data is easy to obtain but to understand all the different elements that can lead to a better communications plan is not easy, and that is why we are investing in an exclusive research team. Their job is to manage and oversee resources, syndicated and propriety research and propriety tool development.”
Some of the major studies:
The World of The Malays
Outlook in life
Dreams and Ambitions
Family, Friends and Relationships
Religion, Beliefs and Values
Shopping and Advertising
It is a quantitative study of 1000 samples, covering 15 – 59 y.o Malays in Peninsular Malaysia – Northern, central, Southern & Eastern region and 3 market strata: urban, semi-urban and areas bordering the rural. Malaygraphics is providing critical answers to advertisers wanting to find out the differences of Malays in the urban / semi-urban/ rural regions of Malaysia, is identifying the lucrative Malay consumer by profiling and segmenting the Malay market and is enabling us to better choose the correct channels to communicate the advertising messages
W0W – WONDERS OF WOMEN
The world of women
Savings / money
Relationship / marriage
Family / kids
Dreams and aspirations
It is a regional study of the better educated women in Asia, covering 11 cities in 7 countries includes China, HK, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand, covering both qualitative and quantitative stages with a 3000 sample. The data provide insights on media consumption behavior and information on areas that concerning the women e.g. beauty, fashion, shopping, relationship etc.
Pathway literally maps the consumer’s purchase journey, which is made up of a series of relationships between brand and consumers through various dimensions such as purchase duration, the buying stages and the role of media. The consumer purchase journey is a complicated labyrinth of interactions between brands and their consumers and Pathway was designed to understand these intricate relationships and processes by product category type. By understanding the significant touchpoints of this journey, we are enabled to gain unparalleled insights into the purchasing psyche of consumers.
The Way Forward
It is clear to see, OMG has set themselves up for a promising and exciting future. However, no one can foretell the future, thus as Andreas believes, the best way to predict the future is to create it. The group has three key points they will be focusing on in the near future.
Moving beyond strategic planning to communications planning
“This is not a option but a mandate. We need to move beyond being planners and buyers media to financial investment advisors and communication advisors as we have a responsibility to tell our clients what communication platforms work, even if it is beyond our execution ability. This is why we are developing brand science, our econometric modeling tool.”
Content is key
“The media environment is becoming fragmented and attention span of consumers are decreasing. Thus, we have to move beyond traditional ways of engaging and leveraging content, to more beneficial methods. We need to create platforms that match the character of a brand and psychographics of the audience. This combination creates powerful communication to engage consumers and activate a brand.”
One of the successful work OMG has done in this direction is the ESSO and Mobil ‘Road Home with Smiles’ celebrity travelogue on NTV7. The custom-made travelogue encapsulates the ESSO and Mobil’s brand attributes and featured the benefits and convenience of the Smiles card program. These were successful works because, as Andreas explains, it is about understanding the brand objectives and leveraging that to be part of the script writing.
“If we do not plan to retire in five years, then we have to get on with digital. In fact, we have passed the deadline. In the last three years, we have grown from zero to become one of the top digital agencies in the market, by taking a conscious decision on how to structure ourselves. Traditionally, agencies develop a digital unit. To us this is a short-term solution because eventually it creates bottle necks and silos. Instead we have been educating digital to all our planners, buyers and brand teams. Digital will also be a big component in our university programme.”
To learn more about both OMD and PHD visit
www.omd.com / www.phdnetwork.com