Sayan Ganguly .

How Vulnerable is the Marketing Services Industry Today? How Can it Recover?

Today, when I open this group, or see my LinkedIn Feed, more than 50% of the posts that appear are about "marketing, hustling, digital marketing, social media marketing", etc.

To creators of such posts, I have only one question: it might be that you have got a lot of time in front of your system after being confined to indoors. But, isn't it the case with almost every industry, with so many industries almost seeing a grinding halt?

Yes. You would market a great product or service. Yes, you would be able to generate a great traffic for the product or service you are marketing. However, is that product or service worth selling in the current scenario? Do the potential buyers of that particular segment have enough cash in their hands for making such purchases?

Not being pessimistic here, but, isn't it the time to take a step back, compile all your marketing data collected so far, put them together to see the trends, then create product advisory for making the product affordable and relevant to the current scenario?

In other words, isn't it time to rethink on the economics of different segments, get back to your clients, work out new strategies and then coming back to what you were doing, but with a new goal and a new approach? Otherwise, wouldn't it be just a pool of mess with all your energy wasted with 2,000 sign-ups for a product with less than 5% conversions, thereby your client unable to pay you properly?

When these questions popped up in my mind, these might be circling in your head as well as you are in the field. How are you carving out your pathway to tackle something like this?

Originally Posted Here

Mayur Kulkarni

Very relevant. We're doing a lot of testing and exploring new product market fits. Rather that continuing what we previously did: honing on to tight grouping and maximising ROI from that segment, we're now looking to go for volume spray painting, trying to make it cheaper and go from there, trying to find new segments. So far, it's producing much satisfactory results. But like any calamity, situation is fluid. Testing is the only way to make sure you are on right path before committing.

Arunaday Basu

Marketers reading this post will get hurt. Their ego will get hurt. You shouldn't have said they are not being able to close - now they will counter you with figures in which they will show how they got 10,000% ROI in the lockdown.

Expect 7000 posts in the next 7 days in which they will show you what is marketing and how much ROI they can achieve.

Sayan Ganguly

How about Air India looking for a new Marketing Agency?

Arunaday Basu

well then most probably there will be a big agency who will handle it...

there is actually a very good reason why big agencies handle most of the work for brands.

Small agencies are just stupid. They don't make any money and they will never get big clients.

It's obviously because of the way small agencies operate.

They won't get this project even if they try.

Sayan Ganguly

But then wouldn't Air India keep delaying the payments forever?

Arunaday Basu

absolutely.. Because the client also doesn't have money now.

Consolidating all my points into one comment:

1. Small agencies always wanna get bigger and bigger clients. Issue is that, for that to happen, you need bigger and bigger offices. If you haven't been to an office of a big agency, you should go and check it out once. There is a reason why they have spent so much on just an office

2. Client servicing is not about the work that you do, it's about how well you can handle a client. The client is not gonna see your work. The client is gonna see your office and your face. Yes. That's absolutely correct and shocking

3. Do you know why most client servicing people are women? Let me put this in the best way possible and argue with me if you wanna - its because most clients are old men who wanna interact with young women, because obviously, old men feel good

4. Hope I have given you a perspective to understand why the pomp and show is necessary to get and retain big clients. If you look like a poor guy and you don't have an office, stop creating an agency right now. It's not use. You're just gonna make ends meet. Not even that

5. Agency owners are never great investors. They don't know how to invest in their own company to make it bigger. They know how to hit the bar at the weekend and spend the money they earned

6. I know agencies who have refused clients at 50k per month because their expectation was at least 1L per month. During covid, they got f*ed. And they are still pretty f*ed right now also

7. Agencies almost never work on a performance basis, which means that they do not partake in the profits and losses of the company. Very recently, I know someone who lost a very very big client because of this reason. The company wasn't doing well and the agency couldn't help them get more customers. So the company just left them for another

8. I know brands who have changed agencies because they were getting the same services at 50% cheaper somewhere else - this is also a big client

9. Agencies almost never have an in-house team to handle the work. They try to get it done by freelancers. Small agencies practically only work with freelancers and that's what degrades the quality of their work

10. Small agencies also don't have processes like large agencies. Whether that is in pitching a plan or making reports of work done. That's why they always lose out on business. If you see the processes of big agencies (which they won't tell outsiders) you will be so impressed you will want to have them as your agency

I am 101% sure many marketers have already read this post and they are avoiding answering.

Group mein naya post already aa gaya hai - profit profit profit.

Tere yeh post pe koi comment karne nahi wala hai.

You have to understand something - the people you are asking your doubts to are the ones who try to avoid any doubts you have in your mind.

Tere post ka target audience sahi nahi hai.

Sayan Ganguly

I was about to have an internal call today about a RFP for branding our platform.
I will use these insights now and I think the right course of action would be to spend the money elsewhere.
Bragging or showing us vanity metrics or an office wouldn't have worked with us anyways as we would have pre-set parameters for evaluating a bidder.

Arunaday Basu

ahh so it was a trick question hahahha

There are so many agencies in PushStart that we can easily create a mega agency - an agency with 50 smaller agencies in it.

The mega agency will redirect project to the smaller agencies.

Can't they do this work on their own?

Yes they can, but mostly owners of agencies are not tech people. They don't know how to manage developers, designers, etc. because obviously, all devs and designers are f*ed up people - I am a designer, developer and a content writer apart from being a manager, so I know this better than anyone else. In fact, I am the guy agencies hire to get their work done.

You have to be an absolutely crazy person to understand what a dev or a designer is trying to say - that is just not possible for sane-minded people like owners of agencies who have to keep a sane mind to interact with the client.

Most agencies also don't have internal processes or even external ones that they will impress a client.

But we are specialists in structuring things - making project reports is a daily thing for you and me. So we are good at it.

Making companies is like an overnight job for us.

Imagine the number of startups you will be able to support if you can help them do certain things like branding or making a quick MVP. Then help them create companies, NGOs, etc.

There is no agency which takes up this work on equities. Let's do that.

Let's change the way agencies work. Let's make a mega agency for startups where they can just go to even if they Rs. 0 in their pockets.

We do social work right? Isse bada social work kya hai?

and I am not saying "I" will do the work. Nope.

The smaller agencies themselves will do the work and they will manage everything.

We are a layer on top of them to ensure that they get paid.

We have the contacts and the knowledge to ensure that they get paid.

Companies which are just starting out have to go to a development agency, a marketing agency and then a CA and a CS to create the company. And then get a full time dev to manage the website. This is the standard process for an ecommerce company.

We can get everything sorted under one roof. That's the mega agency I am talking about.

Pritam Sinha

Arunaday Basu Pushstart is the mega agency, just the internal divisions are not set properly.

Arunaday Basu

Pritam Sinha I know that Neeraj Joshi is doing the#PSPartners thing. And I have been seeing progress on the product as well.
That's why I'll wait and see what happens🖤

Pritam Sinha

Arunaday Basu I do remember one of the first PSMeet where Neeraj Joshi bhaiya was so keen on quality but later the inefficiencies of scale creeped in. That's why PSPartners. I am just hoping that by the time I launch my product, I have good agencies to choose from...not the noise.

Arunaday Basu

Pritam Sinha there is something else I wrote as well - there is no agency which takes up work on equities.

On Rs. 0 money, not even PS and the agencies in it.

Pritam Sinha

Arunaday Basu Yes, I surely do agree. People here say they are entrepreneurs (generally considered risk takers for high returns), but hey we can't say anything about the lack of entrepreneurship in their approach.

Arunaday Basu

Pritam Sinha exactly. You cannot call yourself an entrepreneur if you're not taking the biggest bets and risks.

I hate it when people are not taking risks.

If entrepreneurs don't take risks, they are dead to me.

So we have to be cautious as well as courageous in our approach🔥

Neeraj Joshi 

Arunaday Basu we will be releasing an update soon of the performance of our #PSPartner offering

Arunaday Basu

I'll prove my point even further with BBDO.

They have 289 offices in 81 countries and they are not even the largest in the world.

How exactly do you, smaller agencies, propose that you will spread to 81 countries and 250+ offices by the time you die? You can't manage one office for your life.

It can't happen.

But, it needs to happen.

That's what's called growth. Otherwise you're just serving dosas at a canteen. If you wanna own a Taj to serve your customers, Indian agencies have to come together.

Not all the 289 offices of BBDO are actually BBDO. They acquired them. Over 150 years.

We don't have that much time to grow.

At least 2 generations are gonna be dead before 150 years.

Harshal N Shroff

Arunaday Basu they have a parent. Read about the need of holding companies and why now they are going OUT IF BUSSINESS.


Listen from the BHAGWAN of Advertising communication... Starting his new YOUNG startup.

Join India’s
most active community
and interact with 20k+
like-minded entrepreneurs