Tell us a little bit about GroupM's journey in Bangladesh.
GroupM started its operations in Bangladesh back in 2000 with Mindshare. It started its work establishing some of Unilever's major brands in the region. Its continual success has paved the path for GroupM to be the largest media planning, buying and research company in the country. Today, it works with a diversified portfolio of major international and local brands. In its constant effort to build brands, it has become the number one media agency with 58 percent market share.
What kind of clients do you work with?
GroupM looks after a variety of clients, starting from major international brands, which make up 80 percent of its client base. They include Unilever, GSK, Nestle, Pepsi, HSBC, and Grameenphone, among others. When it comes to local brands, we work with IDLC, Brac, bKash, Real View and many more.
How do you operate with such diverse and conflicting clients?
With such a diverse client portfolio, GroupM has a full-proof process to handle automation, from planning to billing. It protects client confidentiality with the highest priority. Like in other markets globally, GroupM has conglomerated into three agencies, namely Mindshare, Maxus, and MEC in Bangladesh. Each agency works with each of the conflicting clients. Despite being on opposite ends, the agencies' habit of being in harmony and focussing on innovative marketing activities for each client has earned GroupM its leading role in the market.
What type of services do you offer?
GroupM is a one-stop media solution, meaning it guides its clients from the very beginning till the very end by crafting all facilities thinkable—from trading and services; media planning and buying; strategy; and creative and digital solutions. Furthermore it works to create a process of automation and transparency so that clients may reach maximum output with minimum resource utilisation.
What are some of the most exciting campaigns that GroupM has conducted in Bangladesh?
Every day is a new blank page for GroupM. It is filled with doodles of innovative ideas, which are then executed to become exciting campaigns people can resonate with. Every campaign is unique in its own right, thus making it difficult to pick a few among the hoards. But in recent times, Closeup's “Kache Ashar Golpo” was a huge success. The “Meet Deepika Padukone” campaign on behalf of Lux generated massive audience engagement as well.
What are some of GroupM's recent recognitions?
GroupM's hopes and aspirations for brands has helped them blossom into an established household names. With its dreams to make brands grow, GroupM has been acknowledged globally. It is the most awarded media agency group in Bangladesh. Winning Campaign's Agency of the Year Award for South Asia for four consecutive years is a strong reflection of how internationally recognised GroupM's services are.
What are some of the challenges GroupM has faced in its 17 years of operation in Bangladesh?
While operating, although the company didn't face any internal issues, the biggest challenge was the lack of credible data when it came to media platforms. The company had to work incredibly hard to find accurate sources in our initial years, because without correct data, it was impossible to run our services efficiently. Another challenge has been employee retention. Working with GroupM gives an individual a holistic experience regarding the ins and outs of the industry. As a result, some move on to more lucrative jobs after six months or so. However, we have managed a solid foundation, which is reflected in our success over the years.
As the Executive Director, what is your major duty?
I am essentially the facilitator in the organisation. I ensure that the right approach is taken towards business goals holistically. I don't get into brand-specific details. Rather from a management perspective, I ensure that proper resource allocation is done as and when needed. At the same time, I try to envision the future of GroupM and stay one step ahead of everyone else in the market.
Where do you see the organisation in five years' time?
In the years to come, GroupM aims to retain the title of market leader by continuing to build brands creatively, while offering the best return on investment to clients. Its primary goal is to establish online-offline synergy in its services. And with the future of the media industry being digital, GroupM hopes to strive and lead that field consistently and effectively all throughout.
Sameem is a junior at the Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka