its. management: The future is in the one-stop shop solution
For the past 40 years, Lebanon has had its ups and downs, which have managed to create equilibrium where resilience was a key attribute that kept everyone going in this market.
However, the advertising industry has been lacking in long term vision and planning due to the country’s instability, explains the management at independent agency Its. Communication. What is slowing the growth of the ad market?
The ad market is very much linked and dependent on the economy of the country. If the economy is slow, the ad market is slow too, but we believe that, in times of crisis, advertising should be a priority in order to progress. Do you still believe Lebanon’s ad market is robust?
In advertising, you win some and you lose some. Today, we are witnessing the presence in the digital sector of new entities that have never advertised before. Any small to medium-sized firm is now able to allocate a budget to advertise thanks to digital media. What we are losing in some categories we are winning it in other. The issue is that the time sheet is becoming more cluttered since you have to work more to maintain the same level of output.
What’s the one thing you would like to see regulated in the industry?
We believe that regulation limits creativity, although there is a fine line between freedom and chaos. Pricing in regards to the digital arena is a concern as there has been no standard set, especially when it comes to the new emerging media.
What are some of the biggest challenges that the business will be up against in the new year? We believe it’s time to bring back the integrated agency that can establish a genuine partnership with clients and truly adopt the brand, which is only possible with a 360-degree involvement in all-advertising activities.
One of the main issues is that the majority of modern agencies have split each department into internally competing companies that are more worried about their P&L than the interest of the brand. The future is to go back to the One-stop-shop with 360-degree solutions. Are the days of the classic ad business age gone?
There’s no traditional and modern advertising agency anymore; there’s the agency that adapts to the growth of the brands it’s handling. We believe we need to go back to the basics, where the ultimate goal is for ads to build the brand’s equity and sales. The balance of experience and creativity is the success formula of today’s advertising world.
Do you believe that the proliferation of a new wave of marketers is affecting the business?
A marketer who’s not up-to-date with the latest trends is no true marketer. What defines a true marketer is speed, creativity and adaption, which require maturity, intelligence and experience. The choice of smaller agencies and vendors to work on a short-term project-by-project basis is a client’s choice, but it defies the principle of partnership with the agency, hence loyalty and ownership of accounts.
A start-up may be able to get by with in-house marketing but, depending on their vision and growth and in order to keep up with today’s market, the assistance of an experienced agency becomes key to moving forward.
One of the main issues is that the majority of modern agencies have split each department into internally competing companies that are more worried about their P&L than the interest of the brand.
Waddah Sadek, Manhal Nakouzi & Daniel Georr