Telum Talks To… Neeraj Khanna, Marketing Communications Director, Omnicom Media Group Asia Pacific
Congratulations on the new role! You were previously working in MENA - what are some differences you've noticed in the marcomms space, now that you're overseeing APAC?
The size of the markets in Asia and their level of activity has definitely been the biggest difference I’ve noticed from the marketing communications industry in the Middle East and North Africa. Asia Pacific is home to some of the largest consumer markets in the world, and each one has their own nuances and intricacies that dictate how brands engage with their consumers. I’m seeing a lot of innovation and ingenuity in how brands cut through in these individual markets, which adds a level of dynamism to my role and how we communicate our success stories from the region.
You’ll oversee communications for various marketing performance companies, how will you handle the different natures of all of them?
Each brand that I work for has a very clear and focused positioning that defines its service offering and distinguishes it in the eyes of both current and prospective clients. Having such a strong sense of purpose and a defined culture makes it easy for me to switch hats when working on different initiatives across brands. And at the end of the day, the underlying commonality is that they are powered by one of the largest communications groups in the world - a brand of its own that is renowned across the industry for its strength and cohesion among its individual networks.
What does your role entail when you’re marketing a marketing agency?
Marketing a marketing agency involves a completely different approach to that of traditional products or services. We are in the business of generating actual business performance for other organisations, helping our clients to build stronger relationships with their consumers and ultimately deliver better results for their bottom lines. Therefore, this role involves communicating our agencies’ bespoke thought leadership; our talent’s unique point-of-views and ingenuity that help clients to innovate in their sectors and cut through the clutter; our ability to understand changes in the consumer landscape well in advance and anticipate the necessary transformations our industry will undergo as a result; and sharing these critical insights with our clients to help them future proof their businesses.
Having the experience in marketing global brands across different markets, what are some key challenges you’ve faced in moving across the world with the same brands?
As I mentioned earlier, the size and scale of the markets in Asia Pacific are a force to be reckoned with. What comprises a big portion of your agenda in one market can be a small initiative in another, and vice versa. The challenge is to understand these intricacies and then scale your activations accordingly. However, having a really strong brand positioning and culture helps significantly in being able to market global brands consistently across different territories.
Where do you get your news?
To curate content that serves as inspiration for our clients and staff, I follow news containing consumer insights from digital portals like PSFK, Digiday, WARC and Omnicom Media Group’s Media Pulse. I also follow news from portals like The Verge, Mashable and Techcrunch to learn about the latest developments in technology and online platforms that have potential to transform consumer behaviours.