Digital Will Dominate Our Biz By 2020, Says Dentsu Aegis’ Boss


Dentsu Aegis Network is shifting its focus to digital as marketers seek a different mix of services in lieu of the changing speed of technology.

Speaking about the global scenario and Middle East and North Africa in specific, Nigel Morris, CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network Americas & EMEA says, “All over the world, there is varying rates of acceleration. There are different rate of maturity for different economies. In MENA, because there was relatively lack of infrastructure in terms of supporting the first wave of digital, businesses, agencies and marketers had to change there outlook to be digital. Some had to go through a more painful switch to the mobile world but we are seeing faster acceleration in some of the great markets.”

One of the biggest challenges is to get ahead of the trends and anticipate the next big thing or be devoured. According to Mr Morris, “Every business needs to have a compass and a radar. One of the reasons we got into digital so early and in such a committed way is because our compass was very much there. The industry is changing with factors like financial crisis and political stability driving these changes.”

MENA being one such challenging and changing market. Speaking about the region, Michael Nederlof, CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network, MENA says, “We offer services for 19 regions offering solutions for every client, including digital and TV. Our focus is on the big markets like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran. Levant region is a little slow but here too we are working towards giving more services for our clients not only in media but digital and content. We have our biggest agency presence in Tehran.”

Echoing confidence in strengths of the MENA region, Mr Nederlof says, “Advertising spends in MENA region is lower than other markets but we believe its going to grow faster than average and ad spend is going to grow faster than in the world. Even though MENA region is seen as one, each market has a different story to tell. Jordon is different from Morocco, which is very different in Qatar. So it’s not just the rich and the poor countries but also the stable or the unstable. It’s difficult for international clients to understand how to invest and when to invest.”

It is here that Dents Aegis Network ensures that it provides the right insight and research to its clients to better understand the regions. Citing the example of Iran Mr Nederlof says, “In Iran, in light of the regulations and the sanctions, clients are still hesitant. One because they do not know the region. Hence, for our international clients who cannot travel here, we offer a lot of insights and education about the region.”

Perhaps it’s the challenges of the dynamic region like MENA that excites agencies to take on the challenges head on. Speaking about their success stories in the MENA region, Mr Morris says, “Organic growth has been spectacular, most regions organic growth slowed down but ours accelerated so it shows that we are doing something right. It’s almost surprising how a little a merger (Dentsu-Aegis merger) has positively impacted our business and also our clients’. In MENA our ability to do acquisitions have never been greater. We are looking at all the markets especially emerging markets – what are the new capabilities, what new entrepreneurs are working on and how we can bring it under our wing. It helps in developing their business and helps us developing our capabilities.”

Moving the conversation to a global level, Mr Morris spoke of the challenges of meeting pace with the consumers – “You are almost in near perfect competition, where consumers and producers, have equal power and equal noise, and if companies are not reacting and not keeping up with consumer trends, they will face risk. 40% of the top hundred companies wont exist in the next 10 years time. That’s what happened if you look back 10 years.”

Sharing plans of going 100% digital, Mr Morris said, “Digital is the dominant form and is driving many markets. We are very clear about our business. We think our business will be digital a 100% by 2020. By 100% we mean that we will be a digital business; fundamentally the design, the organization, the process, the people and the function.”


Add Comment