Marketers or agencies, we are all serving consumers. Let’s not forget that: Kartik Sharma

At the e4m Confluence, Kartik Sharma, Group CEO – Omnicom Media Group, India, spoke to the audience about the changing tides in the marketing industry, the trends we can see and how marketers and agencies need to adapt to the changing mindset of the consumer.

Sharma spoke to the audience about the journey through the evolution of media agency models. With a nod to the transformative 1990s economic opening, he painted a vivid picture of the once-simple advertising strategies that laid the foundation for today’s complex marketing landscape.

With an air of nostalgia and deep insight, Sharma wove a compelling narrative of the industry’s transformative journey. “Things slowly over the mid-90s started changing. It started becoming more around integrated plans, multi-channel plans, content and process optimization. The language in the next 10-12 years, kind of changed, and slowly, from what we believe the Mad Men era, we became more match-men era. There’s a big shift that started happening around the 2000 to mid-2000s. From a right-brain-oriented tilted industry, we became more left-brain-oriented.”
Sharma delved into the industry’s loyalty crisis. He spoke about marketers losing touch with their audience. The session also highlighted the dire need for honesty and understanding in the intricate consumer-marketer relationship.
He also spoke about the looming shadow of short-termism in both business and personal relationships between agencies and their clients, prompting a deep reflection on the profound implications for branding and long-term success.
Speaking about changing consumer mindsets and how one can navigate it, he said, “The real truth is we all serve, whether agency or marketer, we all are finally serving the consumer. Let’s not forget that.”
Speaking on the challenges that lay ahead, Sharma dissected the fear and short-termism driving marketers, which has led to a stark disconnect between consumer needs and marketing strategies. He underscored the crucial necessity for agencies to adapt to the evolving demands of clients, emphasizing the pivotal role of agency leaders in fostering talent and fostering innovation.
“Agencies need to build more horizontal talent,” he said while signing off.

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