In conversation with Srikanth Bureddy, Co-Founder, Valueleaf

Here’s our exclusive chat with Srikanth Bureddy, Co-Founder & Director at Valueleaf Services (India) Pvt. Ltd. He has introduced some high octane global brand strategies, decisions and goal setting processes that generated rapid results. He has also been involved in a full spectrum of marketing programs such as digital marketing, buyer acquisition, market research, campaigns, promotions, partnerships and communications.

1. Brand marketers have warmed up to ‘in-house’ of late. Do you think the agencies should be worried?

No, agencies should not be worried. The intelligent abilities (creative/ technological/ digital) in an organization are always helpful to the agencies because a lot of practices are carried out by the brand. So, they know what can be done in the market rather than having unlimited or crude expectations. They know this is the time an experiment will take and this much is the time we need to wait. So, it is good for brand and agencies both.

2. What kind of talent is missing in the digital agencies today?

The one thing missing is transparency. They are not transparent or upfront enough with the brands. They are simply hungry for the business. Mostly, the agencies fall flat on what was expected out of them and fail to deliver what was promised to the client. Hence, whenever an agency goes for a pitch, they must tell the brand what is possible in advance. Transparency helps both ways in the long run.

On a global map, brands are intelligent. Agencies can’t fool them.

3. How do you think AI will affect the ad industry in the next 2 years? Any tip for the businesses?

It will definitely have a positive impact. Technological advancements are always positively received. Just that you need to have set criteria as to how you use it and want it to affect you. You need to understand a lot, in terms of your market and their needs before you start using AI for your business.

4. What is the biggest challenge for marketers to cater to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities today?

Not identifying the market and giving separate importance to these cities is a problem. We often say we have set a separate budget for these cities, which is wrong. They should be a part of the main budget.

Also, you need to experiment and collect the user experience. If an experiment fails, marketers immediately discontinue it. Users don’t understand in one shot. Marketers need to wait till the user digests it. He may know internet, but he doesn’t understand digital. A classic example of experimenting and giving time is Amazon and today it is the market leader. They didn’t expect results in one day.

5. In terms of OTT, how has the content consumption changed today?

Content is very vulnerable. What worked yesterday may not work today. In terms of OTT, what you watched yesterday or 6 months back is completely different today. You have more choices today. Earlier you were excited on the announcement of a new OTT program and rushed to see it. Today, you observe and give it time. So, content and its quality has improved.

6. What do the agencies have to do to catch up with the incessantly shifting industry? How do you look at the agencies of tomorrow?

First, they should first stop thinking to make money only. They should focus on being transparent and making the brand grow. Agencies should give the brand a full picture. Else, brands will look for in-house and agencies’ business will die. Agencies need to gear up to be in the game!