The Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) will host a global CEO conference on October 30 in Mumbai on the theme ‘Navigating a VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) World’.
A galaxy of speakers, including Unilever’s global CEO Paul Polman, is scheduled to speak. Over 300 delegates are expected to attend the conference, said Hemant Bakshi, executive director, home & personal care, Hindustan Unilever, and chairman, ISA. Excepts from an interview.
What is the ISA hoping to achieve?
The ISA has been around for a long time to ensure that the interest of advertisers – large and small – has been taken care of. For us, the mandate of this conference is two-fold. As businesses and the economy face a slowdown, we want to ensure that advertisers can benefit from advice to make sure that our business is stable and strong. In difficult times, you question every line and component in your business and marketing investments make a large component of this whole. How to get the best return on these investments is the second area we will be focusing on. Therefore, we thought that we need to get the best of global CEOs in one place to share their experience and wisdom.
How will the VUCA theme be made applicable for the advertiser ecosystem?
In difficult times like these, we can no longer be in an ivory tower and focus on building brand equity and creating great advertising while our consumers are suffering and the business is struggling. It is important that as marketers, we play a role that goes beyond just marketing. Next, it is also important that in such an environment, marketing is done responsibly. The resources that our planet has are getting scarce and if we keep doing things like we have in the past, sustainability will become a serious issue for consumers. We are going through a business cycle of slowdown right now, but what we need to do in this difficult time is to prepare for the future and it’s important to get a much more holistic view of marketing.
The fallout of a VUCA world could be a cutback on spends and pushing down prices.
Brands that build equity during slowdown reap benefits once the economy starts growing again.
At the conference, you will see a lot of our leaders talk about how you can cut costs, take risks and reignite growth as well as get consumers to get better value of what’s going on.
—By arrangement with MxMIndia.com