MediAvataar's News Desk

MediAvataar's News Desk

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Tuesday, 25 September 2018 00:00

Wunderman acquires Emark

WPP announces that its wholly owned global digital agency, Wunderman, has acquired a majority stake in Emark, the marketing technology performance company.

Emark delivers Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, DMP, and advertising technology such as Facebook Advertising and Google Ads, as a single, integrated solution.

The acquisition further strengthens WPP’s and Wunderman’s growing global Salesforce practice in delivering marketing and advertising technology solutions for data-driven and personalised customer interaction.

Founded in 2000, Emark is recognised as a preeminent provider of Salesforce multi-cloud strategy and solutions in Europe, with a strong Marketing Cloud pedigree. Headquartered in Haarlem, Netherlands with international offices located in Barcelona, London and Poland, the company employs around 120 people and serves a wide range of clients across sectors including Bugaboo, ECCO Shoes, Marks & Spencer, Randstad, Scotch & Soda, and The Macallan.

Wunderman is the world-leading digital agency whose mission is to inspire people to take action. It brings together 9,200 creatives, data scientists, strategists and technologists in 200 offices in 70 markets.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018 00:00

The Third Era of Digital Retail

The scale of change taking place within the retail industry is phenomenal. Things that just a couple of years ago we thought impossible are fast becoming reality.

We’re on the brink of an entirely new era of digital retail, and the difference between “then” and “now” will be unlike what we’ve seen so far.

Why? Is it because of the continuing rapid advances in technology? Yes, but that’s not the only reason.

It’s true that we now have access to unprecedented computing power, near-limitless data, and AI to make sense of it all, plus, through visual and voice computing interfaces, the ability to absorb and process information in a way that once was purely the domain of humans. All that will only increase.

In addition though, these different technologies are now being combined in entirely new ways to create something far greater than the sum of the component parts.

By connecting technologies and ideas in new and interesting ways, retailers and brands can develop new products, services and business models that challenge conventional assumptions.

Our vision of where things are going is not just based on a hunch, nor is it simply a retail version of Moore’s Law, which states that computing power gets exponentially faster and cheaper over time. Our premise is built on a series of future-casting projects involving some of the brightest minds – and newest technology applications – in the world.

In essence, we’re anticipating a future that will be much more digital than today, but one that will look less digital and feel far more human.

The Third Era of Digital Retail will be less about phones, devices and screens, and more about a seamless, intuitive, human experience. This will be a time in which screens recede and product experts step up to take their place, augmented by instant access to data. The keyboard will begin to be replaced by the voice – fewer “taps” and “clicks”, more “OK Google” and “Alexa” (although it’s very likely that these specific wake words will disappear too). Bricks and mortar will be “smart” and responsive. Visual computing – software that can see and interpret the surrounding environment – will take off, turbo-charged by AI. Technology will be less visible – but far more empowering. For consumers, retail will be frictionless and effortless – and almost indistinguishable from magic.

In this new era, we believe that the retail revolution will come full circle, back to a time when service was personal and products personalised, but in a contemporary way.

The scale of the change coming our way means that making minor tactical adjustments or course corrections on the go just won’t cut it. The Third Era of Digital Retail will bring us shops that don’t look like shops, experiences we don’t now associate with shopping, and new competitors for people’s time and money that are only just being developed.

In this new era, everyone can be a retailer, and every surface a store. There will be new competitors from outside the sector as well, reimagining what retail can be. Thriving in such challenging conditions requires entirely different combinations of skills and the courage and creativity to rethink entire business models – not just adapt them.

The Third Era of Digital Retail will be marked by the rise of data analytics and the increasing sophistication of AI. We’ve already progressed from XL to CX, and now CX is moving to ME – not an acronym, but “me”, the individual. Retail will become truly personal and the customer experience will take a much more intuitive, human form. The Third Era of Digital Retail is gathering momentum now, and retailers and manufacturers alike need to start swimming fast if they are to be ready to surf this wave of change.


Written by David Roth and Jon Bird, BrandZ

There’s no way to truly cover off on the ins and outs of each of the world’s myriad economies in a single sentence, but generally speaking, global conditions for the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry remained positive in second-quarter 2018.

Some regions showed significant growth promise, while others showed a slight pullback from gains earlier in the year. With many markets experiencing notable increases in GDP growth, conditions were favorable for manufacturers and retailers. GDP growth, however, doesn’t always mean consumer spending will increase, particularly when inflation is rising.

In contrast to the growth in GDP across many markets, and perhaps reflective of inflationary concerns, consumer confidence around the globe dipped slightly in the second quarter, with the Confidence Board reporting a two-index-point drop in global confidence. That drop in consumer sentiment was reflected in a slight pullback in spending in certain markets, as skepticism about the future had some consumers feeling as though their free cash would be better served in savings rather than on discretionary purchases.

In some markets, growth is becoming harder to obtain, as is the case across the Western Europe’s largest economies, where GDP growth continued to slow in the second quarter. This meant that FMCG sales slowed for a second straight quarter, yet still posted 2.4% in dollar sales growth (down from 4.4% in Q1). GDP growth across Central and Eastern Europe was positive, but in many markets, such as Turkey, the Ukraine and Kazakhstan, inflation rates notably outpaced the economic strides.

We saw strong economic growth across Asia-Pacific as well, where GDP increased across all markets, evidence that U.S.-China trade tensions aren’t yet affecting the region’s economic scenario. As was the case in Central and Eastern Europe, however, the economic strength was countered by rising inflation (although not as notably). Interestingly, the countries with the highest GDP growth also have the most optimistic consumers. That said, however, 11 countries across Asia-Pacific experienced declines in consumer confidence, resulting in a three-index-point drop for the region overall.

In Latin America, where economic conditions have been unsteady in recent quarters, GDP grew nearly 2%, and researchers from BBVA Research project growth of 2.1% in 2019. While not as stable as other markets around the globe, the economic environment in much of Latin America is presently stable, flanked by moderate exchange rate depreciation, reduced political stress and lower inflationary pressure. These characteristics, however, currently elude Brazil, Argentina and Peru, where consumer optimism and general confidence levels are lower.

Regardless of region or market, consumers need to be at the forefront of all FMCG strategies. And that means manufacturers and retailers need to engage with and appease young, urbanized and digitally primed consumers.

Looking for regional- and country-specific insights? Our global Quarter by Numbers series has you covered. These quarterly reports combine macroeconomic data, consumption trends, spending patterns and market commentary to provide brands, manufacturers, businesses, marketers and retailers the insights they need to drive organizational growth.

Here, we look at overarching trends in select countries across our five regions.


The second quarter of this year was a period of big change in Malaysia, notably because of a somewhat controversial general election in May, which brought an opposition party into power for the first time since the country gained its independence in 1957.

At the beginning of June, the new Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) government delivered on its campaign promise to abolish the goods and services tax, which will be replaced by a new sales and services tax on Sept. 1, 2018. This, in turn, effectively gave consumers a three-month holiday free of taxes. As a result of the government action, inflation dropped to a low 1.3% and food and housing prices fell as a result. Despite the consumer-friendly economic conditions, GDP, while still healthy, increased by 4.5% (lower than in previous quarters), likely due to fewer public investments. That said, however, consumer confidence, as reported by the second-quarter 2018 Conference Board® Global Consumer Confidence Survey, which is produced in collaboration with Nielsen, surged to an index level of 117, the highest it has been since the turn of the decade.

In addition to enjoying a quarter without taxes, Malaysian consumer spending during the Raya festival helped boost FMCG sales 7.1% for the quarter on a year-over-year basis. Food, along with health and wellness items, performed well, with both categories posting single-digit growth through the first half of the year. The beverage, grocery, household and personal care categories have also generated strong growth for manufacturers and retailers this year.

With lower prices for key consumables and consumers’ increasing demand for convenience, smaller-format stores continue to lead channel growth, largely taking share from hypermarkets, which is the only channel to see contraction over the past year.

Looking ahead, early indications suggest that the tax holiday will bolster FMCG spend. That said, however, Malaysian consumers may be reluctant to abruptly change their long-held spending patterns, which have been relatively static for the past few years.

Price, closely followed by quality, remain key drivers when it comes to Malaysian shopping decisions. As prices re-set in September, FMCG players will need to ensure that their promotional strategies are well advertised and executed in July and August to maximize volume sales ahead of the adjustment.


As with many markets, change has been prevalent across the U.S. in the first part of 2018. Despite being affected by an array of economic conditions in the second quarter, American consumers remain confident and they increased their FMCG spend by 0.7% on a year-over-year basis during the period. While less than 1%, the uptick represents an uptick of $1.3 billion in quarterly growth.

As with many markets around the globe, inflation is becoming a discussion item for the U.S. FMCG and retail sectors. In the second quarter, inflation was at 2.7%, flat with GDP growth, but up from 1.9% in second-quarter 2017.

In this inflationary cycle, consumers are clearly telling FMCG players that price won’t always deter purchase behavior. We can see this clearly in the fresh food category. Notably, inflation is rising, yet consumers are turning to premium fresh products—a trend that’s benefitting premier fresh grocery stores. And new buyers in this specialty fresh channel have driven the 4.9% year-over-year growth that we saw in the second quarter.

If this premium fresh trend continues, it represents a terrific opportunity to expand high-margin fresh sales (and other higher-margin products) to encourage repetition and adoption among new shoppers. There may also be an opportunity to push value products as a way to encourage increased spending on higher margin categories like fresh. That said, consumers aren’t willing to trade up across the board. Understanding where this expandability exists, and also where consumers are trading down to compensate, requires adoption of a total store, total food view of FMCG.


Although the U.K. economy got off to a slow start this year, with a slowdown in GDP growth as a result of 12 months of price inflation, the U.K. economy remains strong. While slightly depressed from mid-2017, GDP stood at 1.3% in the second quarter, up from 1.2% in the previous quarter.

FMCG spending remained positive in the quarter and even accelerated later in the period as the region was hit by an unusually hot summer. FMCG value growth came in at just under 2%, down from 3.0% in the prior quarter. Despite the quarter-over-quarter dip, second-quarter 2018 value growth was notably higher than it was in the prior year period.

Notably, the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the continued rise of energy and fuel costs have not yet deterred consumers’ retail spending. But that doesn’t mean British consumers are spending without concern for the future. To the contrary, consumers in the U.K. remain confident but cautious. They’re willing to be economical, but they’re not willing to compromise. Interestingly, many are safeguarding their grocery funding altogether in order to have flexibility to spend on discretionary purchases, such as out of home consumption, clothing and entertainment.

While there is still pressure on consumer wallets, we continue to see shoppers spend freely on indulgences, celebrations and events. The momentum we’ve seen in the first half of the year should continue in the second half, and we anticipate that FMCG growth to improve and sit close to 3%, with volume growth remaining positive for the remainder of the year.


Unlike many markets around the world, Colombia experienced its lowest inflation rate since 2015 in the second quarter. This, coupled with the highest consumer confidence across Latin America and GDP growth of 2.5%, has consumers feeling positive about their personal finances, job prospects and spending money on things they want or need.

While these conditions bode well for a gradual recovery of the FMCG industry in the coming months, consumers remain focused on saving money for household expenses, buying less expensive grocery brands and eating out less. We see evidence of these behaviors across channel spending, as consumers are making larger purchases at less-expensive outlets, such as discounters and cash and carry (C&C) retailers. While these behaviors are typical across the region, some consumers are willing to pay a premium for items that offer extra value be it convenience, health, better flavor, functionality.

This behavior is evident in channel shares where large purchase trips are done in cheaper retail formats (e.g., discounters, C&C) and budgets are closely monitored in small trips with affordable products in Traditional Trade. However, there are still consumers who are open to purchasing premium products or willing to pay extra if the product or service offers something extra that they value—be it convenience, health, better flavor, or functionality.

As such, the opportunity for FMCG players, as in other markets, lies in understanding the key needs or solutions that consumers are willing to spend on.


Sub-Saharan Africa’s (SSA’s) economy picked up the pace in the first quarter of 2018*, with regional GDP increasing by 3% year-over-year, surpassing the 2.8% prediction by Focus Economics. However, at mid year, the full-year forecast for the SSA economy was revised down, with GDP for the region expected to grow at 3.4%.

Kenya’s economy is experiencing renewed period of confidence and strong GDP growth. Notably, a recent African Development Bank report projected GDP growth of 5.6% this year and 6.2% in 2019. Kenya’s economy is also more diversified than its regional peers, which has supported its growth over the past decade and given the country the ability to weather the most recent economic storms far more effectively.

In light of improved agricultural forecasts, declining inflation levels and a more stable political environment, consumers in Kenya are more optimistic about their futures. As a result, the consumer confidence index for Kenya increased two index points to 104 in the second quarter of 2018. The private sector has continued to bolster the economy, even though the pace of acceleration was moderate in the second quarter.

In addition to the optimism, consumers are shopping more, as grocery baskets increased in the second quarter, evidence that Kenyans are opening their wallets. The FMCG sector is rebounding, and sales improved in the recent period. Household and personal care categories led the growth. In terms of pricing, food and non-alcoholic beverages saw the greatest declines, while health care items saw the greatest increases.

Kenya is on the road to recovery; however, manufacturers and retailers need to take note of the shifting needs of the consumers and provide value for money offerings to sustain continued spend.



Marico Limited has launched its newest brand ‘True Roots’, that delays hair greying^ from the roots. True Roots Botanical Hair Tonic is dermatologically tested and is clinically proven to show no new greys in 90 days*.

Radhika Apte, who is known for her choice of diverse roles and speaking her mind, launched the brand and spoke about the #FaceItSolveIt philosophy of True Roots, at an event today. True Roots has been launched on Flipkart as a digital first brand.

Greying of hair is natural with age, but when hair starts greying early we often wonder why? Thankfully science has the answer and now Marico’s True Roots offers a solution to delay hair greying from the roots. Greying of hair is caused due to decreasing levels of melanin in the hair roots. Melanin is a natural pigment, which gives hair its dark colour. Marico’s True Roots Botanical Hair Tonic, is a first-of-its kind innovation, that works by increasing the melanin levels in the hair roots and thereby delays hair greying. It is formulated with Apigenin, an extract of chamomile flowers and powerful botanical actives that increase the melanin levels in the hair roots.

Commenting on the launch, Anuradha Aggarwal, Chief Marketing Officer, Marico Limited said “We are proud to introduce the newest brand from Marico – True Roots that delays hair greying from the roots. It is a breakthrough innovation from Marico R&D and has been clinically proven to show no new greys in 90 days. True Roots is now available on Flipkart.

Talking about the partnership between Marico and Flipkart, Nishit Garg, Senior Director, Flipkart, said, “Marico has a strong lineage when it comes to hair care. Launching True Roots, a new hair care brand from the house of Marico, exclusively on Flipkart, goes to show that eCommerce has become a habit for the real India. We’re sure this launch will be very well received by customers.”

True Roots is positioned on the platform of solving problems from the root cause rather than hiding them and propagates the philosophy of #FaceItSolveIt. Radhika Apte, the Brand Ambassador of True Roots said “I am happy to associate with True Roots, a brand that encourages people to solve problems right from the roots. I am myself the type of person, who looks at challenges straight in the eye and solves them by addressing the root cause. With the launch of True Roots, it’s great to finally have a solution to delay hair greying, so no-more quick fixes and hair hacks, we can now face it and solve it.”

*As per clinical study dated Dec 2017. Early Greying amongst age group of 18 to 45 years.

*Designed for delaying early greying of Hair. Benefit lasts till the usage of Product and basis daily usage for 90 days.

Dentsu India, the integrated full-service communications agency from Dentsu Aegis Network, has bagged the strategic and creative mandate for Geojit - one of India’s leading Financial Services brand. The account was won following a multi-agency pitch.

Commenting on the partnership, Satish Menon, Executive Director, Geojit Financial Services said, “We look forward to working with Dentsu India to leverage on Geojit’s strengths to promote our products and services and enhance the company’s mindshare among investors and potential investors.”

Commenting on the win, Simi Sabhaney, CEO, Dentsu India said, “We are delighted that the Geojit team has given us an opportunity to work with them. We are excited about this partnership and look forward to a long and fruitful relationship.”

Ramesh KP, AVP & Marketing Head, Geojit Financial Services added, “We are extremely happy to partner with Dentsu India for our strategic and creative mandate. We are confident that with their innovative approach and creative solutions, the agency will enable us to drive impactful media presence across our audience. We look forward to this partnership to infuse fresh energy into our brand portfolio and push it to newer heights.”

Vidya Sankar, Vice President, Dentsu India will be in-charge of the account and will handle it based out of the agency's Kochi office. He said, “Investments, especially mutual funds and SIP, are perceived to be products for the middle-aged and the older audiences. One of the key reasons that helped us bag Geojit was the way we broke into this myth with a lateral and distinct idea that speaks to an educated and younger TG. After all, investments are not for the future, they are for now."

Geojit is one of India's leading financial services brand with a growing presence in the Middle East. The company rides on its rich experience in the capital market to offer its clients a wide portfolio of savings and investment solutions. The gamut of value-added products and services offered ranges from equities and derivatives to mutual funds, life & general insurance and third party fixed deposits. Geojit is listed on NSE and BSE.

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