‘Retail media will exceed TV spending over the next couple of years’ An exclusive interview with exchange4media and OMD Worldwide CEO, George Manas
OMD Worldwide
19 June 2024

Originally published on exchange4media.

Available to watch here.

In an exclusive interaction with exchange4media, George Manas, CEO, OMD Worldwide says that clients today are looking at Generative AI used cases on areas that historically weren’t in the realm of media, use of Generative AI for data activities, data processing, data insights but also Generative AI through the lens of operational excellence to create efficiency in the work done for clients.

Manas says, “Lots of questions from clients today around on how to make the process more effective and efficient so that our teams are not spending too much time on low-level tasks and we can outsource those low-level tasks to a bot or an assist capability.”

With AI also having its cons, Omnicom has globally developed a Responsibility Framework for AI which serves as a governance mechanism for all the entities and teams. On the Don’t he says, “The Don’t is, don’t just be reactive and jump into something because somebody else is doing it. Spend the time to actually vet the capability, the platform, the service so that you have a real understanding of where the data is sourced from, what the legal requirements look like, so that you can align that with your standards as an organisation internally which is something that we have done deliberately in terms of who we choose to partner with and how we partner with them.”

OMD has made investments to enhance its Generative AI capability. Last year, the agency announced first-to-market relationships with the big platforms and providers such as Google, Adobe, Amazon. The agency is also looking at privacy safe technology as a core competency and capability with investments going to clean rooms. Another area of investment has been commerce. “It is the most exciting moment in terms of commerce and retail media,” says Manas. The convergence of media and retail leading to opportunities to bridge the gap between marketing and sales. Manas says, “We are seeing convergence in the way that has not happened before and it is forcing brands to rethink how they go-to-market, how they plan their overall marketing investments.”

He adds, “Retail media will over the next couple of years exceed television spending.” Another area is the development in video with Amazon and Prime video being an example of how retail media has matured with it being no longer transactional but how retail media can be used for brand building and brand engagement through video. He adds, “We are excited to see a lot of those developments in India. Mini TV has been a real success. We are going to look at a lot more as we look at entities like Prime Video continue to expand in India and beyond.”

Looking at the OTT space, a challenge for clients has been the lack of connectivity in measurement. Manas says, “Everything today is heavily wall-gardened. So while advertisers are placing a lot of bets in the OTT and streaming space, there is still a lack of cross-platform measurement solution so that they can understand their investments more but also understand what is happening across their investments. We are at a tipping point where streaming and OTT reach scale, we are going to see a lot of development around measurement.”

Commenting on India as a focus market not just from the client perspective and growth but also because it represents a significant talent pool. He says, “My learning now that I am three years into a global role, is just how important India is of representing the new and next skillset and competency within the talent base…. I continue to look at India and our India leadership as a beacon for what’s new and what’s next. The role that India is playing in our portfolio isn’t just about doing great work in India but also about guiding and inspiring the most innovative work that is happening across the network.”

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