Ad land’s Young Guns: Saipriya Iyer, GroupM - M/Six

An inherent zeal and unquenchable passion to create a difference, quantifies Saipriya Iyer, Manager - Digital, GroupM (M/Six). Working in the digital space since 2010, Iyer has varied experience in both agency and the client side as a media planning and buying professional. 

Having worked with renowned agencies like Logicserve Digital, Mirum India (formerly Social Wavelength), and now M/Six, Iyer has handled an array of accounts across categories – BFSI, QSR, NBFC, Retail, etc. With over 8 years of hands on experience in the digital arena on planning and account management, she has been an integral part of number of award winning campaigns. 

What does it takes to climb up the ladder in advertising? Here’s Saipriya Iyer in her own words... 

How did you get into the role you are serving?
Got into the digital media industry in 2010 purely by chance! Since it was my first job and digital media was just blooming, I thought it was a great opportunity to explore this avenue. Since then, there has been no looking back. In 2011, I had made up my mind that one day I would be an integral part of GroupM, and after 7 years of hard work and perseverance, I am here today! 

What particular skill sets do you think you bring to the table?
Precisely understanding the client’s requirement and providing with solutions as per business objective and available budget. Also, brilliant communication skills.

Also Read: Ad land’s Young Guns: Vinesh Nandikol, FCB Ulka

One campaign that you have worked on that you are particularly proud of? Please take us through the making of the campaign.
It would be the ‘Cipla – Yes Mom’ campaign. The objective was to launch Immunoboosters – a category creating product targeted at moms that would help build their child’s immunity. Various nutrition supplements spoke about growth and health. But immunity being an intangible, was never addressed as a primary concern. We needed to bring immunity to the forefront for moms, because only if they felt the need would they buy this product. We needed to create a need and habit where none existed. 

The #YesMom movement kickstarted with conversations by prominent mom bloggers talking about immunity in kids. This was followed by the launch of a Social Experiment video that made mothers realise how their frequent No’s affected their child’s overall development. To overcome this, we launched the #YesChallenge, where mothers had to take the ‘Yes Mom’ approach and reduce the number of Nos they say to their kids. The campaign saw high levels of participation from celebrity moms, including Sushmita Sen, Mandira Bedi and Tara Sharma. Besides them, over 40,000 mothers pledged allegiance to the movement, making #YesMom the biggest topic of conversation in India, leading to a No. 1 trend on Twitter. 

So far, the campaign has received a Silver at IDMA for Strongest Community Engagement, and a Bronze for Best Use of Social Networks.

While working on the creatives how do you prepare yourself? What goes on in your mind?
I think as a customer first – will I consume this content/ creative if I was exposed to it? If yes, then alter it as per the brand and campaign communication. I try talking to non-industry folk in the TG and ask questions about the concept to see what the real audience has to say. These small insights, when taken to the client/ creative agency, help build the strategy better and eventually the client is benefitted.

Icons in advertising you look up to and how they have influenced you and your work?
CVL Srinivas – Industry stalwart and a people’s person. Any interaction with him just motivates you to another level and that itself makes you want to give more than your best always. 

Prasoon Joshi – A true adman. The campaigns ideated by him are unforgettable. We may know him as a successful lyricist in the Hindi film industry, but he is every advertising professional’s idol. His campaigns really connect with the audience and that acts an inspiration to try something similar for my set of clients too. 

What are the five most productive things that you do in your everyday routine?

  • Write down a “to-do” list and make sure each item is ticked off at the end of the day
  • Read industry updates – 5-10 minutes of pure industry related news and updates
  • Talk to my client – even if it’s just a Hi! Update them about something new that’s coming up or anything relevant (when no campaign is live)
  • Interact with other digital partners – meet vendors and gather as much knowledge and insights as possible
  • Relax and keep calm – helps me be productive!

Do you think a career in advertising is a viable one in the long term?
Yes, formats and mediums will change, but the crux remains.

What does it take to succeed in a career like advertising?
Patience. Persistence. Perseverance. A career in advertising is a building without a lift. You must take the stairs. It may take longer to get up there, but eventually you will!

Also Read: Ad land’s Young Guns: Dhruv Shah, Social Kinnect

What would be your advice to youngsters planning to enter this industry?
All that glitters is not gold. It’s not as easy as it looks from the outside. A lot of sweat, blood and tears go into making strong stalwarts that are there today. Do not to expect things to happen really fast.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
A known name in the industry – to be counted as a “go-to” person and a client’s dream account manager.

Is there any agency/ organisation that you would like to work with in the future?
Already here! Would love to grow to great heights in the GroupM family and be an integral part in the system.

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