“We help our clients measure Brand Heat.” SPOTLIGHT: Mayank Bhatnagar, MD of OMD Malaysia.

By The Malketeer 

In an age where attention is the scarcest commodity, one marketing maestro has composed a symphony of disruption that resonates through the Malaysian advertising landscape.

Mayank Bhatnagar, the skilled conductor at the helm of OMD Malaysia, has orchestrated a harmonic fusion of innovation, people-centricity, and business transformation, captivated audiences and left an indelible mark on the industry.

The Visionary’s Manifesto

In 2022, OMD Asia Pacific unveiled the “Fast. Forward” strategy acknowledging the scarcity of consumer attention in today’s fragmented media ecosystem.

Staying true to this bold manifesto has propelled OMD Malaysia to deliver exceptional business outcomes, securing the No. 1 ranking in COMvergence’s Net New Business 2023 and No. 2 in RECMA’s 2024 Qualitative Domestic Report.

The agency’s stellar results further fuelled OMD’s performance overall, resulting in the agency network being ranked No.1 in Southeast Asia in RECMA’s latest Competitive Pitch Report.

The crowning glory came with the accolades: Media Agency of the Year at the TikTok Ad Awards Malaysia 2024 and Silver for Malaysia Digital Agency of the Year at Campaign Asia Pacific’s 2023 Agency of the Year Awards.

Redefining the Art of Connection

The first movement in Mayank’s symphony strikes a chord with his belief that “We’re a people-first company, and for us, it’s all about the human connection.”

In an industry often known for its transactional nature, he has built an environment where diverse talents can flourish, encouraged to find innovative solutions without fear of failure.

This philosophy seamlessly integrates effective marketing solutions that drive sustainable growth with a primary focus on the humans in the business.

The Digital Metamorphosis

The second movement, “Digital transformation,” sees Mayank leading OMD Malaysia to be ahead of the pack by leveraging the OMD Design solution integrated into Omni, Omnicom’s marketing orchestration system, offering a globally consistent end-to-end way of working to deliver better business outcomes for clients.

“Be a leader in digital transformation,” he said, his baton guiding the agency through the metamorphosis of the digital landscape.

The Power of Brand Heat

Under Mayank’s leadership, OMD Malaysia has been able to anticipate and capitalise on emerging opportunities, helping clients navigate the evolving media landscape using the Brand Heat solution adopted by OMD globally.

“We help our clients measure Brand Heat by bringing together various factors like brand equity surveys and social buzz, identifying where their brand stands in the broader cultural conversation,” he shares, adding that this helps the teams map out ways to help clients drive business value through commerce, data, and tech.

Additionally, Mayank and his team are helping clients adopt future-facing, customisable solutions by leveraging clean room solutions, audience modelling, and advance analytics platforms, all of which have been adopted for one of OMD Malaysia’s QSR clients.

The CelcomDigi Symphony: A Crescendo of Innovation

One of OMD Malaysia’s achievements under Mayank’s leadership has been the successful CelcomDigi brand launch campaign in 2023. OMD was tasked with the launch while undergoing onboarding as a new agency partner and this required Mayank to mobilise teams and resources to quickly support the client.

Despite the short timeline, OMD Malaysia pushed the boundaries of innovation, introducing first-mover media tactics like branded news programme takeovers and Malaysia’s first-ever branded likes and hashtags on Platform X (formerly Twitter). The campaign’s success resonated like a crescendo, with a 130% increase in search volume for the ‘celcomdigi logo’ keyword.

“Throughout the campaign process, the team stayed true to creativity and innovation,” Mayank explained, his pride palpable.

The Consumer Packaged Goods Concerto

Mayank’s expertise extends to the dynamic consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, where he has composed a concerto of attention-grabbing experiences.

“We are in the business of earning attention, and in this landscape, creativity and innovation have never been more crucial,” he asserts, highlighting OMD’s proprietary Attention Requirement Calculator that is often used to ensure measurable results.

“Every choice and decision we make is grounded in business performance,” he adds, his commitment to delivering tangible outcomes unwavering.

The Rhythm of Digital Excellence

Mayank’s commitment to digital excellence is the rhythm that drives OMD Malaysia’s ‘Ease-Elevate’ framework – evolving the agency’s products to ease employees’ lives at work and elevating their knowledge with upskilling.

“This framework focuses on the automation of processes, thus saving time that teams can use for strategic thinking,” he explains.

The agency’s Omni orchestration platform, integrated with AI capabilities, empowers teams with insights to drive meaningful client engagement, while continuous upskilling and training sessions with industry partners ensure the talent remains ahead of the curve.

The AI Overture

Looking ahead, Mayank is captivated by the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in marketing.

“AI is going to change thinking and drive efficiency for Malaysian companies, allowing them to invest more into brand building for long-term results,” he envisions, his eyes alight with excitement.

Aiding OMD Malaysia in achieving its goals in this new era is Omni Assist, a virtual assistant that sits within Omni, Omnicom’s marketing orchestration platform, that utilises Generative AI technology to provide insights, notifications, and recommendations across every step of the Omni workflow.

The Crescendo of Effective Leadership

With a career spanning over 20 years across various functions and markets, Mayank’s leadership philosophy has been honed to perfection.

“I believe the most effective leadership style is being people-obsessed and outcome-focused,” he asserts, his words resonating like a crescendo.

Mayank’s approach is to encourage teamwork, involve employees in decision-making, and foster an environment where innovative solutions can thrive.

“Build on your employees’ strengths and help them succeed so they can deliver great results,” he advises, his commitment to nurturing talent evident.

The Encore: A Call to Arms

For aspiring industry leaders, Mayank’s advice is a rousing encore: “Believe in the power of FIT – Focus on fundamentals, Innovate to drive effectiveness, and embrace Transformation to deliver great results.”

He encourages young professionals to embrace curiosity, creativity, and continuous learning, empowering themselves to push boundaries and drive measurable results.

“Innovation for innovation’s sake is pointless,” he cautions, emphasising the importance of translating ideas into tangible outcomes for clients.

In the annals of Malaysia’s marketing and advertising history, Mayank Bhatnagar’s name will be etched as that of a maestro, a visionary leader who not only embraced change but also composed it.

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