#AOTYAwards 2021 spills: KPI Media’s strategy on developing agency pride among talents – Marketing Interactive

KPI Media is a marketing agency based in Singapore, specialising in helping start-ups achieve scale and business growth. It provides brands advertising solutions such as search engine marketing, social media advertising, marketing automation and analytics and programmatic advertising. The agency is currently partnering with brands such as Microsoft and Google. In addition to winning the bronze award for New Kid on the Block at MARKETING-INTERACTIVE’s AOTY Awards 2021, it was also a finalist for the Specialist Agency of the Year award 

KPI Media’s digital director, Yashwin Naidu (pictured), told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that companies must continue to embrace the change and be cognisant of nuances that arise with the situation, especially during these tough times. Naidu added that audience behaviours now are rapidly changing, the engagement needs to be meaningful as well. 

This interview is done as part of MARKETING-INTERACTIVE’s winners’ and finalists’ interview series for AOTY Awards 2021. To find out more about the awards, click here.

Tell us what these achievements mean for you?

Naidu: Qualifying for three categories in the AOTY awards after being operational for less than a year was never in the plan when the company was started. So that alone was a milestone for me and the team. Coming out with a win was beyond any of our expectations, and the validation that came with the award was extremely encouraging that we were on to something. It was an affirmation that we’ve identified a gap in the agency space, and that we’re an agency to look out for.

What makes you proudest about being part of your agency?

Naidu: Definitely the people! KPI Media was founded in the middle of the pandemic, where everyone was forced to go online. While this meant more clients were looking at digital marketing services, it also meant that our work, and team, had to be remote.

In a service-heavy industry such as this, the people can truly make or break you. I’m proud to say that everyone in the #kpimediafam rose to the occasion and continued to deliver excellence every single day.

“People” doesn’t stop with our team; it also extends to our trusted clients. It’s humbling to see our client relationships grow towards us becoming a trusted advisor to their business, as we celebrate small wins together and watch our companies grow in parallel.

What are some of the initiatives you have in place to ensure your staff feel proud to be associated with your agency?

Naidu: Being an agency that prides itself in performance marketing, we feel the proudest when we tell prospects about our mission to over-deliver on KPIs – every single time. Naming the company after this mission is a good daily reminder.

For us to do this, we had to ensure that enough focus was spent on clients. We strongly believe in adequate staffing to make sure that our clients get the focus they deserve, and to never falter on our brand promise of hitting our goals.

Composed of a team who have worked with global agencies, we’re all too familiar with specialists spending too much time in meetings, drafting emails, and pulling up an avalanche of reports. By emphasising on automation, we’ve built a business where 90% of routine tasks have been automated, so our specialists can focus on the numbers, and the team can continue to grow.

How are you attracting talent to your agency?

Naidu: We make it a point to offer our team members a share of the company’s profits – so the reward is closely tied to the work put in. But financial compensation can only go so far. The best employer value proposition comes from listening. By having open conversations around shaping the kind of culture we want to have, we’ve developed rigorous training programmes, have weekly lunch and learns, implemented flexible working hours, and even started offering virtual cards that team members can use to make remote working more comfortable.

Every team member is an owner of the company.

What are your hopes for the Singapore advertising scene in 2021?

Naidu: I hope the isolation of a socially distanced world doesn’t impact our professionals’ creativity. And that this pandemic will instead be a catalyst to start trying new things – things that no one would’ve considered if not for the circumstances.

Audience behaviours are rapidly changing, and so should the companies at the fore whose job is to engage with them meaningfully. We must continue to embrace the change and be cognisant of nuances that arise with the situation.