Introducing… Manjiry Tamhane, Global CEO

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As Gain Theory celebrates 50 years of innovation, Manjiry looks back on some of our key milestones, highlights the importance of diverse thinking, and explains why a Cadbury advert impressed her.

What are some of the highlights that you’d pick out from 50 years of innovation at Gain Theory?

I’m incredibly proud of our heritage of constant innovation that has helped clients to unlock growth. We pioneered the use of econometrics via market mix modelling to understand the effectiveness of marketing investments in the early 1970s and since then we’ve never stopped pushing forward.  

We created the AdModel™, which helps brands to understand “how” consumers respond to advertising by taking into account both the recency of the message as well as the frequency. We were one of the first to measure the long-term effects of advertising, using a technique called unobserved components modelling, and the indirect effects, using our integrated marketing response model.  

In 2017 we launched Sensor™, our award-winning, PII-compliant attribution solution, five years before our competitors attempted something similar because we foresaw the headwinds from privacy regulation and data deprecation. Today, we are continuing to build on Sensor’s success by integrating dedicated audience, commerce, supply chain, and content capabilities. 

All of these innovations have enabled our clients to understand the impact of their marketing investments at a strategic and tactical level. We’ve helped them understand the short- and long-term, direct and indirect impacts across the entire marketing funnel. Using our innovative solutions in conjunction with our consultants, our decision-making platform Gain Theory Interactive, and our advanced analytics platform ROVA, has enabled clients to unlock billions of dollars of growth. 

Constant innovation is in our DNA and we’ll be launching several new products over the next 12 months to continue to accelerate our clients’ growth. 

How do you foster a culture of innovation at Gain Theory?

Fostering a culture of innovation is crucial to our long-term success, so I actively support and participate in making this a reality. As a company we have a strong track record of coming up with new ideas, embracing creativity, and taking risks. Ensuring Gain Theory has a range of diverse thinkers who are encouraged to experiment, learn, and share ideas is a big part of this. 

We also have a dedicated team that has the funding and tools to support the experimentation that drives innovation. All new ideas are scored across 13 criteria as part of a robust selection process. Most importantly, we never forget the end in mind – delivering a measurable increase in our clients’ growth or margin. 

Additionally, we collaborate with other WPP businesses with unique specialisms and capabilities, such as Choreograph, Satalia and Wunderman Thompson Commerce, that complement our own. 

Why do you think diversity is beneficial to innovation and growth?

It’s something I see every day, but also there is a wealth of research that proves this is the case. Companies that reported above-average diversity on their management teams also reported innovation revenue that was 19 percentage points higher than that of companies with below-average leadership diversity, according to this report. But it’s important to stress that it’s not just about management – businesses benefit when their entire workforce is diverse. Equally, it’s important to note that diversity comes in many forms: ethnicity, gender, age, experience, physical ability, and sexual orientation to name just a few.  

At Gain Theory, we believe in the power of an inclusive and diverse workforce to enable innovation and growth. Our global team comes from different backgrounds, possesses unique skills, and contributes to our vision in a range of different ways. 

What’s the most innovative campaign you’ve seen recently?

The Shah Rukh Khan-My-Ad from Cadbury really caught my eye. Aimed at promoting Cadbury Celebrations while helping local businesses in India to fight back from economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the campaign used generative AI to recreate the face and voice of Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan. This was then used to promote the name of thousands of companies in multiple versions of the same ad aired during Diwali. As well as gen AI, the campaign used geo location technology to enable the ads to be targeted at consumers near the featured businesses. What impressed me was that it was effective as well as being innovative – it won top prize in the creative effectiveness category at Cannes Lions this year.

Learn more about 50 years of innovation at Gain Theory.

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