Few firms in Goa can match the skills that Future Mercury, a digital-first, full-stack, integrated creative agency offers. They currently provide services to customers both nationally and in Goa in a variety of industries, including gaming, lifestyle, fast-moving consumer goods and hotels.
This is the agency’s strongest USP – it behaves more like a business partner than a traditional agency and has an extraordinary ability to breathe life into a brand through offline and online channels.
It has been three years for Future Mercury, and it is leaving no stone unturned. The directors, Jovinson Duarte and Anup Volvoikar have a thorough understanding of businesses to promote growth and offer clients profitable advice.
Jovinson Duarte says, “I would say we have achieved more than what we had as a benchmark, but as we are here today, I would say we have a lot more to achieve. In these three years, we have had the opportunity to work with some of Goa’s big brands such as Deltin, Salcete Pharmacy, NRB Group, and some out-of-state brands in Sikkim, Bangalore and Mumbai.”
Future Mercury employs three pillars; creatives, data and technology to help the brands. But you may ask, how significantly different would that be from any one of us employing AI tools to generate content?
To that, Anup Volvoikar says, “AI tools are good. We sometimes use AI to generate content both text as well as visuals. However, it is critical to understand how well-versed the end user is to accurately describe what he/she wants as the output.”
Well, if you and I were able to employ AI tools to generate interesting content, why would we need an agency like Future Mercury? Jovinson hits on the real truth as he says, “AI is at the end of the day a technology and will always come with a ‘Conditions Apply’ asterisk.”
“AI is glorified. Try getting down to it and working with it in real-time, and you will see that you need to take subscriptions, you need to describe with exact accuracy, which eventually takes the same amount of time as doing it with traditional software. But yes, it does help as a starting point if you are completely blank about any subject matter and then take the creative leap from there,” he continues.
Future Mercury believes that they are not just an agency but rather a business associate. Anup elaborates as he says, “We mean that we don’t just give our creative services but also understand what the marketing challenge is and the objective that the current brand has.”
He goes on to say, “This means that we don’t only utilise the digital realm to promote the brand but also engage other communication channels that the brand has never explored before."
"For instance, we have a client who is in the speciality food business. He approached us for social media marketing and creatives. However, when we did the brand audit for him, we realised that brand awareness was next to zero, for which we suggested a radio campaign along with an awareness campaign on Facebook and Instagram,” he says.
Many new-age career options have been created, and Future Mercury has endeavoured to assist young talent to improve their calibre in these, which include content writers, motion graphic experts, campaign managers, etc.
Anup says, “The young talent understands the concepts. But translating these concepts into relatable content or successful campaigns is something that we train them in. With our years of expertise, we have had some really motivated interns from MES College, Dabolim,
Stenodac Academy, Panjim, and even out-of-state colleges such as KLE CBALC, Belagavi.”
Jovinson told us that out of the many brands that they have worked with the one he cherishes the most is Herbal Strategi. He says, “Because as a brand, it had such a unique USP that advertising and marketing became a breeze. It is a brand that has over 75 home care products that have zero chemicals and are good for the environment.”
Start-ups face unique challenges, including hiring staff with creativity, out-of-the-box thinking, and a passion for advertising and marketing.
Anup says, “In our field of advertising and communication, the job doesn’t begin at 9 am and get over at 6 pm. Yes, while you are physically sitting at a desk, the mind still thinks of creative ideas to solve marketing challenges. That being said, you need to train the mind to think creatively and quickly.”
Clients in Goa are media-shy and reluctant to spend money on advertising to promote their businesses. Nurturing clients and conditioning them to spend on advertising takes time.
Social media marketing and digital marketing are often used loosely by freelancers, leading to clients spending more and not getting the desired results. Hybrid agencies like Future Mercury face scepticism from clients.
Anup said, “We lose approximately 30% of our prospective clients because of this reason. It takes around 3 to 4 meetings to actually convert a prospective client, purely because of their previous bad experiences.”
Jovinson shares, “Today the creativity, technological know-how and usage of data that Future Mercury brings to the table are because of Law & Kenneth Saatchi and Saatchi and Hansa Cequity, big agencies where I have grown from being a client services executive to an account director, where I have had the chance to work with India’s big brands such as MTV, Pantaloons, Godrej Interio, ITC, Mahindra and Mahindra and more.”
Jovinson Duarte, Director, Future Mercury
He further adds, “Anup brings his understanding of Goan clients and how to go about nurturing them with a local understanding of the language. I can’t speak Konkani that fluently, especially when it comes to explaining concepts and ideas.”
The secret mantra that has worked for Future Mercury, Jovinson relates, “Firstly, no matter what, always add value to the client’s business and over-deliver rather than under-deliver. Secondly, stay two steps ahead of the client’s thinking. You will have your success. Thirdly, present ideas proactively even if the clients have not asked for them.”
When a brand approaches Future Mercury, they make sure they have every detail about the brand to understand its business and its pain points. Anup enumerates the following questions that a brand should keep in mind when approaching Future Mercury.
He says, “What are the brand goals that Future Mercury has to achieve? Are we as a brand ready to spread our wings and try new mediums and have the budget to do so? Approaching a full-stack, integrated creative agency means the brand has to trust them to do the best. Can I trust Future Mercury?”
Both Jovinson and Anup think that young talent exploring new-age careers needs dedication and constant learning.
They say, “It is not like a traditional profession where you learn the profession and you are set for life. Secondly, new-age careers are intelligence-driven, and the only way one can achieve intelligence is by gaining knowledge, not only in their specialisation but related subjects too."
"Thirdly, new-age careers pay a good amount of money if you are the right candidate for the job because mediocrity just gets the job done, but originality and intelligence are what the agency pays you for,” they also add.