Marketing Magazine of IIM Shillong
Volume 5 | Issue 2
5th Anniversary Edition
Dear Readers, Before you dive deep into the exciting world of marketing, we would like to take a moment to thank all our readers. Markathon completes yet another year in decoding the mysteries of marketing. And what a year it was. It witnessed a change of guard, added a new section to its ever expanding array of offerings, saw an outpour of insightful articles and most importantly a lot of love from its readers. All this and much more could not have been possible without you. THANK YOU. With this edition we begin yet another journey with the promise to make the ride even more enjoyable, interesting and insightful for you. Talking about new beginnings, what better symbolizes it but the phoenix which rises from its own ashes and if you thought phoenix belonged to the world of mythology, think again. Our cover story for this month “Rising From Ashes” talks about phoenixes from our world - brands that scripted the miraculous turn around stories be it the rebel Harley or our very own home grown Dabur. The corporate Vartaalap this month features Mr. Jatin Lakra, the current marketing manager for Tata Motors Utility Vehicles and Mr. Pawan Bindal, the Head of the Sales and Marketing Solutions Department at Dun & Bradstreet India. For academic Vartaalap we have with us Ms. Barbara E. Kahn, Patty and Jay H. Baker Professor of Marketing and the Director of the Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania To make the Anniversary edition even more special we have an exclusive section “Freshly Brewed” by one of our alumni Mr. Keshav Sridhar who talks about the two kinds of marketing – marketing that you are taught in the classroom and the marketing you learn in the real world. This month’s edition holds a lot of other surprises for you. To begin with we have introduced a new section this month – “Jab They Failed” and there are a lot more prizes than we promised. “And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been”
To the new beginnings!! Team Markathon
THE MARKATHON TEAM Editors Ashok A | Kamalpreet Singh Saluja | Pallavi | Prateek Gaurav | Shashank S. Tomar | Swikruti Panda Creative Designers Sushree L. Tripathy | Vaibhav Annam
CONTENTS FEATURED ARTICLES PERSPECTIVES MIME – MODIMATICS IN MARKETING EXCELLENCE ANUSHREE PAUL| SIDDHARTH GROVER | XIMB, BHUBANESHWAR
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PULSAR – THE PULSE RACER ZEESHAN HASSAN| IIM KOZHIKODE
SENSIBLE ADVERTISING PAVAN KUMAR R | UTTHRAA M| BIM, TRICHY
VARTALAAP MR JATIN LAKRA HEAD OF MARKETING, UV PRODUCT GROUP, TATA MOTORS
COVER STORY RISING FROM ASHES ASHOK AND SUSHREE | IIM SHILLONG VARTALAAP PROFESSOR BARBARA KAHN RETAILING CENTER AT THE WHARTON SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA PAWAN BINDAL HEAD OF SALES & MARKETING, DUN & BRADSTREET EYE 2 EYE LOK SABHA ELECTIONS 2014 MAHATHI CHITTA | SCMHRD; SIDDHARTH SHAH | TISS
SILENT VOICE COCA-COLA 150TH YEAR SPECIAL EDITION
FRESHLY BREWED KESHAV SRIDHAR| BATCH OF 2012| IIM SHILLONG
ADDICTED SWIKRUTI PANDA & SUSHREE TRIPATHY | IIM SHILLONG
BOOKMARK PALLAVI | IIM SHILLONG
JAB THEY FAILED VAIBHAV ANNAM | IIM SHILLONG
RADICAL THOUGHTS ASHOK A | IIM SHILLONG
FUN CORNER KAMALPREET SALUJA | IIM SHILLONG
UPDATES PRATEEK | IIM SHILLONG
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MODImatics In Marketing Excellence
Anushree Paul | Siddharth Grover |XIMB Amartya Sen, Nobel Prize-winning economist opines his thought on Narendra Modi being the Next PM of India, "No, I would not like to see Narendra Modi as India's prime minister”. Professor Sen is in favor of “Someone who looks at social administration and not just business administration seriously". Social has a new dimension when the suffix “media” is added to it----Social Media and it seems that next PM of India, whoever it is---- has to use the potential of social media space to maximize his audience reach.2014 General Elections is well poised to be a political blockbuster with protagonist NaMo (NArendra MOdi) releasing on Digital Screens nationwide with Bumper Openings. The storyline till now spells out important lessons for a Marketing nerd with a quaint socio-politico twist in it. Writing as perceived from a Marketing Lens, the images, version and resolution may not conform to the traditional definitions but then if it did strategically fit so well, this article would have never seen the light of the day.
BRAND NaMo (NArendra MOdi) TARGET Youth who are indifferent to the breed of ‘Coalition’ and ‘Communal’ Politics. Development is the only word which makes sense to them POSITIONING Pro-People, Pro-Active Governance, Development, Economic Growth MEDIA USED Digital (Social Media, Web and Video) extending the idea to OOH. TYPES OF ADVERTISING USED Institutional Advertising, Comparative Advertising, Potshot advertising, Guerrilla Advertising, Crowdsourcing, Video Advertising
This form of advertising allows a company to promote themselves, rather than a specific good or service.
perspective NaMo dangerously flirts on the line of being bigger than the parent company, and for this BJP takes cautionary note on its official Facebook Fan page. It cleverly
focuses on seasoned old stalwarts of the party such as Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, L.K. Advani and serves a recipe of party’s information and ideals with latest updates. As one hits the site ‘narendramodi.in’, it welcomes you with its message to de-throne its rival - “Congress Mukt Bharat Ka Nirmaan” adorned with pictures of NaMo. It is hard not to notice the halo that NaMo creates for himself with sections such as Biography, Quotes, Interact etc. projecting the strengths of NaMo as an inspiring trailblazer, brilliant orator and an efficient leader. The section on BJP occupies a small space and sits comfortable among the ranks of lesser attention seekers on the NaMo site. Consistent with their Facebook approach bjp.org showcases the party basking in the glory of well-known faces of the party other than Modi in order to steer clear of any overlap with NaMo publicity. BJP has strategically done well in separating the Modi brand from the mainstream party on the basis of newsgenerating capacity and utilizes the space bandwidth resourcefully in between the two sites to maximize the buzz output.
COMPARATIVE ADVERTISING It is marketing strategy in which a company shows how its product or service is superior to that of its
markathon | aug 2013 competitors by comparing the benefits and costs within the advertisement itself. NaMo has used the plank of Gujarat’s success story in which he generously backs up data for supporting his arguments. For example, the double digit growth in terms of GDP in real terms over a ten year period and how the state has achieved higher growth in 3 sectors of economy namely agriculture, Industry and Services. Modi doles out figures which says that India as a nation has a poverty ratio of 27-28% as compared to Gujarat where it stands at 12-13% one of the lowest in the country. Propping the argument with a reported increase in sex ratio at birth and progressive improvement in malnutrition than other states and nation, NaMo barely misses a point. In fact NaMo so much endorses Comparative Advertising that he would have been happy if one had a Report Card made, clicked a HD photograph and posted it on FB for the ‘Like’ Marathon! Taking a potshot at Congress’ Rahul Gandhi’s ‘accomplishments’ page rahulgandhiachievements.com, was a clean slate err Blank Page. Narendramodiplans.com seems to have taken the pain
of little more coding and eye to detail with a saffron background and beaming Modi. The site says "For a detailed explanation of how Modi plans to run the nation if elected to the house as a Prime Minister and also for his view/perspective on 2002 riots please click the link below". But the ‘Click’ button runs away from the mouse cursor, a euphemism of Modi’s evasive nature when asked awkward questions on Gujarat
perspective Riots. The NaMo vs. RaGa wars provide good fodder for engagement for e-savvy youth.
POTSHOT ADVERTISING It is a mode of advertising common with giants such as Apple and Samsung who choose to tease a rival product to promote their own brand. Of late this kind of advertising has gathered mileage with the Political Men in India as they endorse it heavily on the internet landscape. Rahul Gandhi's address at CII led to trending of #pappu, #pappuCII and Narendra Modi’s address at FICCI ladies organization led to trending of #Feku, #FekuFICCI on twitter. What formed the bait for these hash tags? Rahul Gandhi’s casual answers such as ‘I’ve lost it' and 'Boss, not happening'. Narendra Modi’s chapattis, papads (Lijjat Paapad) and pizzas (Jassu Behn's Pizza) mentioned in the speech were quickly taken notice of, mocked at and bludgeoned in this trend. Saris, churidars and shirts too made it to the humor wardrobe of Feku tweets.
markathon | aug 2013 was restored NaMo made use of his imagination and turned it into an opportunity to exhibit his wits. He said ‘I am thankful to the mike man, because of this disruption the video, otherwise pedestrian, will now be news-worthy. The mike stopped functioning but the news will be broadcasted as ‘Modi Ki Bolti Band’ (Modi was silenced). The video can be viewed on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44VWaOT3y2g and has clocked more than 63K views.
CROWDSOURCING Crowdsourcing is the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people especially from an online
GUERRILLA ADVERTISING The concept of guerrilla marketing was invented as an unconventional system of promotions that relies on time, energy and imagination rather than a big marketing budget. On social space if we use the characteristic of creating buzz for a video to make it a viral phenomenon the tactic can easily qualify for the term. community, rather than from traditional employees or suppliers.
One such act of NaMo brand compels me to pen this. In one of the meetings Narendra Modi’s mike stopped working. After a 2 minutes lapse when mike functioning
NaMo pioneered a unique social experiment on Twitter and Facebook wherein he welcomed the youngsters and students for ideas, suggestion as to why such a ‘Trust Deficit’ has been created. NaMO delivered a rousing speech to the students of Fergusson College in Pune on 14th July, 2013 where he crowd sourced ideas from students via FB. The key underlying theme was education and how can India achieve modernization without westernization.
perspective The post presently has 16,738 Likes, 2160 shares and close to 1500 comments. It signals the dawn of technologically branded and aided Politics.
VIDEO ADVERTISING BJP has aligned itself with NaMo’s vision of leveraging the online medium to woo voters by launching YUVA – The Internet TV from BJP. It is a dedicated channel which is not only for live content but also for programmed content .The targeting has been youth centric which will showcase all the meetings, rallies, programmes, bytes, debates of BJP. Apart from the BJP4India channel on YouTube, this initiative successfully helps NaMo to communicate with youngsters and reach out to internet savvy public who reside happily in the internet world.
markathon | aug 2013 interestingly seeing an extension of the Digital campaigns to replicate the impact. Is reverse flow of information in marketing domain happening in the political scene? In a recent interview with Reuters when NaMo declared ‘I am a Hindu Nationalist’, it became a media rage. The volume of tweets, shares and posts on the digital media prompted the debate to come alive in the form of Billboard advertising in Mumbai. To build on this, merchandise with slogans such as ‘Do you want your country to be MODI-fied?” - t-shirts, caps, key chains, mobile covers in saffron hue will soon be released and distributed for marketing purpose. In retrospect, even NaMo is a potential logo to be printed on the merchandise! On July 3, 2013 Narendra Modi became the most followed politician in India outpacing Shashi Tharoor. If e-race is a pre-poll indicator and social media popularity is a yardstick then NaMo has managed to strike the right chord employing smart marketing tactics. Did someone chant ‘Om NaMaH Shivaye’ or was it an exhalation or exultation of ‘Om NaMo NaMah’?!
OOH Out Of Home (Outdoor Advertising) is defined as advertising which reaches to consumers outside homes in traditional formats like billboards, street furniture, transport advertising etc. These are
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Zeeshan hassan IIm kozhikode Inception and Ideation The year 2001 was definitely the defining one in the evolution of Bajaj Automobiles since then up to this date. The changing outlook of the Indian consumers and the aggressive forays made by new competitors like Yamaha and Hero Honda in the Two-Wheeler market led to a precipitous decline in Bajajâ€™s market share. Even the partnership with Japanese bike manufacturer, Kawasaki, did not garner good results.
road. Thus, Bajaj Pulsar was born! It was launched in the 150 and 180cc category. Still Pulsar was not a pioneer in the segment; Hero Honda had already launched CBZ which had shown some positive response. But it was Pulsar that led to an unprecedented demand in this category of the market. It was not just about the product design and the performance but a very unique marketing approach had been exploited. The youth was core of this market and hence a marketing campaign targeting male in the segment of 20-35 years of age was conceptualized with a striking â€œDefinitely Maleâ€? campaign. Market for the Product: Who are the initiator, influencer, decider, buyer and user? The bike targets consumers in the range of 20 to 35 years of age generally encompassing the college and the office goers.
That was the time when the good being replaced by the performance still there was a mammoth gap in the sports bike category. It was at this point that we began to spot machines with muscular tanks, stylish headlight and powerful engines that roared in a different tone than others and were definitely a head turner on the
old scooters were ensuring bikes but
Thus the major decision makers are parents for college goer who is the initiator, but the influences come from varied sources. For the College Goer, Pulsar could be perceived as a very contemporary Hi Tech and stylish
Initiator User Buyer
Students College Goers College Goers Parents, College Goers
Office Workers Office Goer Office Goer Office Goer
Parents, College Goers
Friends, Social Circle, Magazines Girlfriends etc.
Friend, Coworker, Family
markathon | aug 2013 country. Many a time repeat purchases are made because of the loyalty developed to a particular brand.
Going Ahead Even though there was an apprehension in the mind of the customer for it being an untested product (Bajaj had never come with such a product), they still embraced it. And once they had purchased it they showed tremendous brand loyalty and its popularity kept on increasing by word of mouth and otherwise as well.
looking product through which he could wear a Macho persona and hold himself in high esteem in his friend circle and especially among the girls. In addition he could be influenced by mass adoption by his friend circle and social group. Besides this, the final buyers i.e. the parents could be influenced by the brand name “Bajaj” which has a long history for reliability of its machines. Also, loyalty to brand Bajaj could also play a role if the parents had already experienced its products. Again, the wide distribution of the service centers and the dealers throughout the country might help them be convinced that Pulsar is the best choice they have. For the office goers, the deciding factors are generally the blending of style with power and performance of the bike. They can maintain it easily and then resell it at good price when switching to a more premium product of a similar category. The typical use period of a bike is 3-4 years before it is resold and new purchases are made because of the presence of a very good second hand market in the
Soon after, the tag line “Definitely Male” was withdrawn and “Digital Biking” campaign was pushed. Although, a bit detrimental to the original image of the bike it was aimed to increase focus on the technologically superior built of the bike as DTSI (Digital Twin Spark Ignition) was introduced. This was done to
subvert the competitors like Hero Honda which were perceived as more technically sound. Now it had increased power rating and fuel economy. In 2005, alloy wheels were introduced, fuel tank capacity increased, power enhanced and better shock absorbers were featured. The next year, Pulsar UG III was launched which among other features had turn indicator, LCD screen for the dash board, engine with more torque allowance and lesser vibrations. Year 2007 saw Pulsar launching the free biking campaign where they stressed on how you ride rather than where you do it. The Ad that followed showed two bikers in a blocked street go and find a detour to what seemingly appeared a dead end. Thus, emphasizing that Pulsar can help you find ways and in a way leads you to
productolysis victory when others had perceived it as impossible. During this period they came up with taglines “Distinctly Ahead” and “Inspiring Confidence” which though catchy were still less impactful than the “Definitely Male” proposition.
In 2008, the Bajaj group extended its DTSI technology to another product introduced by it “XCD 125” which invoked a threat of cannibalization to the original Pulsar brand. But at the same time, Pulsar adopted oil cooled engine and a better digital console as its prominent features thus it could maintain its top position with Yamaha FZ sharing the second rung. In 2009, after a slight slump in the sale and tough competition from Yamaha, TVS, Honda etc., Pulsar decided to bounce back again. Pulsar released UG IV which was quoted as the enhanced versions of original Pulsar 150 and 180. Apart from increasing engine power and providing better electrical capability to the bike, a major overhaul was done on the marketing and promotional front. The company launched the tagline “The Fastest Indian” and the ads were perceived to be as thrilling as the seminal “Definitely Male” campaign. The word “Fastest” in the ad carries a connotation that the brand Pulsar is better than any of its adversaries present in the market. The ad itself has a very good ending whereby, a group of cops completely encircle a person and with just a touch of his bike the person vanishes at remarkable speed and the policemen are left helpless. This was received very well by the market and gave a boost the brand Pulsar.
markathon | aug 2013 2010 saw further add-ins in the product, whereby Pulsar 220S (Street Fighter) which had all the features of the Pulsar 220 except that the front fairing was similar to the original Pulsar 150/180. In 2011 they very explicitly showed in an ad that “Pulsar sells 5 times more than any Japanese Sport Bike in India.” Apart from this a number of steps to lure customers towards it were taken up by Pulsar. Bajaj had a vast network of dealers and service which it can capitalize upon. It found out a category of customers which it calls as “Probikers” who are very appreciative of the technology, are knowledgeable and very particular about the choice of their product. To cater to them a number of “Bajaj Probiking” stores have been opened throughout the country where a demonstration of bikes and their spare parts as well of trial for these could be facilitated. It also started the very first “e-biking” in India which stands for online shopping for bikes and then their subsequent home delivery in order to attract customer and to reach deeper into the market.
More than a decade of Evolution Every product that enters the market follows the normal phases of Introduction, Growth, Maturity and finally Decline. Though the other variants of the bikes followed these basic stages, the Bajaj Pulsar seems to be completely immune to the declining phases the product life cycle concept. It still sits on the top with 50% market share in the sports bike category.
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Even after twelve years of its introduction, the thrill of riding a Pulsar has remained intact. This anomaly becomes clearer on having a closer look at the strategy of the Pulsar. Since motorbike is a durable product, the customer retention is not just confined to repeat purchases. Relationships are built by ensuring customer satisfaction with its usage and with the appropriateness of the services rendered by the vendors and service centers. And in response we see that the customers were so happy to patronize Pulsar such that they put up website called www.pulsarclub.com which resulted in fantastic publicity for the brand without any expenditure. Another initiative by the company was “Bajaj Confidence- Extended Warranty Plan” which gave the customers a facility to extend the warranty when the normal 2 years warranty expires. This initiative was taken to further better the customer relationship management by the Bajaj Group.
Next on the List Though appearing to be invincible, the Pulsar division has been mustering its Marketing and Product Strategy division to come up with better products and customer attraction mechanisms so as to be able to stand stiff against the ever increasing competition. With more than 1 million likes on its Facebook page, it keeps updating it with attention catching posts in order to drive more of the “Pulsar Maniacs”, the ardent Pulsar lovers. It has also gathered a crew of bike stuntmen from Kerala called the “Ghost Ryderz”. Sponsored by Pulsar the Ghost Ryderz have performed at numerous events, college fests, and many movies. They were also shown in a reality show called the “Pulsar MTV Stuntmania” and countless videos performing unthinkable stunts with the bike are available on the internet. Lined up next are two Pulsars to be launched in November-December of this year, one of them smaller than its peer 200NS and the other double its size, the Pulsar 375- the much hyped and ready-toraze-anything that comes in its way. The brand equity itself of the decade old bike serves as a great asset even
before the launch happens. The increase in the power and speed of the bike is without doubt appreciated but with soaring inflation and ever increasing fuel prices, it may lead to disgruntled customers in terms of mileage. Still the surge of adrenalin is high amongst the youth as the bike promises more fairing which is loved by one and all. With this the Bajaj Company has an opportunity to revitalize its “The Fastest Indian” image which over the period of time had turned feeble and competitors had encroached in its territory. Waiting eagerly for it are also the bevy of cut throat competitive launches which try to find a space for themselves in the market for big bikes. Now with the increase in power, speed and torque comes the fun that the youth are craving for. But, given the kind of infrastructure the country has, the roads and the transportation system, it may be a bit difficult ride such heavy machines safely and compounded by the fact that the youth are averse to wearing helmets and other precautionary gears. The subsequent level of road mishap is going to be more fatal than ever as the strength of the bikes increase. Let’s hope that the ongoing revolution of Pulsar can truly and literally fulfill the spirit of “Hamara Bajaj!” for the good of all. Globally!
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Pavan Kumar R. | Utthraa M BIM, TRIchy Advertisements act as secret passages through which products enter our homes and find a permanent place in our heart and mind. There have been Ads that have managed to bring out the “awww” moment, some that keeps the product and tune lingering in our minds the whole day, some that inspire, some that increases our desire and some that may even make us go moisteyed! There are Ads that have transforme d nonexistent phrases to an eternal tagline. The Ponds cold cream Ad, “GooglyWooglyWoosh” is one that has used human emotions beautifully to embed message about a beauty product can make the skin smooth and soft, such that the male counterpart can't resist pinching his lady love's cheeks no matter how old she is. One of the most heartwarming Ads is the Raymond, “The Complete Man”, where the “complete man” goes to an old age home to wish his teacher on his birthday. The Ad brings out the perfect picture of what the “complete man” is to the Indian Society, one who is smart, reverent and hence is respectable! The Ad makes the audience feel nice and even want to get to know “the complete man”.
During the same time a disturbing AXE ad with the tagline, "spray more to get more", depicted the objectification of women under the heterosexual male gaze. In this ad, swarms of tall, thin women, long hair, flat stomachs and curvaceous body which seem to strip off the dignity and self-respect of women. The biggest hit is the sexualization of the slogan, this may have boosted the sales but according to many it just indicates that the self of ownership the man has over his deodorant is equivalent to that he has over the women. These cases may have been smart moves by the marketer, but is he trying to give the message that love and intimacy all lies in smelling good and having soft skin? That's for the consumers to decide. Even if they agree, they may pardon the marketer on the grounds that these products fall under cosmetics, and when it comes to cosmetics there is a lot of patch work and cover up to do! But what in the case of food products? Can the consumers allow the marketer to make false promises on the foods that they consume? Big fat lies of "taller, stronger and sharper", "a healthy heart", "special K cereals", "multigrain noodles", and all those labels behind canned products promising low fat and high nutritional value all talk of instant results. If these promises were true; then India's nutritional index should have shot up by now.
PepsiCo, a multinational food and beverage company with global brands that millions of consumers enjoy every day, has realized the vitality of communicating responsibly about their products and healthy eating. They are committed to responsible advertising practices and ensuring healthy choices are offered in schools. They have joined hands with the International Food & Beverage Alliance, a Swiss-based NGO, to adopt a worldwide voluntary commitment to advertise to children under the age of 12 only those products that meet specific nutrition criteria. As verified by an independent third party, they have achieved 99.6 percent compliance by the end of 2011 in globally representative markets including the Indian Market. Unilever has put a clear message across, that is, “Children should be top of the Agenda when it comes to responsible Marketing”. It aired a short film “Onslaught”, with the tagline, 'Talk to your daughter before the beauty industry does' at the end of the film. The film portrays young girls being bombarded by advertisements promoting a stereotypical vision of the perfect woman. This pushes young minds into stress and as a result of which they end up taking drastic means to be the “Perfect Woman”.
Who is to take responsibility when an “offensive” ad is aired? The Ad not only puts off the viewers, but also spells bad news for both clients and agencies associated with it. When Ford India’s print Ad to promote ford figo compact car was screened, it not only raised a lot of eyebrows, but also came across as offensive, distasteful and misogynistic. Ford immediately apologized stating that these Ads were not approved by them but rather created by staffers at JWT India, which handles advertising for Ford in the country. Such ads, created without client approval, are often called "fake ads" or "scam ads" and are made by creative professionals seeking attention and looking for ways to bolster their
markathon | aug 2013 portfolios. The controversial posters were uploaded for public view at a time when India was in crisis over sexual assaults on women. The swift dismissal of the JWT India employees responsible for the ads in March this year was a clear sign of responsibility that the agency was trying to own up. The most recent case on World’s leading cereal company, Kelloggs came as a shocker to many. Kellogg US has agreed to pay $4 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over the marketing claims it made for Frosted Mini-Wheats. The company, which also makes “Frosted Flakes”, “Eggo waffles” and “Pop Tarts”, was sued for saying that the cereal improved children's attentiveness, memory and other cognitive functions.
So what exactly happens with today’s customers “Loyalty Equation” when there are so many advertisements aimed at wooing customers instantly? There has been a gradual seismic shift in the consumer behavior with the drastic advancements in this creative community. Consumers are now more social than ever. They are constantly sharing information, researching based on testimonials, posting pictures, tweeting events, etc. Now social media services have become a huge part of connecting people online. Consumers know what they want. They are clear on their requirements and the internet acts as an aid in making everything verifiable. They check competitor’s prices or contact customers who have bought the products. People are more demanding than ever before and in case of any slip
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in message delivery, the business is bound to be left behind. Consumers support social responsibility. People make purchase decisions based on the green options available, what the company is doing for the community and how they integrate corporate social responsibility into business plans. So with consumers possessing such pellucid thoughts, just a fancy Advertisement will not win you a customer anymore! So the new recipe for success and winning customers would be to focus on being honest about the product, being sensitive towards audience’s feelings and most importantly, giving them Respect! Advertising professionals should keep in mind that the audience will not sit glued on to anything that is offered to them in the name of “Advertisements”. They are open to humor and glamour, provided it is in the right mix. A worthy product Differentiate from competitors Sensitivity towards the audience Honesty, no false promises Respect the Audience End Product
10% 10% 20% 30% 30% 100%=Customer loyalty
Censorship in media is a must, but if one puts too many rules on entertainment, then audience will not enjoy the content. The key is to put the message across without upsetting the audience. However it is essential to have a purpose in one’s communication and the creative community should be sensitive towards animals, women, religion and children, and be more aware of the society’s sentiments. Advertisers tend to sometime go overboard out of desperation to make their presence felt amidst an intense competition. But little do they realize that they could fall into a situation where NGOs take notice of the harsh communication, which in turn would agitate the government to stand up and take action. Such a scenario would be cumbersome
for the future of advertising. In order to fight this scenario, every professional in this creative Industry must rise up to the concept of self-regulation. When the use of a pug in a campaign created a rage and everyone wanted a pug as a pet, little did people know that pugs have a very painful delivery process and need the presence of vets to see through the process. As a result of this, many pugs ended up dead. Therefore advertising professionals need to keep many factors in mind that go beyond just the mere communication of a message. The need of the hour for advertising professional is Sensitivity and Social Responsibility to avoid a backlash. Interesting to note that India’s “Adspend rate” which is -2.0% as against china’s +8.8% and USA’s +2.8% still managed to get the Silver Medal for “Best Practices” in advertising in an event held in Milan last month which was awarded by the European Standards Alliance (EASA). Adspend is a driver of economic growth thus those countries with increased adspend should enjoy continued economic growth. However sustained longterm growth does require best practice advertising regulation. So this Award for India should be taken on a positive note with a pinch of salt. Despite advertising in India being self-regulated under the purview of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) the Department of Consumer Affairs only seems to have an increasing number of complaints from audience. This puts the effectiveness of our Country’s self-regulated advertisements under the scanner. The road ahead should be to have a stronger Government Intervention in the form of setting up a separate Administrative Authority. The new Advertising mantra is not about roping in big shots, mocking at competitors, or using inexplicable jingles but about honest messages, sensitivity towards consumers’ feelings and keeping it simple. The message should be loud and clear, “Advertise responsibly and win your customer’s heart with respect”.
vartalaap cover story |
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An Interview with Mr. Jatin Lakra Head Marketing â€“ UV Product Group at Tata Motors Limited
Mr. Jatin Lakra is currently the marketing manager for Tata Motors Utility Vehicles brands. Mr Lakra has handled all the perspectives of sales & marketing, including product planning and brand management. He has gained insights & exposure across various business, acquired business intelligence and capabilities of strategizing & execution. He was closely involved with the very famous â€œFull Throttleâ€? campaign by Tata motors in the year 2011. His long term goal is to become a leader recognized in the industry and make a difference to the firm & society.
vartalaap cover story | Markathon: You have been involved in a lot of areas like product planning, sales projects, content development, training etc. Which has been the most exciting assignment that you have done in your career? Sales! Sales is my passion. Product development has been very exciting. We have been working on it for the past 2-2.5 years. Finally, as I understand it now, the 2 projects that I had been working on have been given the green light. So that has been quite a satisfying experience. Learning has been great. I believe that wherever I keep getting to learn new things is where the excitement remains. Markathon: How does the automobile sector go about determining the ROI metrics from the customer perspective? Whether it is a fleet operator of a truck or the fleet operator of a car, all of them are looking at what the consumer is ready to pay on a per km basis or on a daily basis and what is the cost that they incur, the driver cost, the fuel cost or the EMI or any other running cost that we have to pay or the overhead costs and lastly the re-sale value. After a time line of 3-4 years when today the time cycle has changed, now you have to show the consumer the net benefit he will get at the end of this time line. Markathon: While coming up with a new car portfolio, what are the market analysis techniques you employ within the auto segment? The auto segment is all about finding newer usage of the car. It is like a huge canvas and you have to find out, which are the areas that are open and you can identify and capture those. The product development cycle is much long. So, you have to identify the open spaces much earlier and come up with the product. Markathon: When a whole lot of other players were coming up with a pure play Sedan or SUV, how did TATA motors think novel, to come up with a crossover? Aria was developed as a cross-over, X-over was showcased in Geneva. And that was also showcased in Auto-expo India in New Delhi. Based on this, we went
markathon | aug 2013 markathon|month 2013 ahead and developed technology and tried creating a new segment “Cross-Over” in India. Markathon: The Indian automobile retail sector is undergoing a revolution but lacks novelty. In US General Motor Saturn came up with “no haggle pricing”. As a channel management person, what retailing novelties do you think will come up in near future? What are you planning for TATA? The channel as we know today is going to evolve further. And we will look at things like availability of vehicles over net as people have become very techsavvy in tier-I cities today. No haggle pricing will take a few years before it comes up as Indian consumer is very price and deal conscious. The deal is the second largest criteria for the consumer when he is deciding on the final purchase. This may not be in the segment above 20-lakhs. But Audi, BMW, Mercedes are also coming up with schemes like “Rs.55,000 is your EMI”,”Rs. 56,000 is your down-payment”. So, deal is not going away in any segment. Novelty-wise, the show-rooms of TATA motors today are very different. So, the kind of experience, if he walks into the show-room is very different. Consumers are available over the net. But they are not able to buy a car on internet. Soon they will be able to do so. As Indian law is going to change and GST comes in, it will be really easy to buy cars over internet. Other than that, today the retail chain and retail out-let is going further into tier II, III, IV. Most of the old players have started building their network. Currently most retailers are trying to make their channels profitable on their own. So, multi-brand retail is not going to happen. Markathon: How could retailing evolve to give different point-of-sale experience to different customers walking in with different experiences? We are working on it. Currently we have processes and systems which we are trying to implement via training, up-gradation of man-power, looking at specific leadership man-power structure which would ensure that we deliver the different experience that each individual needs. Since this is the second biggest purchase that a person makes in his life-time, we try to ensure that the experience is tailor-made so that he cherishes it for long. Our focus is on getting that
vartalaap cover story | kind of man-power. The front-end is not very competent as the salary structure is not very high. We are working on these issues continuously as the consumer is evolving on a daily basis and so are their cars, so the point-of-sale experience has to. Markathon: Apart from the regular ATL advertising platforms, what are the other avenues TATA motors seeks to promote its products? TATA Motors has been working on lots of ATL activities which include television, hoardings, radio, over internet (a big focus area). We also do BTL activations be it on taxi-stands or in the malls. We use wall arts, wall paintings or hoardings of their own. We do a lot of connect. One of the initiatives last year was full throttle. But you are connecting with consumers who are high on thrill, high on reliability, high on product reliability and they have a huge circle connected with them. There was also one day where customers come with their SUVs where we take them on an off-roading event for an entire day and then take their feed-back on how they felt about the product. So such are the connect points. Last year with the launch of Safari storm we came up with the thrill experience through extreme drive. Apart from that we have explorer club also. All product groups on their own are trying to ensure that they connect with the consumer and they try to have other mediums through which they can get referrals and make sure that they can keep the interest of the consumer in the brand alive. Markathon: We have all seen great digital marketing campaigns by automobile companies of the likes of Volkswagen. Even though Tata Motors brands are garnering likes, do you think you have a high amount of focus on the digital space. Could you share with us any plans for the future? Our focus on digital marketing has not been for very long, you’re right. It’s been about 2-3 years that we have been focusing on the digital world the way we should have been. Tata Motors as a brand doesn’t need to be promoted as such. So, what we promote is individual product brands and that probably isn’t giving us the results that we would want to have. But the traction that we have been getting on the digital world in the last 2-3 years, after ensuring basic
markathon | aug 2013 markathon|month 2013 hygiene of our websites is good. We have also got into Google marketing. The whole idea of digital for us today is not just brand building, it’s about actually creating leads and pursuing them to generate sales. The direction is we will be spending more brand money on digital. The big idea, however, is that we should generate immediate ROI on the efforts. Markathon: We believe the ‘Art in Motion’ campaign for Tata Nano on Facebook was the most leveraging factor for the amount of likes. How is Tata Motors endeavoring to building brand advocates through customer testimonials? It starts internally by making brand ambassadors. We start by making ourselves, the community within Tata Motors, brand ambassadors. Secondly, there are referrals on the pages where people are asked to put their remarks, that are re-tweeted. We have referral pages on most of our websites. We are also engaging with websites like Cardekho, Carwale, Car Trade, Gaadi etc. to ensure they take test drives of our vehicles & write about it. We are also open to feedback, positive & negative. We are currently in the process of ensuring that any negative feedback is immediately tackled. If it is a consumer issue, then it is closed positively, taking a satisfaction note from the consumer and turning it into a referral. Referral schemes happen mostly via SMS and calls. The kind of relationship that is established while calling a customer advisor at the dealership is far more potent & useful than any other referral programs that we run. Finally, it is more to do with emotions than any other form of gratification as the customer needs to be handled by someone to actually generate worthwhile references, effectively. Personal connect is what will lead to more and happier conversions. Markathon: Coming back to the UV segment, we believe Tata Aria came out as a very technically advanced product. This shows that a lot of such technologically superior products are in store for us. So, what are your plans for the UV market in India? UV market in the last 20 years has grown by a jump at the time of a product launch. Be it the launch of Sumo, Safari, Scorpio or XUV. Aria unfortunately did not give out the lead that we were expecting. You must be aware of the ‘Build a dream car’ and ’36 Hi-
vartalaap cover story | tech features’ campaigns that we did. Our market research says that the consumer is not ready to accept it as a crossover or he still doesn’t want to understand too much about a crossover because we are talking to a customer who is at 17-18 lakh on-road pricing point while they are able to understand a BMW X1 at 23-24 lakhs. The consumer there shifts a bit, he would rather go for a Fortuner or a Storme because he still wants to feel ‘bullish’ in his lifestyle. I would rather term it as ‘Bhaukaal’ as they call it in UP. That is the reason the consumer doesn’t want to accept this kind of a product in larger numbers. At times we sell 45, at times 145. We saw launches like Santa fe and Skoda Yeti that haven’t done wonders to their bottomline or top line. Going forward we are bringing Aria at a price point of 10.5-11 lakhs and offering it to both fleet & individual consumers and that has given us some traction in the last couple of months. Markathon: Tata Motors did an incredible thing by creating this new market, a cross-over segment in India. That’s what we believe too. It is very difficult to enter this segment at this day and age, the only other player in this segment before us was Forester. But finally we are driven by numbers. The cross over segment will remain, but we will work on ensuring that the product is seen on the roads. A repositioning & repricing of the entire range is done. Instead of having 5 -6 variants, we now have 3. You will see more traction coming in, going forward. We will not be leaving the cross-over segment. Markathon: In the UV space, do Tata Motors products target different kinds of customers? The customer is evolving fast. We have been investing in getting specific markets for us. Let’s say the consumer for a Tata Safari Storme is a white collared guy, or a guy into politics or an SME. The consumer is not different at different places. It is matter of what he is ready to afford and what is he looking for in a product. We are getting huge amount of traction for Storme. We are projecting the car as ‘go anywhere’, but the consumers coming in do not necessarily want to go anywhere. They are enthralled by the brand, by the update of the product and they are buying it.
markathon | aug 2013 markathon|month 2013 Markathon: With the alternate fuel segment gaining prominence, what are Tata Motors plans to foray into this segment? On 19th June, Tata Motors launched 8 new products and upgrades of which 3 are CNG variants- Indica CNG, Indigo CNG & Nano CNG. These products would be coming to the marketplace in a few weeks. That’s the current plan for alternate fuel segments. Markathon: Any plans to foray into the electric vehicle segment? There are plans and trials that we are working on. There is an Indica project going on abroad. You can find details over the web. You will see the car Vista moving around in the UK as well which is in EV. ut there is no specific comment I will be able to make on them. For the UV segment, there is not much we are looking at in the alternate fuel segment, most of it is diesel. Markathon: With the fact that the Jaguar Land Rover acquisition has been a huge success for Tata Motors, what have been the learnings from this endeavor? Lot of learnings, process learnings, understanding how a brand needs to be positioned, what needs to be done in terms of a brand pyramid, how to integrate the core values of the brand with product attributes. All these things are great learnings from JLR, and that will continue. Processes are huge learnings; those guys are technologically so way beyond our current manufacturers in B, C or D segments today. There are joint workshops which make sure we learn from each other. We have learnt a lot from them in terms of visual quality, while they learn from us in fields like frugal engineering. Learnings are huge. Markathon: What will be your advice to the aspiring readers? They should start at the front end. They should start by interacting with the consumer at the point of sales & then grow into marketing roles so that they get better insights of the consumers. They would be aware of what are the realities of the POS to be able to devise policies and plans when they move into other marketing roles.
cover story cover story | | Rising from ashes
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Ashok | Sushree | IIM Shillong 19 10
cover story cover story | | Rising from ashes
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“I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” - Michael Jordan Behind every success story there is always a humiliating and an embarrassing first effort, occasional stumbles, a massive setback and sometimes even a radical change of direction. From Michael Jordan to Steve Jobs, from Hewlett Packard to Coca Cola, all have had their fair share of failures in their path to glory. When it comes to organizations, we have witnessed dramatic turnarounds over the past century and this century. In all such big turnarounds, one thing was always common. Marketing has played a huge role in staging the famed comeback. In many instances even a single marketing campaign has turned the fortunes of the company around. Would you believe us, when we say there was a time when Reebok sold more shoes than Nike? You should, as it was the case once. Nike primarily sold its shoes to Marathon runners. Then there came our beloved hero in the picture – Marketing. The marketing department at Nike spotted that there was a fitness craze emerging among the Americans and they felt this was their moment. So they came up with “Just Do It” campaign. Just three words but it encapsulated the whole meaning of living a life of conquering the challenges. It instigated us to push ourselves further. The marketing campaign connected well with the consumers and they started relating it to
the product itself. So here is the issue, which we will speak about in this article. Of all the domains associated with a successful comeback of a company, why do we think marketing is the indispensable thing? The demise of a once-famous brand often causes shock and sadness among the consumers. Though the consumers would have shifted to better competitor brands, consumers would still want their oncefavorite brand to comeback from its current state.
Though we have shifted to Sony Digicams and Canon DSLRs, we still have pleasant memories of Kodak
cameras and negative development rituals. Kodak used to be the generic name for photography, but today the case is entirely different. If we look at most of the comebacks in past decades, we can easily see the revival was either due to a mind-blowing campaign which repositioned the brand in minds of the customers or due to a new innovative product as a result of the company product strategy which is mainly marketing. All of us know old spice. Once upon a time it was synonymous with aftershave lotion. We grew with the smell of the lotion. But the brand lost its value and P&G was contemplating to pull it out of the market. Then came the revival. In 2010, P&G came up with an advertising campaign titled, ‘The Man your man could smell like”. It was first broadcasted during Super Bowl and it became an Internet phenomenon later. The company announced that the lotion sales increased by more than 50% after the campaign. This is one example of how marketing can bring an almost dead brand to life. Next we will see two greatest comeback stories of the past century, where marketing played a pivotal role in the dramatic resurrection. Both are American Countries; one does not exist now as a stand-alone company. But it has merged with one of its competitors. Both the companies do businesses in a highly competitive and dynamic industry – Airlines and Automobile.
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How Marketing helped Continental rise out of the ashes? We all know Continental Airlines. Though it has merged with United Airlines, it was one of the best airlines that have ever operated. But Continental’s history is
studded with numerous troughs and crests. It was once considered one of the worst airlines to fly in US skies. It filed for chapter 11 Bankruptcy twice in its history. To know how it staged a dramatic comeback, we will need to delve into the history. Frank Lorenzo acquired Continental Airlines in 1982 for a sum of USD 154 million. Soon after he bought the airlines, he took it to the bankruptcy court, filing Chapter 11. This allowed Continental to continue operating but spared its obligation to meet heavy interest payments. In 1986, Lorenzo acquired Eastern Airlines and a failing Frontier Airlines, both of which will backfire years later. In the meanwhile, Continental emerged out of its bankruptcy and the industry saw this revived group as the crown jewel of Lorenzo and established Frank Lorenzo as Master Financier and Visionary. In spite of his financial acumen and strong vision, he faltered continuously in day-to-day affairs of the office. He didn’t ask what flyers wanted. He never minded where most flyers flew. He didn’t question about the excitement of flying with Continental. He never bothered about the market research team. All these resulted in heavy loss to Continental. It was ranked one among the worst airlines in various parameters like On-time performance, mishandled baggage, number of unhappy flyers etc. At the same time, the Eastern airlines, which he acquired sometime back, went out of business due to Lorenzo’s stubbornness and union strikes. When Eastern filed for bankruptcy,
markathon|month markathon | aug 20132013 the creditors pushed for a merger with Continental, which could expose Continental to bankruptcy for second time in its history. Ultimately the bankruptcy was filed, Continental came out of it but Eastern was chucked out of the business.
When Continental was at the verge of exit, there came the savior in the name of Gordon Bethune. He was the General Manger for Customer Satisfaction at Boeing before taking up the reins of Continental Airlines. Immediately after arriving at Continental, he knew what was wrong with the Airline. He understood there was no single set plan or strategy for the company. It tried to compete with Southwest in value segment and with other players in Business segment. Continental was perceived as one of the low price carriers in the industry but nobody chose it to fly. The company priced their tickets so less that nobody was ready to fly. Basically the customer perception of the airlines was in shambles. Adding to that, the culture started by Lorenzo was still in every part of the organization and employees dreaded the top management and ideas and suggestion never flowed in. He rectified the internal problems first and then moved on to what were his forte, marketing and customer satisfaction. He knew there existed a huge listening gap between the company and flyers. Bethune commanded that Continental would not fly the passengers where Continental flies; rather it will “fly to places where people wanted to go”. This meant, for example, cutting back on six flights a day between Greensboro, North Carolina and Greenville, South Carolina. This was done to keep away
cover storystory | cover | Rising from ashes from Southwest’s Friends Fly free fares, which “essentially allowed passengers to fly anywhere within the state of Florida for $24.50”. The frequent flyer program was introduced. Going a step further, the company apologized to travel agents, business partners, and customers and showed them how it planned to do better and earn their business back. He made sure that timely performance was up to industry average; baggage handling was accurate, better on-board service and so. For this he instituted incentive system for employees and invested in Customer engagement processes. He made efforts to tie up with Business firms, volume discounts were given, more first class seats were added and specific routes were attended to carefully. Gordon Bethune left Continental in 2004 after an illustrious carrier. By then Continental was the fourth largest airline but it was the largest airline by number of international destinations it flew to. Gordon concentrated on how to delight customers and he succeeded. Without a marketing way of thinking the business, there would not have been Continental airlines.
How Harley Davidson rose from the dungeons to deliver the American Dream? The story of the last remaining American motorcycle company in the 1980’s is one of grit and determination. Harley Davidson. Started in the year 1903, by William Harley and Arthur Davidson, HarleyDavidson rose to popularity when it manufactured 20000 motorcycles to the US army during World War II. As the Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing company shut shop in 1953, Harley became the last surviving American Motorcycle manufacturer in the
markathon|month 2013 markathon | aug 2013 world. With its mechanical supremacy, distinctive rumble and a characteristic bad-boy mystique, it rose to an American institution altogether. How often have do we see customers get their chests tattooed with a brand’s logo? They hit the bumpy road ahead in 1980s when a protracted recession hit their traditional target segment particularly hard. Lurking by the corner came the aggressive Japanese manufacturers, who swept the market with their lightweight offerings, Honda leading the pack. Like most iconic brands at their time of glory, the team at Harley Davidson made the mistake of turning a blind eye to this formidable competition which soon started pursuing the heavy weight motorcycle segment and directed impacted the former’s market share. Their cavalier attitude was reflected in the plummeting quality of the bikes, as they had long being concentrating on quantity rather than quality. Dealers complained of having to use padding under the bikes in showrooms to absorb oil leaking from its tubes and parts. In 1982, estimated sales in the US fell by 18 percent, their first downturn since 1975 and it registered $25 million in losses. On the verge of bankruptcy, senior manager Vaughn Beats and his team of twelve Harley Davidson executives took to charge and acquired the company through a leveraged buyout. They quickly realized that their production system was flawed and took a leaf from Japanese manufacturers and their practices. Call it industry spying or benchmarking, they toured the Honda
cover cover story story | | Rising from ashes motorcycle plant in Ohio and picked up their best practices such as Just-in-time Inventory, good labor relations and employee involvement. They planned on ‘turning right when the competition turned left’ and applied this insight into the 4 P’s of marketing. What set them apart was the special relationship between the company and the Harley owners. They weren’t just buying motorcycles. They were buying the Harley experience. 75 percent of Harley riders made repeat purchases. Taking forward this insight, the team focused on creating a classical, evolutionary design rather than a revolutionary one that would change every year or so. In 1983, they started the innovative ‘Harley Owners Groups’ or HOGs aimed at enhancing relationships between customers, dealers and employees. They offered free subscription to magazines like ‘HOG Tales’ and ‘American Iron’ for motorcycle enthusiasts. Other services like invitation to events, emergency road service, insurance and support groups were meant exclusively for Harley owners. From 1988 to 1995, annual shipments doubled. In fact, demand grew faster than manufacturing capacity could keep up. The impact of this marketing strategy trickled beyond just numbers. It humanized the company and made customers feel like a part of the family. The brand rose to a cult status, turning hardcore bikers into believers. The take-away from this iconic turn-around is that there is absolutely no room for complacency out there. In the words of Richard Teerlink, “Change is here to stay. It’s never going to go away. Get used to it.” There are few Indian companies, which have resurrected their businesses using the magic wand called marketing. The best example would be Dabur,
markathon markathon|month | aug 2013 2013 India’s own international brand.
How Dabur pushed its boundaries to pull off a comeback? At the turn of the century, a decade into liberalization, competition in the Indian FMCG segment intensified as multinational players stepped up their game to capture market share. Despite rising disposable incomes in the economy and a strong and trusted brand image of Dabur in place, it was having a tough time converting these to numbers. Under the able leadership of CEO, Sunil Duggal, they charted out a multi-pronged plan to put Dabur back on the growth track. They set their focus on delivering quality consumer products by outsourcing the non-core activities. The product portfolio was revamped with new offerings in sunrise categories like fruit-juice, toothpaste and skincare so that the brand remained contemporary to the needs of its consumers. The packaging of the entire portfolio received a face-lift to be more appealing to the changing aspirations of Indian buyers. Such renovations in place, they also saw an opportunity in venturing into newer markets. They recognized the untapped potential of the rural Indian market and chalked out plans to expand its distribution footprint in the interiors. Next, they set their eyes overseas. Before 2000s, Dabur’s overseas business was confined
cover story | | Rising from ashes cover story to exporting a select number of products to the Indian community in certain West-Asian markets. Banking on their understanding of the consumer preferences in these markets, they set out to expand their International business. Dabur set up manufacturing facilities abroad to ensure a leaner supply chain and created products specifically for these markets. Soon they furthered their expanse into sub-Saharan and neighboring markets like Turkey establishing an overseas business that contributed 30 percent of their consolidated turnover. "The point is we do not believe in pushing what we like, but what our consumers like”, says Anand Burman as he reflects on the journey of Dabur to becoming the true Indian Multinational.
But there are some who didn’t make the cut.. In our generation, we have witnessed a handful of turnarounds. Anne Mulcahy who brought Xerox out of oblivion, Indra Nooyi making Pepsi a global powerhouse, Meg Whitman putting an ailing HP back on track, Angela Ahrendts turning the fortunes of Burberry and there are many more to mention. And of course, some other turnaround efforts failed to bear fruits and succumbed to failure. After the latest global recession, it was the turn of many big companies to face the music. There are many great companies, which moved court doors for bankruptcy in the past decade. Lehman Brothers, Delta Airways, Enron, General Motors to name a few. Some have emerged from bankruptcy and some shut the doors completely. One such company, which is failing badly due to marketing failure, is Research In Motion, the troubled makers of
markathon|month markathon | aug 20132013 famous Blackberry smartphones. Even during its heydays, RIM believed in technology and not on the consumer trends and changes. At an investors meeting a decade ago, when analysts asked Mike Lazaridis, the founder of RIM, about the color screens in mobile which are becoming popular in Asis, he replied, “Do I need color screen to read emails?” This showed RIM’s indifference towards the changing customer trends and over confidence in their proprietary technologies. When executives at RIM insisted Lazaridis that RIM should concentrate on features like Music player, Camera, Touch screen etc., it fell on deaf ears. RIM believed consumers use mobile to make conference calls, red emails securely and message securely and nothing more. But the mobiles were becoming the single device for multiple purposes. Then came Steve Jobs with his iPhone and changed the mobile market forever. Before RIM could breathe, iPhone has stolen the major share in the Smartphone market. Again RIM failed to understand the customer, which is a classical marketing failure. Corporate customers, primary customers for RIM is shifting to app powered Apple, Google and Samsung devices and RIM is at the brink of disappearing. None of the models like Storm, Torch, Z created an iPhone-like buzz. If RIM starts to understand its business properly like customer expectations, competitors’ strengths and product development, it can pull off a huge comeback. Will the RIMs of today pull up their sleeves and regain their past glory or will they perish like the Kodaks of the past? Only time will tell.
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markathon | aug 2013 markathon|month 2013
An Interview with Professor Barbara Kahn Professor of Marketing and the Director of the Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Barbara E. Kahn is the Patty and Jay H. Baker Professor of Marketing and the Director of the Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Barbara had earlier spent 17 years at The Wharton School as the Dorothy Silberberg Professor of Marketing. She was also Vice Dean and Director of the Wharton Undergraduate program. Barbara is an internationally recognized scholar on variety seeking, brand loyalty, retail assortment issues and patient decisionmaking whose research provides marketing managers with a better understanding of the consumer choice process. She has published more than 50 articles in leading academic journals. Between 1982 and 2006, she was the worldâ€™s seventh most published author of articles in the most prestigious marketing journals. In this exclusive interview, she shares with us some interesting insights on the world of marketing.
vartalaap cover story | Markathon: With close to three decades of experience in the academic world, which has been the most cherished experience of your career? Barbara: That’s a tough question since being an academic is such a rich positive experience – there have been so many high points. Being a marketing professor involves three critical areas - -and each is very rewarding. There is research, in which you come up with a new idea or run a series of experiments and illustrate a new way of thinking. Most of my research has been in the area of understanding variety and I’ve learned why people seek variety, when variety is good and when it is overwhelming and ways to increase the perception of variety. I have also done some research on patient decision making and have discovered ways to help patients cope with the stresses associated with those kinds of decisions. The second area is teaching, and it is always wonderful when students tell you that you have made a difference in their lives. And the third area is addressing business issues, and I just love when an industry person says to me, “where have you been all my life, your research is so relevant to what I do.”
Markathon: Would you say that marketing has become all the more challenging in a globalized world of today? How can firms position a strong global brand and manage it in this world of total transparency?
markathon | aug 2013 markathon|month 2013 everything associated with their brand. That is difficult since much of the communication about brands can come from consumer-consumer interaction.
Markathon: Can you throw some light on the variety of behavioral and structural shifts that are occurring with consumer decision making and purchase behavior as a result of the continued adoption of internet and mobile technology? Barbara: We have always known the consumer decision making process is staged. First consumers must realize that they have a need that can be satisfied by a purchase, and then they need to search for information about the brands that can meet those needs, then they have to evaluate the various alternatives, make a decision, a purchase and use the product. Then customers need to decide whether to purchase again, and whether to tell others about the experience. These stages have always existed, but now they occur 24-7 across many different channels. The information search can be done online or in the store, the purchase can be made on a mobile phone or at physical outlet. Social interaction can now reach literally millions of others. All of this makes the marketing job much more difficult; especially if the process is under one brand name. Consumers expect the various stages of the brand purchase process to be consistent, and they are generally channelagnostic. That means that retailers, for example, that had distinctly separate operations for their online business versus their offline business, now need to think about omni-channel strategies. This has implications for inventory management, human resources compensation, overall strategy and customer experience.
Barbara: The global connected world offers advantages as well as challenges. A strong global brand must have the same core meanings everywhere, even if the local implementation differs. That means the basic positioning should be universal as well as strategically differentiated. Transparency means that brand managers A strong global brand must have the same core have to actively meanings everywhere, even if the local manage their brand, authentically portray implementation differs. That means the basic brand messages and positioning should be universal as well as promises, and strategically differentiated. ultimately be responsible for
Markathon: As marketers today feel divided between short-term survival and long-term growth strategies, how can they achieve a
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balance between offering price promotions and brand building? Barbara: In the end, marketers need to be concerned about long-term growth and they should not be making short-term decisions that will ultimately threaten the long term positioning of their brands. This was the big lesson of the recession in 2008. Some luxury brands panicked in the holiday season of 2008 because inventories were bloated and consumers were not buying. In response some merchants deeply discounted their product, and undermined the long-term value of the brand. As marketers realized that was not the best strategy, they made subsequent decisions during those deep recession years by cutting costs and more strategically and realistically managing inventory.
Markathon: In the fast-evolving multi-channel, multimedia retail environment of today, what are the challenges that marketers face in deciding the ideal combination of channels to ensure maximum engagement with customers? Barbara: This refers to what I was speaking about earlier. The consumer is channel agnostic and anything that is branded must be consistent across channels and media. That means for example if there is inventory in the stores, the website should not show “stockouts.” This can happen though if the online business is managed distinctly from the off line business. Similar some brands had different buyers and merchandisers for their online businesses than for their offline businesses, or for one country versus another. All of these processes have to be integrated in a seamless way. Profitability, inventory management, customer experience has to be managed across channels, across countries and 24-7.
Markathon: You co-authored the book ‘Grocery Revolution’ that chronicled the dramatically changing supermarket industry and outlined how consumers make choices within the supermarket.
Could you share with us some insights from the same? Barbara: The book was written in the late 1990s and we were examining the threat of Walmart coming into the grocery business. This was and still is a very real threat for local and smaller grocers. The only way to compete was to focus on the meeting the needs of the customer. This suggests that supermarkets should have a consumer-focus rather than a product focus. To do this, a retailer must understand fully the consumer decision-making process. Much of the book focused on understanding that process and managing to it.
Markathon: As consumers are being bombarded with numerous reward programs with an eye on building brand loyalty, memberships are lying inactive and they have stopped paying attention to such programs. How can one devise a loyalty strategy that is able to create sustained demand? Barbara: In order to make these programs work a marketer has to have a customer-focused strategy and critically must deliver REAL customer value to keep a customer loyal and to increase customer share. The key insight is that it requires good customer knowledge; what are the customers’ preferences, what have they done/purchased in the past. Where do they get their information from? Understanding at a deep level how customers make decisions, and responding to those needs and preferences with real value is the only way to make these kinds of programs successful and profitable.
Markathon: What will be your advice to the aspiring marketers who read our magazine?
Know your customer and deliver value better than the competition. All customers are not the same
Barbara: Know your customer and deliver value better than the competition. Further, all customers are not the same. Segment the market and target customers who like what you offer and are willing to pay for it.
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markathon | aug 2013 markathon|month 2013
An Interview with Mr. Pawal Bindal Head of the Sales and Marketing Solutions Department at Dun & Bradstreet India
Mr. Pawan Bindal is the Head of the Sales and Marketing Solutions Department at Dun & Bradstreet India. He has been holding positions of high responsibility at Dun & Bradstreet for more than seven years in the areas of Research & Advisory Services, Economic Analysis Group, Risk Management Solutions besides the Sales & Marketing division. An alumnus of the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, he has had a rich experience in the corporate world at various capacities in high performance firms like Citibank & HSBC. Mr. Bindal specializes in the areas of product development, business strategy, business development, product management and marketing strategy. In this exclusive interview with Markathon, he takes us through his rich experiences and valuable insights in the world of information services marketing.
vartalaap cover story |
markathon | aug 2013 markathon|month 2013
Markathon: You have held positions of high responsibility in an array of domains starting from banking sector to risk management to business information services. Which has been the most exciting role in your career?
similar to how many companies mistakenly deploy IT as a “solution” – without first examining the business problem at hand. In a similar way, data usage has to be subservient to a marketing question and not seen as an end in itself.
Mr Bindal: At the risk of sounding conventional, I must say that (I hope) the more exciting roles in my career lie in the future. But yes, if I do look back – I have enjoyed all my different roles and gained from each one of them.
The second challenge relating to usage of data arises from data itself – i.e. data often presents itself as large pieces of unstructured data. This necessitates additional “rework” on data, often leading to marketers choosing to rely on experience rather than investing resources in data reformation.
I can recount my experience in Dubai, while I was working for D&B with focus on Middle East & Africa. Essentially, when I got this role – I had the question ‘what will my role be’ – and I thought it prudent to postpone this question until I landed there. And, when I did raise the question to my leader he simply said – “What is it that you want to do?” This set up a fascinating journey of 5 years+ of setting up a (economic & business) consulting business from scratch. The most exciting part of the role was to groom a team of (highly motivated and capable) young professionals with diverse backgrounds into a cohesive consulting unit. The real learning from this experience was that “we are only limited by our imagination”.
Markathon: In a recent IBM study, "Marketing Science: from Predictive to Descriptive," only 23% of marketers surveyed claim to be highly effective at using data to uncover new insights. What are the major challenges a firm faces in making sense out of the sophisticated data available?
The third challenge involves development of necessary culture and expertise around data and marketing analytics. Companies that actively develop a data-driven culture and encourage experimentation will have a greater chance of crossing the chasm between predictive and descriptive analytics.
Markathon: Today when brands focus on cutting costs and fail to show ROI on their marketing spends, the Data Management Solutions provided by you assure measured returns through analytics. Can you explain our readers how the same is accomplished? Mr Bindal: I think it is crucially important to distinguish between the core principles of marketing and the execution methodologies. While the core marketing principles remain the same, the latter is in midst of a transformation due to following:
How data usage is positioned
Mr Bindal: In today’s environment, availability of huge amounts of data poses as many questions as it answers and I see three broad challenges. The first challenge is around the how data usage is positioned. This is a bit
“Rework” on data Expertise around data and marketing analytics
a. Faster product evolution: Compare current frequency of product launches with that even a decade back. Today, to even survive in categories like mobiles, cars or even the “old-fashioned” products such as ready-to-eat snacks – one needs a new product launch every six months or sooner! b. Emergence of technology and social media: With consumers
vartalaap cover story | shifting where they spend time – marketers have to shift to – i.e. to mobile, internet and social media. This means that it is truly possible to personalize marketing and to measure results “directly”.
markathon | aug 2013 markathon|month 2013 perspective, especially in B2B arena, 80:20 rule often applies – i.e. 20% of the customers contribute about 80% of business. At the same time, the challenge is to identify and acquire new clients from the perspective of sustaining growth. It is also important to nurture existing account relationships through quality client servicing. In all of this, systematic information about the client: company profile, decision makers, product / service requirements, competitor actions etc. is often residing only with a few salespersons or simply unavailable. This is where consultancy firms, technology & data solution providers can play a role in building and harnessing a knowledge framework that leverages vital customer data.
The impact of these trends is visible in the way marketers adopt various marketing methods. While the need to measure ROI is in itself not a new phenomenon, the “time-cycle of return” has been shorted. In effect, the time gap between marketing intervention and expected results has been reduced from quarters and months to days and hours. Marketers need to, and are using data as a weapon more effectively. At D&B, we help our clients in knowing their customer better through our proprietary data and using the data insights to plan Markathon: Today the onus of improving the top line more effective marketing campaigns. Here one must of a firm lies solely with the Sales unit. And lead refer back to core principles or descriptive analytics – generation is the the use of our data really caters function that kickto the core principle of customer starts the sales segmentation and thus force. How does a ensuring the right consultant engage a From a corporate world marketing message firm to have faith reaches the perspective, especially in B2B and enter into a customer through arena, 80:20 rule often applies – close-loop lead the right medium. management i.e. 20% of the customers programs? contribute about 80% of business.
At the same time, the challenge is Markathon: Mr Bindal: I would Identifying the say that the topline to identify and acquire new clients most potential of a firm is an outcome from the perspective of sustaining customers forms the of multiple factors, growth most vital cue to wherein the Sales unit improve the final plays a most important role. conversion rates and In a B2B sales scenario, lead successful account closures in the generation has to be seen as a first corporate world. In such step in building a relationship with a times how distinctively client. Outsourcing of this first effective are the step is an increasing trend profiling solutions on today with the mantra on offer by consultancy business efficiencies. firms? Mr Bindal: From a corporate world
vartalaap cover story | The success of such (outsourced) lead generation programs invariably depends on how well trained is the outsourced team on various aspects of business. The customer is the best judge of the overall relationship and experience and votes with their budget / decision. A B2B marketer must hence subject this first (outsourced) step to the same level of quality scrutiny as he/she would to an inhouse salesperson.
markathon | aug 2013 markathon|month 2013
Marketers need to accept the bitter fact that, in the short-term brands that inappropriately leverage personal information may gain some traction.
Markathon: While companies are concerned over how to effectively leverage massive databases of personal information, consumers are concerned about the privacy of their data in corporate hands. In such a scenario, how can marketers make privacy a brand asset, not a brand liability? Mr Bindal: This is literally a multi-billion dollar question. As someone who is watching this space closely, I dare say that this debate on privacy versus marketers is only going to grow louder and louder. As individuals, we are all leaving our digital footprints all over the web and this information is a “virtual” goldmine for marketers. The moral and legal compass on privacy is today being pointed primarily at ‘social media’ companies that are seen to be collecting such information – say a Google, Yahoo or Facebook. However, marketers need to realize that they need to hold themselves to highest standards of privacy laws and practices – rather than assuming that this is a problem to be tackled by social media companies alone – i.e. outsourcing the moral and legal dilemmas is akin to abdicating responsibility.
Markathon: What will be your advice to the aspiring marketers reading the magazine?
Mr Bindal: My advice to all of you reading this magazine would be to always back yourself and follow your dreams. While this may sound (and is) cliché, but one needs to know that numerous reality checks await us when we start our careers. The collective direction and impact of these reality checks may cause us to dilute our dreams. However, to keep going and to have the passion one needs to succeed – one has to keep believing in and working for the dream. Another area that I would advise marketers is when choosing professional roles; choose businesses and segments that are on growth path or the primary focus of the employer organization in question. This is important to ensure that there is resonance of your efforts with the organization’s priorities.
One simple thumb rule to follow is to simply respect “the choice of the customer”. Also, marketers need to accept the bitter fact that, in the short-term brands that inappropriately leverage personal information may gain some traction. However, in the long-term (and possibly not too long given the intense activism on privacy), responsible brands will see their brand equity grow.
war zone | eye 2 eye
markathon | aug 2013
MAHATHI CHITTA | SCMHRD
SIDDHARTH SHAH | TISS
The social media usage in the 16th Lok Sabha Elections, which are barely a few months away, is unprecedented, especially with the giants’ pre-poll lock of horns online adding to the heat. The increase in buzz about social media following is due to •The middle class- the majority in the population got a platform to be heard. •The content posted comes unmodified. •Politicians can elucidate their agendas to the masses
I think social media followers are not just virtual armies but potential vote bank. They influence the vote bank both directly and indirectly. Social media's role was very vital in the street protests – the Hazare agitation, the protests sparked by the Delhi gang-rape etc. Social media has also created a platform for unfiltered news. For eg Janis Krums became a breaking news reporter by sharing evacuation plans via twitter. What social media has done best is that it has distributed power by rapidly increasing information sharing. Now a political party is not limited to its workers to influence voters. Everyone using social media plays a significant role in considerably influencing the vote bank. Social media generates soft leads. A like, a comment or sharing influences vote bank’s perception. As marketing strives to generate leads which determine the propensity of the inquirer to purchase, in a similar manner social media satire, posts, cartoons etc. on politics shape the perception and image of politicians which is converted into votes for them or their competitor. Another research talks about how we are hard wired for remembering live social media content rather than something in a newspaper or a book. This affects how we discuss political things posted on our social media profiles offline. Also the number of social media users in India at the time of the 2009 election was only 1.6 million. In 2014 this figure would be 80 million. In the end, a research by Iris knowledge foundation strengthens my point of view. They mapped Facebook users by Lok Sabha constituencies. In about 160 constituencies out of the total of 543 constituencies, where Facebook users account for over 10 per cent of the voting population are likely to be influenced by social media during the next elections.
But the potentiality to convert the social media following to real votes is questionable. The internet users in India are around 135 million-i.e., less than 11% of the total population. 78 millions are active on social networks-that implies 90% population would vote in traditional ways, uninfluenced by social media. More-so Venn diagrams of the different social networking users are overlapping. Of this, the percentage of eligible socially committed voters is lesser, considering the general turn-out. Majority users belong to urban areas but the rural turn-out is higher. Similarly majority users belong to middle class but lower classes hold the major vote bank. Out of 543 constituencies, 160 constituencies have high impact of social media, 67 medium, 60 low and remaining 256 have “no impact”. So the online “army” is actually a small number. Indian votes are mostly driven by religion, caste and region politics. Other factors are: •Disgust about the prevalent conditions •Promises made by the parties or the perks/favours given to the voters legally or otherwise •Loyalty and favouritism to one party or strong aversion towards another Most of these exercise their vote right but do not necessarily voice out. Potential vote bank means potentiality to ensure victory, which at the moment, the social media groups do not possess.
Topic for the next issue: “Over Emphasis on Data Analytics: Stimulating or Stifling Creativity of the ad-makers?” Your opinion (view/counterview) is invited. Word limit is 250-300. Last date of sending entries is 20th Aug, 2013. Include your picture (JPEG format) with the entry. 32
A like, a comment or sharing influences vote bank’s perception
Indian votes are mostly driven by religion, caste and region politics
LOK SABHA ELECTIONS 2014: SOCIAL MEDIA FOLLOWERS A POTENTIAL VOTEBANK OR JUST A VIRTUAL ARMY?
markathon | aug 2013
war zone | silent voice
LAST MONTH’S RESULTS
Theme: “Coca Cola 150th Year Special Limited Edition”
Raminder kaur | imi delhi
Tishya Relia | SIBM pune
Congratulations!!! Raminder and Tishya receive a cash prize of Rs 1000 each!
NEXT THEME FOR SILENT VOICE: Raymond- The Complete Man LAST DATE OF SENDING THE PRINT AD: 20th August, 2013 EMAIL ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Send your entry in JPEG format named as SilentVoice_<Your Name>_<Institute>only.
markathon | aug 2013
war zone | silent voice
â€œCoca Cola 150th Year Special Limited Editionâ€?
Honorary mention: Sharon Prasad | iim trichy
Hari shankar | IIM SHillong
Deepthi rokkam | lbsim
Malhar lakdawala | glim 34
markathon | aug 2013
A Marketing major? Who, me? These are perspectives of someone who is a new entrant in a product-based industry Keshav Sridhar | Batch of 2012|IIM Shillong Marketing courses offered in a management institute are so much fun and thumps us with the illusion of knowing everything that the marketing department of any company needs. ‘Ask the team to rework the logo’, ‘Ingredient branding is the one step solution’, ‘What nonsense, they should have improved the customer touch points,duh!!’ are words of wisdom we spew at ease upon analyzing a case after a healthy five minutes of analysis! You could tear down Intel’s marketing strategy and propose a plan to rake up their revenues can alter McD’s customer services based on differential advantages and magically make them successful in any country. BUT once you get to work for a company, you would probably want to rest your wisdom within the confines of your classroom. Upon joining, what typically happens is that one is asked to familiarize themselves with the company, their products, the operating environment and the competition. This is a very long process as it goes against our pedagogy which is all about skimming through. Out here, the people are real, the system is alive and the news is not about events that are disconnected to you, they determine your association with naukri.com and the likes. People who enter sales are to typically deal with expletives (give & take), move around a lot, travel light & smart and make-do with erratic food timings. They have the closest association with customers and need to interact with people more than processes. Out here, no current MBA concepts come to your rescue. It’s all
about common sense, ability to listen & take note and mastering Google Maps. Oh yea, a 3G connection goes a long way. The others who enter marketing have a relatively peaceful environment to work in. Your responsibilities will fall in either improving customer satisfaction( after sales), framing the pitching points for the sales team, garnering macro and micro environment data which helps in forecast & strategy ( Is that an MBA term I see!), dealing with pricing/ discounts, channel member relationship and probing newer areas to enter. Out here, your ability to think originally, using methods in statistics which can convince others to see what ANOVA etc. imply, what the current industry practices are and so on makes better sense. Unless a company is quite new, you can expect silos between smaller departments as well. The ease of information flow is actually…uneasy. Each team works on its own directive and department head. In fact, on a micro level, your team can be a stark contrast to what the majority of the company’s culture is. So, please do go with an open mind. Nothing is as it seems from outside. Although these pointers focus much on soft skills, you will know that they make more sense once you are in a system which involves people. When I was asked of my interest between sales or marketing, I was not sure where I had wanted to start; these were the words of my AVP, M&S ‘At the end of the day, it’s all about the thought-process. You get that right, you can don any role out here. It is as plain and simple as that’.
specials | ADdicted
markathon | aug 2013
Swikruti Panda | IIM S
Sushree Tripathy | IIM S
Product: Binani Cement
PRODUCT: MTS Always Talk plan
Positioning: “Sadiyon ke liye”
POSITIONING: “Best Value Promise”
Ad Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Mumbai
CREATIVE AGENCY: Rediffusion-Y&R YouTube Link:
Youtube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AfoomfNqVU
The ad is shot in the study of Mr. Amitabh Bachchan with soft notes of piano playing in the backdrop. As the camera rolls on to capture him reminiscing the loving memories of his parents, as he caresses their belongings like his father’s spectacles or tinkles with his mother’s bangles or flips through an old album, the legend speaks about how parents stay with us till eternity and never seize to amaze us through their presence in the most unconventional manner. We may see their glimpse in something we suddenly utter that they used to, in some of our gestures we picked sub consciously from them, in the hesitation we feel while lying and sometimes deep in the eyes of our children and grandchildren. The ad closes by saying that parents never leave us but stay in the subtleties of our lives forever …“Sadiyo ke liye”
MTS launched its latest campaign to promote its ‘Always talk’ voice call plan which is offered at an aggressive price point in the market. It has rolled out a nation-wide campaign, introducing their new brand ambassador Imran Khan. In the series of five ad films, Imran is portrayed as a politician, a bridegroom and a hostage among others. In each of the films, he faces an emergency and tries to call someone over the phone, only to get a busy tone. He tips off that the person on the other line is busy talking on an MTS network. The ending shot shows Imran frustrated at repeatedly trying to reach the other person and says this is bound to happen with people on an MTS talk plan.
VERDICT: Catch Brilliant take by a firm selling a commodity like cement! Mr. Bachchan with his strong legacy could not have been portrayed better to build such a strong emotional connect with something as mundane as cement. In a country where family values keep us all enrooted, there will be hardly any among the audience who could miss on connecting incidents in his/her life to what Big B speaks. Not only the script which in the baritone voice of Mr. Bacchan is like a beautiful melody but also the soft demeanor in which the ad is shot has left me in awe. The best part of the ad is that the celebrity is not recklessly selling the product. But it stays, if I have to make a purchase decision on cement, Binani is sure to ring a euphonious bell in my ears.
Based on the simple insight that the ‘Always talk’ plan enables MTS customers to enjoy voice calls without having to worry about the charges, the message is simple, relatable and comes out clearly. The catchy tune gives the ad a good amount of recall and the selection of Imran Khan as endorser cuts through the young and mass audience well. However, it cannot escape the fact that it is a hackneyed plot used by many brands earlier. The product specifications come at the very end, failing to make an impact. Another cause of worry is that the five films differ in humor and overall impact rendering the campaign inconsistent. Finally, the brand ambassador shown being frustrated with the very brand he is endorsing, though a brave attempt, may put them on treacherous grounds.
specials | radical thoughts
Escaping the Competitive Herd
-Youngme Moon Review by Pallavi Price Rs.432
Marketing is the only function within the organization that is expressly designed to sit at the intersection where business meets people. REAL people. And the problem with real people is that they don’t see the world the same way a businessperson does. They don’t speak the language of bullet points; they don’t organize the world into flowcharts and frameworks. People, real people, view the world more organically. They are idiosyncratic. They are unpredictable. They are beautifully disorganized. – Different, Youngme Moon
Summary: The book “Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd” by Youngme Moon stands on the premise that more fiercely the companies compete with each other, the more similar they become to the point that theses “differences” become laughable. This is particularly true in mature product categories. The author defines this point as a “heterogeneous homogeneity”: a point where there are actual differences between products, but to the consumer these differences are lost in the sea of sameness. This is a dangerous point for businesses because the essence of business is the ability to compete and the ability to compete depends on the ability to differentiate. But At this point the concept of competitive differentiation essentially becomes obsolete. The reason for this, according to Moon, is the increasing emphasis on business intelligence. With the advances in technology it is now very easy to gather data about the competitor activities and respond to them in shorter time period. However, what they do not understand is that “being better is not the same as being different”. She then goes on to give examples of brands that manage to stand out, creating loyal fans who are ready to go miles to defend the brand. One way in which
brands have done this is by not giving what the competitors offer and what the customers expect like in the case of IKEA where they do nothing: no pre-assembled furniture, no standard delivery, little variety in terms of design, no sales staff to assist customers or in the case of the clutter free homepage of Google as opposed to that of Yahoo! Although Moon states in the beginning itself that this is not a “how to” book, she mentions three criteria at the end which she believes the brands need to meet in order to differentiate themselves from the crowd. Firstly, that the brand will have to offer something that is difficult to obtain. Secondly, the brand will need to tie in with a new way of working or living and be part of a larger idea. And thirdly the brand will need to be humane.
Organization The book is divided into three parts. In the first section the author talks about the mistaken assumption that product proliferation begets product diversity. In the second section she brings out examples of brands that have been successful in standing out and how they went about to achieve this. The third section harps on the need for creativity – “the need to develop new habits, new disciplines, and new conventions” around the exercise of competition that would lead to the possibility that an extraordinary outcome may emerge.
Verdict: 5/5 The book is a fresh take on brands and what differentiation really is. The author brings in the concept of “competitive herd” and successfully articulates her ideas. It is insightful, thought provoking and entertaining all at the same time. Written in a very simple language the author gives it a personal touch with a generous sprinkling of anecdotes from her own life making it different from the regular management books.
Bottom-line A MUST READ
cover story||jab they failed specials
markathon|month markathon | aug 2013
JAB THEY FAILED: McDONALD’S GOES ADULT VAIBHAV ANNAM | IIM S McDonald’s has always enjoyed one of the quickest brand recalls among people across the globe. It has had, for ages, a children-friendly and lovable Ronald McDonald feature in most of its advertising campaigns. The mascot commands an immense global appeal. While brand promise of McDonald’s has been convenience, people do not mind going to this food outlet for a party or a hangout with friends. Towards the end of twentieth century, competition in the hamburger industry started increasing with Burger King emerging as a major competitor for McDonald’s. McDonald’s felt that it was being perceived as a “children’s brand” and decided that if wants a larger chunk in the market, it must make some products which were “Adult oriented”. Thus were introduced a chain of new offerings which included McDLT, Mc Lean Deluxe, Filet Fish Deluxe, Grilled Chicken Deluxe and Monster Mac. None of these products were successful but McDonald’s spent over $ 100 Million on research for another product which it was sure would appeal to the adult crowd. The product was called McDonald’s Arch Deluxe.
“You don’t even get a free toy with that”. What could be the result of a campaign like this? Doomed. All efforts by McDonald’s in vigorously trying to move toward an “adult-oriented” brand failed miserably. The TV Commercials featuring young kids only confused the viewers. The general perception that was developed was that McDonald’s burgers started to taste bad. Observing this reaction from customers, McDonald’s switched to its conventional way of advertising involving Ronald McDonald. The next set of commercials which followed showed the mascot doing grown-up activities like playing golf and going to night clubs. Alas, even this could not save Arch Deluxe. And eventually the product was taken off the menu in two years.
Introduced in May 1996, this burger was marketed as “Burger with Grown-up taste”. The burger contained a lot of ingredients ranging from quarter pound of beef, potato flour to mustard and mayonnaise sauce. The intention was to make the burger in such a way that kids would not be interested in even tasting the same. In fact advertisements which followed tried hard to drive the same point home.
What went wrong in this case? McDonald’s failed to address its brand promise – convenience. Every person who goes to McDonald’s knows that he is not in for the best tasting food. The value proposition over here lies in utter simplicity. A burger is a burger – how and why would you want to target different segments of customers when selling burgers? Another blunder which McDonald’s committed in its TV Commercials is that it showed kids making “yucky” faces at a product from its own menu. An onlooker will only get confused about whether the brand is trying to reposition itself or making a mockery of its own shortcomings. Understanding what a brand means to its customers is the most quintessential part of Marketing.
Fallon McElligott, an advertising agency based in Minneapoli was hired to develop the advertising campaign. One advertisement showed young children looking at a complex burger and saying, “I don’t get it”. Some children appearing the advertisements said,
Well, McDonald’s definitely learnt it the hard way. With close to a whopping $ 300 million spent on research, production and marketing, Arch Deluxe turned out to be the most expensive and embarrassing flop from the land of Roland McDonald.
specials | radical thoughts specials | radical thoughts
markathon | aug 2013 markathon|january 2013
Reviving the brand Datsun. Will it pay off for Nissan? Ashok A | IIM S This month in Radical thoughts, I am not going to take any particular stance. Rather I will provide arguments on either sides and leave it to the readers and the time to decide the fate of the much expected brand revival. The revival plan for Datsun started way back in 2009 as a part of Carlos Ghosn’s Power 88 strategy. Datsun always brings bad memories to the Nissan employees who were there when the Brand was killed. When Nissan dediced to bring the brand down, it was the second highest selling non-US brand in USA, with nearly 580,000 in sales. But Nissan stopped using Datsun brand name and decided to use Nissan instead to bring a corporate unity. This led to lot of confusion among the consumers and dealers alike. After this move, Nissan went on a downward spiral and this is considered as one of the worst marketing decisions in the history. The company almost touched the doors of bankruptcy before Carlos Ghosn came to the rescue and put Nissan back on track. Since it was a big slap for Nissan, now bringing back seems like walking on fire for Nissan. The main reason they want to revive the brand is simple. The growth for Nissan has stagnated in all developed countries and in emerging economies like India, South Africa, Russia and Indonesia, its market share is very less. For example, Nissan’s market share in India is 1.3%. And Nissan argues that they don’t have a car for these markets at right price points. They want to provide a sub 4 lakh mass car and this cannot happen under Nissan brand name because it is a Global brand. But why couldn’t Nissan have created a new brand altogethe r without facing the hassles of waking up the dead? The brand
could be kept less associated with the parent brand to reduce the chance of parent being affected in case of a failure. But Carlos Ghosn believes that reviving Datsun brand, which was once a successful brand, will create a sense of excitement in the market which it will act as a marketing tool and the marketing spend can be saved many folds. It is really tempting for an ambitious company like Nissan to place big bet on markets like India where on 38 out of 1000 people has a car compared with USA where 808 people per 1000 has a car. But Carlos Ghosn is putting all his hard earned victory and reputation at a stake. If he succeeds, he will become one of the best CEOs to inhabit this planet, but what if he fails? What will happen to him and Nissan is the biggest question in the rounds. Nissan says it does not keep the past failure of Datsun or any impending failure in mind, but is sure to pull the revival big time. Vincent Cobee, the head for Datsun is oozing with confidence and argues that a Sportsman does not think of failure when he is sprinting or during a football game, but we are pretty sure this revival is much more than a game. Many argue that Brand comebacks are opportunistic because of the macro-economic changes that have forced the people to shuffle their priorities and brand preferences. But history shows us that there is always positive behavior towards the retro-chic trend, as people believe it’s cool to be connected with the past. So even I am waiting for the verdict and we have to wait till Datsun Go goes into the market. Adios.
specials | Fun Corner
markathon | aug 2012 2013 markathon|september 2012
Fun corner KAMAL SALUJA | IIM S
specials | Fun Corner
ACROSS 3. Which hosiery company owns the lingerie brand ‘Wonderbra’? 5. Which is the world’s largest e-commerce retailer? 6. Under what brand name would PepsiCo be marketing
markathon | aug 2012 2013 markathon|september 2012 4. NourishCo is a JV between an Indian and a global FMCG major to market vitamin fortified water in India. Tata Global Beverages is the Indian major, which is the global major?
7. What is the new name of the company Cadbury India?
10. Which indie film by Anand Gandhi has received
8. The old refrigerator brand Kelvinator was relaunched
multiplex release thanks to support by Kiran Rao and a
last year. Which company owns the brand now?
well thought out social media strategy?
9. Which brand was concocted by William Lever in 1894
12. Which group has a grocery retail chain called
and sold it as a means to combat cholera? It is no longer
sold in UK but sold in India.
13. Which famous fast-fashion apparel brand has the
11. Which brand of water filter provided water to all the
policy ”If a new style is not a hit within a week, it goes
visitors of the most recent Kumbh Mela?
off the shelf”? 14. Edifice watches are sold by the F-1 team Infiniti Red 11. Tata Swach 9. Lifebuoy
10. Ship of Theseus
Bull Renault as official merchandise. Which co owns this
15. Which brand created an edutainment site, “thefuturegenius.com” and roped in Ruskin Bond to Blog in it?
Down 1. There was an advertisement for Tigre Blanc music app in the newspapers, last month. It was a surrogate advertisement for which product? 2. With which brand has Sachin Tendulkar had the longest association since 1990?
3. With which brand would you associate Hausla Buland Academy?
markathon | aug 2013
specials | updates
By Prateek | IIM-S
BRAND LAUNCH Oral Care Madhuri Style Consumer products giant P&G extended its Oral-B family in India with the launch of its toothpaste Oral B Pro-Health. And who better than Madhuri Dixit Nene to endorse the all-round protection guarantee the brand provides. The Indian toothpaste market pegged at around 6000 crore is dominated by Colgate and HUL. P&G’s Oral-B toothbrush has been a major success in the Indian market and the FMCG behemoth looks to cash in on the success of the brand name with this extension.
Economy mode, Blackberry way The emerging markets are proving to be the biggest battleground for smartphone makers. And Blackberry taking cognizance of this fact has come up with its latest avatar: Q5. The mid-range smartphone featuring 5MP camera primary camera and a host of other features is likely to face tough competition from Samsung Galaxy S4 mini, Sony Xperia SP and Nokia Lumia 820.
Audacity redefined with Audi S6 When you marry sporty, sophisticated and luxury, you get the new S6 from Audi. In a bid to increase its presence in India and in tune with its aggressive strategy, the German automaker presented Indian consumers with this engineering marvel. A new feature that they have added to control casualty and promote safe driving is the electronic speed governance when the need touches 250 kmph. Priced at around 86 lakhs, the new machine from Audi is likely to push BMW and Mercedes for new variants in the luxury segment.
BRAND WATCH Scaling Social Media with Adobe Adobe’s latest gift has put marketers in a position to tune in to customer conversation. Adobe social, an
integral part of Adobe Marketing Cloud looks to bridge the gap between social media and business. The new feature which can be added to Flickr, Foursquare, Instagram and LinkedIn, is an analytical tool which looks to scrutinize the business impact through social media campaigns and helps companies act according to the analysis given by the tool.
Google Nexus 7 on its way One of the most talked about devices in recent times, Google is planning to unveil the new version of its tablet much to the delight of people. The device manufactured by Asus on behalf of Google received rave reviews last year because of its product quality and price. With rivals like Acer and Amazon crowding the market, it will be interesting to see what Google comes up with in its latest offering.
India says Come Soon Datsun With the auto industry bleeding badly, Nissan tries to cheer up the consumer sentiments with its latest machine, the Datsun Go. To woo the price sensitive Indian consumer, Datsun has strategically pegged the price of this model in the sub 4 lakhs category, putting it in direct competition with Maruti and Honda. Datsun plans to lure the first time car buyers with its big car appeal. How its fares in the competitive market? Only time will tell.
MEDIA Coke UK ties up with Spotify In a bid to revamp the fifth P i.e. packaging, Coca Cola has introduced a snazzier avatar of its 250 ml can which features Spotify logo at the bottom. Supporting the logo is a line asking people to visit a website which enables them to tag the place where they are listening music. The app shows a red map of the world with tags of songs being heard by people across the globe.
Humor served with Amul “Eats milk with every meal” is the slogan of the latest print ad and digital campaign of Amul which is trying to
markathon | aug 2013
specials | updates
connect with consumer via the tested route of humor. The character depicted in the ad include a man trying to lift his car to change the tires, an office weirdo who hasn’t taken a sick leave in last five years and the like. Looks like Amul sure has its sight on maintaining its leadership in the processed food segment.
AD Watch Honda Hands: The best way to describe this ad is to fold both hands and stand in awe. This masterpiece created by Honda takes you through its journey of product evolvement and captivates your mind with the amazing graphics. At the end of the ad when the tagline ‘Power of Dreams’ flashes, you are simply left in awe and feel as if you have woken up from a dream. Youtube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dxy4n0UT82o
the people. Featuring Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan who is seen narrating several small instances to show how our parents live for eternity in the various subtleties of life in his powerful voice, this ad engulfs you and reminds you of the nostalgic moments with your parents. Youtube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AfoomfNqVU
Tanishq Mia A no frills ad conveying the message of the brand effectively is the best way to describe this effort by the jewelry giant. The beauty of the ad lies in the fact that it never tries to overpower the characters in the ad and very subtly plays the protagonists giving due importance to the theme of the ad. All in all, a nice visual with the right targeting and connect.
Binani Cement - Parental Love If the number of likes and shares on social media is something to go by, this ad surely seems to have struck the right chord and created an emotional connect with
Youtube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qq3Kh-tHsyk
Articles are invited “Best Article”: They receive a cash prize of Rs.1000 & a letter of appreciation We are inviting articles from all the B-schools of India. The articles can be specific to the regular sections of Markathon which includes: Perspective: Articles related to development of latest trends in marketing arena. Productolysis: Analysis of a product from the point of view of marketing. Strategic Analysis: A complete analysis of the marketing strategy of any company or an event. Apart from above, out of the box views related to marketing are also welcome. The best entry will receive a letter of appreciation and a cash prize of Rs 1000/-. The format of the file should be MS Word doc/docx. We’re inviting photographs of interesting promotional events/advertisements/hoardings/banners etc. you might have come across in your daily life for our new section “The 4th P”. Send your self-clicked photographs in JPEG format only. The last date of receiving all entries is 20th August, 2013. Please send your entries marked as <ARTICLE NAME>_<SENDERS’ NAMES>_<INSTITUTE> to email@example.com. 43
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