On a somewhat discordant note, top advertising professionals nearly concluded that formal, structured research adds no insights to improve consumer understanding. Piyush Pandey, National Creative Director, O&M, chuckled that none of his award winning creatives were based on formal research. He was speaking at the CII Marketing Summit, organized in New Delhi last week.
"I believe more in instinct. In most cases, research doesn't give any clear insight. Instead of formal research, we should look at consumer behavior around us," said Santosh Desai, Exec VP, McCann-Erickson.
Sniggered Pandey, "If research and processes were the answer (to great works), then all would be successful."
These comments were made during a session titled 'Generating more bang from the advertising buck' held as part of CII Marketing Summit, on August 22 in New Delhi. Strangely none of the panelist apart from panelist Jasmin Sohrabji, Sr VP, MediaCom, including the moderator Suhel Seth argued these observations. The panelists included Piyush Pandey, Santosh Desai, Jasmin Sohrabji. Ironically, as senior advertising professionals, most would have recommended many researches to their clients in their professional careers.
It is difficult to understand why a topic like 'Generating more bang from the marketing buck' had no marketers on the panel. When an audience member asked why other issues like Promotions were not discussed by the panel, Pandey roared, "A cricketer can only talk about cricket not Olympics."
Sohrabji however cited an example whereby television audience research was used to deliver a better plan. But she clearly was in a minority.
Addressing the main issue 'Generating more bang from the marketing buck,' Pandey decided to roll his tape that featured some fine advertising on brands like Fevicol and M-Seal. He said this was 'his way' of stretching the buck. He added that Fevicol for instance spent only Rs 3 crore but managed to deliver much greater bang.
Santosh Desai offered an advice to build Indian marketing theories, rather than borrow. "In US, every thing is a trend because they have a very short history. India is very unlike US. Our sensibilities and beliefs have been formed after centuries of churn. We need to keep that in mind. Obvious and apparent research findings have much deeper root. So our marketing theories should be built from the scratch."