While marketing has changed in shape and form over the years, what has remained constant are its basic principles. It’s still about creating a demand in the marketplace and then deploying adequate expertise and techniques to enable a brand achieve its objective. The concept of marketing, therefore, hasn’t changed. What’s changed is the context.
At the Mumbai round of the Pitch CMO Summit 2010, held on November 16, keynote speaker Sanjay Behl, CEO, Reliance Big TV, explained how marketing had evolved over the years from the traditional 4Ps of the Nineties to a more contemporary approach, which was about People, Purpose, Perspective, Protection and Participation.
Behl took the audience through the three phases of marketing – the pre-Nineties era (Marketing 1.0), the post Nineties era (Marketing 2.0), and the current 2010 era (Marketing 3.0).
While the traditional 4Ps (Place, Product, Price, Promotion) were relevant in the era of Marketing 1.0, Marketing 2.0 was about People, Positioning, Productivity and Profit. “We saw the opening up of the economy in this phase, Exim policies were relaxed, there was rise in consumerism and the economy was booming. With all the growth opportunities, the focus for marketers was on ROI,” Behl pointed out.
“Marketing 3.0 is what defines most brands and marketers do today,” he added. He then went on to explain the five biggest trends impacting Indian and global brands…
1- Touch world
Press a button and get any information you want. There were 6.5 billion people having a mobile phone and almost one-third of the world was currently present on the Internet, explained Behl. “Data bandwidths are exploding, and it’s just not about penetration, which is increasing. Very soon you will see High Definition content on the Internet… Earlier, we had 80-85 per cent of the bandwidth on email, but now, video streaming has increased dramatically, which is now around 65 per cent of the total bandwidth usage,” he informed.
On Social Media, Behl said, “Most of the social media brands are five years old, and are huge in terms of valuation (approximately 300 million).” He observed that 35 per cent of India was under the age of 19 – an audience that did not understand traditional language; they wre born with gadgets. Behl further maintained that the need for marketers was to look at social not as a media platform to advertise, but as a network through which brands could converse with their audiences.
He observed that the world had become a borderless place, where several brands had forayed into India, and Indian brands, too, were expanding their footprints to foreign markets. In an era of global marketing, Behl stressed on the importance of a clear understanding of the positioning of a brand, and how one could look at using that in a local market. “What is cool in India is very, very different from what is cool in the US,” he pointed out. Citing the global positioning of McDonald’s, which is about - Simple, Easy and Enjoyment, what that means in India might be different from what that means in the UK.
Behl also pointed out that the Internet content was doubling every year – 3,000 ad exposures per day… 40,000 brands in the supermarket, 1,000 brand media apertures – and all this was happening at a rapid pace. “From mobile to billboards, the media is exploding, so it’s critical to have a unified brand identity,” he emphasised.
According to him, in an era of hypercompetition, it was critical to protect and safeguard one’s territory. “India is not good at protecting its own territory, unlike other countries. Try launching a brand, with an ‘i’ attached to it, you will get a legal notice immediately,” he challenged. He urged the audience to protect their brands and businesses in the era of hypercompetition.
Advocacy versus Advertising
With the influx of social media, advocacy has seen a significant rise. Behl noted, “You can’t control this phenomenon of advocacy, but you can definitely become a part of it, so the marketing has to be more participative, where you involve and engage your customers… Make people contribute to your brand – that’s the best thing that could happen to your brand.”
Besides Behl, the other top marketers who shared their rich marketing lessons and expert views at the Pitch CMO Summit 2010 in Mumbai included Chandramouli Venkatesan, Director, Strategy & Chocolates, Cadbury; Sanjay Tripathy, Executive Vice President and Head – Marketing, HDFC Standard Life; Shripad Nadkarni, Founder-Director, MarketGate Consulting; Anup Jain, Director, Marketing, Pizza Hut Indian Sub-continent; Ronita Mitra , Head – Corporate Brand Group, ICICI Bank; Vinay Bhatia, VP - Marketing and Loyalty, Shoppers Stop; Sriram Padmanabhan, General Manager, Marketing, Ford India; Peshwa Acharya, VP & Head – Marketing and Consumer Experience, Reliance Retail; and Pratik Seal, Head, Marketing, Micromax.