Delhi Management Association (DMA) and All India Management Association (AIMA) jointly sought to understand and reveal ‘The Changing Face of Marketing’. The day-long summit was held in Delhi on January 25, 2008.
Jagdish Ahuja, Executive Director, DMA, delivered the introductory note, while C S Puri, Life Patron, DMA, delivered that welcome note. The Summit was moderated by Arun Shankar, Chairman-Marketing and Sales Committee, DMA.
Quite a few well-known corporate names were present at the Summit, including, Mahendra Swarup, Chief Mentor, Smile Interactive Technologies; George Paul, GM – Marketing and Sales, Ericsson India; V Ramachandran, Director – Marketing and Sales, LG; Venkatsh Kini, Director – Marketing, Coca-Cola India; Pradeep Srivastava, Chief Marketing Officer, Idea Cellular; Deepak Sethi, Founder and CEO, Solutions QED; and Sanjeev Shukla, AGM – Marketing and Communication, Hero Honda, among others, along with several managements students.
Sessions during the Summit covered various topics related to marketing – ‘The Market’, ‘Marketing Strategy’ and ‘Targeted Marketing’. The first session of the day highlighted the ‘new’ emerging consumer and the changing market place. The emerging middle class with spending power delighted marketers. Kids are no longer on the sidelines of buying decisions in a family, but active participants, often even prevailing over the adults. The sessions also highlighted the fact that women were succeeding in hitherto predominantly male domains and were increasingly being seen as role models of today. Technology has become part of one’s daily life, and with the mobile revolution, it has become one of the most effective ways of reaching out to people.
Coca-Cola India’s Kini said, “Today’s consumer is ageless, the gender gap is blurring and consumers are more conscious about their health and wellness when buying products. There has been growing public activism in recent years, with movies like ‘Rang De Basanti’ and ‘Lage Raho Munna Bhai’ empowering the middle class to stand up and be counted. The market should be a part of the solution.”
Idea Cellular’s Srivastava pointed out, “Earlier, a foreign product was highly admired, but today, we are celebrating everything Indian. It is fashionable to wear Fab India clothes, ethnic Indian colours. There is a significant change in lifestyles. People have more choices today and everyone is taking part in this change.”
Srivastava added, “The market has shown that there is a desire for instant gratification and bolder themes that sends out the right message about the product to the consumers. The consumer demands enhanced service, which is more compelling and more sensitive to the changing mindset.”
While talking about targeted marketing QED’s Sethi said, “When the company is into mass marketing, they should be clear about their target group as marketing is not easy and there is a feeling of uncertainty. The company should be clear about the target consumer’s behaviour demographically and psychographically. It is important to understand the consumer sharply, deeply and correctly.”
Agreeing with Sethi, Hero Honda’s Shukla said, “It is important to read the consumer so that his pondering about the product could be transformed into him buying the product. The idea is not to stand away from the crowd, but to stand with the crowd.”
Sethi added, “First, it is very important to identify who you are speaking to; understand the change in their behaviour; find out who is doing what, and why is he doing?”