A space as dynamic as marketing cannot provide deliverables in any industry without incorporating innovation. For any business, the smart consumer is the king and creator of ‘the need’. This leads businesses to conceptualise a product, as well as sell the same need to the consumer by marketing it. A lackluster response from the market is eventually a yardstick of failure for any marketing concept. Traditional medium, till date, creates a strong connect in the mindsets of consumers. In our society, striking an emotional chord has always done the trick, and by adding virtual tangibility, I think we have a marketing gimmick which is here to stay.
Undoubtedly, marketing in the digital space is moving faster than ever. Proliferation of social media is another instance of it being the next big thing in the marketing universe. With respect to social media, there lies a power to change people’s minds. In fact, the opinion leaders choose to marketing in platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Blogspot, which were used for networking in the personal space of interest only until just a couple of years back. They serve as a tool for market research and survey, with a turnaround time that couldn’t be expected through any other medium. In today’s market, where new product introductions are risky and an expensive bet, out-of-the-box marketing and the investment in them is always a wise decision.
Mobile marketing is the next big thing. Innovations as engaging as apps in Android, iOS, BlackBerry and Symbian are the latest in the sphere of innovative marketing. It is amazing how you wouldn’t need to call a friend for directions anymore, thanks to Google Maps; you wouldn’t need to text anymore, thanks to Whatsapp and Foursquare that let the world know where you are at. The advent of mobile applications, though fairly new, has taken over largely the marketing space in mobiles. Initiatives have been path breaking for marketing and awareness. Any target audience of a business is a smart phone user. Apps have proven to be one of the most impactful ways of marketing.
It is universally acknowledged that Apple had some fabulous tricks up its sleeve for innovative marketing. Steve Jobs always referred to Apple products grammatically in his keynote speeches as persons and never as objects; “iPad does this” instead of “the iPad does this”. Subtle, but it worked. Apps provide a direct connect with the consumer by engaging them and then delivering the response to their queries. Who would have thought that a search for a basic necessity as restaurant options and figuring out an indicative price before visiting them could become accessible trough apps, be in any platform? For businesses, such consumer connect initiatives have been path breaking for marketing and awareness. Any target audience of a business is a smart phone user. Apps have proven to be one of the most influential ways of marketing.
A regular lifecycle of a product is determined by the different stages of marketing and sales. Even successful brands need constant nurturing and marketing. Purchase intentions and brand loyalty could be among few of the external factors that would define the direction of the marketing plan. Innovative concepts could be a constant in any business, but a mere mismatch in the responsiveness of the consumer may significantly deter growth. How Ovaltine saw a dent in brand sales in the 1980’s because consumers failed to see significant differences between the brand and its main competitor, Horlicks, and how Canada Dry lost its market in India with Coke stepping up the marketing game are small instances to reiterate the fact.
(Upasana Nath is Head of Zomato.com’s Bangalore operations.)