"Balance head and heart - that's key in marketing"

From brand integration, creating a desire to consume & transparency to a child’s curiosity level – some leading experts share their marketing mantras

e4m by Simran Sabherwal
Updated: May 30, 2013 7:48 PM
"Balance head and heart - that's key in marketing"

In the eighties, a single Sunday morning spot on the popular show ‘Mahabharat’ was a sure-shot success strategy for marketers to get eyeballs and the required jump-up in sales. However, it’s a completely different ball game today; marketers have to make sure they are available not just on traditional media such as television, print, radio and hoardings, but also on other out of home devices and digital platforms. So, how do marketers make sure they stand out above the clutter and get their brand message across multiple platforms?

From ZoosZoos and Zumi Zumi to integrated marketing with big-ticket properties such as ‘Bigg Boss’ and IPL, Vodafone is one brand that has managed to not just grab eyeballs, but also create an emotional connect with the consumer.

Anuradha Aggarwal, Senior Vice President – Brand Communication & Consumer Insights, Vodafone India is a believer in brand integration and believes that integration is not just about activation, but also significantly integrating the brand within the property as this ensures getting the value for the money spent. Aggarwal adds that marketing creates a desire to consume and lists out some pointers on what a marketer should do to create that desire.

Listen: A marketer should have the ability to listen to the end consumer and understand what their values are
• Empathy: A marketer should be able to generate some empathy with audience
Passion: A marketer should have passion for the product that he is marketing. If a marketer lacks the passion, he will not be able to sell to the consumer
Execution: The best laid plans will fail if the plan is not detail-oriented in execution

According to Bharat Kumar Ranga, Chief Content and Creative Officer, Zee Entertainment Enterprises, a marketer should work to win a consumer’s heart, and this can be done by keeping the child alive within. He believes that it is important to use the heart like a child and not like an adult as it is important to be like a child (and have high curiosity levels) to connect with the consumer.    Ranga also adds that with social media giving the silent consumer a voice, the judgment of a marketer becomes critical as the marketer needs to be sure that the comments on a social media are from the brand’s core target group.

Narayan Sundaraman, Director – Powered Beverages, Gum & Candy, Cadbury concurs with Ranga and adds that the ability to ask questions like a child is fundamental to marketing. He also believes that to be a successful marketer, one needs to keep in mind certain pointers while formulating any strategy:

• A marketer needs to be on a learning mode, if you think you know everything then a big fall
A marketer needs to have innate curiosity
Recognise that things don’t happen on own initiative, but it is a collective effort
Balance head and heart, that’s a key in marketing
Get excited not by the budget, but ideas that you get to spend it on
• Remember that the consumer is king and that the power lies with the consumer

Gaurav Seth, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications, Sony Entertainment Television (SET) feels that today’s marketer should try and imbibe humility, as marketing is not just about the end result, but also about a long process. For Seth, the lessons in marketing are in the 4Cs:

Conviction:  A marketer should have strong self belief that there is merit in going down the road chosen and create ideas
Confidence:  A marketer should have the confidence to make it happen and understand the ramifications of what can happen
Charm: Effective marketing has to have charm to sell an idea
Creativity: It’s important to not forget the power of creativity and innovation

Rajiv Bakshi, Vice President – Marketing, South Asia, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific believes that while social media has thrown up opportunities for brands to connect with consumers, the medium is also forcing marketers and brands to become more transparent. Bakshi believes that a marketer should be clear of his role and keep in mind the following points:

Align to the business role of the company and understand the requirement of the company and the brand
Spend money wisely on things that matter and not what is fashionable
Today’s marketer is also a sales person, as a good marketer has to have passion to sell ideas everyday
A marketer has to have a passion for storytelling

Anuradha Aggarwal, Bharat Kumar Ranga, Gaurav Seth, Narayan Sundaraman, Rajiv Bakshi were speaking at a panel discussion at the Promaxbda India 2013 conference. The panel was moderated by Meenakshi Menon, who recently set up Social Access with ad veteran Lynn de Souza. Promaxbda India 2013 was held in Mumbai on May 29.

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