Guest Column: "Efficacy, efficiency & experiential will be key buzz in mktg in 2014"

The marketing narrative in 2014 will centre around the efficacy & efficiency of marketing plans, says Karan Kumar, GM - Marketing, ITC's Lifestyle Retailing Business

by Karan Kumar
Published - Jan 14, 2014 8:40 AM Updated: Jan 14, 2014 8:40 AM
Guest Column: "Efficacy, efficiency & experiential will be key buzz in mktg in 2014"

Karan Kumar, General Manager – Marketing, ITC’s Lifestyle Retailing Business shares the top six key trends in the marketing world for 2014.

Emphasis on Efficacy and Efficiency - The marketing narrative in 2014 will centre around the efficacy and efficiency of marketing plans, given that brands are operating under increased pressures of profitability. Far from being creatively limiting, this is actually a perfectly context to be operating from as any other mind space would be less than optimal.

Sharply defining Operating Platforms - Marketing plans will more sharply define their operating platforms - consumer engagements, loyalty programmes, digital marketing and the power of PR would be some dimensions of a marketers plans that would receive attention and commitments perhaps not witnessed earlier.

Rise in Experiential Marketing - Experiential marketing more than vanilla above-the-line marketing will also curry greater favour in the year ahead. Brands will be more innovative and invested in such endeavours more than ever before; and while some would see these as costlier techniques to engage and reach consumers, ultimately these would prove to be more effective ways to target consumers which bands would endeavour to.

Rise of digital consumption of Content - Smart phones, tablets, ‘phablet’, etc., are rapidly penetrating urban and rural markets across price points and across consumer SEC classes. Brands will take much more serious cognizance of the above trend and will put in an “over-proportionate” effort to ensure that their communications reach on platforms beyond laptops, TV (accentuated with the ad caps), radio and conventional print. This would mean brands working with Apps more than ever before, brand working with innovative and high “viral-ability” content more than ever before.

Rise of Micro Marketing - Micro marketing focusing on specific markets and geographies will become more important. We will see brands working more closely with retail windows that are not just displays but interact with consumers that stand in front of them and this is only a logical extension of how we have seen outdoor platforms becoming much more intelligent, interactive and innovative in the year gone by.

The rise of community engagement - Brands will also be making an extra effort to provide platforms to its consumers to express their voice. Brands will endeavour to engage with groups and communities and not individuals, communities that are becoming increasing restive and eager to participate across various social and geo-political platforms. Suddenly, the brand does not need to create flash mobs, it is right there, almost begging to be activated by a brand that is proactive enough to identify the opportunity, especially if it stands for a certain core messaging that can be interpreted in the larger context of times the nation is passing through. We could also see an increase of “cause-related”marketing platforms that brands either wish to activate or want to be a part of what is on-going if it strategically fits in with the brand’s core.

The author is General Manager – Marketing, ITC’s Lifestyle Retailing Business.

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