Marketers need to break through the comfort zone

Painting into the future and meeting expectations are mantras for success for experiential industry, says Vahid Mehrinfar of Vahid Associates

e4m by Shree Lahiri
Updated: Jul 30, 2012 8:21 PM
Marketers need to break through the comfort zone

“Comfort and ambition don’t go together,” according to Vahid Mehrinfar, Founder and Chief, Brand Futurist, Vahid Associates.

Owner of a successful event management company, Mehrinfar shared the secrets of success from his personal experience while talking about ‘Thinking Tomorrow’. Tracing his personal journey, he disclosed that he had set up an event management company in the US and had organised several events, including a memorable one with Michael Jackson. He then relocated to Bahrain, where he set up his business from scratch. Describing himself as a ‘change agent’, a ‘driver of change’, and a ‘thought leader’, he said, “What’s important is to become, not be; not to sit back, but to break through the comfort.”

Mehrinfar stressed on the need to move from being just ‘content’ to ‘curiosity’. Propagating the importance of “evoking imaginary participation, a silent dialogue”, he said that’s what you need to do to go far, for that’s exactly what Bill Gates did.

Touching on the marketer’s dilemma, which he said is ‘expectation’, he gave his take on marketing: “anticipation of expectations – that’s what marketing is all about”. He masked arketers to encounter that complex thing called ‘expectation’, dig into the ‘greed factor’, to want ‘more’, for that will egg event professionals to lead and set the rules of the game, for “expectations are waiting to be”.

“Change for me means future - the only place that dominates expectations,” he said, on a philosophical note. Discussing “the place called future”, he said that “the best futurist is Mahatma Gandhi, in my book”. Future is the domain of the divine, the untouched and only a few people have scratched the surface - like Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. “The future is a wide canvas and whatever you manifest is yours,” he shared.

“Painting into the future, meet the expectations, and before the client tells you, surprise them,” is another secret he took out of his personal book. It’s important to “domesticate your audience” as all big brands domesticate their audience - like Louis Vuitton, Mont Blanc; all of them deserve to be where they are today.

Mehrinfar quoted his favourite quote by Michelangelo, “I saw an angel in the marble and carved until I set him free”, he said that the artist truly saw the future. That was seeing the end, through a “future lens”; making it a “now entity”, and “making the magic contact”. In nine out of ten events, he pointed out you don’t get that; most marketers are chiselling the marble and unable to “visualise the angel”.

His advice was: “Let’s not embrace the future, let’s abduct it before it arrives to our favour!” “Design your story and tell it well, Steve Jobs did it,” he concluded.

Vahid Mehrinfar was speaking at the fifth annual convention of Events and Experiential Marketing Association (EEMA) – EEMAGINE 2012. The convention is being held in New Delhi over three days – July 28, 29, 30.

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