Understanding the prosumer’s mind

Brands are ideas that exist in minds. The role of advertising is to plant that idea, which then needs to be converted into sales, say experts

by Shree Lahiri
Published - Mar 6, 2012 7:38 AM Updated: Mar 6, 2012 7:38 AM
Understanding the prosumer’s mind

When it comes to distribution/ channel dynamics enhancing results, it is a tough act to follow, feels Paritosh Joshi, CEO, Star CJ Network India.

Amrit Thomas, CMO, United Spirits, on the other hand, noted that there had been an evident evolution in the Indian economy in the last few decades. “In a country like ours, availability comes before choice. Also, as distribution channels have evolved, the nature of the choice of marketers and the choice of customers has also become complex,” he observed.

There are pragmatic issues, given the sheer scale of the country and statutory compliance in managing distribution. But a lot of interesting things lie in this arena.

Commenting on the process, Thomas elaborated, “Brands are ideas that exist in our minds and go beyond products. The role of advertising is to plant that idea, then you need to convert that into sales and market share.” He pointed out that the Internet and mobile phones had made propagation of ideas extremely easy – whereas earlier it was word-of-mouth or other’s experiences or generation to generation. Now, the time period is shortening. Another factor is the sheer availability and improved understanding of how the mind works. He observed that “sometimes marketers get sucked into the world of advertising”, but one needed to focus on how to take ideas and convert them into sales.

“You need to understand the act of shopping, and then the act of consuming; you need to understand the sales team, the consumers,” Thomas said, added that however, people did not do that, and that was why they didn’t get the ROIs.

Coining the word, ‘prosumer’, which is a combination of producer and consumer, he said, “You need to understand the prosumer’s mind and how you manage to drive their minds. The interaction between emotion and reason works in all stakeholders.” He emphasised on the importance of “touch points and the influence of those touch points. Advertising is one touch point, shopkeeper’s recommendation is another, there can be numerous touch points; having understood touch points, you can calculate brand experience points and brand experience share”. “You understand the strengths and weaknesses of brands through the touch points and how it is working here,” he noted.

“Brand dynamics are coming into channels and distribution,” he said, adding, “I see it holistically. There’s a need to see the whole picture – from the idea in the mind to the way it sells.”

Amrit Thomas and Paritosh Joshi were speakers at AIMA’s second annual World Marketing Congress, held in Delhi on March 2-3. The theme for this year’s congress was – ‘Exploding Marketing (Power)’.

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