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Greater engagement, innovation, co-creation remain key for marketers

25-November-2011
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Greater engagement, innovation, co-creation remain key for marketers

The Bangalore leg of Pitch CMO Summit 2011 witnessed top marketers prescribing greater engagement and taking the innovation route to win over customers. With the tone for the day being set by the keynote speaker, Neeraj Chandra, the day was a complete amalgamation of marketing ideas and analyses. Amish Tripathi, the author of bestselling books, ‘The Immortals of Meluha' and 'The Secret of the Nagas’ became famous not just for his content and the writing style but also for the unusual and effective marketing strategies.

He said, “A good product does not sell itself; it also needs good marketing. The same holds true for books as well.” The writer put to use some unconventional marketing like video trailers describing the book (both on web and in-store), events etc to carve a niche for the same. Tripathi was further quizzed about his marketing strategies for his upcoming book on which he has been working for the past 10-15 days.

Sudip Ghose, Group Marketing Director, Samsonite South Asia was the fourth speaker for the day. He revealed how the moment of truth for marketers is the point of interaction with consumers. He further elaborated on his theme, which was, ‘Engaging consumers in a low involvement category’ saying, “There are two routes to reach the consumers, the rational route and the emotional route.”

He said that rational route is usually the one in which purchase is driven by performance superiority and tangible results. The emotional route was the covert way of reaching consumers. It rides on the aspirational and loyalty quotient. He gave examples of marketers who were using either the rational or the emotional route. To this he added, “Premium brands such as Samsonite need a proper mix between rational and emotional approach.” He expressed his brand’s aspiration by saying, “We would like to change travel gear to travel wear.”

K Ramakrishnan, President Marketing, Café Coffee Day, fondly known as Ramki shed light on being relevant in the marketplace by speaking on the topic, ‘Marketing to the ever-changing consumers: Keeping it relevant’. He suggested that one must not talk to consumers, but talk with them as the ‘outsider tag’ happens to be detrimental to a brand’s success.

He also suggested that a brand must give freedom to the consumers as that is what they love the most. This can be achieved by letting consumers interact with the brand where, how and when they want to. On using social media for marketing their product/service, Ramki recommended that marketers who are not used to bad feedback should not be on social media.

Karthi Marshan, EVP and Head- Group Marketing, Kotak Mahindra Group was the next speaker who spoke on marketing the intangible. He started off by defining what ‘intangible’ actually means and how banking is headed the same way. While currency until now was tangible in the form of notes and coins, it has taken the intangible route with the onset of phone-banking and internet-banking. To bring in the ‘tangible’ element to banking, Kotak Mahindra came up with a book, ‘Everything you wanted to know about Investing' in association with CNBC-TV18. It was observed that people started relating to the brand in a better way.

Later, Kotak leveraged it in the form of ‘Its grt 2b 25’ campaign for better brand connect. The brand wanted to achieve the goals of brand awareness and brand recall with the same. Marshan said, “When people adopt the brand’s language and make it their own, that’s when we know that we’ve done something that is moving the intangible into a key place in their head and heart.”

Ravi Vora, Marketing Head, Flipkart.com, spoke on ‘Consumer Behavior and Marketing in Digital Space’. He gave the audience a background of the internet scene in the world and then drew people’s attention to India where around 100 million people use the internet. This number is expected to become 237 million by 2015. Keeping the scenario in mind Vora suggested, “Players active in the digital space must keep the message simple and creative and go for the click-based model.” He also suggested that an extensive online campaign should be taken up only if the target audience is tech-savvy.

Bhuwan Gaurav, Marketing Head, Tanishq was the last speaker for the day. He spoke on ‘Understanding the Indian middle class’. He expressed, “Jewelery is one of the most emotional of categories which is evaluated in the most rational of terms.” He focused on how a corporate brand can become a prominent player in a market where traditional family jewellers benefit from the emotional connect that they share with consumers.

He explained the consumer behavior of women who are fast evolving with changing times but still prefer to hang on to their traditions. He said that Tanishq as a brand was trying to revitalize the same. This could be seen in the brand’s campaigns as well which usually focus on wedding as the theme. Tanishq is also exploring new categories such as ‘work wear jewellery’ where no other brand has ventured until now. Gaurav attributed this as the reason behind launching the Mia, a sub-brand of jewellery under the Tanishq.

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