Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Markathon June 2011

Dear Readers,

As I sit down to write this editorial, the one word that is ruling the entire cyberspace is “Plus”. It has been only a day since Google launched its social networking feature called Google Plus and there is a huge clamour for the invites. Google has always come up with innovative applications and features, but has failed to capture the Social Media generation which has moved past the out-dated Orkut. Google Wave and Buzz were supposed to lure internet users away from Twitter and the likes but failed miserably. The initial response to both these services was huge as well, so it remains to be seen whether Google Plus can sustain user interest and hold its own beyond the initial hype surrounding it. A very big advantage for Google is they already have a substantial user base in their other services Gmail, Picasa, Youtube and a host of others. Google Plus is also offering users more security addressing the data privacy concerns which have recently started haunting Facebook users. Google has always been a good marketer of its services; the problem has been with the monetisation. Google Plus is no different; Google has to figure out how to make money from it once it crosses the barrier of acceptance by the users. They need to find a revenue stream which can complement the one from its search engine ads which drive most of Google’s growth.

Moving on to an entirely different sector, Toyota has launched the Etios Liva which is their cheapest car for the Indian market. Toyota aims to garner a large chunk of the Indian auto market. Team Markathon had done a Cover Story covering the Etios launch way back in December and predicted its success. It makes us happy to see that our prediction for Etios was right and Etios has shown a commendable sales volume since its launch. Toyota has gotten its positioning right and the Etios Liva should also see consumers queuing up to buy the car.

Talking about launches, the biscuits category in India has seen a wide variety of newer products hitting the market. The biggest launch was undoubtedly the Oreo cookies launched by Cadbury India, as a part of the Kraft Foods group. The Indian Market has a vast array of offerings and Oreo will have to do something special to gain a space in the minds of the consumer. Our cover story for the month “Cookies, Crackers and Creams” digs deep into the various segments under the biscuit category and gives you a view at the market trends and leaders.

In this month’s Vartalaap we have Mr. Russell S Winer who is the Chair of the Marketing Department at the Stern School of Business, New York University. Mr Winer shares with us his ideas about Product Management, Brand Management and Strategy.

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Sit back and enjoy this edtion!