Saturday, September 10, 2011

Markathon August 2011

Dear Readers,

The course on Consumer Behaviour last term probably hasn’t made it easier to understand today’s consumer, in fact, it only made me realise how complicated consumers are. As Marketers, no matter how hard one tries to decipher the psyche of the customer, the customer almost always behaves unpredictably. The one person who went against all odds, and got most of this products bang on target with the customer’s needs and their behaviour was Steve Jobs. Apple Inc. will surely miss Jobs who has been called the ‘shrewdest marketing brain’ of all time and is often talked of in reverent tones even by his fiercest competitors.

Some categories make consumer behaviour an even more interesting and bewildering subject. The tobacco industry and cigarettes make up one such product category. India does not allow Cigarettes and other tobacco related products to be advertised in any of the mass media formats. The cigarette giants have often used the Surrogate Advertising concept to create awareness about their brands. Our Cover Story for this month – ‘Smoky Realms’, takes a deeper look into the 4P’s of the cigarette industry and also an added 5th P – Popular Culture – which has played an influential role in creating the ‘image’ that cigarettes have in the mind of the common man. We have tried staying away from the health and legal issues and instead focussed on how companies operate in this hyper-competitive and one of a kind industry.

Our other articles in this month’s issue also relate closely to consumer behaviour. The article on NeuroMarketing takes us into this rapidly emerging field which tries to understand how the consumer’s minds react to various stimuli and how this is useful for a marketer. The other article discusses how some companies have managed to manipulate the consumer to the companies’ advantage and capitalise on some of their ‘guilts’.

We also have a very special article contribution for this month. The article on Strategy for Inclusive Growth by Samaresh Shah (Sr. Business Manager at Capgemini) discusses how holistic development holds the key to the future. We thank Mr.Shah for taking out time from his busy schedule and penning down his thoughts for Markathon.

Our Anniversary Edition, which was a Vartalaap Special was very well received by one and all. We thank the readers for their feedback. Taking cue from the fact that the interviews were enjoyed by all our readers we have decided to have two Vartalaaps every month. One each from the Corporate world and the leading marketing academia from B-Schools around the world. For this month, we have Mr.Hasit Joshipura who is currently VP South Asia and Managing Director, India for GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd. He gives us wonderful insights into how GSK has managed to sustain a leadership position in the Indian industry over the years. From the world of academia, we have Mr.Venkatesh Shankar , Coleman Chair in Marketing, Mays Business School, Texas A&M University and is also a visiting faculty at the Indian School of Business , Hyderabad.

As always, do send us your feedback and suggestions for the magazine on .

Sit back and enjoy this edition!

Jitesh Pradeep Patel