Customer engagement has become an integral element of marketing for all companies today. They want to talk to the customer, listen to the customer’s feedback and act on it. The recent course I took on Integrated Marketing Communications only reinforced the fact that, brands today are emphasising a lot more on media that enable a 2 way communication with the customer rather than just broadcast media. These media, help companies reach out directly and get first hand insights from their customers—Companies want to have conversations with their customers and convert these conversations into actual transactions. Being in the customer’s mind is what every company is aiming for and there are various ways they go about it. One of the ways companies do this is Corporate Social Responsibility. CSR is a way of giving back to the society, but it is also about creating a good image for the brand. The line between doing good and doing it for the sake of brand building seems to be getting blurry. “Greenwashing” has now become a common phrase for companies which do green initiatives just for getting a positive image. In this month’s cover story, we’ve tried to ask a simple question ‘Does CSR really help in building brands?’. In the story, we look at different companies and what CSR means to them some of them who have really been successful in leveraging CSR to their brand’s advantage and also some who haven’t been so successful at it. We hope you enjoy the story!
In this month’s Vartalaap we have with us Mr. Anand Khurana who is the Business head - Out of Home (F&B Services) & Modern Foods (Bakery) at Hindustan Unilever Ltd. Mr. Khurana talks to us about how HUL is focussing on its Out of Home division for increased profitability. We are thankful to Mr.Khurana for taking time out to talk to the Markathon team.
In our Vartalaap from the academic world, we have the renowned Dr.Jagdish Sheth who is widely regarded as the Father of Relationship Marketing. Dr.Sheth is currently the Charles H. Kellstadt Professor of Marketing at the Goizueta Business School of Emory University. He gives us a wonderful interview about how important it is to have a good relationship with the customer. Team Markathon is extremely grateful that Mr.Sheth took out time from his schedule to give us this exclusive interview.
Our articles section has an article of how companies are leveraging different media to understand what the consumer wants and then deliver it to the customer in exactly the way he desired. The other article about new Marketing Channels for retailers describes the new delivery mechanisms which are now being tapped by retailers thanks to growing use of technology. We are sure our readers will enjoy both the articles.
As always, do send us your feedback and suggestions for the magazine on firstname.lastname@example.org .
Sit back and enjoy this edition!
Jitesh Pradeep Patel