Monday, November 23, 2015

Updates || Cheena Pasrija || IIM Shillong || September October 2015 edition


Maruti Suzuki is all set to launch hatchback Baleno next week 

Maruti Suzuki will be coming up with the all new Baleno which will be exported to around 100 countries as a made-in-India car. The production of the previous model of Baleno was stopped by Baleno a few years back, now they are extremely upbeat about the new launch. Stating that the premium hatchback segment was growing at a rate of 20 per cent year-on-year, the company would sell Baleno as the second product from Nexa outlet 

Apple launches iPhone 6S, 6S Plus in India

Apple has launched iPhone 6S and 6S plus which have been Apple’s fastest roll out in India. It is the
first time that the phone is available in the Indian markets after just a month passed when it was launched in USA. The iPhone 6S will be available at INR 62,000 for the 16GB version, INR 72,000 for the 64GB version, and INR 82,000 for the 128GB storage variant. The iPhone 6S Plus has been priced at INR 72,000 for the 16GB version, INR 82,000 for the 64GB version, and INR 92,000 for the 128GB variant.


New OOH campaign of Times Card eyes Mumbai Metro’s on-the-go consumers 

What can be better for a marketer than grabbing 32 million unique eye-balls in a month for an advertisement? This is the kind of reach Mumbai metro promises to have which has made all the brands go gaga over the prospects. Times Card has recently launched its “Do more of what you love” OOH campaign with the Mumbai metro. The campaign is in association with HDFC and aims to match up with the demands of the new age urban consumer segment 

Brands of Desire enters into strategic partnership with Brand Dialogue 

Indian brand consultancy firm Brands of Desire has inked into a strategic tie up with the Dutch brand
Consultancy firm Brand Dialogue and have combined their operations and will be together working for a long term to provide end to end branding solutions. Brand Dialogue will act as a separate company and will work towards improving the understanding of creative industries in Europe and India 


Indian media, entertainment can be a $100 billion industry: CII

Indian media and entertainment industry can possibly log $100 billion (Rs.650,000 crore) turn over by 2025 given it gets sufficient base and government bolster, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said recently. “With a growth potential of 13-16 percent year-on-year it has the potential to emerge as one of the largest employment providers, contributing significantly to the gross domestic product,” said the paper titled Vision 2020 Document on Media and Entertainment Sector.

BSE to trawl social media for information on listed companies

Leading bourse BSE will trawl the Social Media giants, including Twitter, for data identified with
recorded organizations as it hopes to venture up observation in the midst of stringent revelation administration. The move is to ensure that the investors can make proper decisions and gauge market sentiment through social media channels. The stringent disclosure regime has been put in place to curb instances of companies selectively leaking information, including through media and without informing the investors first, for illegal gains.


NESCAFE Cartoonist AD 

The advertisement depicts how sometimes life gives a setback just to give one a chance to make it even bigger. An extremely poignant mood is set in the beginning but the end is really happy when the protagonist makes it big as a cartoonist. In short the advertisement conveys that we all have a dream, an ambition, which we work towards achieving. But life does not always go as planned. What kept the protagonist going was his cup of Nescafe. 

Youtube link:

Iphone 6 new AD

The advertisement depicts how sometimes life gives a setback just to give one a chance to make it
even bigger. An extremely poignant mood is set in the beginning but the end is really happy when the protagonist makes it big as a cartoonist. In short the advertisement conveys that we all have a dream, an ambition, which we work towards achieving. But life does not always go as planned. What kept the protagonist going was his cup of Nescafe. 

Youtube link:

Jab They Failed - The fall of Lord Voldemort || Vinay Jain || IIM Shillong || September October 2015 editionhp


We have analyzed the failure of many products and services till now but let us do something more exciting this time. We will analyze why the greatest dark wizard of all time lost against a 17 year old wizard who wasn’t even half as talented and powerful as he was, from the marketing perspective of course. 

Rise of Lord Voldemort: 

Voldemort is our product and let us see how he made himself so popular. For starters Voldemort
understood what marketing was very clearly. He knew that it was a process by which companies create value for the customers and build customer relationships. His customers were his followers and were called Death Eaters. 

Voldemort offered a world where wizards will rule the muggles and only Pure Bloods will be a part of wizard world (Value proposition). His only competitor was Albus Dumbledore who offered a world where muggles and Wizards co-existed harmoniously and no discriminations between Purebloods and other wizards (Half-bloods and muggle borns). Some wizards agreed with Voldemort’s views so Voldemort had to make sure they became his loyal supporters (Brand Loyalists). He therefore, created strong bonds with them by showing his magical prowess which dazzled them and then used fear of punishment (Cruciatus Curse) to make sure they don’t become defectors (Customer Relationship Management)

He also divided the human existence into four groups based on the magic in them:
1) Muggles 
2) Pure-Bloods 
3) Half-Bloods
4) Muggle-Borns (Segmentation)

He wanted the Pure-Bloods and the Half-Bloods to follow him and used ways to make them follow him (Targeting). Also, Voldemort portrayed himself as the savior of the wizarding community who would bring a new order where Wizards won’t have to hide from muggles and can live openly (Positioning)

Voldemort isn’t even his real name, he was born with the name Tom Riddle. He hated muggles so much that he removed his muggle father’s name (Tom Riddle) and gave himself a new name which reinforced his belief that he preached that Wizards are superior to Muggles (Brand Consistency). Tom Riddle was a name but Lord Voldemort was more than a name, it represented many ideas and beliefs (Brand). Dark Lord, ‘He-who-must-not-be-named’, the Dark Mark (a skull with a snake coming out of the mouth), the death eaters, all of these brought Lord Voldemort to the minds of People (Brands Imagery). This was his way of making people more aware of what he stands for (Branding strategy). 

He also made sure to have an inner circle who were his most loyal followers who also had the responsibility of garnering more followers (Sales Force). They were sent to recruit Giants, Dementors and other magical creatures to be on his side by offering those creatures gifts and other short term incentives (Sales promotion)

Despite of such a strong Marketing Strategy Voldemort couldn’t win against his only competitor Albus Dumbledore. Let us see why. 

Fall of Lord Voldemort: 

Voldemort offered something that most of the wizarding community didn’t want. He was under the impression that he will be able to make them his followers with his might (Production concept of marketing) which obviously didn’t work. His proposal also didn’t appeal to a lot of witches and wizards because in return for their freedom they had to part with their humanity (wrong Pricing). He also thought that he knew everything there is to know about magic but he was obviously mistaken as he didn’t know about magic that involved Love, sacrifice. 

He also was unaware about the deathly Hallows and hence couldn’t really understand how the elder wand actually works which proved fatal in the end (Lack of market information). He also focused on only himself and pictured a future where he will always be there to satisfy the needs of his followers of maintaining a wizarding order where Wizards rule. He thought that the followers wanted him but the truth was that they wanted a free world where wizards could live openly and rule the muggles (Marketing Myopia). They wouldn’t have cared even if they got it without him. And therefore he never came up with solutions to satisfy the needs without him being there. 

His competitor Dumbledore on the other hand was wiser than him and made sure that even he wasn’t there the needs of his followers be satisfied of a world where muggles and wizards live harmoniously. He therefore made sure that Harry Potter and his friends continue to do this even after his death. 


You may be Apple, Microsoft, Reliance or the TATA group. You might think that you are too big to fail and may overlook things because of your confidence that you have the financial muscle to always come back. This is a very flawed strategy as we have seen that with small mistakes you might fail. So always be careful of the assumptions you make about the market and your customers. Market Research is something that should be used extensively to make sure your chance of succeeding increase. It is like Dumbledore said “for the greater good”.

Ishtihaar- A market fit for your product || Gautam Gopal || IIM Shillong || September October 2015 edition


In today’s world marketers in order to gain more profit out of their product, promote the product and try to take advantage of economy of scale by standardising the product. So is there any scope for Niche market in present world? Why should a company go for Niche Marketing rather than Mass Marketing?

Above questions are really troublesome for a marketer and the solutions to them are never easy. There is no formula to define that either Mass Marketing or Niche Marketing is more effective. We can only analyse that under what conditions a Niche Marketing can turn out to be an effective tool to marketers. 

Niche Marketing is to target narrowly defined customer group in search of specific mix of benefits by dividing a segment into sub-segments. It is very important that a subsegment is being defined for the product where customers have specific set of needs and are willing to pay premium amount for the product. This is because the product is a specialised one, which is totally missing in Mass Marketing where a product is more standardised and less specialized. 

There is a lot of healthy examples of Niche Marketing with specified target group and making most of its product specialization. For e.g. Krack cream from Paras Pharmaceutical is one of the examples of having a niche market product. It clearly targets women with cracked feet and it is very specific in the sub-segment with minimal
competition. If one is allowed to think of a competitor, it would be hard to do so. Krack cream has been a successful venture in Niche market. As a 25 gram Krack cream tube would cost around INR 61 whereas 25 gram tube of “Fair and lovely advanced Multi Vitamin Fairness solution” would cost only around INR 47. This is a clear contrast effect of a Niche marketed product and a mass marketed product. Krack cream may not be as popular as Fair and lovely but earns more, makes more out of the same quantity, reason being it is a specialised product and the need for the two products are different so it exploits its Niche market presence in the segment. 

Another good example of Niche Marketing is “Vanish Stain Remover” which is applicable for the clothes with strong stain on them which are not easily removable with normal detergent. It may not be suitable for daily wash of clothes. Vanish enjoys its supremacy in Niche Market which it belongs to, as compared to any other detergent (mass market). Lack of competition and it being a specialized product give it a price premium advantage. A 900 gram pack of “Vanish Shakti O2 fabric stain remover” is priced as INR 320 where as one of the premium segment detergent “Surf Excel Matic Front Load’s” 1 kg pack is priced at INR 205: showing a clear cut advantage of a Niche market product over a Mass market product. There are a host of other examples i.e. Godrej Ezee, Medicines, organic or natural food (fruit juice etc.)

With the advancement of technology and globalisation the products will keep on becoming cheaper and better but Niche Market will keep on enjoying its premium position. Marketers need to keep on promoting their product in a creative and comprehensive manner. Marketers should also keep trying to bring some changes in the product with time. No market is safe against competition, as competition is bound to creep in and make a niche market product a mass market product, as has happened in case of “Iodex”. So it is very important that marketers keeps a keen watch on changing trend and keep positioning and repositioning its product in order to cater to larger consumer base in niche market before it gets crowded by fresh competitors.

AD-dicted - Catch or Miss || Kasturi Guha Thakurta & Ansul Jindal || IIM Shillong || September October 2015 edition


PRODUCT: Nestle (All Products) 

POSITIONING: A part of India's life for 100 years


YouTube Link: watch?v=3zZbU5IZ51s

The TVC showcases Nestle’s various brands and products including Milkybar, Milkmaid, Kit Kat, Nestle milk and dahi. But, it doesn’t feature the most important product Maggi, which has probably been Nestle’s most popular product in India.
From the beginning till today, Nestle’s products are shown in the TVC. The Independence Day victory or the joy of celebrating the win of Indian Team in the cricket match or the crackers bursting in Diwali, all have been supported by Nestle. TVC ends with a person saying that Nestle has always been with us

Apple plays up the aspirational appeal of its phones, showing a glamorous Indian bride using Facetime, Apple’s video calling feature, to send coy flashes to her groom of a henna-ed hand or skirt hem before their wedding. Though we feel that Apple could have done much more than project just a ‘marriage’ in the ad like highlighting some important features of the device, we liked the ‘un’Appleness of the ad. After the ad went on air, a few fans took to Twitter and voiced out their opinion which was very much in favour of this ad being Indian. 



POSITIONING: Have a Break, Have a Kit Kat! 


YouTube Link: watch?v=Dqb6yGDy-gw

Good things happen when you take a Kit Kat break is what Nestlé makes us believe with its TV commercials each time. The Nestlé Kit Kat chocolate fingers are almost synonymous with taking a refreshing break in our mindset. The TVC features adorable dancing babies that start drumming and swaying too, while a student takes a Kit Kat break in between his lectures. It features different kinds
of break, From the ‘but first let me take a selfie‘s break to the ‘teacher, can you please repeat the question’s break – the entire ad is an energizing, contemporary. It also has incorporated the breaks that are taken by the singers and lovers. They have tried to cover maximum category of common people

According to Markathon the Kitkat break doesn’t seems to attract the minds of the customer because Kit Kat is celebrating the different kinds of breaks that India takes, and it’s not just those ordinary chai breaks, these ones are quite extraordinary! But also contains the desi rap. These small breaks which is not alluring the eyeballs. The concept of coming up with different kind of breaks will take a lot of time to get into the hearts of people. And, going by the massive views on its new television commercial that has been uploaded on YouTube, the brand should have come up with something new and different through which user can directly relate to it.

Logoistic - McDonald's || Mohammed Fahd || IIM Shillong || September October 2015 edition


McDonald’s is one of the world’s most popular Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs). The industry giant has its presence in 119 countries & this extensive network has not only benefited the company but also economics wherein the Big Mac Index was introduced as a measure of purchasing power parity (PPP). The company was founded in 1940 as a barbecue diner by Maurice & Richard McDonald & was later morphed into a hamburger joint before it was ultimately purchased by businessman Ray Kroc who saw immense potential in a chain of hamburger restaurants. He revamped the company & gave it a new direction which has led to McDonald’s becoming the behemoth that everyone’s familiar with. 

The History Behind the Logo 

The McDonald’s “Golden Arches” is one of the most widely recognised logos in the world. Its simplicity & its representation of the letter ‘M’ in the golden colour of the company’s iconic French fries immediately generates brand recall. However, the logo that has faithfully represented the company in the 21st century has not been its flag-bearer since the company’s inception. In the olden days when the company was owned by the McDonalds & didn’t even have fries in their menu, the logo was “Tubby chef Speedee”. 

The logo was meant to represent the quick service offered at McDonald’s & the winking chef tried to communicate that very message to the patrons. During this time period barbecue was removed from the menu to improve service times & the focus shifted to the company’s hamburgers. 

It was not until 1961, that the “Golden Arches” logo was introduced. Inspired from one of the company’s most popular & distinctive outlets the arches which were designed by Stanley Meston, appealed to the imagination of the then new owner of the food chain, Ray Kroc, & the logo’s perception as the letter ‘M’ convinced him that this should be the new logo. 

Between 1960-1996 the logo underwent many minor changes. A blue outlining circle was the 1st followed by a standalone version of the arches with the company’s name removed too. This was followed by a removal of the strikethrough between the arches & the emboldening of the ‘M’ as the company emboldened its international presence in Europe & entered developing markets in Asia & the resulting logo was increasingly similar to the one that would come to define the company 2003 onwards. 

During this time period the company also introduced a mascot in Archie McDonald, a pre-cursor to the company’s popular jester & present-day mascot, Ronald McDonald. 


The company kept toying with the arches after 1993 & had different variants in different countries to adjust to local conditions. A number of renditions were also introduced in USA, with the M being emboldened & getting an outer shade initially followed by a re-introduction of the company name beneath the arches. 

However, the most successful change to the logo was brought about in 2003 when the company added the tagline – “I’m lovin’ it”. A red square in the background which was present in some countries was removed & a background shadow was added for extra effect. The “I’m lovin’ it” campaign was the company’s 1st global campaign & evolved the logo into one that would last till the present day. 

The logo was a start of a new chapter for the company following allegations of spreading obesity. In 2008, the company also launched the “What we’re made of?” campaign to ensure their customers that McDonald’s was not the reason for rising obesity in USA & that given the company’ ingredients it was perfectly safe to consume it’s products a few times a week. 

This was also followed by an introduction of its breakfast menu involving salads & fruits to adjust to the more health-conscious needs of its modern day consumers.

Eye2Eye - Should Microsoft make its email free || Daksh Bhagat & Chahat Shah || IIM Shillong || September October 2015 edition

Microsoft should make its e-mail (Outlook) free - Daksh Bhagat, IIM Shillong

It was only last year that Microsoft started charging its users for the outlook facility, if they wanted free custom email domain support. That effectively meant that the freedom that Microsoft gave to the users to manage a personal non-Microsoft email domain for free was taken back. While this happened, the existing custom email domain users were taken care of. Microsoft going ahead with its culture, decided to provide an indefinite support to such customers which provided for lifetime functionality of such accounts with no provision for adding new accounts. It also gave the customers an opportunity to migrate to Office 365 with a free-three month subscription to Office 365 Small Business Premium. 

The earlier versions of the website helped people in managing different mailboxes under the same roof which was probably more convenient to use. Though the “management” was limited to adding and removing up to 50 individual email accounts using the specialized domain, yet, it was a great, free feature for personal use and small businesses. Whenever customers look at online services, they expect their experience to be convenient and of low cost. When one uses multiple email ids to communicate with separate entities, it becomes all the more difficult to manage all of them at the same time. Going by the mindset of the end consumer, opening mails in separate tabs and viewing and replying to each one of them can be cumbersome as well as can lead to reduced speed and performance of the desktop. 

Microsoft positions itself as a fast paced and a challenging corporate house, but the image it presented in front of its loyalists through this move wasn’t very pleasant. Emails are a part of the daily routine of customers and they wouldn’t be really willing to pay for using the same in any way, already keeping the increased costs of internet usage in mind.

Microsoft should NOT make its e-mail (Outlook) free - Chahat Shah, IIM Shillong

Microsoft, following the footsteps of Google made its email facility popularly known as Outlook,
paid, for the users who wanted to access accounts other than Microsoft’s own accounts on it. Microsoft has always remained in monopoly in the operating software market, always coming out with innovations that are just better than its own previous versions. So, it took a step ahead by offering premium services. As can be seen from the chart, outlook commands a large market share in the email user population. 

There is always a loyal segment available in all types of markets that will never break the vow. In such cases, the targeting is only on the niche segment and as for a matter of fact, identifying the right target is probably the best thing a marketer can do and hence charging for the e-mail service is fair enough to survive in today’s competitive market. Whenever something is charged, customers start associating quality with it, if at all they buy
it. There should be no doubt about the delivery of quality from the side of Microsoft. Hence, if the
company, because of its large market share, is able to reap profits, owing to the fact that it already is the market leader, a premium service should not create a havoc. 

Although even if Microsoft didn’t do this, it could have gone beyond limits, as on a usual basis people wouldn’t want to switch to Gmail or any other mail server unless they are getting everything in the same window frame. There is a continuous competition amongst these service providers which for the end users can be majorly differentiated on the basis of the experience they get which includes but is not limited to speed, security concerns, etc. 

Vartalaap - an interview with Mr. Suresh Balakrishna || September October 2015 edition


Mr. Suresh Balakrishna is a media veteran with over 27 years of experience in the industry. At Lintas, as the CEO, he handles outdoor initiatives and the out of home business for the agency across the country. In his previous stint, he was Executive Vice President and General Manager of Initiative Media. He has also worked for the Hindustan Times and Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL) as Executive Vice-President, Marketing.

Markathon: After going through the websites of Initiative and Lowe Lintas, I could say that media companies make marketing campaigns and advertisements for their clients. Is that it? 

Firstly, media companies don’t make the ads. The advertising business is largely disaggregated over the last 15 years. There are creative agencies, media agencies, PR agencies and so on so forth. It’s been disaggregated, earlier on 15 years ago, we used to have one advertising agencies that has to do
everything end to end. Make the ad, plan for it, air it, bill it do the PR etc. Now you have specialists in each area. What I head is the company which earlier used to be called The Lintas Media Group then it was taken over by Interpublic group. It is now broken up into several companies Initiative which is a full service media agency, BPL which is a full service media agency and Rapport which is an out of home agency. So what a media agency classically does is, suppose you are Coke, you have a budget of 300 crores which you want to spend for the year but you need to understand how to spend your money in a way which meets your brand objectives and delivers what you need to deliver in the market place. What I as a media agency do is plan that 300 crores. I tell you that you should look at print, at Television, at out of home, at digital or radio. How much money you should put in each of these sectors, within TV should we look at Star, at Zee or Colours or Sony in different genres. In digital how much money you should put on search on social on display etc. I do all the planning and present the plans. Once they approve the plans, the buying happens negotiating on behalf of them. The implementation is also done by us make sure the release orders are sent out, spots appear on time, billing them and I pay the media companies. So, if there is a default I am responsible. It is a huge responsibility that we carry. Therefore, it is a very specialized function. It is very scientific and data driven because in the end client asks us for the ROI. There are various ways of doing it and is the key element of advertising mix today and media planning.

Markathon: Do you also make content? 

Yes, we do. We have a branded content team. We don’t make the classical ads the 3o seconds one. That is still done by the creative agency. Organizations like Ogilvy and Mather still make those and even the print ads. Based on whatever the clients objectives are we create the content. For example:
Coke Studio was a joint idea created by us and the client which has now panned out over many many countries. It is there in Pakistan now and is obviously very popular. So after Coke Studio creates some amazing music then I go and make deals with MTV so that they air it for me.

Markathon: So when an organization like Coca-Cola spends huge amount of money, I am sure they are looking for results

There are different objectives for every campaign. If it’s a tactical campaign it could be sales. They will give us an objective that sales have to go up by 10% in these key markets because this is where we are doing the activity or it could be brand scores like top of mind, aided recall or brand love. We get an objective saying post this campaign my scores should go up by 10 %. Large research companies do the measurement of the success of the campaigns. 

Markathon: How often does it happen that a campaign is done and the customer is really unhappy? 

It doesn’t happen very often because there is a lot of science that goes behind all of these campaigns. A lot of analysis and research is done before any decision is taken.

Markathon: How do you justify the success of your campaign because it is quite possible that the increase in sales could have been because of any other factor too?

We pre-agree before the campaign. They say they are doing 10 other things but even our campaign has definitely contributed to the increase in their sales.

Markathon: Has content theft been a major issue? Does it happen very often? What do you do when it does? 

Yes, it happens very often. You don’t have great patent laws in India. You take an idea tomorrow somebody can whack that idea but there is hope because the legal system is improving, the patent laws are improving. Having said that, an idea is an idea. You can pick it up from anywhere and run with it. When such things happen we confront them to make a point so that they don’t repeat it because there is very little we can do legally. 

Markathon: Where are the media agencies currently focusing on? 

Digital space. 

Markathon: But even now you see a lot of money still being spent on TV and print media. 

Print media and TV will continue to exist for a very long time. We give more weightage to print and media because even today if there are Rs. 100 spent on advertising, 48 is spent on TV, about 40 on print, about 7 on digital, 3 on out of home and 2 on others. So even now more than 75 to 80 percent
of advertising spending goes on TV and Print media. It is because they are much larger media. You may spend a lot of time online but look at your parents. They still watch TV and read newspapers. And if I am advertising a car, I don’t want to reach you, you don’t have the money to buy a car. I want to reach your dad. 

Markathon: By 2020, India will be the youngest country, so are you expecting major changes say in 3 years in the viewing patterns of people? 

No, not within three years, TV will continue because you will still need entertainment, content and TV is all pervading. It is a family viewing medium, it is difficult for 6 people to view on a laptop. Print will slowly come under pressure because worldwide print has diminished slowly. In India it will take a good 8 to 10 years. The literacy in our country is still low and when people become literate they will still start reading, not necessarily English, in fact vernacular press is still growing in our country and they will continue to grow. There is space in our country for all these media to grow but yes the fastest is the digital media. It will become the principal medium in 5 years. 

Markathon: Is there a stark difference between the media industry in India and its western counterparts in terms of ethics and functioning? 

Yes, there is but it is only because of the economic difference. If you see in countries like UK and USA the consumer pays a big price, therefore dependency on advertising is not so high. To give you an example a TV channel in a US or a newspaper 30 to 35 percent of their revenue comes from advertising and 65 to 70 percent comes from distribution. For us 80% comes from advertising. In which country will you get 500 channels for Rs 800 a month? in US one channel is around $40 to $50 a month. An average American just chooses two to three channels and watches them, he doesn’t watch all like we in India do. They change their channel preferences every month based on what is going to come on that channel I that particular month. Coming to newspapers, you give around 3 rupees for a newspaper while the cost of producing one paper is around rupees 20. In US it is $1 for every day, Saturday it is $3 and on Sunday $5. What that does is it reduced dependency on advertising. It will be common to hear people say that “the newspapers in abroad are so clean without any irrelevant advertisements”. That is because the economics of the business are like that in both the countries. 

Markathon: Do you consider shows on YouTube like AIB, TVF which have even very long videos sometimes while making a marketing campaign for a client? Are you in contact with those people who make these shows? 

Yes, we do but it is still in nascent stage as the reach is still limited. Even If there are 200 million people on the internet there are other 900 million who aren’t. So it is still a small but growing
medium I agree. Therefore, we do a little via digital but not the majority of the budget. We are also coming up with content especially for the digital medium which won’t be released in any other medium. Also the censorship laws are lenient for online content so we can be more creative and target a particular issue but it is only a matter of time before this happens on other media too 

Markathon: How do you handle international clients from countries where the culture is different from ours? Say a Middle Eastern company. Do you have people from that country helping you or you still work with your current employees? 

Culture is very ingrained and it is very difficult for us to understand it as an outsider. We need people from that country without whose help it is almost impossible to make culturally suitable content for them. That is why most advertising agencies today are MNCs. Lowe is part of IPG, JWT and ONM are part of the WPP. All of us are parts of huge networks present across the world. 

Markathon: How exciting is this industry for an entrant after MBA? 

It is extremely exciting for a new entrant. After your MBA say you work in the marketing department of some company, you will only get to learn about that organization and that industry. Here you will get width. For example my company handled the media for Maruti, Reckitt, Amazon, Bajaj Auto, and Samsonite. Straight away I have learnt about 5 different product categories. Therefore, the knowledge levels really go up and it is very challenging too. That said it is a very hard life, hours are very long, no fixed timing and if you want to be in this business you have to be either in Mumbai or Delhi. Salaries unfortunately are not very high in the beginning but as you go up the ladder salaries go disproportionately high. If you are spotted as one of the brilliant guys then the growth is very fast. It’s not like a large organization where you have to spend three years in this designation and then you get a promotion. There have been people who have got 2 promotions in a year. 

Markathon: If you could suggest some particular skill set that a person has to develop if he/she wants do well in this industry what would that be? 

You need to be a very good communicator. This business is all about communication so if you don’t have good communication skills then you should start developing them. You need a slightly analytical bent of mind because data is very important as numbers are very important to prove the success and a little bit of creativity

Cover Story - All about Real Time Marketing || Mehul Jogadia & Sumon Chaudhari || IIM Shillong || September October 2015 edition


In Marketing, every now and then comes along a new word that sticks. Some dismiss it, claiming it to be just another fish in the sea, a distraction, but a few indulge themselves in it. They let it grow, believing this new thing would change the face of marketing forever. You can imagine these CMO’s scurrying around their offices like Archimedes through the streets of Syracuse yelling “Eureka!” when they first discover it. We’re going to talk about Real-time Marketing (RTM) and I’ll let you be in-charge of dismissing it or running around the office yelling “Eureka” It all began in February 2013, with an interestingly clever live tweet by Oreo during the Super Bowl blackout at the Super Dome. All it said was, Power out? No problem. “You can still dunk in the dark”. Do you see the beauty of it? It sparked a craze amongst marketers across the globe. To their utter dismay marketing managers since, have been often asked by their bosses. “Hey, why can’t we do something like Oreo?” 

Brands have tried to recreate that magic though, with little success. I’m sure brands have been doing this long before Oreo but what this particular incident did was get everyone’s attention. Real-time marketing has been described by a few as the practice of brands engaging their audience via content, advertising, and product placement that is relevant to a specific current event or cultural happening. The content is most often in the form of a “meme” or graphic poster that is usually shared through social media channels. What makes real-time marketing so interesting is that it goes against the way we have been trained to think about marketing. Meticulous planning, research, understanding how the consumers would behave to our communication strategy among others. 

We probably spend weeks and months together to develop our marketing campaigns, perfecting them until the last minute. And here comes real-time marketing telling us that all that is good, but real conversations happen in real-time. ‘Marketing on-the-fly’ sums it up quite well though, I’m sure my marketing professor would not be too pleased with that definition. With brands embracing social media as a vital component of their marketing communications, realtime marketing becomes crucial. It offers brands an opportunity to engage with their fans, break through the clutter and resonate on real-time. Do this better than your competitors and you stand to gain. Let us look at a few examples of real-time marketing in the Indian context. Sometimes pictures need a fair bit of editing before it could be uploaded on social media. 

Flipkart had to learn this the hard way, as Reddit India made fun of them on Twitter for having an
Amazon delivery box in a picture of their office. Flipkart quickly retorted by suggesting they were using the box as a wastebin, but no one was about to buy that argument. The damage had already been done and Amazon quickly jumped into the conversation by simply stating that “There is a bit of Amazon in every eCommerce company”. Imagine asking for bathing soap and getting dishwashing soap instead. Doesn’t seem like a pleasant experience, especially if you’re an Indian consumer who is not the easiest to please. Now imagine asking for a Samsung Galaxy smartphone and getting a dish-washing soap instead. I am sure all of you are imagining a guy, sitting at home, opening his package and going absolutely ballistic. 

Well, this is what happened when Snapdeal accidentally delivered a Vim bar instead of the expensive phone that was ordered by one of its customers. Naturally, the man reached out to Snapdeal, demanding they do right by him and yes, the man did get his money back. But what made this seemingly infuriating experience excellent, was when HUL somehow caught wind of the incident and sent the man the phone he was looking for, by mail. The customer was ecstatic on receiving the
phone and the incident went viral on social media, which made HUL ecstatic as well. Audi and BMW have shared one of the most intense rivalries in business history. This rivalry has especially intensified over the past few years. This brief “billboard-war” perfectly captures that rivalry. Even if we look outside these prominent albeit rare examples, we could see larger than life companies incorporating real-time marketing tactics on a regular basis. 

Amul, one of India’s largest companies, has always strived to use current affairs in their promotions. For a long time, these milk moguls have entertained us and delighted us with their insightful. One of
their most popular, recent works is the caricature they made of Virat Kohli and the Amul girl dancing, with Anushka gazing at the couple helplessly. The circumstances surrounding the incidence was well documented, as Anushka was being blamed for Virat’s lacklustre performance in certain world cup matches. Through such ad campaigns over several years, Amul has shown that in order to be brilliant real-time marketers, you don’t need to be extremely tactical or deep-pocketed; if you’re creative enough and fast enough, you can outwit the best of them. Verdict: Real-time marketing does sound like an interesting trick to have up your sleeve but if you’re not too careful about how you use it, it may occasionally back fire. As one market very aptly put it: Real-time marketing success requires happenstance. Marketing cannot be built on happenstance. 

We as marketer still have a long time to go before we make ourselves comfortable in the skill of real-time marketing until then we have to do what we know best. Here’s what Edelman’s Global Strategy Director David Armano has to say about real-time marketing: “If real-time marketing is the thing that introduces change into our organizations – so be it. But it cannot be the strategy that drives that change.” Brian Solis, a digital marketing analyst echoes the same. He is of the following opinion: “Don’t compete for the moment. Compete for meaning. If you compete for the moment you’re irrelevant“ There has been a lot said and written about Real time marketing, everyone has an opinion. A lot of brands have tried and failed in their attempts. Marketers today are wary of real-time marketing though, a few have learned to embrace it. In our opinion, today with digital media we have more insights into who our customers are and how they perceive our brands than ever before. 

The ball is in our court, it is up to us as marketers to decide what to do with this data. Any brand looking to benefit from real-time marketing need to look at two things: Ensure that they have the internal resources to indulge in real-time marketing and secondly, understand their customers’ behaviours before they take the leap.

Perspective - NeuroMarketing || Anuj Goel || IIM Shillong || September October 2015 edition

NEUROMARKETING: The Next Generation Marketing Technique

Marketers have always struggled to find out what customers think about various products and services and what is thinking process. As a result, they conduct surveys and focus group discussions to find out a customer’s opinion about their products or services. But, there have been many cases where it has been found out that there is a big difference between what they say about their thinking and what they actually think about. As a result, marketers are never able to find the true insights and they never know what is going on in a customer’s mind. However, this has been rapidly changing in the past few years. 

Neuro-Imaging and Behavioral psychology are two scientific disciplines that are mining our brains to
find hints to develop new marketing strategies. Neuro-Imaging Science has bestowed many gifts upon us. However, probably the most important of them all is neuro-imaging especially functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Neuro-Imaging includes a lot of techniques that also includes functional magnetic resonance imaging. It measures the activity of the brain like use of oxygen, metabolism of sugar, blood flow etc. The use of these kinds of techniques for the purpose of marketing research is known as neuromarketing. In order to track brain functions, neuroscientists generally use EEG of fMRI. EEG involves attaching electrodes to a person’s head and then evaluating the pattern of his brain waves to find out the intensity of his visceral responses such as excitement, anger, lust, disgust etc. 

Frito-Lay hired a neuromarketing firm in 2008 to find out what the customers felt about Cheetos which was the largest selling brand of cheese puffs in the United States. EEG technology was used
for this experiment and it was found that customers react strongly to the fact that after eating Cheetos their fingers turn orange because of the cheese dust. This data helped FritoLay to develop an ad-campaign “The Orange Underground”. In the famous “Pepsi Challenge,” people liked the taste of Pepsi more than Coke if they couldn’t see the cans and they couldn’t identify which product it was. Yet, people continued to buy more Coke, and that brand stayed on top rather than taste. This experiment helped to understand that a brand will dominate the product in the minds of the consumers. However, there are various limitations to the use of EEG for the purpose of neuromarketing. Because the cap of electrodes is attached to the surface of a person’s head, a neuroscientist isn’t going deep into the brain. Functional magnetic resonance imaging eliminates this limitation. It uses a large magnet to track the blood flow inside the brain as the person responds visual, audio or taste element. It helps the marketers to get a view of the person’s pleasure center. 

Pleasure center is that part of the brain that is involved in pleasure. Dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens is so tied up with pleasure that scientists refer to this region as the brain’s pleasure center. But, a major problem with fMRI is that it requires the person to be very still inside the machine unlike EEG which can be very intimidating. Behavioral Psychology Using this scientific tool scientists try to find out how people think and make decisions and what factors influence those decisions. This is done because people think they are logical but in reality a large number of our decisions aren’t based on logical processes. 

According to a research, during a purchase decision people respond to abstract information rather than concrete information. As a result, people are more inclined towards advertisements that describes a positive experience with a product or service in abstract terms rather than dealing with specifics. Through behavioral psychology, it has also been find out that a consumer purchasing decision is also based on the fact whether an advertisement directs the consumer’s attention to the present or to the future. In a research, before sending all the participants for grocery shopping half of the participants were told to think about themselves in the present scenario while the other half were told to think about themselves in the future scenario. It was found that people who thought about present scenario bought pleasure oriented products like chocolates while people who thought about future scenario bought healthy foods. 

Neuro-Marketing’s value proposition Neuro-Marketing involves the use of neuroscience research techniques to shape advertising and marketing strategies that could help brands connect with consumers in deeper and more lasting ways. Campbell used pupil dilution, biometric heart and measurement tests along with changes in body and sweat levels to update its soup label. Campbell added steam to the old label so as to engage consumers emotionally, the spoon was removed because it added no value and Campbell’s logo was shifted to the bottom of the bowl as it drew too much attention towards itself. This is neuro-marketing’s value proposition because consumers are generally unable to understand their decision-making processes while purchasing goods and services and conventional market research methods such as focus groups and surveys are of very limited value to marketers. 

Techniques of Neuro-Marketing:

1. Implicit association measurement: It measures the reaction time of consumers as they come across a brand or an advertisement 

2. Eye tracking: It monitors the consumers’ eye movements while they interact with an advertisement. It also tries to find out what captures a consumer’s visual attention and how do they navigate websites and communication. 
When Sunsilk used the image on the left nearly 94% viewers looked at model’s face while only 6% of them looked at the product. Result were exactly the opposite when only a simple change was made
to the print ad. 84% viewers looked at the product when they were shown the image on the right. This trick could be used by today’s marketers while designing a website or a print ad so as to make viewers concentrate on the most important things that the marketers wants to communicate 

3. Automated facial coding: It tries to decode the expressions of consumers when they watch ads. The expression could be anything like smile, raising of eyebrows or even a frown. This has helped neuro-marketers understand consumers’ emotional reaction to communication on a moment –by-moment basis.

4.Galvanic skin responses: It is known as skin conductance and it measures the electrical conductivity of the skin that generally varies with the moisture level. Increased level of moisture because of sweating could mean psychological or physiological arousal 

Possible future of Neuro-Marketing:

1. Neuro-Marketing is here to stay - A tools that not only provides effective branding options but also helps produce better products by involving consumers in design of products even before they are brought into the market. 

2. There will be many frauds - As the entire process is very complex and difficult to understand there will be many people who will claim that they can read a consumer’s mind.

3. Universities can monetize their expertise by forming partnerships with business houses - This is an opportunity for various scientists to come to the forefront, try a new field and apply neuro-imaging to practical problems. There are various examples like Dr. Justine Meaux who is a neuroscientist but now works as a neuro-marketer. 

4. Investment opportunities for companies that supply MRI and EEG machines - This can be an opportunity for entrepreneurs to enter this lucrative market with disruptive business models and pricing schemes. 

Issues with NeuroMarketing: 

As this technique is expanding on a daily basis, the concern among regulators and consumers is also rising. They believe this is a way to deceive them and it erodes privacy. These sort of claims aren’t new to the marketing industry, the concerns regarding consumer tracking brought on due to internet cannot be forgotten. However, there are some issues that need to be taken care of before this technique becomes the future of marketing research. 
Legal Issues A number of legal issues can be raised by the use of neuromarketing. They can be broadly classified into 3 major areas: 

1. Privacy Issues: The aggressive claims by the neuromarketers about this technique hasn’t gone well with the general public. The regulators and the general public have raised privacy concerns. The prospect of intrusions into a person’s personal thought process has raised concerns. This will be a problem for the neuro-marketers because in the last year alone, more than 100 cases have been filed alleging that modern marketing techniques like behavioral advertising violates consumer privacy. 

2. Tort Issues: Using neuro-marketing to induce the intent to purchase the product which if misused will cause personal injury raises very critical and important questions that definitely need to be answered. There can also be claims that through neuro-marketing protected internal areas of brain are being touched that again becomes a liability for neuro-marketers. 

3. Consumer protection: Regulators are also concerned that with the advancement of this technique people may be made to believe that they want a product even though that product is useless for them. In Europe a case has already been registered with a company that employed neuro-marketing. Policy Issues A number of policy issues have been raised by the use of neuro-marketing as it seeks to safeguard industry interests. 

These issues can be broadly classified into 3 major areas:

1. Scope of Use: A disciplined assessment needs to be undertaken as to where and how the growth this technique is being occurring on a worldwide basis. Country wise and product wise data should be collected on a regular basis for this assessment 

2. Engagement: A strategy needs to be made for positively interacting with various stakeholders interested in neuro-marketing. This is done to prevent granting licenses to those who might sensationalize this technique and fill suspicion among the regulators 

3. Self-Regulation: Policies need to be drafted to establish ethical standards for implementing neuro-marketing techniques so that it could prevent targeting of vulnerable groups like children and it must also ensure accountability.