The Next in Marketing

It is no longer enough to satisfy your customer. You must delight them.– Philip Kotler

The hustle-bustle, of the city of Mumbai, finds its way to some of the busiest malls the city has to offer. At one of these busy malls in the suburbs of Mumbai a huge display kiosk has been set up right in the centre of the mall with signboards all around proclaiming that the items on display were for free. “THE FREE STORE”. The items ranged from a bowl to a plate or a clock. Visitors tried picking the items. But the audience realized that they were unable to lift any of those items. What caught their attention instead was that the huge “Free” signboard had turned into the brand logo with the tagline ‘Fevicol ka jod hai’. The audiences could not help but smile for they got tricked by the brand’s mall activation programme. Fevicol wanted to reinforce their position as India’s most reliable glue so through Ogilvy & Mather India they created the Free Store in one of Mumbai’s many malls.  With beautiful wooden bowls, photo-frames and clocks on display and all for free, this was a challenge virtually no one could resist engaging with; and consumer masses got a first-hand experience of Fevicol’s brand promise (“The Ultimate Bond”) when they tried to pick up the items.

There is a whole new marketplace out there, dynamic and unrelenting. There is a brand new customer out there, sophisticated and well-equipped. There is high-intensity competition out there, fierce and quick. Markets collide and evolve. Customers demand and question. Brands fight and create. Interaction with all the forces of marketplace is the brand new way. And just when you think you know what has changed, everything changes again.

Marketing has gone beyond the traditional “Production” and “Selling” concepts, when marketers used to concentrate only on high production and aggressive selling. Instead of product-centered “make-and-sell” philosophy, businesses are shifting to a customer-centered “sense-and-respond” technique. The new “Marketing Concept” asks brands not to find the right customers for their products but find the right products for their customers. The next in marketing will have most of the interruptive marketing techniques abandoned. Marketing will become more personalized, customized and adapted.

The 4Ps of marketing remain intact in their technicalities, but their execution over the time has changed significantly. It is no longer sufficient to produce a fine Product at the right Place. It is no longer enough to Promote a reasonable Price offering. Marketing needs to get a more comprehensive meaning, it needs to get more engaging. The next in 4Ps would be: Purpose, Plan, Passion and Provide. Companies need to have a clear sense of Purpose, much before the launch of their products, to give their brands the right to interact with customers. At the same time the company needs to Plan its execution well enough to build and maintain a long lasting relationship with its customer. Marketing needs to be driven by Passion. Moreover, now that there are so many ways to reach customers in today’s world, marketers have more and more opportunities to create campaigns that leverage different mediums. The greatest marketing campaigns are those that are memorable. They are the ones that resonate with the audience. Vodafone’s Zoo-zoo campaign proved to be one of the most successful campaigns in terms of engaging audiences and catching their attention.

However, in a flurry of innovations, the companies should not forget to Provide an offering which is useful. A Brand should be able to deliver value and utility.

The marketplace is rapidly evolving. Only the smartest of the marketers will be able to catch up with the fast pace of the changing marketplaces. We are being introduced to some of the most novel of concepts in the field of marketing. Advertisements no longer just stare at you but they talk to you. With concepts like “Crowd-sourced advertising”, people actually get to create and contribute to ad campaigns. A plethora of “guerilla marketing” campaigns have been thrown at us, and each more outstandingly creative than the other.

And it’s not only products and brands that are getting advertised and re-packaged; there are services, movies, books, social causes, political campaigns, ideas and even countries which have to be marketed well. We all remember the innovative ads which were launched for promoting Madhya Pradesh tourism. Amitabh Bachchan was made the brand ambassador of Gujrat Tourism. Far away in USA, President Barack Obama’s “Yes WE Can” campaign was promoted through television and digital media. Seeing the abysmal rate of infant mortality in India and injustice given out to girls, the British advertising agency BBH’s India division launched its “The Girl Gift Basket” campaign to celebrate birth of a girl, in which they presented the mother of a newly born girl with gifts and promoted the message of raising a girl in the family.

Coca-Cola converted vending machines into live communication portals, when it placed specially designed vending machines which were equipped with full-length webcams that allowed participants to see each other and interact in real time. This was a part of its “Sharing Happiness” campaign.

When Charlie found the golden ticket and took the tour of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, he was amazed and dumbstruck to see the ambitions which Willy Wonka had to offer. The Willy Wonkas of marketing are giving out golden tickets to their target audience, inviting them to experience and feel their brands. Flash mobs, live billboards, interactive outdoors, smart print ads, innovative television promotions, digital media and Twitter/Facebook interactions, all of them are going through a revolutionary phase. And there are many more mind-boggling innovatives and spectacular creatives which are all lined up, many more boundaries which have to be stretched, many more rules which have to be challenged and many more ideas whose time has to come.



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