The space for undifferentiated commodity products is getting increa-singly unviable. Many a times some myths come from the creative departments of agencies.
Myth 1: All industrial products are commodities. Are they Intel is a brand that doesnt touch the consumer directly but because of the work done in advertising and creating a brand, they are one of the most valuable names.
Myth 2: Industrial products are low interest products but the fact is that nothing can convert industrial products into low interest products.
Myth 3: Customer is much too savvy to be taken in by advertising. If advertising can work for FMCG products, it can certainly work for industrial products.
Myth 4: Customers are not educated enough to understand advertising. In the case of Shell, its audience is truck drivers, half of whom are illiterate. Here, the enitre package, not just advertising has worked.
Myth 5: Advertising is an expense, not an investment. The point here is that you cannot use FMCG solutions in the industrial goods sector. You need to use your channels of communications effectively and come up with different strategies.
Rupin Jayal, VP & strategic planning director, JWT
Dont Trivialise Marketing
Today, even marketeers are trivialising the importance of marketing. It has become more gimmicky and less value based. Marketing cannot be borderless because consumers are not borderless. You need to create advertisements for clusters of target audience. Marketing is about creating a customer consistenly at a profit.
Marketeers use CRM to send messages on mobiles and letters to customers and think they have done their job, never realising that these things irritate the customer. Such marketeers are not sensitive to customer needs. Marketing is about sensitising and sensitivity to cultural tidings and consumer replication is not possible in advertising. We confuse promotions with giving customer value. Customers will buy only if there is a benefit. Customers are benefit-loyal not brand-loyal. It is not about advertising but the strategic peg that you want to base your entire marketing on. Marketing is about enduring success, not immediate gains. Celebrity endorsements are a lazy marketeers device. They do not help in creating brand recall.
The 360-degree approach is a myth. Marketing is about strategic customer connect by influencing his family, community and environment. Marketeers must play an interventionists role.
Suhel Seth, CEO, Equus Red Cell
Time To Focus On The Big M
The marketing discipline will get stronger but the function will become increasingly irrelevant. The challenge is to become better. CEOs around the world have found their business profitability shrinking while the challenge is grow profitably. This extends across sectors, from finance to consumer durables.
Marketing has to be so well integrated with other corporate functions of sales, manufacturing and production that the company never gets surprised with shifts in customer perceptions and tastes. The need is to focus on Big M marketing not small m marketing, as at present.
How do you make your brand relate to others This can only be done through gathering and analysing market intelligence on several parameters related to the companys work. Brands are build as much with these inputs as with creatives.
The four Ps of marketing are no longer as relevant.There are two new Ps that need to be incorporated. The first is Partnership. A common misconception is that a strong brand can afford weak partners but the reverse is true. The second is Participation . Customers now want to be part of the manufacturing process.
Anil Menon, VP, market intelligence, IBM, USA
Theres A Limit To Giving Gyan
Ads are not about gyan. Good ads assume the consumer is not a moron. Any ads that are led by the feeling that there are intelligent people in the world, is advertising that works.
Advertising can sell technical things like DVD players simply if you take a common problem and build a series of ads around them.
While research shows commercials that poke fun or show consumers in a funny manner are detrimental to products, experience has proved some products have done fantastic advertising in spite of poking fun at the consumers. If we overload we do not communicate anything.
There is a limit to the gyan you can give in advertising. People like the Fevicol ad even though they have nothing to do with wood but people understand that Fevicol joins things. Iconic brands do not need to talk about the product and they need to be projected so that the brand goes up in our esteem without overplaying it. If you do it well, you do not need to worry about whether advertising is under or overvalued.
There is no such thing as stupid ads, only stupid marketing people who do not give the proper brief and do not have the right answers.
Piyush Pandey, Group president & national creative director, O&M
Common Sense Goes A Long Way
Promot-ions can do wonders if you are sure of your brand idea. You need to find new ways to promote your product as people will always be waiting to copy you. Promotions are a part of our lives.
Advertising can be surreal and transport to you to a brand-value space. Promotions help you to touch the brand and make the brand promise tangible. For example, Fair and Lovely sponsors education scholarships which talk about transforming you into what you dreamt of. Promotions allow you to feel more tangible as they reduce the space between the brand and the consumer. Promotions in FMCG goods spread the brand into your life. You eat the candy and throw the wrapper but collect the collectibles which increase brand recall. Sponsoring an event leads to increased brand recall even after consumption.
There are different types of promotions. Experiential offers talk to states to human mind and the child in use such as an Spend an Evening with a Film Star. Then there are offers that talk to the logical side of us such as Buy One, Get One Free.
The third type of offers talks to the animal in us such as Eat As Much As You Want or the Top Ten Columns in the magazine.
Prasoon Joshi, National creative director & executive VP, McCann Erickson India