The Indian Marketing Revolution

January 21, 2011 — Leave a comment

In India, we have had our green and white revolutions. We are having our high-tech revolution. They are also trying for a tiger-striped revolution.

I think it is time for India to have a marketing revolution. As I make this statement, I acknowledge that, as a country, we have some great companies, products and services. We are also known for great  creatives and campaigns. But I am not referring to the few who are successful or to a particular function within marketing but to the general attitude towards marketing (and how that can apply to our everyday, sometimes personal, life).

The reasons why I think we need a marketing revolution are plenty and just to list a few:

  • Everybody seems to be doing the tried and tested. Nothing new!
  • Involvement (at different levels) seems to be at an all-time low.
  • Poorly executed marketing strategies (not just flyers, but the whole works sometimes)

So as I crib about this, something positive has happened over the last 5 – 10 years in India. It looks like a lot of people have realized the importance of marketing. Business owners want to reach out to buyers. Non-profits want to build credibility and let people know about it. Cricket is not the only sport we play. Cricket can be made shorter and more fun. The local pan (chewing tobacco)-beedi shop has expanded its portfolio.

But it looks like we stopped there – at the realization. Some of us try our hand at it. Some succeed. Some succumb. And that is why the time is ripe for a marketing revolution.

A revolution – that empowers the “lot of people” to understand the what, how, when of marketing. A revolution that would empower small, large and any-size business owners with the an understanding of what their customers want and how they want it. A revolution that helps people speak stories that others would listen to. A revolution that would help understand the difference and synergy between market research, customer feedback, product positioning, the many Ps, advertising and selling. A revolution that helps people understand that social media is not about being on Facebook or Twitter.

So why is this important right now?

  • India has great products, services and people that are completely missing out because of poor marketing.
  • India has garnered good momentum on the world stage on a lot of levels (technology, governance, business, telecommunication, education, agriculture etc.) and these can easily be taken to a new level via marketing.

A marketing revolution:

  • Would get the customer back in the equation.
  • Get feedback, feedback and lots of feedback.
  • Build elegantly-designed marketing (advertising, billboards, shopfront banners etc.)

What can you and I do about it?
If you are marketer, build those stories. Build credible stories. Listen to your customers. Act on that feedback. Innovate. Continuously improve.

If you are in the government, (I would love to say – get rid of corruption but I am not even going to go there) this is something that would make a great impact if driven top-down (just like the white revolution). The Indian Government has access to tremendous stories to talk about – successes, breakthroughs, achievements, initiatives and so much more. And I think they have the funds to pull it off.

If you are a consumer, be yourself and if you find somebody willing to listen to you, provide feedback. Encourage them by using their products and services.

I know this post generates a lot of questions and points for clarifications but I wanted to put this out and see what you thought of it.

This country deserves a revolution!


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