Deepak M

Head of Marketing

Skylark Mansions

What makes a good marketer

The term good marketer is fuzzy. When I was working for Britannia, marketing was more of applied sciences where the quantum of research that went into understanding our consumer, understanding the category, understanding the ever dynamic competitive landscape and then taking a proactive route instead of a reactive strategy used to define the success of the brand and the marketing handler alongside. Move to liquor and the ability to create larger than life imagery of the brand in terms of brand connect and activations, the ability to nail executions in the most commendable manner and hard code innovative product stories into the lives and minds of our young consumer used to weave our success stories. Luxury apparel taught me that a great marketer is one who can conjure aspirational desires of owning a brand and pitch and position the reasons to believe accordingly.

Each industry operates, behaves and demands differently. Smart marketer (more of a marketing generalist than industry specialist) should be the one who is able to stitch together his learnings and consumer insights (across industries) into delivering a compelling product/service story that identifies the opportunity gap in consumer needs or creates one where none exists!

How does one sustain their brand image

Sustaining brand image is nothing but consistency of right efforts, expended and executed flawlessly over and over again. Each and every touch point of brand interaction needs to reflect and harmoniously communicate in the same brand language which connects to the larger brand ethos. Even a single mistake which may appear harmless to a marketer might have grave implications to the overall perception of the brand. We have seen this happen in the recent case of Maggi and earlier with Coke (pesticide issue) and Cadbury (worms in chocolates). What we marketer at times ignore is that PR has a very strong role to play in today’s times in terms of organically sustaining and in some cases, catapulting brands image.  I must quote in example the excellent PR work done by brands like ID Foods where very strong corporate stories underline the values and beliefs on which their products have also been built. Helps build a very strong brand case.

Where do you think Marketing is headed

To me, traditional core marketing, like a single seater cinema hall, has been losing its sheen to more transient burst marketing where the effectiveness of a campaign is now measured in terms of re-tweets and shares and impressions. Marketing off late is more focused on creating temporary noise than the wowness of mesmerising content, everlasting taglines and impactful messaging. Off late, you seldom come by campaigns like “there are somethings money can’t buy, for everything else, there’s Mastercard” or “ Divided by teams, united by Kingfisher” rather, you look at virality of your campaigns digitally, no matter how notoriously imbecile they might be. I surely feel marketing is shaping up like Bollywood movies in today’s multiplex times where if a movie stays put for 3 weeks, its considered a big hit as against yesteryear “Sholay’s or DDLJ’s” that still continue to run in Maratha Mandir in Mumbai. Content and messaging have taken a serious backseat.

Do social media channels really help marketer’s

Well as the famous line goes, “each man to his own convenience”, it’s clearly a function of objectives you end up chasing. Social media today is a superbly tactical tool, brilliant engagement levels, excellent reach but does it actually yield functional bottom line benefits, I reserve my comment on the same. It definitely features as a significant medium of investment in terms of brand spends but in my experience so far, I see it being used more as a brand awareness medium than traction medium. I see remarketing working effectively on FB and GDN to generate traction but it’s becoming more and more intrusive. While it may appear scary to some, its extending convenience to others.

A technology that you see becoming useful in future

VR and augmented reality definitely is the way forward. Sectors like Real Estate see great potential in these technologies and in fact are on the forefront in terms of active usage and investments in these. Imagine an artistic rendition of how your dream home will appear 4 years down the lane, how the apartment playground appears during evenings, how is the view from your 7th floor balcony, right to the last possible detail like the colour of the drapes in your drawing room, that’s purely magical and immersive.

Profile: A B2C marketer all his life, Deepak beseechs and professes performance marketing. Having worked in India and emerging markets, Deepak loves the articulation a marketing campaign requires to connect with the lowest common denominator in the market. Taught to believe that marketing is more of applied sciences, his thirst for logic and prudence supersedes the creative liberty that his campaigns might demand. Addicted to collecting perfumes, he secretly desires to be an Aromachologist studying the interrelationship between aroma and aided psychological influences.

 

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