Time for New Year resolutions! I know many people do not believe in making resolutions. But trust me everyone wants to do something new and different in a new year. It is definitely an opportunity to step back and re-look at what we are doing in our lives. The budgets are new and so is the sun. While I look at what marketers should do in 2014, there is a clear list of Un-resolutions that marketers should make in the year 2014. So here goes…


  1. Not treat social media as mainstream media
    Social media is here and has evolved into a measurable medium for marketing. All the naysayers dismissing social media as a transient medium will be left behind if they let the doubts linger in their medium. A Google+ study says that 57 percent of people have more conversations online than in person. Social media is the new “ask a friend”. Increasingly these conversations are
    translating into strong influence and purchase. Make no mistake – if you do not have a strong strategy on blogging, Youtube, Facebook and other social media channels, you stand to lose significantly in branding race in the coming years.
  2. Expect that we will not have to change our marketing strategy In 2014
    Philip Kotler says that markets are changing faster than marketers. In 2014 we can definitely expect more turbulence that in the past years. To expect that this turbulence will not have any impact on the way we think and drive our marketing efforts is wishful thinking. Mediums, competition and economics will have significant effect on the way companies will have to change engines in mid-air.
  3. Think that all the branding to be done is done
    Looking at the barrage of marketing messages around us, one is bound to think that all the branding to be done in the world is done with and nothing more is left to be done. Brands –strong and weak- all are constantly facing challenges from competition. There is a constant, almost a daily need, to sharpening the positioning, re-presenting this in newer mediums and making them relevant to an strategic customer segments. Every day is a new day which threatens to blur the lines between a strong brand and a challenger brand.
  4. I will not learn in 2014
    It is a great opportunity for marketers to learn from the environment and commit to lifelong studentship. As is clear from Kotler’s quote before, if a brand has aspirations to lead the market, the marketers who drive the brand have to be 10 steps ahead of what competition is doing. They have to learn from the competition, other industries, geographies and generations. We need to come out of the ‘industry practices’ and seek new ammunition to battle new challenges. What does my customer want? How is she currently satisfying the need? How can my product make sense to him? What is my customer experiencing? How is he evolving? These are super-crucial questions for the marketer to find answers to.
  5. I know what my competition is
  6. Even the smartest marketers get stumped by competition coming from unexpected quarters. Did HMV Saregama (India’s leading music company in yesteryears) ever think that they will be disrupted by telecom company called Airtel to sell music. Airtel makes it possible to download music at an extra-ordinarily low cost compared to traditional music companies. Music companies which treat only other music companies as competition, were in for a big surprise which ultimately swept-off many companies out of the market. Barnes and Nobles is another example of a strong brand unable to re-wire itself in the new technology space.
  7. As I look into 2014, it re-enforces a Chinese wish which says – “May you live in interesting times” we certainly are in interesting times.
Sunder Madakshira is the Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications at SAP India. He is a recognized speaker in industrial forums such as NASSCOM and CII. Published with permission from madakshira.com

“Image courtesy of [MR LIGHTMAN] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”



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