Paul Writer launches Innovative Marketer Dialogue,
Video interview series with CMOs highlights marketing best practices

Lata Subramanian
VP Marketing
Sterling Holiday Resorts (India) Ltd

On Challenges that Marketers face today …

It’s a 24/7 world, I would say that’s the first challenge. We know, as per the clock there are 24 hours but sometimes it feels like there are only 10 hours. It’s such a fast moving world and it’s very difficult to catch up. Earlier, marketers had an advantage; you had a differentiator, for about 3-4 years you were pretty much set, you would leverage that differentiator which would become your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and you would market it but today, finding a clear differentiator has become a huge challenge for any marketer, it has become a commoditized world across categories.

Yes sure, every now and again we here about apple and marvelous other developments in technology. You hear about driverless cars, you hear about Google eye- glasses but other than the technology field, if you’re asking a general question about marketers, then think about it; most FMCG products, consumer durables, electronics, they are all facing the challenge; which is the next differentiator? Even when you do find a one, the problem is that you’re competition takes only 3 to 4 months to catch up so you’re back at square one.

On one hand, it’s an undifferentiated world and on the other hand, your consumer is a 24/7 consumer. Today your consumers are in a constantly connected world, so you have no idea what your consumers are thinking, your consumer might be thinking in favor of you in the morning and would have changed his/her mind by the evening. It just takes one major conversation to go viral, you always feel threatened as the power has shifted to the consumer.

“Today your consumers are in a constantly connected world, so you have no idea what your consumers are thinking, your consumer might be thinking in favor of you in the morning and would have changed his/her mind by the evening ”

Market has always kept track of consumers, that’s what marketing is about, you find out whether you’re fulfilling your customers needs or not, you find out whether there is an opportunity in the market that you may have missed but today, because it is such a fast moving world, consumers seem to be several blocks ahead of you and you’re running fast to catch up with what consumers want. The problem is the consumer is changing his/her mind, as I said, sometimes in a space of a day.

The third challenge is technology. There is such an explosion, new technology is being announced everyday whether it is tech enabled devices or data analytics. There is something new everyday, you tend to feel completely overwhelmed, lost and you wonder what to do? But if you really look at all these three critical challenges that I’ve spoken about, it boils down to one challenge; we are in a 24/7 world and the critical challenge is to keep pace.

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