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A Few Good Things

"Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller." – Ibn Battuta

A Few Good Things

IIM (Intrusive, Irritating, Marketing)

Even in the Internet era when you pick up the morning newspaper the 1st thing you want to see is the Headline.  Unfortunately you don’t get to see it.  As you lift the newspaper from the floor you see a bunch of flyers falling down , the 1st page is normally a full page ad for a premium Villa or a Smart Phone. Or its some flyer that is pasted on the cover page. It just irritates me. This is not Brand Building – this is Intrusive, Irritating , Marketing (IIM)

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Its the same story online. Try reading TOI or ET online. When you reach the site you first encounter a Interstitial that hangs in there for 10 seconds and when you reach the home page its like walking across mines. Suddenly the ads pop up and you have to carefully navigate between the blocks , and even the lines to ensure that the hundreds of Ads hidden in a  page don’t explode in your face.  Almost 50% of the real-estate  on the home page of TOI /ET is used up by Ads. The Hindu & Business Standard were better – but as they are getting popular the share of Ads in the home page is continuing to increase.

The situation in TV is no better. Between 9 & 10 PM – you can actually watch TV for 10 Min , if you are on Times Now. 25 Min is dedicated to Ads and another  25 for Arnab – that leaves only 10 Min for the program speakers and news.

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When you watch an IPL match or a 1 day – count the ads you see . There was a time that an ad used to come after every over , but in the last IPL it came after every ball. And it was the same ad in most cases being repeated again and again all through the program. Assuming the innovative Product has 100 features – why would someone harp on the same message again and again , why not showcase all the great things of the product in each messaging.

Marketing is strategic it works at building the message for long term , it creates aspiration , it builds value & Premium .Well at least its supposed to . Thats what Dr Philip Kotler talked about in  5 P’s of Marketing. 

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But what do you see today ? there is only 1 P that is visible – PRICE. Look at what gets advertised – EMI , Buy Back , Tables showing how much you pay now and how much in your instalments . When was the last time you saw an Ad that talked about Features, Advantages & Benefits. Maybe 15 years back.

I wonder what they teach at MBA schools in their Marketing Course. Or is is that the sales guys have taken over and everything is tactical. A sales guy thinks of this week , this month this quarter. And how much did I overachieve ! If we see the type of advertising that is happening its clear that the war for communication and branding is now being run by Sales and all that Marketing can do is negotiate the rates and choose the media mix. SAD – Marketing was such a great function.

This at a time when our products are bursting with exciting new features and users sadly don’t use 90% of these features, Shouldn’t we be educating them on these rather than selling price as the one and only value proposition ?

Well I guess the world is changing and the mad rush for numbers has killed one more function. Would it be fair to say that Marketing is dead ?  I Think so. Marketing is strategic it works at building the message for long term , it creates aspiration , it builds value & Premium . Its sad to see it being buried.

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To all the companies that come out with IIM ( Intrusive , Irritating , Marketing) techniques and the big 1 page Ads that scream price I have just one thing to say – look back in history. Remember PCL , Shiva Computers and recently Sahara – these were companies that came out with big 1 page Ads in their heyday. Look where they are today.

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1 Comment

  1. Very well put VAK, again a game of copy paste, most marketing we see sticks to whats trending, specifically all ads on TV or otherwise involved kids until recent.

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