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The Vinod Gupta School of Management (VGSoM), IIT Kharagpur, was established in 1993, and was the first management science faculty set up within the IIT system. With a generous contribution from one of its illustrious alumni Mr. Vinod Gupta, founder lnfocom, USA and a liberal support from the Government of India, IIT Kharagpur envisioned to produce management leaders by offering unique programmes blending both management and technology. This original and pioneering concept has now been vindicated by the setting up of management schools/departments in all IITs except one. In a short span of about 16 years, VGSoM has already become one of the best management institutes of the country. Over the years the school has moved beyond the sphere of regular MBA programme. The school regularly organises management seminars and workshops, management development programmes and training of management teachers from other B-schools. VGSOM has a unique advantage of being a part of IIT Kharagpur which is rated as the best technical institute in India. The school continuously interacts with the institute's 32 other departments and centres through various programmes and faculty research. The industry interaction of the institute is the best in India with a total of 850 projects worth about Rs.300 crore are being presently handled by the institute.
Note from the Editors’ Desk
Big shout out to all!! We at the Marketing and Advertising Club, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur, are proud to present MADazine, our annual marketing magazine. MADazine is a B-School magazine with a difference. We bring to you insights from the corporate czars, opinions from the who's who of the marketing world as well as fresh ideas in form of student articles. We present interesting interviews from names like, McDonalds, IBM, Uninor and Idhasoft. They have opened a small but significant window into their lives as key players in their organization's success. We also have an expert section, where we bring in opinions of well established professionals and academicians from their area of proficiency. In magazine we also have the unsullied opinions of the in house student body which also proves to be an interesting read. We sincerely thank our dean and faculty who have always encouraged students to think out of the box and embark upon activities beyond the curriculum. A wholly student initiative, MADazine is our attempt to be heard. Sincerely Editors
Madazine Team: Editors-in-chief: Anshul Bhatia Kanika Puri Editorial Team: Ann Thomas Ravinder Pal Dhillon Sourabh Agarwal Neha Harit Design Team: Ambuj Agarwal Special Thanks to: Aksha Middya (École Normale Supérieure, Paris )
Message from the Dean
Dr. Arabinda Tripathy
Vinod Gupta School of Management is an arena of ever-changing business paradigms and dynamic learning. Our Master of Business Administration (MBA) strikes a balance between theory and practice of management. At VGSoM, we uphold the belief that true learning comes only from involvement and hands on experience with the real world of business. Here, the students are mentored and encouraged to uphold the highest tradition of excellence that IIT Kharagpur enjoys. The pursuit of academic excellence is complemented by the activities of various management clubs and events that include relevant and responsible initiatives managed by budding student managers. The Marketing and Advertising (MAD) Club has been pro-active in taking up such ventures persistently. It is run and managed by the students but the events garner a lot of support from the institute as the faculty here too believes that students should be able to think and look beyond the books and classroom lectures to find out what they need. Discovering what they need to and shaping the resources to their own requirements, MAD club promotes those skills and attitude that we want our students to imbibe during an MBA course. The relevance of a Marketing club in a B-school environment is very high and evident because at the end of the day, however good a product or an idea may be; it takes a proper marketing effort to make any benefit out of it. Marketing is in some way or the other attached to every other field in business – production, finance, strategy management etc. Those connections and interlinks are what upcoming managers find from looking out to the world of industry rather than from their theoretical knowledge base. I hope that MAD club will raise the bar for its activities in the coming days and I wish all success for any new initiative that carries forward our mission of creating excellence in the field of Management.
Message from the Faculty Coordinator, MAD
Prof. Biplab Datta
The Marketing and Advertising Club was one among the first clubs that was established in Vinod Gupta school of Management. From those days, the number of activities as well as the number of participants has always been on the rise for MAD Club. MAD Club has improved the industry interface and the visibility of VGSoM with its activities Marketing a Marketing Club is not an easy task - but the students have taken it outside the confines of VGSoM, garnering participation and collaboration from other business schools, industry experts and eminent academicians. I am happy to see the enthusiasm and initiative taken by the students in this regard. For students interested in pursuing their careers in the field of Marketing or Advertising, MAD club provides an excellent opportunity to get a feel of the current business scenario and trends. The Club organises several events, both online and on campus, such as marketing quizzes, case study competitions, advertising workshops, guest lectures by marketing directors of well-known companies and also carries out activities like publishing this magazine. This Magazine is an attempt to look beyond the obvious in the arena of Marketing and Advertisement. I wish the members of the club all the very best in all their ventures so that they can achieve a deeper and better understanding of managing brands and businesses.
Table of Contents
Experts Speak Click Influence of Consumers' Exploratory Tendencies on their Proneness to Deals Social Media: Marketing and Balance Marketing your Band Interviews Mr. Arvind Singhal, McDonalds Ms Susan Jain, IBM Mr. Akash Das, Uninor Mr. Alok Pathak, Idhasoft Jade Saamanjasya MADison Avenue Shraddha Student Articles A Tryst with Time Its time to build my brand, its time to advertise Coca-Cola and Pepsi in Indian Market Telecom Marketing Strategy Web Analytics Tools: Know thy visitors Ambush Marketing 30 32 35 38 40 42 10 13 15 20 22 23 26 29 1 4 6 8
from Merely Online to going Viral with a Vengeance
Prithwis Mukerjee, PhD. Professor at Vinod Gupta School of Management
Prof. Prithwis Mukherjee is an engineer from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and has gone on to pursue management from University of Texas – Dallas. He had 18 years of experience in the software sector. He took up teaching professionally in the year 2008 and teaches various technology related subjects to students in management schools. He is an enthusiastic blogger and likes to be in touch with the advancements in the technological world. His multi dimensional personality is best described as “Imagineer” as he likes to call it.
Print media is fast losing out to its online cousin - at least that is the story in the more developed societies. Actually, the word developed has a rather embarrassing connotation to the extent that it implies that we in the non-developed world are somehow barbaric, but if we can swallow our pride on this, then it is a fact there is a gulf of difference between the markets of North America, Western Europe and some pockets in the Far East on one hand the rest of the world on the other. What is this difference? First, per capita income and buying power and what is most important for the purpose of this article, broadband penetration. Broadband penetration translates into a change in lifestyle -- eCommerce, net banking, social media and of course in the way we consume information, and it is this last change that is cause of much grief in the upper echelons of media ownership. Print media is feeling the heat as it loses market share to online media. What does it mean in terms of advertising? Before we answer that question, let me ask you what is the business that Google is in? You may say search, you may say online video -through YouTube, you may say cloud computing, but if you are really perceptive you would realise that it is a pure play advertising company. In fact if
you cut to the chase, then all media companies are advertising companies -- their main business is to sell ads. Or for that matter to sell advertising space to mainline businesses, and the content they carry is simply a way to increase the value of the space that they sell. The COST of an ad in college magazine is the same as that in Economic Times but the PRICE that ET can charge for the same ad is far more than what a college magazine can charge, simply because it is surrounded by information that a far larger number of people would be interested in. The hook is the same but because the bait is better you catch more fish and so you are willing to pay more for the same hook. In case of Google, they sell ad space packaged inside their search engine or YouTube videos and since these are very popular, their ads can be priced higher. ( In reality, Google's ad service has some pretty advanced features, but that may not be very relevant to our discussion here ) An extension of the same logic allows us to see that putting an ad in an online journal is more likely to be effective than an equivalent ad in a print journal and this logic is apparently correct because Google ( and other online ad servers ) seem to be growing in strength at the cost of the traditional media.
Case closed. QED. Or is it? Let me ask you a question : I presume you are an active user of the web but tell me how many times have you actually clicked on an ad on a web page? I will not answer on your behalf, but in my case it is very, very rare. When we search the web, we are more interested in reading the page we looked up, or watching the movie we wanted, who bothers about clicking on that p e s k y a d ? Perhaps it is different in the more "developed" societies where the change in lifestyle is more substantial and where many more things are being done through the online route, but back home, here in India -- and by extension, in areas that are geographically or demographically similar -- clicking on an ad is an exception rather than the rule. Someday, oh surely someday, we shall overcome this indifference and click on an ad just as we have started visiting Pizza Hut or Cafe Coffee Day, even though the food or beverage they serve is not substantially better than what is available in the friendly neighbourhood dhaba! But until then, is there a way to make people click on a link? There is! Social media sites like Orkut, Facebook or the more eclectic sites like Slashdot and Digg! When we visit Facebook or Slashdot we are actively looking for sites to click on because they have been referred to us by our friends! When I visit Slashdot -- and I am the geeky kind that loves difficult to find information on an assortment of eclectic topics -- I actually click on the link that my friends, even anonymous "friends" have recommended simply because I have developed a level of trust in their judgment. It is more likely than not that the sites that I am pointed to would be of interest to me. In a more mundane sense, so is the case with Facebook. If someone I know recommends a book, or a video or an article in Facebook, I am more likely than not to go and check it out. So, unlike the ad of Google AdSense that are routinely displayed next to a article in an online journal, the strike rate -- or click-through-rate as it is referred to -- is far higher in social media and this is where we hit the sweet spot in online marketing. And what makes it even better, is not only do I click on link, if I like it I recommend it to
my friends and the chain continues -- and you have the genesis of viral marketing. But can viral marketing be used as a substitute for direct, in your face advertising of traditional products from say FMCG products or white goods? My social media friends may be intrigued by my references to o_bcNayontara, my wife's musical band, or c9llthe Road to pSingularity, my explanation of the cosmos or may even click on a link that tells them to save the last 1411 tigers left in India but would they forgive me if I ask them to visit a Sunsilk ad? or a D o C o M o c o m m e r c i a l ? U n l i k e l y. That then is the real challenge to viral marketing. How to make it palatable and not an imposition on my "friendship"? The trick is -- or should be -to blend the ad into an ambient environment that is fundamentally useful or interesting. Google does it by blending the ad into its search results. Some movie directors do this by blending lifestyle products into the lifestyle that is being portrayed by the actor -- 007 and the Aston Martin, but on the whole, it is easier said than done. Viral marketing is nice. It gets you the clicks that you would never have got in a traditional online ad but the real difficulty is to use this powerful medium to advertise traditional products like detergents or services like insurance. How can one achieve a harmonious blend of soft social media advertising and the hard ads that actually pull in the big money? The answer, as in the case of all such difficult questions, is that it is not e a s y. T h e r e i s n o s i l v e r b u l l e t . One approach could be to build niche social networks -- not around hard products or services, but around broad based themes. For example around health insurance or prepaid telephone tariffs or around personal grooming or even around consumer grievance redressal. Such networks, if managed honestly and without overt bias may provide the platform on which viral marketing techniques might come of age and grow of out of amateur adolescence and into commercial adulthood. Physical creation of such networks is not difficult. Services like lxhzNing and v0m5SocialGo will allow you to create such networks very easily -- and with all the usual bells and whistles like friends, blogs, forums, videos, chat, mail and what not -- but the next
challenge is to enroll a critical mass of people to participate in the network. Alternatively, one can work on building subnetworks withing the more traditional public networks like Facebook where flexibility is less but the reach is far higher -- it already has millions of members! Fan Pages and Causes within Facebook could be looked upon as such sub networks, but the difficulty is that the major public networks are not very tolerant of blatant advertising -- unless of course they are designated as ads and paid for. But in that case, the viral effect is lost and it becomes just
a n o t h e r
o n l i n e
a d .
Net-net, the potential of viral marketing on social media is huge but making it really work calls for ingenuity, experimentation and of course hard work. The field is so new that there is very little hard theory, only anecdotal folklore to guide the intrepid explorer and the best way to learn about it is to jump in and try out various options till you get a feel of how the whole thing works. On the web, there are many things that are free but unfortunately, a lunch certainly is not one of them.
Influence of Consumers' E x p l o r a t o r y Te n d e n c i e s on their Proneness to Deals
Biplab Datta Surajit Ghosh Dastidar Asst.Professor, Professor, VGSoM EIILM, Kolkata
Prof. Biplab Datta is a silver medalist graduate from IIT Kharagpur. He has received ISO 9000 Lead Auditor Certificate from DNV, UK. Prof. Datta has done his PhD from IIT Delhi. He has more than fifteen years of teaching experience. His areas of expertise include Marketing Management, Service Quality Management, Customer Relationship Management, Leadership and Team Work. Surajit Ghosh Dastidar Has sumbitted thesis at VGSOM, IIT-KGP and is presently working with EIILM, Kolkata as a faculty member. Has been awarded AICTE National Doctoral Fellowship. Other qualifications include masters in science and business management and mass communication. Has worked as consultant with Bengal and Jharkhand Government projects. has experience in developing documentary films. Has a few publications at international peer reviewed journals.
It has been widely accepted that people tend to prefer a satisfactory intermediate level of stimulation which is termed as optimum stimulation level (OSL). People with low levels of stimulation engage in an exploration of the environment to gain stimulation in order to attain their OSL, or vice versa. This tendency of exploration is termed exploratory tendency (ET) in psychology literature. While conducting research on consumer behaviour in the 1980s, P. S. Raju stated that common consumer actions like brand switching, exploration through shopping; searching for information on products and communicating with others about their purchases can be regarded as manifestations of consumers' ET. Customers switch brands while seeking variety in their purchases. They tend to take risks while exploring products and their features during shopping. Similarly, their tendency to gather information by talking with others about their purchases is a way of satisfying their curiosity. Thus, variety seeking, risk taking and curiosity satisfaction are three forms of consumers' ET. It is intuitive to believe that customers get attracted to deals because of the monetary incentives provided by deals. However, it has been often observed that customers tend to redeem deals offering insignificant price
benefits or they switch brands because of a deal which they do not redeem ultimately. In order to explain such paradox, Raju reasoned that customers could become prone to deals offered by marketers as deals offered them an opportunity to seek variety, take risks and/or satisfy their curiosity required to attain their OSL. Accordingly, customers with high OSL would have higher levels of ET and would be more prone to be attracted to and redeem deals offered on products and services. This provides an opportunity for marketing researchers as they can now study how different types of deals were related to the satisfaction of customers' exploratory tendencies during the purchase of different products or product categories. Our Research In order to explore this domain, we undertook regression studies on the data collected for 410 consumer-respondents in West Bengal to see how each of the three forms of ET affected customers' proneness to redeem eight types of deals widely offered in the Indian marketplace on the purchase of shampoo (an FMCG) and refrigerator, (a consumer durable) as shampoo and refrigerator were two of the three products on which 89% of the deals have been offered in
the past. The eight types of deals considered in our study were Coupon, Sales, Rupees-off, Buy-one-get-one-free, Free gift with purchase, Shelf display, Rebate/Refund and Contest. We measured customers' ET using the questionnaire reported by Raju in 1980. Similarly we adapted the questionnaires developed by Lichenstien and Burton in their 1997 studies to measure consumers' proneness to the eight types of deals. As posited, it was found that the three forms of consumers' exploratory tendencies positively affected their proneness to eight types of deals in varying degrees. The results implied that people like brand-switchers, who have high levels of ET (i.e. risk taking, variety seeking and curiosity satisfying tendencies), are prone to various types of deals as the deals allowed them to achieve their high levels of stimulation (OSL) and help them switch brands. Similarly, risk taking and innovative people tend to satisfy their ET and achieve their OSL by purchasing innovative, new products. However, the link between consumers' curiosity satisfying tendencies and their deal proneness was not statistically significant. Managerial implications Our study threw up some learning for marketing professionals. It was found that consumers with high levels of brand switching tendencies, i.e., brand switchers, were prone to shelf displayed, free gift offers, buy-one-get-one-free offers,
rupees-off offers and coupons in that order while they were deciding on the purchase of shampoo. Similarly, brand switchers were likely to switch to a brand of refrigerator that was well displayed, or had a rupees-off offer, free gift o ff e r, b u y - o n e - g e t - o n e - f r e e o ff e r, o r rebate/refund offer in that order. Risk takers or innovative consumers, on the other hand, were most likely to buy a new and/or unknown brand of shampoo that offered sale, was displayed well on shelf, offered contest, coupon, rebate/refund, free gift, rupees-off and buy-one-get-one-free offer in that order. Similarly, risk takers were most likely to buy new or unknown brand of refrigerator that was on sale, offered rebate/refund, contest, coupon, rupees-off, or was displayed well, in that order. Above figure illustrates the rank of proneness to different types of deals by brand switchers and risk takers for deciding on the purchase of shampoo and refrigerator. Marketers can now select the most effective type of deal to be offered on the purchase of shampoo and refrigerator to two different types of customers in West Bengal, in order to ensure the purchase of their brand of products. More of such studies can be carried out in future to enable marketers to choose the most effective type of deal to be offered on different types of products for achieving best sales results.
Product 1. 2. Brand 3. switcher 4. 5. 1. Customer 2. type 3. Risk taker/ 4. innovator 5. 6. 7. 8. Shampoo Good shelf display Free gift Buy one get one free Rupee off Coupon Sale Good shelf display Contest Coupon Rebate/Refund Free gift Rupee off Buy one get one free 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Refrigerator Good shelf display Rupee off Free gift Buy one get one free Rebate/Refund
1. Sale 2. Rebate/Refund 3. Contest 4. Coupon 5. Rupee off 6. Good shelf display
Rank of Proneness to Deal Types
Social Media: Marketing and Balance
Brian Meeks, CEO Riel Life Productions
Brian Meeks is an economics graduate from the Iowa State University. He has a rich and diverse work experience ranging from analytics to manufacturing to general management. He has worked in Candelworks, a Candle manufacturing plant, which produces candles from soyabean oil, an eco friendly company. He then worked as an analyst with GEICO, an auto insurance company. He then went ahead to start his own company, Riel Life Productions, which builds and manages spaces in the virtual world of Second life for corporate clients. He is currently managing the social media for www.preferredvendor.com, an SaaS company which creates tools for the HR and Recruiting industry.
Social Media is getting more attention than a pretty girl walking down the street. Most people are aware of Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, YouTube and blogs, but like the pretty girls, they aren't sure how to approach them. There is much to know and understand and seeing all that is out there requires looking at social media from many different angles. It can be confusing to say the least. Only a small percentage of the people involved in social media, use it for marketing, or understand how to approach building a brand with this tool. Conceptually it is very easy to understand how having a strong presence in Social Media will aid one in their marketing efforts. On the surface the math may look something like this. If I increase my Twitter followers from 100 to 1000 I will be reaching more people and thus have greater success in my marketing. It is true; you might, though it is also possible that there will not be any noticeable difference. It is like the young man who is standing on a lonely street hoping to meet a girl, but very few walk past. He reasons that if he goes to the dance, where there are lots of pretty girls, he will surely have a much greater chance to meet one of them. The problem for our young Romeo is that if he doesn't talk to anyone, it doesn't matter how many people there are, he will still end up lonely. This is the case in Social Media marketing as
well. It is not enough to simply put up a page and follow a bunch of people, which you don't care about, in the hopes that they will follow you back. They might follow you, and you might get to 1000 people, but if you are still not talking to them, they won't hear you. One needs to build relationships when working on their social media marketing. It is important to build real, sincere relationships, ones where you know and care about the other people's lives. There are many channels to use in social media marketing and it is important to pick the ones that best fit your needs. If one is launching a marketing plan to find talent for a new computer software company, then building relationships on Linkedin might be the route to go. A young singer might want to focus on Twitter and YouTube to get her music to the ears of a broader audience. There are tools like GIST (www.gist.com) and many others which help one manage multiple social media channels. But it is important that one always remember that it is about forming relationships. I personally try to balance two main areas within my social media marketing, growth and education. To increase one's social media presence takes a lot of time and effort. One should spend time finding people that have similar interests. I manage social media for my job and I also have my own personal social media which I manage. I enjoy woodworking, so I have begun to blog about my experiences learning this new hobby. I want to build a
following to my blog, so that I might monetize it. To do this I have focused on finding people who are on twitter and enjoy woodworking. I have also found that some people like to read my blog, because of my writing style, so I have started to follow some creative writers too. I focus on finding genuine people to follow, and if they follow me back, that is great, but even if they don't, I still care about what they have to say. Who knows they may follow me eventually. The growth portion requires spending time looking for new people, sending (DM) direct messages to people who follow me, reading the tweets by the people which I follow, and responding when appropriate. This takes a lot of time, but it is how one learns about one's followers and builds relationships. I have twice as many followers on Twitter as I did one month ago, and each night, when I post a link to my daily blog, I have twice as many people click on that link. I attribute this to building quality followers. I also devote some time to investigating each person who follows me. If I see someone who, has very few tweets, rarely tweets, only tweets about what they are selling, has a ratio of following people 10:1 versus being followed, doesn't have an avatar picture, or generally looks like a spammer, then I block them. I don't want to follow them back, and I don't want them to be following me and messing up my count. I want to know how many 'real' followers I have. The last bit about checking out followers could also be counted towards the time I spend on education. I try to read as many blogs of the people I follow as possible. This helps me get to
know them. If they have written a piece which I generally enjoy, I tweet about it. This lets them know that I appreciate the work they put into their blog. The quantity of new social media tools and sites out there is staggering. There are auto DM programs, which I hate, but I still check them out. There are programs to help one manage all their Social Media. I listened to a web radio cast about Gist last week, and though I had been a member for some time, learned about a bunch of new features. I watch videos of lectures regarding social media on YouTube. It is impossible to keep up with everything, but one must spend some time every day or week, to keep abreast of the direction social media is heading. It all changes very quickly. If one balances their time between building their network and learning about their network and social media in general, one will eventually build a presence which will improve their marketing efforts. They will see an increase in their blog traffic, which will then lead people back to their twitter, Linkedin, or Facebook fan page. People with whom you have built relationships will start to tweet about your blogs to their followers. After a while the channels will allow you to get your message out, interact with customers, handle complaints, and most importantly build loyalty to your product or service, but it takes effort and balance to get there. Who knows, one day you may be so successful and rich that you may have the confidence to go up to the pretty girl and say 'Hi', or maybe just send her a tweet.
Marketing your Band Online
Sahil Makhija, Musician, Mumbai
Sahil Makhija alias 'Demonstealer' has been part of the growing Indian underground metal scene for almost a decade. He is the vocalist and guitarist of one of India's most well known and popular metal band 'Demonic Resurrection'. He also fronts India's only Humor Metal band called 'Workshop'. Sahil Makhija also has a solo project under his own name as well as another where he plays the drums called 'Reptilian Death'. In 2005 he set up Demonstealer Records, an independent record label set up to promote Indian Extreme metal bands along with Demonic Studios where he produces and records bands himself. To top it off he also works with Furtados Music as their artist relations manager and product specialist.
I'm a college drop-out. I never studied marketing or anything even remotely related to it. However, I'm told that I'm good at it, and good enough for someone to ask me to write this column about it. Whatever I've managed to do is simply because it was necessary. I formed my band 'Demonic Resurrection' in the year 2000 when the Indian indie scene was starting to pick up. Bands were finally starting to write original music and some of them even recording it and making albums to sell. It's because of this movement that I felt the need to market my music and my band. In the old days, bands relied on TV, print and radio to market themselves and due to the astronomical costs of these media, they were unable to do any of this without the support of a record label. Fast forward to the 20th century, the Internet has picked up, less and less people are buying music and the internet has connected and created a global music community. It's the perfect platform to market yourself to people anywhere in the world, and it doesn't cost you anything (apart from the net bills, computer costs and electricity). In and around 2000 there was no Facebook or Orkut or a gazillion other social networking sites, there was no myspace and ReverbNation for music. We had Mp3.com, where artists could upload their music and
profile and people could listen to it for free. Back then, ICQ was the instant messenger of choice and chatting on yahoo chat was a big deal. One of my strategies in those days was visiting all the metal chat rooms and individually messaging people asking them to check out my band. While a lot of people cursed me and blocked me, there was a large number of people that did take the time to listen to it. Some of them became fans, otherwise gave me some kind of criticism or praise, all valuable inputs for a budding band. Around the same time Gigpad.com, a portal for Indian bands opened up and they had a forum where everyone could join and post stuff. Again, this proved to be a great platform and it was easy to talk about what's going on in the scene. To be honest, there was no real marketing whiz behind getting the band noticed in the start, it was just straight out down to earth 1 on 1 approach with people saying 'hey check out my band'. However 5 years down the link the online world has changed too and we have everything from Orkut and Facebook to Twitter to Myspace and ReverbNation, the list of tools and websites that allow you to promote your music are endless. So how do you get started and what do you do to get noticed? To begin with, every band needs to
do the most obvious thing - write some music and then spend some money and get it recorded. Remember, a band is an investment. So unless you have written good songs and those good songs are recorded well, no amount of marketing in the world can help you. If you have a great song that is recorded badly, no one will want to listen to it. If you have a bad song that is brilliantly recorded, you still will have no one giving 2 cents for it. Remember, don't get sucked into loving yourself, be critical and make sure you create something musical that is worth people's time and money because you do want people to come back to your website. So once you have this bit ready, you need to get some other stuff in place. Stuff like good photographs of the band live and in the studio, a well written bio, some goodies like wallpapers, artwork etc. Once you have done all that, target Facebook, Orkut, Myspace, ReverbNation, Twitter and Youtube. Set up a band account, fan pages, profiles, tweet, update, share. With ReverbNation you pretty much have everything you need and you can link your Facebook, Myspace and Twitter accounts to automatically update. Then you need to start sharing these links with your friends, get on forums and communities and paste your link or even better use the ReverbNation widgets to post actual music players on blogs etc. Keep recording
your performances and upload videos on youtube. Remember, the more content you have the more people view it, also its very important to keep updating your fans. Speaking of fans, one of the most important things is to always take the time and trouble to talk to your fans online through Facebook or Myspace and take time to reply to their emails. As a fan I know if my fav musician writes back to my email I become an even bigger fan. Loyal fans can even be enlisted in your street team which you can create in Reverbnation. In fact Reverbnation is probably the best band building website as it gives you EVERYTHING that you need right from mailing list functions to online store, to selling your music etc. So make sure you are on Reverbnation. With all this stuff online to help you promote your music the possibilities are endless, but more than online marketing it's how you are in the real world. How hard does your band work to put up a great gig, how hard do you guys work to stay back after the show and sell your merchandise directly to fans, or how many autographs you sign and how you spend time and interact with these fans. If you do all this offline you are pretty sure of a successful career considering you have the most important thing in place, which is 'Great Music'.
Mr. Arvind Singhal Director– Marketing,McDonald's India (West & South)
Mr. Singhal is the Director– Marketing, McDonald's India (West & South). In this capacity he is responsible for aligning the functional goals to the overall business objectives to achieve the company's annual targets. His responsibilities include achieving top line & bottom line numbers for the organization & to lead all marketing activities and programs nationally. He also aims to develop a world class marketing team to leverage consumer understanding & fuel growth for the organisation. Prior to joining McDonald's in May of 2007, Arvind was with Reliance Communications as Marketing Manager of Reliance Mobile & Reliance Hello and was responsible for providing advertising support at National & Circle levels. Arvind has also worked for well known brands like Nokia India Pvt. ltd, Marico Industries Ltd, Asian paints (India) limited & Telco under various capacities. An alumni of IIT-Mumbai, Arvind also holds a management degree from IIM-Kolkata. Arvind is passionate about learning & his biggest strength is his integrity towards whatever he aims to achieve. He is always driven by positive attitude in any sphere of activity - be it academics, sports or extra-curricular activities for which he has won many awards throughout. Arvind is an avid reader and spends his leisure time keeping himself abreast with the latest trends in business around the world. He also likes to read and play golf & tennis.
MAD: Can you tell us about the business model followed by McDonald's? AS: Our operations are built on the four blocks of Quality, Service, Convenience and Value and everything that we undertake is focused on delivering these enduring values to our customers. At McDonald's our primary focus is on providing our customers with high quality products, served quickly with a smile in a clean and pleasant environment at affordable prices. The full fledged McDonald's restaurants are located in heavy footfall areas such as malls and on high-street locations and offer the whole range of McDonald's products. A true family dining destination, McDonald's restaurants ensure a fun-filled experience for the entire family. McDonald's Drive Thru restaurants are designed to enable busy executives on the move to grab a quick and convenient meal. They are an integral part of McDonald's business plan both in India and internationally and McDonald's
is well positioned to expand on Drive-Thru locations in major cities across the country. McDonald's was the first to introduce this concept in India. Petrol Pump Alliance McDonald's has partnered with Bharat Petroleum and HPCL to set up McDonald's restaurant at select stations in cities across the South and West. McDonald's restaurants have been set up at select fuel stations under the first of its kind oil-alliance programme giving an option to customers to enjoy McDonald's products when on the move. The Kiosk format has been leveraged in metro cities and offers a selection of cold desserts and beverages only. Kiosks have been a successful model and contribute around 2% of total sales. Currently McDonald's has around 50 stand alone kiosks and plans to open 20 more this year. The McDelivery concept was launched by McDonald's first in Asia markets, McDonald's home delivery service enables us to be accessible to consumers at home, offices,
colleges and pretty much everywhere. This format contributes almost 12% of the sales and it has the potential to grow to 20% in two years. The delivery service works through a standard national toll free number to ensure similar and easier access for customers. MAD: W h a t a r e t h e s u p p l y c h a i n management issues that McDonald's faces? AS: As I mentioned McDonald's is built upon the foundation of QSC & V (Quality, Service, Cleanliness & Value) and in order to deliver QSC&V consistently, one of the biggest hurdles was the limited availability of an effective cold chain network in India. Additionally, there were no processing facilities as well as limited availability of high standard raw products. In order to overcome the same, six years prior to the opening of its first restaurant, we worked very closely with Indian farmers and processing facilities to bring in the latest technology in farming, processing and cold chain through technology transfer arrangement between our international suppliers and Indian businessmen. Owing to this foresightedness we don't have any supply chain related issues at our restaurants. MAD: We only see the food services side of McDonald's. Could you throw some light upon McDonald's technological side? AS: McDonald's has established a scientific centralised supply and logistics system starting from the farmer level and the onwards to the factory, distribution centre and finally to their restaurants by educating/ training farmers, suppliers, distribution centres and employees in restaurants so that high quality products matching international standards can be delivered to McDonald's customers, resulting in customer satisfaction at the highest level. MAD: McDonald's is known for its quality management. How does McDonald's ensure this? AS: The USP of McDonald's is the Quality, Service, Cleanliness & Value for money which means we focus on providing our customers high quality products, served
quickly with a smile, in a clean and pleasant environment, and at an affordable price. McDonald's India serves only the highest quality products. The biggest change that McDonald's brought about in food processing in India is introducing the concept of HACCP and GMP to its supplier's way back in 1995-96 All McDonald's suppliers adhere to Indian Government regulations on food, health and hygiene while continuously maintaining their own recognized standards. All McDonald's products are prepared using the most current state-of-the-art cooking equipment to ensure quality and safety. At McDonald's, the customer always comes first. McDonald's India provides fast friendly servicethe hallmark of McDonald's that sets its restaurants apart from others. McDonald's restaurants provide a clean, comfortable environment especially suited for families. McDonald's menu is priced at a value that the largest segment of the Indian consumers can afford. MAD: Cafe Coffee Day has entered into non food retail and also third party product retail. What does McDonald's feel about the same? Do we see McDonald's following a similar path soon? AS: As a policy, we don't comment on other brands and their strategies. MAD: McDonald's has come a long way from being perceived as a predominantly children's restaurant to a complete family restaurant. How did McDonald's achieve this transition in India? AS: The starting point was to bring to 'Indian', 'values families and culture', 'comfortable and easy'. In short a 'friendly place where families would love to enjoy and have a special time'. However, the onus was to consistently build and protect the brand while persistently committed to fundamentals of QSC&V (Quality, Service, Cleanliness & Value). The first step for the brand was to establish itself as a familiar, comfortable place. Taking a cue from the Indian family values, the year 2000 saw the first ever McDonald's ad aired in the country. In addition we divide the target audience into
adults and kids and cater them accordingly. Our adult marketing would consist of promoting our core products l i k e McVeggie, McChicken and the Happy Price Menu of Rs 20 onwards. For our young patrons we roll out Happy Meal promotions which would be of a toy associated with either a movie or series of cartoon on monthly basis which engage the kids and create excitement among them. MAD: Would McDonald's consider opening a branch within the IIT campus in Kharagpur?
AS: McDonald's India is a wholly owned company managed by Indians. In the Western Region, Hardcastle Restaurants Private Limited owns and manages McDonald's restaurants. In the Northern and Eastern regions, McDonald's restaurants are owned and managed by Connaught Plaza Restaurants Private Limited. The decision to open a restaurant depends on customer base, the reach of the supply chain network without hindering the product quality and feasibility of the venture. If we perceive a strong business opportunity in opening a restaurant within the campus we will definitely work towards it. (via email)
Ms. Susan Jain, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, IBM India/South Asia
Susan is Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Corporate Citizenship for IBM India/South Asia, where she leads all aspects of these activities across the IBM product and services portfolio. Before coming to India, Susan was based in Shanghai for 3 years where she served as Director of Strategy and Marketing for the GTS business in Asia Pacific. Prior to that, she has held a variety of global and geo marketing positions in IBM GBS, with marketing responsibilities ranging from GBS Americas to global GBS Service Lines, BTO (MBPS), General Business, PwCC integration, and rollouts of the global CEO, CFO and CHRO studies. Since joining IBM in 1998, she has served in a variety of global and geo marketing positions in IBM, most recently being based in Shanghai for 3 years as Director of Strategy and Marketing for IBM GTS in Asia Pacific. Susan joined IBM in 1998 from Geac (formerly Dun & Bradstreet Software/MSA/McCormack & Dodge), where she was worldwide Director of Marketing with responsibility for Strategic Marketing, Industry Marketing, Alliance Marketing, Market Intelligence, and PR/Communications for the SmartStream clientserver enterprise software line. Prior to that, she was co-founder and President of two firms: Cognetics Consulting of Cambridge Massachusetts, which specializes in micro-economic analysis of entrepreneurialism and job change for marketing strategy and business forecasting, and Step1 Systems, a consumer software developer based in Roswell, Georgia. She was a Research Associate at MIT's Program on Neighborhood and Regional Change, and is author of a number of publications in the fields of entrepreneurialism, small and medium businesses, real estate demand forecasting and job creation. Ms. Jain earned her Masters degrees with honors from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Transportation Systems and Urban Planning, and Bachelor of Arts with honors/Phi Beta Kappa from Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts, USA. A native of the US state of Oregon, she currently resides in Bangalore, India.
MAD: Could you give us an idea about the pre-sales processes at IBM SJ: We have an end-to-end sales process that is used globally, flowing from pre-sales through the sales process and service-after sales. Marketing interacts with this process at all stages, and our role in each stage varies based on the requirement (eg, seller and channel enablement vs. market warming vs. demand generation, etc.) MAD:How does IBM carry out Segmentation, Targeting and Targeting? TP? SJ: Our Marketing Managers work closely with the business in their role as advisors on the marketplace to perform market analysis, including segmentation. They utilize a global
market segment planning toolkit and processes that are in place within IBM to support the MM profession. This planning process draws heavily upon the insights that come from our market intelligence team (which we call Market Insights), and is then used both for business planning and for demand generation program planning. Using business analytics as well as staying close to the business to understand our clients and their preferences is clearly a critical underpinning for all of this. Creative and insightful Marketing Managers who can deliver on both the "art and the science" of their profession play a key role in taking this to a strategic level. MAD: What are the key points in Brand management for IBM as a B2B organisation? SJ: Managing across a very broad portfolio is
both a challenge and an opportunity for us. And taking into consideration that IT clients increasingly buy consulting and solutions, not just 'piece-part' products, makes this requirement all the more complex and interesting for us as marketing professionals. For example, we need to be able to understand how and when to position a server, a specific type of software, or a particular type of service, at the same time that we need to know when to do the same for a broad business issue, such as establishing a world-class supply chain or IT security capability, or preparing for IFRS. Along with that comes the requirement to do that for any number of client segments, and applying all of the fundamental principles of good brand management in doing that. MAD: How does IBM carry out prospecting? How does IBM as a service provider approach a prospective client? SJ: We go to market through a variety of routes, including our IBM direct sellers and our network of business partners. Both are essential to our success in developing and maintaining clients relationships in a dynamic marketplace MAD: What are the career options in service marketing/ technology marketing at IBM? SJ: We have a full range of career options available in India, including roles which work to support our business locally as well as ones that address needs beyond India. At any point in time, we may have openings in Marketing Operations, Market Insights, Market Management (including industry- and brandspecific), Brand Planning & S t r a t e g y, a n d M a r k e t i n g Communications/Program Management. Most jobs are located in Bangalore in India, though we will consider talented candidates in other locations (and sometimes may prefer them, based on local client requirements). Some level of marketing experience is generally preferred, and MBAs are also much appreciated. MAD: What procedures does IBM follow to carry out Market Research? SJ: We have a global set of standard
procedures for Market Research that guide all of our Market Insights professionals and their internal clients, worldwide. These include a standard, common data source that is used for market sizing, as well as expected procedures for primary and secondary research. This ensures a high consistent level of processes and performance in our Market Research work, globally and frees us up to focus on what we've learned since there is a common expectation for how the work is done. MAD: How does IBM create synergy between their technology and the technology of prospective clients? SJ: Excellent question! After all, client's technology decisions can end up looking rather like cars or houses, since much as there may be common elements (eg, everyone has a kitchen or a steering wheel), in fact the priorities, technology product decisions, architecture, etc. all will be customized to varying extent based on their business need. One of our roles as technology advisor to our clients is to help them marry their business priorities to their current technology, and map out the best solution for their requirements. It's this set of challenges that also makes new technologies such as Cloud so exciting -- not as technologies alone, but because they may enable forward-thinking clients to take very new, more effective and efficient approaches in the future as compared to how they are operating today. MAD: What according to you would be the future of B2B marketing? SJ: Perhaps I'm biased by my experience, but I think the future of B2B marketing is among the most exciting anywhere, and particularly in emerging markets such as India. Taking the long history of B2C marketing and applying it in the business-to-business context isn't exactly a new thought, but it's still an area where creativity and breakthrough thinking are required. Additionally, adjusting for the unique requirements of Indian firms -- as well as their clients and relationships globally -- makes this a particularly interesting and complex marketing discipline. (via email)
Mr Akash Das, Executive Vice President , Uninor, Kolkata Hub
Akash Das has over 16 years of telecom experience with leading international telecom companies. Prior to joining Unitech Wireless, Akash, has been with the Telenor group serving in Digi in Malaysia and has been the Vice President for Mobile Operators in Malaysia. He was responsible for aligning customer's key business drivers and thus developing and creating profitable business. Akash served Nokia Siemens Networks ,Prior to which, he was the country Head of EBEN Technologies GmbH, in Germany. Earlier he held the position of Head of Sales for South East Asia in Siemens AG , based out of Germany. He has been instrumental in driving business in countries such as Australia, Hong Kong & Malaysia. Born in Orissa, Akash moved to Germany to study engineering, after completing his Bachelor of Science from Municipal College, Rourkela. He completed his Masters in Telecommunications & Engineering from the Technical University of Berlin. Further , he completed his MBA programmes from Duke University , USA, & Finance from INSEAD-Singapore. In his free time, Akash pursues several hobbies including Photography, Reading and Music & loves spending time with his family. He is also a keen follower of sports such as Golf & Cricket.
MAD: Can you briefly tell us about the various services that Uninor will offer in India? AD: As Uninor continues to strengthen its launch presence in India, at this phase it would provide a network based EDGE platform, real time charging solutions to handle the demands of prepaid-postpaid, voice-data-content. It brings with it, the experience of the Telenor Group, one of the world's largest and fastest growing providers of mobile communication services. We have mobile operations across Europe and Asia and a significant fixed line, satellite and broadcast business in the Nordic region. But we are more than facts and figures. We say we are built around people. This thought inspires us and helps us to develop products and services that change lives. Uninor is the brand name for Unitech Wireless the joint venture company of India's second largest diversified real estate major Unitech Ltd. and the Norway based world's 6th largest GSM mobile services provider Telenor Group. With over 150 years of telecom experience, the Group's 40,000 employees are present in 13 countries worldwide with 172 million mobile
subscriptions as of Q3 2009. A dominant position in markets most similar to India, allows the Telenor Group to deploy existing competencies in distribution, targeted offerings, customer lifecycle management and organization culture in the Indian context. At present, the Telenor Group has already invested INR 4113.46 crores through new shares in the joint venture company to hold 60.11% share with an agreement to raise this to INR 6120 crores to increase its shareholding to 67.25%. The company holds a pan-India UAS license to offer mobile telephony services in each of India's 22 circles. It has also received spectrum to roll out these services in 21 of the 22 circles. At present, Uninor services are available in the eight circles of UP (West), UP (East), Bihar (including Jharkhand), Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. As India's second largest diversified real estate major with over 30 years of presence across locations nationwide, the Unitech Group comes into this joint venture as a partner with decades of consumer facing experience and understanding of the Indian market. It is also without doubt the most recognized and trusted brand among the new operators awarded licenses to launch in
India. Unitech is also the only Indian partner, among the new operators, to be listed on the Indian Stock Exchanges and infact features in the National Stock Exchange's bell weather S&P CNX Nifty Index. MAD: Uninor is entering an already saturated market. What kind of strategy has Uninor designed to create for itself a niche? AD: The Telenor Group is one of the largest mobile operators in Asia with strong and growing operations in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and India. Under the name Uninor, mobile operations were launched in India in December 2009 with the world's largest Greenfield GSM launch covering a footprint of 600 million . In the first month of operations the company attracted 1.2 million subscribers. Our success has been built on applying our global telecoms expertise together with local market insight to create value for all segments of society. This strategy has paid off in very rapid subscriber growth. Growth comes from truly understanding the needs of the people to drive relevant change.In the process, Uninor has taken leadership on several core issues relevant to the industry - ranging from a unique infrastructure model based entirely on outsourcing to defying norms by launching with tariffs based on segmentation. The approach to brand building and a decentralized hub based organization model also mark out a unique course. Uninor has structured itself with an empowered hubs model A telecom operator without an HQ Our organization is structured as 11 hubs to cover 22 telecom circles, assisted by the 'Support Office' hub is led by the Hub Executive ViceEach President. Each has its own P&L responsibility. Each is empowered to take their own business decisions, close to where their customers are. model, with true empowerment and In this local decision making, Uninor has obviated the need for a 'headquarter' or 'corporate office'. Instead, with a role different from other organizations, the MD sits in the 'Support Office' For our customers, we are here to help, which means we treat all our customers as people
rather than statistics, offering them our services as tools for fulfilling their dreams, needs and ambitions. In the long run, that's what will do most for our customers and for our business. We truly care about the way our mobile business can empower people: by keeping them in touch with loved ones, by creating educational and employment opportunities, and by connecting them with trade, health and social, and livelihood services. A strictly non-discriminatory and respectful attitude towards customers will be the hallmark of our approach. In a competitive market this, it will never be easy, but we have a long term ambition and we have made a positive start. The first and most logical evaluation of success is the response an operator receives in the market. In terms of pure numbers, Uninor leads every other new operator (for whom independent data is available). On an average, Uninor has added an average of over 1 million subscribers every month .This is the highest month-on-month subscriber addition among all new operators, irrespective of technology platforms (GSM or CDMA). As of March end, Uninor's subscriber base stood at over 4.2 million – and these come ONLY from 8 circles it is present in. It is interesting to note that none of these are metro circles (which traditionally contribute higher subscriber numbers) As Uninor completes the Blue Arc – the Uninor footprint that now sweeps seamlessly through North, East and Southern India covering India's largest states. This also marks the completion of the first phase of our launch activities. While our launch project now shifts to the second phase, the main focus is now to strengthen our foot print further and thus giving our customers a seamless network. MAD: What various channels of marketing is Uninor pursuing? AD: The Telenor Group takes its responsibility to the countries where it operates seriously. We recognise that mobile communication services are a significant contributor to economic and social growth and that the best way to realise value is by taking a bold and long-term perspective on our investments. Uninor has unique channels of marketing . Sales and distribution The other pillar of market success, Uninor set a record when it launched
and has even today the highest reach through distribution, modern and traditional retail among new operators. At launch, Uninor debuted with over 210,000 points of sale, 1000 exclusive distributors and 50 exclusive shops (160 now) ready for service. This was a record launch day distribution by any operator in India (incumbent or new) and infact the largest by any Greenfield GSM operator in the world. MAD: You have recently launched your Brand building initiative in semi-urban and rural markets. Please tell us something about this. AD: Our Brand targets the youth, the young motivated Indian who is willing to do something in life. Our Brand Ambassadors are not celebrities but the next door Young India , our very own employees who are used as faces in the advertisements to emulate brand UNINOR in India. We create growth and value for all our stakeholders by focusing on people's needs. Together with customers, businesses and local communities, we drive relevant change for individuals and the societies of which we are part. Powered by Uninor values, the retail strategy is to establish key Sales Channels which complement classic distribution channels. This would include reaching out to the evolving organized retail customers. So the objective is not only to have an exclusive customer touch-point in the neighborhood which cater to all customer mobile needs but also have our product placement in select Regional and National chain stores to target the desired customer segment. Entire gamut of enablers to achieve the above would have to be put in place viz Store loyalty schemes, Innovative tie-ups, Co-branding etc. Brand The strength of the brand, how well it has been received by customers and how unique does it stand in a cluttered market. Though evaluation will always be subjective, the Uninor brand stands out. A 'different' brand. We chose to create our
brand around people – everyday young ambitious Indians eager to succeed on their own steam. These are our brand ambassadors. Our brand has been a huge success wherever we launched because young people saw others like them on the billboards and in newspapers, echoing a shared belief – ab mera number hai As per a brand track survey conducted by globally reputed research agency Millward Brown, Uninor's total brand awareness in each of the 8 launched circles is not only higher than any other new operator, but in some circles, such as Andhra Pradesh, Uninor also beats some of the incumbent operators in total brand awareness MAD: Value added services are said to be the main revenue generators for Indian telecomm service providers. What are your views regarding this? AD: India's telecommunications market is fascinating to analyse. Quite simply, it has replaced China as the country to admire in terms of market growth. The Indian Telecom industry is one of the fastest emerging markets in the world from the perspective of Tele-density and services. Its vast scope and lucrative market is roping in major telecom players from all over the world. - VAS services are dominated by SMS VAS has a lion's share of market at 65% followed by ring tones at 13% and other types of services like games, MMS,LBS making up the balance. Integration of value chain - the integration of While India offers tremendous opportunity for mobile telecom vendors, exploiting these opportunities requires understanding India's regulatory and business environment, as well as comprehending India's unique social and demography. value chain is possible only with the support of IT which plays a key role in the telecom market. MAD: What sparks the launch of a new value added service? What are the new innovations that we can expect in VAS in days to come? AD: We would like to simplify the value added services into 3 broad strategies: Innovation based on relevance, Simplicity & affordability Global Act Local- in other words be Think
Regional MAD: Uninor did not bid for 3G, instead Uninor went for looking into ARPU. Why was such a strategy adopted? AD: Uninor will not bid for 3G spectrum at present. We cannot participate in these auctions when we haven't even received the 2G spectrum that we have already paid for. Furthermore, our current focus is on strengthening our service in circles we are present in and launching additional circles this year. We would like to concentrate our focus and our resources in an area that is by far the mainstay in India – good quality voice service. It's the service that the common man uses and also one where a lot still needs to be done to offer consumers a truly international standard cell phone experience. For the current and immediately foreseeable data requirements in the Indian market, we believe a good quality 2.75g/EDGE service is sufficient. Again, there is enough ground to be covered to deliver good quality data in India, even within the currently available technologies. We also believe that there will be other opportunities and routes to get into 3G at a stage when the market is really ready for it and the demand makes for a sound business case MAD: What do you think about the Blue Ocean strategy? Will Uninor be creating any Blue Ocean products? AD: Blue Ocean Strategy enables the organisation to break away from the competition and focus on value innovation for the customer. The BLUE OCEAN strategy is based on the following factors:1. Market Assessment 2. New Market Creation 3. Blue Ocean Formulation a)Reconstructing market boundaries ; b)Strategy visualization - Big picture focus c)Reach beyond existing demand d)Right strategy sequence e)Strategy canvas 4. Blue Ocean Executiona)Continuous workshops to overcome key organizational hurdles
b)Fair Strategy implementation - To Exceed the Expectation
R E D OC EA N C o m p e t e in e x is t in g m a r k e t in g s p a c e B e a t th e c o m p e t it io n E x p l o it e x is t in g d e m a n d M a k e th e V a l u e - c o s t t r a d e o f f
B LU E OC EA N C r e a t e u n c o n te s t e d m a r k e t s p a c e M a k e t h e c o m p e t it io n ir r e le v a n t C r e a t e a n d c a p tu r e n e w d e m a n d B re a k t h e v a l u e -c o s t t ra d e o f f
Uninor being the newest entrant in the Indian Telecom sector would like to utilise the Blue ocean strategy in terms of creating the target segment , thus developing a niche market ,thereby nurturing the customer base with its value added services thus establishing a sustainable position in the market. The existing Indian Telecom market is running after a price war without having a quality customer base to help create a sustainable market position in terms of a loyal customer base for itself. It is in a Red Ocean trying to run after competition. MAD: What is Uninor's take on convergence of web technology with telecomm services? AD: Service providers and operators in the niche market are moving towards becoming integrated players. This is clearly evident in India where traditional telephone providers are making forays into wireless, Internet and data services. Cellular operators are in turn entering into wire line communications in all its dimensions. The day is not too far when the customer would settle for nothing less than an efficient single-point contact for all his communication needs. These include various technologies of communication (such as the land line phone, the cell, and Internet) and a `single-window' where all information pertaining to the services could be obtained instantly. The spectre of a `convergent customer' will soon haunt the entire gamut of telecom business. In this scenario, knowledge management in the telecom sector is all set to be critical factor in competitive and comparative advantage. It implies transforming customer data to information that encompasses management strategies, methods and techniques. With the
urban markets having matured in terms of feature phone usage, numerous mobile users in this demographic are looking to upgrade to a smarter phone. This replacement market will be predominantly populated by the younger demographic, which are early adopters of technology and avid users of Web 2.0 technologies. Since, over 70 percent of the population consumes only voice services, and data services have not yet gained traction, which can slow down the adoption rates of the web based technologies. Uninor being the 13th player is not far behind with its boutique of services to be offered like WAP portal, Internet on Mobile & MMS services MAD: Why has growth of Broadband been slow in India? AD: The Indian broadband services market is still at a nascent stage. By the end of 2006, the subscriber base had touched 2.1 million with a household penetration of less than 1 percent. The current subscriber is way off from the target (3 million, 9 million and 20 million for 2005, 2007 and 2010 respectively) set by the DoT. India
appears to have embraced the Internet with a degree of ambivalence. There is tremendous enthusiasm amongst the dial-up users and an estimated 60% of users regularly access the Internet via the country's more than 10,000 cybercafes. But when it comes to high-speed broadband access, there is reluctance, especially within the corporate sector, and the take-up rate has been slow. Given the geographical diversity of India, last-mile connectivity has always been a challenge for telecom operators. In the case of business centers, laying down fibre and wiring up old buildings may cause delays. This, coupled with the time required for paperwork for digging and laying down fibre/copper, makes it difficult to provide high-bandwidth and reliable connectivity. In Asia, India has one of the lowest broadband subscriber penetration rates. However, with various policy measures and Government initiatives to promote broadband, the market is expected to increase to 30.1 million subscribers by the end of 2013 (household penetration rate is expected to reach around 8.9 percent by 2013) and come close to the goal set by the Government (via email)
Mr. Alok Pathak CEO
Mr. Alok Pathak, an alumnus of IIT Bombay has had a diverse work experience spamming well over thirty years. After twenty years in the Indian Navy, he entered the industry as a Deputy General Manager in the Tata family. In 2007, he started Idhasoft, which is now a well established name, especially in the US market. Apart from being the CEO of Idhasoft, he is also the Managing Director of Prism Informatics, an Indian company that Idhasoft acquired as part of it's strategic expansion plan in late 2009.
MAD: How does Prism Informatics segment its vast client base? AP: Our customers are segmented by size, by the business domain they belong to and by geography. 30% of the customers are Fortune 1000 – many of them spread across several continents. SME customers are few in number. Business domain wise customers are spread in Retail, Supply Chain, Fashion, Apparel and Footwear, Education, Government, Telecom, High-tech, Manufacturing and Pharmaceuticals Industries. MAD: How has upgrading to CMM level 3 certification affected Idhasoft's business and operations? AP: Upgrading CMM level 3 brought a much needed credibility to our development centres since majority of large clients have a process that dictates minimum qualification for selecting IT partner. Idhasoft is now embarked on CMM level 4 certification and is likely to get it in a year's time. MAD: What are the various promotion strategies you use in the B2B Business?
AP: Our major promotion strategy is low intensity marketing and cross selling. Through inorganic growth we have acquired over 1500 customers. Our average revenue size from these customers varies from 50K to 2 M dollars. A large no. of these customers have an average budget size of over 5-6 M dollars. This presents an enormous opportunity to Idhasoft for cross selling and mining the existing customer base. A dedicated team educates our customers frequently about the services of Idhasoft that are not currently being used by the customer. MAD: How has the recession affected Idhasoft and Prism Informatics? What are your predictions for times to come? AP: Recession did impact Idhasoft very adversely as a large portion of our revenues came from SMEs at that time and that created trouble as even healthy companies had stopped spending in IT due to fears of recession. However recession also caused a vacuum of mid-sized IT service providers in the US because many IT companies could not sustain the recessionary pressures. So an adverse impact of recession and a positive impact of vacuum created by the demise of small companies helped Idhasoft maintain its revenues. Prism was born in recession and therefore it could leverage the opportunity of acquiring companies at a low cost.
Currently both Idhasoft and Prism have resumed their aggressive growth. MAD: Idhasoft is one of the fastest growing companies in the world. Can you shed some light upon the business model of Idhasoft? AP: Idhasoft business model is akin to cooption model wherein a large no. Of small sized companies came together to form a reasonable sized entity. Common infrastructure, marketing and sales helped margin improvement. MAD: Please throw some light on the latest trends in the ERP industry. AP: ERP is becoming more business centric and more vertical based as opposed to generic solutions. Just to emphasize this, earlier ERP made claims to service the Retail vertical, and now further specialized packages have helped to provide very business centric solutions to fashion industry, apparel and footwear, electronic retail, pharmaceutical retail chains within the retail industry. This trend will continue and ERP solutions will become even more specialized. MAD: Please suggest some ways in which an ERP Package like SAP or ORACLE could improve the Education system in India?
AP: I am not too sure that an ERP package stand-alone can improve education system; I think India has chosen a right direction by first making education a fundamental right and by creating a brick-and-mortar model to accommodate a large young population. Probably in the second phase, three to four years from now, specialized ERP may emerge to support the education system management. MAD: What are the strategic advantages of using an ERP or IT package in the retail/manufacturing or supply chain industry? AP: ERP helps exercise best business practices and necessary controls. These measures help respond quickly to any change in business environment, thereby enabling management to take on-time, on-budget decisions. MAD: As CEO of an upcoming Software products and IT services provider, what is your daily schedule like ? AP: I work 12-15 hours a day and there are no holidays. The passion to grow the company drives my work schedule! (via email)
JADE 2010: Marketing and Advertising Quiz
The Marketing and Advertising Club of Vinod Gupta School of Management brought in the new year and also the events season with a bang with Jade '10 on 14th January! Jade '10 was an intra college quiz. The theme of the quiz, staying in tune with the nature of the MAD Club, was Marketing and Advertising. Mr. Samaresh Shah from Kolkata was kind enough to spare some time off this schedule on the Thursday evening of the 14th to conduct the quiz. He was accompanied by Dr. Pallavi Daga also from Kolkata, who played a key role in the designing of the quiz. Jade '10 was divided into seven rounds, including a written elimination round. The participants were to form groups of two and were asked to christen their teams and also design a logo. Creativity in these were used as tie breakers in the elimination. The best six teams fought for gold in the subsequent rounds, each of which was formed on an interesting theme. Some of the interesting rounds were “On a Roll” based on the automobiles, “Wat(er) Body” themed on the glamour world of modelling. There was something for everyone, even the audience, in form of “On the House” where the audience got the opportunity to tackle some of the questions. The event was brought to a gripping end with “Perfect 10” which was the rapid fire round. It proved to be the most gripping round of all and was responsible for massive reshuffling along the scoreboard! Jade '10 ended with certificates in the hands of winners, newly gathered knowledge for many, smiles on everyone's faces and a batch that was geared up for bigger events to follow!
MAD Team with the Quizmaster and Winners
Quizmaster Mr. Samaresh Shah in his element
Rapid Fire round with the finalists
Saamanjasya – A Social Festival of its kind
The Dalai-Lama once said "I truly believe that individuals can make a difference in society. Since periods of change such as the present one come so rarely in human history, it is up to each of us to make the best use of our time to help create a happier world.” Even in today's modern context, his words hold very true. Most businesses today have profits as their sole motive and don't factor in the impact they have on the social strata or environmental sustainability in the long run. These effects are very visible and jolting, and they implore us to act before its too late. The Students of Vinod Gupta School of Management envisioned a concept called “Saamanjasya” to reduce the visible difference between the NGOs working at the grassroot level, the students who genuinely want to work towards the change and the corporates, and those who have the resources to help propagate the change. The Planning took time, and after months of conceptualizing, Saamanjasya was held at VGSOM's campus from 19th to 21st March 2010. The event kicked off with a gala opening ceremony at the Kalidas Auditorium on 19th evening. Our Chief Guest for the evening was Prof Madhukar Shukla, a professor of great eminence in the field of social entrepreneurship at XLRI. He lauded the initiatives of the students of VGSoM and wished the event reaches greater heights in times to come. Prof Tapan Bagchi, the Guest of honor and a senior faculty of VGSoM, praised the vision of the students and thanked them for organizing a one-of-its-kind event. Next was a performance from the kids of “Disha Seema”, a local NGO working for the upliftment of the children around the IIT campus. “Shraddha” is the CSR wing of VGSoM and works actively with “Disha Seema” and it organizes a fund raiser during Spring Fest, the annual cultural fest of IIT Kgp, by selling T-Shirts printed by “Disha Seema” kids. This year, “Shraddha” was able to collect Rs 50,000 during Spring Fest and the cheque was handed over to Mrs Hansa Nundy, the coordinator of “Disha Seema”. While speaking to the audience, Hansa Ma'am said that “Saamanjasya” could only have been conceptualized by the students of VGSoM. The opening ceremony concluded by a breathtaking performance by “FingerPrints”, a fusion band which has performed in places like Vienna, Madrid and London. The performance captivated the audience, and left them yearning for more. “Parishram”, the flagship event of Saamanjasya '10 was an event where students from varied backgrounds were presented with live case studies prevalent among the NGOs. The NGOs which tied up with Saamanajsya were Save the children, Oxfam India, CRY, Khushii, Saarthi and India Sponsor Foundation. The event with its motto - COME !! BRIDGE THE GAP… aimed to bring together the corporate world, students and the NGO working at the grass root level. 'Parishram' was the next step in that direction. It was a step ahead from all the other similar events in a way that it calls for all the socially sensitive community to showcase their talent in the service of the society. Samanjasya also took the spirit of giving back to the society to a higher level. With “Kalakaar Vikas” we provided the local artisans and handicraft people a platform to showcase their skills and talent to the student, NGO and corporate fraternity. The NGO's helped these artisans showcase their art at a much better level and leveraged the Bengal culture elsewhere too. Kalakaar Vikas was well represented by variety of art forms ranging from terracotta, bamboo-art, wooden-craft, jewellery and decorative pieces made from horns, docra metal work, hand-worked saris and dress materials, paintings and much more under a single roof. Saamanjasya also provided them a platform where they interacted with distinguished faculty to help the artisans with their businesses. Prof. K. Pathak from the mining dept and Prof. Prabina Rajib of VGSOM told the artists how important it is to innovate with art to attract customers. Prof. A. Sarkar shared some ideas to cut production costs while Prof. A. K. Misra gave insights on various funding opportunities made available by the government to expand the trade of art within and outside India. The workshop, which was planned for an hour, extended for more than two hours till every artist found a solution to his problems. All the artists went back satisfied and a positive outlook towards selling their art forms. “Vichaar”, the leadership summit of Saamanjasya 2010 brought together leaders from business, society and academia to discuss the importance of social initiatives, the innovations which are fuelling the next generation of social initiatives, corporate-NGO partnership frameworks, the role of students and much more. The speakers included Mr. YPS Kanwar, DGM HR, ONGC , Ms Shireen Vakil Miller, India Head of Save the Children, Dr. Chanda Chakraborty, professor of Eminence at Department of Human and Social Sciences, IIT
Kharagpur, Mr Sunil Kumar, Social Investments Head at ITC, Ms Jayanti Dutt, AGM CSR, Tata Motors and Mr.Soumitra Poddar, Principal Consultant with IBM. The Panel discussion was moderated by Dr.Gautam Sinha,a distinguished Professor of VGSoM. The audience was treated to a very thought provoking discussion and there was a consensus on a greater role of students in the day to day societal needs. Saamanjasya also organized “Shikshan”, a series of workshops, intended to provide the audience with reallife examples of how different aspects of corporate social responsibility have actually contributed to the bottom-line of practicing companies. The first workshop was conducted by Michelin Tyres on “Green Tyres. Although the lecture was highly technical, the enthusiasm of the participants to gain knowledge was palpable. “I hope we have been able to convey to you that a tyre is not a very simple, round black thing.” Said Mr. Rahul Chodha, Country Communications Manager, Michelin India. Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages Limited collaborated with Saamanjasya in this venture, reaffirming their role in making a meaningful difference to the communities they rely upon. Coca Cola has been involved in more than 250 community water partnerships in 70 countries to support locally relevant initiatives, such as watershed protection; expanding community drinking water and sanitation access. The workshop was not all about the industry perspective of water conservation, but in the true spirit of Saamanjasya, the event was a collaboration of the ideas from the academia and the industry. Prof. Sudhindra Panda, Head of the Department of Water Resources gave real life examples from his research and water conservation initiatives. Dr. V.R. Desai from the Civil Engineering Department of IIT Kharagpur provided insights into many recent technologies from the area of Information Technology in the context of Water Resources Engineering. Under the umbrella of Saamanjasya, WIRED, the Online Social Networking Competition was launched on Facebook to unleash the power of Social Networking to spread awareness for a Social Cause. Participants had to CHOOSE from a list of NGO's, CREATE a social networking page with their take on the subject at hand, CHANNEL all the data they could find about the cause on facebook page/group, COERCE people into joining their cause and finally, they had to CONSOLIDATE their position by making their facebook page/group the most creative and original with the largest fan/member base. The participation in the event was unimaginable. More than 100 Teams from all over the globe participated and launched a viral marketing campaign to mobilize Facebook subscribers into joining hands for the cause. The best part? Even now after the event is over, the pages live on, promoting the NGO's and the noble cause. We received entries from Premier Business Schools like IIMs, IIT DoMs, IIFT, FMS, SPJIMR, XLRI etc besides many others. Participation from Corporate House like AMDOCS and Startups like Silverline Group of Companies and others strengthened our belief that Corporates are all set to support the basic essence of SaamanjasyaCollaboration. Saamanjasya 2010 culminated with the closing ceremony and prize distribution with the hands of Dr. Damodar Acharya, Director of IIT Kharagpur. The Guest of Honour Dr Arabinda Tripathy, Dean VGSoM. Dr Acharya expressed satisfaction over the fact that students of IIT Kharagpur are sensitive towards the needs of the society and are channelizing their thinking in areas which are pertinent to human and societal development. Dr Tripathy congratulated the students of VGSoM for successfully organizing Saamanjasya and also hoped that the intentions that Saamanjasya brought with it is practised at all times and not just restricted to an annual event. Saamanjasya left people with a thought. “What are we doing and where are we heading?” It is our duty to do something for the betterment of the world we live in, and if we can't make things better, atleast we can make sure that things don't become worse. Sensitize to the surroundings and the people, your quest for happiness will end. VGSoM and its students are proud to have organized Saamanjasya, and promise to propel it to a bigger stage next year.
Lighting of the lamp
Words being conveyed
Participants of Parishram in Action
The Elite Panel for Vichaar
Director, IIT Kharagpur sharing his wisdom
An opportunity for artists to showcase
SAIL presents MADison Avenue ’10
MADison Avenue, the flagship event of the Marketing and Advertising (MAD) Club of Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur, scaled new heights this year by offering an interesting and innovative events mix to both the industry and the B-school students across the country. Working closely with the industry, the participants were given challenging live case studies to encourage them to test the age old concepts of marketing in unprecedented situations. It also urged them to wrench out the streak of innovation, modify and tailor their concepts to the challenges arising in a typical business scenario and communicate it to stalwarts of the industry. With the aim of clinching a humdinger by being the reason of birth of an historic idea, MADison Avenue '10 was an innovative blend of five major sub-events namely: Upchaar, Analytica, Quizzard, Carpe Diem, Envision and a Workshop on Advertising by JWT. Each event sported a different theme and addressed a particular issue/set of issues. Real life marketing experiences are at times hugely different from the theoretical concepts taught in Business Schools; mainly so because of the dynamic environment and the effect of various external and internal influences on your strategies. Though marketing and advertising is normally taught and thought of in the context of a product or a service, it is not just about advertising a new product – it could equally be about a place, an idea, people, experiences etc. That was why the Marketing and Advertising Club conceptualised Upchaar, an innovative contest on formulating business strategies for establishing a metro city in India as a hub of Medical Tourism. Upchaar was supported by Steris Corporation, a global leader in medical care technologies. In this event, the participants came up with innovative business ideas, competitive analyses, the issues of financing, sustainability, ethics and promotions along with specific concerns of the city they had picked for themselves. Moving beyond the consumer markets, Analytica was about charting out a comprehensive expansion plan for a leading bearings company in India. Who could be a better partner for the event than Tata Bearings, one among the largest producer of ball bearings in the country? Those shortlisted for Analytica not only got an opportunity to table their ideas to the distinguished jury comprising of industry experts and our learned faculty members but also gained keen insights on the loopholes in their plans during the interaction session held with jury during of event. Getting as close to the real world scenario, Analytica came up with discussions on the current international scenario, the demand patterns in business to business markets, actual growth trends in the industry etc. SAIL, celebrating its 50th year in the manufacturing of Steel in India, joined hands with VGSoM during MADison Avenue in chalking out plans for becoming a market leader in steel retailing in the coming 12 months. Marketing a top Public Sector Company in India with a clear competitive edge in manufacturing, as a retailer, that too, on a product like steel - Envision presented a unique marketing challenge to the participants and a learning experience to the audience. The teams responded amazingly well to this challenge with their comprehensive up-scaling plans. Apart from strategic plans, timelines and feasibility studies, they even came up with advertisements and promotion campaigns for the retail format – 'Apna SAIL Shops'.
In Marketing, there is never a fixed plan or a route to success. There is almost nothing that remains constant markets change, technologies evolve, competitors emerge, new laws come into place; marketing is no meagre task, for it requires constant endeavour, forward thinking, quick actions, rapid learning, anticipation and continuous improvement. In a real business scenario seldom is the whole picture known. The key is anticipating based on a sound understanding of the current scenario, keeping in mind the long-term strategic objectives, making tradeoffs and being prepared to handle any back lashing from past endeavours. In Carpe Diem we simulated this kind of a business environment where participating teams had to play the role of CMO and create strategies for meeting given objectives. A multitude of challenges which included dynamic environment, fierce competition, stiff deadlines and most importantly, a very demanding management; Carpe Diem advanced in different stages with pieces of data provided as the simulated scene progressed. The business environment has myriads of challenges and opportunities; everyday somebody comes up with newer ideas and better ways of doing business. There are some success stories and some failures; some of them become part of history, some fade away as news items. To succeed one has to be on his toes and constantly excel in fields as diverse as product promotion, pricing, channel synergies, supply chain etc; but the underlining fact that marks the difference between a success story and a failure is knowledge and information. MAD captured this relentless desire for excellence with its online Quiz event Quizzard. In a call to challenge the best minds across the country finer realms of marketing, it provided budding marketers with an opportunity to showcase their Marketing awareness. The culmination of MADison Avenue'10 was earmarked by a one of its kind Advertising Workshop conducted by Ms. Raji Ramaswamy, Vice-President of JWT, one of the world's largest advertising and communications companies. She walked the audience through the journey of creation of an advertisement right from how a brand finds a suitable ad agency to how the spark of creativity is transformed into a marketable idea. With some of the most brilliant advertisements in the industry, she explained the procedure by which an ad agency took care of the target segments, the positioning of the product, its recall value etc. The advertisements themselves spoke about the concepts - some with their sheer creative brilliance, some because of their humour, some with their emotions, some with the power of the ideas they conveyed. Through the interactive and engrossing workshop Ms. Raji Ramaswamy held a packed audience enthralled for more than two hours with her insightful ideas on communication of a brand. Apart from the Title partner, Steel Authority of India Ltd. and Event partners Tata Bearings, Steris Corporation and JWT; Madison Avenue was also styled and promoted by other associates like Spykar Lifestyles Pvt. Ltd. (Style & Event Partner) and BIG 92.7 FM (Radio Partner). In the closing ceremony Archit Merhotra, Coordinator of MADison Avenue '10 expressed gratitude towards all the partners and distributed mementos to our jury members. The closing ceremony left team MADison Avenue with moistened eyes and a feeling of accomplishment imbuing their hearts. Teams from the best business schools of India; the best 5 teams from across the country in each event final; events with real-world marketing challenges; partnerships from industry giants; the 2010 edition of Madison Avenue brought some of the best minds of the country to a common platform. It proved to be the kind of breath taker that it promised to be. The victorious walked away with the riches, many more received appreciation and accolades – Madison Avenue provided a unique experience in terms of the mix of events and delivered quality solutions to some real time business problems.
Upchaar Promotion at venue
Participants in action
Ms Ramaswamy from JWT
There’s a little bit of SAIL in everybody’s life
Mr. Ghosh, Steris and Prof. Guin with winners
The jumbo billboard
Team MADison Avenue with participants
Shraddha: Spreading Colours in Life
At the Vinod Gupta School of Management, learning has never been confined to classroom teaching. We have always endeavored to be cognizant of our society. We believe that an ideal learning is one which helps the society as a whole. With this in mind, our seniors from the batch of 2009 had come up with an initiative named Shraddha. With the vision of spreading colours in life, team Shraddha has been consistently working to spread joy and happiness in lives of people in the vicinity. Since the inception of Shraddha, we have witnessed an ever increasing enthusiasm in students towards social cause. The students organize many small and big events round the year through which they can devote their time for some noble cause. Team Shraddha has organized blood donation camp, it has planned a day out for the kids of Disha Seema, it often gives a visit to schools in vicinity of IIT campus and students from VGSOM share their time with small kids from poor families, The primary focus of Shraddha is social inclusion of underprivileged kids belonging to the poor families located in and around Kharagpur. To forward our cause we have been working in collaboration with the Disha Seema Centre, a non profit organization which runs a residential school inside IIT Campus. The school supports the education, nutrition and lodging of about 200 children from the nearby villages. Apart from studies, kids in Disha Seema are also get chance to indulge in activities like sports, dance, music, painting, etc. For the past few years students of VGSOM have actively undertaken fund raising initiatives for helping Disha Seema. One such major activity is getting T-Shirts hand-painted by the kids of Disha Seema and then selling them during the SpringFest, the cultural extravaganza of IIT Kharagpur. The proceeds arising from the sale of these T-Shirts is donated to Disha Seema. Kids too have a gala time and get to paint their hearts on the tshirts and enjoy the activity the same way as we do. With belief that, “the greatest gift one can give others, is to give one's time”, we occasionally spend time with these kids and it has become our tradition to celebrate Diwali with the kids at Disha Seema. Interacting with the kids, playing games with them, distributing gifts, sharing sweets with them and seeing their faces brighten up truly give us a sense of happiness. Till date this experience has been one of the most cherished memories for every student of VGSOM. Team Shraddha also collaborated with the Jagriti Vidya Mandir in the Salua village to spend a day with the students of the school. The school is run by Gopali Youth Welfare Society which is working for the upliftment of the nearby region. Such interactions have helped us experience the real Joy of Giving We believe, that as responsible citizens of the nation, our responsibility does not end here. We are working on initiatives to enhance the primary education in the region. We, the students of Vinod Gupta school of management believe that our responsibility does not end with our life at VGSoM and that wherever we go we will continue our efforts towards the same cause at some level or the other.
A Tryst with Time
Ambuj Agarwal and Rashmi Gupta VGSoM Class of 2011
I have been in this world for a long time. I have seen many things pass by, but I have remained. I am Gillu, and I will share some pieces of my life with you. perfect match for me. I wondered when he got the time to travel for this quest. I was amazed to discover that a whole slew of prospective brides were brought to him by means of the matrimonial ads that had started appearing in the newspaper recently. It was fun to see his face balloon with anger when I straightaway denied marriage at that early age and My earliest memories are of the time when I would cling to my mother for new toys. I used to wait throughout the day for the ice-cream man's bell and the toy-sellers booming voice, never knowing whether they will appear or not. While in the market, I was delighted to find a new soap that had a flowery fragrance. I liked the new soap, but alas! It was very difficult to find it in the Growing up from the cradle to the streets, one day a gust of wind brought with it a colourful paper, which stuck to my face. Irritated, I pulled it out and saw that the page had the description of a party. I got excited and thanked the colourful paper for informing me of the party as I had already missed a lot of them because I was never informed. Adolescence brought with it an attraction towards the epicurean habits. My choice of cigarettes started being decided by the gigantic roadside boards proclaiming the masculinity of people using the I loathed the medicinal odour of the red-coloured soap used in my house. But, at that time it was the so called “good” choice compared to the other soap available in the nearby market. Life was easy with limited assortments to choose from. We used whatever was available even though I so wanted a better smelling soap. My parents always used to tease me by saying, “the world does not run according to you, get married and you will have bigger problems than a bad smelling soap”. These dreams made me realise that in order to make One day my father teased me that he had found the To fulfil my desires, I pestered my family to purchase the latest sensation in the music line; the radio. I could pass hours just listening to the music that played on it. One day I heard the description of my dream house over the radio .I could not stop thinking of my newfound desires even though I knew I could not afford such luxury. brand. market as it was almost always out of stock. I was frequently disappointed and had to revert back to the red bar again. went off for stroll in the market to subside my agitation.
them a reality, I had to get a job that paid well. I was myself surprised at the progress I made in my job. With the earning I had, I gifted my family with the latest luxury, a television. Our family had a great time watching shows together. While waiting for the baseball telecast to start, I was delighted to see the clock that was hanging in my room being shown on the television, inside the house of my favourite actress. After the enthralling baseball match, I went to bed late in the night with no intention of getting up early.
eye. Gradually I got engrossed in that virtual world. With my acceptance of the new world came something which baffled me a lot. Every moment I found myself inundated with offers from all sorts of brands via the internet, e-billboards, SMS's. Now the life was no-more easy like the time when I went to sleep. This brought about a sensory and mental overload even while making a choice as simple as that of soap. While earlier I knew which brand was good, but now with the proliferation of brands where each one proclaimed itself to be good, very-good and excellent; “I was confused”.
Even in my dreams I could not help seeing myself dancing hand in hand with the actress and being embraced by her to the tunes of peppy songs. The dream seemed to last an eternity until I was interrupted by the words “Kya aap is gaane ko apni caller tune banana chahte hain, to dial Karen 1....” I woke up and to my surprise I felt that it was not the place where I went to sleep. There was something like a television kept on the table with something which seemed like a mini typewriter, but it had no slot to put a paper in. Now I could get almost anything I wanted delivered to my place and pay online. The shopping experience had changed but I still longed for the old days when I could have a look and feel of things. I could even tell a company what I felt about them and what I would want them to come out with. Sometimes, later when I bought the product again, I could find some of the things that I had suggested. I adored the brands which took care of me and to show my love, I bought things for their name. This habit grew unchecked and one day I wondered, I saw a person enter my room and heard some tapping sounds, and the TV like box flashed the picture of a beautiful girl, and the face of the person brightened up. Gathering all my courage, I got up and moved to the person and asked, “WHAT IS THIS?” He replied in a sanctimonious tone, “THIS IS A WINDOW TO THE WORLD”, and with these words he left me astounded to start my pursuit of exploring the “magical box”. “When I saw something, I saw a brand. When I touched something, I felt a brand, to the extent that even when I uttered a word, it became an Advertisement (Thanks to social networking).” Through these social networks I have observed many new phenomena bubbling up. The most recent being that people are becoming more and more Through this window I got up to speed with the current world and came to know that it could take me to anyone and any place in the world in the blink of an concerned about the environment and are trying to undo the harm done, by going “Green”. “What am I?”, “A Chalta firta Ad of my beloved brands”. Then I realised that the brands had completely permeated my being,
It's Time to build My Brand …. It's time to Advertise
“ Rome was not built in a day” , is the ubiquitous statement you will hear when it comes to brand equity of erstwhile Rome, the city of splendor and art at its zenith. As was with Rome , so is with Brand Equity, it takes time and a great deal of effort in creating uniqueness envied by others. What exactly are brands and brand equity? The American Marketing Association would define a brand as , “a name , term, sign, symbol or design or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or a group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors”. Brand Equity is the added value based on the goodwill , name and recognition that a brand has earned over time that gives it an edge over others by translating into higher sales volume, and higher profit margins. The brand equity does not develop instantaneously. A brand has to be carefully nurtured and marketed over a period and communicate the target consumer its USP so they feel value and trust towards the brand. This is where the Brand Building process comes into foray. And, while talking about brand building how can we forget the sometimes beautiful, sometimes so creative, sometimes heart touching advertisements campaign that we come across and how can we forget those Promotional gimmicks like “Take one free” or “10% off” that is hurled at us almost like a daily chore from one brand or the other. Let us understand what Advertising is all about. Advertising is any paid form of nonpersonal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor. While developing
A take on Advertisement and its efficacy in Brand Building
Ashish Rahul VGSoM Class of 2011
an advertisement , the following 5 M's are sacrosanct and the advertisement should be developed in this framework. The Key questions to be asked for each one of the 5 M's are : 1. Mission: a. What are the Advertising Objectives? 2. Money: a. How much is it worth to achieve my objectives? b. How much can be spent? 3. Message: a. What message should be sent? b. Is the message clear, concise and easily understood? 4. Media: a. What media is available to use? b. How to optimize their usage? 5. Measurement: a. How to measure the effectiveness of advertising? b. How should the results be evaluated and followed up? Step1 : Set your Objective The advertising objectives is influenced by the decision on the target markets, brand positioning and the marketing program. An advertising goal is a specific communication task and the achievement level to be achieved with the specific audience in the specific duration of time. The advertising goals are classified according to the aim: whether you want it to be Informative, Persuasive, Reminding or Reinforcing. As Leo Burnett would say, “Advertising says to people, 'Here's what we've got. Here's what it will do for you. Here's how to get it.'” Step2: The Advertisement Budget The advertisement budget is influenced by the
following factors: A. Stage in the PLC – In the introductory and growth stage, advertisement budgets are huge to build brand awareness and lure the consumer into trial. B. Level of Market Share: For high market share brands , lesser expenses are required for advertising as brand equity. Some Reinforcement ads can be made to maintain the equity. C. Competition and Clutter : In a market where the competition is high and substitute goods are abundant, one needs to advertise heavily and try to differentiate their product offering from the rest run of the mill substitutes. Step3 : Developing the Ad Campaign The need is to develop a strategy and positioning of the brand. The question here is “what” and “how”. The “what” deals with what the ad should attempt to convey and the “how” deals with the creativity with which ad should be developed. So, it all boils down to a three step process: message generation, creative development and an evaluation of its perceived acceptability by the target audience. Point to remember : The ad should focus on one or two core points. A cluttered ad with many a points reduces the recall value of the brand. Step 4: Selecting the Media The media selection is finding the most cost effective media source with which the twin motives of reaching out to the desired target and to deliver the desired number of the type of exposure to the target. The choice of media selection is based mainly on the following factors: 1. Media habits of the target audience 2. Product characteristics: The ad of gym equipment should be put in health magazine, the ad of women's wear and jewellery is best suited in Women's magazine. 3. Message characteristics: The ad of a newly developed hybrid car having a lot of technical specification can't be put on TV and is best suited for magazines like AutoCar . 4. Cost : Advertising on TV is costlier than newspaper but may have a greater reach.
So, one should look out for cost per thousand exposure. Step 5: Evaluating Advertising effectiveness The marketers should understand the communication effect of an ad: its potential effect on awareness, knowledge or preference. The effectiveness can be measured through CER ( Communication Effect Research). Consumer feedbacks are taken on the following points: A. What's the main message that this ad conveys? B. How likely is this ad going to motivate you to take action ? C. What works well with the ad and what goes against it? D. How does the ad make you feel? A Few of the Greatest Advertsing Campaigns: The Marlboro Man by Leo Burnett ,1954 The Marlboro Man ad campaign were originally conceived as a way to popularize filtered cigarette, which in those times was considered to be feminine. It transformed a feminine campaign , with tagline as “Mild as May” into one that was masculine in a few months. Recognised as one of the best ever campaign. It changed the fortunes of Marlboro forever.
Apple Computer, “1984” Chiat/Day, 1984 The ad was made by Chiat/Day , the American Division of Ad agency TBWA Worldwide. This ad introduced Apple Macintosh computers for the first time. Directed by Ridley Scott, it went on to win many prizes including Cannes Lions. “1984” became the signature representation of Apple for years to come and gave the big fish of those times a run for their money. Nike , “Just Do it” , Wieden and Kennedy
The ad campaign centered around the slogan , “Just Do it” is one of the most powerful three words slogan ever. Thanks to Weiden and kennedy , the 1988 campaign became so powerful that people are reminded of Nike even if the company's name is not mentioned. According to Center for Applied research the Nike's “Just Do It” slogans is probably “one of the most inspirational brand statements of all times”.
Even in India , some great ad campaigns have been created. The Coca Cola series of ads featuring Aamir Khan by the ad agency McCann Ericsson catapulted it to the number one spot in the beverage market. Talking about the Indian ads how can we ever forget the Nirma girl or the Nirma Super ad starting with , “Deepikaji ,aaiye aaiye, aapka sab saaman taiyaar hai”. Or the Lalitaji character created by Alyque Padamsee for Surf. They all laid the cornerstones of India's best known brands. For the conclusion , we can say , a brand needs to have quality and differentiating strength to
survive , but it's ad campaign that gives the initial impetus and the necessary brand awareness. The push is necessary and paramount for the brand building. Needless to say Ad making is a tough art as David Ogilvy once said, “It takes a big idea to attract the attention of consumers and get them to buy your product. Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night. I doubt if more than one campaign in a hundred contains a big idea”. Agreed Mr Ogilvy but never the less , even if the summit has limited space it will be taken by those who are creative and they will always build great brands with superior creativity and they will , “ Just Do it”.
Coca-Cola and Pepsi in Indian Market
Prabodh Sharma, VGSoM Class of 2010
“Why read fiction? Why go to movies? Soft drinks industry has enough roller coaster plot-dips to make novelists drool” – Jesse Myers in Beverage Digest July 1985 The history, the romance, the struggle, the courage, the endurance, the confidence and the competition characterizes the presence of an industry which no one in their wildest imagination had dreamt would last so long. Beginning in 1886, when a tumultuous, inventive, clamorous and neurotic new America got a taste of a “nerve tonic” invented by an obsessive chemist in the pursuit of the perfect medicine, to late 1890's when a worthy adversary was born, and to the present; change, aggression and controversy have been the order of the day. That “nerve tonic” was Coca-Cola, the obsessive chemist John Pemberton and the worthy adversary Pepsi and the adversity has not decreased an iota even after 100 years. Indian Soft Drinks Market 1970's and early 80's—the entry and exit of Coke India has proved to be perhaps the toughest battle ground for the Cola giants. Coca-Cola was the 1
India and did not return till 1993 after a 16 year absence from the Indian beverage market. FERA needed Coca-Cola to reveal its secret concentrate formula as well as reduce its equity stake which was not acceptable. Pure drinks, Delhi launched Campa-Cola, to take advantage of Coke's exit and by the end of 70's, was the only Cola drink in the Indian market. In 1980, Parle, another major Indian player launched ThumsUp, the drink which till date is most popular soft-drink in India. Pure Drinks strongly objected to ThumsUp being called a “soft” drink as it felt its taste is too strong. For over a decade, Parle led the Indian soft-drinks market, with its market share reaching a peak of 70% in1990. Late 80's and early 90's— Pepsi's struggle to enter India Pepsi saw the exit of Coke as a God send opportunity to capture then estimated 900 crore market of India. India was then a highly regulated market with International trade constituting only 6% of GDP in 1985. Foreign trade was subject to import tariffs, export tariffs and quantitative restrictions. Foreign direct investment (FDI) was restricted by barriers like upper limit equity participation, restrictions on technology transfer, export obligations and government approvals. Any foreign investment had a lot of political sensitivity to it. By the time PepsiCo began its negotiations, the upper cap for equity holding in Indian companies was 40%. PepsiCo realized it'll have to be creative to enter the Indian markets.
international soft drinks brand to enter India in early 1970's. Indian market was dominated by domestic brands, with Limca being the largest selling brand. Cola was the largest selling flavor with market share of 40%, Lemon drinks 31% and orange drinks only 19%. Up till 1977, Coca-cola was the leading soft drink brand in India. But due to norms set by the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA), Coca-Cola left
Attempt 1: In May 1985, PepsiCo joined hands with the RPG group to form Agro Product Export Limited. It planned to import Cola concentrate and sell softdrinks under the Pepsi label and in return offered to export Juice Concentrate from Punjab. The government rejected the proposal due to its using a foreign name and importing the concentrate. Attempt 2: Pepsi decided to play the Punjab Card by promising to invest $15 million in Punjab, establish an Agro Research centre (costing Rs 1.55 crores), a potato and grain based processing unit (costing Rs 8 crores) and a fruit and vegetable processing unit (costing Rs 5 crores). Benefits and proposal included better market for rice, wheat and fruits in Punjab, creation of 25000 jobs in Punjab and 25000 more in other areas. In 1988, government agreed. PepsiCo entered as Lehar Pepsi and by 1991, it was clear that most of its promises were just on paper. The company did improved the productivity in India, introduced farmers to new technology, established agriculture research centers in Jallowal and Channo (in Punjab) and Nelamangla in Karnataka and invested more capital than promised (by the year 2000, total investment was Rs 18 billion), but the picture on many other aspects was gloomy. The planned operations in Punjab were delayed and as a result, local farmers had to bear a combined loss of Rs. 2.5 Million. Pepsi paid only 0.75 Rs/Kg of Tomato compared to open market price of Rs 2/Kg. Employment was provided to only 783 people as compared to 50,000 promised (although company claimed it to be 26,000 due to direct and indirect operations). It began exporting tea, rice, shrimps, glass bottles, leather products as against fruits and vegetable products. There was a even a showcause notice to Pepsi by the ministry of commerce. Luckily for PepsiCo, in 1991, the government of India
liberated the economy on grounds of severe foreign exchange crisis and Pepsi was freed from all the commitments it had made during entry. Re-entry of Coca-Cola in 1993 On the 26th of October 1993, Coca-Cola re-entered the Indian market having acquired some of the leading Indian soft drink brands from Parle, namely Thums-Up, Maaza, Limca, Goldspot & Citra. These brands joined Coke's portfolio of international brands i.e. Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta, Schweppes as CocaCola India took control of the top soft drink brands in India from the very beginning. From 1993 to 2003, company invested US $ 1 billion in India. The beginning of Cola War For the Cricket World Cup 1996, Pepsi was not the official sponsor of the tournament, Coke was. But Pepsi had a whole pool of best players roped in as brand ambassadors from the sub continent and abroad. The ad campaign of “Nothing Official About it” rocked the country and despite Coke being the official sponsor, it was Pepsi which hogged the publicity. In 1998, with the release of blockbuster movie “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai”, Pepsi took out another ace from its sleeve, featuring Shahrukh, Rani and Kajol in its ad. The punch line was “Yeh Dil Maange More” which was an iconic line and struck a chord amongst the people. Coca-Cola countered by spoofing the ad, using Sprite, to hilarious effect. Pepsi responded with a spoof of its own, starring Azhar and Jadeja hitting on the Coke line of “Eat Cricket, Sleep Cricket, Drink Only Coca Cola” with the punch line of “More More Cricket, More More Pepsi”. Coke again hit back, this time with Thumbs Up ad. They portrayed the cricketers as monkeys and ended the ad with “Don't be a bunder (monkey) Taste the Thunder!” Situation turned ugly with Pepsi going to court and finally
ended with Coke withdrawing the ad. The Cola wars went on full-fledged till 2003, when a pesticide controversy forced Coke and Pepsi to fight on the same side in so called “India's New Cola Wars”. The Controversies Presence of Pesticides: In 2003, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) findings stirred the beverage industry in India. CSE claimed to find dangerous levels of pesticides in all the 57 samples of 11 soft drinks brands collected by the organization from 25 different manufacturing units of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo spread over 12 states. The study found a cocktail of three-five different pesticides in all the samples - on an average 24 times higher than norms laid down by government-run Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS). Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Kerala banned the sale of Colas in schools, colleges and government departments, and other states also took adversarial measures. The day after the CSE's announcement, Coke and Pepsi came together in a rare show of solidarity at a joint press conference. The companies attacked the credibility of the CSE and their lab results, citing regular testing at independent laboratories proving the safety of their products. They promised to provide this data to the public, threatened legal action against the CSE while seeking a gag order, and contacted the United States Embassy in India for assistance. They roped in major film stars to explain their purity to public. Despite all these measures, sales dipped by as much as 80% in some regions. The soft drinks industry took over a year to
get back on the growth track. Ground Water Crisis: Coca-Cola was recently accused of ground water depletion in many areas of the country. Coca-Cola's bottling operations – which extract hundreds of millions of liters of water from the groundwater resource – have significantly worsened the water crisis as groundwater levels have dropped sharply since Coca-Cola started its operations. The company was also accused of indiscriminately dumping its toxic waste into the surrounding areas – polluting the water as well as the land. The Coke reiterated its commitment to trim down water usage and take steps towards environment sustainability and farmer's welfare. However, activists retort that Coca Cola is in the business of water usage and wasting, creating a luxury product largely for the middle class. They are unlikely to put water concerns over profits, until they are forced to. The road ahead Amidst various allegations and controversies, the soft drinks industry in India, supported by its booming economy, strengthening middle class and low per capita consumption, is growing at a cruising pace. The focus has shifted from carbonated drinks to Fruit drinks, with both the companies launching Lemon drinks in 2009-10. In the next few years, the fruit juice category is likely to carry the growth flag forward as consumers become more health conscious. The companies are likely to take more steps to deal with environment sustainability. But the Cola wars are here to stay. We as customers can be assured of superior products and hilarious ads in the process. And are we complaining?
Telecom Marketing Strategy
Deepak Jhamb VGSoM Class of 2010
Telecom sector ecosystem consists of Infrastructure side OEM's (Original Equipment Manufacturers ) , ODM's (Original Design Manufacturers), Silicon Players , Mobile Operators ,ISV's (Independent Software Vendors) and Device side Handset
Mobile Operating System like Symbian also becoming Open Sourced . Looking at the Complex picture of this B2B Business, the onus is now on the 3-Pillars of the Company namely – Business Development , Marketing and Sales Team to utilize their Engineering expertise to hit on to the ecosystem where they can act as a differentiator and position themselves with something substantial with rapid time to market cycle and move away from the general outsourcing tag. Business Development team' s task is to build up the Strategy Roadmaps to Revenue for the Service or Product Offering . They usually are the people good with Strategy and industry knowledge so that they can start creating the funnel and qualify the leads to convert them into customers by the time the funnel is closed or the deal is through .They have to support the Marketing and Sales team throughout the funnel process when the contracts and charters are being prepared for new projects with the clients . Marketing team runs through various Campaigns with the help of Business Development Team and generates leads through the Web Marketing Tools and spreads the initial awareness about the company and its offering . Marketing people low cost
Manufacturers and Consumer Electronics Players . This ecosystem value chain is key to the survival of any player in the Telecom Domain . Looking at the Telecom Value Stack each player is trying to consolidate its stack offering to survive the tough competition in this ecosystem .The entry
barriers in the ecosystem have been thrown apart by the open sourcing of these elements of value stack. Clear Example seen can be Google acting as prosumer and commoditizing the Operating sytem like Android and throwing the platform open for innovation . Monopolies of certain Handset
Manufacturers like Nokia and Apple are under
are generally good at polishing and communicating the value of offering across the customer segments through various medium's like website , emailers to Trade Shows and Social Web Marketing .Sales team consists of very experienced people who have lots
threat due to this change in the rules of the ecosystem game .They are also changing their strategy and first move seen is that the legacy
of industry contacts in the ecosystem and these people are real masters in communication with clients and their task is hard selling and negotiations to complete the top line number targets .These 3 –pillars along with the engineering team support run through and manage various projects which bring on the revenue for the company .Essentially Telecom Marketing stands on this base and with the rapid changes going on in the value chain of the ecosystem , everyone has to be on his toes to cut through the competition . Trade shows , client ,
and actively participating and contributing in forums activities is essential for a company to build a
goodwill to attract new business . Building around and finding the core competency in the value chain along with value stack consolidation is key to the company's strategy in Telecom ecosystem . Platform to work is also a key question for building up the Telecom ecosystem strategy and with plenty around , companies have lot to think about and that's why the puzzle keeps
complicating with the innovation making everyone rethink about their strategies .
targeting the ecosystem powercentres, website marketing , emailer campaigns , Telemarketing Campaigns are very essential components of Telecom Marketing . Joining appropriate Forums
Platforms to choose from for Handset OEM and system Integrators .
Web Analytics Tools – Know thy Visitors!!!
Aditya Zutshi, VGSoM Class of 2011
Neha, a Garment Fashion Designer published her new dress design on her blog. In just a week, her post got more than five hundred unique hits. She had always believed in showcasing her creativity to the world. However, even after a month of her publishing that design, no one had placed an order for it. Neha, unsurprisingly, was very confused. If so many visitors were visiting her post and they liked what they saw, how come there weren't any orders placed? Websites facilitate interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design and collaboration on the World Wide Web. This new form of web communication is also changing e-commerce through the number of hits and online advertisement. But amidst the talks of hits, visitors, most popular post etc, the relevance of visitors is often left out. Marketing is most commonly defined as understanding needs, creating and delivering value to the target segment. Target Segment applies as much to the online marketing as it applies to the conventional marketing. Probably Neha didn't realize that though her post was getting hits and appreciation from visitors, she was missing out on the Target Segment! Analytics Tools show the website owner how people found the site, how they explored it, and how the
Fig. 1:Summary of Website
owner can enhance the visitor experience. With this information, the owner can improve the website's return on investment, can increase conversions and make more money on the web. Picture this- everyday before you call it a day, with a single click, you get to know how visitors found your site and how well they interact with it. You compare the behavior and profitability of visitors who were referred from each of your ads, keywords, search engines, and emails, and gain valuable insight into how to improve your site's content and design, however large or small your site, and however you drive traffic to it - whether it's unpaid search, partner sites, AdWords, or other cost-per-click programs an analytics tool tracks it, from click to conversion. One of the most users friendly Analytics Tool is Google Analytics and provides complete package of analytics service free of cost. All you need is a Gmail
Account and you're good to go! The tracking process begins with logging on to Google Analytics (www.google.com/analytics) and adding a new website profile. Having entered the URL of the website you wish to track, Google Analytics gives you
a script that you need to paste in the code of your website or blog, and it starts working its magic. Figure 1, shows some statistics of a personal blog -www.adityazutshi.com -- for the last 2 months and gives the viewing pattern of visitors, but that is not all.
numbers, or time on page. It provides information on visitor interaction with the site, the type of visitors, and information about how they are viewing the site. Other information includes Benchmarking, Map Overlay, New vs. Returning Visitors, Languages,
Sources through which visitors arrived on the website
You also get information of the sources which led the visitors to your website. With more and more companies going for Search Engine Optimizing for their websites, using efficient tags is of utmost importance. Analytics tools let you track the keywords that visitors searched with and arrived on your website. This insight can be used to alter the tags and drive more and relevant traffic. This is not all! Analytics Tools like Google Analytics have over 80 reports to help gauge the site's performance whether by usage metrics, return visit
Visitor Trending, Visitor Loyalty, Browser Capabilities, Network Properties, and Traffic Sources. It also gives information on the pages in the site and how visitors interact with each one and the time spent on page, landing and exit page information, and a navigation summary for pages. If you ever meet Neha, don't forget to advice her to use an Analytics Tool to measure the performance of her blog! As Ken Blanchard quotes, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions”
Sourabh Agarwal VGSoM Class of 2011
As per Oxford dictionary, the word 'ambush' means 'The act of concealing yourself and lying in wait to attack by surprise' and this is exactly what a firm does on its competitors when it employs 'ambush marketing' strategy. Bayless coined the term Ambush Marketing in the year 1988 to first describe to describe the purposeful and false association by a company not sponsoring an event toward the end for deriving benefits similar to those afforded to official sponsors. In a narrow sense, Schmitz (2005) defines ambush marketing as the direct efforts of one party to weaken or attack a competitor's official association with a sports (most generally though not limited to sporting events) organization acquired through the payment of sponsorship fees. However the most interesting definition in lay man terms was given by Abram Sauer in his article 'Ambush Marketing: Steals the Show'. He says that 'Imagine you throw a party and invite heaps of brilliant interesting people. Your roommate fails to help with the planning or cost. Imagine the night of the party your roommate shows up and claims up cosponsorship. Imagine watching in awe as the freeloader takes credit for your expense and effort. Now imagine the party just cost you $20m.' Ambush marketing is indeed a major threat to sponsors and has done some serious damage to the sponsors in the past. Most marketers feel that they would rather do ambush marketing than have it done to them. What makes ambush marketing so effective for the ambushers is the fact that the attack on the sponsor is from the competitor who is least expected to cause any damage to the sponsor since the sponsor is generally a large corporate firm. However this might not always be the case. The most appropriate example of a well established large firm applying ambush marketing is that of Nike. Nike has been at the centre of many an ambush marketing campaigns against other major footwear companies such as Converse, Reebok, and most frequently on Adidas. Perhaps of all sporting events in the history, The Olympics can be easily singled out as the event most troubled by Ambush marketing campaigns. Be it the American Express in 1992 Olympic games, or Nike in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, or most recently Li Ning in the 2008 Beijing Olympic games. Out of all the
ambush campaigns around Olympics, the one that cost the sponsors the most was 2008 Olympics where the sponsor, Adidas, suffered heavily due to an ambush attack by a lesser known Chinese brand Li Ning. Li Ning was a former Chinese gymnast who won six medals- including three gold- during the 1984 Olympic Games at Los Angeles. Since retiring from the gymnastics, he had also become a successful entrepreneur. Capitalizing on his personal brand equity, he founded Li Ning, an athletic apparel company that specialized in footwear and clothing. He was a natural choice for lighting the Olympic torch at the Beijing Olympics. Because of this most people thought that Li Ning (the company) was the official sponsor for the games whereas the reality was that Adidas was the official sponsor of the event. As a result Li Ning got more publicity and
advantages of the event without even paying for the rights and Adidas lost a great deal of benefits and money because of this. These kinds of activities increase the work and the responsibilities of the International Olympics Committee (IOC) by many folds. Not only do they have to lure the companies to sponsor the event but they also have to make sure that the companies get as much benefits as they expect out of the event sponsorship. Not only do they have to come up with marketing strategies to give them maximum exposure but they also have to be on their heels to protect them from ambush attempts from their competitors. What makes their task more challenging is the fact that the sponsors are generally ambushed by the competitor who is least expected to cause any trouble. They have to ensure that the competitors don't associate themselves with the event illegally. After all it's not only the Sponsor's money that is at stake but also one's country's reputation and integrity. However, it is not only the organizers of the event who are supposed to keep a check on ambush marketing campaigns. The organizers have a number of important priorities, of which sponsorships is only one. The sponsors should shoulder this responsibility alike as it is in their best
interests. Not only should the company plan efficiently in sponsoring an event but it should also take every care in noting down the competitors move in and around the event. You cannot even afford to ignore your smallest competitor because if you are an international firm, there is a large chance that you might be ambushed by a local company. What makes matters worse is that once ambushed you are stranded in a lone island. The ambushed company over-reacting to an ambush can look like bullies. They might hurt the sentiments of the people of the country. This might do them more harm than doing any actual good. Frequently, the most debated issue is whether or not is ambush marketing ethical. Different marketing professionals look at these issues in different ways. For some it's a virtual necessity in modern competitive business practice. There are very limited options when it comes to competitive advertising and when the resources are limited then the best way to gain the most out of your investment is by resorting to ambush marketing techniques. Also some believe that in sponsoring an event the company only buys the rights to attach itself to the event but the company doesn't get the ownership of the consumer's mind per se. Hence, it's widely accepted and followed by reputed firms, advertently and inadvertently.
The first proud association we have once we are in here is with the 'Brand IIT'. And from there on, we live, breather, eat, wear, walk and talk brands, marketing, retailing, advertisements etc etc etc! This is the Marketing and Advertising Club of VGSoM, and as the name suggests, we're a bunch of people who are MADly passionate about perfecting their skills in the field of marketing management. The MAD club is not just an internal affair of the VGSoM students. It is an interactive platform for the students, faculty, a host of companies and the marketing experts out there. It creates an even mix of in-house and inter B-school events related to new concepts, strategies, time tested ideas, brand awareness, advertisements and so on. “Marketing takes days to learn, and a lifetime to master.” That is why MAD club gets in touch with the masters of the art while organising guest lectures and workshops on marketing. The topics covered in such interactive sessions ranges from 'How an advertisement is born' taken by the giants in advertising - JWT to 'Customer Value Management' at TATA. MADison Avenue, the flagship event of the MAD club, is getting bigger and better every year. With participation from B-schools across the length and breadth of the country, MADison Avenue brings case studies, marketing challenges, quizzes, workshops, guest lectures and much more on a single stage. As they say, marketing is not an event, but a process. And so when MAD Club organises JADE, the quizzing event, the team name is a brand; and taglines are not just answers to the questions but the identities of your special brand. If business is all about two functions - marketing and innovation, MAD club at VGSoM is about looking for innovative ways of marketing. The driving forces of MAD are a few inquisitive and creative minds that are not just into accepting the given; they learn, analyse, improve, change and question...for they believe there is no end to Marketing.
Vinod Gupta School of Management, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India - 721302. Phone : +91 3222 282295 / 282297 / 278027
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