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Ayatana 2015 – The Sense Sphere – October 17, 2015

The Institute of Management, Nirma University had initiated a Marketing Conclave called AYATANA 2015 – The Sense Sphere, held every year to give an opportunity to the students to interact with and learn from industry practitioners. Marketing professionals from various reputed organizations shared their insights on relevant marketing themes. The conclave was meant to be a platform for idea-generation and stimulation of novel marketing thoughts. This year the proposed theme of the conclave was “Marketing in India: Opportunities and Challenges”.  The conclave was held on 17th October, 2015 at the IMNU Auditorium from 09:30 AM to 04:45 PM.

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Mr. Kishore Chakraborti, Vice President, McCann Erickson India inaugurated the session by throwing light on the rapid developments taking place in the present business world. The ever-changing dynamics of the industry poses a challenge to marketing as one can never be certain that the strategy they follow is the sure-shot way to success; what proved successful a few months back might very well prove to be disastrous today. Mr. Chakraborti thus emphasized on the death of the old marketing strategies. He went on to state that the new winning formula is: share, care and empower. Competitors are not the biggest enemy anymore. There is a marketing warfare going on but that doesn’t require you to decimate all of your competitors. There is room for everyone to succeed. In a scenario like this, traditional marketing rules change. To showcase this changing trend, Mr. Chakraborti exemplified Proctor and Gamble’s strategy of sharing with their competitors any idea that does not fit with their business goal. Thus, there is no ‘one product, one solution’. Today’s solution might spell doom for you tomorrow as it will not motivate you to innovate any further. Change is the key – if you don’t others will. You might change either to win or to lead, but change is imperative. The speaker spoke of the challenges of change: technology, communication and connectivity, media and consumer. Mr. Chakraborti concluded his session by accentuating that tapping the value and the privacy of the emotions of the consumers is the path to success as these are the factors that cannot be copied by any competitors.

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Ms. Debadutta Upadhyaya, Co-founder and CEO, Timesaverz Dotcom Private Limited addressed the first session on ‘marketing to an e-consumer’. She spoke about how the mode of communication across all generations is shifting to the electronic medium. In such a scenario, consumers have exposure to numerous knowledge banks and contents. As a result, today’s consumers think they know everything. Thus, the first thing marketers need to keep an eye out for this breed of consumers, who have all the information they need at their fingertips. The next most important thing the company should focus on is trust. The first and foremost question in every consumers mind is always – “Can I, as a consumer, trust you as a brand?” Trust makes the difference between the choices consumers make. The way the brand makes the consumer feel safe about transacting with it is what builds trust. Return policies is also one of the methods companies adopt to build trust. Ms. Upadhayay went on to speak about how companies should never be afraid to go an extra mile to build trust and the sense of security among its consumers. The third focus of companies should be the consumers’ time. This is the generation of mobiles -consumers do not want to go beyond two clicks and three taps. They do not want to deal with a company that asks for anything more. Thus, companies are focusing on designing in order to enhance their communication strategies. Consumers do not have loyalties today – they switch from one brand to another depending upon the price, value and benefits of the offering. They make quick decisions. As a result, all companies should focus on targeted communication in order to align their products better with the right set of consumers. The speaker concluded the session by enlightening the students about how marketing is more of an external communication than internal. Companies that succeed the best are the ones where the employees are the most energetic cheerleaders, the most ardent advocates of the company in a manner that arouses respect.

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Mr. Pramit Ghosh addressed the 2nd session on “Changing face of marketing communication- Their impact on modern marketing professionals”.
He talked about the various aspects of the marketing communication and provided example of how the social media platform was used extensively to make the content viral in the Nirbhaya revolution, revolution in the Arab nations. What worked in the favor of social cause marketing is that it provided stability, security, disruption and innovation. Talking about the factors affecting consumer decision, he spoke about the importance of the word of mouth, research, feel and pricing strategies. He rightly pointed out that there is no closure in marketing. Marketing communication is a never ending process. It’s not just about good marketing or bad marketing, it’s about how you target the consumers and use last minutes push to change the decision of the consumers. The marketing communication has 3 parts to it: discover, design and deliver. He talked about how in today’s times, it is possible to discover a multi media campaign and create a buzz using the ground events, worldwide rollout. Today marketing is a 49000 Cr industry in India, of which 45% share is taken by television while 35% by print and the rest 20% by digital media. He also showed the videos of the “SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY” initiative in the USA which has captured the imagination of 103M people and shown us how even non paid content can go viral.

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Ms. Amandeep Kaur – Head – Marketing Communications, Myntra.com
addressed the 3rd session. She spoke about Marketing Communication 3.0. She said that newspaper advertisement are about to become obsolete. The world has shifted from newspaper to mobile. Today’s news is always trending on Twitter and Facebook. Most people know only those news which are on Facebook and Twitter. Thus the traditional marketing is not relevant anymore. There is change in ways of designing advertisements. She also said that the advertisement shouldn’t be only platform based. There are no more single platform advertisements. The campaign should have a motive or message rather than being on a platform. Social campaigns get the across platform pushes automatically because the people can connect to them and so they themselves spread the campaign. Integration is not that the same campaign should be on different platforms, it is when one platform feels the success of the other and in a social campaign the campaign are automatically made popular across platform. She also emphasized the fact that social media shouldn’t be treated as a broadcasting channel only by the brand, consumer has a say in brand perception. Social media is transferring Brand communication to Consumer communication. She said that for a campaign to be successful, campaigns should be backed by consumer insights.

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Mr. Shalabh Saxena conducted the fourth session, based on Rural Marketing. Mr. Saxena holds the position of Head – Brand and MarCom at Bajaj Auto Ltd. He initiated the session by claiming his intent as a marketer to bridge the gap between text and practice. He explained what practices the marketers actually follow in the real world, and how they get the message across. Mr. Saxena emphasized on the power of word of mouth by quoting that “USPs are Usual Stuff People Say”. As survival is awarded only to the fittest in such a cutthroat competition, making better products is more a necessity than just a ladder to success. The only alternative to that is to be dramatically and demonstrably different. He explained the latter part by showing a video which exemplified what methods are being undergone to provide experiences to potential buyers in order to validate your claims. Catering to different needs is an important part of marketing and essential to surviving. He concluded the session by advising to start using traditional methods and yet plan for long term sustainable growth.

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Mr. Sanjay Sayani, Director – Corporate Communications, Branding & PR, DSK Group. He gave insights about the changing trends in the advertisements. He conducted a very interactive session with the audience. He shared his vast experience in the industry with the audience. He said that nothing dies in the advertisement world – the form may change with everything stays and thrives on. He showed a few advertisements and explained the impact that these advertisements had on the general public. He could connect to the audience and the learning provided by him was very beautifully received by the students. It was a very enriching and enjoying session.

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