Posted: Sun May 17, 2015 10:01 pm
Marketing is a very creative business. You need to think , innovate and design the products as per the customers requirement. It requires lots of hard work from the process of designing the product to selling the product. It is important to design the product honestly keeping the needs of the customers. There is an honesty needed while selling the product because when we deal with customers they trust the brand and therefore they buy the product. However if we lie them and cheat them , we would loose them forever. Therefore honesty is a must. Honest comes with not compromising in terms of quality and quantity. Providing the customers with the right product at right price.
Posted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:19 am
It has always been about relationships. Companies across the world are maximising value for their customers – thus innovating every second. In a world filled with products and services across every imaginable domain – differentiation is difficult to come by. Offerings today represent much more that the mere utilities that they were supposed to satisfy. Today they represent the customer, they represent his dreams and his status; they represent the customer himself, as a brand. Billions of dollars are invested in finding out what is it that defines the customer’s core values, what is it that defines his choices, what is the core principle that drives him and subsequently affects his buying behaviour. Every day, organisations innovate harder to feed the wants, the desires and the ego of the customer. With the rising GDP and the per capita income of the nation, and the subsequent urbanisation that has happened – product lines need to be diversified, refined and improved constantly to keep up with the rising aspirations of the consumerist generation. Organisations are constantly forging relationships and are going to great lengths to nurture the same. The relationship doesn’t end with the customer walking out of the store or disconnecting the call with the successful consummation of a service. Organisations are now inspiring the customers to explore various aspects of the services or the offerings they have for them. This requires a very accurate understanding of the consumer and extensive cultivation of the after sales services. A satisfied customer may or may not share his wonderful experience with his circles, up to a maximum of 2 – 3 people at most. However, ruffle a customer, and you stand to lose out on 11 – 12 prospective customers because of one unaddressed bad word. The mantra is simple. Keep him happy, and push him to explore the limits of your offerings. And when he does, reward him amply.
Here’s the entire preceding paragraph in one word. The customer is king. Oh wait. The rich customer is. Now that you think of it, it is legit. Organisations are looking to grow constantly. The qualified customer helps an organisation grow. When the organisation conducts an extensive STP process – it is basically aiming at cashing in on the qualified market. But then, for most of the organisations, that leaves out the substantial customer base that lives below the poverty line. The product lines of most organisations cater to the HIG and the MIG because the explanation is simple – higher returns.
When an organisation has to meet the needs of the LIG individuals and families – profitably comes later – several considerations come into play. Take for instance, the 4 Ps of marketing. The product packaging needs to be modified. The offering needs to be modified to be applicable to the LIG individuals. This involves massive capital investment – read: machinery for packaging, research that will eventually cost millions of dollars with every passing stage. The distribution channel needs to be revamped to be applicable to the same. Obviously they wouldn’t be buying from super markets or retails shops – they’ll be prone to buying LUPs from the kirana stores. The profit margin will take a cut – controlling the channel partners so that prices don’t spiral out of control for this target group is critical. Making extensive forays into the lower levels of the channel – such that the products reach this target group and counterfeit products are extirpated from the channel – is a very important aspect of marketing to the bottom of the pyramid. The integrated marketing communications mix that generally strikes a chord with the HIG and the MIG individuals highly involved in social media will fall flat on its face if applied to the target group of LIGs. The beliefs, traditions and the customs that drive this group are entirely different and they are sensitive to how the world perceives them. They have grown up in circumstances that have been entirely different. TV advertisements that are aimed at touching our hearts and making us think, will not be effective with them. Brand ambassadors that we associate with brands – may be completely different from the ones they are exposed to and are aware of. So designing an entirely new communications mix, an entirely new set of advertisements, and a completely different channel for communication – which leaves out the digital marketing to a large extent – will be necessary. The conventional channels need to be tweaked, and the old faithful – radio, TV and print advertisements will help rule the roost. How does this affect the balance of the branding and the IMC team of the organisation? It wreaks havoc with their plans if they are not ready to be flexible enough to incorporate such changes in their plans. And the most sensitive topic of all – the pricing.
Pricing has always been moot, when it comes to marketing to the Asian countries. Asians are always looking to extract the maximum value from the minimum cost. Thus offerings that give huge benefits at low costs are necessary. Now, as far as LIGs are concerned – this is all the more necessary. Organisations have compromised on quality of their offerings when it comes to these TGs. The sad truth is, the LIGs are not aware of the benefits that they deserve from the offerings – thus rendering any form of quality assurance by an organisation futile. They are too poor to be able to judge products on the basis of quality and safety – thus easily falling prey to counterfeits and look-alikes. Making LIGs aware of the exact offering and the CVP (customer value proposition) involved is crucial. In the long run, it tends to hurt both the TG and the organisation.
Most organisations are callous to the needs of this group and this leaves the buying potential of the LIG untapped. In the long run, costs will fall because of economies of scale, but that comes at the cost of massive initial expenditures and organisations are unwilling to expend so much in a venture that may or may not turn out to be successful. Marketing campaigns have failed and they have damaged organisations; all the more a concern as far as LIGs are concerned. Because the margins are very tight when it comes to LIGs, organisations are not willing to take the risk, to go the extra mile to make sure that this market is tapped.