The Marketing Mindset: Key To Win

Cyriac Joseph MRICS, Senior Vice President - Marketing, Vaishnavi GroupOver 25 years of sales & marketing experience in the realty sector, Cyriac currently heads the marketing department of Vaishnavi Group

What is it that differentiates a skilled marketer from others? Are they born with innate marketing skills or do they build it over the years? While it maybe an innate talent in many, much of marketing can be achieved by shaping our mindset according to the best practices observed in the industry.

It is relatively simple to study manuals on marketing, cover to cover and understand Philip Kotler’s basics if you put your mind to it. But do you become a better marketer as a result? It is therefore critical to evaluate and analyse what differentiates a successful marketing person from everyone else. Now, every successful entrepreneur, from Steve Jobs to Dhirubhai Ambani, are essentially brilliant marketers who have understood the power of good marketing and the criticality of hard-hitting and path-breaking adcampaigns. They are able to differentiate between sales and marketing. Unfortunately, this knowledge evades quite a few of us even today. And most importantly they know how to spot good campaign ideas and good marketing talent.

An effective marketer plays various roles and dons many hats.
• The Designer
• The Story Teller
• The Commando
• The Master Chef
• The Gardner
• The Scientist

The Designer
The pioneer takes the Design Thinking approach in Marketing. They are, very often, the first to create aspiration and niche through product design. Apple would be the most appropriate example here. When we think of a product closer home, we need look no further than RedBus. RedBus understood very early on that a seamless experience with the right UI and UX is what it takes to be successful.

The Story Teller
The story teller knows the wonderful art of selling a product with a story or a tale. Evian is a high-end brand that sells mineral water by literally selling a story with every bottle of water. The tag line goes, ‘Natural Mineral Water from the Alps’. At the end of the day, it is “just” a bottle of water, but Evian has created an amazingly niche imagery with the story.
The Commando
The aggressive marketer leaves no stone unturned in rooting out competition and categorically and very often, emphatically capturing market share. Recently, we have seen Jio positioning itself most aggressively to conquer Airtel’s market with really competitive pricing. Other appropriate and relatable examples of Commando Marketing, where a marketer has taken a commando role would be Amazon Vs Flipkart, Ola Vs Uber amongst many others.

The Master Chef
The master chef creates a fabulous product experience incorporating the right features, right components and accessories and ensures it is all presented in the right form. In recent times, Hyundai is perhaps one of the better best examples in bringing together all possible elements for a brand’s success with the new Hyundai Verna. The fluidic design of the Verna, great features, service and all this priced smartly has helped them to gain good market share in executive hatchback and sedan segment.

A product is just another product on the shelf, amidst its peers until marketing and communication creates certain imagery for it

The Gardener
The gardener lays strong foundations of building and nurturing brands and takes the text book approach to defining the brand print, setting the tone, look and feel and building the brand for a long time to come.
For instance, the various brands under the Hindustan Unilever umbrella stand testimony to the Gardener method of marketing. Every product is marketed carefully to the targeted audience after much study and research. And each sub-brand of HUL, from Lipton to Surf to Dove & Lifebuoy are much sought after brands in their own right

The Scientist
The scientist marketer always has an eye on the future. He always looks for and is ready for the next big thing or the next big idea. He always looks at the longer term prospects of the brand.

Google is a great example of marketing with a scientist mind set. It’s no surprise that it’s a tech behemoth with a scientist mind set. Google is much ahead of its peers in terms of research and is always positioned to be future ready.

So, what works? Perhaps, everything! A bit of everything, everywhere. And it is your discretion as a marketer that tells you where to use what!

Beyond this, marketing is a mind game played with the consumers’ psyche. A product is just another product on the shelf, amidst its peers until marketing and communication creates certain imagery for it. Successful marketing aims to shape it into a desirable brand. Something that people want to own and look to be associated with!

There are landmark marketing campaigns that have worked wonderfully well for the brand. Perhaps, one of the most defining ads in the Indian marketing space is the Cadbury ad that redefined the place of chocolate in our lives. Until then, the Indian market associated chocolate to cater only to children. Featuring a cricketer and his girlfriend who celebrates his victory with a bar of Cadbury sent a strong message that chocolate had its own place for celebration amidst an adult audience too. This campaign in particular is a refresher course of sorts on re-positioning brands to cater to a segment hitherto unexplored! While the Cadbury ad introduced the idea of chocolate having a place for adults too, there is another product that has worked with brilliant marketing: 15 years back, we had no necessity for fabric conditioners. Today, every provision list includes Comfort fabric conditioner. The Comfort fabric conditioner ad campaign has paid off very well, going by the success of Comfort.