The marketing edge

Last Updated 19 March 2014, 16:14 IST

Hard Core Real learning begins where theory ends and this is particularly true of careers in marketing research and communications, says Prem Mehta.

In today’s competitive market, Marketing Research has become the basis of marketing action, and drives strategic decisions of every successful organization. The phenomenal rate at which the Market Research industry is growing, it requires highly trained professionals with sound knowledge of the technology and business requirements of the market research industry.

Digital marketingAmong the recent trends in marketing is the growing importance of digital marketing. The term 'digital marketing' was first used in the 1990s. In the 2000s and the 2010s, digital marketing became more sophisticated as an effective way to create a relationship with the consumer that has depth and relevance.

Digital marketing is marketing that makes use of electronic devices (computers) such as personal computers, smartphones, cellphones, tablets and game consoles to engage with stakeholders. Digital marketing applies technologies or platforms such as websites, e-mail, apps (classic and mobile) and social networks. Many organisations cross traditional and digital marketing channels.

There are two different forms of digital marketing. In pull digital marketing, the consumer actively seeks the marketing content, often via web searches or opening an email, text message or web feed. Websites, blogs and streaming media (audio and video) are examples of pull digital marketing. In each of these, users have to navigate to the website to view the content. Only current web browser technology is required to maintain static content. Search engine optimization is one tactic used to increase activity.

In push digital marketing the marketer sends a message without the recipient actively seeking the content, such as display advertising on websites and news blogs. Email, text messaging and web feeds can also be classed as push digital marketing when the recipient has not actively sought the marketing message.

Pull digital marketing is characterized by consumers actively seeking marketing content while Push digital marketing occurs when marketers send messages without that content being actively sought by the recipients.

In simplistic terms, digital marketing is the promotion of products or brands via one or more forms of electronic media. Digital marketing differs from traditional marketing in that it involves the use of channels and methods in electronic media that enable an organization to reach finely targeted consumers and to analyze marketing campaigns and understand what is working and what isn’t – typically in real time.

Digital media in marketing communications is growing faster than all other media and accounts for over 28 per cent of all advertising spends in western markets. This trend is equally true in India. This medium is so pervasive that consumers have access to information any time and any place they want it. Gone are the days when all messages people got about products or services were marketeer sponsored and consisted of only what you wanted them to know.

Digital media is an ever-growing source of entertainment, news, shopping and social interaction, and consumers are now exposed not just to what your company says about your brand, but what the media, friends, relatives and peers are saying as well. And they are more likely to believe them than you. People want brands they can trust, companies that know them, communications that are personalized and relevant, and offers tailored to their needs and preferences.

Data analyticsAnother marketing trend is data analytics. Business success is created by managerial/ marketing intelligence. Managerial/marketing intelligence comes from actionable knowledge. Actionable knowledge can be created only by inducing a real-time practical dimension to existing theory, which is really a documentation of past experience. And that real learning begins where theory ends. This leads to successful careers and prosperous organizations. Everything is moving toward data: big data, mobile data, performance data, campaign data, product data, and marketing data.

It’s not enough to just know your customers; you must know them better than anybody else so you can communicate with them where, when and how they are most receptive to your message. To do that, you need a consolidated view of customer preferences and expectations across all channels – Web, social media, mobile, direct mail, point of sale, etc. Marketers can use this information to create and anticipate consistent, coordinated customer experiences that will move customers along in the buying cycle. The deeper your insight into customer behavior and preferences, the more likely you are to engage them in lucrative interactions.

The model developed by Northpoint Centre of Learning focuses on creating actionable knowledge through an optimum blend OF contemporary theory and a rigorous exposure to practice. The Centre has been established by the Lintas Employees' Welfare Trusts, the former Indian shareholders of Lintas India, a communications group of 16 businesses.Training is largely conducted through a partnership between academicians and practising managers with extensive and successful experience to back their point of view.

Equally, the programs aim to build on theory in the classroom with on-the-job internships in professional organizations, and substantial exposure to business activities in the field.Management/ marketing is about innovation, new ways of handling situations and developing strategic business opportunities.

It is about mature analysis and understanding of situations that ensures effective decision-making. Therefore, the development of such skills, along with the creation of fresh knowledge through on-going research is critical.

(Published 19 March 2014, 16:14 IST)

Follow us on