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Discover Growth: Some Counter-Intuitive Lessons In Marketing At GMAW 2015

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Global Marketing & Advertising Week (GMAW) 2015 was held from 18-20th February in Delhi. GMAW is the fourth mega edition of the very successful, significant and far reaching DMAI Annual Convention which witnessed over 100 plus speakers, 165 sessions, 1000 plus senior marketing sessions in 3 days last year. GMAW encompassed  6 recognition and celebration programs in total-4th edition of the Hall of Fame, the Marketing Leader of the Year, The DMAI Knights, CMO Choice Awards, Marketing Innovation of the Year and Content Marketing Awards Program. The event covered every aspect of marketing- data and performance marketing, content marketing and creativity, the essence of all. The event consisted of masterclasses presided over by industry greats, exclusive CXO round table sessions exploding practical insights coupled with creativity and enlightening one-on-one Guru sessions with global thought leaders.

The event was graced by Drayton Bird. Advertising Immortal David Ogilvy stated that “Drayton Bird knows more about direct marketing than anyone else.” Drayton Bird has a career spanning 55 years and 57 countries and has been associated with brands like British Airways, American Express, Harvard Business Review, McKinsey, Nestle, Visa and the list goes on.

Here is an excerpt from one of the sessions named Growth: Some Counter-Intuitive Lessons in Marketing-

The session was presided over by Arvind Sharma. He completed his MBA from IIM Ahmedabad in 1977. He has on-the-ground experience in marketing as he started his career as a Sales Manager at Volta’s. He served as the Chairman and CEO of sub-continent of Leo Burnett from 2003-2013. He has been a marketing consultant for a host of agencies including but not limited to HJ Heinz, Proctor & Gamble, HDFC Standard Life Insurance, Tata Chemicals, Samsung, GlaxoSmithKline, Coca-Cola. He has also been one of the visiting faculty members at IIM Ahemdabad.

Arvind started his presentation with a simple yet effective statement that when you try to pursue growth aggressively and at all costs, all one gets is a huge setback. Growth is best achieved when one adopts a gradual and steady route. Remember the old axiom, slow and steady wins the race. It is still very relevant and holds a lot of wisdom in it. Despite enormous pressures in our everyday lives to produce immediate results, some things only come with time, and growth is one them.

He brought to light some of his mistakes as a marketer when he was under grave pressure to produce results and those results remained elusive. He highlighted the importance of molding oneself according to changing circumstances, particularly changing buying patterns and behavior since online marketing and especially social media marketing has entered the picture. Marketers are unaware of the potential of social media when things go wrong, how at lightening speeds bad word spreads and can ruin brands built over decades.

Also average literacy of consumers, their awareness and their improved standards of living has changed rules of marketing game.Today’s buyer is far more updated with products than used to be the case when he started his career. He emphasized that consumers today do all the research and homework before making the ultimate buying decision. He also brought to notice of the fact that advertisements these days are losing their credibility. Social media has played due role here.

People trust word of product’s users rather than of the marketers. Social Media thus can play a relatively cheaper complement to expensive advertisements, underlining the fact social media is very much part of the marketing mix but still is not a substitute of advertisements. At the core of any marketing lies creativity, not forgetting a simple fact that marketing deals with humans and even-though technology, science and economic progress has changed our lives 360 degree, but some things refuse to change like the nature’s rule of seasons. Any marketing which does not have a purpose to change lives of its consumers positively is unlikely to survive in today’s ever competitive world.

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