These platforms and interfaces have always been around us, but in 2012, they’ll probably become the most important marketing tools. Here’s our take on them.
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Android

The Linux based operating system from Google is your one stop solution to mobile marketing. Here’s how.
Convergence, as we all know is the future. Instead of watching TV or reading newspapers, consumers are increasingly spending time with the devices they carry around. And to get people to buy your product, you have to be where they are. With 700,000 Android devices being activated everyday as of December 2011 (Andy Rubin, Sr. VP Mobile, Google), every marketer should try and leverage the medium. If you haven’t yet, get hold of developers and figure out what you can do.

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Augmented reality (AU)

How you define it is not important, how you leverage it is.
To be honest, if you read the definition, you’ll think it can’t be used as a marketing tool. So to simplify, let’s just say that this technology is a bridge connecting the virtual and real world. This year, AU was used perhaps for the first time in India at the Auto Expo by Mahindra & Mahindra. A cheetah was created which visitors could see on the screen above the displayed XUV. The fun part was that people could also pat the animal. Although the activity had no connection as such with the brand, it did however create brand recall. The technology is nascent in the advertising field, but in 2012, it might just become an integrated part of the advertising mix.

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Gamification

This might not exactly sound like a marketing tool, but then, it is. And an important one at that.
Ever wondered why you get to earn points through apps like Foursquare for just recommending the service to your friends? If you thought that it was just fun, then you better know now that you were part of a gamification process. These technique uses game design in order to increase engagement. Try the The Economist puzzle game on Facebook. Gamification is simple to implement, easy on the pocket and the trade offs are huge. With Gartner predicting that gamification will become as important as Facebook and Twitter for marketers by 2015, it’s worth a try.

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Facebook

Zuckerberg came, everybody saw and Facebook conquered.
When before in your entire career as a marketer did you hear about a car being launched on the Internet? Probably never. But the unimaginable happened in 2011when Ford launched the Explorer on Facebook. CEO Allan Mulally even went on to answer user questions on the Wall. The social network has 800 million active users with 50% logging in on any given day. If you aren’t there, you’re missing a huge opportunity. It’s no more about having a fan page, it’s about constantly interacting with your fans.

 
 
The world is not going to end in 2012. what has ended however are the usual brand wars that marketing pundits predict at the start of every new year. move over Coke vs Pepsi, the new kids on the block are raring to have a go...

January is the month of soothsayers; of crystal gazing about the year ahead; and motley predictions about life, love, career, family and even the end of the world (this one’s for the Mayans, the I Ching and the Bible, interpretations of which reveal that the date for Armageddon has been set down for 2012). But India is another story. Irrespective of the fate of the world, the start of the year has had politicians, bureaucrats, businessmen and even members of Team Anna going batty about what 2012 has in store for them.

For marketers however, the start of the year is traditionally more agonising and full of the unknown than others. The onset of January almost always sends marketing pundits in a tizzy fantasizing about better brand visibility and higher growth as the final quarter sets in. They may have frittered away the rest of the year planning big budget ads, events and contests to improve the bottomline, but January is when the winds get taken off their sail because the sales just don’t add up to the heavy duty marketing chutzpah. It could be because of the rising input costs, the falling margins, slow consumer demand or numerous other reasons that seem to be confounding the Indian economy right now, but it is there.

So this January has only seen the pressure on marketers go up. If bottomlines are down at the end of the third quarter, CEOs are demanding more action for better results before March 31st. And if bottomlines are up, then the bid is to raise the stakes and outperform in the third quarter perhaps for a mouth-watering incentive if you are lucky. Any which way you look at it, the beginning of the New Year will witness some exciting brand battles as marketers attempt to score a one up against rivals. The rest of the year of course will follow suit.

Interestingly, while some of the most eloquent brand wars have traditionally found shelf space in the FMCG market (recall the Coke vs. Pepsi shindig or the Surf versus Ariel standoff), the fast growing durables, electronics, automobile, financial services and media markets in India have spawned close battles in these sectors. What’s more, the brand battles of 2012 are special in the sense that they are unusual in their non-conformity. It’s not Maruti versus Hyundai or LG versus Samsung or Star versus Zee this year. Instead it’s a year where the old has given way to the new, albeit a little hesitatingly. Read on for the proof of the pudding is indeed in the eating...

SUZUKI VS VOLKSWAGEN
They say that the Indian auto market is one of the largest in the world. But clearly not large enough for two partners to stick together and do business. And that is precisely the story of cohabitants turned competitors Suzuki and Volkswagen (VW). Two years ago, VW acquired a 19.89% stake in the Japanese auto giant hoping to benefit from Suzuki’s expertise in the small-car segment and make inroads into emerging markets like India. But before the partnership could celebrate its second anniversary, Suzuki terminated the partnership late last year citing breach of contract.
 
How the end of this road will play out in global markets is anybody’s guess, but in India at least VW seems intent on having the last laugh. Taking advantage of Suzuki’s domineering presence here, the last couple of years has seen VW make quick gains in India. While Maruti Suzuki was busy resolving labour issues and streamlining production shortfalls, VW walked away with some of their market reach. VW commands only a 4.2% market share in India, which may seem miniscule in front of Maruti’s 41.42%. But experts agree that VW has gained the maximum out of the bad times that Maruti has seen over the past 12 months. VW’s deliveries to customers in India doubled to 111,600 last year even as Maruti Suzuki saw sales decline by 16.5% to 684,892 units between April and December.

VW’s aggression is indicative of the marketing mayhem in the days to come. Take product strategy. Volkswagen Polo competes directly with Suzuki Swift and Ritz while Vento competes with SX4. Going forward, VW is expected to bring its small cars like Golf and UP to the Indian market taking the battle a notch higher. “We currently have a very small market share in India but are hopeful of a 10% market share by 2018,” says Ulrich Hackenberg, Head - Technical Development, VW AG.

Suzuki isn’t sitting quietly either. With seven small cars in its portfolio, the company is now expanding to other segments. The premium Kizashi and soon expected Ertiga are testimony to the Japanese major’s renewed focus. The company is betting on its pan-India network to preserve its dwindling market share.

With Suzuki making every attempt to regain its lost market over the next 12 months, VW may well find it a difficult to lure Maruti loyalists to drive cars with a VW insignia. But then, upwardly mobile consumers may find it equally tough to resist VW’s German technology appeal. Look out for some subtle fireworks ahead.

HERO VS HONDA
It’s always been Hero Honda versus Bajaj and so when suddenly you end up just writing Hero Honda with an ‘and’ in between, nostalgia is bound to strike. Here’s another set of friends turned foes, who after walking hand-in-hand for 27 years, are now standing head to head in the Indian two-wheeler market.

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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2012

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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As an organisation grows beyond its home borders, its leaders must be sure to export the company’s culture as well as its products

4Ps Business & Marketing, in a strategic alliance with the new york times service, presents a column by howard Schultz, Chairman, President and CEO of Starbucks corporation

Great global brands do not succeed across cultures because they are cool or trendy. They succeed because they remain relevant to people inside as well as outside the company – regardless of where they were founded or where in the world they operate.

That’s why, as an organisation grows beyond its home borders, its leaders must be sure to export the company’s culture as well as its products.

This has been Starbucks’ strength as well as our greatest challenge since we first decided to open a store outside North America in 1996. Back then, none of our senior leaders had any international experience. In fact, we hired a consultant who came in and essentially told us that our plan to expand into Japan wasn’t going to work. Our no-smoking policy for our stores would be a disaster. Japanese customers wouldn’t walk around the streets with coffee in a paper cup. But our conviction that we had something universal to offer customers in addition to our coffee – a place to personally connect with others – pushed us forward, and we opened our first store in Tokyo.

Fifty-four countries later, our conviction has not wavered, yet more than at any other time in our history, we are asking ourselves how to remain relevant as times change.

For our coffee and our food, we have learned that each should reflect regional tastes and traditions but not deviate too far from our core. A vanilla latte in Zurich should taste the same as one in Chicago. In China, Starbucks stores would probably not sell noodles for breakfast; but we would – and do – include popular Chinese flavours such as sesame and green tea in our Frappuccinos. People don’t want from us what they can get down the block, but they appreciate our efforts to put a local twist on a muffin.

Even more important than our products, however, are the company’s guiding principles of respect and dignity, which fuel the personal connections we try to make with customers.

Instilling such internal values beyond a company’s home country is crucial, but it does not come with a handbook of instructions. It’s a subtle task, and there are concrete steps we’ve learned along the way that hold true to any company. These include dedicating enough resources from the outset to put the right culture in place, and launching a new market under the guidance of long-term employees to ensure that like-minded talent is hired. Local leaders can then model the behaviour they want their people to emulate, celebrate behaviours they want to perpetuate and listen to what is important to the people they hire.
 
At Starbucks, spreading our values is critical because it allows our partners (our terms for employees) to deliver our competitive advantage in every market in which we operate.

Let me be more specific. Starbucks’ value to its customers has never been just about great coffee but instead, it has been about delivering a great experience AROUND our coffee. In our stores this comes across in many ways; mainly the familiar relationship that develops when a barista gets to know her customers by name and remembers their favourite drinks, where they work or their kids’ ages.

But a barista won’t even try to connect with customers unless she first feels positively connected to the organisation. The kind of employee connection I’m referring to does not come about merely by providing competitive pay and benefits. This engagement results from having leaders at every level whose actions reflect our principles in the daily decisions they make, how they interact with one another and in the unique experiences they create.

Leadership that fosters authentic connections takes other forms as well. Managers can get to know their employees’ career goals and mentor them. They can involve people in decision-making, give them the permission and resources to make their own decisions and always communicate with transparency. Showing sincere appreciation, even a ‘thank you’, is also tremendously important.

Recently, I attended an event in Shanghai, China, where I witnessed a seemingly small gesture that helps to illustrate my larger point.

During a dinner for about 700 Starbucks baristas, store managers and executives, a partner, Marco, was named Manager of the Year. Marco had come from a rural village and, as he stood on stage in front of his peers, someone asked what he would say to his parents back home about receiving the award. As he spoke, he was asked to close his eyes.

For more articles, Click on IIPM Article

Source : IIPM Editorial, 2012

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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IIPM ranked No 1 B-School in India
domain-b.com : IIPM ranked ahead of IIMs
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Arindam Chaudhuri: We need Hazare's leadership
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A combination of health, taste & ambience has worked wonders for cocoberry. Now, the company has to plan expansion carefully so that the concept does not turn into a fad

Most tech savvy Indians will probably relate FroYo with Android 2.2, the highly popular OS from Google. But, even as Android has graduated from FroYo or frozen-yoghurt to the likes of Gingerbread, Honeycomb & Icecream Sandwich, FroYo is getting increasingly popular as a healthy eating option; especially among upwardly mobile and health conscious people the world over. And Cocoberry is trying to achieve the same in India.

The premium yoghurt chain, which derives its name from “Coco” meaning chocolate and “berry” from the anti-oxidant rich bery family, and counts actor Katrina Kaif among its connoisseurs, was established in 2009; and in a short span of two years, it has been able to establish its brand name among the young and urbane, thanks to its guerilla marketing tactics. G. S. Bhalla, Founder & CEO, Cocoberry, informs us that the name was given by his daughter who was 7-years old at that time. “The objective when we launched it was, to create a brand around the health & wellness proposition; hence we focused on two key nutrition categories – anti-oxidants (through berry toppings), and pro-biotic (referring to yoghurt).” Bhalla, who had no prior experience in the food and beverage industry, says that the compelling factor for entering this domain was that food is a recession-proof business.

And why not? The health and wellness food market today, as per a study done by Tata Strategic Management Group (TSMG), is pegged at Rs.110 billion, growing at nearly 35% annually. Of course, it has many segments to it and health food options like FroYo are still a small part of the overall market. But with the consumption story and eating patterns changing in the country and more and more people gravitating towards health food options, the segment will only grow.

Though globally, FroYo stores like Red Mango, Pink Berry and Yoghurt Land started getting popular around 2005-06, Cocoberry was the first to bring the concept to India. Today, the brand boasts off roughly 2.8 lakh Facebook fans, which makes it among the top 100 brands in terms of fan base in India. It is also the third highest likes among FroYo brands on Facebook globally, and it hopes to become the most liked in 6 months. That is a rather steep ambition for a 2-year old brand, even if we consider the numbers in the Indian market.

Bhalla attributes the success story so far to his guerilla marketing tactics – using social media extensively, choosing great store locations and designing stores elegantly. The focus is on creating the perfect ambience experience for customers. The company claims that its USP is great customisation, as the stores offer 6-8 flavours and 30 toppings. Besides, it has entered newer health food segments as well like smoothies, sandwiches, parfait (healthy breakfast option) and beverages like tea & coffee.

For more articles, Click on IIPM Article
Source : IIPM Editorial, 2012

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

For More IIPM Info, Visit below mentioned Links

IIPM ranked No 1 B-School in India
domain-b.com : IIPM ranked ahead of IIMs
IIPM: Management Education India
Prof. Rajita Chaudhuri's Website

IIPM Proves Its Mettle Once Again....
Arindam Chaudhuri on Internet.....
Arindam Chaudhuri: We need Hazare's leadership
Professor Arindam Chaudhuri - A Man For The Society....
IIPM: Indian Institute of Planning and Management
Planman Technologies
IIPM Contact Info

IIPM History
IIPM Think Tank
IIPM Infrastructure
IIPM Info

IIPM: Selection Process
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