Admark’s Weblog

Archive for the ‘Product strategy’ Category

This marks the start of an idea I had in mind for long. Why not start a marketing nuggets post that acts a small aggregator of news / views on marketing from around the web (and by definition around the world. With a 10 – 15 word blurb on what the article says).  Let’s start –

Views on Marketing in Apple (via Branding Strategy Insider)

Marketing by exclusivity. The author asks – did you exclude a customer today? Interesting thought.

Danone – Reaching the bottom of the pyramid (via WSJ)

Seems like its always the question of price v/s grammage debate while trying to evolve a model to reach out to the bottom of the pyramid.

Facebook and the rise of semantic web (via RWW)

How Facebook (and other host of companies like Best Buy etc) plugged into Semantic Web via a technology called as RDFa / OpenGraph (in my understanding works in the direction of meta information tagging) which might lead to a powerful tool allowing marketers to contextualize their offering ever closer.

Unrelated note : It also marks the debate between recommendation versus search.

Related note: Best practices for marketing on Facebook happening on 28 July (Organized by Altimeter Group and the influential Jeremiah Owyang)

Some great real-time ads from Nestle (via Google Reader)

Vuvuzela Epic Wimbledon Match

Recent Fastrack advertisement (I so love their tongue-in-cheek boldness which clearly excludes the ages to which the brand does not want to be associated with)


Fastrack advertisement


Let me know – egghead


I was/am in love with Orkut and never jumped onto the Facebook mania. But some time back, when Microsoft valued Facebook at $15 Billion, I became curious as to whats so special about Facebook. Then during my job interviews, people looked for ideas as to how to market their product on Facebook. Then it just struck me, that Facebook is not just a social networking website, its a phenomenon.

I googled for “Facebook Marketing” and landed up with a cool resource which was an eye opener as to the plethora of options available for marketing using Facebook. Facebook offers many ways to get the word out and bring the people in. Listed below are few means to get started:

I. Tools for Guerrilla Marketers

1. Profile Page
2. Groups
3. Pages
4. Events
5. Notes and Photos
6. Messages
7. Marketplace
8. Share / Posted Items
9. Networks
10. Mini Feed and News Feed

II. Tools for Advertisers

11. Social Ads
12. Integrated Opportunities
13. Beacon
14. Polls
15. Facebook Platform Ad Networks
16. Facebook Platform Application Sponsorships
17. Sponsored Facebook Groups

III. Tools for Application Developers

18. Profile Box
19. Mini Feed
20. News Feed
21. Invitations
22. Facebook Notifications
23. Email Notifications
24. Application Directory

To read more, check out this: The Facebook Marketing Bible

Orkut is also going the Facebook way by including things like status updates, adding applications, tagging etc. But has Facebook gained first mover advantage?


Earlier I had mentioned about the 5th P of marketing, the paanwaalah. Sample these statistics about a company which tapped into the rural market in Uttar Pradesh avoiding the harsh words –

You need large investments and the creation of a feasible infrastructure. From here

Earlier –

Number of retailers – 50,000

Number of distributors – 500

Years taken to build this – 20 YEARS

Now –

New retailers added – 20,000

New distributors added – 500

Years taken to achieve this – < 1 year

This is the story of Tata Tea’s “Gaon Chalo” (Hit the villages) campaign. They tapped into the reach of the NGOs to reach the rural market. What happened then?

Consolidated market share change for Tata Tea – 6% points from 18 % to 26%

Consolidate market share change for HUL – > 6% down from 23%

After the paanwaalah it seems to collaborate with the NGOs. Interesting space to watch. Read on at BusinessWorld.


Chlormint Ad

By Mccann Erickson

Inspired by Egghead’s post on the 5th P of Marketing.

The Chlormint ad cracks me up. Besides being funny, the ad tells a true story. When you go to a panwaari you dont necessarily ask for a particular mint. You are fine with any mint that he gives you – and this ad takes this point into account and educates the consumers that why do you do that. Why dont you ask for a “particular” mint? You must ask for a mint that you like. The ad has a very strong concept and is brilliantly executed. Good job 🙂

Main ab apni pasand ki mint mangoga – mere par kisi panwaari ne ehsaan nahi kiya!


Okay that’s a typical-techie title to this post. But I could not resist this.

Instructions to decode the title –

  1. ++ indicates incrementing by one
  2. 4P means a collection of 4 Ps
  3. Any increment operation would mean adding one more P.

Ask yourself these questions –

  1. What are the four Ps of marketing?
  2. Who would be the 5th P? (and that’s what the title means)

Assuming even if you know the answer to question 1, question 2 has a different answer according to afaqs.

Find out about him here. To quote about him (from the article) –

The biggest advantage they offer to any marketing-led company is their spread across the country. <It> has been a national addiction for long and <they> can be found in pucca as well as ramshackle structures in every nook and cranny of the country.

Industry estimates suggest there are 14 million currently in business. Little surprise then, ITC leveraged its network of <them> to good effect when it diversified into candies and snack food.

Text inside <> is mine, replacing the original text to create suspense 🙂


Tags: ,

Print media has it tough. Once the brand is created it is difficult to re launch.

Case in point: Indian Express. The main paper as well as its business sister, Financial Express have consistently over the last decade made space in the rankings table by moving down a slot everytime a new competitor enters. Now IE is posed with the options of either relaunching both (or one) of these dailies or launch a new product completely. The question is can relaunching help convince people of the ‘new and improved’ IE or FE? Very tough ask it will be. After all it is newspapers we are talking about. The 200 million people in India who subscribe to newspapers are cannot be  easily persuaded to change from their current daily to something else especially if they are satisfied with their current dailies and worse still if they were once (but not anymore) readers of IE.

The second option albeit more tedious and expensive will lead to a higher possibility of success assuming the basics like product, target market etc are done right.

People in media might claim that price is not a parameter for competition in the print industry.               

Case in point: HT vs TOI fighting for market share in the Delhi market. TOI came in wanting a piece of HT’s pie in the north. It dropped its price to Rs.1.50 but the mighty HT took no notice. Bang one day they wake up and see a big bite in their big pie. So they go ahead and drop prices to Re.1!         

Final Outcome: HT remained the leader by a slim lead over TOI.                                                                   

My point: Price wars do happen in this indutry even though 85% of the cost is covered by advertising.
Well media is a tough nut to crack. Its readers can be fiercely loyal or fiercely dis, brand awareness is high but intention to buy is low and money spent on ATL+BTL is very hard to track.
On this note I end this media note. Hopefully more to come as days move on or the 2 months at least 🙂
Comments are welcome!

Okay the situation of inflation is glum, in India, that is. But the FMCG companies are showing some 32 teeth on their wide faces. Everyone is experiencing double digit growth rates including that behemoth HUL. Anyways cutting to brass-tacks, here is the low down. Customers are down-trading on certain categories typically which are not amenable to “value calculations” and not down-trading on other “value conscious” categories. But at the same time consumer spending is not going south, YET.

But what is the relation to anesthetizing pain? Read this –

[Consumers are] not weighing the current gratification vs. future gratifications. They experience an immediate pang of pain [when they think of how much they have to pay for something]. That perspective has a lot of implications. For example, it helps to explain why credit cards encourage people to spend; they anesthetize the pain. – From neurosciencemarketing

What does this imply for machinations during these times when inevitable price increase across certain categories is being seen already? Well first one –

· Forget individual transactions, they cause more pain.

· Focus on single price for multiple items

Bole toh? Every time I, imagine me being a family man, go to buy my favourite biscuit I see and say “kitna costly ho gaya hai, kuch aur sasta khareedte hain”. So instead if I am offered something, larger, which covers my consumption for few weeks hiding the increased costs behind the larger pack I might buy it.

Offer bigger packs in times of inflation and probably the other way round during normal times, that is.

Bigger packs of not just the same items but similar items as well [bundling ?]


PS – I love the word “anaesthetize”. I think thats the reason why modern warfare works better medieval warfare, discounting for the impact of technology. More on that and marketing later.