This article is written by Dr. Sathya Saminadhan, Assistant Professor – Marketing at IFMR GSB
It is surprising to see the recent whir regarding the uncertainties in the industrial arena amid the pandemic crisis and many pondering over ideas to tackle it through innovative marketing techniques. There is a golden line in marketing, “Do not rest on your laurels” and this says it all.
Whether there is a pandemic or global economic crisis the change is inevitable in marketing. Adaptability is the rule number one to travel smoothly on the inclining line of market leadership. Having said that, the anxiety towards the changing market or the change in approach towards the customer, is trivial.
Technology in marketing has changed the complete game plan. It would have appeared as a far fetched idea if somebody had mentioned it two decades ago. Here, change in technology doesn’t pertain to the evolution of product. Evolution is something inexorable, irrespective of the market conditions. Black & White TV evolved as Colour TV twenty years ago, which in turn evolved as LEDs and LCDs, a decade ago. That is technology in product making. But in the past six to eight years the overall theme of marketing itself has changed and it is due to three salient developments namely connectivity, hands-on equipment and video streaming facility.
Data suggests, 51% of the people above the age of 15, all over the world, are connected to the internet in the modern era. If the data is accurate, these numbers are huge. Reaching every single customer through their hands-on equipment gathers efficiency in marketing, with the support of video streaming platforms.
Today, the companies have the luxury of understanding the search behaviour, decision making process and purchasing pattern of every single customer. By integrating all the platforms, the companies can strategize showcasing the right communication to the right customer on the right handle. If you are astute and effective on playing with ‘real time bidding’, you can put a relevant product or a service advert on the customer’s Instagram or Facebook timeline, something the consumer was searching for a few hours ago on Flipkart or Amazon. Thanks to the technological evolution in marketing, the efficiency of reaching the target customer has gone up very high. Gone are those days where you put a hoarding on a busy road and wait for the busy riders to have a look at it.
In line to the technological revamps, the life cycle of any product has come down drastically. It has become very small and nanoscopic. By the time the product developer, of a company, wakes up from a good night’s sleep, the product’s life cycle is dead. Globalization, regulatory policies across the globe and purchase facilitations like bank loan availabilities have added fuel to the fire in shrinking the life cycle of a product. Being a successful survivor in this intense global race has become very challenging. Competitor staying a click away or a microsecond away is an all-time threat for any company. The companies are expected to be the survival of the fittest at any point of time in the current era irrespective of their brand legacy or pedigree.
Since these healthy challenges are inevitable in marketing, there is no reason to be anxious about the pandemic crisis and the cascading market changing effect. If it wasn’t the Covid effect it would’ve been something else. Ultimately, change is something the marketers should be expecting. If there is no change in their approach they are knocking the wrong door.
Today, Ola doing a parcel service, Swiggy transporting groceries and boutiques doing door deliveries clearly signifies that the approach to handle the pandemic is rising to the occasion and sculpting the marketing efforts, slightly out of box. Looking at the situation as a boon for efficiency and making use of the new normal as a learning opportunity, is an ingenious new way to triumph.