The Rising Ingeniousness of Marketers and Entrepreneurs

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 4234 , Published on 17 February 2014

“Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine” such sentences are called ARAPROSDOKIANS.  They are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence is astounding or unexpected. Such phrases draw a parallel to the way marketers and entrepreneurs are applying their acumen. Marketers have gone to an altogether different level of creativity. Suddenly, they have got hold of this experimental temperament wherein they have bizarre ways to express themselves. Gone are the times of newspaper advertisements, television commercials and billboards. That's because marketing has undergone more changes during past five years than perhaps the preceding 100 years.

We are in an age where people are hooked online all the time. Newspapers are witnessing a downfall in readership, the same being evident from Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos's takeover of the Washington Post. Television is now merely an idiot box as people have Youtube to get glimpse of their favorite reality shows and television series. With advent of smart phones, the attention span of people is at all time low. As a matter of fact average smart phone user tends to spend at least two hours a day using their gadget. So what is it that these marketing honchos are doing to make such an impact straight away? Let us look at some surreal ways of marketing that can astound any layman.

Source: THE WEEK September 8, 2013

Walking billboards are something really unusual that TOSHIBA has tried. Parjit Sikdar (right) and Palash of Dumurdaha village in Hooghly district in West Bengal walk on stilts through a busy street in Kolkata (see image above) to advertise TOSHIBA laptops. The duo walks four hours daily and earns र400 each. Around 50 such men from Dumurdaha earn their livelihoods working as walking billboards.

Souvenirs make people recall the experiences for a long time. Although the trend of giving/providing souvenirs has been there for quite some time. However, numerous Indian restaurants and pubs are using this idea extensively to promote their brand name. Souvenirs in form of t-shirts, caps, jackets, glasses, key chains have already created hum among the youth worldwide and countless gourmets are fond of collecting these souvenirs (See Images below). Some names that come to my top of my mind are a microbrewery called Doolally and a sports bar TOONS both in Pune. So far souvenirs have been impactful and we'll have to wait and watch if they are here to stay.

Automobile giants have always featured their mean machines in Hollywood big flicks. Audi models were the highlights of Iron Man 2 including Tony Stark's personal R8 Spyder (Reference: Marketing Management by Philip Kotler). Similarly, BMW got their share of marketing blitz when Frank Martin (Actor Jason Stathom) begins using a 1999 BMW 735i E38 in "The Transporter". Reel was, is and will be the hunting ground for automakers. In the mean time, Television series have become the new home of marketers. Big brands like DELL are using the banner of renowned shows like The Big Bang Theory.

Iron Man2 featuring Audi R8 Spyder                  Famous character Sheldon using Dell Alienware laptops

Marketers are eyeing every opportunity to promote their brands in the shows with highest TRP's. Even if we look in retro famous TV series F.R.I.E.N.D.S did a lot of promotion of luxury apparel company "Ralph Lauren".

Seems like today's entrepreneurs are getting good at feeling the pulse of the market and using the latest trends to carry forward their ideas. Here are a couple of out of the blue thoughts incorporating contemporary trends. Wallets have always been cumbersome to carry especially for women when they are short of pockets to keep one. The idea of digital wallet has caught everybody's attention and is the new technological buzz word. Telecom companies, banks, online shopping websites are already using this concept in one way or the other.

I recently came in touch with a budding entrepreneur who  had this idea of integrating payment options by means smart phones and same was featured in a contest called "The Pitch" by Bloomberg. Looking to make your mobile phone even smarter is Amit Kumar, whose innovation Eashsmart seeks to turn phones into commercial payment gateways. Eashmart aims to make it possible for consumers to use their credit/debit cards to make payments for anything from home delivery to taxis without actually having to swipe the card in a card-swipe machine. Consumer just needs to download this Eashmart app and save their credit and debit cards information in an online secret wallet. The merchant creates a bill using customer's phone number and email-id and voila hassle free cashless transaction in no time. Eashmart, has raised an undisclosed amount in an angel round of funding from CIIE, IIM Ahmedabad’s incubator, and two unnamed angel investors (Hat tip: Franklin). The deal closed this week.

Another entrepreneur Meg Biram, an ex-senior greeting card designer at Hallmark, started her own business of clothing designing "Mainfesto tees". Once a month she releases a solid color top and on it is just one word and this is not any font rather Biram's own handwriting. This what she had to say “I wanted to be something that you couldn’t just buy anywhere. It’s special because there’s only a limited edition and it’s a design, not a font.” So far her line has been a sellout. The catch here is that online is the only place you can get these limited edition tops and Meg did some excellent promotion via popular online fashion websites and blog pages thus perfectly disseminating her business among online community. It's a simple concept and bringing big businesses.

There is no rocket science to marketing.  Making the simple "awesomely simple" can be a way of going about things, on the contrary even the most innovative but complex ideas might not work out. The latest technologies have paved newer avenues to try out. But word of mouth still remains the quintessential model for the brands. Word of mouth is more valuable than ever. Brands big and small depend heavily on consumers to endorse their products and services influencing wider audience online and in the real world.  Never the less it'll be intriguing to see developments in the exponentially changing marketing arena and novel entrepreneurial skills. In a nutshell the ingeniousness of marketers and entrepreneurs is rising at a rate where you'll say “A year from now you will wish you had started today.” -Karen Lamb

The article has been authored by Mohit Gaur, NMIMS Mumbai



Marketing Management: 14th edition by Philip Kotler, Kevin Lane Keller, Abraham Koshy, Mithileshwar Jha



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