CII Marketing Summit ’06: Madison CMD Sam Balsara’s Mantras for Marketers

Sam Balsara began by rattling off figures. He specified 5 factors for change:

1. Demographics: 60% of india will be in 15-54 by 2010, 38% of indians will be in urban India. 75% of Tamil Nadu will be urban. 61% of Maharashtra will be urban.
2. Easy finance: People are willing to incur 30% interest for impulse buying using credit cards. Currently 40% of pantaloons and shoppers stop sales are by credit card
3. Organised retail boom: 120 million sq feet by 2010
4. Media exposure: 300 tv channels, 12 fm stations, 40k publications. more upmarket publications. The Internet is a gold mine for promotion (Note: Arvind Rao of OnMobile hadn’t presented yet)
5. New sectors are driving growth: BPO, Retail…

People have more money and there are young people with higher disposable incomes without spending habits properly formed. They have higher disposable incomes, are more optimistic about future.

So, what changes can we expect?
Customers will have less time more money, will be more demanding, more fickle, individualistic, selfish, spendthrift and difficult to reach*.

Balsara gave 5 mantras for marketers.
1. Deliver experience, intice the customer to live the brand experience before selling. imagery is critical, aspirational. For Brittania, serve tea to a customer sitting on a sofa and make her relive the experience of having tea in her own home…Mont Blanc – replicate the Oval Office for a customer, make him sit in the leather chair and place that pen so the consumer feels important. For a brand like Speed (petrol) that associates itself with technology and racing, have girl in a leather jacket dispensing petrol. Marketers do not pay attention to point of sale
2. Deliver value – add percieved value – imagery, creativity, confidence to meet social needs. He feels that travel gifts will become big
3. Deliver convenience – product packaging (sachets), 100% uptime, easy replacement, do it yourself kits
4. Entertain customers – example – dirt is good (surf), Asian paints, cadbury, coca cola deliver entertainment
5. Engage the customer – shotgun approach will not work.

* – I disagree with the ‘Difficult to reach’ bit.

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