By Nimish V. Dwivedi
Marketing Chronicles by Nimish Dwivedi is a deep dive into Global and Local marketing insights. The book consists of 36 chapters divided into two parts, namely: Pre Smartphone Era and Post Smartphone Era. From 1998 to 2017, this book traverses through the concepts of co-branding, Brand Incrementalisation, Innovation and Improvisation and finally the irreplaceable role of social media in marketing across a delectable selection of case studies, studying a drawing apt conclusions about varied marketing concepts.
The book starts by paying ode to man’s ceaseless enthusiasm and never-say-die attitude. Humanity’s optimism and quest to always discover more, has brought about the evolution of creation, production, marketing and the likes. Marketing is no more restricted; it has taken on a global nature, owing to the advancements in technology and understanding of the consumer psyche.
First off— It is essential that we readers understand that Marketing is not merely the best offering or the most expensive/sophisticated advertisement promoting it. Marketing’s larger perspective lies in creating an experience for consumers and not just offering them the latest gadgets or devices. This is especially true for the service industry, which is beautifully summed up in Maya Angelou’s poignant quote,
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
A rather nail-biting finale for attention ensues between the marketer and the television-viewing consumer, who is now armed with a remote. The battle for attention is mostly triumphed over by the remote while the helpless marketer watches on! There is nothing iconic about advertisements, they are now more of a hindrance! But, as every problem has a solution, the deft marketer hits upon a plan! Remember the goofy and boastful Rahul in Chennai Express? Shah Rukh Khan’s Rahul makes a seemingly obvious and humorous product characterisation of the Nokia Lumia 920. As idiotic as the placement may seem, we still recall the product, its features and even its price! While Khan makes sit seem effortless, it is a carefully crafted masterstroke by the diligent marketer, previously vying for attention!
A travel-weary consumer looking for hygienic eateries instantly recognizes the Golden Arches of the indomitable Mcdonald’s and walks in without a second thought. McDonald’s is a Category catalyst in the Quick Service Restaurants category. It basically cracked the code to success: “Fast process, Quick Service!”. The golden arches bring a sense of familiarity and assurance regarding the quality and hygiene standards of a branded QSR.
Cadbury Dairymilk is a much loved and celebrated confection in the country. Its iconic and heartfelt campaigns also have a special place in the hearts of Indian consumers. But gloss fades away and wears away as competition sneaks in. This is the best time to Re-launch! Re-launch has to be a tasteful combination of both nostalgia and anticipation— something for everyone — For oldies to reminisce and youngsters to look forward to. Cadbury hit a home run by rebooting their Cadbury: Kya Swaad Hai campaign from the 90s. This campaign was rebooted with a modern twist on it and was met with extremely positive reviews. The enthusiastic Sardar-lad dancing, celebrating his beloved’s achievement as she gushes over him and they celebrate sweet endings biting into the decadent chocolate was a home run!
Further, we move into the recession-era, which forces one to take a step back and rethink. The author praises the country of Japan for its undying spirit and quality consciousness. He dubs their mantra “Innovation + Improvisation” with which they fought back recession with upbeat business models. Progressively we are brought back! Right back into our own playing field where the author pays homage and silently nudges the Indian consumer to seek inspiration from the Economically Conscious Indian consumer of the 70s.
Their 4 step formula to get through tough times, is a secret, businesses have adapted from domestic households. It comprises 4 steps namely — Save, then Spend, Education Matters, Good Corporate Citizenship, and Survival with a Smile. Finally, we come to social media, seeking insights from the previous layouts and frameworks of marketing. Social media has now become indispensable to marketing and is crucial for creating customised offerings to please the customer easily swayed by brand options.
Marketing Chronicles in itself is an ode to the Indian Market— a relatively young economy which is managed to become one of the fastest-growing and progressive economies in the world. He also praises the equally dynamic Indian consumer, who is adventurous, value-seeking, and always wanting to explore. This is one of the reasons why several international brands like Netflix find it frustrating to not achieve continued success, as quoted by founder Reed Hastings.
The compilation of case studies across decades is in itself a guidebook for marketing as a concept that evolves, so does the offering and so does the consumer.