There are relatively few brands from India in any global valuation list. Marketing funds are still scarce in India with marketing investments classified as “discretionary” and postponed for when there is more money. Reason why India has more entrepreneurs than experienced world-class marketers says Jessie Paul who has had an interesting career spanning 27 years, as an entrepreneur, investor, board member and marketing leader. She has tried her best to bring in all the knowledge and experience gained in this period across industries from tea to technology services in her second book “Marketing without money – An essential guide”, launched recently. She infact points out how it’s a counterproductive argument - companies that don’t invest in marketing have a lesser margin because there is a lower perceived value and hence there will never be more money. And marketing is not just about TV commercials or media spends but all the 10 elements of a good plan. This and more relevant insights for not just marketers but business owners, c-suite executives & entrepreneurs are there in the book:
India lags behind when it comes to investing in marketing
Marketing is not undervalued - all business owners want to invest in marketing. The challenge is marketing requires an upfront investment with the return not being visible or assured. So business owners find it hard to find the free cash to invest. Cash flow makes or breaks businesses given the unreliable payment cycles and difficulty in raising money to put into marketing. This combined with the fact that we are a growth economy awash with funding for entrepreneurs with ideas, means we have more more entrepreneurs than experienced marketers who know how to do efficient marketing, in India. All brand owners need to have a well-qualified and experienced marketing leads besides investing in marketing ideas, campaigns and initiatives across sectors, across types of companies.
Digital is now an integral part of any marketing plan
It may not come across as a surprise and also digital is no longer highly important for only b2c brands. It’s equally if not more important for b2b brands as well. And it’s just not about cool videos, programmatic or even being active on social media assets. It’s more.
Other key insights in the book.
1. Marketing is no longer a private conversation but a loud conversation in the middle of a crowded park
2. "Two companies can be equally innovative. But, the one which markets its innovation better, becomes the market leader.”
3. 'If you are a small player and a challenger brand, you have to be controversial. If you say what everybody else is saying, that is not a media-worthy story.”
Jessie, an IIM-Calcutta alumni, currently sits on the boards of PB FINTECH (parent company of Policybazaar & Paisabazaar), Bajaj Consumercare, CreditAccess Grameen, Expleo Solutions & Royal Orchid Hotels. She is the Founder & CEO of Paul Writer Strategic Services offering advisory, implementation & program management for technology/technology-enabled companies. She is also an early-stage investor in ARRKA, a niche player s in Data Privacy and Info. Security and GAGLERS, INC. which offers voice broadcasting for political advocacy, robotic process automation for intelligent dialling, p2p texting, and TextBroadcasting Software in 200+ countries under the name CallHub. Her first book on the same topic was a best seller.