“Change is the only constant” and this holds true especially in today’s marketing! Tough economic conditions, increasing power of the Internet, fast-paced consumer environment, evolving consumer needs are changing everything marketing-wise. Hence, it is important to understand that marketing in today’s competitive business environment needs to be adaptive and result oriented if it needs to be done successfully.
In conversation with Mr Vijay Menon, Marketing and communication consultant with over 25 years of experience,who throws light on marketing & communication in today’s world and some cues for marketing professionals out there.
Excerpts from the interview:
Ranjini: What are some of the common challenges (from your experience) that marketers in organizations are facing today?
Vijay: The mismatch between the expectations from marketing and the resources provided to it has grown. Companies want to conserve every dollar, and marketing — however much we try to obfuscate the issue is a cost. So while every marketer is trying to do more with less, there is a minimum quantum of resources that needs to be spent to get results. Defining and getting that “minimum” today is tough.
Ranjini: In your opinion how can those challenges be resolved to an extent using social media technologies
Vijay: I am not so sure that social media can address the issue. A lot of people think social media is a magic bullet that will deliver results at minimal cost. That can happen if you are a company with a great story and differentiated products. In that case social media is ideal for creating a buzz and generating conversations.
But most companies have me-too products and do not have anything to say that is newsworthy or interesting. In such cases, sales happens for all the old fashioned reasons – maybe you are cheaper, closer, have better customer service, are local, etc. In such cases, conventional advertising and PR work better than social media in getting your story across. Social media is great for increasing your digital footprint but unless that footprint leads back to a great story, it’s wasted.
Ranjini: Name some great work you have done with your clients and results.
Vijay: A lot of my work involves delivering senior marketing expertise to SMEs who can’t afford to or don’t need to hire a full-time marketing head. However, every once in a while I get exciting opportunities and that makes my day. For example, I’m now working with a company that wants to create a completely new identity for one of its lines of business. They have the budget and the inclination to do this well and that’s fantastic. In a tight economy, how many times do you get an opportunity to create a new brand and identity?
Ranjini: As a marketing consultant, how do you suggest your peers on bringing immense value to your clients? Please provide examples.
Vijay: Marketing is not rocket science – all of us do pretty much the same things to build a brand and generate inquiries. The difference is in the doing of it. I believe the only thing that differentiates a good marketer from an also-ran is the expertise and professionalism that you bring to the table is – “Just do what you do better than most other people and you will add value.”
Ranjini: if you had to re do something all over again in a particular situation how would you do it?
Vijay: I’d get out of unprofessional companies and engagements a lot quicker that I did. The hassle is not worth the money. I’d also do interesting work even if it didn’t pay so well.
Ranjini: In today’s dynamic and challenging environment how do you keep yourself relevant and name a few resources as give-aways to others aspiring to get there?
Vijay: Read. The internet is a fantastic source for content and there is no excuse for not being current in your profession. I read everything from general and business magazines to management and trade journals to stay tuned in. Also attend a few good seminars to interact with the current marketing leaders. Caution: many seminars are a waste of time!
Mr. Vijay Menon is a Marketing and communication consultant with over 25 years of experience across technology, media, and marketing. Mr Menon has helped companies tell their story and build their brand among widely different audiences — customers, influencers, investors, and employees. His areas of work include marketing, mar-com, corporate communication, investor relations
Industry experience: IT, BPO, engineering services, manufacturing, and nuclear energy.
Linkedin Profile : http://in.linkedin.com/in/vijaymenon
About Ranjini Rao:
Ranjini is an experienced professional with over 16 years in IT industry and 8.5 years of relevant experience in Digital/Social Media strategy & marketing with IBM India & Software Group.This is her personal views and thoughts and does not represent her company’s views.