‘Theory of maximising shareholder value has done great harm to businesses’


English: prof. Philip Kotler at Warsaw

English: prof. Philip Kotler at Warsaw (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


He is 81 and still going strong. His Marketing Management, the textbook for scholars, is now in its thirteenth edition and still remains an essential read for anyone who hopes to get an MBA degree. He’s often called the ‘father of marketing’ — something he regards as a compliment, while at the same time ceding the title of the ‘grandfather of marketing’ to management thinker Peter Drucker. Meet Philip Kotler, the SC Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management in Chicago, and, in the words of Management Centre Europe, “the world’s foremost expert on the strategic practice of marketing”. In this freewheeling interview with Vivek Kaul, Kotler discusses all things marketing and then some.


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Semiotics and branding


Businessman semiotics

Businessman semiotics (Photo credit: F. Tronchin)



Semiotics can be described as the science of studying all the signs and symbols in a given culture that interact with the signs and symbols embedded in a brand, whether communications, packaging or product and shape consumer understanding. Semiotics can thus be a powerful tool to create awareness, develop brand associations and add brand values that make a difference in the market.

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Commercial TV!

My television. My rules.

Image by doegox via Flickr

Sometimes you’ve gotta bat for the other side to know what it feels like!

You’re watching Castle on Star World, and you are thoroughly engrossed but just when the tension is unbearable and you’re wondering what’s going to happen next, the ubiquitous commercial break kicks in. What a pain in the butt!

What do you do during the commercial break?

Read a newspaper?

Surf channels? – only to discover that the television networks are hand-in-glove with each other; they have conspired to inflict paid advertisements on you – the unsuspecting viewer – synchronized to be played out at the same time.

If you happen to be one of those unscrupulous (to the advertisers) techno-geeks (No, I’m not knocking technology or geeks!) and can afford these gizmos, you would either have TIVO so that you can watch your favorite  programs undeterred by the threat of commercial disruptions, or you may have switched to IPTV , where you watch your pre-recorded and time shifted programs when you please , at your leisure and convenience. Of course, you can always have your programs pre-recorded the old-fashioned way on your VCR or DVR. Or if you are the patient type,you can just catch them on YouTube or Lulu, just a bit later.

Quote of the day:
Defining and analyzing humor is a pastime of humorless people. – Robert Benchley

I , unfortunately, suffer from none of the above luxuries. And although I have a broadband connection, it is not truly mega-speed. And so, my usual reaction is to find something else to do during those three minutes of inanity simultaneously muting the set;my ears do not wish to endure the cacophony of pretty (petty?) housewives and even prettier (pettier?) models and actors intent on selling me soap,shoes, jewelry  and other FMCGs – they strive to invite, lure and seduce me into becoming part of their anesthetized, antiseptic,sanitized, made-for-TV world.

But then I get to thinking that surely there exist some viewers who prefer these very commercials that I dislike,deride and avoid with such antipathy. And if so, why should they be burdened by the interruption of content meant for mass viewers? Why can there not be a dedicated channel for commercials? A niche channel! I am, of course, not alluding to those annoying,pesky TV shopping networks that have half-hour long infomercials on which every product is touted as the panacea to your undreamed, unfulfilled desires – products that tout convenience and are anything but that. They just happen to be convenient means of relieving your pocket. And not with much finesse, if I dare say! (They prey on your insecurities and work best when you’re down in the dumps!)

MTV's original logo, officially in use from 19...

Image via Wikipedia

How about a channel on the lines of an MTV , a VH1 or even a Channel V, dedicated to commercials and just commercials. Great commercials! Seductive commercials! Top 20 Commercials! Most Wanted Commercials!

Arnold Schwarzenegger speaking at the lighting...

Image via Wikipedia

Maybe a program dedicated to those monstrous Hollywood commercials plugging Japanese and Korean products aired solely on East Asian networks. (The commercials aren’t monstrous; the premiums charged by the stars to endorse those products are! Ask Arnold Schwarzenegger! Just some loose change for pocket-money!)

Middle East Television

Image via Wikipedia

Or those nauseous commercials made for the Middle East market that actors from Bollywood, Mollywood and Tollywood parade in selling, well, almost everything. Just goes to show that you could be idiotic on-screen and earn a lot of moolah – just elsewhere!

 How about some golden oldies added to the mix to indulge nostalgia? Create your own digital commercial contests?

Just picture it – a channel that does not have to bother with programming. Content will be served by the advertisers with no commercial breaks! The commercial is the program. What will advertisers not do for free air time?

In India, music channels – in the local languages – run themselves. Film music is the most popular form of audio/video entertainment. Reality shows are mostly song or dance based or both. Thus content is easily available and advertisers flock to these channels because of the sureness of eyeball capture. Mass media was never more mass!

Can something similar be done with TV commercials?

Is there an idea here somewhere? Or am I just rambling? Ranting? Or just being plain loony? Of course, this might not be such a great idea; all programming is now a long paid commercial – the deft/brazen product placements prove that!

Your thoughts?

Have a great day!

Disclaimer: I have not verified if any such channel exists! Pardon my ignorance!

Market-Driving Ideas Are Risky

The Impossible Mountains

Image by Stuck in Customs via Flickr

Market-driving ideas involve high risk. For every successful radical innovation in value proposition and value network, probably hundreds fail. An entrepreneur chasing a market-driving dream has limited downside financial risk as he generally invests enormous effort but limited capital. However, if the idea succeeds, then he has unlimited upside potential to make a vast personal fortune.

Quote of the day:
You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing. – Michael Pritchard

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Project the benefits and justify the price for a sale | mydigitalfc.com

Have you ever seen those TV shop commercials for knives and such household items on TV? One such commercial goes like this: The presenter spends 20 minutes of the half hour showing you one or two knives that do several things. Then he announces the price, say around Rs 459 or Rs 739. Seems high, …but wait. If you order right now he’ll throw in the three vegetable knives, the corkscrew blade, the melon ball maker, the juicer knife, the grapefruit knife, all for free. Instead of 10 to 12 knives for your Rs 739, you bought two knives for Rs 739 and got seven free. What a deal! It is not the price of the knives but how the price was presented that makes the difference.You need to be very creative when it comes to pricing options. There are broadly three pricing strategies: premium pricing, perceived value pricing and value-in-use pricing.

Project the benefits and justify the price for a sale | mydigitalfc.com

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Having a niche is not limiting yourself « Appletree Marketing ideas for successful businesses

They do exactly what they say on the tin. They supply and fit just tyres. Because they are so focused on one aspect of the market, they were able to efficiently collect payment online, allow us to select the tyre we needed, immediately source said tyre, have it ready for me at my convenience, wait for me to get there through the terrible afternoon traffic, quickly strip the old tyre from the axil, and replace the new tyre at lightening speed.No fuss, prompt delivery, efficient processes and excellent customer service. There wasn’t anything else to clutter up their performance. Their focus on delivering one product as best as they could in as efficient manner as possible was paramount. Now if their marketing was better they could become the top of their industry, outstripping their competitors through product, process and eventually price, not to mention convenience (a highly neglected factor many businesses choose to ignore).Excellent service in just one niche will enable you to increase your efficiency, status, expertise, credibility, trustworthiness, relationship with customers, perfect your processes, maintain your reputation – whereas an outfit that offers everything under the sun is bound to suffer, since where is their focus?

Having a niche is not limiting yourself « Appletree Marketing ideas for successful businesses

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How To Develop An Effective Segmentation Strategy « John McCambley’s Marketing Blog

Dr Angela Karlsberg, head of analytics at research and insight agency McCallum Layton, explains what segmentation is, how it works and the pros and cons of different methods. She also reveals how successful segmentation can help companies increase their target audience and inform the development of new products and services.

How To Develop An Effective Segmentation Strategy « John McCambley’s Marketing Blog

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