Is Modern Marketing Intrusive?

This question was asked by my co blogger Shackman as the topic for this week’s Friday 2 on 1 posts.You can read about his own thoughts on the subject at his blog.

My answer was instantaneous – “Yes, of course it is.” And I would like to add here that it is inevitable too. Let us just learn to grin and bear it.

I was a Marketing professional for most of my life and have handled a great deal of marketing methods including intrusive marketing as it is now so elegantly called. During my active days however the kind of intrusive marketing that took place was in-your-face kind, of loud and overt variety, unlike the modern subtle subliminal targeted messaging. For instance, most of the advertising that used to happen was the shot gun variety, where it was hoped that some percentage of the people exposed to it will register it and buy the product or service. Today however, marketing is more focused and can appeal to the correct audience without too much wastage.

Today, a great deal of marketing takes place on the web via email, social networking sites and via hand held telephone devices that keep beeping announcements. Television and movie hall advertising is active but more the shotgun variety and less efficient than the other kinds, as advised to me by a much younger Marketing Professional. And the beauty of the hammering is that it is consensual! In other words, we agree to be bombarded by advertisements when we install applications in our computers and cell phones by agreeing without reading the fine print at the time of installing / downloading the applications. Let me give you another example. Being dissatisfied with yahoo group’s current level of efficiency I recently had to set up some email groups on the net and accessed emaildodo for the groups. While this site offers all that one can expect from a group mailing system offers, it comes at a price. If one does not want to pay the price, one has to accept that the mails on the site will be subject to advertising messages at the bottom. Since we did not want to pay we agreed to see the ads and so get to see some very interesting messages on our mails!

Another aspect of modern Marketing is how mechanised it has become. For instance, if I went online to read a review of a book that I have heard about, I keep getting the book advertised on facebook every time I go there. Similarly, when I wanted to investigate a pair of sandals about a year ago, I went online to find out what would be the choices available. I still keep getting advertisements on my page on facebook whereas someone else on it at the same time, does not get the same advertisement. This is called focussed advertising and is supposed to be more effective but, I find it intrusive and annoying and hence do not buy the product thus advertised.

And as I just finished writing that paragraph, I got an alert on my mobile phone and when I opened it I found this very attractively produced message – “Mend your broken heart; Music heals everything. FM Channel xxxx” Do you think that I will ever listen to that channel which presumes that my heart is broken? You can’t get any more intrusive than that can you?

Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder!

After perusing the clip reproduced below, I simply deleted it from my WhasApp application as I thought that it was not something that would interest any of my friends / groups.

The same clip was sent by the sender to another group to which I belong and many in that group commented on the clip and I requested my friend to re-send the clip to me.

I personally think that the end result is not quite my cup of tea as she looks totally unreal. I however think that it would be a good idea to let my readers, the ladies particularly comment on it.

Charpoy.

Definition of charpoy

plural charpoys
:a bed used especially in India consisting of a frame strung with tapes or light rope

You will see the humble charpoys in almost all rural and semi urban homes in India.

On what we call dhabas here which are truck stops where long distance truck drivers stop for a meal and some rest, you will find a number of them in the front courtyards.

I personally cannot use them any more due to the condition of my hips, but they are very comfortable and act like hammocks in set frames.

This humble but ubiquitous piece of furniture from India has now gone global!  At least a start has been made in Australia!  The story behind this development has been nothing less than a sensation in the Indian media. The social media too has been very active posting the advertisement from Australia.

Marginal Utility.

It has been a couple or more decades since I had to deal with this old chestnut. It is difficult to remember constantly that Pravin is very much younger and is quite capable of challenging my memory with such ideas like coming up with this topic for this week’s LBC post.

Just to make it simple for my readers not exposed to such ideas in Economics, let me illustrate to understand the concept.  Please click on the image for a larger resolution.

Fairly simple. There is only one case where it does not work and that is in the case of addiction to alcohol, drugs etc. Which is a subject deserving a totally new blog post altogether.

While I eagerly look forward to what Pravin and the other LBC bloggers come up with, I just want to express a puzzle and leave my readers to come up with the answers.

If the concept of Marginal Utility is true, why do some societies have polygamy or polyandry? Does the theory not work there? I don’t know. I was a monogamist and now more or less a sanyasi. I am not personally acquainted with any polygamist or polyandrist and so cannot ask one.

And just as I was about to end this post, I came across this remarkable piece of news which stumps me even more on the aspect of marginal utility only for this polyamorous union.  Now, I have seen and heard enough.

You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Pravin, Ashok and Shackman.

Effectiveness.


My exposure to the word effectiveness for the first time was when I got into corporate life and it was drummed into my head by a number of mentors that Peter Drucker was to be kept in mind all the time. I flatter myself that I have been effective rather than efficient in my life. So rather than bore my readers with a long pontification on the topic, let me share somethings that to my mind are very effective.

My young friend and ex blogger Ashok posted this on his facebook page recently.

“I am a commerce graduate sir. Have a real estate consulting business as well as a fleet of cabs. My wife and I met through mutual friends, fell in love and got married. She is exceptionally brilliant in economics sir and has a masters degree in arts with a gold medal.

My father also pushed her to do her B.Ed course. I am encouraging her to write the UPSC exam next. My dream is to see her become a bureaucrat and I will become her driver.”- Abdul, my Uber cab driver from today morning.

After seeing numerous instances of patriarchy and oppression of women, conversations like these really inspire hope. India shines every once in a while :)”

There are three stories to demonstrate effectiveness here. The first one of course is that Ashok is a remarkably observant fellow besides being of the kind who can get strangers to talk to him. A very effective young citizen of India doing his bit to change our society as a lawyer.

The second is that of the cab driver. Here is a graduate who instead of asking for doles and reservation from the government has decided to be effective as an entrepreneur. Not only that, he wants to be effective in exploiting opportunities that are available by encouraging his wife to compete and succeed.

And the third, the father in law in the story who unlike most of his ilk, wants his daughter in law to study and qualify for a professional life instead of again asking for favours from society. And, more importantly, instead of being a girl at home cooking for and looking after the menfolk!

Another case of effectiveness at its best. A corporate advertisement that strikes the right cords and conveys a powerful message too.

The story starts with an old Indian man telling his grand daughter about his pre partition times in Lahore and about his childhood friend whose family ran a sweet shop there. The grand daughter uses Google to locate the shop’s telephone number and contacts the childhood friend there. The grandson at the other end in turn uses Google to get passports and visas for the grandfather and himself and both of them eventually land up in Delhi for a reunion of the two childhood friends separated by events outside their control.

Has this post been effective?

I have suggested the topic for this week’s LBC Friday post. You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Pravin and Shackman.

Languages.

This very technical article concludes that being bilingual is an advantage. So, how about someone who is multilingual?

According to Census of India of 2001, India has 122 major languages and 1599 other languages. However, figures from other sources vary, primarily due to differences in definition of the terms “language” and “dialect”. The 2001 Census recorded 30 languages which were spoken by more than a million native speakers and 122 which were spoken by more than 10,000 people.

Almost all urban Indians will speak at least two languages and quite a few will speak at least three, the third being English.

I can fluently speak read and write four languages and converse quite comfortably in three others.  This came about primarily because of my career having been in sales in transferable conditions and I also was blessed to have been able to see every corner of my mother land, often in depth including visits to rural parts.

There are many like me in India and I am sure that all of them will agree with this: