s a management student you will be exposed to all facets of management in
A the first two semesters. In the second year of your programme you would
need to choose your area of specialisation from the five streams: - Marketing,
Finance, Human resource, Systems and Operations.
As we prepare to delve into the world of marketing, and get an insight into the
nature of work one can expect when you choose a career in Marketing, let us understand
the significance of this most important aspect of business.
All activities consume money other than marketing and sales. Marketing can be the
defined as “the art of creating and satisfying customers at a profit”
To put it simply, all functions of the marketer should be aligned to meet the present
and future needs of the customer. The diagram below demonstrates the controlling
function of the customer and the integrative role of marketing in a typical organisation.
Marketing can further be divided into four sub
4 Market Research
4 Product/ brand management
The World of Marketing
4 Sales & Distribution
In order to tailor new products or retool existing
products one needs to know the pulse of the customer.
We have to ascertain what his needs and wants are.
The World of What does the user experience when he tries a new
soap, tastes a new cola, sees a new Ad on television?
Marketing These are questions you’d love answered as a
marketer. But what does an organisation do when the users are ten million, spread
across the entire country and speak 14 different languages!! Lifebouy is such a product!!
In such a scenario, the Market Research specialist comes into play. He targets the
right sample size, sieves and analyses data, and relevant latest information. This is the
basis for important corporate decisions. Research is the key to product development
and innovation. MR decides what the taste of Pepsi should be. MR translates in
McDonald’s selling veg Aloo tikki burgers in India. MR tells you how many people
watched the India Vs South Africa match on MAX television- (TRPs- Television Rating
Points). Market research therefore forms the backbone that reinforce marketing
Product/ Brand Management:
Once the product is designed and fine-tuned as per research findings, the marketer
decides the product design, brand name, price, packaging and the advertising
proposition. The Brand manager’s job is to orchestrate such marketing functions. He is
responsible for both revenues and profits the brand generates.
As a product manager your challenge could be to successfully launch a new brand.
Lets take the example of the fiercely competitive product category of toothpastes.
“Anchor white toothpaste ” is a successful brand launch, only because of its unique
positioning of 100% vegetarian”. The brand team identified the need for vegetarian
toothpastes especially in the predominantly vegetarian Gujarat belt. And now the brand
is selling high volumes in this region.
Alternatively the challenge could be to manage an established brand. The objective
then would be to keep the existing brand interesting and relevant to current users. Lets
take the example of Lux. Lux is “the soap for Stars”. This has been the Lux advertising
proposition for over two decades, but the “Lux star” has always the latest heroine. So
Lux today is not associated with Hema Malini- but with Amisha Patel, Karishma, Rani
Mukherji or Madhuri Dixit. The product itself has moved with the times and extended
to a Lux- face wash, and other Lux variants.
Advanc'edge MBA / March 2003
The product/ brand manager’s job is both exciting
The brand manager is the caretaker of the brand
within the organisation. He works closely with the
Advertising Agency to create, design and release an
advertising campaign. e.g. to launch “Pepsi Blue”, the
Pepsi Ad agency along with the Pepsi brand team
would have first come up with “the big idea”- to
launch a limited edition Cola, that’s blue! Blue because
it’s the colour of the Indian Cricket Team.
shop hoping to buy it. If it’s not available, chances are you’ll
Truly a big idea, it turns the Cola market on its head - a cola
buy a tube of “Fair and Lovely”. The “Fairever” marketing
is supposed to be a dark, mysterious, brown not a light kerosene
team has lost out, their Ad. brought the customer in, but what
coloured blue…. But launching this variant strategically during
sold was the competitor’s product. Worse, you as a customer
the World Cup ensures that one billion Indians think of Pepsi
perceive “Fairever” to be “below the mark” as it was not
every time they cheer the Indian team!!
available at your favourite store.
Automatically Pepsi has moved out of the traditional media
There are three basic channels of distribution that can be
buying – of x number of spots on MAX @ Rs. x. They’ve moved
used to distribute products from the company to the customer.
to a branding that extends itself to anything that the Indian
The choice of channel depends on factors such as - the target
market for the product, the product value and need for
The Ad agency actually creates the Ad, writes the copy,
the catchy punch lines, designs the TV commercial, shoots and
The first type of channel is the company to customer with
executes the commercial/ print Ads.
no intermediaries, this is used by Direct marketing companies
These are the guys who make those swanky looking Ads;
like Eureka Forbes, Insurance Cos. All service segment
make Aamir Khan do the Punjab da puttar! Priety Zinta drive
companies directly interact with the end user. E.g. Travel,
a Santro..Zip..Drive. Write lines like, “Surf excel hai na?” or
Hospitality, Healthcare, Banking, Education etc.
“Doondthe rah jaoge….”
Automobile, television, refrigerator, (white and brown
As a fresh B-school grad in an Ad agency, you could be part
goods) manufacturers use the second level of distribution.
of the client servicing, media or creative team. You need to
These products are sold via dealers as they require
understand therefore how each of these teams function?
demonstration and one to one
Lets assume your client - Liril needs a new TV commercial.
The client servicing team is the interface between the agency
Marketing is one of
The third level of
and the client (brand). They sit with the brand manager –Liril,
the highest paid of all
distribution is through
understand the client’s requirement, and then go back to the
professions. “Give a
distributors and retailers, all
agency’s Creative team with this advertising brief. The creative
man a fish and he’ll eat
products available at kirana
team then develops creative options – ideas and copy for the
for a day. Teach a man
stores, departmental stores
commercial. This does its rounds between the agency and
to fish and he’ll eat for
and provision stores are
client, till all details are agreed and the Ad is executed by the
distributed through this
channel. Typically all FMCG- Fast
Now the media team steps in and works out a media plan
Moving Consumer Goods are
for the Ad. Campaign- which TV channel, how many ads spots,
distributed like this.
which TV serial to sponsor/ advertise on, all this is planned
As part of the S&D team, you would need to ensure that the
by the media team. Once approved by the client, the media
product is available to every potential customer. You would
planning team also purchases the media slots.
also ensure that at the shop, your product is well displayed at
Ad Agencies are exciting and glamorous, but definitely a
a prominent place. The sales team is the ears and eyes of the
lot of hard work.. And yes late nights too!!
company. They carry market information back to the
Sales & Distribution:
centralised marketing cell.
Once the product is produced, and appropriately packaged,
Armed with a B-School degree, and information on
priced, branded. It needs to reach the end user! …it needs to
marketing opportunities. Do make a well thought out decision
be distributed. This is the task of the sales and distribution
and step into the wondrous world of marketing.
team to ensure product availability.
- Simi Malhotra
Lets look at how vital the role of distribution is. You see an
Ad on TV about a new cream called “Fairever”, and go to a
Advanc'edge MBA / March 2003