XLRI's marketing fete garners over 4000 respondents

MUMBAI: .The 25th annual XLRI marketing fete , this year titled 'Tata Indicom Maxi Fair' held on the XLRI grounds which essentially accredits their marketing research tool as a disguised experiment technique to elicit responses from unsuspecting respondents saw its 26th enactment this year where XLRI played host to over 5000 residents of Jamshedpur.

This year, the fair saw the likes of established corporate giants like Reckitt Benckiser, Cholamandalam Insurance, Colgate- Palmolive, BPCL and Tata Indicom. A novel addition was a research problem by a renowned French fragrance company, Givoudan.



The purpose of the fair is to essentially solve a company's market research problem using projective research technique by testing consumer behaviour. In the genial atmosphere of the fair, the respondents freely answer thereby reducing a bias toward 'politically correct' answers.

Over the years, XLRI has created a huge knowledge base about the lifestyle, attitudes and behaviour of the Jamshedpur population, helping them in simulating exact clusters as per the companies' requirement. This was one of the reasons that companies with a diverse set of targets were comfortable with testing their concepts in a city like Jamshedpur.

The data collection of the identified target segment was done by personally approaching the respondents and filling up questionnaires that were designed by students themselves. Thereafter, responses that were 'hidden' in the previous stage were revealed by a series of games that were conceptualised to extract the relevant information. Each of the teams working for a company were allocated a stall for which they developed a theme and design games. On the day of the fair, all the entrants were profiled and sent to the stalls where they were identified as part of the target segment.

The fair this year saw a lot of imaginative themes running through, from a simulated trip aboard on an aeroplane, to rescuing a princess, to entering a television set. Cinema was a popular choice, with one stall showcasing the history of cinema and two others basin g their games on popular movies like Munnabhai MBBS and Dhoom. The profiles of the respondents included housewives, automobile owners, cellular phone users An interesting aspect to the fair this year was a BPCL problem where the marketing association had to organise and transport truck drivers across Jamshedpur. The games designed were very innovative with most of the props being made by the students themselves. In stalls where the entrant was not of the target segment, he/she was detoured to play a variety of interesting 'dummy' games like hoopla, darts etc where answers were not recorded.



Says MAXI secretary Ritesh Bharadwaj, "Screening, taking precious customer behaviour clues and the perceived value of gifts given by us to each and every person who enters the fair cannot be matched by any other institute. After all, XLRI is the pioneer in marketing fair"

Twenty-six years of its being in existence, the local interest remains piqued and crowds continue to pour at every marketing fair.

So where is The Fair headed towards in the days ahead? The agenda ahead is the extension of this concept to consumers below the poverty line. 'Syndicated Marketing Fair' is another concept in the pipeline.



The 25th anniversary celebration also witnessed the unveil of The Fair's next logical step - 'the Marketing Lab'. The concept is dedicated in making a clarion call to the current batch to give it shape and design it. The Lab will put to further use, the vast amount of invaluable data that is collected in The Fair, constructing an authoritative database that could be utilised for different purposes.

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