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Kotler is dead and marketing mantras need to be rewritten: Murthy

MUMBAI: Several generations of marketing and management students have been brought up on the mantra of 4Ps framework: Product, Price, Placement and Promotion. But Pinstorm founder Mahesh Murthy feels that this framework doesn’t serve the 21st century market.


Murthy said, “When it comes to the 4Ps of marketing, things have changed with time. Out of them, Placement has undergone through the biggest change. Today, anyone through Internet is getting in touch with millions of people worldwide. In today’s world it’s not about how much you spend, but it’s about how less you have to spend. Red Bull, eBay, Twitter are fantastic examples where they have never spent on advertising but have achieved a lot. Marketing IQ is inversely proportional to marketing budget.”


Murthy was speaking at Click Asia Summit 2012 here. Addressing on the theme- ‘Kotler is dead: The new principles and process of marketing‘, he suggested a new way to look at creating, managing and measuring the success of brands.


Murthy felt that there are a new set of rules that should be followed by the marketers and not the one that were laid by Kotler.


According to him, there are two new ways to look at the future: blue sky or extend key part of the present. He said that the future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed.


“Digital is not niche anymore. It is the mainstream medium, even in India. Star Plus, the No. 1 GEC in India has 25 million viewers. In India, there are 90 million desktop net users, 85 million mobile net users, and in total there are 140 million Internet users. There are 110 million Indian cable and satellite (C&S) homes and Times of India’s (TOI) national circulation is 7 million. So, this is an evident of the reach and use of digital medium in India. Critically, Indian Internet users have already crossed C&S TV household and soon social media user will too.”


Murthy noted that arguably digital medium has the largest reach in India. He foresees that by 2014, there will be 150 million desktop Internet users in India while there will be 225 million mobile Internet users. The total Internet user base will increase up to 300 million while C&S viewership will rise to 140 million. Also, social media is the fastest growing medium. And you don‘t need to spend as much as you do in the broadcast medium."


The digital medium lets you side-step publishers and be one yourself. So, competing on digital doesn’t need large budgets. "No longer have media budgets made any difference,” he added.


Murthy observed that media is vacating editorial for marketing. He emphasised on building engagement on fan page. Citing an example of changing times, he said that the campaigns which used to take months to get ready now are being made within minutes.


He believed that the whole process needs to change and all the operations should work in sync. It starts with research where one is suggested to absorb all one can and hence solve the existing problems. Then after listening and reaction comes into analysis, the planning stage should come. In the later stage creativity comes wherein one needs to invent. It should be followed by an integrated media plan to radiate the message out. It’s hard to succeed till the work is done in co-ordination.


“It’s easy to get it wrong on digital. Short term thinking and non-integrated work contributes to this. Brands if not handled properly on digital medium, can be killed,” he cautioned. “Also, digital is increasingly not about specialisation, but it’s about multi-specailisation. One needs to speak to people and not take use of scripts for the same. Digital should not be treated as call-centre," Murthy stated.

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