Eularie Saldanha
Mar 16, 2023

Ad:Tech 2023: Ordinary brands are ordinary marketers

Karthi Marshan, ex CMO, Kotak Mahindra Bank; Shankar Prasad, founder and CEO, Plum Goodness; Vidyut Kaul, market leader, Philips Consumer Business and Sukhleen Aneja, CEO, The Good Glamm Group speak about things that don’t work in marketing anymore

From left: Karthi Marshan, Shankar Prasad, Sukhleen Aneja and Vidyut Kaul
From left: Karthi Marshan, Shankar Prasad, Sukhleen Aneja and Vidyut Kaul
The first day of AdTech 2023 saw Shankar Prasad, founder and CEO, Plum Goodness; Vidyut Kaul, market leader, Philips Consumer Business and Sukhleen Aneja, CEO, The Good Glamm Group discuss the evolving role of marketing and what markets must avoid in current times. 
The panel was moderated by Karthi Marshan, ex CMO, Kotak Mahindra Bank. 
More the merrier? 
Marshan raised the issue about premiumisation by stating that while growing up, a marketer's worth was equated to whether or not he could charge a premium. 
Weighing his thoughts on the topic, Kaul believed that a premium equity and a premium brand is a tough job and not everyone’s cup of tea. He said, “In today’s world, you build the brand, its demand and the awareness. There will be ten brands that will play the price game, but there is only one Apple, and only one Dyson. The equity doesn’t come overnight. Pricing is cool, but it has to be played very carefully.”
However, acknowledging the effort that goes behind maintaining a brand’s balance, Aneja stated that brands should be able to premiumise their product. “It’s a real risk for us. It’s a tightrope to walk to keep it as balanced as possible. However, If you can’t play this field, then Nokia will happen to you. So it’s just a matter of time,” she added. 
Sending a message to marketers, Marshan told the audience about how CEOs want them to command a premium for their brands. “It’s hard work and it’s not always going to happen. However, the more you do that, the more they will love you,” he commented. 
Keeping up with the trends 
In a world of changing trends, with the latest being Metaverse, Prasad spoke about how he felt a FOMO (fear of missing out), when everyone was getting on to TikTok. “There was a week old tik tok and we were scrambling to get on to TikTok because I thought we were doing brand diversion although we weren’t sure if it was the right fit for our brand. But, since we don’t want to be pushed out either, the rush is so high in the digital world, that we can’t afford to sit back. It’s a tough call.” 
However, Kaul reacted to Prasad’s anecdote by stating that the mistake marketers make sometimes, is just focusing on being  visible, regardless of their brand’s ethics. “Whether short term or long term, since we have so many avenues, we go shooting in the dark,” he added. 
Niche mediums 
When asked how much importance was given to podcasts by the Good Glamm Group, Aneja shared that being a media company too, she’s been seeing a lot of consumers who are keen to hear a point of view. 
Speaking about whether the company is adopting the use of podcasts, she said, “Most brands, depending on their cash flow, will be willing to experiment. First you have to scale, then experiment. We are diversifying into podcasts too. Podcasts are a rich medium and the beauty of it is that unlike radio, the viewer has a choice over the content he wants to consume.” 
What didn’t work 
When asked to share something that doesn’t work for their brand anymore, Kaul recalled, “There’s actually brilliant work that I did for one of the footwear brands. You can actually experience a shoe at your home, but in a very unique manner. However, the problem was that the audiences were not there and the money, of course.” 
Aneja revealed that she genuinely doesn't believe that there’s anything that will not work. “The adoption rate might be slower. We might just not relate to it at this point in time, but it just depends on where you are in that continuum.” 
Finally, speaking about the story behind a great brand, Aneja added, “Anytime you see a brilliant brand, always remember that it's not a brilliant brand, but a brilliant marketer who’s behind that brand and has a spectacular vision for his business. No brand is built without the vision of the person who leads it,”  
She ended her comment by stating that ordinary brands are ordinary marketers. 
Campaign India

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