What Ticks for Indian Consumers/ Teens – Geetanjali Bhattacharji and Ritu Gupta

22 Aug,2014

Continuing with our extracts from the second edition of the MxMIndia Annual, we present contributions by Geetanjali Bhattacharji and Ritu Gupta

 

 

‘Marketers need to run ahead and redefine sustainability’

 

By Geetanjali Bhattacharji

 

Aristotle put it aptly – Youth is easily deceived, because it is quick to hope.

 

And we know that where there is hope, there is opportunity. The jean-clad, hairspiked, smartphone foodie has opened a new window of opportunity for media, marketers, film-makers and even politicians.

 

I spend, therefore I am

More than 50 per cent of India’s 1.27 billion people are under the age of 25.

 

Teens are considered the largest consumer demographic, or grouping of people that buy things; teens are thought to have disposable income, or money that can be spent on luxury items or things you don’t really need; teens greatly influence their peers and parents; establishing brand loyalty, or dedication to a certain brand. As a result –

 

:: The biggest spike in smartphone users in urban India is in the youngest age group between 16 to 18 years, where numbers have gone from 5 per cent in 2012 to 22 per cent this year, a four-fold increase.

:: 9 out of 10 food ads on TV are for sugary cereals, salty snacks, fatty fast-foods and other junk foods.

:: Fairness creams and beauty products earlier targeted at girls of marriageable age are now targeting teenagers on the premise of sexual attraction.

:: Mobile networks are selling friendship as zaroori to this growing telecom user.

 

 

Need to enable customers with the power to do more

 

By Ritu Gupta

 

At Dell, we have 2 billion conversations with our customers daily on a global level and these conversations are what drive innovation. Social media forums and platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn play a major role for us to reach out to our customers and connect with them.

 

Our belief is to provide practical solutions to our customers that solve real problems which is achieved by the unwavering drive our teams exult by applying their knowledge, creativity and winning spirit to create innovative solutions. We want to be recognised as a company that gives its customers the “power to do more” with technology solutions that help people grow and thrive.

 

At the core of Dell’s brand identity lies a customer-centric approach around which we focus all our campaigns and decisions to technology. Today, customers are looking for brands which are an extension of their own personality. At Dell, this means placing our customers, their dreams, passions and goals at the heart of all our marketing strategies and plans.

 

The recent “I can do KuchBhi” campaign engaged with users on various online and social media platforms was a way to reach out to audiences to hear their stories of personal achievement using technology as an enabler. It was a two-fold exercise, one to celebrate the success stories of those who fearlessly went out and achieved their dreams and two, enlighten other users on how they can use technology to enable and achieve their dreams.

 

 

We have made indulgence of free-market forces more of a priority than the health and self-esteem of our kids. And so, predictably, the state of our teens has gone where we sent it: to hell in our hand basket.

 

Is Indian media targeting teenagers right?

Take a look and decide for yourself… Broadcasters and marketers might defend with data that TV consumption by teenagers in India is on the decline. In Q2, 12-17 yr-olds watched a little more than 20-and-a-half hours of TV per week, the lowest amount in any age group.

 

However digital, mobiles and films are dishing out pretty much the same fare to impressionable minds. The Indian teen spends about 86 per cent time on Facebook daily.

 

Facebook is now allowing teenagers to share their posts on the social network with anyone on the Internet, raising the risk of minors leaving a digital trail that could lead to trouble. It is no wonder then that we read of teenagers abusing teachers, killing parents for money and a rising number of teenage parents seeking counseling for their kids’ behaviour.

 

Where does this accountability end?

At a recent Global CEO conference, Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever defined the role of marketers very clearly – “Businesses say that consumers do not want to contribute to sustainability. This is wrong. Talk to any youngster and you will understand. Marketers are losing the race. They need to run ahead and redefine sustainability.”

 

As a parent of a 13-year-old and a crusader for media and marketing accountability, I do believe that as much as marketers need to create products and positioning that encourage teens to be positive and healthy, it is in the hands of media and parents to be responsible about the content these sponge-like minds are exposed to. Take a stand against content that disturbs growing minds.

 

After all – the enemies you will make by taking a decided stand will generally have more respect for you than the friends you make by being on the fence.

 

 

 

It also tied in well with our own marketing guidelines where we believe that our customers are our brand ambassadors. We look at ourselves as enablers. It ensures a continued relationship with our users. These stories and recognitions help play a strategic role in building an emotional connection between our customers and our technology.

 

At the end of the day what makes a brand memorable is one that customers can easily identify with for its purpose and values and that is able to do the following effectively showcasing clarity of vision and purpose –

– Clear differentiators and positioning
– Understands its customer’s needs – combines emotional benefits with functional benefits
– Communicates beyond price points
– Offers a unique user/ customer experience
– Has built a loyal base of customers –

visible through customer stories, recognitions and references.

 

 

On Monday (Aug 25): Children – Raghu Bhatt and Krishna Desai

 

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