Sanjeev Kotnala: Letter from a Consumer to a Marketer: I am Promiscuous because you are a Flirt

03 Dec,2014

By Sanjeev Kotnala


Dear Marketer,

We have seen a lot many good days but it is becoming intolerable. You keep on playing tricks that no longer amuse, engage or involve me. The pressure of one-dimensional unilateral expectations you have is chocking me. In our society of MAC: Market, advertisers and communicators, the relationship between you, the marketer/ Brand and I the consumer/ customer has been evolving dynamically. Some say it has been deteriorating with time. How you look at depends what your stance is.


I enjoyed the attention that you showered in past. That was the time you were curious. There was no cloud over your child-like innocence and passion. You were your own without Big Data guiding you. There was some magic.


Now, I am surprised when you sit down and think about me, you forget your own experiences. You no longer see things rom my point of view.  Under pressure from Revenue, your devilish mind continuously tries to think of strategies, the next upgraded with newly revised lure to the consumer. For that you tend to intrude into my privacy. And the rouge you are, you do that under disguise of selective permission and notification from my side. Remember going for a movie and sitting on the corner seat is no invitation to things that are in your mind.


I am wary of you. Many times, you have put me in awkward situations. You have lost the respect I had. You do not have a new trick/ thought/ emotion to interest me. Like an amateur magician, your tricks no longer amuse me. I am selective when I think of my future and it shows in our strained relationship.


I am neither a moron nor your wife, what if Uncle Ogilvy thought so. You never wanted me as a girlfriend but always wanted me to commit and be your wife. Should the same rules not apply to you? Why should marketers have all the fun?


Earlier, you showered me with lovely presents. Loyalty points, home delivery, extended warranty, CRM, Customer service enhancement, free upgrades and much more. As usual, you were late. The question of loyalty was dead and buried. I want the same freedom you enjoy as a brand owner. Why do you think that the brand belongs to you only!


Today in the Supreme Court of an informed marketplace, the brand wants to side with me, it wants me to cuddle, shape and show him the future.  How does it feel when you no longer control the thing most dear to you?


You have forgotten your own rules ‘nothing can be taken for granted’. I am not only promiscuous but I like this feeling of being empowered by my new powers and I do not hide them.


Do you think there is any place for Loyalty in in our world of ‘free open marriage’ that thrilled you? It took you so long to understand my ploybrandous behaviour. The earlier you understand it, the better it would be for you. It is you, who repeatedly broke our unwritten code of engagement. Yet, you seek the mirage called loyalty from me.


I am tired of calling you and listening to your mechanised bitch of a secretary: the IVR system. She has been working too much with your CRM but is no good. All she knows is numeric options and a mechanised brutal tone: ‘your call is important to us, please be on line…. Brand jingle… repeat.’ or ‘sorry we have not received a valid input’.  Do you think I give a F***.


I always gave you another chance but you refused to learn. When I asked a simple question ‘is my data /details/ identity safe with you’ all I get is ‘your reference number 435673896 has been recorded and been forwarded to the concerned department. Someone will shortly revert to you in next 48 hours’. You know, it does not amuse me any longer. Come on, you take more time to come than even the old telephone ever did. This public forum stops me from using the language I would want to. You introduced and educated me about engagement and involvement.  Open society and social media. With friends like them, it is natural for you to forget that engagement happens in a running alive relationship.


Now, do not beg me for another chance. I want to see a change in you.


Bye, until you earn the lost trust


I will be sharing more as I realized that ‘KISS AND TELL SELLS’


No longer only yours,




Sanjeev Kotnala is Head Catalyst at INTRADIA and believes that the best way forward for an Organization is to enhance the potential of  internal teams instead of depending on external resources. He is a management- marketing-media consultant and also conducts specialised workshops in the area of ‘Harvesting and LiberatingIdeas’ and Innovation.  To contact email or tweet at s_kotnala visit


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