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Only Brand Builders Can Be Tomorrow’s Marketing Leaders!

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<p style="text-align: justify;">No denying that half a century ago, there were only Sales heroes. They rose high to become sales administrators and applied their extensive market and customer knowledge, all of which they had acquired first-hand.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">After universities started analyzing Sales Management and business organizations, marketing became a formal discipline. It has a framework of concepts. This continually evolved over the decades till we arrived at Brand marketing.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The idea is that there will be parity or only a minuscule differentiation within the product itself. So, faith in the supplier and other pull factors such as image appeal will be the reason why a customer prefers one company over another to buy from.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Why is this true? Gone are the days when you made your product in one or two of your factories. In today's cost-effective global manufacturing, your product is assembled to your specifications at remote locations where other manufacturers are also getting their products made.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Tech it or leave it!</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">The meaning of `Unique Selling Proposition' has undergone a sea change. Companies are investing more in post-sale activity and customer response mechanisms. Telecom has created an expectation that customers will wait only a few minutes and not hours.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Today's marketing leader must be very savvy about digital CRM, social media presence, customer engagement, and marketing automation. At the same time, he or she mustn't get gadget and screen dependent and should travel to upcountry markets and interact with the influencer, the purchaser, and the point-of-sale counter staff.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">But what is all the knowledge of technology and personal acquaintance with urban and rural markets for if the marketing leader is focused only on this quarter's sales? This is where grand terms such as long-term brand vision are relevant.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Every marketing rupee (including the promotional rupee) is not only to achieve sales; it is to do so in a way that the company's brand is strengthened. Only when we aim to do this are we raising the entry barrier such that competitors, as well as new entrants, cannot erode our customer base much.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Brand marketing cannot and should not mean simply devising a new festival discount offer every few weeks!</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Let Every Stitch be in Time</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">This perspective with the brand at the centre is necessary for a Marketing leader. They must be conversant with the latest marketing technologies to administer and incentivize the dealer network, respond to customers, and interact with influencers.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">At the same time, they need to use their own ears and interpretation of facial gestures and body language to catch the subtlest signals from the store, the street, and the stockiest.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The biggest challenge is to weave all these individual threads of information into a single Brand fabric which should have its own distinctive texture and colors. This brand fabric must suit the company it belongs to and be the corporate uniform that all stakeholders &ndash; employees, owners, investors, and customers &ndash; find appealing.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Like a fashion designer, a Marketing leader must combine technical knowledge of Branding with an understanding of recent trends and popular appeal.</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 10pt;"><em>This <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/only-brand-builders-can-tomorrows-marketing-leaders-kamal-k-mishra/">article</a> was contributed by our expert Kamal K Mishra.</em></span></p><h3 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 18pt;">Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Kamal K Mishra</span></h3><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">1. Who are the marketing leaders?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">We have an abundance of technology, products and services, mode of purchase, and delivery in our world. However, the commonest deficit in society is that of meaning. People find it harder to grasp the human meaning of events, trends &amp; activities.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Brands that successfully connect the dots and provide meaning, clarity, and direction outshine those only manufacture things or do tasks for customers.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Meaning establishes a human connection and brings emotions - things only waiting to be given a big and clear meaning.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">2. What is the role of a marketing leader?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">Combine a complex view of market actualities with a serious look at internal processes and culture. One can sustain external performance only when the team's caliber is adequately upgraded, and results are maintainable only when the team members evolve their perspective every month and a quarter and year. I have utilized my brand and product knowledge gained from my earlier stint, which has undeniably been an advantage in getting to brass tacks rapidly.&nbsp;</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">3. What skill should a leader have?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">Streamlining the organization's processes and paving the way for a brand culture. These are essential to emerging as a leading brand, which has to grow its market presence and share and build other leadership attributes. We then focused on network building - selecting the channel types to multiply, the channel relationships to foster, and strengthening the channel interaction and support functions within marketing.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">4. What is the brand-building process?</span></h2><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">Category forecasting for at least the coming three years. This needs many things to be considered &ndash; what is the competition doing and likely to do, what changes are expected among customers and in the product etc.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">A medium-term outline for brand-building and a listing of the building blocks will be utilized.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">The third expectation, we can say, would be whatever a particular client or brand wants to be done on a priority basis &ndash; it could be a problem to solve, a new opportunity to tap.</li></ul><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">5. What are the basics of branding marketing?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">Up to date marketing - planners are aware of the need to map out the digital interactive path to purchase. They know that there are more touchpoints available that can be tapped. They help a brand maintain the integration necessary while so many platforms are being used. Planners are also evaluating the likely disruptions that will take place due to new business models and technologies. So they have a leading role in digital transformation and helping marketing teams adopt and absorb new ways of doing things.</p>
KR Expert - Kamal K Mishra