Saturday, November 06, 2004

Marketing Begins Now.

In my first job interview after MBA at a strategic marketing agency (Bulls Eye), I was asked the meaning of marketing.

My answer was: find a gap and fill it! Marketing at the core remains about:

  • knowing what people really need...
  • and gathering the best resources to fulfill the need...
  • with the best possible offer...
  • and then communicating the offer to the right people, at the right time, in the right context
The marketing theory may have evolved the world over, but there are markets where some products are simply missing. For instance, credit schemes including car and home financing, and personal loan schemes have been having a blast in Pakistan. 4 years ago in a banking & finance seminar at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), I remember a fellow graduate student Hisham Ghouri raising the point. While the students huddled to prepare their questions, and speakers droned on about issues in the industry, my colleague puzzled over this:

In Pakistan, a person struggles the better part of their life after education to get a car, a home, and a decent lifestyle. In developed nations, young professionals have access to these facilities shortly after graduation, and can spend the rest of their life focusing on professional achievements (and debt payments! But that's not the point now.)
That day, it was a question that stumped most speakers. Today, these products are rolling in dough, given the high demand gap they are satisfying. Regardless of the risks involved with a credit economy, this is what people needed: a lifestyle. Plus there are other products focused on convenience, such as electronic account management and direct utility bill payments. Why would they not do well?

Marketing begins with knowing what people really need. And giving them that.

1 comment:

paige said...

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