Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Successful Marketing is Easy in ....Hindsight

It has been said the strength of a great idea lies in its simplicity.

And we can similarly about successful marketing - ideas, campaigns and products. Once it has been successful, it is very easy to go back, dissect it and decide why it was successful,,

The other day I was having a similar discussion, when some one came up with a short one-line explanation for the success of CCD (Coffee Cafe Day), how it started as a small cyber cafe in Brigade road in Bangalore and has close to a 1000 coffee shops today. The idea was to provide youngsters an option between a pub and a typical Darshini (a quick service option in Bangalore). A simple idea with a lot of potential.

The only alternative coffee lover had before CCD was the Indian Coffee house , which today, interestingly has a very specific segment of people who come there, anyway that is another story by itself..

For CCD the timing also helped, because we had the young crowd take over the country including the coffee shops, with high disposable income and so on.... (people interested in knowing more about CCD's success can read BT's cover story, link), and rest all as they say is history.

CCD's success, is also because of the vision and risk-taking capacity of an entrepreneur to bet on a future he believed in. Because, in 1996 if anyone were to be told that there is a potential for Asia's largest chain of coffee shops in India , with coffee selling at a price 10 times more than what one can get in the next-door Darshini ....

So though it is easy to talk about success ingredients 20 years after ... think the challenge lies in identifying it well before others do and hang on to it..

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Simple..Yet Difficult

This post is triggered by a sad event, the death of seven month old child of our gardener. What was more painful for us was that the death was caused by 'Simple Diarrhea', which is something which is not unmanageable.

But the fact of the matter is that the 'Simple Diarrhea' is the second leading killer of children in the world. Just to emphasize the impact of these so called simple preventable diseases,

With over 240 million children under the age of five, India contributes 25 percent of the world’s child deaths….. It is believed that easy measures could prevent 90% of diarrhea deaths, 62% of pneumonia deaths, 100% measles deaths 92% malaria deaths, 44% HIV/AIDS deaths and 52% neonatal fatalities. For example, Simple measures like exclusive breastfeeding for six months can prevent child deaths by a good 16%.......(Unicief India)

And, the task itself is very simple, communication, when I hear about diarrhea the first thing which comes to my mind is the communication which used to aired by Doordarshan on what needs to be done, the simple things like giving the child water and salt combination, or tender coconut water and so on. I fear that that kind of communication has been lost in the deluge of channels and programmes these days. For people interested in knowing more about prevention of diarrhea should visit, http://rehydrate.org/

In the book The Checklist Manifesto, author Atul Gawande explains how following simple steps or checlists can in a host of issues rirght from handling an aircraft in the event of an emergenecy to help bring down infection levels in Hospitals. The more interesting study which he quotes in the book is the role of simple hand washing with soap in Karachi slums leading to a 52 percent drop in the incidence of diarrhea, 48% fall in cases of pneumonia...and when others things remained more or less same.

I am sharing these thoughts here as I feel that the domain of marketers in India in much wider than any other place , as it includes rural India and the huge number of urban poor and we can do a lot by simply improving communication and helping bring in social change....


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