Understand Your Environment Before Making Strategies
One of the key challenges for marketers today is the fact that they are not in control of the brand anymore
Inever wanted to be a writer when I was young. I worked 14 years in banking and one of the portfolios that I managed was marketing and that was the only creative thing that I did. I am actually as surprised as anyone else that I wrote books which have also been received well.
Religiosity and Liberalism: I would say all my books begin as pure philosophy and the story is wrapped around that philosophy. For instance, the core philosophy behind the Shiva Trilogy was the question — what is evil? And the core philosophy of my current series, the Ram Chandra series, is to answer to the question — what is an ideal society? These answers are not simple. However, I attempt to discuss issues around it through the wrapper of a story.
In the public and in the urban space we have forgotten what religion means in the Indian way. Here religiosity and liberalism go hand in hand. And, for most Indians, it works that way. One of the things that I love about our land is how we cross pollinate religious thoughts across different religions to learn things from each other.
Indian culture: There is no doubt that we are one of the rare ancient cultures, which is alive even today. Most other ancient cultures such as ancient Greece, ancient Egypt and ancient Mesopotamia have not survived. They are just museum pieces now. We have done this because we manage to keep the soul of the old and the genius of adding something of the new again and again. By doing that, we get it rejuvenated for a new generation. The version of the Ramayana, which most urban Indians think of today is actually based on the 1980s TV series, which is largely based on the ‘Ramcharitmanas’. It is quite different from the original ‘Valmiki Ramayana’. There are, in fact, hundreds of versions of the puranas. So, this is something which is unique in the Indian way.
Need for reviving lost culture: If you observe closely, the ancient versions of our scriptures actually treated men and women as equal. For example, our oldest scripture is the Rigveda and it was written by the rishis who are equivalent of the prophets and messiahs. There are hymns in the Rigveda that are written by rishikas. It is like having a woman prophet or a woman messiah. That is how women were treated in ancient times. We have forgotten much of the ancient approach and wisdom and we need to revive it.
Marketing advice: When I write stories I don’t think of the market or the people at all. I only write what feels right to me. I only think about marketing when I am in that phase. The first thing is that you should be aware of the reality or the environment before you make your strategies.
One of the key challenges for marketers today is the fact that they are not in control of the brand anymore. Those days are gone when you could have a monologue on the stage and download it to an audience, and the only choice they had was to either accept it or ignore it. The days of TV and print ads deciding your brand image are gone. Today is the era of social media. Now, your brand is the result of a dialogue. If your product does not match your brand message, social media could give you a brand image that is opposite of what you want to convey.
Most importantly, marketers cannot work in silos anymore. There has to be alignment with the product and you have to be far more conscious of the dialogue that takes place on social media. It also means you cannot drive the brand image on your own. A mindset shift needs to take place.
(As told to Ruhail Amin)
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.
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