In marketing, it is important to identify a unique niche and then build a strong foundation there, as per the marketing expert and author of “Marketing without Money”, Jessie Paul.
Paul holds an experience of 25 years into marketing. She has been the Global Brand Manager for Infosys, Marketing Head for iGATE (now a part of Capgemini) and Chief Marketing Officer for Wipro Technologies.
In 2010, she founded ‘Paul Writer’, a marketing advisory firm. She serves as an independent director on the boards of Bajaj Consumer Care, Expleo Solutions, CreditAccess Grameen and Royal Orchid Hotels.
In her latest book, ‘Marketing Without Money’ Paul offers cost-effective global marketing techniques, which, she believes, is of great value to Indian brand owners.
Prior to ‘Marketing without Money’, Paul had also authored ‘No Money Marketing’ in 2009. Responding to a query about her specific interest in the subject, during the course of her interaction with BestMediaInfo.com, she said, “As a young economy, many of India’s companies are ‘challengers’ competing against global leaders, and hence the need to build a brand cleverly, without matching marketing spends. The premise of the book is how to build a brand with a lower level of investment than your competitors.”
While her previous book was on cost-effective marketing for B2B firms, based upon her experience with Infosys, Wipro and iGATE, the latest work gives a greater emphasis to digital and is for all types of firms.
“India has a lot of innovation, but we lack in brand and marketing skills. For many decades, post-Independence we were not a market economy and so we did not develop a large pool of marketing expertise. It is only from the 1990s that consumers had choice and hence products started to invest in marketing,” Paul said.
When asked about what kind of marketers are her TGs and if there are any specific categories or size of businesses that she focuses on, Paul said, “’Marketing Without Money’ is ideal for any brand owner or marketer who is looking at cost-effective marketing. The principles are applicable to any size of organisation, but of particular value to organizations that are competing against larger ones.”
She added, “Everyone wants their brand to stand out! But often the competition is able to outspend you because they are older/bigger/better-funded. In FY 20-21, 1.55 lakh new companies were registered, and 1.2 lakh companies the previous fiscal. By definition new companies need to be clever in their marketing spends. In addition, other than the top 3 firms in every niche, everyone needs to be a challenger or will end up as a loser. I’d say 99% of brand owners are in need of budget-savvy marketing tools.”
Paul also spoke at length about the differences between Indian companies and those from outside. “India is a growth economy, so many of our successful organisations are focused on the domestic market, whereas companies from developed economies are often seeking growth outside of their home markets.”
“Access to capital continues to be a challenge in India, so you will see firms which are profitable in one sector – and therefore having access to capital – move into another sector where they have no existing strength. I find that they approach this market with fresh thinking and a unique perspective that they bring from their prior success,” says Paul as she points towards the major issue that Indian brands face.
The Wellness sector, as per Paul, is a huge trend globally and is something that can make India rank higher. “India has a great reputation in wellness through its ancient practices – we could build many more global brands in this area. Environmental consciousness is another big trend that India can capitalise on. India has made big progress in telemedicine in the past couple of years – if regulatory hurdles can be overcome it could become a huge outsourcing industry as well.”
She added, “Digital has helped India become a big player in areas like SEO, content and design. A structured approach like what NASSCOM did for the Indian IT industry could help the domestic industry coordinate and go up the value chain.”
Towards the end of the conversation, Paul also revealed that she was planning to write another book and it would be based on Business Strategy.