Ritu Gupta

Dell

The Brand Reporter - - CONTENTS -

In an en­vi­ron­ment where com­peti­tors are vy­ing for con­sumer at­ten­tion, the mar­gin for er­ror is very small.

PER­SONAL

Who is your big­gest pro­fes­sional men­tor?

It would be un­fair to at­tribute my growth to one men­tor.

If not a brand mar­keter, what would you be?

I would have ex­plored the pos­si­bil­i­ties of be­ing a con­sul­tant or a re­search aca­demi­cian in con­sumer psy­chol­ogy and re­tail con­sumer be­hav­iour.

Name a brand (other than your own) you ad­mire. Why?

Nike and Fu­ture Brands. Both ap­peal emo­tion­ally and con­nect with con­sumers at the grass­root level. They un­der­stand their cus­tomers and strive to cul­ti­vate strong re­la­tion­ships that set a foun­da­tion for fu­ture brand growth.

CAT­E­GORY What are the big chal­lenges you see com­ing your way in the next 12 months?

The chal­lenge is in con­sol­i­dat­ing our port­fo­lios and pro­mot­ing growth for these dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories. Also, it is im­por­tant to keep step with a team that is driven.

What’s the big­gest change in the way con­sumers ap­proach your seg­ment to­day, ver­sus a year back?

To­day, our con­sumers ex­pect us to be more than just a tool for tech­nol­ogy; they in­volve us as an ac­tive part­ner in ev­ery­thing they do. They seek tech­nol­ogy to de­liver ex­pe­ri­ences that mat­ter to them.

Which prod­uct seg­ment out there im­pacts trends in your cat­e­gory most? Why?

Our con­sumers seek an en­hanced view­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that is akin to the cin­e­matic ex­pe­ri­ence (we launched a tech­nol­ogy called ‘Dell Cin­ema’). Gam­ing - once con­sid­ered a pas­time - is now per­ceived as se­ri­ous work and pas­sion (for this, we’ve got Alien­ware and In­sp­iron).

In what way/s does your mar­ket­ing strat­egy change from Tier I to Tier II and III mar­kets?

Ur­ban and Tier I mar­kets are al­ready ex­posed to the use of tech­nol­ogy. Tier II, semi-ur­ban and ru­ral ar­eas need more fo­cus on ed­u­cat­ing chil­dren, stu­dents and teach­ers around the util­ity of PCs. Our mar­ket­ing ini­tia­tives (Dell Aarambh and DigiMoms work­shops) are aimed at cre­at­ing aware­ness around the use of a PC in one’s daily life.

MAR­KET­ING

What’s the tough­est part of be­ing a brand mar­keter?

With ex­ten­sive use of gad­gets, in­for­ma­tion over­load and re­duced at­ten­tion spans of peo­ple, mar­keters have very lit­tle space to get their mes­sage across. Brands need to think smarter, work harder and be dif­fer­ent.

Name the big­gest pro­fes­sional hur­dle you faced re­cently. How did you tide over it?

In an en­vi­ron­ment, where com­peti­tors are vy­ing for con­sumers’ at­ten­tion, the mar­gin for er­ror is very lit­tle. Be­ing per­sis­tent in one’s com­mu­ni­ca­tion and pa­tient while wait­ing for the re­sults need most at­ten­tion.

As a mar­keter, what is your big­gest night­mare?

In the dig­i­tal era, cus­tomers are ac­tive on var­i­ous on­line plat­forms, on which we fa­cil­i­tate deep con­ver­sa­tions with them. So, the ac­cu­racy of data is ex­tremely im­por­tant. Our con­ver­sa­tions pave the way for in­sights on con­sumer be­hav­iour which in turn, drive mar­ket­ing out­put.

AD­VER­TIS­ING What is your lead medium of com­mu­ni­ca­tion to­day? Which medium do you use least?

Our au­di­ence is spread out in terms of de­mo­graph­ics and the me­dia they con­sume, so there is no sin­gle de­fin­i­tive medium that we can adopt to con­nect with them. The use of on­line and dig­i­tal me­dia is on the rise given its trans­par­ent, un­bi­ased na­ture of en­gage­ment.

Are the best cre­ative minds still in ad­ver­tis­ing?

The na­ture of work has evolved from be­ing mun­dane and repet­i­tive to cre­ative and ex­pres­sive. Cre­ativ­ity is not re­stricted to any par­tic­u­lar field, though we still agree that it was ini­tially in the ad­ver­tis­ing do­main that the con­ven­tional ‘cre­ative’ roles ex­isted.

In what way has your re­la­tion­ship with your agency part­ners - cre­ative and me­dia plan­ning/buy­ing changed of late? What’s the one must-have qual­ity for an agency to­day?

Our agen­cies are not an ex­ter­nal wing, but an ex­tended arm of our mar­ket­ing team. We look at our­selves as fa­cil­i­ta­tors who bring to­gether our agency part­ners right from plan­ning and ideation to ex­e­cu­tion.

Are you open to pay­ing agen­cies a pitch fee?

Since cre­ative think­ing is not lim­ited to a par­tic­u­lar com­pany/in­di­vid­ual, we are open to the idea of col­lab­o­rat­ing with agen­cies to drive the best re­sults.

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