PRASHANT PANDEY – Executive Vice President Marketing, GSK
The heart of a business success lies in its marketing. How have you been crafting such marketing objectives for your company that your customers find credible and aligned with their values?
The mindset of being ‘consumer first’ is very important to craft marketing strategies. It sounds obvious, but often marketers have to balance conflicting objectives and as a result sometimes the focus on consumer can get diluted. If you are truly consumer first in your thinking, you will see that it is a very strong guiding principle which can help you make a variety of decisions including product design, packaging, promotions, advertising, cost management in a consistent way. Over a period of time this builds compelling value for consumers, brands and business.
The Perfect Brand Image”- what do you perceive from it and what all goes behind its creation?
Creating a brand image that persuades people to buy is at the heart of a marketer’s craft. A lot of brand image is actively created by brands, equally a whole lot of it is built by its users in how they advocate and talk about the brand. In a world that is many times more interconnected now than it was 5 years ago, it is critical to understand this and stimulate the right conversations around the brand and the category. For this choices have to be made – no brand can be equally attractive to everybody, the idea is to build a strong meaning with the largest set of relevant consumers of today and the future.
What is your prime focus for retaining customers?
Building continuous value is a focus area through a combination of right product portfolio, pricing and positioning. Take Horlikcs for instance – there are relevant products for different lifestages within the range – from Mother’s Horlicks for pregnant women, as a consumer you can travel with Horlicks via Junior Horlicks, Horlicks, Women’s Horlicks, Horlicks Lite and Horlicks Biscuits for different members of the family and over time.
How do you think marketing has changed over time?
The ‘what’ of marketing has not changed, but the ‘how’ has. The preference of the consumer are becoming more varied, flexible and demanding. Internet and social media have built new influence chains which are driving buying decisions. The classical path to purchase has become less linear and consumer enquiry is stretching beyond product into the brand’s value system. For brands it is important to keep their inspiring purpose alive to stay relevant.
Awards are tricky; you don’t really aim to win, till you win. How has winning changed your approach to trophies and titles? From an accidental byproduct of good work to something you actively need to defend year on year, perhaps? Is there pressure to keep winning?
I don’t believe you can aim to win awards. But you can surely aim for creative excellence in work that delivers fantastic business results. Such work is bound to win awards
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