Is advertising worth a business?

By Priya Chetty on January 30, 2008

Does Expensive marketing really help companies acquire the desired number of customers? Marketing is getting costlier. But in this mainstream of MNC giants like Nokia and Unilever is going gaga over advertising, a big question arises, is it worth the bucks? Naturally a well established company like Nokia may find no use for advertising at all, because it was found that advertising more or less made no effect on its sales! Yet we ponder how J.K Rowlings, Harry Potter series became one of the best sellers with almost nil expenditure on marketing. Fact is, the customer is best looking for the product. Word -of- mouth marketing better known as Buzz Marketing, can work wonders if the product is good ( of course, the rising population of the world is bound to help). Zara a multi billion U.S designer wear store started off very small but grew big as it sold its designer wears. It was basically due to its business model that it grew so big. It takes nine months for a designer store to change its fashion but Zara took a shortcut through which it was successful in changing the nine months gap into 15 days or less. Actually Zara’s orders were very less and limited, products or designs that did not sell were halted from production.

The main point of our this time’s Webinar is how small business owners have been able to grow so big with limited expenditure or no expenditure on promotions. When was the last time that you heard of any advertisement that made a book the best selling book, probably never. Publicize does show some effect on selling but advertising has never made a book the best selling book. Hilary Clinton, who spent mega bucks and earned publicity with PR came no where close to J.K Rowling’s!

Internet today is playing a major role in floating information across the world. It is not only the hub for chatting with friends but also corporate use it for publicizing their products on the portals. Yahoo had first taken the initiative to introduce the first free chatting portal. The main revenue model for Yahoo was from the advertisements on the portals.

‘Blog Marketing’ has created one such revolution in online marketing category. Blogs is one medium where people share their views on particular topics. Thus this is how the idea for corporate blog or product blogs came up. Blogs relating to any topic are posted in millions, drawing reviews from people all over the world. Where majority are in favor of the topic, its a win-win situation. If otherwise, the product or service in question is more likely to fail. Thus, blogs can make or break any product. The popularity is growing immensely, and experts have predicted the dominance of this medium in near future. so, you can see, that on the one hand, we see corporate houses increasing the weight age of dollars on advertising, whereas on the other hand, a few smart ones reach the top with almost free-marketing!

Priya is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Project Guru, a research and analytics firm based in Gurgaon. She is responsible for the human resource planning and operations functions. Her expertise in analytics has been used in a number of service-based industries like education and financial services.

Her foundational educational is from St. Xaviers High School (Mumbai). She also holds MBA degree in Marketing and Finance from the Indian Institute of Planning and Management, Delhi (2008).

Some of the notable projects she has worked on include:

  • Using systems thinking to improve sustainability in operations: A study carried out in Malaysia in partnership with Universiti Kuala Lumpur.
  • Assessing customer satisfaction with in-house doctors of Jiva Ayurveda (a project executed for the company)
  • Predicting the potential impact of green hydrogen microgirds (A project executed for the Government of South Africa)

She is a key contributor to the in-house research platform Knowledge Tank.

She currently holds over 300 citations from her contributions to the platform.

She has also been a guest speaker at various institutes such as JIMS (Delhi), BPIT (Delhi), and SVU (Tirupati).



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