‘Frugal Marketing’ by Jessie Paul, Chief Marketing Officer, Wipro Technologies

Ms. Jessie Paul with her almost effortless soothing voice presented to the class, the microcosm of brand building exercise. She asserted that the purer and traditional modes of marketing are increasingly becoming predictable, whereas the newer, innovative and unconventional practices (owing to their novelty, accessibility, flexibility and frugality) are mostly sought after in the current times. The speaker proffered on the patriots (class of 2010), a challenge-to define one’s uniqueness. Patriots conferred with the speaker; the session was more of an interaction than a guest lecture.

Pointing to the matrix (an adaptation of BCG matrix) on the presentation, she advised the class to identify the firms that they wish to work with, in one of the quadrants. This exercise, she promised, would reveal surprising revelations, and would aid one in career planning. She shared her knowledge of Yahoo’s traditional mass advertising campaigns in contrast to the frugal advertising adopted by Google.

In response to a question from one of the patriots, she replied that, one need not be the best in a huge expanse of space and time; one only has to narrow the space that one wishes to ascribe oneself with. She contended that by narrowing the space down, it becomes easier to define our uniqueness, which (in a much wider space) must have appeared fallible.

The speaker, in her well structured presentation, slowly took to the arduous task of preparing groundwork in answering the fundamental questions – Who am I? Why buy me? Why not buy someone else? – She implied that a brand map of an individual is no different from the brand map of a product or service.

Ms. Paul observed that though firms fudge the figures, the educated consumers of today would pay no heed to unverifiable proofs. Extending the train of thought a little further, she advised patriots that their abilities would remain merely claims in the eyes of a recruiter if they are not verifiable.

Towards the end of the session, Ms. Paul remarked that it is perhaps easier to sell experience than to sell the product itself. She noted that Padmasree Warrior on twitter is trusted more than any TV commercial. In reference to executive branding, the speaker noted that Barack Obama epitomized the whole brand building exercise.

Ms. Paul ended the session contending that social media would continue to dominate the world of marketing in the years to come.


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