Managing Marketing: The business challenges facing marketers and their brands

Managing Marketing is a podcast hosted by TrinityP3 Founder and Global CEO, Darren Woolley. Each podcast is a conversation with a thought-leader, professional or practitioner of marketing and communications on the issues, insights and opportunities in the marketing management category. Ideal for marketers, advertisers, media and commercial communications professionals.

Mahesh Enjeti, Managing Director of SIA Marketing Counsel discusses with Darren the issues facing marketers today and the important role of brand in not just providing a customer promise or proposition but to define the purpose of the business or organisation for all stakeholders and to support the value proposition of the business through tangible financial contributions to the business success.

Mahesh Enjeti podcast

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Transcription:

Darren:

Welcome to Managing Marketing and today I’m catching up with a long-time friend of TrinityP3’s and mine, Mahesh Enjeti who is the Managing Director of SAI Marketing Council. But Mahesh I notice that you’re also a self-proclaimed brand developer, architect, builder and restorer.

Mahesh:

Thanks, Darren. I suppose that’s what I’ve been doing all my 40 plus years in marketing. I’ve lived with brands, breathed with brands. I’ve created brands, nurtured them, rebranded them, re-launched them, re-positioned them so I suppose I could claim the title of being a developer, being a builder, being an architect, and all that, yeah.

Darren:

Well I’m glad because one of the things that I’m getting particularly agitated and irritated about is that a lot of people seem to be forgetting what brands are and how important they are.

Have you noticed the same trend?

Mahesh:

I think that’s probably more as a result of confusion between brand and branding. A lot of people seem to  mistake branding for brands. And I look at brand as something more fundamental, deeper in terms of who you are and what you stand for, and what’s your purpose. But more importantly (something which is not often discussed) how do you behave?

How do you behave with your customers, with your suppliers, with the environment, with the society, even with the tax office? I think all that goes into who you are and what your brand is.

Darren:

Because you do quite a bit of speaking, especially lecturing, how do you describe brands to someone that’s coming into the industry for the first time or a brand?

Defining the concept of brands

Mahesh:

I actually tell my students that the brand is the business and the business is the brand. I go on to explain to them that the experience of the consumer is the brand and the brand is the experience.

So if you remember those two fundamentals; the brand is the business (whatever you do to the brand affects the business, whatever you do to the business affects the brand), and the experience of the brand (whatever experience the consumer experiences at that point in time is the brand and what they see of the brand is the experience). If you can equate those two, then I suppose you’ve got it pretty much right.

Darren:

That fits well with Al Ries’ The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding. He said any pronoun is a potential brand. He didn’t say they were brands, he said they were potential brands and I find that really interesting. We live in this celebrity world where you say things like, ‘Kardashian’ and you immediately have a perception of Kim Kardashian or Kanye West, or in my day Arnold Schwarzenegger. They are brands because they are pronouns which have very strong associations with what that represents.

Mahesh:

I suppose it could. I mean everybody is a brand. I suppose everything is a brand if you look at it very broadly and fundamentally, yes I think everything is a brand. But I think where we seem to be getting lost is equating some of those personality brands with products.

I think we need to be very careful in terms of who we use as the spokesperson or celebrity associated with the brand and that could potentially lead to some conflicts in terms of what your brand stands for fundamentally and what this other pronoun stands for. But anything potentially could be a brand; you are a brand, I am a brand.

Darren:

Woolly, there you go. But he did go on to say that the strength of the brand was the focus by which people define it because the brand ultimately exists in the mind of the consumer. So if you then asked a wide range of consumers what their response was to a particular brand then you could tell the strength of it by the focus or the convergence of what they felt and thought about that brand or that association with the brand.

What did you think about that?

Mahesh:

I think there are two aspects to this; one is yes there needs to be a singular focus in terms of what the brand stands for. I come from a physics background.

Darren:

The singularity?

Mahesh:

Yeah. I probably look at brand as a crystal, a crystal which has got multiple faces and I think different people look at a different face or, at different points in time they look at a different face of the brand. But where I think we probably tend to err is that we hold the crystal so close to ourselves that we can’t see it in all its complexity and all its dimensions.

So first of all we need to distance it from ourselves and turn it around to see how complex the brand is, that’s the first part of it. And a lot of the “marketing” work that happens is on those faces and surfaces of the brand.

But now imagine you’re passing light through the crystal—going back to year 7 physics—it converges at a point outside of the crystal and that I call the focus of the brand, not necessarily what you see on the surface but something that’s much more fundamental.

But that focus should drive everything that you do to the surface. We get so obsessed and fixated with what we do to the surface of the brand, the advertising, the social media, our internet webpage that we tend to forget what is that focal point. That is your purpose, that is who you are, that is what you stand for, that is what is your behaviour.

Darren:

I’m going to extend your light metaphor, your physics metaphor because I find that some people get so obsessed with analysing and projecting their brand, their purpose that they end up with total internal reflection. You know when a light enters a crystal and bounces around inside and never actually finds its way out again into that focal point.

Mahesh:

I know.

Darren:

Because ultimately that brand exists outside of the crystal.

Mahesh:

That’s true.

Darren:

The crystal is the thing that focuses it in the mind of the consumer or customer.

The Place for Purpose in Brands

Mahesh:

In fact even this purpose I’m getting a little concerned the way this word has been bandied about. It’s becoming almost hackneyed.

Darren:

I absolutely agree because I think it’s become a shorthand way of saying a number of things that are not purpose.

Mahesh:

Exactly. If you don’t have a noble purpose don’t ever claim to have one because that’s probably the quickest way to get people to dislike your brand. But I was reading an article by the CMO of Unilever (a Brazilian—I can’t remember her name) and Unilever is now talking about ‘brand activism’, which is actually taking purpose to the next level and actually doing things which are truly responding to their core purpose.

I believe only when you do things that reflect the purpose can you demonstrate that you’re seriously committed to that purpose. There’s no point in having a purpose—and purpose does not always have to be altruistic, it could be ‘why do people buy this product? Because it does a job it’s meant to do’.

Darren:

They can be functional, just improving the quality or existence of the customer is enough.

Mahesh:

Yeah.

Darren:

But interesting choice, Unilever because earlier you said, ‘brand is business and business is brand’ and yet in the case of Unilever we have a house of brands. We’ve got Axe and Dove. Axe is about sexual success and Dove is about real beauty. Some people say, ‘well how do the purposes of those two brands inside the Unilever house of brands sit comfortably together?’

Mahesh:

I think because they are targeted at different segments. They have a different function to perform. They have different functional benefits; they have different emotional benefits but what is the core purpose of Unilever? The core purpose of Unilever is to help people solve day to day problems in whatever category it is and do it in the most ethical, sustainable way.

That I think is that focal point of where the light converges.

Darren:

I absolutely agree. The most inspirational part of Unilever for me is that absolute corporate business commitment to sustainability, to leave the world in a better place than they found it, that is inspiring to me.

To get down to it, I’m not in the core target audience for Dove, but I appreciate real beauty as a sentiment and I can see why teenage boys and young men want to think that spraying themselves with a fragrance is going to make their sexual success higher. But in actual fact from a corporate point of view and a brand point of view this absolute commitment and consistency of behaviour and communication to sustainability is much more interesting.

Mahesh:

I remember reading some time ago, I don’t know how correct it is, that Unilever are not going to be publishing their quarterly results anymore and when I read that I felt so happy; finally there’s a company which says we are not going to be driven by our quarterly performance.

That is often driven by the investor analysts who probably are more guided by how well the company has performed in relation to what was expected rather than actual absolute performance and it sort of tends to inculcate a short-term-ism in organisations.

But at least we’re seeing we’re not going to be concerned with how we perform in the quarter but we’re going to look at the long-term. That’s part of sustainability thinking. And I think there are very few companies that are actually doing that and I have a lot of respect for Unilever in that sense.

Darren:

I think it’s because so many companies are caught up with having to deliver financial performance and yet even when you talk to companies about what their purpose is, very few of them say, ‘oh, it’s to make money for our shareholders’. Of course that’s part of it.

One of my favourite quotes and I think it was from ‘Built to Last’, you know Jim Collins where he said, ‘profit is for business what breathing is for human beings’. I don’t live to breathe. Likewise, I have to make profit as a business to exist but it’s not necessarily the reason I exist but there is something beyond simply making profit.

Mahesh:

I think this is also a misconception that profit and purpose are mutually exclusive. They don’t have to be. In fact, one can drive the other. If you make profit only then you can do some brand activism in terms of delivering something against your purpose. But at the same time I believe that a lot of the brand value discussion has been around brand value for the customer not necessarily for the business.

I think brand has to deliver value to the customer as much as it does to the business. This is I think where in the eBook I talk about brand value; are you able to sell the same product, whatever it is, more of that same product in terms of volume at the same price or are you able to sell the same quantity at a higher price?

That’s a true indicator of what is your brand value. Does your brand command a premium? So it makes a perfect competition into an imperfect competition and if it doesn’t do that then I don’t think the brand is serving any purpose. Yes, you could have more sophisticated, more robust, more reliable ways of measuring brand value but fundamentally if you are not able to charge a premium price because of your brand pull then what use is that brand?

Or if you’re not able to sell more at the same price. It’s very easy to sell more by reducing price, which is I think what a lot of us do but it’s important to be able to sell more at the same price and that’s a real litmus test of how strong your brand is.

A Brand New Way Grow Your Business

Darren:

Absolutely. Now you mentioned the eBook A Brand New Way to Grow Your Business and how to increase sales and profit simultaneously. This is a really interesting collection of the things that you’ve shared on LinkedIn and then linked together with connecting thoughts.

Where can people get this from?

Mahesh:

I’m thinking in terms of publishing the entire eBook on LinkedIn before Christmas as a Christmas gift.

Darren:

Well I’ll make sure that the information goes with this podcast but the reason being is that I’ve seen recently that there’s been a number of very large brands that have started to re-position their brands (that’s the way they’ve described it in the trade press) by going out with the big TV ad.

An example for me would be Telstra’s re-positioning around being a technology company rather than a telecommunications company. The television ad has gone out with Thrive or Thrive on, but I’m just not seeing where that’s flowing through the whole business.

Do you think it’s possible to re-position brands just with advertising?

Mahesh:

I think that as long as you remember that the experience is the brand and that brand is experience and television as a medium, although its importance has reduced it still is a fairly popular medium not necessarily for some target audiences but across the board it still is.

But if Telstra is just doing it through advertising and not supporting that by how the brand is experienced whenever a customer interacts with the brand then I don’t think you can establish a brand through advertising.

But if what you do through advertising also reflects how you deliver satisfaction to the customer then I think it’ll work.

Darren:

Yeah, I think you’re right. But before Russell Howcroft phones up and says, ‘bullshit’, I think television’s a great way of getting awareness. I’m not sure, as you say that it’s necessarily a great way of building a brand because brands come through experience. That’s the big difference isn’t it because most of our classical marketing has come from product marketing.

Mahesh:

True.

Darren:

Yet so much of the economy today is about selling services where the product is the service. The experience is the brand.

Product versus Services Brand Marketing

Mahesh:

I think this distinction between products and services, I think all that is disappearing slowly and I think a lot of the theory that we learnt 20, 25 years ago is perhaps no longer relevant because every product has got a service component nowadays. And every service is product based in some way so these differences are no longer relevant when you’re talking about establishing brand.

What is more important is trying to understand who your core target consumer is. What are they looking for in terms of why do people buy this product? What function does it serve? If you’re able to do that in a way that the customer sees more value than the money they’re willing to part with, then I think you’re in business.

Darren:

I agree on one level but I disagree on the point of view that most product manufacturers do not control their distribution to the consumer.

Mahesh:

True.

Darren:

That ultimately, and especially consumer goods, grocery goods are all sold through a retailer, through a third party where the brand does not necessarily control the environment or the experience of the product that the person has.

Whereas almost all services brands actually have a direct relationship because they deliver the service to the end user. Now I know in financial services you can have resellers and things like that but don’t you think that gives a big difference to product experience versus services experience?

Mahesh:

I think the challenges in services are probably even greater in my view, only because the delivery of the service happens through people. Despite all the alteration that’s happening the involvement of people itself makes it less controllable.

Whereas in the case of product even though it’s sold through a retailer the bundle of benefits the product is offering is still constant, whereas in service anything could go wrong in the process of delivery. Therefore, I believe both of them have the same challenges.

It also triggers off another line of thought in terms of I don’t believe that companies should abrogate the responsibility of the brand to the consumers. There’s a lot of talk of this; it’s been happening for ten years. I remember attending a conference ten years ago where we discussed this and I was the only one at the table that said, “look the company is the custodian of the brand”.

What the brand is I think is something you need to determine. You can let people interpret the brand in ways that they see as more appropriate for their own particular individual circumstances but companies cannot abrogate. I see more and more of this; brand which is almost hijacked in the online space, and to me that’s a very dangerous trend. I think we need to be able to control that.

Darren:

Crowd-sourcing brand expressions.

Mahesh:

A lot of this is happening and I think companies are losing sight of what their brand is.

Continuing Importance of Brand Management

Darren:

I mentioned to you previously that I read the article, ‘Brand Management is Dead’ and I couldn’t believe that someone would actually say that because at the very best, you called it custodian of the brand, but in actual fact the management of the brand sits with the company.

With the marketing team and everyone in the company responsible for the expression of that brand, the interaction of the company and the brand with the end consumers.

Mahesh:

I think if I take a step back and look at what are the people referring to when they talk about brand management. I think they’re talking about the brand communication management and because so much of it happens in the online space, in social media people are thinking brand management is dead.

But brand, in terms of what the company is creating; the experience that the company is creating is managed within the business. I think Seth Godin was the one who said that ‘we’re so obsessed with creating buzz in the market place we’re forgetting that the most fundamental thing to do is create products that create the buzz’.

So if you create the right kinds of products, the right kinds of brands, which in turn automatically create the buzz in the market place then you’re managing the brand but then the brand communication management is happening on its own. It’s gone wild because the product is so good and the service is so good.

Darren:

Great examples of that are the four that everyone keeps using; Airbnb, Alibaba, Uber and what’s the fourth?

So Alibaba’s the biggest retailer in the world that has no products. Uber’s the biggest taxi service in the world that has no cars. Airbnb is the biggest hotel or accommodation in the world that has no rooms and I still can’t think of the fourth one.

Mahesh:

And look at Amazon, well now they’ve started actually having books.

Darren:

They’ve built their first store, bricks and mortar store.

Mahesh:

Which is why I believe this whole thing about analogue/digital I think it’s like in physics the duality of particles and waves. Analogue and digital are basically two forms.

Darren:

Because at the very centre of it is a human experience. I don’t know about you but I don’t walk around looking at my phone going ‘digital moment’ and then looking up and seeing a sign and going all ‘analogue moment’ and then talking to someone and going ‘analogue moment’ and then texting someone and going ‘digital’. It’s just an experience.

Mahesh:

I think that talking about the digital world separately is no longer relevant because it’s one world.

Darren:

It’s seamless.

Mahesh:

Absolutely seamless but we still seem to be so obsessed with doing things for the digital world but look what is that digital world? Does it exist? In isolation it doesn’t and these two are sort of almost interchangeable. Did you do chemistry?

Darren:

Yes.

Mahesh:

Benzene has got a hexagonal structure; it’s got a single bond and a double bond of carbon and hydrogen — C6. But what happens is that the single bond turns into a double bond and the double bond turns into a single bond but it happens all the time.

Analogue and digital are like that; we are in an analogue world and a digital world at the same time and we seem to be forgetting that.

Customer Experience Builds Brands

Darren:

Because customer experience—if there’s one term this year that’s been absolutely flogged to death it’s the ‘customer journey’, the ‘customer experience’, the ‘customer pathway’ – I absolutely agree with all of it but then when someone starts plotting for me a customer journey and it’s a linear approach, I go “most of the customers I know act like an electron in a cloud”.

Mahesh:

That’s right.

Darren:

They’re there one minute gone the next, back again, gone, back, gone. I don’t know about you but my life is not a linear process that leads me to making a purchase decision; there’s a million other things happening in my life and it just happens to be something that I’ll get to along the process.

Mahesh:

But the thing that really intrigues me. In fact, I sometimes wonder if customer experience is thrown around as if it never sort of existed but customer experience has always existed.

Darren:

Yeah.

Mahesh:

So why do we talk about customer experience as if it’s a new buzz word that we’ve now created?

Darren:

I’ve got a theory on that and I think it’s because technology is now increasing the ways that we can actually monitor customer behaviour. Using digital technology, we can actually monitor how people move along that path. But they do it in their own way.

We might draw lines that say, ‘well first of all they did this and then they did that’ but we don’t actually know necessarily what happened in between.

Things like attribution modelling for digital media says, ‘we served up a display ad but then the person googled the terms out of the display ad within five seconds of seeing the display ad and then they went to the website and then they did this and then they filled out this’. We attribute each of those to being part of that customer’s journey, right?

Suddenly it’s become more tangible because in the past so many organisations would have the retail people over there, the sales people are over there, and the call centre people are over there, and the brand, the marketers were here, basically isolated from what was happening out there in most cases.

Mahesh:

The only thing is the experience thing with the brand — on social media a lot of it happens before the consumer has bought the product or service. Even the content that we put forward is in terms of telling a brand story and how other people have used this product, but the real experience starts after the customer has bought the product or a service and what happens to them when they are actually experiencing the product?

What are the frustrations? That is the brand experience and that, I think, defines the brand.

I had a hilarious experience where I couldn’t get in touch with this company by telephone. So I emailed and said I want to be able to change my payment method from this card to this card. Promptly, within 24 hours, I get an email saying, ‘we’ve received your email. We are cancelling your service’.

I had to go back to them and say, ‘I didn’t want to cancel the service. All I wanted was to change my payment type and could you please call me at this number?’ And they said, ‘we don’t actually have the ability to speak with you’.

This is similar to what happened to you at Citibank or whatever. Again I had to explain the whole thing a second time. It was eventually fixed but what is the point of having all these opportunities to interact with the customer if you can’t even get it right?

LinkedIn sends me job ads saying “jobs that you would be interested in” and I’ve been out of the employment market for 15 years. The first one on top was a dentist job. I certainly make people uncomfortable when they sit next to me. It’s a very painful experience.

Darren:

But I’m not a dentist.

Mahesh:

No, I’m not a dentist, for God’s sake. When they know about you, when they see a profile and LinkedIn says I could be a dentist it really worries me that are we getting so caught up in the moment that we don’t even take a step back and say, ‘is this relevant or not?’.

I think somehow differentiation has seemed to have trumped relevance. We have sacrificed relevance for differentiation.

The Roll of Buzz In Brands

Darren:

Something you mentioned before when you were talking about buzz. We also think new and entertaining are more important than relevant and informative and yet they’re all equally great ways of engaging particular customers at particular points in time.

Mahesh:

Absolutely. One of my favourite expressions is that newness has actually overrun freshness. I believe a brand can be fresh and remain fresh. Yes, it needs to reinvent itself over a period of time as the market changes and the target market changes and if you’re re-positioning it to a different segment, but everything that’s new we seem to just sort of grab it without even thinking whether that’s relevant to what I’m doing or not.

Similarly, being distinctive and being differentiated is very important but if you’re not being relevant to the customer in terms of the customer needs I don’t think it really makes any difference just being different.

In fact, this is the other thing I believe that customer needs also include customer well-being. This is going back to the brand and its purpose. I don’t think we’ve actually recognised and embraced well-being as one of the needs of a customer whether it’s a product you’re selling or a service you’re selling. Customer well-being must be a part of every marketer’s charter in terms of is this in the interest of the customer or not?

Otherwise, don’t sell the product.

That is going to be a big leap of faith for a lot of us in marketing. It’s going to be a big leap of faith.

Darren:

I can already think of some particular categories that that will be particularly challenging for.

Mahesh:

Very challenging. But I’m not saying that you should not sell some product but you still need to be concerned about the customer’s well-being when you’re promoting anything about the product or service.

Darren:

Well that’s why I go back to Unilever. I find it inspirational for a company of that size to have an overriding purpose of making a sustainable business. It’s economic, and environmental, and human resource sustainability. It’s not just one dimensional; it’s multi-dimensional and for me that’s an example of where the CEO and even perhaps the Board have all aligned and made a commitment to the purpose of the organisation.

Mahesh:

I didn’t read the article fully but I was reading the back page of Chanticleer in Fin Review where the entire C-Suite of Coles were asked to go to Coles Supermarkets, given $150 and asked to buy a week’s groceries.

Their experience of how they struggled and then they sort of validated it as actual consumers. They’re wanting to see how the increasing cost of living pressures are affecting people’s weekly shopping.

I thought that was a phenomenal idea, it was brilliant. I wish more marketers did that. Actually go and do what the consumer, what he or she actually does. One of my favourite quotes is, ‘before you get into a customer’s shoes you need to take off your own shoes.’

I think we are so comfortable in our own shoes that we don’t want to take those shoes off and get into the customer’s shoes, but only when you do that do you realise what is the value you can get for whatever money you are paying and does it compare favourably with what the customer is looking for?

The Importance of Employees in Brand Experience

Darren:

It’s always been one of the bugbears for me about corporate structure. In corporate structure the more senior and experienced you become within an organisation the further you get away from the very customers that create the value within the organisation, that pay your salaries, that create the wealth that pays you to have the lifestyle.

Mahesh:

Also we don’t involve the frontline staff to provide input into our strategic planning process and that’s very important because they know exactly what happens in the coal face in terms of the customer interaction. I mean earlier we were talking about shareholders. My view is that you keep your employees happy, your customers will be delighted and then the shareholders will become ecstatic.

But start with the shareholders and you start eroding value, cutting back on things then it is going to reduce value for the customer, it’s also going to reduce the benefit for the employees. Actually it’s going to be a downwards spiral. So start with the employees, customers, shareholders.

Darren:

That’s a Richard Branson philosophy. He says, ‘make your staff happy to be at work’.

Mahesh:

People are going to make sure your customer is happy. I’m not saying you give away things to your customer but you need to make sure that the experience is positive and something that the customer will talk about to other people and come back to the company if there is an opportunity to.

Because ultimately that’s what the brand is because people have a certain assurance of quality, satisfaction and experience and it is actually encapsulating all that in the brand so that when they buy the same product or service the next time they could expect to receive a similar bundle of benefits, and value, and satisfaction.

Is Omni-channel Marketing Essential

Darren:

Now I just noticed the time but there’s another topic I want to pick up on and that is this idea of Omni-channel marketing because it seems to be the buzz word, but from my experience what it means is getting matching collars and cuffs across as many different interaction touch points or communication channels as possible.

What do you think?

Mahesh:

My views are probably a little different to most people’s. I believe it is something which is getting to be sub-optimal in terms of how we are spending our money. Somehow we seem to have this grandiose view that we have to be present in every platform, every hour of the day so that the consumer is able to interact with the brand whenever he or she finds it convenient.

Don Schultz has done some good work I think in terms of integrated marketing communications. There is some good work there which starts from the consumer in terms of how they consume the media and they’re looking at various product categories, which is good work.

I believe fundamentally your communication must be engaging. Today we have multiple platforms. If I see something on WhatsApp I will probably share it with my WhatsApp group, other people I might share it on Facebook or I might share it on LinkedIn if it’s relevant to that audience.

So, people themselves will be spreading the message on different platforms. You don’t necessarily have to do that on every platform for you to be able to reach people.

The amount of time that’s available in the day is fixed; it’s 24 hours and we’re trying to send out more and more messages to people in more and more channels on more and more platforms and that’s entropy again. It’s going to increase entropy in the environment.

As a result, you will continuously want to do better–that’s why there is this mad rush after newness. You always want to be new because you want to be seen in this noisy environment. I believe that is not going to be a sustainable way of communicating.

You probably need to segment your channels and platforms the same way you segment your markets. We’ve forgotten segmentation because we believe we can now reach every individual customer so we have a segment of one and therefore we don’t need to segment it. So segmentation is dead would be another headline I’m sure, like brand management is dead.

But we need to be able to segment consumers’ 24 hours. We need to be able to segment channels, segment platforms and then be a little smarter in terms of how we get the message across rather than expect to do everything in every platform.

Darren:

Well the way this occurs, Mahesh, is we get a lot of marketers that are trying to do a thousand things with a very limited budget and so what they’ve done is effectively spread the budget very thin and done none of it well.

One of the things I always ask is ‘have you actually looked at indexing your audience against each of these channels?’ because it would seem to me that using the channels that have the higher proportion of your audience engaged would then make it more relevant.

Mahesh:

Absolutely.

Darren:

Then the second filter is context. Is it appropriate for you to be engaging in a conversation or presenting them with something in that particular channel at that particular time in a way that they’re open to it?

Mahesh:

In fact you’ve triggered off another thought: my peeve about content. That’s another word that’s been bandied around so much and I say you’ve got to look at context first and then content. When X becomes N then context becomes content but if you don’t understand what the context is, if you don’t know what the context is and you don’t know the value of X , therefore you can’t define your content.

I’ve seen marketers wanting to put forth more and more content without necessarily saying what is the context of this? Is this relevant to the customer? But I think somewhere we got sucked into this vortex of, as someone used this expression, ‘trying to get a sip out of the fire hydrant’ of information and messaging and communication.

We have all these fire hydrants of communication but people are not able to even get one sip of that message across and that, to me, is a very, very dangerous trend that is happening in marketing.

Darren:

Well, Mahesh, I’m afraid we’re going to have to leave it there but it’s been a terrific conversation about brands, about purpose, and about marketing in general. I want to thank you and look forward to being able to share your eBook through LinkedIn.

I’ve got a question for you though just before we finish up. What do you think is the best brand example in the world?

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About Darren Woolley

Darren is considered a thought leader on all aspects of marketing management. A Problem Solver, Negotiator, Founder & Global CEO of TrinityP3 - Marketing Management Consultants, founding member of the Marketing FIRST Forum and Author. He is also a Past-Chair of the Australian Marketing Institute, Ex-Medical Scientist and Ex-Creative Director. And in his spare time he sleeps. Darren's Bio Here Email: darren@trinityp3.com

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