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Promotion wise and Product foolish! April 2, 2011

Posted by aglakadam in Life and all, Management, National Issues.
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With the World cup final on cards, the cricket heat is on its peak. The semi final between India & Pakistan was seen as a mega event by most of the Indians. Cricket stadium of Mohali were overcrowded. The stand tickets were sold at an astronomically high price tag, just imagine Rs. 1500000/- for a ticket worth Rs. 15000/- only! Nothing ‘black’ about it; the sale was all open and widely available! A few tickets were sold with a commitment that they would get the seat from where Amir Khan would be easily seen enjoying the match! What a wonderful selling point!

The world cup cricket actually has been a mega market for a variety of products in the country. The semi final and the final matches are avenues for stock clearance for these marketers. From beer to chocklet’s, from posters to t-shirts, everything consumable found a huge market on the day India & Pakistan played the world cup semi final match. I am told there was a tea vendor who earned a revenue of approximately Rs. 200,000 in one single day! This amount is more than what he actually earned over a business period of six months! He was smart enough to cash the opportunity and had operational 5 tea stalls around the stadium!

Make no mistake about it, cricket rules Indian masses & markets! Whenever cricket is played, India has a large congregation of eyeballs. With so much of prospective customer density per unit cricketing hour India has the ability to brand and sell almost anything under the sun which may include the wada pao to car, ice cream to pickles, mobiles to cars & from dreams to hope! There were sellers who could sell vehicle parking space with pseudo safety. In Mumbai there is a child care center which earned huge revenues, because parent’s wanted to handover their kids in safe hands when they were actually enjoying the cricket match!

There is a flood of TV commercials & news paper advertisements while cricket is being played these days. Almost every consumer product was seen attracting a buyer. Offers were plenty. Almost all celebrities on the media got an opportunity to endorse a brand or two! Social networking sites saw their revenues shooting up beyond the roof! Off the ground retired players like Anil Kumble was selling Wipro’ Santoor brand or performing as a specialist anchor on a television sop and in the stadium hundreds of brands were being promoted by the playing cricketers themselves! Even the grass on the ground near the pitch was painted with brands!

Not just in the stands and on the media, a lot of sales happened on the internet aswell. ICC had so much to auction while the cricket tournament! From the coin used for the toss in the match to a cricket bat signed by the players, everything was on auction! I understand that there were thousands of bidders for everything that was on sale. A 200 rupee ball with which the match was played has been bid for almost 10 Lac rupees!

Many online sales sites made huge bucks out of the cricketing fever. Live score on SMS was sold like a hot cake which converted into revenue in millions! There is a famous story about a small girl in US who found two interesting shape stones while coming home from school. She thought of selling it and put the photographs of these stones on the online trading site ebay.com. She was surprised to have a few bidders for these stones, that too for 3-4 dollars! Direct cash out of raw stones!

When Indian and Pakistani cricketers were playing on the ground there was a fortune teller who was selling future to the audience! Local news from Mohali tells that even God was on sale! Two cricket enthusiast ladies were tricked by some vagabonds outside the cricketing event. The ladies were told that if they close their eyes for ten minutes and chant a particular mantra, God will help India win the match! While the docile ladies closed their eyes the guys made themselves rich with cash from the ladies purse!

Smart marketers these days have ventured to defy the fundamental principles of marketing. Philip Kotlar identified “need” as the core origin of all sales but this is not true now. Today we see products being pumped into the households for no need absolutely! Take a trip to a mall or a multi brand retail outlet and see people shopping purely out of “impulse” instinct! The attractive displays and the exciting offers compel an individual to own a product which he/she my actually not need it. Only back home one realizes that the purchase could have been very well avoided or lived without! On such occasions like cricket tournaments products are sold more by managing & manipulating the impulse and less by way of satisfying the need!

The lesson learnt is that everything under the sun sells! Infact you can sell nothing and still earn money! You are just required to have a proper mix of product packaging, branding and placement! Be there at the right place at the right time and sell whatever you want to, even your used slippers!

Such mega events like cricket tournaments in India attract a lot of good and bad sellers in the market place. It is not just possible to stop people from selling incorrect or inferior products / services. Such sales eventually results in the erosion of general trust but who cares! The seller as well enters the short term market with a short term agenda. Fast buck is all that is looked out for.

“Market’s tragedy is that we get sold too soon and wise too late.” If you intend to make money don’t let this opportunity go away. The only need is to have the saleable idea behind the product. Never will you find such a place where anything & everything sells! Go and get your booty now. On the other hand if you are a customer, better to be a good buyer & identify the right product. Never get carried away by the place, price & promotion of the product. Don’t be promotion wise and product foolish.

Ajit Varwandkar
Email : info@fsindia.in

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