Marketing, by nature, is constantly evolving in response to business environment, consumers, contemporary culture, technology and other forces shaping the world. The past decade’s frenetic pace of change has made Marketing one of the most exciting and challenging functions in business and commerce, one that’s continuously morphing. Consider the ‘Chief Marketing Officer’ – no other role in companies today has seen more pivots of definition and purpose. Some abolished the role entirely, launching instead chief transformation officers or digital officers, only to backtrack on the decision a year or two later and resurrect the CMO. A noted Australian marketing professor and writer, Mark Ritson once said at a conference session about ‘making marketing great again’: “You should know what the f**k marketing is before you start to karate chop it into something else.” Ritson argued that people are forgetting what marketing “actually is”.
Over the past several months, Brand Equity spoke with leaders of the country’s biggest brands, marketers who ace the test of time and economic tides, to understand what it takes to be a Marketer in our tech-fueled, hyper-consumption age. And we decoded how they craft winning strategies to build brands of today and tomorrow. These learnings distill to one key attribute: What today’s marketer needs most is clarity.
Suresh Narayanan, managing director of Nestle India, summed up the challenge when he told us, “There is nothing constant except change. The time in which we live is energetic, compelling, sometimes chaotic and yet inspiring… But when uncertainty envelops the horizon, clarity is in danger of being blurred and everything seems imperative, important and daunting!” You have to be seen moving fast, ‘breaking the Internet’ and other things. But change for change’s sake is a pit-fall too many fall prey to. Or, as Britannia’s managing director Varun Berry put it, ‘staying invested in what made the brand successful and not changing for the sake of change’ is imperative to future-proof businesses and brands.
Hindustan Unilever’s chief executive, Sanjiv Mehta echoes these sentiments when he told Brand Equity that the essence of any brand that’s built to last is in the marketer’s ability to change with the times but “remain rooted” in purpose and values. He quoted the noted American author Jim Collins, ‘To be built to last, you must be built to change.’ But, he added, “We must also understand that business is a paradox – lasting stability and continuous change.”
Maintaining the balance between stability and change, though, is easier said than done in current times given that brands outwardly seen as averse to constant transformation, misfits in the era of “move fast and break things”, are immediately cast as slow on the ball, unimaginative, and passive. In truth, clarity and constancy when everything seems to be in a state of warp is exactly what today’s marketers need more of.
For three decades, it has been our endeavor at Brand Equity to chronicle and celebrate the work of marketers with 20/20 vision who are building lasting brands, which are relevant to current and future generations – Gen X, Y, Z and whichever catchy cohort label that comes next.
Brand Equity, the marketing and advertising magazine of The Economic Times, has been at the vanguard of bringing to the forefront these stories of real excellence from the marketing universe. Now, at the start of a fresh decade, we are launching a new edition of the Brand Equity Marketing Awards to recognize the contributions and work of outstanding practitioners in marketing and advertising.
By distinguishing and celebrating the best cases of hard-working creativity our aim is to encourage also the country’s brightest minds to make Marketing a growth engine of business in challenging times and to make Marketing great again.
Will Your Work Triumph?
The Brand Equity Marketing Awards by The Economic Times is the country’s most prestigious award for marketing excellence, with the best case studies meticulously picked by the industry’s foremost practitioners and business leaders. The 2020 edition of the awards, with presenting sponsor ZEE and associate sponsor Tik Tok, reflects the entire breadth of the marketing universe in eight core categories.
Categories & Juries
A jury of industry leaders will deliberate and pick the 2020 winners – the year’s best Integrated Marketing Campaign, Brand Launch, Innovation, Print Campaign, Television Campaign, Digital Marketing Campaign, Mobile Marketing Campaign, Brand Experience & Activation Campaign, and Marketing Excellence. The award ceremony will take place in April in Mumbai, where industry luminaries, the country’s biggest advertisers and the finest marketing minds of India will be present.
For the complete list of award categories and important dates, details on eligibility, and deadlines, please visit www.bemarketingawards.com