‘Be Indian, Buy Indian’ (BIBI) is the branding mantra for ‘Vocal for Local’ (VfL) among a large swathe of Indian business and talking-heads. That not only misses the point of value addition that branding adds to a product but also trivialises the potential brands have for establishing India as a global powerhouse.
Globally, the response to the Covid-19 pandemic has, in most countries, been a lockdown of nearly all economic activity and shelter-in-place rules. In this environment, the hunker-down, increase share-of-voice strategy of previous recessions is unlikely to work, for the following reasons:
Given the extraordinary focus on interaction and transactionality, the 21st century marketer can well be bemused and wonder what, or if any, role does branding have in a digital economy. This dilemma is not misplaced since the vast majority of literature, academic as well as general, on digital marketing is obsessively focused on 'conversion', often construed as a shorthand for sales.
Imagine a situation in the real world. One has researched extensively for a product one needs, compared notes with friends, searched high and low for the best price and finally has decided to buy the product. The person goes to the shop to get the product only to have a sign staring at their face that says the shop has relocated to a new place with no new address provided.
The first challenge facing marketers is reaching their potential customers to be able to sell to them. In the analog world marketers achieved this through advertising – on mass media, on retail shelves, on the road, pretty much everywhere consumers congregated.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a powerful digital marketing tool. Most practitioners of SEO focus on the arcana of the practice – keyword density, tagging, recursive urls, etc. These are important. However, often SEO is implemented after a web site has been created, missing out on strategizing the search plan, which should be the basis of the implementation.
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