Delivering his comments, Srinivasan K Swamy, World Marketing Congress Chairman and Chairman & Managing Director, BBDO RK SWAMY said: "The AIMA World Marketing Congress this year raised the bar to explore various dimensions of marketing not just in India, but globally. The basic concepts of marketing have not changed in the last few decades but their implementation has. Marketing strategies start even before the product is launched, through the purchase and by means of post purchase offers. Marketing has evolved in continuum and is really now in a position to produce exponential results. Innovation is the key driver in marketing and what is most needed is anticipating the needs of the consumer even before they realize it." Citing various case studies, Swamy also emphasized on the importance of mass media even when social media has gained tremendous momentum.
Rajiv Vastupal, President, AIMA added: "AIMA's World Marketing Congress aimed to bring to focus various marketing issues and speakers from different fields to give their perspective on the same. With the world economy at a low and companies looking for ways to leverage their brand, it is an appropriate time to look at the power of marketing, especially when the consumer is in a wait-and-watch mode and difficult to convince. The congress aimed to dig deep into various aspects like use of social media for marketing, rural marketing, marketing and political parties, among other interesting topics."
For the first time, spirituality made an appearance at the congress with His Holiness H.H. Radhanath SwamiJi emphasizing the fundamentals of marketing with values intact. Delivering the keynote address, Swamiji said: "Marketing in today's world is not just about the product; it is about the culture in which the product is marketed. It is extremely important for marketers and companies to understand what is meaningful and what touches the hearts of the consumers, keeping in mind the cultural context."
The first business session of the congress saw G. Krishnan, Former CEO, Aaj Tak; and Dr. Kalyan Raman, Affiliated Professor of Marketing, Kellogg School of Management & Northwestern University talk about the marketing strategies for the fast changing world. The session on ‘Marketing Political Parties' saw Members of Parliament debating the need for marketing for political parties and its impact. The eminent panel included Mr. Prabhu Chawla, Editorial Director, The New Indian Express Group; D Raja, National General Secretary, CPI; Baijayant Panda, Member of Parliament; and Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, Member of Parliament; amongst others. The session on ‘Marketing of Anti Corruption Agenda' was given by Subramaniuim Swamy, President Janta Party.
The business sessions on the second day ranged from rural marketing, web/e commerce and exploring creativity, to distribution channels, consumer behaviour and SME Marketing. Speaking about extracting the full power of rural marketing, Siva Nagarajan, MD, Mother Dairy said: "Rural India holds a big opportunity for marketers. It is extremely important for marketers to understand the rural mindset, their income and spending patterns, penetration of various products in the market and most importantly, give value back to the producer. For brands to set up a strong base in a rural market, it is essential to realize that the rural consumer is not a poor urban consumer. Marketers need to have an interdependent eco-system which involves players like Government, NGO's, banks, etc. We cannot look at price-led innovation but rather product value. Apart from vivid demos, rural marketing and brand building involves educating the trade and the influencers and not just regular above-the-line activities."
This was also the third year running that AIMA announced the AIMA-R.K Swamy High Performance Brand Award. This year, the award was bagged by Wipro Technologies while the first and second runners up were Axis Bank and Voltas Ltd., respectively.
Both days of the conference saw a panel of speakers from various sectors exchanging thoughts about the changing dynamics of marketing in today's scenario and the need of the hour. The speakers included Srinivasan K. Swamy, Conference Chairman and Chairman & Managing Director R.K SWAMY BBDO Pvt. Ltd.; Ramesh Jude Thomas, President & CKO, Equitor Consulting; His Holiness HH Radhanath SwamiJi; Dr. Kalyan Raman, Affiliated Professor of Marketing, Kellogg School of Management & Northwestern University; Virginia Sharma, Vice President & CMO, IBM India; Aditya Ghosh, President, Indigo Airlines; Alok Bhardwaj, Senior Vice President, Canon; Nita Kapoor, EVP Marketing & Corporate Affairs, Godfrey Philips India; Siva Nagarajan, MD, Mother Dairy; Mayank Pareek, Managing Executive Officer, Maruti Suzuki India; Vishnu Mohan, CEO Asia Pacific, Havas Media; R Balakrishnan, Chairman & Chief Creative Officer, Lowe Lintas India; Paritosh Joshi, Chief Executive Officer, Star CJ Network India; Amrit Thomas, CMO, United Spirits; Anurag Batra, Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, Exchange4media Group; S. Swaminathan, Managing Director, Hansa Customer Equity; Deepak Pramanik, Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, AIDIAS Consulting Group; Rajiv Vastupal, President, AIMA; and Rekha Sethi, Director General, AIMA.