I had the opportunity to visit the Surajkund Crafts Mela. If you are wondering what this is, a quick introduction below.
The Surajkund Crafts Mela
In the backdrop of the lake, during the spring season, every year from February 1–15, a colorful traditional craft festival of India is held in the precincts of Surajkund. This fair was first started in 1987. Traditional craftsman (artists, painters, weavers and sculptors) from all parts of the country participate in this annual celebration named as the “Surajkund Crafts Mela” or “Surajkund Designer’s Village”. Designer items created by 50 best designers and craftsmen in wood, metal, bamboo, iron, glass, textiles and stone can be seen here. This Mela (fair) is visited by lovers of arts and crafts from all over the world. The fair is held with a different theme every year on Indian culture and crafts [ Src: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surajkund#Surjakund_mela ]
The Marketing Saga
One thing which stood out was the marketing strategies adopted. And here’s why?
• The basic and most important facts:
o There is a finite time period [Feb 1 to Feb 15, 2011] which is available for sales; and hence marketing is vital to attract the customer
o There is so much variety, diversity and competition; and hence marketing is the key to make a sale
o Every customer is valuable – Because he / she have the potential to directly contribute to the top line. And once a customer is lost, he / she will never really come back. Simply because from the customer point of view, it’s really easy to find something else of personal choice, an alternate venue and avenue to lighten the purse string…
o There are limited resources for marketing – Essentially Budgets, Real estate space and Human resources. So one needs to be creative to adopt the right marketing strategy with these frugal resources
• The skills exhibited by most of these individuals responsible for their business were impressive – And these are neither trained nor professional marketing nor sales individuals, but normal individuals who acquired these skills by necessity and by experience. And what did they do?
o Effective utilization of real estate space to showcase their best products to catch the customer’s attention – usually at the entry
o Customer Segmentation – A quick look at the customer and the key information is processed – “Essentially how much can he / she potentially spend?”. And how they were right in their assessment almost all the time is really impressive. Guess there is something about experience in understanding human nature and behaviors – which is so important and exclusive to the marketing and sales functions!!!
o Differential Marketing Strategies based on the Customer Segmentation – And the range of creativity that was at display was awesome. These differences were visible in
+ The tone
+ The pitch
+ The style
+ The words
+ The language
+ The assurances
+ The features highlighted
+ The time and efforts invested
+ The additional products that followed
+ And then of course, the price quoted!!!
o During a marketing pitch, the following stood out
+ Polite Conversations (Always!!!)
+ Clear Objective on what needs to be achieved
+ Well thought out dialogue
+ Rehearsed communications
+ Precise articulation (And in very few instances, random twaddle) – Both obviously aligned to cater to the customer sensibilities
+ A sense of importance to the customer – Almost as if to convey “You are important to us. We value your time. But we value your money even more” 🙂
• And so the key take-a-ways:
o Marketing is a skill. One which some are born with (almost as if it’s a part of their genetic constitution), one which some learn by circumstance, choice or lack of choice. And it is honed by repeated practice, successes, failures and experience
o Comprehension of the pulse of the customer is a very important pre-requisite in defining the right marketing strategy
o A customer-centric marketing strategy is usually always effective ; One which will produce the desired results and help achieve the stated objectives
And all this made me realize how important and integral marketing is in our lives – Not just for individuals associated with formal marketing roles, but for everyone of us…
Do we all not need to market ourselves (irrespective of the roles that we play) as a part of our professional lives?
Do we all not need to market ourselves (& possibly our spouses, siblings, children & …..) as a part of our personal lives?
And, the answer to both is “Yes”….
Probably we don’t plan,
Probably we are not aware,
Probably we are not conscious,
Probably we don’t really intend to,
But the reality is, “We Do!!!”
So in conclusion, just like there will always be a child in all of us, there will always be a marketer in all of us…
Originally published here