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Marketing – The Epilogue.

September 5, 2010




Impossible !           How can it be possible ?           Only a fool would say that .     


  It is the end of the world !!! 


These would be the words that will come out from our mouth especially if we are a marketing or a sales person. Not that we want to appear positive in front of the rest of the world  to say that . However most of us would not even dream or wish to hear  about it . It would be as tragic as Titanic hitting an iceberg and sinking in the sea taking all its passengers with it.

Marketing is a Dynamic process . It is a process which is constantly on move like river flowing from the mountain . It never stops until it meets the Ocean where it ceases to be the river , its present stage. It has now become a tiny part of the vast Ocean . Similarly a product or the services to be marketed keeps on moving from hands to hands in the market until it is consumed . Well does that means an end to the product nor the whole Marketing process. What it means is the end of the marketing process of that product which now has been consumed by the customer.

Does it mean Marketing will continue to exist in the future too. Yes will be the answer . Only its form will change. Marketing and its tools today is different than what it was 10 years ago and it will change 10 years hence. Let me give an example. When I worked for Citibank in Delhi as a sales rep. in its credit card division in 1993, I used to visit different offices of companies and approach their employees. I had  to convince them to buy the credit card by telling them its benefits and uses . I have to fill out a form , take their signature , collect all the documents required and submit to my office for further processing. It would take then at least  a  month before the customer gets his card delivered to him from Citibank at Chennai. In my work I had the backing of my office and advertisements of Citibank in form  billboards and in Media to spread awareness of the Citibank credit card to the prospective customers. Then the marketing network of Citibank was only limited to few Metro cities in India to avoid the risk of Default customers and strict government regulations for foreign banks.I was told that 10 years hence all the sales rep. like me selling credit cards would be out of job and the market Citibank will have better and more advance tools to sell its credit cards. And rightly so.

The fact is that the survival of marketing depends upon the Company and its Management . The market in India has changed and grown a lot in last 20 years after the liberalization began in India . The Consumer awareness has also spread. The competition is tough . The product difference is very less.  Above all the rise in numbers  & the income level of customers and also the reduction of product price has given tremendous boost to consumerism. The only thing that can persuade customers to buy a product now is Marketing .

The Concept of Marketing has now changed. It is now more than just sales and advertisement. After sales service or customer satisfaction has now become  more important now to retain the customer. A customer now can easily afford two or more television sets , mobile phones , air-conditioners , refrigerators or cars . Therefore the television company has keep its existing customer in a good mood i.e. satisfied so that he approaches it again to buy the second television. Marketing tools like taking survey , sending mailers informing of the latest and upcoming company’s products has become important for the company make sure that the customer buys its product the second or the third time.

It is not that the companies has not taken appropriate steps to meet new challenges. If you step into any office of a company you will find different sections like Marketing , Sales , Advertising , Customer Care  and Help Centre and so on. New sections in marketing department are being created to cope with the developments in the market which is changing very fast. Technology has always been an important and reliable ally of Marketing. Information Technology has been the single most important ally of marketing. The growth in the use of computers both within and outside the company has completely wiped out the traditional marketing concepts . Unlike previously Customers and other database can easily be stored  and transferred to any place in the world where the company office is located or even to a laptop computer anywhere in the world. Communication has become easier and faster between the company and customer with the growth of mobiles and computers.

New Marketing concepts like Internet Marketing, Home Business or M l M , Affiliate marketing on computer are coming up. Training for these concepts are also being provided  on computer through E- BOOKS , Daily – E-Mailer , Audio & videos recorded or  live . A product can easily be bought and sold on computer and later delivered to customer doorsteps . Direct Marketing is Passé . Smart looking Door to door salesmen who used to hound the housewives constantly ringing their doorbell will be extinct in the near future. Now you can apply for a Citibank credit card by just filling a form on the computer.  No need for any salesman to approach you. Banking can be done on computer and goods bought and sold through their credit cards. Advertising is done on computer.  E- mail marketing has completely put our postal service out of job. Customer service is now done on computer as complaints and feed back can be given on computer. Surveys can be easily taken on computer . Imagine what a life would be for us without a computer. Miserable.

It is too early to predict the death of a Salesman especially in developing countries like India with high unemployment rate. Marketing is dead is a Joker’s cry . Market continues to exist as long as buyers and sellers exist . So will be the Marketing. Marketing and Market are like body and soul.The body is lifeless without the soul. So will be the Market without the Marketing. What will happen is that the form of Market will change and the methods & tools of Marketing will change. Initially when a customer has to go a Vegetable market to buy vegetables , Garments market to buy clothes, furniture market to buy furniture and so on. These markets were located at different parts of a city thus consuming his lots of time and money. It also affected his choice too. Later on the marketing gurus came up with an Idea of having all these items in one place thus reducing the customer’s time and money. The concept of a Shopping Mall took birth . Now days these shopping malls are spread over thousands of square feet  selling almost any product that a customer can think about. To add to the customer’s comfort he is provided with a shopping cart so that he does have to bear the weight of goods he has purchased. Furthermore  thanks to Credit Cards , the customer does not have to carry money  . He can purchase all the products using the plastic money. Since all these Malls have Multiplexes and restaurants , he along with his family can watch movies and dine in between while shopping. In case of families with small children there are kinder gardens  in these malls to take care of these children when there parents are busy shopping. Shopping now has become much more enjoyable and comfortable for the shoppers that they have never dreamt before. Thanks to the creative minds of these marketing gurus.

However these Gurus did not stop here. To add to the comfort of these shoppers , marketing on computer was introduced . Now the computer has become the market place. Almost all these shopping malls has their products listed on computers with their price and availability details.  They even have the product features and its photograph too . The customer just has to click on the product code , read all the information and features of the product  , and click on the Buy tab. The goods are bought once he gives his credit cars details. In matter of few minutes all the shopping is done right sitting from his living room of what would have taken hours for him in a shopping mall walking from one place to another. The products purchased would be delivered to his doorsteps in few hours in case the Mall is located at his home town. This is the present form of elite online shopping . Online Companies like E-bay , Amazon  have made millions and billions of dollars in just few years  and have spread all over the world. Auctions are being held online. What more can you ask for ?

The future of marketing is as strong as our desire to purchase and possess . After all it is our desire and needs that gave birth to Marketing and is the key its evolution. We could only visualize of what kind of desires and needs we will have in the future. It depends upon various other factors like Science & technology, social and Political structure , discoveries & inventions ,  Economic  development and above all our perception to see things then . The Market & Marketing tools and the management would evolve accordingly in their quest to satisfy the customers. Only one development could write the final chapter to my topic . That is our infatuation with self – destruction. A nuclear war that could destroy the whole mankind and all his desires and wants along with it. As there is an old saying in India  “ If there is no Bamboo there will be no flute ” .  Only then we could have the final chapter of Marketing ,  Marketing – The Epilogue.








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