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Social Cause Marketing - The Regis Group Inc

Social Cause Marketing - The Regis Group Inc

INTERVIEW and focus on

INTERVIEW and focus on intellectual and selfactualization issues? It is the role of the leader to appropriate this role normally. In the English print media, the Times of India is the leader. The paper therefore appropriates a leadership stance and position in its campaigns, be it ëLead Indiaí or ëTeach Indiaí. When the leader in a category takes up such campaigns, spread, reach and credibility levels are far higher. There certainly is a relationship between leadership stance, CSR and the age life-cycle of a brand and the campaigns it can get away with. What will be the success of causerelated marketing programs, if they are initiated by a company at introduction or growth stage? Will be weak, will suffer on credibility scores, and will most likely flounder for most of its part. Therefore everyone cannot attempt this. Brand heritage is important. Brands go through the standard stage of being a novice, a student, a learner and finally a teacher. Only when a brand attains the teacher stage can it attempt such campaigns. Brands with grey hair to boast of get away best with such campaigns. Tata Tea is one such. So are Surf and Lifebuoy! Just the way a celebrity is commissioned to endorse a brand, should a social cause be endorsed by a powerful brand? Will such endorsements bring desirable results? What if a social cause is not endorsed by a not so well-known brand? Not necessary at all. It is only incidental that this campaign of voting with gusto has been endorsed by Tata Tea. The Polio drops campaign of the Government of India and the NAB campaign on eye donation have not needed commercial brands to endorse them. In fact, when noble causes get touched by brands, more often than not, they lose sanctity. Studies reveal that social marketing helps in differentiating oneís brands, increasing market share and gain more brand loyalty. Despite these benefits, social marketing spending is less when compared to conventional marketing. What are your views on it? I agree though this is yet to be audited and proven. The cycle time of delivery is a delayed cycle time as well. It takes long for such campaigns to deliver. Brand Managers need patience and the will to harvest after a long time cycle. Impatient brand managers donít get much out of this. The fifth P of marketing here is Patience with a big P! Do we need to exclusively have something called social marketing, when the businesses in general are expected to be socially responsible and ethically sound? Why do you think there is a demarcation between commercial marketing and social marketing? This demarcation is there, but will blur in the long term. All marketing operates within the context of society. All marketing will therefore have to adopt stances that are friendly and in sync with consumer needs, wants, desires and aspirations.Over a period of time, all marketing will be social marketing. How far can social marketing programs in India be successful in terms of creating a social impact/ change? They have a big role to play. Brands need to discover that they need to give back to society what they take from it. This is going to be a brand sustainable practice in the long run. It cannot be forgotten or ignored. Brand will create change ñ in attitude, in behavior and in terms of sociocultural impact. As a new marketing initiative, will cause-related marketing approach be successful in India? It will. This is just the beginning. Watch out for more. Sociallyostracised categories such as cigarettes, liquor, gutka will take up more of these. Look out for borderline categories such as oils, sugars and petroleum to take up more of these. The interview was conducted by R Naga Sandhya and P Girija IBSCDC (www.ibscdc.org) for their case study on “TATA Tea’s Jaago Re! campaign: The Social Cause Marketing Initiatives and Longterm Branding Initiatives” Reference # 03M-2009-09-05-06 SEPTEMBER 2009 32 EFFECTIVE EXECUTIVE

S CHAND SEPTEMBER 2009 33 EFFECTIVE EXECUTIVE

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