Clarity, analytical ability and creativity are timeless marketing skills: Sudhir Sitapati

India’s consumer market is changing very rapidly, but the marketing fundamentals will remain the same, noted Sudhir Sitapati, Managing Director and CEO of Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL), at the unveiling of the Pitch Madison Advertising Report 2022 in Mumbai on Wednesday. He shared interesting and enlightening insights from the “New Marketing PlayBook” with the audience.

Sitapati’s session was centered on 3 points – which will never change in marketing; what could change and what will surely change.

Fundamentals, Sitapati said, make up 90-95% of the marketing world. According to Sitapati, the fundamentals of marketing consist of – Insight, Positioning, Proposition & Big Idea. “They have remained the same for the past 150 years or so. These fundamentals are 90% of the marketing game and they will not change,” he noted.

“Marketers need to work on the other 5%. This would require three core skills – strategic clarity, an algorithmic problem-solving approach, and creativity. If you have these three skills, you will be at the top of your job. If you don’t have one, you need to improve your skills to stay competitive,” Sitapati argued.

Sitapati went on to explain that the world of marketing still requires one to have these skills, but some job-related paraphernalia camouflages them. However, he noted that “those overhead disappears very quickly. The pandemic has made the paraphernalia disappear quickly, making those skills deeper.”

Continuing, Sitapati noted that the digital revolution falls under the “could change” category. He elaborated on this point with the help of two Cinthol advertisements – one from yesteryear featuring Vinod Khanna and the other from the recent past. Citing these examples, Sitapati explained that while the fundamentals of soap advertising have remained the same, centering on masculinity, the very definition of masculinity has changed drastically over time.

Sitapati also explained how six-second video formats are likely to outpace 30- or 60-second TV commercials. “A lot of things are personalized and most things and processes may not be needed in the future,” he noted, referring to aspects of marketing he believes are sure to change.

“The approach to marketing is changing rapidly with the emergence of digital advertising.” Sitapati also stressed the need for self-improvement and the willingness to adapt to viewpoints.

“Clarity, analytical skills and creativity will remain timeless skills. This is my big bet in new age marketing,” Sitapati noted as he wrapped up the session.

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William L. Hart