What Constitutes Marketing Aptitude?

Hi readers,

This is another subject that my sales  team members would often take up for discussion during our Saturday meetings.

I based my assessment of marketing aptitude on my personal experience, inputs from peers who had impeccable record in marketing and by developing an understanding of the subject by observing my VP marketing at work.

According to me, the 9 key attributes that constitute marketing aptitude are

  1. Business and operational savvy. Visceral understanding of what constitutes business success, strong finance streak, capable of P&L responsibility and flawless execution.
  2. Passion for the product. Passion for every aspect of the product or service the company markets. Detailed knowledge of the competitive marketplace and what it takes to win.
  3. Big picture. Keen understanding of all the moving parts of the entire industry’s food chain, logistics, and infrastructure.
  4. Inspirational and insightful. A visionary capable of big insightful ideas, plus recognizing and inspiring them (and innovation) in others.
  5. Customer savvy. Passion and empathy for the customer relationship and the user experience.
  6. Promotion savvy. Intuitive understanding of what it takes to get above the noise, create a buzz, and build a brand. Detailed knowledge of all major promotion vehicles from grass roots to mass market.
  7. Communications skills. Adept at communicating vision, ideas, and emotions to a broad range of audiences from the board of directors and employees to customers and partners.
  8. Leadership skills. Capable of driving diverse groups of highly opinionated individuals to consensus and action.
  9. Left brain – right brain balance. Marketing intelligence combines the ability to think, reason, and act logically and methodically, with the ability to connect emotionally and inspirationally with one’s self and others.

Women centric rape law the need of the hour

A simple rule that gives higher weight to the claims of a rape by a woman ( a woman has more to lose being raped; have you ever heard of a man being raped??), followed by swift presentation of DNA results by an independent lab, within 12 hours of the charges being files ( charges to be filed immediately, WITHOUT cross questioning of the woman, with proof of burden on the rape accused).

You might argue, What about the rights of the man? To this my response would be- the man would have to be very very careful henceforth- if AND only if his intentions with the woman that he is with are clear, should he, and would he, dare take the matters further than they need to- yes its true, this stringent law may be construed as draconian for men, but again I ask- how many men are raped?? It is true that a strict law, that has a strong bias FOR Women, will probably hang like a sword of Damocles over the heads of ALL men (me included ) in our country, BUT then in order to put the fear of GOD and DEATH in an entire population of testosterone charged , frustrated, sexist men in India, THIS is perhaps, THE ONLY ANSWER.

My argument for the law being biased to women, and for burden of proof falling on men is this-

Under what situations would a woman bring rape charges against the perpetrators? They could be any one of the following

  • Her sentiments and emotions have been abused by the man that she is with- she has been emotionally exploited, and finally sexually exploited, with the man simply walking away from her when his lust was satisfied- SO WHO IS THE VICTIM here- the WOMAN.
  • The woman is kidnapped by a stranger, a  man (or men), threatened and violated- she is left emotionally drained and physically abused- SO WHO IS THE VICTIM here- the WOMAN.
  • The woman is kidnapped by a known man (or men), threatened and violated- she is left emotionally drained and physically abused- SO WHO IS THE VICTIM here- the WOMAN.

NOW let’s understand, under what circumstances would a woman connive to falsely implicate a man?

  • The woman has been paid off by someone who harbors a personal grudge against the accused- so the woman falsely accuses the man of raping her.

Note- Since the burden of proof is on the man, he can derive support from the DNA report that will be made available to the presiding judge within the stipulated 12 hours- here you might argue that the independent lab in which the DNA samples were analyzed could be open to malpractice and the report doctored; yes that’s true, given the rampant corruption in our system, BUT that probability is small price to pay for a long term redress of an ineffective law that has no teeth. Remember – NO SYSTEM is 100% perfect, BUT a toothless law is better consigned to the dust bin than rolled out for the benefit of rapists and politicians.

SO WHO IS THE VICTIM here- probably the MAN.

A score of 3 versus 1 is enough to warrant a law that has a strong bias FOR WOMEN, and where the BURDEN OF PROOF is on the rape accused, THE MAN!!

AND may I also suggest that when delivering verdicts, the following may be enforced

  • After presentation of the DNA results, the results may be taken as conclusive proof of the crime, with the accused being asked to disprove it within 15 days.
  • Failure to provide adequate proof of innocence by the accused within 15 days be taken as admission of guilt ( too bad you did not have an alibi, could not provide 5 witnesses who could testify to your being present with them when the crime occurred) and the sentence passed on the spot.
  • Choice of sentence may be given to the accused- hanging, lethal injection, or by firing squad, AND  to be implemented within 12 hours.
  • The victim, her family to be given the choice to see the sentence being carried out.

NOTE- some sentences to be done publicly to have the desired effect on would be rapists and their families – onus also to be on the immediate families of rapists.

Why are our politicians really pushing for chemical castration for rapists?

National media in India is continuously running news feed of leading politicians from the ruling party speaking of commitment to introducing chemical castration for rapists and molesters.

Please note : This response has come forth after deliberations running into some 12 days now after the protesters took to the streets in India. 12 days, may please be noted.

What do you think has been happening over these 12 days?

Well here is my take on what has been happening.

The politicians, ALL POLITICIANS, have been talking behind closed doors and counting the number of rapists, and criminals in their ranks.

In order to pacify and lull the angry mob on the street, they ALL have come together to think of a clever hood wink, that will appease the mob , AND  provide an escape route , NOT only to the rapists and criminals in their respective party ranks, BUT will also enable rapists and criminals to use rotten, corrupt judicial and police system to practically get away with murder.

Let me explain how-

  • First of all, the “new” law will definitely mention the word “rarest of rare”- the description of this sentence will be so vague and open to a million interpretations, that in the judicial rigmarole, the essence of the case, the plight of the victim will be lost in never ending , useless banter, that will veer towards protection of the “legal” rights of the rapist, and as usual, the case will go on forever- justice will again be denied , having been lost in literal translation, and the victim will be victimized by the system, penned by our “law makers”, the politicians, YET AGAIN!
  • If the first hurdle would have been passed, and the judge were to pass swift judgement ( as is being spoken off in shrill voices to get brownie points from the angry mob), the system would look something like this- the chemical castration injections would have to be documented for the courts, and signed off by the police officer in charge , along with the government medical officer who will administer the injection. NOW, lets look at the scenario of the rapist politician who gets convicted of his crime (statistical probability of that happening, extremely poor , given our pathetic , corruption ridden system). This politician uses, coercion, corruption and inducements to get the police official and the medical officer to sign off on the dotted line; best case scenario for the politician is that no chemical is in fact injected, and worse case scenario, he gets injected with water and its signed off as chemical! NOW if the politician can do it, so can the criminal, because the police official and the medical officer are such pathetic representatives of what we stand for, have little or no courage of conviction, that they would sell their souls for crumbs- hence in all probability, the rapist will be able to gather enough from  friends, family and his KHAP panchayat, that he too like the rapist politician, will be able to walk free, providing the mirage to the mob of justice having been served by the Government. AGAIN the implementation of justice will have been found seriously wanting, with NO ACCOUNTABILITY on part of the law makers, law implementer and the judicial system. AND YES you need to understand that for chemical castration to work, injections have to be administered well over 4 times! AND also be mindful, that in ALL PROBABILITY, the police officer and the medical officer in charge of this initiative, would be men, sexist, sympathetic to the “poor rapist”!
  • The politicians and their favored spin doctors are busy playing mind games with the mob and the angry (urban) masses, and being mindful of their vicious control over a nefarious, corrupted, system , works as their concubine, they will be able to kill 2 birds with one master stroke- the mob will have been lulled into silence after the swift passing of the “new decisive law” , not being able to comprehend the loop holes that would have been deliberately put into the “new decisive law”, AND best of all, the rapist politicians in their rank and file , will in fact be free to go about their private activities (criminal, sexist) and importantly, the political activities, working as thugs of the political parties, representing the “grass roots”!


How to Do a Successful Marketing Pitch

Hi readers,

In my 7 years of marketing experience, I found marketing to be extremely challenging in terms of deliverable.

The fact that my mandates in marketing were qualified successes gave me tremendous insights in understanding what constitutes a successful marketing pitch.

It all begins with the MARKETING PITCH folks…and here is my take on the subject.

First, get over yourself. Marketing is about facilitating business; it’s not an end onto itself. If you can’t relate your project to developing market-leading products or increasing market share, revenues, or profits, then selling it will be infinitely harder and justifiably so.

Make stakeholders part of the process. As a marketing manager, your key stakeholders include product development, sales, HR, finance, and in many cases, executive management. Make them part of the process – bounce your ideas off them and get their input one-on-one before pitching to the group.

Don’t shove it down their throats. Instead, build a top-down story that relates your project to key corporate goals or business fundamentals. Explain using data and logic your audience understands. Think teacher-educator, not pushy salesperson. Encourage debate and grow thick skin.

Stick your neck out on tough metrics. Offer up aggressive metrics that will raise eyebrows. If you end up falling a bit short but the project is still a success, nobody will give you a hard time. That said, don’t go over-the-top or you’ll lose credibility.

Learn how to build consensus. Be prepared for a long haul, iterative process that may take several meetings and revisions. Still, you need to keep it moving forward toward a consensus plan. Learning to walk that fine line takes experience and maturity.

Stay tuned!