Interactive selling

Consumer boredom got handled reasonably well in 2006. The Interactive movement just about emerged. It started with radio and television. The plethora of radio and television channels meant a more competitive programming structure for both mediums. In the beginning, all mediums just dished out fare that they devised by themselves. When things get competitive, channels then get interactive – 2006 saw a lot of this.

Interactive product development is a game to test and try. Make your consumers devise your product. Make your consumers make their own toothpaste the way they do it. At least make them feel they made it. Consumer product development, consumer brand development, interactive advertising, interactive branding, interactive selling — all are here to stay.

SMS revenue sharing deals were struck and television channels made money on a new revenue model at play. Simultaneously with the revenue inflows due to participative viewer programs, viewers felt happy. They felt involved. Citizen journalism happened as well.

The interactive movement will not stop here in the years to come. Make your consumers make their own toothpaste the way they like it. At least make them feel they made it. Consumer product development, consumer brand development, interactive advertising, interactive branding, interacting selling — all are here to stay!

Retail has arrived, and now. The $280 billion retail industry of India is all set to see aggregation of business. The medium sized retailer is set to perish by the roadside and the big retailer will gain. The local vegetable vendor will now compete with the corner Reliance Fresh outlet. The vegetable vendor will need to offer tomatoes at a standard price all through the year as a Reliance Retail will. He will need to complete on hygiene, shopping experiences customer services and norms of glitz and glamour.

As all this happens, the micro retailer will continue to thrive. The corner local shop will thrive on the basis of location, low over heads and an overall yen to survive. The ‘small is beautiful’ model will still be relevant to India. As modern retail arrives and thrives, we will have a polarization of outlets. At one end would be the glitzy modern trade outlet, while at the other, there would be the micro retailer.

India is a nation of 12 million shops with a density of retail outlet population that stands at 12 outlets per 1,000. This will largely thrive and survive.

This is a country where consumer promotion is the ultimate salvation for sagging sales lines of corporate organizations. Ever since the first promotion in the 1960s of a stainless steel spoon free on a Det detergent pack, the stainless steel spoon has remained the one enduring item that every manufacturer of tea, coffees, soap, pulses, sugar, Rice and flour doled out to the consumers.

Marketers offered spoons, combs, steel tumblers, mugs and buckets as freebies for long enough. The year 2006 saw a change in this trend. Marketers are experimenting with more like a spoon with a packet of tea. Now, we have a service being offered with a product. Pepsodent offered its buyers a coupon for a cup of Café Coffee Day coffee at any of its 370 odd cafes across the country.

Another idea under implementation is ‘Travel first class by Kingfisher Airlines and you just might get a chauffeur driven car for a destination drop’!