Consumer Promos: The necessary evil

Hello people. Hope everyone is safe & has found a rhythm of working from home and I hope we soon resume normalcy because unlike for people like us for whom this is a matter of lifestyle and ways of working, for millions it is the thin line that divides destitution and livelihood. apologies for the morbid beginning but well we are living in uncertain morbid times.

And I am also sorry for being away for so long. A lot happened in the last year or so including a role change, lots of work related travel, craziness overall but most importantly, writers block. I just wasn't sure what should I write about next. So thanx to a dear colleague who drew up a list of topics I could write about and this is the first one I have chosen. Before I delve deep, just a reminder - this blog is for FMCG/CPG beginners and hence may not be relevant for the experts or people who have done this for many years.

Consumer promotions are what I call the absolute necessary evil of FMCG industry. You cannot …

The story of my career so far - and some things that you may find useful

This was originally published on Network Capital, reposting here for higher visibility. Send me a line if you enjoyed this, I hope you find it useful.


Kaushik learnt marketing at L’Oreal, strategy at McKinsey and now learning product in a tech company. He has also worked on projects for the World Economic Forum (presented in Davos 2016) and Rocket Internet. He graduated from INSEAD with an MBA and is based in London. Kaushik enjoys collecting single malt whisky, geeking out on trivia, and coaching people. This is his story. I’ve spent the first 20 years of my life in an India that was changing almost daily – and as a result I saw the problems with a closed economy in my early years, and quickly realised the benefits of a free market in my later years. I say this because growing up, there were very few career options. We were just moving from an era where government jobs were the epitome of life’s success, to one where the private sector was just about beginning to provide stable alte…

Consumer Insights 101 Part 2: Simple Tricks to Cracking Consumer Immersions

Hello people! Continuing our journey into the murky waters of inexact science of consumer insights; here is my 2nd post on the topic. Also, as promised I am doing 1 every month (I started this in Feb just never managed to finish it & maybe I will do 2 in March)
I personally find doing qualitative research or groups is relatively easier than doing one on one consumer immersions. For those who are hearing this term for the first time; it’s a fancy word for consumer home visits where you get someone to recruit consumers for you and you go and talk to them by yourself. In the beginning you can also request for a moderator to know how its done or accompany someone else who has done a few of them. Eventually however, you will have to find your own rhythm & way of doing them. For me, it is also what I love about being a FMCG marketer most – the joy of talking to the consumers.
Unlike popular belief, I am a socially awkward person and hence talking to strangers doesn’t come easy to me …

Consumer Insights 101: Knowing the person before the consumer

Hello hello.......... Happy 2019 to everyone. Wishing for lots of goodness for everyone. I didn't keep up my promise of one blog entry every month last year but I am hoping I am going to be better this year. 
This year I plan to focus on the 'not so exact science' part of marketing. As Dumbledore told Harry in the Half Blood Prince - we shall be leaving the firm foundation of fact and journeying together through the murky marshes of memory into the thickets of wildest guesswork. Consumer insights is pretty much like that. There are of course concrete quantitative proofs of what works for your consumers but we shall not focus on that part here. My entire focus in this piece will be to outline what is an insight and how to get there (at least eventually). 
Let me begin by putting down some caveats. This, as said above is my personal experience with delving deep into the realms of a person’s motivations, triggers & aspirations. There can be (in fact, definitely is) a better…

Innovation 101: What does it mean to innovate in FMCG

Its been a while since I wrote & apologies for that. Clearly I couldn’t keep up the discipline of writing at least once every month (much like my diet). 

What prompted me to write today was actually the Maven Meet - IIM Indore - Mumbai campus’s marketing event. It was a one day event with 8 speakers including me and the theme of the event was Disrupt or Die. Each one of us had picked up a trending topic within innovation to show how innovation is the only step forward. The event made me realise I haven’t covered Innovation at all on this platform so far. So here we go - Innovation 101!!!
During the course of this post; I will try and cover two fundamental things about Innovation:
1. Renovation vs Innovation 2. When to Innovate
Before I start, putting out a caveat - these are my experiences & views about innovation and may not be 100% relevant for all categories and companies. So be like goblin forged metal - imbibe only what makes you stronger (apologies to the non Harry Potte…

Books that have shaped my school of marketing

Hello people. I am trying to keep my promise of doing at least 1 post in a month although I am super delayed on this one. Let me try and be punctual and deliver on promised timelines in the future. The genesis of this post is a conversation I had last week at the lunch table with some colleagues who were trashing Kotler and saying how it was a waste of time & how it didn't help them to learn anything at all that has aided them in delivering on their jobs. I of course disagreed because I personally am a big fan of Kotler. I know a lot of you will be scoffing right now and may not read the rest of the post at all because of this. But honestly, step back once and think - did Kotler not make all of us know 4Ps of marketing inside out. We all have evolved our thinking on the 4Ps and in fact have moved into more evolved models of 5Ps and 7Cs and all of that. But the first time we all understood what does marketing mean is through Kotler and often enough we all resort to jargon from…

Making Ads Part 3 - AD (After development)

I have been meaning to write this for a while now but then life took over & then this took a backseat. I needed a break from my craft as I have fondly started calling marketing. Well, this is the closest I will be able to call myself creative. So, I decided to take refuge in my second favourite passion - travel!!! This post comes to you from Japan. I am currently at this moment on my way from Osaka to Hiroshima - from modernity to history is what I am choosing to call this journey. It is also the sort of contrast I enjoy in storytelling & advertising. 
Till now on our journey of making ads we have covered the science behind making ads & how to nail a brief. From the release of the brief till you actually decide on the script & then shoot it there is a long period. I call it the dramatic pause. How all performing arts have this moment when you wait with your breath held for something big & dramatic to happen. This is the time the creative team is taking to come up …