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'Adopt marketing strategies with care':

Global branding - stick to ethics

When it comes to global brands there are certain rules and ethics we have to follow, which we hardly see in local brands. It is a fundamental to follow a standard and ensure the quality of work we do, said Chairman, Mind For Integrated Solutions (Pvt) Ltd, Kalpa Palliyaguru.

"Therefore, it is quite important to maintain a standard of the product or service which can be globally recognized. When it comes to local brands, the main challenge is the limitations in the budget allocation.

There is a huge fund allocation for an international brand where countries such as Sri Lanka cannot afford for their local brands. However, as a company which has worked for local and global brands so far we have reached many milestones and I believe being creative is the most essential element to sustain in the industry," he said.

Here are his down-to-earth views.


Kalpa Palliyaguru

Q. What inspired you to select marketing as your career?

A. I started my career in the field of Information Technology (IT) soon after I left school. I immersed myself in learning technology and found that my passion was more in to interacting with people.

Therefore, I changed my career into the field of Marketing some years later since I found Marketing an interesting profession for those who seek challenges. Marketing and communication goes hand in hand. Hence that was an advantage for me to pick the subject of marketing easily.

The knowledge I gained in the field of IT and communication really helped me to sustain as a marketeer.

Q. Being a frontliner of the company, what are the challenges you face in the field of marketing?

A. In the current market context, it is a real challenge to be a successful marketeer while sustaining in the business. For a developing country such as Sri Lanka the size of the market is quite small compared to other countries.

Therefore, marketeers are stressed to grab their market share. It is essential to have the younger generation's involvement in the industry.

As the Chairman/CEO of the company it is my responsibility to meet the deadlines of the projects and to ensure customer satisfaction. Market research is an essential element to understand market trends and the behaviour of consumers.

As a frontliner the biggest challenge in the industry is lack of knowledge and the customer's wrong understanding about the advertising concepts.

Creative advertising does not mean only the artwork or Below The Line (BTL) advertising strategies. There is no specific institute to learn advertising in our country which is a huge disadvantage.

It limits the capability of creating industrial expertise.

To come up with a better advertising concept there are many steps to go through. Therefore, it is essential to create awareness and the knowledge of the advertising process especially among customers and competitors.

Q. What is the impact of the current economic crisis on your organization?

A. Due to the current economic crisis there is an impact on the country as well as our organization. However, the economic crisis affects every single country.

In a situation like this, we have to be more focused and positive about the future. During a time of recession we often see that the business community discontinues their advertising campaigns which leads to a collapse in many inter-related businesses.

At a time of recession it is vital to continue advertising campaigns to sustain in the business. Industrial expertise can also play a key role especially at a time of recession to educate and advise on how to overcome obstacles.

However, even at a time of recession with the dawn of peace there is hope for the business community to open new market segments and explore market opportunities especially in the Northern and the Eastern provinces.

Many development projects have been already launched in these areas and it has created many job opportunities as well as business opportunities in these areas. Therefore, in another four months the economy of our country would pick up and we can be positive about the future.

Q. What are the advertising strategies that you employ in your organization?

A. The main advertising strategy we employ in the company is Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) which is suitable for many organizations.

We also use TV, radio and press advertising but at the same time we should move forward with the digital advertising methods which is a more convenient tool to reach the target audience.

Employing all the novel advertising strategies, the main intention of the organization is to reach the next level of the advertising industry where we can compete with international standards.

Q. What are the challenges you see when it comes to global branding?

A. Since we are in the field of advertising, we provide a service to local as well as global brands. When it comes to global brands there are certain rules and ethics we have to follow, which we hardly see in local brands. It is fundamental to follow a standard and ensure the quality of work we do.

Therefore, it is quite important to maintain a standard of the product or service which can be globally recognized. When it comes to local brands, the main challenge is the limitations in the budget allocation.

There is a huge fund allocation for an international brand where countries such as Sri Lanka cannot afford for their local brands.

However, as a company which has worked for local and global brands so far we have reached many milestones and I believe being creative is the most essential element to sustain in the industry.

Q. What do you think about local marketeers?

A. Being creative and strategically applying that into the product or service is the main intention of marketeers, especially those who are engaged in the advertising industry.

The drawback I see in many local marketeers is that they only concentrate on the creative side of the product and not on the strategy that the company should apply in the market. Therefore, marketeers should be more careful when they adopt marketing strategies in the market.

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