7 Marketing lessons from NaMo’s campaign

How many of us reading this post right now are from the era where promotion of almost all activities including pre-movie releases, advertising and campaigning for the impending elections were all done using insensitively blaring loudspeakers attached to an auto-rickshaw that used to move around the city/town at the most annoying hours of the day? Or, when individual party members used to visit each and every household in the vicinity, enlightening the apparently ‘ignorant’ masses about their clean, bright party members contesting from that area. Well, most of us may just have heard of such happenings, never experienced them, thanks to the speed at which Marketing methods and its channels are evolving, over time.

The hue and cry that has been raised over the 2014 elections by citizens, journalists, fanatics and political parties alike, is surely going to be responsible for making India a better country. If we try and look closer on issues, we realize that this phase has taught us many lessons, an important one being ‘Marketing, irrespective of how good or bad the product is, is inevitable’.

Until a few months back, Mr. Narendra Modi was a household name just in India. But, of late, he has become famous internationally, owing to the positive and at times, negative publicity that he received throughout the entire campaigning journey. Very recently, his interview with Mr. Arnab Goswami (Chief Editor, Times Now) had gone viral with the hash-tag #ModiSpeaksWithArnab trending at the #1 spot worldwide and receiving more than 30Crore Tweets within hours of the official telecast. Here, the question worth pondering is whether it was Modi’s Gujarat Developmental model and is impeccable oratory skills responsible for transforming him into a cult-figure within months? Or was there something else that complimented it?

NaMo 2

We are all aware of the 4Ps of successful marketing, of which ‘Promotion’ is inevitably the most important one. Well, what better than today’s political scenario can exemplify it?

1. Packaging of products is more important than anything else

Mr. Narendra Modi, a petty chaiwala, as some of his ‘worthy’ opponents call him, knew the importance of being presentable when in business. He hired an international advertising agency to not only help him publicize his ‘Gujarat model of development’ but also to transform his image to that of a leader who everyone can trust. Today, there is no denying to the fact that APCO worldwide, with its ‘professional and rare expertise’ has made Gujarat appear like the most developed state of India and Mr. Modi, every Indian’s saviour. Purpose served!

NaMo 12. Time is of essence, keeping brand recall in mind

If you closely analyse Mr. Modi’s rallies, road shows and interview sessions with leading journalists, you will decipher that there was always a valid reason behind scheduling them on those dates. Most of his important rallies were held just a day or two before those regions went into polls. Be it his most important interview of the season with Mr. Arnab just 3 days before Varanasi went into polls on 12th May or his addressing at Amethi, all highlight just one thing – intelligent organization of events from his side.

3. Take into consideration customer requirements and aspirations

Call him the ‘poster boy’ of BJP’s advertising campaign if you may, but you cannot deny the fact that his magic has definitely worked upon Indian people. India is in such a state today, that the first thing that it requires is an able administrator and a dependable leader. Mr. Modi’s charismatic personality has given India the much needed hope that coupled with his impeccable management skills and lessons learnt from handling Gujarat for more than almost a decade, has made the citizens believe that he surely has the capability to revive India from its present sorry state.

4. Choose your crew wisely

Well, with Mr. Modi a new era has ushered in where hiring image experts and exotic American agencies is the in thing. By roping in ad-makers like able admen of the country – Mr. Piyush Pandey (Oglivy & Mathers fame) and the celebrated lyricists like Mr. Prasoon Joshi (Taare Zameen Par fame) – whose words were eventually converted into catchy jingles like ‘Acche din AAne wale hain’ etc., he has proved that in every possible way, he means business.

5. Choose the right medium

One of the most important reasons for the success of BJP or ‘Modi Sarkaar’ as it is popularly called, is the effective utilization of all mediums of communicating with masses. Be it his conventional yet strikingly engaging ‘Chai Pe Charcha’ sessions, or the Google+ hangouts where millions of fans and naysayers from across the world got a chance to interact with him, or his more than 4.1 Million dedicated followers on Twitter who followed his actions religiously and helped spread the word or their quick tracking down of the DD National debacle, all signify just one thing– He is fit to be the leader of today’s generation.

NaMo 4

6. The sales & marketing personnel should be proud of their product to convince customers to buy it

Mr. Modi’s charisma, partly due to his own persona and partly induced by his PR agency (APCO), gave every single supporter including the lakhs of common people a feeling that he is the right choice for India today. Be it the party-workers or the media or his social media fans – they had gone berserk over him, his ideologies, his principles and thus, were confident of his success well ahead of the final results on 16th of May. He gave India, the much-needed hope (Article preciously published at InsideIIM. Read here– http://insideiim.com/is-namo-just-a-fine-marketing-baron-politics-and-management-series/).

7. Choose the face of your advertising campaigns wisely

The parched ‘Rann of Kutch’ (N. Gujarat) never really found place in our ‘Holiday Destinations’ List’ until everybody’s favourite, Mr. Amitabh Bacchan started endorsing it. Is it that within just a few months’ time, Gujarat tourism, almost magically flourished? Well, Mr. Bacchan is an adulated figure in India and the Government of Gujarat used this fact to their advantage, very smartly positioned Gujarat as the ultimate tourist destination. By doing this, they also managed to subtly highlight the work done by Modi-led Government in this respect, without directly portraying it.

NaMo 3

Now, at this juncture, it would be suitable to discuss a few caveats that anti-Modi personnel used/still use against him (Most of which, I personally find to be very funny) –

- Modi hired an American ad-agency for image building. So, he is a wannabe.

- Modiji is dumb. Why does he have to hire agencies to market himself? If he is so clever, why can’t he do that himself?

- Modi was the poster boy of the entire BJP campaign. There are no other leaders left in the party?

- Ab ki Baar, Modi Sarkar? He is thirsty for power.

- Brand NaMo.. if only, it existed!

- Too much involvement, one man army?

- Modi’s way too outdated for our generation. He is devoid of any ‘Yuva Josh’

- We are a nation who need leaders who have it in their blood. They are sacred. What is wrong in harping on to the achievements of their long-gone forefathers!?

- How can the sacred and intellectual land of India be run by a Backward class Tea vendor?

- Gujaratis take pride in NaMo. They are anyway a dumb race

The hullabaloo (yes! precisely that) of the 2014 elections may have ended on a fairly positive note for some. But, for the people who still believe in any or all of the above statements and are still apprehensive about embracing Modi, I just have one counterargument – He has been entrusted with the responsibility of managing this country by millions of sensible citizens. He is now our esteemed Prime Minister. So, you better show him some respect!

(Originally posted on InsideIIM.com by one of the mPower members)

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