Saturday, July 29, 2006

Marketing to India- Pointers from MarketingSherpa

India has proved to be a tough market to crack for many a company, be it companies trying to set up operations there or simply trying to sell their products/services. I personally know of a few companies that have attempted to make investments in India using the approach adopted in other markets and then failed miserably-- and then blaming the country for their failures (not entirely unjustified, one must admit).

India's ministers and parliamentarians who are pitching to attract companies to India now use an aggressive appproach --- "hey, we know there are problems, but if you want to succeed, you better treat these as opportunities, instead of just griping; don't wait till things are perfect". This was the spirit demonstrated when a delegation of parliamentarians from India visited Singapore a few months ago; and it seems to be the same spirit shown by India's commerce minister Kamal Nath on a recent trip to Japan.

Anyway, the point here is that every country poses its unique challenges, with some countries posing more than others. India is no different -- and while marketing to the Indian market, companies should take care of several factors. MarketingSherpa recently posted an article that has tips on companies choosing to market to the Indian public. In summary, the article suggests three key approaches:
a) Try viral marketing
b) Follow up with telemarketing and banner ads
c) Use Hinglish (yes, the combination of Hindi & English, just as they say Singlish in Singapore).

In reality, life is not half as simple as it sounds here, but nevertheless a good starting point for someone who doesn't know India.

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