Learning the Nuances of New Age Marketing at Inception Day

Earlier this month I was invited by Inception Business Services (IBS) to cover an event on the Nuances of New Age Marketing at JW Marriott, Aerocity, Delhi.


The event was called Inception Day and had the following agenda:
  • 1630 to 1730: Understanding of New Age Marketing – IBS Talk and E-book release, followed by Q&A. 
  • 1735 to 1815: Marketing in the retail space. What's new and what is working by Nissan Joseph - MD Crocs India, followed by Q&A. 
  • 1820 to 1900: B2B Marketing – Its changing face and how it is working by Venkatesh Valluri - Chairman Ingersoll Rand India, followed by Q&A. 
  • 1900 to 1915: Break 
  • 1920 to 2020: Keynote Speech by Nitish Kapoor - Regional Director (Asia) Reckitt Benckiser India. Marketing in the new age and understanding the Banega Swachh India initiative. How CSR is working and what to do with it, followed by Q&A.
  • 2020 to 2030: Vote of thanks 
  • 2030 onwards: Networking and dinner

Spot me if you can!

So what is Inception Day, you may ask?

Excerpt from the invite:
"Inception Day 2015 is a marketing conference hosted by Inception Business Services (IBS). Endeavoring to drive conversations and derive learning that marketers and business owners can apply, this year the focus is on new age marketing. Structured as a four hour event on the 5th of June, it will provide multiple perspectives on the nuances of new-age marketing. You can expect to hear about what is happening in this space, how brands and businesses are using it successfully and what you can do to adapt it for your own business. The idea is to have a power packed conversation with insights that you can use in your own business."
The invitation was extended to CEOs, CMOs, Heads of Businesses, Seasoned Entrepreneurs, Venture Capitalists, and Seasoned Marketers. I attended the event as a Blogger.

Introductory Session by Mala Dhalani


Mala introduced us to the all women team of Inception Business Services. It was purely coincidental that a group of 11 women marketers from different parts of India decided to join hands together four years ago and start the Inception Day.

Mala Dhalani

Key Learning from Mala's Presentation
  • She thanked the partners of Inception Day - MudPie India for Design, Makoba - Luxury Essentials for Gifts, and The Smart CEO Magazine - Media and Event partner. 
  • Inception Business Services provides end-to-end marketing and consulting services, both as a vendor and a partner. 
  • New Age Marketing is about doing the same old things differently. It affects clients, partners, and client's customers. 
  • The concept of New Age Marketing is 10 to 15 years old only and was first realized in early 2000. 
  • Communication is no longer a one-way street. The communication is now two-way and brands have to be wary about today's customers. 
  • Tech is changing at an unimaginable pace. Every six months, you'll see a new, emerging technology that is either disruptive or a potential game changer. 
  • Brands are now able to experiment by putting their money behind New Age Marketing. 
  • New Age Marketing is affordable, making it a level-playing field for brands. 
  • Couple of ways brands can capitalize: 
    • Social Media Marketing (Example: #Mission Swacch Bharat by Prime Minister of India. The campaign was endorsed by nine famous celebrities like Sachin Tendulkar and Amitabh Bachchan, who joined the cleanliness drive across the streets of India. Many felt it was a rip-off of the viral Ice Bucket Challenge.) 
    • Content Marketing: Brands are now working with experts in content marketing and content creation. Content Marketing is not just about creating content but where you intend to take it. (Example: MakeMyTrip is now available on all platforms. They are one brand that used Pinterest well apart from Facebook and Twitter. The brand has over 4 million views on YouTube alone.) 
    • Creating Brand Platforms: As a brand, you should not throw your product in the face of the customers. (Example: Coke Studio @ MTV, which caters to the youth (target audience) through music. The platform promotes budding artists and stalwarts from all over India.) 
    • Other methods include Digital Advertising and Marketing, Websites, etc. 
  • Future lies in Video. 55% of our country is watching videos daily.
    • Example #1: Google Search: Reunion video on YouTube has more than 12 million views.)

    • Example #2: Brave and Beautiful - Dabur Vatika Salutes Female Cancer Survivors

  • India has the highest penetration of mobile subscribers. Brands should create content for mobile. (Examples: Myntra and Flipkart). 
  • Brands should know: 
    • Who are you? 
    • What you deliver to customer? 
    • What is your identity? 
  • Your product has to be great too. 
    • Example #1: Urban Ladder, who introduced the concept of Furniture Online. They sell great furniture online at super cool prices. They started with three Indian cities first, offering a complete home solution and knew exactly what customers wanted. 
    • Example #2: Paper Boat sells all your favorite old flavor drinks in a new avatar. Drinking a Paper Boat brings back nostalgic memories from childhood. 
    • Example # 3: Magzter, which took the concept of digital magazine newsstand and book store to a new level altogether. This cross-platform, self-service, store has over 6000 magazines and more than 50000 books and comic titles from 2000+ publishers. They now have over 26 million users and have truly enabled digital reading of content. Publishers can come to Magzter and set up their magazine at literally zero cost. 
  • You need to have very clear goals on Social Media. (Example: Slice of Health by Chola MS General Insurance was initially a radio show aired in Chennai. The show did not talk of insurance per se but how you can take care of yourself. From being a Tamil Nadu based radio show, it has now amplified to a national radio show. They also run a site by the same name, a platform meant to help people make healthier lifestyle choices.) 
  • Brands should focus on consistency, listening and responding, customizing and personalizing. Be out there every day (Example: Ola Cabs) and address complaints wholeheartedly (Flipkart). 
  • Bewakoof.com - a site that sells trendy clothes for men/women, mobile cases, and more online - is run by college kids in the age group of 16 to 25. 
  • For B2B and B2C customers, deploy different communication for different audiences.

First Speaker - Nissan Joseph, Managing Director - Crocs India


Nissan's experience of over 20 years includes Senior Management roles across footwear and accessories brands in domestic and international markets. His career has spanned leadership roles in both wholesale and retail formats. Through his life he has traveled extensively and worked with businesses in Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa. Having worked in key positions in Sales, Marketing, Logistics and General Management, his perspective on new-age marketing is rich with insights. Nissan attended the University of New Delhi and has an MBA from the Sydney Graduate School of Management, Australia.

Nissan Joseph

Key Learning from Nissan's Presentation
  • The global retail landscape has changed a lot. 
  • Brands need to stay appropriate and relevant. 
  • Keep your brand discussions around consumer and your product. 
  • 41% people in India survive under $1 a day. 42% people in India survive under $2 a day. And India has more than 1.5 billion people. Ironically, we also have the largest billionaires in India. 
  • Customers are screen lovers. They keep moving from one screen to another and are more engineered for screens. 
  • Zip code fragmentation is changing. Brands should go beyond this type of fragmentation. 
  • Organized retail in India is just 15%. The 85% is not accountable (Reference to Kirana stores in India). 
  • We have more eCommerce players than we're ready for. The current model is a very disruptive model. 
  • Another trend we're seeing these days is a collaborative consumption movement. Example: Taxis used in Uber
  • We're living in a unique world. Competitors are also collaborating. 
  • Crocs is a 13-years-old company. They started their US operations in 2002. In India they are just about 7-years-old. 
  • The brand Crocs is about being colorful, fun, relaxed, etc. But at one point, they were also called hideous and quirky. 
  • Controversy creates dialog. Dialog creates awareness. 
  • Crocs sold 300 million pairs across the world. 
  • #FindYourFun campaign on Instagram and Twitter was an instant hit. Under this campaign, people were asking to create a look for the Crocs Funway Runway. You choose a model, costume, and Crocs shoes. And Crocs sent them flying down a 5-story water slide. 
  • People are turning to YouTube for search (Number 2 search engine after Google). 
  • Look at customers backward. 
  • It's not what you do. It's what you do for me. 
  • Anchor what's not going to change - convenience, value, ease of experience, love, etc. How you deliver is changing. 
  • As a brand, you have nowhere to hide now. Everything you do makes an impression.

Second Speaker - Venkatesh Valluri, Chairman - Ingersoll Rand India


Venkatesh has been associated with various industries for over 30 years. He has Leadership, Operational and General Management experiences spanning the regions of India, Europe and the USA. Before joining Ingersoll Rand, Venky was the President and Country Manager of Agilent Technologies. He is an Executive-Committee member of TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute), is the Chairman of the National Committee on Technology of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and also serves on the Prime Minister’s Fellowship scheme board for Doctoral Research grants. He holds a Bachelor’s in Technology in Electronics and an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad.

Venkatesh Valluri

Key Learning from Venkatesh's Presentation
  • How do you create markets - Work for a cause associated with human value. Example: Venky ran a B2B campaign for Energy Efficiency in Smart Cities. 
  • Communicate solutions and do not make your products look bigger. 
  • Think markets, create products.

Keynote Speaker - Nitish Kapoor, Regional Director - Asia, Reckitt Benckiser (RB)


Nitish has more than two decades of experience across diverse categories and international geographies. Nitish joined RB India as a Management Trainee from FMS Delhi in 1993. After a series of roles in Sales and Marketing, he moved in 2002 to Global HQ, UK as a Global Brand Marketing Manager. In 2006 he was appointed Marketing Director for RB Southern Africa before moving to Portugal as Managing Director in 2010. From 2012 he was Global Category Director at Global HQ, UK before returning to India as Managing Director in 2013.

Nitish Kapoor

Key Learning from Nitish's Presentation
  • Reckitt Benckiser believes in Healthier Lives, Healthier Homes. 
  • Old Age Marketing is still relevant. 
  • RB focused on Purpose Led Marketing. Examples: Dettol and Harpic campaigns are trusted brands in India. 
  • Dettol has been used by 6 million children, 20 thousand schools, and 4 million mothers in India. On the other hand, Harpic has been used in 14 million homes in India. 
  • Purpose of the brand should align with the purpose of the company. 
  • RB organized a 12-hour Banega Swachh India Cleanathon on NDTV with help from 19 chief ministers of India and more than 20 celebrities. 
  • RB believes that health of a nation is equal to wealth of a nation. 
  • Purpose of your business should be significant. 
  • Dettol brought a behavioral change as 600 million people washed hands during the campaign. 
  • One district in Maharashtra became an open defecation zone. 
  • RB is creating a multipurpose solution that will be able to clean fecal matter. 
  • Focus on Cause Related Marketing. Example: Hunger Ki Bajao campaign, in which viewers were asked to help in fight against hunger by donating towards the Akshaya Patra Foundation, a non-for-profit organization that serves food to over 1.4 million children from 10,661 schools across 10 states in India.


Throughout the event, the audience kept the momentum going by asking relevant and interesting questions on new age marketing.

Q&A In Progress

Finally, if you want to know how some of the best global brands are doing with regards to their marketing and learn from it, Inception Day is not to be missed.

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