Lessons for Marketers From Chanakya, an Indian Teacher From the 4th Century BC

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[Chanakya] Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make it all yourselves!

[Marketing Perspective – Research] Time is short and is the most critical element. You need not make the mistake and then change your strategy. While sometimes you will make mistake but that should be accidental. You need to do a thorough homework/research prior to developing any plans. Analyse what competition closely – from a marketers perspective. This entails learning from competitor research – Research about their positioning, segmenting, marketing case studies and marketing strategies. Once you have researched, you will know how to develop your marketing/communication plans more efficiently.

[Chanakya] A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and Honest people are screwed first

[Marketing Perspective – How to represent the message?] There is a way to communicate to your audience – revealing all of the properties/attribute has not helped many brands/companies. Several times, it has to be mended as per the current situation and understanding of the audience. This does in no imply that you need to fake stuff but you need to mend it in the right way.

[Chanakya] Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous

[Marketing Perspective – Confidence in your Plans/Strategies/Approach/Presentation] Try to be confident in the market. Unless it is a monopoly, brands/companies face huge competition and is subjected to several challenges to grab a piece of the market share. There are big fishes always trying to discourage you and trying to throw you out from the marketplace, hence you should be confident enough of your plans and strategies. Face the competition with utmost confidence, display it through your marketing/sales/business efforts, to your prospects, customers, investors, employees, analysts and other stakeholders. You know what they don’t know and things spoken with confidence, backed by facts/logic always works out.

[Chanakya] Never share your secrets with anybody. It will destroy you!

[Marketing Perspective – Trade secrets] Perhaps the company deals with information that can make or break the company. Trademarks, copyrights, Intellectual property rights, data protection and security are all directed to this maxim stated by Chanakya.

[Chanakya] As soon as the fear approaches near, attack it and destroy it.

[Marketing Perspective: Change your idea/strategy/campaign] Juggling with a known problem is never a solution. It will cause you to be defeated at one point or the other. When you have identified an issue with a campaign, rectify it immediately or if a campaign does not workout, change your strategy and switch to your other option rather than keeping your ego and still juggling to make it work while wasting time, energy and resources on it. A marketer should remember that it is not a personal defeat if the campaign/idea does not work, rather it is for the benefit of the business that he is working for and hence should make possible efforts to attain the stated marketing and business objectives.

[Chanakya] Even from poison extract nectar, wash and take back gold if it has fallen in filth, receive highest knowledge from a low born person.

[Marketing Perspective – Innovation/Learning/Incorporating ideas] Unexplored market segments – take ideas from each one – a small idea/innovation can make a huge difference – receive feedback from your stakeholders – open communication

[Chanakya] Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions – Why am I doing It, What the results might be and Will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead.

[Marketing Perspective] It is indeed true that planning is an important ingredient to the success of any campaign. A well thought and researched, clear objective based campaign has performed well in several cases.

[Chanakya] The world’s biggest power is youth and the beauty of a woman.

[Marketing Perspective – The right segments] These are the two segments that are really powerful. Brands/products/services launched in this category and that have been marketed well, have performed extremely well. Catching the pulse of these two target segments and doing targeted marketing will yield results.

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