OPINION: Excess in the Time of Covid!

OPINION: Excess in the Time of Covid!

Driven by the current constraints and confusion a new factor, timing is found fit to be added to the 4Ps and Cs of marketing. The importance of `correct moment’ is more relevant than ever before, especially when the target group is Gen Z. A close look at some of the recent publicity materials and news reports of leading auto OEMs in India reveals the empathetic intervention of some and the callousness and unconcern about the maladies of the time in the social media publicity of a few others. Mistiming misfires projections.

New Delhi: For the marketer, a new factor that has assumed critical importance along with the “4Ps or Cs of Marketing” is “timing”. The reverses due to the pandemic have taught us that more important than what to do and how to do is when to do it. The prudence, prescience, and maturity of taking decisions at the ‘correct’ moment have been established as the single biggest factor of success in these trying times. This is not taught in any textbook. It comes with maturity and a better understanding of overall consumer sentiments.

The factor of timing has context, relevance, and impact. Context is to do with the environment in which the action is being taken. Relevance is the importance of the action for specific stakeholders against the context. And impact is about the effect of the action on relevant stakeholders.

Over the last fortnight, I have come across news items on actions taken by different automobile brands which are worth evaluating on the factor of timing.

1. Mercedes-Benz launched an uber-luxury vehicle at INR 2.4 crore that was sold out for 2021 the moment it was announced.

2. Maruti Suzuki announced the opening of a new hospital in Gujarat in collaboration with Zydus investing INR126 crore through its foundation, and setting up two oxygen generation plants in the Srinagar and Jammu Medical Colleges.

3. Hyundai announced the opening of 180 “Signature” showrooms across the country to cater to premium customers specifically for products like Tucson, Elantra and just-launched Alcazar.

4. Anand Mahindra shared an effusive “thank you” tweet by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to Mahindra Group for their all-round support to controlling the second wave in Delhi.

5. Kia announced a specific offer for Harvard Alumni [in India] on the Carnival terming it as “Extravagance that’s earned.”

Five news items on actions taken in the same time period of 15 off days.

The context is the same.

The stakeholders are more-or-less the same.

The impacts will obviously be different for each.

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