Difference between an academic exam and a job interview

Academic Exam: Can you solve this problem by applying the concepts that were taught in the class?

Job Interview: Can you solve this problem by using your knowledge?

In an academic environment, opportunities are provided to you to show yourself. In the real environment, you have to make such opportunities.


No ‘One India’ in Advertising

Not many people would argue about the diversity of the culture in India. This is the country where the language and the taste of water changes every 100 km. The question is – how does this diversity affect the marketers to communicate their products? How does an advertiser look at this diversity? Is there a magic mantra that cuts through all these linguistic and cultural diversity?

Research done by Milward Brown suggests that there is no single mantra in advertising that works for the whole country. There are very few advertisements that worked well across the country. Some of the observations from the research are:

1. Celebrities can be the glue that binds markets

Celebrities can work across markets, but that definitely doesn’t guarantee the success. Using a celebrity reduces the risk of failure of     the advertisement across markets. Particularly in the South, the use of local celebrities is more followed as it is observed that people connect well with the local celebrities. Cricketers can certainly help communicate across the markets. It is true that every Indian lives on Bollywood and Cricket.

2. Children can certainly help

Children can help raise empathy and likingness quotient in the ad. However, an interesting stat is one-third of all the ads that don’t do well have kids in them. So, the mere presence of a child doesn’t increase the likingness of the ad. Generally speaking, it is observed that people tend to be active watching ads of children. Children, if used properly, can help in breaking the clutter.

3. Effect of humour is variable

Humour in India works well when it is based on visuals and music. Humour which is based on regional situations and wit may not do well across the markets. While some of the ads have worked well in some regions, the ads based on regional humour caused some serious trouble to the brand in other markets.

4. Product demonstrations are less likely to do well

Advertisements that focus on product demonstrations are less likely to do well. Differing expectations from advertising are at the root of this difficulty. There are clear differences across regions and town tiers in this regard. South India tends to be driven more by the need for information, as does small-town India.

Regional differences in receiving ads

First, something that all of us (in India) suspected: North is North and South is South, and never the twain shall meet. These two regions show the poorest creative transfer; an ad that does well in the South is unlikely to do well in the North, and viceversa.

Second, the West is a poor receiver of ads from the North. Looking at ads tested in those two regions, only 34 percent of ads that were highly enjoyable in the North did well in the West, while close to half the ads that did well in the West also performed well in the North. Therefore, if we need to prioritize between the two regions, the West provides a better litmus test of likely performance.

Third, the South is neither a borrower nor a lender. Ads that do well in the South transfer poorly to the North, moderately well to the West, and well to the East. Therefore, if the South is relevant for a brand, it must automatically be selected as a test centre.

Fourth, successful ads in the East transfer well to other regions, though within a specific and limited context. To clarify, the East is an important market for relatively few brands and categories, so any principle of travel would apply to this rather specific set of brands. The East also tends to be more critical of advertising compared to other regions. Hence, purely from the perspective of creative transference, strong performance in the East is an indication of good performance in other zones.

Most of the research above is done based on the Link scores, a evaluative tool of advertising by Milward Brown. Whether your objective is to raise awareness, promote trial, develop rational or emotional brand associations, or to convey a very specific message, Link will tell you how your ad will perform.

Thank you.


Strategy – Mission & Vision

People say organizations should have Mission statement, Vision Statement, etc. I say everything boils down to only one word – Purpose.

To better understand these things, I took a small example of a person who wants to shift his career from IT to Marketing. Let us see these things from his perspective:

MISSIONWhy does the student wants to go from IT into Marketing?

VISIONWhat does he want to become in Marketing?

STRATEGYHow does he want to become what he wants to become in Marketing?

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVESHow does he break his strategy into different objectives?

SUCCESS/FAILURE INDICATORSHow does he know whether he succeeded or not? What are the performance indicators?

This sort of strategic thinking is the same even for an organization or an individual. Of course, with changing situations, environment, operational, financial, competitive, etc. you actually change your strategies. So, strategy is all about Purpose and Future Thinking.

It is about where are you now, where do you want to go and why, and how do you want to go and why?

Difference between Z-test, F-test, and T-test

A z-test is used for testing the mean of a population versus a standard, or comparing the means of two populations, with large (n ≥ 30) samples whether you know the population standard deviation or not. It is also used for testing the proportion of some characteristic versus a standard proportion, or comparing the proportions of two populations.
Example:Comparing the average engineering salaries of men versus women.
Example: Comparing the fraction defectives from 2 production lines.

A t-test is used for testing the mean of one population against a standard or comparing the means of two populations if you do not know the populations’ standard deviation and when you have a limited sample (n < 30). If you know the populations’ standard deviation, you may use a z-test.
Example:Measuring the average diameter of shafts from a certain machine when you have a small sample.

An F-test is used to compare 2 populations’ variances. The samples can be any size. It is the basis of ANOVA.
Example: Comparing the variability of bolt diameters from two machines.

Matched pair test is used to compare the means before and after something is done to the samples. A t-test is often used because the samples are often small. However, a z-test is used when the samples are large. The variable is the difference between the before and after measurements.
Example: The average weight of subjects before and after following a diet for 6 weeks