Magazine article Marketing

Careers: Bite-Sized Business School - Marketing Module - Mastering the Art of Frugal Marketing

Magazine article Marketing

Careers: Bite-Sized Business School - Marketing Module - Mastering the Art of Frugal Marketing

Article excerpt

It's not about cutting your marketing spend, but about doing more with less of it, and giving your consumers a sense of value. Ritchie Mehta and Jaideep Prabhu explain.

In 2006, Devita Saraf, chief executive of VU Technologies, set out to create a luxury technology brand in India. Her target was the emerging middle-class, a fiercely aspirational, yet highly value-conscious, segment. Saraf knew she would have to carefully balance 'affordability' with 'aspiration' in everything she did. Since then, her company has sold more than 1.5m TVs in the subcontinent while realising 40% cost savings across the value chain. Saraf has done this by bringing to life many of the key principles of frugal marketing.

While emerging markets firms excel at the art of doing 'more with less', firms in the West are quickly catching on, too, thanks to the increasing number of Western consumers who are looking for affordable luxury and value for money.

However, frugal marketing isn't about penny-pinching, says Saraf, but the need to look at and refresh the approach where it matters most to the customer. Here are five key principles that frugal marketers from around the world can adopt to drive greater efficiencies and customer impact in equal measure.

1. Stop talking: let your product do it for you

Seth Godin, the US author and entrepreneur, popularised the notion that sliced bread became ubiquitous only when the brand Wonder Bread managed to spread the idea. Although it is important to get ideas out there, the frugal marketer spends a disproportionate amount of time developing a product that stands out in the first place. So companies such as VU Technologies focus on creating great products that deliver and exceed consumer expectations, and their great product reviews provide a huge boost.

2. Focus on the last mile: communicate at the point of conversion

If you have to communicate, do so where it matters most to customers Traditional marketing theory suggests that consumers go down a linear path from awareness to purchase. But it is important to remind oneself that the single-most important point in the customer journey is the one at which a potential customer becomes a customer. Frugal marketers know this better than anyone and focus relentlessly on the 'last mile' - maximising opportunity at the point of purchase.

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