A decade in Indian marketing: what we learnt in 2001–2010 and what it means for the future

Anupama Wagh Koppar

For India, and the marketers working within it, the 10 years from 2001-2010 were exciting and challenging. The decade included both good times and recession times. Internet and mobility emerged to change not just how people communicated but also increase exposure and knowledge. It was a significant decade for India, and worth studying for clues as to what lies ahead.

What ‘toolkit’ did marketers use to stay ahead in this period? Some observations on the most frequent strategiesmarketers used to succeed in an ever-changing and competitive environment are:

1. BUYING ASSETS VERSUS BUYING EXPERIENCE

In the past decade some categories have moved from being an asset purchase to being an ‘experience’ purchase. These are high-value categories, from a pressure cooker to a watch to a phone and all the way up to jewellery and cars. On a relative level consumers buying these products have started looking at them through the lens of experience and not so much through the asset lens, as they didpreviously. There is a market who buys for the pleasure of consumption, not so much for what it will fetch when one wants to sell it. This creates a market for ‘used’ products down the population strata. It is an interesting phenomenon and goes hand in hand with consumerism and rise of consumer finance in India. Marketers partly led this movement and partly followed it with innovation and new positioning platforms.