Hit the Affective Pot

‘For men may come and men may go but I stay on forever’

Amidst the ever ephemeral “marketing trends” certain philosophy stands eternal! 4 Ps, STP, 5 forces to name a few. This relatively inconspicuous breed of marketing that I prefer calling ‘Affect-ive Marketing’ belongs to the same genre of perennial marketing principles. It is only ‘not-so-obvious’!

It wears no mask, has no charade but is too humble to boast its presence in the rings since donkey’s years. What heart is to human beings, Affective marketing is to marketing! Human heart is not only the most vital organ but is also the most irrational fraction of human whole. To target human ‘affection’ or to effectively ‘affect’ prospects has always been a marketing ploy. Affection and effective together form the semantic ‘Affective’.

A Brand endures the test of time only when it finds a place in the hearts of consumers and evokes affectionate customer relationships. Campaigns like ‘Humara Bajaj’,’Amul-the taste of India’,’Suddh Dhara’ were affective and thereby, successful in surpassing time horizon. Even today marketeers try the same formula and ‘this old wine in new bottle’ has repeatedly paid dividend as evident in ‘Bleed Blue’ or ‘KKR tension mat le yaar’ targeting crazy Indian cricketing spirit.

To achieve a continual share of wallet, a brand has to do it the ‘affective’ way. Customer interactions alone bear little returns in this multi-channel age. Customer engagement is the order of the day and ‘affective’ marketing the key to generate/sustain audience interest. This lead to the unison of the brand and the customer where they start speaking for one another. The brand taking toil to incorporate customer voice into its product mix and the customer vehemently defending its favourite brand on public forums.

Super brands like Facebook have taken customer engagement to the event of translating their page through crowd sourcing! The social graph becomes a very conducive space if your brand has some affectionate patrons (read, properly engaged customers) as often they take angelic avatars to negate negative buzz around. Collaboration between the brand and its customers is quintessential in manifesting the social footprint.

While AT&T proudly can boast of a wonderful customer service on the net that has altered its company’s twitter trend from Thumbs Down to Thumbs Up, recent Vodafone incident marks a horrendous Social Media failure. Companies have now boarded the Social Media flight but often forget to put on seatbelts. They fail to estimate the damage that an ignored ‘dislike’ can entail or the customer confidence that a prompt response can instill. Tackling customer affection is no more the cherry on top the cake but the dough itself; if you aren’t cooking it the affective way, well, you aren’t cooking at all!

~Moupiya Niyogi

MBA, Batch of 2012

DoMS, IIT Madras

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