Letter From The Elephant

Hello,

I am the elephant in the room. You know that phrase, of course. It means an obvious truth that is ignored or not acknowledged.

I am used to being ignored. Lots of very smart people use very smart arguments to avoid having to deal with me. I find it very funny. Why are they so shy of me?

But let me explain what I am doing here. This guy, Suman, has written this book that you are about to read. He claims that his task is to spot the elephants in the room and help others spot them too. So basically he is turning the spotlight on me.

Suman is trying to say that marketers have these pet theories and they cling on to them even though they are wrong. He has identified 10 of these theories-10 elephants in the room, he calls them-which he tries to debunk.

Well, I don't like this spotlight on me. Here I am sitting comfortably in the room, not being disturbed by anyone, watching with amusement as the marketers try to step gingerly around me. And now, Suman is trying to get me out of here.

So I have a plan. I am going to make fun of Suman. I am going to argue that he is wrong and there is nothing wrong with the elephants in the room. It will be fun to see who wins.

Enjoy the book. Suman has written all the boring, serious stuff with case studies and things. I have written all the fun , cartoony stuff. We are on opposite sides of each issue. It is up to you to decide who is right.

Spot & Share Your Own Elephant

Media

Reviews

About Suman

Suman Srivastava

suman@marketingunplugged.in

Suman is the Vice Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer of FCB Ulka Group in India.

Suman Srivastava enjoys doing new things. A graduate of Delhi University, IIM Ahmedabad and IMD Lausanne, he is an advertising man, strategist, author, marathon runner, teacher, social worker, sports fan and a creative bartender.

Suman has been the CEO of Euro RSCG India (now Havas Worldwide) and also Chief Strategy Officer for Euro RSCG Asia Pacific. He has been the Chairman of Euro RSCG's emerging markets planning council and a member of the global management committee.

He then became an entrepreneur. He started an innovation firm called Marketing Unplugged. The focus of the company is to help challenger brands create marketing innovations and thus achieve extraordinary growth. He has written a book of the same name which has just been published. Marketing Unplugged is now a part of FCB Ulka Group.

Suman believes that he was put on earth to be a teacher. He loves teaches and has taught at IIMs in Ahmedabad & Bangalore, ISB Hyderabad, MICA and several other management institutes across the country. He has also run workshops for clients like Microsoft, Intel, Reckitt Benckiser, Max New York Life, Dainik Bhaskar, Johnson & Johnson, Axis Bank, Tata Housing and Bharat Petroleum.


What is Marketing Unplugged?

Marketing Unplugged is an innovation company that loves unplugged music and sneers at synthesizer music. We think unplugged music requires real talent, real understanding of music and is unique, though sometimes messy. We think synthesizers are too much about process and science and not enough about music.

It’s the same with marketing. The process of marketing puts our focus on research, brand guidelines, market shares, share of voice etc. and in that process we forget about the music. Today, where almost every brand is plugged in to this one giant generator that runs on a fuel of complex marketing jargon, the output is not surprising – that 90% of brands launched every year fail to create an impact.

At Marketing Unplugged we believe in unplugging, and making music through our brands, products and strategies. We are, in particular, against formulaic marketing and me-too strategies. We believe that businesses and their marketing need large doses of innovation, out of the box thinking and brave creativity, to discover their core.

We are not marketing consultants. We like to call ourselves Innovation Artists whose mission is to create brilliant marketing strategies and who will get paid only if we succeed.

What Do We Do?

Marketing
Innovation

Clients contact us when they have a marketing problem or an opportunity. Whether it is about business growth, or launching a new brand, or re-staging an existing brands, or about entering a new market, or to talk to a new set of audience, we come in and add innovative thinking to the mix. Working long term with our clients, we guide the business on the path of innovation to help achieve business objectives.

Innovation
Workshops

Sometimes clients are looking for fresh perspectives for their businesses. Our innovation workshops are designed to open up possibilities and create new lenses to look at the business. With our innovative and creative tools, we are able to define new way of looking at the business and find new solutions.

Marketing
Training

Being in the know of what new is happening in the the world of marketing is critical for marketers. Marketers are too busy in chasing targets and doing the urgent that they do not get time to see what new things are influencing marketing. We read a lot and are inspired by the new wave of marketing thinking. We train and inspire marketers and brand managers to think in an innovative way to make their businesses grow.

Clients

Axis Bank
Bharat Petrouleum
Bharat Carat Lane
Bharat Carat Lane
Bharat Carat Lane
Bharat Carat Lane
Bharat Carat Lane
Bharat Carat Lane
Bharat Carat Lane
Bharat Carat Lane
Bharat Carat Lane
Bharat Carat Lane
Bharat Carat Lane
Bharat Carat Lane
Bharat Carat Lane
Bharat Carat Lane
Bharat Carat Lane
Bharat Carat Lane
Bharat Carat Lane
Bharat Carat Lane
Bharat Carat Lane
Bharat Carat Lane
Bharat Carat Lane

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Tesla’s New Strategy Is Over 100 Years Old

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Contrary to popular belief, Thomas Edison did not invent the lightbulb. Twenty or so inventors and labs had already come up with similar designs when he patented his in 1879. What Edison really invented was affordable and accessible electric light.

A Better Way to Map Brand Strategy

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Companies have long used perceptual maps to understand how consumers feel about their brands relative to competitors’ and to develop brand positions. But their business value is limited because they fail to link a brand’s position to market performance metrics.

The Modi Model and the Ambassador Sarkar

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May 25, 2014, was, effectively, the last day of the Congress-led UPA government. May 25, 2014, was also the day Hindustan Motors suspended/discontinued the production of its Ambassador cars.

The Piggly Wiggly way

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IN 1916 Clarence Saunders changed the face of retailing when he opened his first Piggly Wiggly supermarket in Memphis, Tennessee.

The Differences Between Northern & Southern Indian Food

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Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.

What Tesla and Apple Both Know About Entering New Markets

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Electric car maker Tesla recently seized headlines when it announced plans to enter the market for battery-based, power-backup systems for homes, businesses, and utilities.

This is how BMW became the top selling luxury car company in the U.S.

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This is how BMW became the top selling luxury car company in the U.S. In 1975, when Bayerische Motoren Werke AG opened its first dealership in the U.S., the German maker of sporty cars and motorcycles was barely known to American motorists.

Different View of India: Pictures of Indian cities you don't see in overseas media.

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In the western media, we often see only one type of Indian image. Crowded, dirty and polluted. The pictures would be often taken from random sewage canals and slums. The problem is that those underbellies exist in every part of the world. Shanghai can be like this or like this:

Harvard Biz Review: 8 Core Principles of Blue Ocean Strategy http://t.co/TX

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http://getpocket.com/redirect?url=http://stevecoast.com/2015/03/27/the-world-will-only-get-weirder/

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BBC - History of Indian Mathematics Part-1 of 2

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Part-2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeJbR_...Marcus du Sautoy looks at the contribution of Ancient Indians like Aryabhata, Brahmagupta, Bhaskara, Madhava, etc in the field of Mathematics.Programme: BBC - The Story of MathsPresenter: Marcus du Sautoy

Identify Blue Oceans by Mapping Your Product Portfolio

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This past quarter Apple once again crushed its earnings report. This despite Wall Street’s uncertainty since the death of the company’s founder and visionary, Steve Jobs. How has Apple managed to maintain its stock price and convince investors of its growth potential?

A Country Is Not a Company

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College students who plan to go into business often major in economics, but few believe that they will end up using what they hear in the lecture hall. Those students understand a fundamental truth: What they learn in economics courses won’t help them run a business.

How to run Windows 10 on your Mac for free

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One of the selling points of a Mac these days is the ability to run Windows software on it, via virtualization or Apple’s own Boot Camp. Running Windows lets you play PC games that haven’t been ported to the Mac, or stay completely compatible with your documents from a PC-centric workplace.

Xiaomi, Not Apple, Is Changing the Smartphone Industry

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Determining which customer to target first is one of the most critical decisions in the entrepreneurial process. Customers that are relatively less risky and more predictable can make it easier for new to firms gain a market foothold.

Modern Asian leaders

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Makers of Modern Asia. Edited by Ramachandra Guha. Belknap Press; 385 pages; $29.95 and £22.95. Buy from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk

What's Your Cultural Profile?

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Make Your Presentations Pop with These Free Tools

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These days audiences expect more from presentations. We want to interact, and we expect access to the presentation again afterwards. We also expect audio and video, not just stills.  Slides seem  to have become synonymous with bad presentations, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Four Days in Provence

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Most people journey to Provence for at least 7-14 days to sample fresh produce, admire the beautiful scenery, enjoy the long and hot summer days, and generally adapt to the Provencal way of life.

The Lewis Model Explains Every Culture In The World

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A world traveler who speaks ten languages, British linguist Richard Lewis decided he was qualified to plot the world's cultures on a chart.

Where is the CMO in digital transformation?

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Digital is changing the world and chief marketing officers (CMOs) know it. They are embracing digital channels with fervor, but it’s time to do more, believes Accenture.

Cannes 2014: Coca Cola's Wendy Clark brings alive spirit of the ‘World’s Cup’, in real time

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Speaking to delegates at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity 2014 were two Coca Cola Company executives from the brand’s ‘war room’ in Rio, via Skype.

Strategy Is No Longer a Game of Chess

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Legendary strategists have long been compared to master chess players, who know the positions and capabilities of each piece on the board and are capable of thinking several moves ahead. It’s time to retire this metaphor.

How To Manage The Explosive Marketing Technology Landscape

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The line between marketing and IT is becoming blurred in many organizations.

State of Payments: Reinventing Money

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This post is part of a series in which LinkedIn Influencers analyze the state and future of their industry. Read all the posts here. If I had just two words to sum up everything that’s going in the payments industry right now, I’d pick “disruption” and “transformation.

Books that inspire Us

Our point of view

Commodity_Fotor

If you are in a commodity market, it’s your fault

May 26, 2015 / 0 Comment
April 16, 2012 This appeared in the First Post on April 16, 2012. Click here to see the original. Imagine a seminar on innovation where the featured case studies are on ball bearings and a rural information service. I attended just such a seminar recently and that is where I heard the line which is ...

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