Archive for February, 2012


Dipak Jain, Dean of Insead on Metrics for measuring marketing effectiveness

Tuesday 28 February, 2012

1st a few stories from Dipak: His father was a founder of India Airlines. He was told by his doctoral advisor that there was no future in math, so he arranged by professional courtesy, a few interviews @ Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. When asked in these interviews why they should hire a math wizard, his response was “it’s the future of marketing,” & he was hired. The 1980’s were big in marketing, with the advent of bar codes & buyer behavior @ points of purchase being captured in databases, which allowed marketing to segments of 1. He brought an analytical approach to marketing, creating marketing science. He was the 1st person of Indian descent to become the dean of an American business school, & in Europe too. He was told that he crossed a line of intimacy when he hugged a board member, & now is greeted with 3 hugs & a kiss on the cheek by the same. He became dean of Kellogg on 11 Sept., 2001, a day in infamy. Following that day, job offers for Kellogg students vanished, so Dipak wrote letters to Kellogg alumni who graduated prior to 1995 to ask them to consider hiring Kellogg grads. Within 2 weeks he had 54 offers for his students. His explanation was simply that people like to be asked.

India shines in parents’ commitment to education. Marketing is not a functional discipline, rather a philosophy of how to look @ problems. Not all can be measured, but what can be measured can be managed. Gillette counts the number of strokes it takes to shave in the morning for the Mach, 2, 3, 4. In 2003 he was invited to Thailand to brand the country & his compensation was a trip to Thailand, which he took in 2004 when the tsunami hit. Business schools have evolved their focus & those who dominate over the last centuries: 19th-colonies by countries, 20th-capitalism by companies, 21st-human capital by citizens. B-schools are in the best position today because they get the best people.

Market forces are at work. Our nanosecond culture leaves us with no time to be proactive. The airline industry needs to realize it’s competition is video conferencing because it increases productivity. Hyper competition reduces the customer cost of thinking. Airlines should stop selling tickets & start selling miles. Business model innovation will come from emerging markets. Lawyers are starting to charge for their power rather than by the hour & share in their client’s returns. In the 1990’s, Microsoft, Intel, & Cisco ruled. Since 2000, Apple, Google, & until recently RIM ruled with meaningful differentiation. Commoditization only leads to price competition, while differentiation takes a more holistic approach. World demographics are becoming bi-polar: the West is growing much older, while India is getting younger, which leads to changes in target markets such as customer wellness, health, & wealth-care.

Value requires effectiveness & impact:

  • Meaningful value creation means getting close to the customer before the competition does
  • Value capture means getting the right price to do business the way the customer wants to do it
  • Sustaining value means you’re capable of attracting & keeping customers.

Including opportunity costs & lost wages, a US MBA costs $350K, so shorter programs have value. The 2nd ½ of the 2nd year is a problem if students find jobs before they graduate.
Metrics must be meaningful to the customer. Redefine the space to think beyond success to significance & beyond corporate social responsibility to individual social responsibility.

Open Q&A

  • To address price-sensitive Indian customers, educate to demonstrate & deliver more value. For example, discount airlines are growing.
  • US B-schools are ranked highest because they invest in R&D, encourage giving, which results in large endowments. Indian schools are tuition driven, but can grow by encouraging a culture of giving. Indians already give to their temples.
  • These days, boards are focused on innovation. They’re not only ruled by ROI-Toyota has evaluated the Lexus over 20 years.
  • “A person in the world can be the world to a person.”

Dipak spoke @ the SP Jain Institute of Management & Research Marketing Conclave.


ICT for inclusive growth

Wednesday 22 February, 2012

I caught a presentation by the Chief Innovation Officer of The Ink Group, Ivaturi Vijaya Kumar, on ICT for Inclusive Growth @ the International Conference on Information Systems Design & Intelligent Applications.  He defined his topic as a focus on the social impact of information & communications technologies.  1 problem with ICT is it’s fixed access asymmetry with rural areas, which is typically not as scalable & sustainable.  E-governance, health care, & education are public services which are foci (plural of focus,I think) of government.  A rural kiosk is a good example.  Netbooks & tablet computers are making information access better, but government still needs to provide real-time data-it takes too much time to do things manually, as they’re typically done now.

1 challenge is the limited number of services presently available, although there is a change in the flow of information services for government.  The benefits are there are fewer last mile problems & more, more accurate, & more timely information.  These result in more clusters & more integrated services.

Another issue is that the numbers of inhabitants & doctors varies greatly by region.  but if Coca-Cola reaches every corner of the globe, why can’t health care?  Hemodialysis in India is cheap, while in UK & the US it’s expensive.   A portable dialysis machine was invented by a 15-year old.   A firm out of Bangalore claims to be able to bring dialysis to your doorstep.  The Indian government’s Mother-Child Tracking System is a big help to the National Rural Health Mission.

To bridge the digital divide, the future of education hinges upon being able to move from a focus on the teacher to a more learner-centric model.  But what the Indian government wants is simply compliance.  The Netketabi (“my netbook” in Arabic) project in Palestine enables students to showcase their talents in multimedia in an interactive way.

So, the final few take-aways are:

  • e-government cannot handle high bandwidth applications because of network problems
  • healthcare presents both challenges as well as opportunities
  • education in India differs from other countries in that there is little discovery & it suffers from local language problems.

Making marketing accountable panel discussion

Tuesday 14 February, 2012

A stellar group of panelists gathered for this panel discussion. Vispy Doctor of Ormax Consultants, Ambi Parameswaran of DraftFCB Ulka, Punit Misra of Unilever, & Atish Chattopadhyay of SPJIMR all contributed to the discussion, while Dipak Jain, Dean of Insead chaired the session. The Marketing Impact Awards competition was completed & awards were presented as well, all @ the SP Jain Institute of Management & Research.

It’s important to be customer-focused & not push product & focus on cost. Measure changes in loyalty, because there is no loyalty for 1-time purchases. FMCG’s don’t have to justify marketing expenses much because marketing strategy converges with business strategy for them. But few companies have a Chief Customer Officer & when times go bad, advertising is 1 of the 1st expenses cut. Marketing gains respect with board metrics. Companies might do well to consider hiring product segment managers who have more accountability rather than product managers. Gaining share of wallet customizes customer importance. Boards appreciate clear thinking about brands. Now marketing is being equated with market creation.

Open Q&A

  • Marketing research should be a reflection of reality. Despite Steve Jobs devoting 0 pages to marketing research in his writings, Apple simply used less formalized forms of research.
  • Marketers need to understand digital’s role better. Today if smart phones don’t read bar codes, some consumers won’t buy them. Mahindra is driven by social media. Reducing age barriers in hiring would help.
  • Waiting lists do not create their own demand-they send customers elsewhere.

how safe is your data?

Tuesday 7 February, 2012

I stopped in on this presentation by cyber-crime expert U Rama Mohan @ the International Conference on Information Systems Design & Intelligent Applications, who was quite a hoot.  He was very skeptical about the state of cyber-security, & he’s 1 who should know.  Law enforcement gets phobias-some don’t even know what a gigabyte is.  Don’t trust internet service providers-they watch your transactions.  Don’t bank online-it’s too easy for others to steal your data & money.  He differentiated between 3 types of crimes & their relationships to computers:

  1. computer essential crimes where computers are required
  2. computer non-essential crimes where no computers are required
  3. computer connected crimes which are not used in the actual crime

There are great quality counterfeit notes out there with convincing security features.

His objective is simply to collect/copy data:  images, clones, etc.  He then analyzes data in Windows, Linux, different file formats, etc.  Next he presents the data in hard & soft copy formats.  (It’s not valid to take discreet data-you must image a whole hard drive)   A 2 line program caused a 6 crore fraud @ Satyam.  Up until 2006, it was pretty much only male criminals, but since then women have entered the fray as well, although the internet can still be very anonymous.  Hard copy evidence can be a problem:  1 case resulted in a stack of paper 333 feet high.  Law enforcement prefers hard copy to soft copy, but data is gathered in opposite proportion.  Data can be retrieved from hard drives, flash drives, optical drives, memory cards, etc.  There are internet protocol addresses for every IP packet, but mobile internet messages are difficult to analyze.  Formatting a disk doesn’t get rid of the data on that disk, it just “wipes it clean.”

There are different levels of forensic analysis of :

  • active files
  • deleted files-even if files are deleted from your computer, they’re not really gone-your system just no longer sees it)
  • slack space
  • orphaned clusters, etc.

Everything sits in a temporary activity folder, including online e-mail.  New data does overwrite old data.  He put together a suspect matrix which plotted whether they are computer literate or illiterate & what they do & do not know.

Analysis can be done on disks, networks, mobile phones, live servers, e-mail, registries, logs, spools, embedded systems, data, audio, video, images, you name it.

Mohan estimates that 50% of computers in India are robots on botnets intended to attack digital infrastructure.  In sum, information security is a myth, a fantasy.  Only gmail does not provide an origin internet protocol address.  For example, a pen drive analysis delves into the 1st & 3rd levels of analysis.


There are a number of 3rd party tools for analysis from abroad which can be helpful.

The State Bank of India has had so many crises, they no longer cooperate with authorities.  HDFC is a superior place to keep your money.