Marketing in the new era

Those days in Neyveli, every once in a while, we would have some one knock on the door and sell soaps and other paraphernalia. In the sweltering Tamil Nadu heat, we often felt sorry for these marketing folks and offered a butter milk drink or a pickle so that they could finish their lunch at our verandah. Amma was nice and kind like that to those marketing people.

Cut to today – there is just too much to market – from clothes, to birthday party accessories, to insurance policies. And social media has only taken marketing to a whole new level. I receive calls from the same banks, sometimes from the same marketing personal every other day asking if I needed a credit card or a bank loan., Often I end the call within a second or so and shut the receiver down. Customer call center jobs have opened avenues for many who don’t manage to find a software job.Often all they get is a curt reply – though I must say being a Piscean , I can hardly get rude with people.

But have you realized it is not just the un-polished marketing guy with dirty shirt and dirty tie that you detest. But with social networks there are very polished middle class taking to marketing – some one that can speak the most polished English so much so you wonder if she is that elite Indian returned from US. At the end,  all that the person wants to do is sell a few dozen books for a 3 year old. All the more, very confidently she will make it sound that you are the only person unaware of the product.

..And then there are parents of friends . We had one visit us for Grihapravesham. His mom didn’t even wait for our Grihapravesham day to get over. She gets my phone number and makes a call even as I am clearing up pooja items and  sends a 3  lakh per year insurance plan. A friendship lost – A friendship we treasured for 15 years since college. Atleast she could  have waited for the auspicious day for us to be over.After all we don’t build homes every day and have an auspicious pooja.

Often you are left tongue tied with the elite middle class marketing chap.

Why this double standards. While I could cut the call from the ICICI bank insurance chap, why do I get tongue tied with someone  that looks very polished and sports sarees from FabIndia.


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