Winnifred Knight, Managing Director and Owner, CUBE [ON THE SQUARE] and themarketingsite has played an integral role at DMAi 2012 as Advisory, Speaker, Jury, Co-Chair, Content and Programme. Knight leverages 45 years of experiences in the industry in both, client and agency roles at the DMAi convention held for the first time in India.
In conversation with exchange4media, Knight talks about the convention, the Direct Marketing (DM) scenario in India and steps post the convention…
Has the response for the convention met your expectations?
I was extremely surprised at the enthusiasm of the delegates and speakers. I think overall it has been very interactive and a wealth of knowledge has been exchanged. I have been to conferences all over the world but learnt an incredible lot from the two days here.
What action will take place post the convention?
We are going to make a year planner to make sure we cover India and all the CMOs, CEOS and others entering the Indian market – from newcomers to the seasoned marketers – to show them what is actually happening in this market. We are going to build research and give support based on our work in other countries so we have benchmarks in place. The plan is to cover all networking opportunities and build libraries for case studies, even if the case studies are not all Indian to begin with. Case studies are actual proof that this discipline indeed increases your RoI in the most effective manner. We have just been approached by an institution here and been asked to do an extensive training. We are very excited about it.
What are the challenges you see in India when it comes to DM?
India may be hesitant because DM is not as well known as other disciplines and you may be stepping on the toes of consultants. Direct marketing has always been a threat; it has always been the Cinderella of marketing to other non measurable media.
The moment marketers start using DM and see the results of science and art with a subsequent return on every rupee spent, the balance of investments will start to move in favour of DM. I use the word investment instead of budgets because I believe every rupee you spend on this discipline is an investment you will get your return on.
To sum it up, the challenges are:
1. Lack of education of this discipline
2. Lack of infrastructure
3. Lack of skill-set / talent pool
How do you think this convention has helped growth of DM in India?
The way I see it, from a global perspective the convention is a springboard for the future of marketing and different types of marketing in India. It is probably going to be a slow take-off but it is going to grow tremendously. From the convention’s and DMAi’s point of view, I will help the team put infrastructure and ensure regular sharing of case studies. Case studies are normally linked to awards, which is also what we have done at DMAi.