Left brain vs. right brain marketing
Organisations have traditionally considered marketing, as a
function, that facilitates the growth of their top lines.
However, the gradual evolution of management thinking has seen
marketing, as a discipline, expanding into two focal areas. One,
as a science of strategy making for organizations, and the
other, as a behavioural science, that focuses on the consumer,
as a human being.
In this context, when we look at the progress of the behavioural
aspects of marketing, the traditional marketer, has always
depended on the Above the Line and Below the Line methods, to
create favourable response, from the consumer. The conventional
field marketing, or the media based marketing, looks at
highlighting features vs. benefits, to the consumer, with the
assumption that, humans are rational (left brain oriented)
decision-makers, who care about functional features and
benefits. This method alludes, to an assumption that, the larger
the share of voice, larger, your share of market becomes.
However, with the advent of technology, the power balance has
shifted to the consumer. At present, advertising overkill, has
given the consumer, the weapons like the ‘remote controller of
their TV, the ‘delete button on the computer’, the waste bin for
junk mail, etc. to filter out what material and messages will be
accepted and comprehendedm to make that ‘rational decision’.
Seeing this paradigm shift, marketers toom began to change their
approach. We have seen the advent of Relationship Marketing,
Customer Relationship Marketing, Responsibility Marketing, etc.
where marketers have been looking for more creative means. to
interact and interface with their consumers. than to expect a
‘give and take’. transactional relationship.
The shift towards interactive marketing. has given the
opportunity for consumers. to explore and experience the product
and service, before making a decision. This new phenomena has
seen the birth of Experiential Marketing, which is a medium,
that is focused on creating one-to-one experiences, that engage
consumers, in deeper and more memorable ways. It is about
integrating brands, into people’s lifestyles and adding value,
to the consumer experience of the brand engaging, rather than
interrupting, which the conventional media marketing does, when
the consumer is rudely interrupted, from what he is doing, by a
commercial. Experiential Marketing views consumers, as rational
and emotional (right brain oriented) human beings, who are
concerned about achieving, pleasurable experiences.
This dramatic change, in the focus by marketers, has been due to
two major developments, in the broader business arena.
The omnipresence of Information and Communication Technology
Today consumers are more tech savvy, than ever before. The days
of super computers, tucked in large corporate rooms are over.
The modern day information age, has ensured that, the consumer
is plugged into information, by many means, like the laptops,
Blackberrys, mobile phones, etc. and are on the information
super highway. Today, each consumer has a singular mobile
number, and an email address reachable, from anywhere in the
world. Some have even progressed further, to have their own
websites, to web-blogs, to social networking forums. The
channels of Internet, social networks, mobile connectivity, etc.
have ensured that. the consumer is not only connected. to the
‘wild world of wonders’, but, is also more informed, than the
average ‘Joe’, of a few decades ago.
Today, many organisations are opening their ‘branches’ in Second
Life, to capture their customers’ minds, even before,they could
make a real life ‘buy’ decision. At present, Corporate websites
are more interactive and informative, and provide information,
on their products and services, to the discerning customer.
Therefore, the advancement in the Information Communication
Technology, has allowed people and companies, to connect and
share an experiential universe, with one another.
The Supremacy of Brands
Organisations have heavily invested in creating brand
identities, to their products and services. Today, we have so
many iconic brands like Coke, Nike, IBM, Apple, IKEA, etc. which
have grown beyond their product categories. With strong
branding, comes the battle for emotional affiliation. Brands
give personalities and identities, to the products and appeal to
the emotional aspects of the consumer. Today, brands are
becoming core competencies, for organizations, where the
strength of their existing product or service brands, is being
extended, to other product or service categories. This also
means creating brand loyalty. This is loyalty, towards the
brand, as opposed, to the product quality (feature vs.
benefits). In a world in which brands rule, products are no
longer bundles of functional characteristics, but rather, means
to provide and enhance customer experiences.
These new phenomena, represent the signs of an entirely new
approach in marketing, if not business, as a whole. According to
the Experiential Marketing Guru, Bernd Schmitt of Columbia
Business School, Experiential Marketing is distinct in four key
ways: Focusing on consumer experiences, treating consumption, as
a holistic experience, recognising both the rational and
emotional drivers of consumption, and using eclectic
methodologies. He further illustrates that, marketers can use
Strategic Experiential Modules (SEMs), to create different types
of consumer experiences, for their customers.
The experiential modules to be managed in Experiential Marketing
include, sensory experiences (SENSE), affective experiences
(FEEL), creative cognitive experiences (THINK), physical
experiences, behaviours and lifestyles (ACT), and
social-identity experiences, that result from relating, to a
reference group or culture (RELATE).
Therefore, Experiential Marketing is not mere exhibitions,
conventions and sampling, but creating holistic experience, that
integrate individual experiences, into a holistic Gestalt. The
concept of Experiential Marketing, came into being in the late
nineties, but was gradually forgotten. However, it has now
become a very topical and timely concept, for organizations, for
reasons discussed earlier, and organisations are shifting their
budgets, towards it, in a major way.
The 8th CIM Annual Conference, attempts to ‘Re-discover
Experiential Marketing’, in its pursuit, to win brand loyalty.
The Conference will have many overseas and local speakers,
highlighting the theoretical, and practical aspects of this
(The writer, Shiraz Latiff is the Chairman of The Chartered
Institute of Marketing Sri Lanka Region. He is a Chartered
Marketer by profession and is also, the Assistant Vice President
- Service Quality of HSBC Electronic Data Processing Lanka (Pvt)
Ltd. Mr. Latiff counts over 15 years of commercial and industry
experience, including seven years, at managerial level. He holds
an MBA, from the Postgraduate Institute of Management, Colombo
and an Advanced Diploma in Business Administration, from the
Association of Business Executives, UK)
Fitch Affirms National Long-term rating of
rating reflects the bank’s sustained profile
Fitch Ratings Lanka has affirmed the National Long-term rating
of Commercial Bank of Ceylon Ltd (CB) at ‘AA+(lka)’, reflecting
the bank’s sustained profile amongst local commercial banks in
terms of its strong franchise, good profitability, sound asset
quality, strong solvency and high capitalisation.
In addition, Fitch has affirmed CB’s Individual Rating at ‘D’
and Support Rating at ‘5’. Fitch has also affirmed the ‘AA (lka)’
rating of the bank’s subordinated debentures and the ‘AA-(lka)’
(AA minus (lka)) rating assigned to CB’s preference shares. The
outlook remains stable.
Though CB has traditionally been a dominant player in the
corporate banking market, it is gradually developing its
presence in the consumer banking market. Consequently, the
bank’s portfolio at FYE07 was distributed equally among both
these segments. However, Fitch believes the management’s
intended focus on middle market corporates could result in the
composition shifting in favour of the corporate segment over the
medium term. Loan growth dropped to 16% by FYE07 (compared to
27% in FY06 and a CAGR of 31% from FY02 to FY06), in response to
high market interest rates and regulatory measures aimed at
curbing credit growth across the industry. CB’s gross NPL ratio
rose slightly to 2.9% at FYE07 (2.7% at FYE06), but compares
favourably against those of its peers and against its ratio of
6.9% at FYE02.
ROA (excluding preference dividends) increased to 1.6% in FY07
from 1.4% in FY06 (adjusted for non-recurring gains on share
disposals and costs of pension restructuring), supported by an
expansion in interest margins (FY07: 5.1% vs. FY06: 4.0%) and an
improvement in cost efficiency (FY07: 38.2% vs. in FY06: 43%
(adjusted for the aforementioned one - off gains and costs)).
CB’s operations in Bangladesh contributed 12% of net income in
FY07 and 7% of total assets at FYE07.
CB raised LKR5.74 billion through a rights issue in H107 that
boosted the equity/assets ratio to 8.7% at FYE07 (FYE06: 6.7%)
and the total capital adequacy ratio (CAR) to 13.71% at FYE07
(FYE06: 11.58%). Fitch believes that the capital raised may be
deployed for regional business expansion or to grow the existing
Bangladesh operations where the bank has established a strong
position among foreign banks.
Established in 1969 but tracing its origins to 1920, CB is Sri
Lanka’s largest private bank and the third-largest Licensed
Commercial Bank in Sri Lanka, accounting for 10.7% of banking
system assets at FYE07. DFCC Bank (‘AA(lka)’) and other entities
related to the Stassens group hold 29% and 12.5% of CB’s voting
CB has a 1.78% shareholding in Fitch Ratings Lanka but is not
involved in either the day-to-day operations or credit rating
reviews undertaken by Fitch Ratings Lanka.
‘English as a Life Skill’ launched
Initiative aims to create 50,000 job
opportunities in BPO operations
bid to address the lack of English language skills in the
country—vital for business and economic development—the
government last week launched a Presidential Initiative styled
‘English as a Life Skill.’
Coinciding with the launch of this initiative a Business Mela
was organized by the Board od Investment in collaboration with
the Presidential Secretariat. The Mela brought eleven private
English teaching institutions from India to the Galadari Hotel
in Colombo from the 23rd to the 25th of April.
“Some of the most successful teaching methods and course in
spoken/communicative English have been developed in India,” said
Sunimal Fernando, Convenor of the special Presidential task
force on English as a life skill.
Fernando added that Indian institutions had successfully
communicated English language skills to large numbers of
learners in India who are now gainfully employed.
The private sector was invited to participate in the Mela by the
Presidential secretariat, which is keen to enhance what it terms
‘job-oriented English language skills’ in the country.
The Presidential task force strategy on developing English in
the country will initially target tutoring institutes and, in
the longer term, the mainstream education system.
By inviting private sector participants to the Mela, the
government hoped to forge links between the Sri Lankan private
sector and the Indian institutions that would result in direct
or indirect business relationships.
In the short-term, the special presidential task force aims to
have 50,000 people with ‘job-oriented spoken/communicative
English skills’ ready for employment in the service industry.
“The private sector employer, in his effort to survive in a
globalised environment, is increasingly insisting on English as
a basic skill for employment,” says Fernando, who points out
that English will be “taught and perceived purely and simply as
a life skill.”
The government plans to radically revise current English
teaching methods, replacing the present focus on structure,
grammar and translation with an emphasis on listening and
This would be followed by reading and writing.
Lanka tea for France
of Agriculture Maithreepala Sirisena visited the Sri Lanka Tea
Promotion held at Carrfour in Paris, France’s biggest
departmental store recently. He was received by Carrfour
Director Daniel kalache, Minister Counsellor Sugeeswara
Senadhira and Commercial Secretary Chandima Kiriwandala.
Carrfour has taken steps to introduce Sri Lankan tea in its
chain of super markets across the country. The official
inauguration of Sri Lankan tea promotion was held on Friday
(April 18) at the Carrfour at Auteuil in prestigious Paris 16
area with the participation of Carrfour (Auteuil) Director
Daniel Kalache, Sri lankan Ambassador Chitranganee Wagiswara,
Commercial Secretary Chandima Kiriwandala and Sri Lanka Tourism
Director Ruvan de Alwis. The Commercial Section of the Sri Lanka
Embassy in France organized this tea promotion with assistance
from Sri Lanka Tea Board, Mlesna Limited and Sri Lanka Tourism
Office in Paris. While the Tea Board provided delicious black
tea, Melsna tea with different flavours and fragrance were
offered to the Carrfour clientele.
CIMA Offer to Chartered
Accountants closes on 30 April
Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) offer to
members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants to register
with them saving upto 544 pounds by way of exception fees and,
to qualify as Chartered Management Accountants by sitting only
the final examination closes on 30 April, 2008.
Speaking to The Sunday Leader President of CIMA Sri Lanka Aruna
Fernando and CEO of CIMA Sri Lanka Bradley Emerson explained
that CIMA has signed an MOU with the Institute of Chartered
Accountants of Sri Lanka, that is open to all its qualified
members giving them an opportunity to enhance their profile by
qualifying as a Chartered Management Accountants.
Fernando stated that CIMA has long had a close relationship with
the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka, and has
been working closely with the institute for many years adding
that this special offer will only complement relations between
the two institutes.
Fernando said, “Though both institutes are all about accounting,
we are very different, but I think that is what makes our
relationship so special, this special package will only go on to
strengthen out ties.”
Nishan Fernando, the President of the Institute of Chartered
Accountants of Sri Lanka expressed his thanks to CIMA for the
kind offer which would be very valuable to the members of ICASL
especially at a time when exchange rates are very prohibitive
and doing foreign examinations are becoming increasingly
difficult for Sri Lankans. Nisahan also added that being the
premier National Accounting body, it is paramount that the
Institute work closely with all other accounting bodies and that
throughout the years, the two organizations have had a long and
cordial relationship, with many Accountants being members of
both bodies. He stressed that initiatives such as this, would
help in further strengthening the relationship.
Emerson said, “Going for an MBA is another option of climbing
the ladder for most professionals but this is far more easier,
plus it allows chartered accountants to venture into other areas
like business management and even marketing, so it widens their
He explained that the normal procedure would include paying
registration costs, submission and exam fees as well as
exemption fees, and that CIMA was cutting out the exemption fees
which amount to GBP 544.
Both Fernando and Emerson stressed the importance of having an
internationally recognized qualification, stating that CIM is a
global product that is accepted in over 100 countries.
CIMA is a leading membership body that offers an internationally
recognized professional qualification in management accountancy,
which focuses on accounting for business.
As an organization CIMA is committed to constant improvement,
and its reputation as a professional and regulatory body has
never been stronger, as it is increasingly the first choice for
students and employers.
At present, CIMA Sri Lanka has over 1,800 members and 12,000
students, making it the largest concentration of members and
students outside the UK. In addition there are around 1700 Sri
Lankan members and students living and working outside the
country, principally in countries like New Zealand, Australia,
Canada, the Middle East and the United Kingdom.
CIMA is the only international professional qualification with a
sole focus on accounting for business. The institute educates
trains and qualifies first-class professionals – people with
financial prowess who also understand the intricacies of
CIMA people go way beyond accountancy – by using finance skills
to focus on future success rather than past performance, they
are helping to drive the world’s successful organizations.
Rotary Club’s ‘Green
Cover’ to protect the environment
By Quintus Perera
Rotary movement in its quest to help the society, in which they
live in, has been involved in several worthwhile projects, such
as eradication of polio. One of the serious scenarios, taking
place on earth is global warming, due to uncontrolled green
house gas emissions, which makes an enormous impact on earth and
its living beings.
In attempting to mitigate or off-set the GHG emissions, even in
a small way, the Rotary Club of Colombo Regency, in association
with Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau is undertaking to plant
10 million trees, throughout the country, and to raise funds for
this essential project, Rotary Colombo Regency, with several
others sponsors is organising the Colombo Vogue Lifestyles
Weekend, a spectacular lifestyles weekend event, to be held from
30th May 30 to June 1 2008, at Hotel Galadari.
The programme opens with a New Age Music Concert titled
‘Mantra’, on May 30th , followed by two days of a fashion blitz,
under the banner of Colombo Fashion Statement, with Indian
designers showcasing their creations, on May 31st, and Europeans
Designers sashaying their designs on May 1st. Simultaneously,
there will be a Flower Show titled ‘Tropical Splendour’ on the
mornings of May 31st and June 1st.
The proceeds of this show will be utilised, to plant and nurture
trees in rural
Sri Lanka, as part of Rotary’s 10 million trees project, Rotary
(Sri Lanka) Green Cover. This project is being organised by the
Rotary Club of Colombo Regency, Rotary Club of Kandy and Sri
Lanka Tourism, and will be implemented, in association with all
Rotary Clubs in Sri Lanka. Participation from NGO’s and
Organisations interested in this project, is welcome.
Infotechs International (Pvt) Ltd. who joined the project, has
launched Lankafashion.mobi, as the official mobile website, for
this upcoming Fashion and Music Weekend. This website will
provide ready information on fashion events, in Sri Lanka,
starting with Colombo Vogue Lifestyles Weekend and Colombo
Fashion Statement. The website, which is accessible through any
mobile phone, feature the designer profiles, a photo gallery of
the models and performers, details of the various events, ticket
and location information, and will also have clips of the shows,
on streaming video, as they happen.
Elaborating this vital project, Prabhu Sundararaj, President,
Rotary Club of Colombo Regency said, that while the project is
on, every attempt is made to perform its activities, with the
accepted environmental norms. For example, they will not
transport seedlings from the city to rural areas, as fuel is
used to transport. They would instead, set up plant nurseries,
in the rural settings, eliminating use of fuel in all their
He said that the majority of plants that would be grown would be
useful trees like mangoes, jack, avocados, rambutan , which will
give a good income to the villagers. Only bio fertiliser will be
used for agricultural purposes.
Renton de Alwis, Chairman, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau
said that, the project of planting trees would also attract
tourists, as they love to see more green. He said that, though
there is a decline in the forest cover in Sri Lanka, 47 percent
green cover is there, in the country.
Colombo Fashion Statement has been tipped, as a unique expose of
the latest designs for 2008, by renowned Indian and European
designers. The Indian designers are Satya Paul, Shobaa De and
Ashima-Leena (duo), whilst the European designers are Lecoanet
Hemant (brand LH), Nathalie Ozier & Noemie Dieudonne from
The fashion shows will feature the reigning Miss India for Miss
World, Miss India for Miss Earth, Miss Sri Lanka, Miss Israel
and about three reigning Beauty Queens from overseas (Sweden,
Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Russia, China, Denmark , modelling
on the runway, a rare possibility, along with 10 models from
India and eight models from Sri Lanka.