By: Anamitra Roy
B.Com. Hons. (University of Calcutta, India), Certified Financial Accountant (CMC, India), DFA (CMC, India), PGDBF (HSIS India, India), Certified Financial Accountant (GLOBSYN Skills, India), GPBL (TASMAC, India & University of Wales, United Kingdom).
“Happiness is the secret to all beauty. There is no beauty without happiness.”
It was back in 2012 that I was reading an article on happiness. I still remember the writer raised a question in his writing. He asked the readers that how are it that some people are perennially happier and some are unhappy. The writer through his research reached the conclusion that happiness besides being dependent on social, political, technical, economical, geographical factors is also to a huge extent dependent on the genetic factors. I was very moved with this article although after so many years I do not remember the name of the writer or the article. I was very moved because right from my childhood I was very close to my Mom, who herself is a very happy person and has grown me to a happy person. So I could relate to the conclusion pointed out in that article that happiness is to a huge extent genetic. After that I went through a management program called “Global Program in Business Leadership (GPBL)” conducted by the TASMAC B – School and the University of Wales, United Kingdom. I had taken marketing management as my area of specialization in the yearlong GPBL program. After completion of this management program, I started to think about the importance of happiness in the marketing profession. I discussed about this with a lot of people. I closely observed the lives of many mid-level and top level marketing executives. I myself started to work as a marketing person. As a result of all these I reached a few conclusions in my mind which I am sharing with you all.
Let me clarify in the beginning that these conclusions are a result of observation and not research. So they can very easily be challenged. But still, I am sharing these conclusions with you all, because if you find it applicable in your life that would save time for the applicant. I have taken almost four years to reach to these conclusions. If, after reading this article, one can learn those in half an hour, then that would save time for that person and also for the entire human race as a whole. Thus, I will consider this as my share of contributions towards the growth and continuance of the human civilization.
On that note, my observations are as follows:
- Relating to the needs of the customer:I will give you a simple example. I was once having a chat with a renowned dermatologist. He was telling me about one of his experiences with a patient. This patient was a young man. He had developed a white patch in his arm. Within a span of almost ten years, it occupied a major portion of his arm. He never had any problem with this white patch because this skin disease was painless. But he started to have a problem with it the moment his marriage was fixed. He was embarrassed about the white portion of his arm. After all, all of us love to pose a perfect picture of ourselves in front of our newly married ones. That’s basic human psychology and I do not want to expand on that. The young man met the dermatologist in his chamber and requested him to remove the white patch in ten/ fifteen days. The dermatologist told him that a problem that was there for ten years cannot be eradicated in just a few days. But he promised to manage it to the highest extent possible within ten days. Trust me; this was one of the greatest stories of how someone could relate to the needs of another. Marketing is all about relating to the needs of the customers. For this you need to think. You can think well when you are happy. Thus you need to be happy in order to relate yourself to the needs of the customers. I was always and almost always told by my teachers that marketing is ultimately trying to relate you with the needs of the customers. You will have to fit in the shoes of your customers/ clients. Then only you will be able to relate to them.
- Endorsing the Brand: There are so many celebrities around the world who endorse brands. In India some of the most popular brand ambassadors are actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai, sports personalities like Sachin Tendulkar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sania Mirza etc. All these personalities while endorsing whichever brands they endorse do it with a happy face. A happy face is easily approachable than a gloomy face and so people are fond of happy faces. This is not only true in case of celebrities but also in case of marketing persons. When a marketing person approaches a client/ customer he is the sole representative of the organization. People do not care about who is the CEO of the organization. For them the marketing person that they meet in shops, malls, outlets and markets, represents the whole organization. That is why, it is extremely important for the marketing person to approach the customers/ clients with a happy face. This is because the happy face of the marketer says that the organization that he is representing is a happy one.
- Product Life Cycle: Let me for the time being, concentrate on the third and final phase i.e. the stage of declining. This is a stage that is unavoidable. It can be delayed but it cannot be avoided. Marketing scholars around the world are researching on how to delay the arrival of this declining phase. If I am asked personally, then I would say that this is the phase when happiness is most wanted to keep the work force motivated but at the same time this is also true that this is the phase when happiness is most difficult to achieve. This is because a declining graph indicates cash crunch, lack of confidence of the employees, internal feud within the organization and lack of interest in the job. There is only one solution to this. The answer is happiness. Happiness is the only way by which you can delay the arrival of the third and declining phase. A happy mind can take up more pressure and work load. To delay the arrival of the third and final phase you need to work more and achieve the targets. That’s possible only if you posses a happy mind. There are three phases of product life cycle. The first phase is the phase of introduction, the second phase is the phase of maturity and the third phase is the phase of declining.
- Absorption of Pressure: I remember as a growing kid I used to watch a lot of sports in the nineteen nineties. At that time, Ajay Jadeja was a very popular sporting star who represented India at the international level. He always had a smiling face. Even when he was playing and his team was losing he would smile. He was a happy person and he displayed his happiness … a great way to tackle pressure. In a lot of interviews, Jadeja spoke about this habit that he had developed since his childhood. He always believed that this was his way of tackling pressure. In the marketing profession, you will be under severe pressure. This pressure comes from your employer, your clients, your customers, your team members and also sometimes from yourself. You will have to absorb this pressure. There are ways of doing it. Absorption of pressure is a science. It is not an art. It is not dependent on individuals. You can absorb more pressure when you are happy. You can work more when you are happy. In all the leading organizations you will see the HR department working towards the happiness of employees. In fact, this is a new and very interesting vertical that has been added to the field of HRM. I remember when my Dad worked for Union Carbide; he was the member of the Volt ‘n Half Recreation Club. This was an in-house club for the working executives of that company who used to arrange periodical picnics, get together programs, musical performances by eminent musicians and other cultural activities. All these used to be done to keep the executives happy.
- Decision Making: Decision making is a principle of management that is common to whichever field of life you are. But it is particularly important in the field of marketing. In this field when you are taking decisions, your decisions will be influencing the fate of the organization. And, that’s true even if you are just a junior executive. You are taking decisions about the product, about how to pitch the product, about the approach to the customer/ client. Even if you are not the CEO, your decisions have the strength to influence the image and future of the organization. Now, how do you think every minute you are going to take decisions as crucial as these if you are not happy? Happiness is that important in the field of marketing. It will enable you to work freely and take decisions freely.
In conclusion, let me share with you all that there have been days in my career when I have received the most horrible of the thrashings from my boss. These had happened at times without any fault of mine. How do I recover in just one day? I had to go to the office the next day and face the same boss. Happiness is extremely important in whichever sphere of life you are but it is particularly important in the field of marketing. It will help you to go on and on despite the severe pressure. In this field of marketing on some days you would be required to travel more than 200 kilometers in a day, sometimes when the temperature is around 45 degrees Celsius. You know, I have personally experienced this that when you are in such a situation although marketing may be your passion, your life; still you may curse yourself for taking up this profession. The question is in such a phase of your life when you are cursing yourself for taking up this profession which is the best according to you, how do you inspire yourself? The answer is simple. “Happiness.” Be happy and you are done.
This write up that I have written is to a huge extent autobiographical. I have looked at life and learnt these lessons that I have shared with you in this writing. Please do feel free to share your opinions with me at my mail ID which is firstname.lastname@example.org
I would love to hear from all of you … my dear readers.
“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”