The most important ‘P’

I have seen, heard, and even been part of debates regarding the most important ‘P’ in marketing. Some say it’s P for Product without which nothing else matters whereas others feel its P for Promotion which makes the product liked by most and wanted by many.

If you ask me, the most important ‘P’ is not a part of the 4Ps or 7Ps but an intangible yet powerful P – for Passion. Yes! it’s the alpha and the omega of anything we do in Marketing – launch a brand, revive a brand, manage a brand, take a brand to the level next, or launch an extension to a brand.

I remember an advertisement by a famous paint brand – ‘Har ghar kuch kehta hai ki andar iske kaun rehta hai’. Apply this to brand management – Har brand kuch kehta hai ki woh kiske dil mein rehta hai. In my last 25 years of being a part of the pharma marketing teams I would have interacted with more than 1000 marketeers and realized this every time – The Passion of the brand manager makes a HUGE difference. In fact, a product can be made into a brand ONLY by the person who is handling it.

I remember being a brand manager when the COXIB controversy hit the Indian Pharma Market – when many brands of the entire category wanted to give up a brand manager of Etoricoxib did not – he plodded on talking about how the side effect profile of other COXIBS is not applicable to Etoricoxib and created a blitzkrieg communication. The brand is still a leading brand in its category even 15 years later.

The launch of Rabeprazole is another such example. When most felt that this new molecule would eat away the market share of every other PPI a brand manager of Pantoprazole felt otherwise. She created communication that spoke of the benefits of her brand – loudly, repeatedly, and passionately. Today Pantoprazole still exists and is a huge market still growing

You know the thing about Passion – you can never get it from books or lectures or external things. It is inherent and it’s free!

In the words of E.M Forster – A person with Passion is better than a 40 merely interested.

"Let’s make sure that we add Passion to all that we do every day – A Product will become a Brand and a marketing person will become a Brand Manager".

Written by: Zena D'souza