Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been ranked among the 10 most powerful people in the world in a list by Forbes magazine. This comes as no surprise to his fellow 1.3 billion Indians among whom he remains hugely popular, well into the middle of his first term as Prime Minister. Deflecting any anti-incumbency sentiment that besets every politician across the world, PM Modi is often touted by young Indians under the age of 35 years (who form 60% of India’s humongous population) as their best Prime Minister till date!
In India, Modi is the mood of the nation.
Source: Press Trust of India
Describing Modi’s actions in 2016, Forbes took note of the demonetisation drive announced by the PM and wrote, “In November 2016, he unexpectedly announced plans to eliminate India’s two largest bank notes in a bid to reduce black money laundering and corruption, creating nationwide frenzy to swap out the bills.” In spite of the inconvenience this move caused to the general public and being reviled for it by the intelligentsia, both at home & abroad, PM Modi registered widespread support for the government’s demonetisation initiative and surgical strikes in Pakistan occupied Kashmir.
The recent assembly elections in five states, especially in India’s heartland of Uttar Pradesh, bear testimony to the Prime Minister’s popularity surge.
A recent Pew Research Center report has found that 87% of Indians have a favourable view of Modi, including a strong majority (68%) who see the prime minister very favourably. And among all respondents – men and women, the young and old, the urban and rural populations and members of the three national political parties – a majority holds very favourable views of the prime minister. So strong is the Modi magic in India that it has swept the Indian National Congress party, the principal opposition party, to India’s political fringe.
Every business owner dreams of doing a Modi in his chosen field of work. Like PM Modi, being a competent business person is not enough to win in India’s markets. What is needed is dominance. A quality Modi has.
To do this, you need to employ his marketing mantra of E.S.C.R.O.W. (read more about this at http://wp.me/p6tQjj-3o)
The first letter E stands for EMPATHY. In today’s blog post, I will explain how a business person can employ Empathy like Modi does, to telling effect.
Empathize means to understand and share the feelings of another.
Modi sees voters not just as poll constituents who are to be sermonized & then be taken for granted later. He is able to create a strong connection between his audience and his personal brand. He does this by creating programs that serve the audience needs and addresses their biggest pain points. And he creates these types of programs by informing & driving them with empathy.
Case in Point:
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) is among the most successful social-sector projects of the Narendra Modi-led government. The program has achieved its target to give cooking gas connections to 15 million families in 2016-17. The scheme is followed by the success of ‘Give it Up’ campaign launched by the petroleum ministry through which 10.5 million people gave up their LPG subsidy.
Gathering impetus from PMUY scheme, the government has added 20.5 million LPG customers this year. In the past two-and-a-half years, the government has been successful in adding 60 million LPG connections, while in the 60 years before that, only 130 million connections were added.
Numbers apart, this program is a latent exercise in social engineering in a country notorious for its social inertia. By freeing up women from back breaking kitchen chores and dependence on firewood as cooking fuel, the Prime Minister has not just emancipated the female gender in rural India, he has given Indian women what they most yearn for. Dignity in the kitchen and time of their own! How could PM Modi do this? He empathizes with women. As a young man, he would often help his mother in the kitchen and he knew the difficult time women endured in there, for better part of the day. By providing poor rural women FREE cooking gas in their own homes (many of whom could not even dream of such a ‘luxury’), he has earned a place in their hearts. Like many women in India say, “Humein Modiji se lagaav nahin hai. Hume unpar shraddha hai (We are not ‘fond’ of Prime Minister Modi. We repose our ‘faith’ in him)”. Who do you think will win the women’s vote in the polls? Duh!! With half the voting population rooting for him, this is stupendous market coverage! And remember, women are past masters at Word of Mouth marketing.
Source : Pinterest
To replicate this success in business, entrepreneurs have to be relentlessly consumer focussed. How many times have you heard this before? How often do you do this?
Modi-fied questions businesses need to ask themselves:
- Do you understand your audience? Can you create a profile of your typical customer?
- Can you connect with them on a deep, intuitive level? Can you translate that connection in terms of money?
- Do you really know what your customers want? Do you really know what your customers need? Do you know why?
- Do your marketing efforts strongly project an innate understanding of your customer? How do you measure such marketing successes?
- Will your perfect client/customer come to your website and say, ‘Hey this guy is talking to me?’ Will your mobile business app be adopted by her?
Write out your answers to these questions. Be brutally honest with yourself. Or else, your customers will be! Revisit these questions every quarter. And learn from your customers, like PM Modi does.
If your answers are not convincing enough or if you aren’t sure the answers are correct, do not hesitate to undertake Market Research. It can make all the difference between your market credibility and market disappearance!
For any Market Research activity in India, and consequent strategic marketing advice, please do not hesitate to contact me. Visit my website http://cobblestonesconsulting.com for more details.
There was a time when strong, sexy ad campaigns would move Indians to buy from their ego place. But today, most Indian consumers have to be careful with their spending and only a strongly demonstrated understanding of their feelings and life/business circumstances will inspire them to pull out the wallet. As businesses learn to embrace these right-brained, empathy-driven marketing tactics, consumers in India are also learning; they keep their eyes open for the brand that understands them the best.
This is why Modi wins the ballot even before the votes are cast!