Thank You For Your Time. But You Wasted Mine.

As the economy rises from the crisis, the job portals now have some good profiles posted. At a slow pace, but you get interview calls these days. Now, if you are really looking forward to a job change, then you would go for the interview.

Yes, interview. Let’s talk about the interview session. If it goes well, you are happy, but keep speculating why they did not call you back (which is not unusual these days.) If it went bad, you will crib and sulk till you appear the next.

I recently had an interesting interview for the post of Assistant Brand Manager. The interviewer was Head – Marketing. After 20 minutes of HR discussion and paper exchange and waiting for 40 minutes, I finally meet this person. The interview goes on for around 25 minutes and through out the interview either he snaps at me or the vice versa. The initial five minutes was annoying, but got interesting over the following fifteen minutes (at least at my end).

Now what went wrong? When you work in a team, at times you tend to talk as WE did, WE achieved, WE… and some more We’s. This person was like, “You are using ‘WE’, what have you done as ‘I’? I have a 300 slide presentation indicating what I have done as ‘I’ in the last two years and probably more than 3000 slides portfolio and several publications for the last 6 years. The irony was, on the whiteboard in his cabin, in huge black fonts, the expansion of the word ‘TEAM’ was written in a very clear writing.


Like seriously dude??? 😛

There where many mini snap Q&As, but the final was interesting, “Besides going through the organisation website and internet research, you should have done more homework on the organisation?” (The company website is incomplete. No Social Media Presence. Barely any information when you Google it. And I understand that this is why they need a brand manager in first place.) This time my answer to his stupid remark was a question, “And how do you do that?” In the 21st century, the man is expecting the candidate to chitchat and find about the organisation; or was I suppose to call Holmes and Dr. Watson?

Being old school is fine, but being ancient is unacceptable, especially, if you are in charge of the branding segment of an organisation. Digital media is ‘the media’ today—with which your presence can be felt globally despite you being located in just a corner of a country. Without a complete web presence, you are on your way towards extinction and will be fossilized soon. You may be an old and established service firm with an excellent word-of-mouth publicity, but with the competition around, just PR is not a sufficient promotional means. As a Head Marketing achieving sales target is great, but branding is a totally different ball game. No doubt both are interdependent, but applying sales principles to branding will not work most of the times—this is what I got to learn from the 25 minutes snip-snap session. Though we departed cordially, I really wanted to tell him, “Thank you for your time. But you wasted mine.”

However, there is no point crying over the time wasted. You will always get to learn something from an interview – be it good or bad. You learn by wining, but sometimes you learn more by losing. It is part of life. I have decided to apply what I have learnt to my work…and also to be prepared for clever as well as brainless prehistoric questions for my next interview! 🙂

…Ashu Bolar

Mouth Marketing :)

The other day, two office boys were having a discussion and one of them said:

“Arey, woh to mouth marketing se aage badha.”

(It progressed as a result of mouth marketing.)

I know what mouth watering is, but mouth marketing to me was a new terminology, and the sound of it was too hilarious. 😀

What he actually meant was Word Of Mouth Marketing (WOMM). WOMM is an unpaid form of oral or written communication.

Today, organisations spent millions on various modes of advertising. But still word of mouth publicity has a strong grip on marketing. No matter how much you advertise, WOMM can either boost up your brand or kill your brand.

With the advent of newer means of communication like the Internet and then the social networking sites, today WOMM has become all the more powerful. It takes seconds for anything to go viral – be it positive or negative. (If negative, then it is milliseconds! 🙂 )

When a brand is a product, to maintain a strong WOM promotion is still not difficult if the manufacturing process is accurate. However, if the brand is a service provider, then to constantly maintain a good WOM publicity can be a challenge. Satisfied consumers will always have good reviews. But one unsatisfied customer can ruin the entire brand image. Because these unhappy customers not just speak but write offensive comments on web pages, and once this process sets in, it is very difficult to have a control over it and extremely difficult to erase it.

Indeed, mouth marketing ;), I mean WOMM is still an essential tool for marketing. Personally, I feel organisations before spending millions on advertising, should first ensure that the product or service they offer is flawless. If so, then I think WOMM can do wonders and save some big bucks that can be utilised elsewhere probably for a good cause.

…Ashu Bolar