Suha Vignesh of ECE, Priyadharshini of IT and Parimal of M.Sc IT are the Marketing team heads of this year’s edition of Kurukshetra. The amount of dedication and effort they put in their work was clearly seen while I was trying to fix an appointment for interview. The three of them were wrapped in the overload of work. We finally got around to meet and this is how the interview went.
Firstly, out of all the teams, why did you choose to head the marketing team?
It all began in our second year when we were impressed by the k!ore tags and t-shirts. We decided then, that we had to own one someday, but most importantly we think it is our passion for marketing and reaching out to people that has brought us here. It gives us immense pride in propagating the brand of K! We get to interact with all the other teams and have a clear insight on the overall picture.
What are the different forms of marketing that you have adopted?
We use 4 forms of marketing.
DIRECT MARKETING – This is when we become the faces of Kurukshetra. We go to colleges in and around Chennai, Trichy and Coimbatore. We also visit colleges in other states like Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. We make sure the name and brand of K! and CTF reach a wider audience.
ONLINE MARKETING – We make use of Facebook as a major platform to market. It is the viral form of marketing. This involves a lot of creativity and innovation from our side. We have to be up to date with the recent trends and make sure we market in such a way that it appeals to the masses. We also use Twitter and other forums to attract the professional group.
STUDENT AMBASSADOR PROGRAMME – In this programme, we select representatives from the other colleges. They act as a point of contact between their college and Kurukshetra. Important information is passed on through these ambassadors. The ambassadors love the experience of being a part of an international technical festival and they learn a lot.
PARTNER PROGRAMME - Here, we get sponsors, associates and partners for Kurukshetra. An important aspect called “Branding” comes into picture. We have to make sure to build the brand and keep up to the expectation in a span of seven months. It gives us a different kind of confidence and pride when we carry the name of Kurukshetra to the outside world .
What do you think are the difficulties in marketing?
Living up to the expectations of the brand name of Anna University and Kurukshetra is something we always strive towards. In marketing, there is no particular target that we can set and so we can never achieve 100 percent efficiency. The target audience is huge and it is our responsibility to carry the name of K! to each and every one of them.
Difficulty in our area would be adapting to abrupt changes. Anything can happen anytime and we have to make sure we can cope up with it. Like for example, if an online event is scheduled and we are expecting a majority of the students from our campus to participate and all of a sudden, the wifi connectivity all around college gets disrupted, it becomes our duty to handle the situation. All the changes need to be done instantly.
We always have to keep a holistic outlook. We have to make sure all possible views are taken into account and put together to produce the final output. If we convey something and the audience understands it differently, it would be of no use. So, thinking from all different angles is a vital task.
As you mentioned above, the marketing team has to have a close relationship with the other teams as well. You have a greater dependence on them. How does that work out?
We think all the “k!ores” work as a closely knit group. Yes, we have a greater dependence on the other teams. We have to co-ordinate with them to produce the best results. Our major work is to make the other teams understand our goals and the intricacies of marketing. We have to make sure they understand how long an idea takes to reach the target audience.
The Marketing team has the highest number of “k!ores”? Why is it so?
Yes, the other teams have 2 “k!ores” and we are a group of 3. We think it is because marketing is a wide ocean. Whatever we do, 100 percent is dificult to achieve. It is a very vast field and involves a lot of work. Even with 3 people, we work day and night. The work seems never ending. Our day as such is divided into two. The first half we spend allotting work to our team and making sure things get done. The second half is spent planning the next day’s schedule.
How big is your team?
We have about 30 of 3rd years working for us. We have 15 teams and a group of 8 of 2nd years in each team. So, it is safe to say that we are a team of 270. We are grateful to our juniors. They are amazing and they make a very strong committed team.
What is your team currently working on?
We had covered over 133 colleges in the last 5 days, while we are shortlisting more in Tamil Nadu in our current drive. We covered the other state colleges in our phase 1 in October.
Can you recall any particular, unique reaction to K! while you were marketing?
Our juniors would be overjoyed to answer this question. The amount of respect we get in the other colleges is incomparable. They are always eager to be a part of CEG and Kurukshetra. We get calls in the middle of the night asking us about K! It gives us a lot of satisfaction and happiness carrying the brand forward.
Have you adopted any new approach to marketing this year?
We wouldn’t say new approach. We have set ourselves a bench mark and we are trying to make this year’s fest better than those of the previous years. There are separate goals we try to achieve. Rather than the number of hits on any event or workshop poster, we focus on the quality hits. We think this plays an important role in the reach. But we never know, last minute hypes and drops are always common. We are just hoping for the best.
We, The Guindy Times, also wish that your hard work pays off and the 9th edition of Kurukshetra turns out better than ever before.