Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

10 Reasons to Read Jessie Paul's No Money Marketing

Is austerity back in fashion?

Published: Oct 29, 2009 08:20:00 AM IST
Updated: Nov 5, 2009 07:51:12 PM IST

1.It is a book for our times. The world economy is in reset mode. When liquidity was sloshing around, the mantra seemed to be nothing succeeds like excess. Now, austerity is back in fashion.

2. The book is current. It touches upon contemporary tools such as social media, persona branding and awards marketing.

3. A wealth of illustrations and interviews make the book more a user guide than an academic textbook. In awards marketing, for instance, examples include the Wharton Infosys Business Transformation Award, which helped Infosys reposition itself as a business transformer rather than being just a supplier of IT solutions.

4. Much of the knowledge is acquired firsthand by the author. She was earlier Global Brand Manager at Infosys and is presently Chief Marketing Officer of Wipro’s IT business.

5. Between Infosys and Wipro, we are talking a market cap of about $40 billion built on the back of little or no advertising.

6. These brands were built literally from the ground up. “At a time when India had a reputation for being dusty and backward, there was not a speck of dust in the Infosys campus — in fact, Mr (Narayana) Murthy was known to personally supervise the cleaning of the cobblestone paths with toothbrushes.”

7. You wonder what Vijay Mallya is doing in a book like this; there’s no doubting his marketing prowess, but his means are far from frugal. This is perhaps a rare lapse on the author’s part. Also the bit where she details how she went shopping for a BMW. And her repeated tendency to refer to start-ups as upstarts.

8. For the most part, Jessie Paul practises what she preaches. In a week when Dan Brown launched his latest book amid a global blitzkrieg, Paul pulled off a quiet coup getting Infosys and Wipro to share the same platform at Crossword on Bangalore’s Residency Road. N.R. Narayana Murthy, chairman and chief mentor, Infosys, launched the book and used the opportunity to plug Infosys, saying Paul had done a commendable job on her book and “Once an Infoscion, always an Infoscion.” Girish Paranjpe, executive director, Wipro, bought the first copy and then followed it up with a word from the sponsor, so to speak, saying Wipro was about execution and not just about ideas.

9. The big learning from the companies it features is that in an era when editorial space are for sale, publicity can perhaps be bought but reputations can only be earned.

10. At Rs. 395, the book won’t make a dent in your marketing budget. Unless, of course, you choose to bum it off someone and pay no money.

No Money Marketing, Jessie Paul McGraw Hill, 184 pages, hardcover, Rs. 395

(This story appears in the 06 November, 2009 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)