Presentation on theme: "Marketing and Branding and positioning of Philately."— Presentation transcript:
Marketing and Branding and positioning of Philately
Philately Philately is a delightful and creative hobby that engages the mind of the collector in an intelligent manner and satisfies the aesthetic tastes of a person. It not only expands knowledge but also gives information about the world we live in. It gives interesting details of politics, history, prominent personalities, national and international events, geography, flora and fauna, agriculture, science, Astronomy, monuments, soldiers, warriors, scientists, arms and ammunition, modes of transport etc. This process of learning becomes more delightful through visuals and brief write-ups accompanying Stamps as an information sheet. In addition, philately cultivates a meticulous and focused attention to detail. There is a need to inculcate this hobby among young children so as to broaden their perspective and ignite creativity among them.
Marketing: A snapshot of present scenario There are a few gaps in the present system of marketing of philatelic stamps. These include the following: The stamp issue calendar is tentative, prone to last minute changes & there is little pre release publicity. This is in contrast to established global philatelic practices where calendars are issued well in advance and adequate pre release publicity ensures all stakeholders are effectively informed. The stamps are printed in government security press. They bundle and dispatch the stamps directly to philatelic bureau. FDC and information brochure is dispatched by the philately division to the philatelic bureaus. This unlinked supply chain is difficult to monitor and it has been observed that stamps, FDC and information brochure often reach philatelic bureaus with delay.
Contd…. Philatelic bureaus (81) and philatelic counters (1100) form the structure for marketing stamps. These are the points of sale and also points of supply to philatelists and PD a/c holders. While Philsim software reflects stamp availability at the bureaus, there is no information of availability at the counter level. Infact, it has been seen that the supplies to counters and to PD a/c holders are beset with delays and philatelic counters do not receive all the stamps for sale. This inefficiency is one of the prime de-motivators for budding philatelists.
Contd…. There is no standard mode or media for publicizing new stamp issues. It is not mandatory to issue press release for each & every issue. Lack of proactive information dissemination and publicity translates to lack of interest among all stakeholders and even among the employees of DOP. Philately is arguably the most colourful and creative among the entire gamut of activities of India Post. Yet there is no global online presence (epost office is for domestic sale) for the sale of these attractive creations.
Contd… Plugging of these gaps will be crucial to any sustainable marketing initiative. Philately, despite carrying the tag of “king of hobbies”, has long remained on the sidelines due to lack of a significant marketing push. The marketing push has at its core: a lack of marketing strategy and an institutionalized marketing setup at all levels.
Marketing Strategy Launching a new stamp is akin to launching a new product. Such new Product launches require considerable planning and intensive execution effort. A new product launch progresses through a number of important stages: internal communications to guarantee high levels of awareness and commitment to the new product; pre-launch activity, to secure distribution and ensure that the sales channel have the skills, resources, and knowledge to market the product; launch events at the national, regional, and/or local level; post-event activity to help the sales force (staff at counters and bureaus) and other channels (distributors, collectors, philatelists etc) make the most of the event; Launch advertising and other forms of customer communication.
Comprehensive Internal Launch Internal communications are vital to the early success of any product launch program. During an internal launch, the marketing team must sell the concepts to the staff who, in turn, must commit themselves to it. It also requires coordination in many activities which will form part of the product launch process—for example, distribution, and marketing. Postal Staff must be aware of the scope and benefits of the product so that they can contribute effectively. They should be fully briefed on the new product so that they can plan and execute on the external communications process. This requires creation of comprehensive sales and marketing guides which outline the key features of the new stamp.
Contd…. US Postal Service has one of the best internal communications program for all their philatelic product launches. The initiative of USPS makes available all relevant information, press releases etc on their website. The purpose of this internal communication is to highlight the strategic importance of the new stamp and to develop a high level of interest before the stamp is introduced to customers.
Pre launch activity and launch events Since issuing stamps is the only truly sovereign function of Department of Posts, it is imperative that each issue be celebrated as an event in the philatelic bureaus. In the present setup, marketing also suffers because even the post office staff is unaware of new releases. Such events will disseminate information among the internal as well as external customers. This will entail holding small function on the day of issue (or within 3-5 days of new launch) of each stamp (or each stamp on national theme). Presence of local media, public representatives, school principals, representatives from local philately clubs etc need to be invited for such events. Presence of local media is essential since all such events are part of public relations programme. All such effective public relations events will ensure that the stamp (as also India post) receives good coverage in the right publications.
Contd… A downloadable information/marketing kit or “pre-release guide” for postmasters / incharge philatelic bureaus. Pre release guides will help to give the postmasters/divisional heads an indication of all the key activities that should be performed. The guide will insure that everyone involved in the launch process understands the product, as well as the launch itself. This guide may contain, in detail, the following: An Explanation of the Background This section of the guide will cover the background to the launch and the market opportunities. For example: Why is the new stamp being launched? How does it fit into the Post Office’s overall strategy? What is the proposed target group? What new sales opportunities does this stamp provide?
Contd… A Description of the Features and Benefits This section of the guide will explain the features and benefits of the new stamp. This section will act as a sales guide for the philatelic Bureau/counter staff and will enable a thorough understanding of the product. An Outline of the Launch Activity Schedule The final part of a launch guide should provide a schedule of key launch activities, such as: individual launch events; national and local advertising campaigns; suggested dates and formats for customer events; press release for local media. posters / signages of standard A4 and also of poster size (to be printed locally at a colour laser printer). The posters etc can be in.jpeg and.cdr format. Other supporting marketing programs Adequate funds for such sales and publicity events may be provided at the divisional level.
Branding and Internal visibility While project arrow has standardized the look and feel of the post offices through the corporate branding exercise, the branding exercise and indeed the entire project arrow implementation was bereft of any component for philately promotion. If Philately is to be nurtured as a potentially significant revenue stream of DOP, it is necessary to provide due visibility within the post offices also: For instance, within the project arrow branding theme, a standardized and attractive display area may be created which displays the latest Philatelic offerings of DOP. The display area (can be called ‘philatelic corner’) will also contain information on upcoming issues and events. Area may also be created where budding philatelists (especially school children) can put up their exhibits on a weekly basis. The dedicated display area can be thought of as a part of continuous engagement of prospective philatelists/collectors by the local bureau or counter. Earmarking of exhibit space for different local schools can also be thought of. This will institutionalize the crucial link between philately and schools.
Branding of Philately Workshops in schools on regular basis (include audio visual presentation, quiz on philately, on the spot stamp designing contest, prizes etc.) Publicity in local print media Special emphasis on tourist destinations. Philatelic souvenirs.
New Initiatives for marketing of philately Promotion of My Stamps it has been decided to allow the outsourcing of work relating to My Stamp under different scenarios, to give commission for marketing of the product and to give discounts to the customers. Outsourcing of various activities relating to My Stamps can now be done following a suitable tendering process. The rates of commission/outsourcing have been calculated on the basis of current selling price of one My Stamp sheet which is Rs Circles may also enter into suitable tie-ups with Government institutions like Museums following the due procedures
Promotion of My Stamp
Contd… Postal Assistants may be given a commission for marketing of My Stamp; commission may be given at 10% of the sale value of a My Stamp sheet provided the marketing for My Stamp is done beyond duty hours.
Discount Slabs Further, the following discount slabs are approved in order to attract bulk customers. Purchase of My Stamp Sheets = 10% discount Purchase of 100 or more My Stamp Sheets = 20% discount The above discounts are to be given only to such customers who buy My Stamps from such Post Office counters that are manned by postal officials such as Philatelic Bureaus/Counter/Postal/Philatelic Museums.
New Themes for My Stamps My Stamp sheets with 10 new themes such as Tajmahal, Budha, Hawamahal, Qutub Minar, Port Blair, Ajanta & Ellora, Mysore palace etc. are under preparation and will be printed shortly. SOP has been revised and circulated with minimum specifications required for hardware. Funds under plan head have been given for publicity and procurement of hardware of My Stamps(3.5 Lakh for each circle)
Revenue Projected from My Stamp Printing press has been intimated about the tentative print order of My Stamp which is 30 lakh sheets every year. Projected revenue from My Stamp- Rs. 90 Crore.
Opening of New Philately Bureaus 13 new philatelic bureaus at tourist destinations have been opened and will start functioning from 1 st March Distribution quota has been revised and circulated. Funds under plan head have been provided for opening of new bureaus( 2 lakh each).
Upcoming important issues FIFA World Cup Indian Metal Craft Musicians of India Stepwells of India 160 Years of India Post.
Action Plan Up-gradation of philately bureau/counters Opening of new philatelic deposit accounts Timely dispatch of philatelic materials to collectors. Data base of IDs and Mobile numbers of PD account holders. Good packing material to be used for despatch of Philatelic material
Action plan Philately is a monopoly product. Popularize E- Post Office Stamp Release functions at local level Advertise and publicity in local media. Tie-ups with museums, institutions etc. Availability of Special Cancellation for collectors. Pictorial cancellations at tourist places. Issue of special covers to commemorate important events in state. Presentation packs