About RP Kumar

With more than 27 years in increasingly senior roles in Consumer Insights and Strategic Planning, RP specializes in leading major research programs; gleaning relevant, actionable, sometimes hard-to-find insights from them; and developing brand, communication and marketing strategies for Ketchum’s clients. Further, he is also responsible for building the agency’s capability in these critical roles for clients. RP has on-the-ground global brand strategy experience across geographies (India, Middle East and North America), across categories (Food, Consumer Products, Telecom and Technology) and across major global agencies (J. Walter Thompson, Lowe and DRAFTFCB). He is passionately devoted to teaching and is a regular faculty member at Miami Ad School and teaches often at major universities, including University of Chicago’s Booth School of Management and Texas A&M University. RP holds a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering and an M.B.A. in Marketing and Strategy.

Author Archive | RP Kumar

A Pilot’s Guide to Conference Calls

I’ve been on a couple of conference calls recently that were great reminders of everything that’s challenging about these valuable, yet inescapable, staples of office life.

They also reminded the pilot in me of what we can all do to make conference calls more productive.

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The Evolution of Data in PR: From Analysis to Synthesis

Data is no longer a “nice to know” topic – it is now established at the very frontier of PR, and those who truly understand how to use it to drive client programs will be able to succeed by orders of magnitude over those who don’t.

It’s also fair to say that we in PR are simply not yet harnessing data’s full power. But what’s holding us back? I see three core barriers and three key evolutions that communicators must address if we’re going to succeed in the long run.

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Why the WHY Matters: Unleashing the Full Potential of Big Data

Consumer Insights have evolved from an intuitive, gut-based, “trust me” kind of discipline to a data-led, rational and programmatic one. It’s a welcome development, but there’s also a problem … Big Data has been hijacked by incrementality. It’s being used primarily in analyzing what is happening, in order to do “more of this” or “less of that”, but is not helping marketers understand the why: why something works, why it behaves the way it does, & why some brands become superstars while others wither away (click-to-tweet).

In other words, we are stopping short of discovering the causes for causality.

Here are two critical reasons why this story must be told:

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The Strategic Planning Cookbook: 4 Essential Ingredients

Throughout my career in Strategic Planning, many people have asked me what qualities best characterize Planners. I’ve come to realize that at the heart of it all, there is one overarching truth, as applicable to Planning as it is to haute cuisine: It’s not about process… it’s about craftsmanship.

Below are the four essential ingredients that form my Strategic Planner recipe for success…

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A Warmer, Fuzzier Analytics?

Analytics

I recently subjected colleagues to a word-association exercise. The word was “Analytics.”  As you can imagine, responses included “Data,” “Metrics” and “Measurement,” emphasizing the stereotypical view that analytics lives in an impenetrable realm of numbers, more numbers and just numbers.

As I am a Strategic Planner, I found this exercise dispiriting. Corporate America has been extolling the virtues of analytics as supposedly critical to strategic business decisions and corporate success, yet it’s still seen and used in a very restricted way. I think it’s a travesty.  It’s time for analytics to have its moment in the sun, not just as the stats professor but as the hip dude/bro/sis it actually is.

In my experience, analytics is used in most companies today in two ways:

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