How Many People Does It Take to Change A Light Bulb? The FMCG Way!

Author: Sami Qahar

Marketing Response: As per Retail Audit, there is a huge opportunity to change 15 bulbs if we can put 3 sales team members on the task because of low numeric distribution. The household penetration of light bulbs is very low. Trial is the key here. Our focus group research tells us that one man takes an average of 14.75 minutes to change a light bulb in the west region and 13.24 in the east region. Therefore, it makes more sense to change the light bulbs in the east region. However, from the Brand Health Tracker blah blah blah blah…

Sales Response: It will be done. Don’t ask how many people it takes. Don’t ask how it will be done. Don’t ask anything if it’s not done by the 20th of the month because we assure you before the month end it will be done. Don’t ask how. Keep it in mind that we might need extra budget for this push as we think that the Marketing campaign designed to convince people to change light bulbs was not effective at all.


Trade Marketing Response: We have checked with Marketing. We are waiting for their response. We have also taken sales in the loop. Hopefully, they will also get back to us. We will get back to you on that soon.


Finance Response: The only problem is that marketing has been spending a lot of money on change the light bulbs campaign this year. This year’s spend is 1.0657% higher than last year and is now falling in the unacceptable range. On the previous campaign too, marketing spent a full 1,167 Dollars. Changing the light bulbs only gives a profit of 13.4 million Dollars and spending 1,167 Dollars is not justified for this activity. Instead if we put the same amount in bottom line, we can increase the Net Profit by 0.00000006574%.

HR Response: It requires around seven people to do this job; however, our head count is totally out of proportions right now. We can allow you a maximum of one person to do this job. That too, not a full-time employee but only an intern. Naturally, interns are paid less than full time employees and this is a small job, therefore, we will only pay 3.75 Dollars per hour. Unfortunately, we offer medical insurance and other perks only to the full-time employees and not interns. We take great pride in being a people-oriented company and we will leave no stones unturned to keep the employees motivated. We might not pay as high as others but we invest a lot on training our people and will send this intern to the other room next door on a great workshop about ‘how to light a bulb when you are totally overworked’.

Supply Chain Response: Light bulb? What light bulb? We haven’t produced any. Marketing did not inform us in time for production. Material prices are going up and suppliers are asking for advance payments. Can someone please ask finance to release supplier’s payments? Hold on… What? Machine has broken down? CRISIS!

Ad Agency Response: You have no idea how excited we are. This is such an exciting project. We have a dedicated team working only on this campaign. We will give you a breakthrough idea which will win us multiple awards. We will also send an entry to Cannes this year which has always been our dream. It will be a bit expensive though. Producing this ad film would cost around 1.3 million Dollars but it will be worth spending that money on this film. What’s the project again?

Media Agency Response: We can achieve 150 GRPs for this campaign with the budget you have given. It’s only 4 million Dollars, anyway. We will still be the most cost effective in the light bulb category based on CPRPs. (We know you cannot check other brands’ CPRPs and totally rely on what we tell you. Why would we tell you we are worse than the others?) Oh, by the way, Social Media is picking up big time. We need to make a Facebook page for lighting bulbs and have a contest on it. The fastest person to light a bulb gets a fantastic prize. We don’t know how we will deliver the prize to him/her but we will sure find a way.

Consumer Response: Where are the damned light bulbs?

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