Friday, 21 December 2012

When will technology for kids go mainstream?

I have been reading a lot of researches as well as observing that kids today are the new tech junkies. To them, Mobile phones, tablets and PCs are what Scrabble, hop scotch and hide and seek was to my generation. They not only use technology but are a prime influencers of technology purchase. This is not a news to anyone. Apart from a few tablets such as Micromax who have tablets which cater to kids, I don't see much action in that segment, specially by the handset makers. I am sure there are a few available but why is it not mainstream?

I see tremendous potential there. Kids today are most discerning about technology. Their use and understanding is intuitive. But what they get straddled with are either hand-me-downs or cheap feature phones for basic use. I don't think they are looking at a phone to call or text but to stay 'connected' in a larger sense. There in lies the opportunity.

Imagine an app store designed only for kids. Where they can download apps using the points they earn by playing games or answering a quiz which could be educational in nature.

A phone which allows content downloading specifically meant for kids. The developer needs to put a 'suitable for age groups x to y' rating and bingo!

A phone built for their nimble fingers yet hardy enough not to break even if they drop it a million times.

Kids lose everything. From their sweaters to water bottles name it and they would have lost it a multiple times. They are bound to lose their phones as well. So an in built mobile trakker to locate the lost phone.

A phone which pairs up with their parents so the parents keep a track of their mobile activity - who they call, what they watch, what they download - the works!

A phone with voice capability and reads out a story to a 6 year old.

The opportunity is immense. Content to user experience - there is a world of possibilities there. The way today's parents splurge on their kids, get them to believe its good for their kids and (I hazard a guess here) they will be happy to shell out money on things they don't spend on themselves.

Who knows, perhaps by the time I hit the publish button, phone for kids will be everywhere. After all tech trends do change super fast.



Tuesday, 18 December 2012

What's your Klout score?

It’s no secret that the internet has moved from pages to people. Brands no longer control how they want to be perceived but perceptions are pretty much shaped by what people have to say about brands. People influence other people.  As far as social media is concerned, influence is the currency. The ability to measure that currency is helpful in evaluating one’s effectiveness in social media compared to others.

Klout does just that. It uses over 35 variables across 12 social media platforms to measure true reach and amplification probability of a person. The scores range from 1 to 100 with higher scores representing wider and stronger spheres of influence. Brian Solis observes that some people today check their klout scores just as investors check their stock prices.   

But to be considered a key digital influencer, is it good enough to have a high Klout score? No, it isn't.  Audience will consider the person a great influencer depending on the content he produces and the content one wants to be associated with. So instead of just concentrating on collecting comments and likes, to be a true digital influencer, one must produce content related to a specific area of interest and the only the power of relevant conversations, will separate a key digital influencer from a noise maker.

As a marketer, I am truly excited about the future of Klout scores and the potential it holds in driving the intention economy.

The video here is a conversation between Brian Solis and Joe Fernandez, the CEO of Klout. Watch it to get a first hand perspective on Klout.  

Monday, 17 December 2012

Mobile is clearly the future but is it the present?

Bollywood and cricket finally have competition. If you notice any Indian today, chances are, he is either texting, calling, surfing, searching - using his mobile phone - even while watching his favourite flick or Tendulkar's batting. But what are the chances that he is engaging with a brand using his mobile? Rather scant, I think.

The ubiquitous device which is an extension of our hearts, minds and fingers is the most important screen among the multiple screens which guide our lives today. But is it getting its fare share of attention from the marketers? I think perhaps its a bit of a neglected area. While there is unanimity on its growing importance, specially in the future but currently I sense a hesitation to invest into a mobile strategy to utilize its full potential, today. And I wonder why. 

Could it possibly be because we are still grappling with the full potential of the internet through desktop and don't want to move to the next thing without completing our understanding? 

But these are 2 mutually exclusive media. Desktop marketing tactics, differ from mobile marketing just like outdoor media differs from television. They could help a marketer to meet completely different objectives in absolutely different time frames. 

While a mobile strategy can help in building awareness like every other medium, but it can best help to deliver results in the area of customer acquisition. Today, search is one of the top 3 activities in mobile interactions and if google's Marissa Mayer is to be believed, about 40% of search on Google are for local things.People on mobile devices are seeking and interacting with things around them. 

 If that be so, the key opportunity of mobile marketing lies in delivering highly contextual and relevant information that directly engages individual customers.  

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Moving from an attention economy to an intention economy

There was a time not so long ago, marketers were busy devising ways to 'buy' their consumer's attention.  'Time' they said was the currency. After all, in a busy world why would you 'spend' your precious time with a brand if it did not give you back something you valued. Pretty much the same way you will not open your wallet for something which you did not see of much use. This, we the marketers termed as 'attention economy'.

But world has moved on and consumers have gotten smarter. Time has gotten more precious and no matter what, they are protective about time and are conscious about what they spend it on. If we are to go about the increasing searches on google and status updates, one thing that is proved is that consumers are happy to spend their time on their 'intentions'. They are happy to search for the dream holiday, the dream house, weight loss, face list and what have you.

Thanks to social media, the intentions are all over - as status updates, as pictures of a perfect evening at their favourite coffee shop, choice of holiday and so on and so forth. This truly is the golden goose.   Consumers themselves are advertising what they are after and brands are reading into it only to plug themselves in in every possible way. If my status update reads that I went for a 5 km run, I will be bombarded with popular running shoe brand's ads in every digital media I consume. Soon, if I put my dream house on Facebook, some loan provider will ensure they let me know the best deals on home loans on every media I consume. This is what I call the 'intention' economy.

Every expressed intention will be an opportunity for a marketer to bombard the consumer with a specific and highly targeted communication putting forth their best salesmanship in print.

So next time you do express your intention, watch over your shoulder. The big brother is indeed watching.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The right brained digital technologists

After almost 15 years in advertising and marketing, I, along with a friend, decided to 'work for ourselves'. We set up a company called Bright Angles Consulting. Our dream is to help people with their digital marketing strategies. So far so good.

But we stumbled upon a funny thing when we started meeting potential clients and friends - a tug of war between what we said and what they heard.
We said 'insight miners', they heard 'number crunchers.
We said 'mind mappers', they heard 'chart readers'.
We said 'story tellers' they heard 'code writers'.

It continues so on and so forth. The mind tends to hear what it is already programmed to hear. The world of digital technology has no place for 'right brained words'. After all, we are talking about the world of technology.  

The little nugget I collected from our meetings was - while the world technically has progressed from 'information age' to a 'conceptual age' ( a term coined by Daniel H Pink) somewhere along the way, we have forgotten to embed it into our minds. Consequently, most of us still believe that the 'T' word is a domain of the left brained where the right brain does not even play a supporting role.

Strange. For a minute, let's forget Facebook and others in the social media space whose foundation lies in an understanding of human behaviour. Let's think about our smartphones.

We live in an era where our smartphones now not only respond to our touch but also talk to us! That should be ample proof that logical, linear, analytical thinkers alone no longer create hard core technology in isolation. Apple perhaps was the first company that recognized the need to understand subtleties of human interaction and come up with aesthetically designed products the world did not know it was missing. Who would have ever imagined, a dash of empathy into a world of hard nosed linear logical thinkers could create a company this big (current market cap: $571.38 billion), helping it to zoom way ahead of established competitors such as Dell and HP ( current market cap $16.03 billion and $27.90 billion respectively.). It's time, decision makers recognize that numbers driven quantitative data in isolation will not help them arrive at a business solution. Be it for product development or  digital marketing.

The foundation of a good marketing strategy lies in a well answered 'why' for every piece of quantitative data. Only a well rounded team of right brained meaning makers and pattern recognizers along with left brained chart readers, number crunchers and code writers can arrive at insightful strategies, apt even for the digital world. It's not a job either can do well in isolation.

Sooner marketers integrate qualitative understanding in their digital marketing strategies and product development, the faster they will see the full utilization of the power of the digital technology.

Till then, wish us luck as we continue our uphill task of explaining what we the right brained technologists really do.

Monday, 12 November 2012

day in the life of a mobile user

7 AM : Wake up with an alarm app on mobile.

7:30 AM:  Stop hitting the snooze button to check out Facebook while sipping cup of tea.

8:15 AM : Quickly scan through news headlines on mobile twitter app.

9 AM: While getting into the car, scan through the day's schedule on the mobile calendar

9: 05 AM: Check route and traffic status to the client's office using a map app

9:25 AM : Update traffic status between Bandra and Powai on twitter while driving

12:20 PM: Use the chat app, WhatsApp to update colleague about the meeting

12:35 PM:  Look for a lunch deal while driving back to work - Zomato app to the rescue

1: 15 PM : While standing in the elevator queue, drown self in important tasks which run the economy - pay electricity bill, mobile bill and buy movie ticket for evening

1:25 PM On reaching office desk, the depressive environment prompts a quick walk to the pantry for a cup of coffee and a Tripadvisor scan to plan next holiday

2:30 PM : Destination found, ticket booked  between finishing coffee, reading mails and updating facebook status

2:32 PM : Ask boss for leave via BBM (bad mistake!)

2:35 PM:  Boss reads message message but does not respond.

2:52 PM Keep staring at the BBM screen for a response for 20 minutes but no luck (bad feeling at the pit the stomach)

2:55 PM Frustrated, start walking back to desk while looking up a new job on linkedin...      


Thursday, 8 November 2012

Mind blowing social media statistics

Here are some terrific social media statistics put together by Eric Qualman, the author of Socialnomics.

But before you press the play button, here is a thought I want to leave you with.

Eric says that social media is not a fad but a fundamental shift in the way we communicate and the social media ROI for a company is the business's existence after 5 years. I think all of us agree with him. But I have a question which I would like to ask the marketers, specially in India - why are we so hung up on numbers and not spending adequate resources (people, time or money) to get a real understanding of our consumer's behaviour online?

I rarely come across any insightful discussions on what makes people 'like' a brand, share an experience, help a digital friend test drive a car or repeatedly buy shoes from an online portal. Should we not look at our customers (or fans if you like) as people first and stats later? Should we not base our digital strategies on insights based on our understanding of motivators and barriers rather than inferences drawn from only numbers? How do we arrive at a strategy without eves dropping  on online conversations or spending time with their digital artifacts?  

We at Bright Angles would love to hear your views. Do write to us at or send us a tweet at bright_angles with your point of view.

Enjoy the video while I thank Eric for sharing this fabulous video with us.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Adaptive Path Co-Founder and UX Designer Jesse James Garrett interviewed...

The potential power of a good User Experience (UX) design is an area not very well understood by marketers and hence one of the most neglected part of marketing. It has the power to influence what customers feel, do and most importantly say about a brand.  A good user experience based on understanding consumer behavior and psychology has the potential to improve service and also overall customer relationships.  

Watch this video to get a first hand understanding from the UX design guru himself.

Monday, 17 September 2012

rambling thoughts behind the faces@mumbai streets

                                        Perhaps if I tug hard enough,
                                        I will be able to change your mind
                                        about getting me that ice cream
                                        about not educating me enough
                                        about getting me married as soon as I reach puberty
                                        about giving me a chance 
                                        to live my life as I please. 

While money never buys me what I really need. but I pray  that every rupee I earn,just moves me a step away from my reality. 

I am enjoying life 
so what if everyday and every moment is an endless strife

she prays at the alter, she prays to the sea
dear god almighty, let my daughter grow up to be nothing like me. 

We lead our separate lives,
and go our different ways
cause we don't see eye to eye
and we cant stand face to face
 - Allen Parsons Project

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Can financial institutions loosen the tie, roll up their sleeves and show some personality?

One of the biggest fears that people like me face is dealing with the financial aspects of their life. From getting a basic understanding of their investments, buying the right insurance to filing tax returns - this is a task all of us love to avoid or at best, postpone as much as possible. Indecipherable jargon, pushy salesmen, multitude of paper work are some of the reasons which make us want to stay away from the world of the financial institutions, however well meaning their approach may be. 

Ironically, it is a challenge that most financial services organisations face too. It is a constant challenge for them to  get a grip on who the person behind the account number really is. This perhaps emanates from the the fact that thus far they never considered themselves to be a service industry and  never really needed to know their customers as people.  Relationships were transaction based. Their key efforts were to develop great products and to ensure the transaction process was as smooth and painless as possible.

But somewhere along the way, the game changed. Now they suddenly find themselves in the chasm between a service industry and a product manufacturer which requires them to view their customers from a human angle.

Here is where social media comes in. Some simple steps could help to bridge the gap and create a greater affinity towards one another. In this article I would like to illustrate a few of them.

# Being the 'person' people want to connect with
Held back by regulatory constraints, financial institutions find themselves challenged in spaces like Facebook.  but here is where they can loosen the necktie , roll up their sleeves and show some personality.

Understanding the fact that Facebook community wants to connect with brands at a personal level rather than for product information, a few financial organizations have taken the bold step to portraying a 'cool' personality which people can easily identify with. Once the human connect is established, people will  more willingly want to share data, endorse the brand and shower the brand with attention.

Citi does a great job of  creating conversation which interest people and sharing content which is exciting. Sometime ago they hosted a special Beyonce video which could be viewed only on their facebook page.

HSBC Students‘ Facebook Page, the bank’s first foray into the social network, launched alongside a major scholarship competition in summer 2010. The bank invited students to submit 90-second videos about how they intend to make their mark on the world. The effort was rewarding. The posted videos got 3000 comments and 40,000 likes. After rounds of community and official voting, the bank awarded eight students with £15,000 toward their university studies.

J. P. Morgan's facebook page offers career advice to industry hopefuls and new comers. These posts strengthens the banks image in the eyes of the potential employees and their peers.

Most financial institutions do a lot of social or charitable work through their philanthropic arms. These often  go unnoticed. Facebook is a great way to share their good work and seek participation - bolstering the company's human angle.

#Listening in 
With proliferation of online identities, people are more freely sharing what they do, who they are and what they desire. This could be a valuable source of insights for the financial world. When people go through a life change (get married or become a parent) or career change, they share it online. These are great triggers for financial services discussion and this is where financial institutions can reach out to them in a meaningful way.

It is a great place to 'listen in' to figure out how consumers make important decisions by reaching out to their 'connections' and 'friends'. The questions they ask, the challenges they face, the solutions they seek etc. The success lies in moving away from the product sell perspective to observing how people are using various products, what are they doing with it and most importantly, what are they saying about it.

#Bringing forth the 'expert' imagery
Most companies want to position themselves as the guru or expert. By sharing original and insightful content about what people care about and solutions to people's daily financial life, brings them a step closer. Blogs, webcasts, white papers on Slideshare, being a part of popular forums are some of the tools used to create the expert imagery. The key is to find the niche that will appeal to the target segment and content that is differentiated from the competitors.

#Being present where it matters 
People like to aggregate information from various sources when taking a financial decision. Being present in multiple places with relevant content for the platform helps to inch in closer. For example, blogs provide a fresh insight, forums allow expert advice and twitter helps to provide 'fresh up to the minute' content and customer care.

Most financial services companies have a lot of valuable content but they do not have a strategy to distribute this content beyond their own boundaries such as the corporate website. With RSS feeds and Twitter gaining popularity, people want content to reach them and not go looking for it. Organizations would do well to step out of their comfort zone of the company website and be present where people are most likely to discover them.

Simple tricks like adding a share button like the facebook or twitter button and RSS feeds to websites and blogs ensure the people who discover the content, easily share it with others - creating greater awareness.

While these are just a few illustrations, there is a world of possibility even for highly regulated industries such as finance. All it takes is a sound knowledge and a good understanding of the medium to maximize its potential.

With 48 million social network users in India, majority of who are aged below 35 years, social media provides tremendous upside in terms of building a bridge with their current and potential customers. Also since increasingly it is becoming important for  companies and specially the ones in financial services to put forth a face that people would like to connect with, they will soon have to inculcate social media as a culture of the organization rather than simply view it as just another marketing channel. 


Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Twylah is the new me...check out all my tweets in the twylah website.

Oindrila Roy Twitter | Oindrila Roy Trending

Rise of the networked advocate

As the control of brands is slowly moving to the hands of the customers, the economic value of customers is being calculated by their ‘influencing power’ rather than their ‘purchasing power’.  

With the democratization of media, the most valuable customer today is the one who has the power to influence the decision of many, using the web in their daily interactions.

The referral factor is not a new phenomenon. It has been around ever since the first salesman came about.  Only the tools to influence have evolved and strengthened with the rise of social media and emergence of the  referral economy.  

With increasing cost of reaching millions through traditional advertising and the diminishing returns of every rupee spent, brands are relying  more on authentic word of mouth through social media to drive awareness and purchase.

The networked advocate has the power to influence not only the brand’s bottom line by saving precious marketing spends but also establishing quality connections with the brand. Research has proved that customers who come in through referral are more loyal, spends more money and are more likely to stick around.  

However, despite the availability of sophisticated social media tools to analyse their fans, are brands adequately tracking their most networked advocate? Do they know their online habits such as where do they hang around, when are they most likely to talk about their product or service, what is of value to them or most importantly, are they adequately informed?    

The referral factor is not a ‘luck by chance’ deal but has to be a planned strategic process. Brands need to sift through their millions of ‘fans’ to identify their most profitable advocates and enable them to share information with the more number of people using multiple touch points if they truly want to leverage the potential,  

Monday, 13 August 2012

Insights from Social Media

It is interesting how brands monitor what we say on social media. Each part of of what we say is analysed to arrive at an insight. Watch the video for a vivid example.

Insights from Social Media Monitoring and Engagement Tools -

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Can Social Media be the bridge over troubled water?

Read an interesting prediction by Gartner today. (They are a leading information technology research and advisory company). They say that by 2014, organizations that refuse to communicate with their customers via social media will face the same level of wrath as those companies who don't respond to customer's emails and phone calls.

I wonder how many of you agree with them. I do.

If companies are looking at strategies to plug in product information using the social media, it is just fair that people expect a response on their complaints or other assistant which they may require, via social media.

In India there are 48 million social network users. What could be a better way than to publicly show them that the brand they have a relationship with, actually care. Care enough to solve their problems, answer their queries and even at times, apologize for their failings! After all, we would like to believe brands too are human!

This is a good time as any for companies to put down a simple strategy which answers 3 basic questions - as per the Gartner report:

Which posts should they respond to
Since it is impossible to comment on all, there has to be a cohesive strategy which provides a guideline regarding responses - what, how and when.

Who should respond
Each type of comment / posts warrant could warrant a response from different individuals/ departments. It is essential to identify who should respond to what rather than having a standard answer.

What should be done with the comments/ posts
This data is a rich source of insights. Companies will do well to analyse the data and  use it for creating further engagement in the social space as well as disseminate the information across the company for use across touch points including product development.
"Developing a means for acting on social data will provide a competitive advantage by providing exceptional customer experience through increasingly significant social channels."  -  Gartner report. 
I would be interested in hearing from you, the reader, what do you think?


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

With the explosion of mobile usage, it isn’t business as usual.

Mobile phones are slowly becoming a shopaholic’s favourite conduit.  This convenience packed smart little gadget is helping shoppers across the world enjoy a completely novel shopping experience.  

Mobile is fuelling the ‘consultative shopping’ behaviour.  
When shopping offline, shoppers are using their phones to seek peer set’s / user opinion, compare price with other sites and stores and also quickly read a review before a purchase.  

Making payments even for an offline purchase  
With offerings like Airtel Money and Google wallet, it’s a matter of time when people will prefer to lose their wallet to their mobile phones not only for online purchases but for the off lines ones as well. 

Most deals and discounts reach people through their mobiles
With increasing use of smart phones, most mails are read on phones and mails regarding discounts are availed by jabbing a few buttons. Additionally there are those which are received through text messages. These do act as magnets for purchase, mostly through the mobile, making it an important channel. 

With the mobile phones increasingly gaining a centre stage among shoppers, seems like a matter of time when M Commerce will shoot past E Commerce. Are marketers gearing up their mobile strategy to ride the impending wave?

Sunday, 5 August 2012

In our world of 'NO's

Marketing fundas practiced by Kantaben

So if the internet and the glitzy malls have made you come to expect a lot more from your service providers, in suburban Mumbai, the hub of entrepreneurial spirit -   the local vendors have adapted this better than any big brand in the country.

With just a mobile phone by her side, my local vegetable vendor, Kanta, is practicing brand building, lead generation, swift transactions and even enviable customer relationship management! 

Kid you not, the ingenious lady has built a strong network of friends among the neighbourhood building security guards who casually let the residents know about the extent to which she goes to ensure she only sells the freshest vegetables that too delivered at your doorstep!

Once she rings your doorbell, she is not hesitant to ask for contacts of your friends who could use her service and bingo - leads generated, goes on to make the next necessary call!

She is willing to give you gossip about the neighbourhood, pass on numbers of other important service providers such as the fruit vendor and even a good plumber. God forbid, if you find yourself without a house hold help, she can even organize one. This is one relationship you will not easily give up on, even if she charges a little extra, will you?!

While she goes off to deliver vegetables and build new business leads, her husband mans the little stall they run at the end of the lane.

All this and a little more with no education but with just survival instinct and unshakable faith in god.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Decoding India's Digital Consumer - A video presentation by A.C. Nielsen

The numbers are changing everyday as are the consumer's habits, consumption patterns and device usage. But are marketers taking a closer look at new ways to reach this digitally connected audience as yet?

Friday, 3 August 2012

Optimize the digital medium for an effective lead generation strategy

The digital medium provides scalable cost effective approach to generating leads for new business.

While working on a lead generation exercise, it is tempting to go after anyone with a wallet. But, a generic plan like that works out to be more expensive and also has a lesser success rate. For a successful lead generation activity,  it is important to have a sharply defined strategy based on  an understanding of your most profitable customer segment.

Here is a simple 6 step model which may help marketers who are grappling with their digital lead generation efforts.

Step 1 : Know whose time you are after 

Get a sharp understanding of your potential customer and their behaviour in the online space.
A segmentation study in the digital space will help you to get a grip on various segments and you can
choose the one which will be most profitable for you in the long run.

Profiling your customer segment will help you with information such as their interests, surfing habits, nature of their social media interactions, their device usage habits and most importantly, a fair idea on what what would motivate them to share their personal data in the online space.

Step 2 : Know your competition
What is of supreme importance in a war is to attack an enemy's strategy. Monitor closely all the actions taken by the competition and keep that in context while formulating a strategy.

Most good digital strategist have competition tracking templates which help you collect, collate and analyse relevant data to arrive at a differentiated lead generation strategy for your brand.

Step 3: Pin point the bait  
There is a famous Chinese saying ' if you would take, you must first give.'
The digital medium is all about give and take. Online customers are used to sharing only in return for something. And the 'something' has to be of great relevance and value for them.

If you want the customer to give you time, attention and data - first make an offer they cant resist.
The segmentation study will also help you to find an offer which will resonate with your audience and what they value most. This really is the starting point of the conversation.

Step 4: Draw up an engagement plan

Answer 3 simple questions :
#1 : What do you want to say  - Have a clear strategy on how you want to communicate the offer to get the data in return.

#2 : What are the various medium options - web banners on sites they visit,  pay per click campaigns  or SEO using relevant key words, emailer or partnering a mutually beneficial partner.
Consider all  pros and cons before allocating your resources. There are some which will work better for your business than the others. But if you a first timer, layer your strategy with multiple choices and narrow down on the ones which work better for you as you go along.

#3: Where am I most likely to engage them most : Like traditional media plans, based on the understanding of your customer's interest and sites where they are most conducive to share information, draw up a media plan. the caution to exercise here is  to not fall for what's trendy but base your decision on facts which stem out of good customer understanding.

Step 5: Lead capture mechanisms  
1. Device strategy : With multiplicity of screens, it is important to know what device your prospective customer is most like to use to provide the data so you can tailor make the form to suit the device. (You should get this information as well from the segmentation study.) For example, if your strategy is a click through banner ad on a news site which is most often visited via a tablet, ensure your lead capturing form is tailor made and tablet friendly. Only a good user experience will get you what you want.

2. Provide a toll free number. Just in case the customer chooses to call, instead of filling up the form

3. Evaluate and re-evaluate the form multiple times to retain only the critical fields. Briefer the better.

Step 6: Monitor your efforts  
Every marketing initiative should have a separate landing page. Each email, banner , Pay per click or SEO should have it own landing page so you can track page visits to these dedicated pages with an analytic tool such as Google Analytics which is a free service.

For a more detailed presentation on effective lead generation strategies, write to us at 

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Navigating the technology madness

The role of Digital technology in marketing is evolving every fifteen minutes! We are getting blinded by the speed of the change. However, most companies do not view technology as an integral part of marketing though technology is affecting consumer behaviour and their decision making process in a big way.  

Digital technology plays a key role in solving complex marketing problems by adding science to the art of marketing . It provides the intelligence and the instrumentation to leverage the full potential of the interconnected audience. 

As lesser and lesser consumers believe what the companies have to say, the traditional sales funnel is giving way to the influence loop. It is  no longer good enough for the marketer to just create awareness and lead up to an intent but it is becoming critical to influence  reviews, recommendations and feedbacks - which forms the core of the decision making in the purchase process today.

But providing compelling content which has high viral potential is only half the story.

The role of the marketer today is to also make available friendly user interface and technology enabled conversation mechanisms in the consumers' devices of choice. The easier it is to discover, blog, tweet, post, share or just 'like' your content, more the chances of it making it to the conversations and the influence loop.

Nike just did it!

They did it yet again. While Adidas is the official partner and have spent in the region of 100 million pounds over the last 4 years on Olympics marketing, Nike hijacked the show!  Their 'find your greatness' campaign captures the spirit of Olympics without mentioning the word or any other related word!

Since the beginning of the Olympics last week, 'Find your greatness' landed at No.1 on the viral chart with 4.5 million views while the official sponsor's 'Take the stage' campaign ranks # 3 with 2.9 million views!

Just to refresh your minds, they had done the same thing at the world cup a couple of years ago with their 'write the future' campaign. It will be interesting to watch what Adidas might do at the Rio Olympics in 2016 where, if the rumour mills are to be believed, Nike will be the official sponsor.

Nike: Find Your Greatness.

Jan Chipchase: "Nine trends shaping the future of social interactions"

Watch the video for an erudite articulation of the following 9 points :

1. 'Pocketable' technology leading to behaviourial leakages
2. Sharing as default
3. The distance between the questions and the answers are shrinking
4. Serial solitary interactions
5. Real time associations about people through all the stuff around them
6. The gap between the social norms between generations will grow with technology
7.  Blurring of boundaries between work and social life
8. Speed at which 'pocketable' technology is being adapted
9. 'Pocketable' technology is moving to seemingly 'invisible' technology  

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Looking good in the digital age

Read this interesting article about how people are increasingly becoming conscious of their looks and some of it, well, a lot of it is also fueled by our increasing connectivity. This interestingly is called the 'Facebook effect'. The more one gets involved with the various image heavy platforms - more people become obsessed with their appearances. The article pointed at the fact that video chatting tools like Skype and Facetime might perhaps have led to more and more people going under the knife.
The last bit of trivia might be an exaggeration but I do definitely notice that people who are hyper connected digitally have most certainly gotten more aware of their looks and especially their flaws and at all times busy accentuating what they think make their appearance more appealing and hiding the slightest hint of flaw.

The emphasis is on the total personality. Till recently, it was only about the conversations one had online - what one said, what one liked and shared was important. Now, the focus is equally on the face I put forth.  Its no longer good enough to look good in person but also choose clothes, hairstyles make up and other accessories which accentuate the personality one wants to portray in the digital world.

Interestingly, there is a heightened knowledge of lighting - what and where should be the source of light when Skyping. The key is to look effervescent while hiding the double chin, the grey hair, slightly angular nose. The list is endless.
Apart from rehearsing presentations, the current trend is to also practice flattering angles and facial expressions for the webcam.

With increasing obsession with video devices and social media tools such as Skype, Facetime - this is an interesting trend to look out for.      

e-mailer marketing campaigns are now using social media for a wider reach

The recent trend in e- mail marketing is integration of social sharing. This functionality enables sharing the content of your email via facebook, twitter, google+, linkedin etc. Interestingly, it comes complete with tools to track analytics like page views of the email and linkages to the social media site as a result of the emailed content.  
Marketers are going to find this useful as instead of having to deal with both - an email marketing service and a social media management tool  - one easy to use interface can do the job of both. 
My Emma, Constant Contact and Vertical Response are some of  the companies that  allows you to click a button 'add social sharing' while you are creating your email. When your customer clicks the button - it takes them to your company's social media page where they can like and share information about the company or a particular product. 
Services such as iContact allows you to choose the section of the emailer which you would want your audience to share  - could be the entire message or just a section. 
Mail Chimp is really cool.They even allows merging of youtube merge tabs that can help incorporate videos in your email marketing message. 

Friday, 27 July 2012

Connecting with people

There is a stampede of brands at the social media fair. Every brand wants to be there and every brand wants to get their before their competition for every brand wants to connect with the digitally connected customer.  But unfortunately most want to do so without really understanding what makes their object of desire tick in the digital space, especially in social media - an environment where customers are in complete control and they choose who they want to have a relationship with.  Gone are the days, when customers were the passive recipient of a brand’s monologue in an effort to create a relationship with them. The shoe is indeed on the other foot.
We, the marketers, seem to have forgotten a simple truth we have known always. In building a brand offline, we have constantly peeped into our customers’ lives to look at every aspect which could help us to create a relationship with them. Having found what was meaningful enough, we have pitched a relevant promise – be it fresh breath confidence or beauty like a film star – most often, something the customers were looking for. This simple truth eludes us when we want to connect with our customers on Social media.
Brands seem to believe, they can ‘connect’ with their customers by just being present on social media.  But wait a minute, did anyone remember to check with their customers what would get them excited enough to ‘connect’?
For most customers, social media is about engaging with friends and family, accessing news or quenching their thirst for entertainment. For them, social media is definitely not a medium to interact with brands.
Brands will need to dig deep to uncover the insights which will get their desired customer to give it time, attention, endorsement and data. Brands need to carefully consider how they can create social media experience that is unique to their brand, offers customers adequate value and exploit the power of the social community.
Here are a few recommendations for brands, based on a research by IBM, which could possibly lay the foundation for a successful social media strategy
1. Start thinking like a customer. Find out why a customer would choose to interact with a brand. Recast social interaction strategies on finding a common value. Once the common value is shared and established, the intimacy will come.
2. If you don’t know what your customers value, ask them. Dialogue and participation is what social media is all about. Find creative ways to engage them in a dialogue. But remember, only once they are empowered to choose the outcome of the dialogue, will the advocacy and the brand affinity start to take shape.
3. Provide incentives. Find out what could be the incentives for people to share your content with friends to capitalize on the viral effect that social media offers.
4. Remember now the customer is in control. Rethink the traditional model of managing customer relationships which was passive and one way and adapt it to the new reality.
5.  The customer’s experience with the brand has to be seamless. Social solutions should not be devised as a standalone programme but has to be well thought through and integrated with other customer facing initiatives.