Thursday, 5 December 2013

Don't party without Mixhibit

Restrictive marketing rules often force alcohol brands to be more creative than any other category. Digital medium has fuelled the creativity further and Mixhibit is the latest example of that.

Based on popular behaviour of archiving every fun moment had at a party on social media, Smirnoff has launched an app which collates information from all popular social media platforms to recreate the complete experience of the event in video format.

The user has to provide friends’ names and online identities to the app. The app pulls data from their social streams and creates a video. To pep up the video, the app provides a choice of 10,000 songs which can be used as the background track. This video can be shared across social platforms.

Party photographs and status updates are passé. The groundbreaking app is the first of its kind to enable collaborative storytelling by pulling content from both users and their friends’ social networks, creating an easy way for revelers to relive shared experiences.

Well, Vodka does grease the wheels of creativity!       

Friday, 15 November 2013

News today!

Was just reading a recent study by Pew Research Centre which states that 30% of US adults receive their daily news via Facebook. That made me reflect on my own pattern of news consumption. Apart from Arnab Goswami's histrionics at 9 PM on TV and Bachi Karkaria's wit in TOI, there is very little that attracts me to the traditional news sources.

Equipped with the NDTV app on my smartphone which gives me a minute by minute update on everything - be it matters of national importance such as Sachin's retirement to the latest stats on Mumbai potholes - I get it all instantly. Sans the dreadful ad breaks.

I am a self confessed social media junky. Much before smartphones and NDTV apps, it was Twitter that made me experience the joy of being updated constantly. Power to the 140 characters! Facebook makes for an interesting news source as its peppered with comments from friends. Takes me back to the days in college when no news was worth its value without the vishesh tipanni from friends.

In recent times, every new ad worth watching has caught my eyes only because friends posted them of Facebook. And of course YouTube. While it is a tad irritating, I quite enjoy the ads on YouTube even if they are involuntarily thrust on my face when I log in to watch the latest discourses on Indian politics by Feku or Pappu. The knowledge that I have the power to skip the ad in 5 seconds if I don't want to watch it, makes me appreciate them a lot more.

Old news today is no longer yesterday's. It is 20 updates old. Only constant innovations in content delivery to suit the needs of the digital savvy nation will keep the traditional news channels from going the way Ambassadors and black telephones went.  

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Social listening is crucial to your marketing strategy

Social listening is emerging as one of the most decision relevant tools of modern marketing. Listening is as important as managing and monitoring a brand. It allows you to listen to what your customers are saying and then jumping in at the right time to add insight, advice, answer questions and provide better customer support.

As brands go social, they develop a real personality. Your customers create that personality by sharing what they thing about you. Listening gives you a chance to hear what they are saying - what do they like and dislike, value or miss, what would they like changed about you and your competition. It helps you see what makes you stand out from competition. Its more insightful than what you will ever hope to hear in a FGD. Ever.

It also gives you a chance to understand the type of people discussing you. They might not be the people who you target. Listening to their point of view will give you a fresh perspective.

Customers who talk about you are not always the girls who are in love with you but is most likely to be your wife - someone who knows you intimately, morning bad breath and all. She is likely to voice your flaws, just as your wife would to her circle of friends, if you consistently forgot to put the bathroom seat down or forgot to get her a present on her birthday. But that's a bloody good thing!

From an unattended customer complaint to a faulty motor part, there can be a hundred reasons for our consumers to go online and let others know their grievances. Social media listening offers you the chance for timely intervention. You can immediately respond by saying sorry and offering a solution. Customers are forgiving. By this act, not only will you manage to nip all further negative conversations but will also hopefully convert a disgruntled customer to a happy one. A damage control response will show your brand as a transparent personality - a trait you cannot afford to miss in this socially connected world.

To quote Jasmine Jaume, social media is like a giant focus group. Except that participants are not being prompted with questions - they are expressing their own opinions, in their own environment and often. By not including social media listening as a part of your marketing toolkit, you are perhaps giving up a great chance to collect information crucial to your business decisions.


Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Content strategy or content marketing?

Off late, I have been reading about a lot of discussions and debates about the difference between content strategy and content marketing. While a lot of people use the terms interchangeably, some think that there is a difference in the 2 terms. I belong to the second group of people.

Content strategy has everything to do with a plan regarding content creation, delivery and effectiveness measurement of useful and usable content. When writing a content strategy it is important to answer the following questions:

1. Why are you creating content

2. What will you create

3. How will you create it

4. Where will you create it

5. When will you create it

6. Who will create it

7. Who will you create it for

8. How will you make it discoverable

9. How will you measure the effectiveness

Once you have a fix on these answers, you will have a strategy or a plan in place.

Content marketing, on the other hand, is the usage of content as a marketing tool. It is the  process of communicating relevant messages to specific target audiences with the objective to inform, educate and persuade through content that the audience would like to engage with. I am tempted to say that your TV ad is an example of content marketing. But it would be wrong to say so as in the digital world, content is not product or service centric. It is consumer centric and is crafted around what your audience needs, what information do they find useful and what do they care about.

To craft your content strategy, you need to keep an eye on your marketing goal to answer the whats, wheres and hows. But to use content as an effective marketing tool, you need to understand your consumers and know what's relevant for them and what will drive them to do what's good for your brand.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

60 million and counting

A report titled, 'Women and Web study' has been released by Google India last week. The data for this study has been compiled from 2 sources. One, search query data for top women oriented search categories in India. Two, an independent online research conducted by TNS Australia covering over a thousand woman with access to internet in India.    

According to the report, of the 150 million internet users, about 40% or 60 million are women.

24 million said they logged in every day. With easy access both from home, office and on the go, women are increasingly turning to the web to manage their daily life and take more informed decisions.

  • 3 out of every 4 women in SEC AB  
  • 75% are in the age group of 15 to 34 years  

Email, search and social networking top the list followed by music download, educational content, job search, videos and news.

The study revealed the growing importance of the medium on women's purchase decision. 50% of the respondents claimed that the internet influenced their purchase decision. 

Apparels and accessories are most searched categories, followed by food and drinks, skincare (72%) baby care (69%)  and  hair care (65%) 

The report revealed that of the 10 million online shoppers, 5 million are women. 

Online advocates

According to the study, women are strong brand advocates. 80% women say that they have recommended their purchase to others while 25% state that they share purchase recommendations online. 

Device of choice

Search queries from mobiles are increasing rapidly. Google claims that 25% of the query volume in the most searched categories now come from mobiles. 

In another indicator of the growing clout of Indian women online, BlackBerry India has announced that 55% of its customers are women.

Media of choice 

Video on the web is emerging as one of the key drivers of internet usage among women in India. Women account for 40% of the total monthly YouTube user base in India. Apart from music videos, TV shows and film content, women are also watching beauty and fashion related videos. Education, health and fitness, home care and cooking were also rated among the top 10 categories of choice. 

Thursday, 30 May 2013

137 million Indians connected online

Once again Mary Meeker is back with her insights and facts about the Internet and Mobile. 

Here are some interesting findings: 

Internet in India
  • 137 million users 
  • 26% Y/ Y growth 
  • 11% penetration 

  • 67 million smartphone users
  • 52% Year on Year growth 
  • 6% penetration 
Other interesting facts

Mobile internet access has surpassed PC access in China 
  • Internet access through PC has declined from 96% (2006) to 71%. 
  • Internet access via mobile phones have jumped to 75% 


South Korea are using their mobiles more than PCs for search 

Tablet shipment has surpassed both, desktops and laptops 

Smartphone users reach out for their phones 150 times a day
  • Text more than call 
  • Checks social media and uses camera almost in equal measures

Technology which is wearable, flyable, drivable and scannable are the latest trends. Move over smartphones and tablets

Read the full report here  

Top secret now available only on Facebook

Hey guys, did you know you can create a secret group on facebook? Well, now you know!

I have been reading a lot of news about teens dropping off facebook. Among a whole host of reasons, privacy is a big one. With more and more parents joining facebook, the teenagers are now switching to good old chat apps such as whatsapp and a whole bunch of new ones which are springing up everyday.

Seeing the trend, Facebook has now incorporated a 'Secret' setting in Groups. Unlike a closed group where anyone can see who is in the group while only members can read the posts, if you use the 'secret' setting, not only are the posts visible only to members but even the members are only visible to members. Which means, if I add a group called Bright Angles and invite 5 friends, only they will know that the group exists and who all are a part of the group.

To set up a secret group - go to the 'Add Group' settings. You will find this on the left side of the screen.

Click on Add Groups and you a screen will pop up asking you for the details: 

Invite the members and hit "secret' as your privacy setting and Bingo! You will be saved from the prying eyes of your digital neighbours. 

Friday, 24 May 2013

Why television shows need to get social

Viacom unveiled the results of ‘When Networks Network’: TV Gets Social’ – a multi country study investigating the relationship between TV ad social media usage. The report uncovered not only what drives viewers to social media but also how their social media activity impacts viewing behavior.

A few interesting finding from the report as reported in Advanced Television:

Social media is replacing TV Guides.
The main reason for people to interact with a network on social media is to get more information about the shows they watch.  
·      44%: stay informed about air dates and times
·      45%: Keep up with the latest show news
·      37%: access exclusive show information
·      36%: view videos of the shows
·      36% : get plot clues

Desire to be a part of the community
Communal factors are the second most common reason for engagement 
·      34%: brand themselves and share taste
·      28%:connect with the show
·      28%: connect with other fans

After ‘liking’ or ‘following’ a show, viewers are 75% more likely to watch that show.

Gaming or interacting with the show through games is also popular
Social media games help drive viewership with around 30% of respondents having gamed before ever watching a show. About half of them reported watching a show more due to the show’s social media game. Game shows, comedy, reality shows come in as the top genre for gaming.

Popular show discovery source
Social media ranked third as a source of show discovery, behind promos and  word of mouth.
70% respondents were likely to watch the live debut of a show that was discovered on social media vs 48% if it was discovered elsewhere.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Changing face of brands

Jogging my memory a bit to see how marketing and branding have changed across the last two decades; I observe an interesting journey which can be roughly split into three phases:

Phase 1:  Era of one way communication 

Brands used the television and the print medium like a megaphone to announce what they had to say to an audience whose attention was easy to get. Competition was less. Media was not as fragmented. The environment was not as cluttered. Most importantly, loyalty was not a dirty word. 95% of the advertising budgets were allocated for above the line communication.  Advertising briefs were simple, revolving around creatively communicating a single minded proposition. Many of us can hum most of the jingles on television even till date and quote the slug lines that we read in magazines, in an era long ago. .

Business objectives were universally simple.  Standardize products and scale up production to make it affordable for a maximum number of people.

 Phase 2: Era of  relationship marketing 

Towards the later part of last century, consumers began to demand more.To best meet the needs of these demanding consumers, marketers segmented the markets and developed superior products to best address the functional and emotional needs of a particular set of target audience. Sometimes, multiple sets of audiences with multiple brand variants.   

Along with fragmentation of media, consumer’s attention spans became shorter. Brand owners where challenged in their effort to win the minds and hearts of the audience.  

This was the era of relationship marketing. Instead of maximizing profit from each transaction, relationship marketing focused on maximizing profit over a lifetime.The visionaries arrived at a solution in the way of devising ideas which would compel the audience to take part in the brand through a myriad of engaging platforms. Consequently building a relationship which, would hopefully, translate to loyalty.     

To cut the clutter and catch consumers’ attention wherever they were, brands adopted a 360 degree approach.  Advertising budgets got fragmented.  Though television still got the bigger chunk, it was now being shared with outdoor, events, PR, online brand pages and a many other channels – all united towards a common cause – engaging the consumer in various interesting ways to ensure consumers’ participation with the brand.

 In 2012 Havas media’s research called Meaningful Brand Study showed up that people would not care if 70% of the brands disappeared.  And , they did not care to have a relationship with brands where they play a passive role while brands create and manage relationships.   Sentiments such as these necessitated a complete change in the way brands interact with their audience.

Phase 3: Era of collaboration

These sentiments are largely driven by the new wave technology which consists of three major forces:  Low cost internet, Reducing cost and availability of multiple devices to access the internet and social media.
Social Technology today allows individuals to easy express themselves through expressive social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest , Instagram, Blogger and other social networking sites. Sites such as Wikipedia, Rotten Tomatoes and TripAdvisor  are collaborative media which help consumers collaborate with one another.   

As the collaboration and expressions expand, consumers are playing a larger role in influencing perception and purchase. People believe one another more than they believe brand sponsored communication. This trend is tending towards brand managers losing control over their brands while consumers are taking over that role. Consumers are increasingly joining the C- Suite as the chief stakeholders and are asking tough questions, demanding answers and letting the world know what they think of a particular brand. No holds bar.

Brands, to regain control, has to rely on the ‘consumer trust system’ which essentially gives them the power to control what consumers say and do about a brand. The three emerging cornerstones of the trust system are:

1. Brand Soul  
In the online world, people connect with people. Not plastic packs, fabulous fragrance or superior dirt removal power. Keeping this in mind, every brand is creating a 3 dimensional avatar of them which goes beyond describing its products and services. A human angle of the brand, which forms the basis of its true differentiation and social identity. It reflects in the consumer’s social network and provides a reason for consumers to align with them in the social media space.

A good example which comes to mind is Standard Chartered Bank.

Objective:  Promote their credit card through facebook

Strategy: After a thorough research of the Indian market, the bank found that food was the second choice after shopping in terms of spending through credit cards. They created a community of food lovers on Facebook called India Food Explorer. Apart from providing recipes, the page directs its ‘friends’ to restaurants and also offers exclusive deals to Standard Chartered Credit card users. Started in March 2012, the page currently has 799K friends on facebook.  This has provided a platform for the brand to speak to almost 8 lakh customers everyday, without spending a lot of money and engaging them in a conversation which they care to have.Being the foodie of the banking world helps Stan Chart connect with millions of people. This is in contrast to what most banks did previously. They would rely heavily on direct mailers and send mails which went largely unopened.  It was more like transmitting information rather than talking to a friend about a common passion.

2.   Building a community by using technology

A good example that comes to mind is Nike + Fuel band  
Instead of putting out just another ad saying ‘buy our shoes’ because a celebrity says so, the brand launched the Nike+  which actually helps people become better runners.  Nike+ Fuel band  (click to watch a video about Nike + fuel band) takes it a step further.
They built a community of sports enthusiasts who put the action back into words.  By comparing and competing with anyone plus the additional benefit of showing of success – the band successfully motivates people to get active.
Using technology which helps to measure their every activity and compete with people in the social media space, Nike has been successful in functional integration plus an earned media channel in the form of 10 million users.   

3.  Creating a sense of ownership through co-creation
If attention is precious, trust even more so. To ‘buy’ back loyalty and trust, for about a few years now, several brands have been trying to involve the customers in their product design just to give them a sense of ownership.

Among a whole host of others,  the one that comes to mind is the Lay’s campaign where they invited consumers to send their recipes for chips. The top 4 flavours, judged by experts, were rolled out and the final winner was chosen by popular vote.

Brand building is changing rapidly. With the rise of the networked consumers and the more accessible technology, brands today are leaning more heavily on technology as used by people to help find a place in the consumers’ hearts and minds. This space puts the consumer first. Brands today need to understand the consumers’ interest and align it to fit itself in the consumers’ world.  

Friday, 12 April 2013

Mobile internet penetration in rural India

According to the population census 2011, 833 million people call rural India their home. Largely agrarian, technology has had a lower rate of adoption there than urban India. But what we see today is clearly a departure from the past.

With the prices of mobile handsets as well as connections – both voice and data dropping at a rapid speed, rural India is taking to mobile phones like a fish takes to water. According to an IMAI report, penetration of mobile phones in rural India is 39%.

This is just not good for the telecom companies selling voice and data plans. It’s good news for everyone who is fighting for the over saturated urban dweller’s wallet. Currently, rural India’s income is $572 billion. It is estimated to rise to $ 1.8 trillion by 2020. The future potential of most brands lie in rural wallets. The mobile internet presents a huge opportunity waiting to be tapped for brands to enter the lives of the rural netizens.

In June 2012, a study conducted by IMRB in seven Indian states stated that 38 million rural dwellers claimed to have used the net atleast once in their life and 31 million had used the internet at least once in the previous month. 3.2 million used their mobile to access the internet which was a 7.2 times jump in just 2 years. As the rate of mobile phone penetration increases, internet usage will continue to gallop as most rural Indians will get their first taste of world wide web  through their mobile.

From basic necessities such as communication to entertainment and even social media is now mobile based for the rural dweller.  Some are listening to songs, others are downloading wall papers, pictures and ringtones from the latest Bollywood blockbuster and it does not stop there.

The trend of voice based social networking is catching up in a big way. So much so even facebook is looking at creating strategies to rope in the Indian farmers to cross 100 million user mark in India.  

Social tech companies such as Gram Vaani (voice of the village) are building several tools to change the way information flows from rural India using voice prompts on simple phones.   

A recent report by e-bay claims that rural India has climbed onto the e – commerce bandwagon and are competing with their urban counterparts.

To cash in on the tech wave that is engulfing rural India, marketers need to focus on understanding what drives the rural netizens and craft content and UX strategy exclusively for them for a holistic marketing strategy for their brands. 

Thursday, 14 March 2013

How companies are allocating their digital marketing budget

Wondering how much budget to allocate for your digital marketing? Gartner, an US based technology research company conducted a research among over 200 marketers from US based companies with more than $500 million in annual revenue, across 6 industries to understand how they are allocating their marketing budget and which activities are attributing to their success. Here are the key points from the report:

1. 10.4% of the 2012 revenue was spent on marketing and the budget is slated to increase by 6% in 2013

2. Digital marketing spending average 2.5% of the company's revenue 

Note: Data was gathered from responses to the following question: What percentage of your organization's total marketing expense budget is allocated to digital marketing in 2012?
Source: Gartner (March 2013)

3. Digital advertising accounts for 12.5% of digital marketing budget and 11.6% on content creation and management  

Content creation and management account for the second largest share of the digital marketing budget. As customers use more digital channels for collaboration, research and acquisition of products and services, the enormous pressure to create, manage and distribute content will multiply with time, demanded greater allocation of budget. 

In 2013, top 4 priorities in digital marketing spends will be: e- commerce, social marketing, content and mobile marketing.

4. Surprisingly 41% of the marketers say that savings from digital marketing are reinvested 

Reinvesting savings into digital marketing activities is a smart move and a fairly recent phenomenon. The predominant trend is to use technology only to cut costs. 

5. 50% of digital marketing activities are outsourced 

Digital marketing is a specialized job and marketers are leaning on external teams for support for activities such as search marketing, online advertising, mobile marketing and in many cases even social media marketing. Marketers are realizing that keeping consumers engaged through social channels require constant feeding and nurturing with new content which is both time consuming and as specialized as area as monitoring and analyzing social activities.

6. 70% of the companies have a Chief Marketing Technologist. 80% of them report to marketing. 

Marketing's dependence on technology has created new roles within the organization. Chief Marketing Technologists are familiar with marketing and technology. They have 3 predominant functions:
  • They wear their technology hats to design a uniform customer experience across channels such as social, mobile, commerce and website to attract, acquire and retain customers
  • Integrate data generated externally as well as internally to get a better understanding of their customers
  • Support marketing campaigns and programmes such as a mobile app, paid search marketing and social marketing.  

7. Over 40% say Corporate Website, Digital Advertising and Social Networking is key to their corporate success

Not surprisingly, corporate website and digital advertising both ranked as the top digital activity for marketing's success. Social media emerged as the next most important activity.       


Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Are you annoying people with your posts?

According to a recently concluded survey by in the UK, people find the following posts most annoying:

1. Bragging fitness addicts and dieters (What would we do without these virtuous posts?!)

2. People who share pictures of every meal they eat. ( I am partially guilty of this myself)

3. Cryptic status writers who posts vague or mysterious updates and when quizzed more about the status,
     usually say they don't want to talk about it! (Everyone likes to seek attention. Some do it through 
     their posts. It's ok) 

4. People who posts updates on everything their child does. (We like what your kids do but perhaps a   
    little less frequency will help)

5. 'Checker inners' who insist on posting every restaurant, cafe, airport, cinema, conference they visit
(Come on, don't be a spoil sport. Half the pleasure of these mundane check ins are to annoy you!!)   

6. Self promoters who see every post as an opportunity to win a customer for their business (You would so understand the need to do so if you were an entrepreneur!) 

Funnily, while more than a 3rd who were interviewed said that they had quit a service because of these annoying posts, plenty of them confessed that they were guilty of putting up these 'irritating' posts themselves.

62 million social media users in Urban India

Business Standard published some interesting stats on India's social media usage. The following points were covered:

  • By December 2012, the number of active social media users in India were 62 million. The number is expected to grow to 66 million by June 2013 
  • College going students and young men form 84% of the social media users base which is about 20.3 million
  • 66% of social media users reside in small town of Urban India. About a quarter of the total user base reside in cities less than 2 lakh population while another 11% are in cities between 2 and 5 lakh population 
  • Social networking often serves as one of the first uses of the internet apart  from the usual such as mails, music and games 
  • As per a survey by IAMAI, 33% of the respondents said that Social Media is their main activity online compared to 32% who voted for mail

With the social media proliferating like wildfire in the smaller cities of India, are marketers taking note? 

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Digital marketing trends in 2013

Here are some interesting global trends which we can look forward to in 2013:

1. Search Engine Rankings
A brands' Facebook likes and Twitter followers are going to play a significantly larger role to boost search rankings of their page. In addition, brands will also have to continuously refresh and update their content on the website and blog to appear within the first few listings for relevant key words. 

2. Decline in paid search 
Paid search , especially or B2B businesses will continue to decline. In 2012 marketers saw the initial indications of a decline in lead generation and resultant effectiveness from PPC campaigns due to cost and stronger data protection. Marketers will find newer, more cost effective alternatives. 

3. Mobile advertising 
This will become a key component in your marketing budget as more and more people use their mobile to search. This is true specially for local businesses. Display advertising in mobiles will also gain steam with consumers spending more time on their smartphones and tablets. 

4. Growing popularity of mobile wallets 
With smartphones becoming integral to consumers' lives, mobile wallets will catch on not only to make online payments but offline payment too. Tech companies such as Isis are offering mobile wallets designed to work with existing marketing, CSM and loyalty activities. These services will not only help payments but also make it easier for consumers to present loyalty cards and redeem offers. 

5. Greater influence of social media
Brands will continue to see an increased customer engagement with their brands in social media. To improve customer relationships, 'listening' as a tool will gain prominence and more mass scale adaption. Businesses will have to re align themselves to respond to customer demands faster. According to Conversocial, 30% of Twitter users expect an answer from a brand's customer service in less than 30 minutes while 29% of Facebook users expect it in under 2 hours. These numbers will only grow. 

6. Gamification  
Regardless of industry focus,brands will look for inspirations from the video game sector to boost user engagement and brand loyalty. More and more brands will look at embedding gaming in their otherwise dull processes such as online form filling and collecting loyalty points by making it more fun and value added for customers.    

7. Single customer view analytics 
2012 saw a slew of niche data company acquistions as the big analytics players look to provide their customers a more holistic view of their customers and potential customers on one single dashboard. As marketers have access to more data about how customers engage with their products and content across the web - from shopping pages to social media sites- the need will now be to aggregate the data from across the web and different devices and present that back as a single source of useful information. 

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Sir Martin Sorrell on The Digital Market | Oxford Union

Interesting video to watch where the advertising mogul, Martin Sorrell talks of the changing media landscape and the growing importance of Mobile, specially in countries like India and China where a significant population will get a taste of the internet through their mobiles unlike the western countries.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Rise of the Self Educated Buyers

Reading IDC's report on CMO predictions for 2013 . Interesting and thought provoking if you are a marketer. 2013 is poised to be a watershed year. As the BIG DATA becomes the centre of focus, the role of the CMO and CIO will integrate.

One of the key challenges that they will have to jointly deal with is the rise of the self educated buyer. According to Rich Vancil, IDC Group Vice President, these  are the smart, resourceful and socially connected buyer who do their research before entering the vendor's marketing and selling apparatus. He says in the wake of all their self education is a stream of data that the CMO will have to understand.

Not something we have not known for a while but just re affirms our thoughts. As digitally connected consumers will help to create more and more data which exhibit their shopper behaviour, the CIO will be busy bringing in the science to decode the data while the CMO will bring in the art to use the information.

While the CIO deals with the complexity of harnessing the BIG DATA, the CMO will be busy taming the wild beast called CONTENT. They will have to bring the two together to create new magic in marketing.

The pragmatic CMO will have to do 2 things :
1. Acquire a team with data analytics proficiency to be on top of his game
2. Shift focus away from big platform projects to more on linking access to audience needs

My guess is industries such as finance and auto will be the first to adopt the system as they are the front runners in the digital marketing game. I am looking forward to seeing what emerges from this new system which has emerged basis consumer behaviour. Will it create more aware buyers who put in their hard earned buck to an informed decision or will the gurus of the black art called marketing beat them at the game and manage to control the information which forms the basis of their choice?  


Thursday, 3 January 2013

Technographically profiling your consumers

Sound knowledge of a brand's consumers is key to crafting a digital marketing strategy.  Apart from the usual relevant demographic and psychographic information, one key area of information which is useful is technographic profile of the brand's consumers.

With technology playing an increasingly larger role in our lives, it is important to segment consumers based on the role that technology plays in their lives. Technographic segmentation measures and categorizes consumers based on their ownership, usership and attitude towards information, communication and entertainment technologies.

How can this additional information help a brand to get closer to their consumers?

Consumers' online behaviour varies with their browsing device. Notice your own  online behaviour for the next 3 days and you will be amazed! It is very important for brands to measure how do majority of their consumers access their website - through their mobile or PC.  

More and more people in India are accessing the web through their mobiles. Of  our 137 million online population, 87.1 million access the web through their mobile devices according a recent report in Time of India.

With increasing fragmentation of devices, web browsing is becoming contextual. It is important for a brand to understand the context in which majority of their consumers access the site. Segmentation of consumers basis their device specific web access patterns especially w.r.t to the category will help brands provide suitable content and tools to the most profitable consumer segment.

Fragmentation of operating systems (iOS, Android, windows, Blackberry) could make it necessary to  profile consumers based on operating systems. Is their a difference between iOS users vs latest Android (Jelly Bean) users  in their online shopping behaviour, search patterns or social media interactions? Specific strategy could be drawn up for each segment if there are marked behaviourial differences.

An analysis of the consumers' attitude towards social media and how they use each of the medium (social technographics) can also help a brand to connect better with their most profitable segments. Forrester Research has classified consumers into seven distinct segments basis their of use social media.

A similar segmentation of a brand's consumers' will help to arrive at a sharp social media strategy. Relevant content and the right channel will encourage greater brand engagement in the social media sphere.

Going forth, I don't see it as just another marketing buzzword but a very important input to crystallizing  content strategy as well as user experience both of which form the basis of a good digital marketing strategy.