Saturday, December 25, 2010

Little or No Mobile Strategy in Most Companies

Telephone mobileImage via Wikipedia
The above quote is part of the Foster Research, and it is bang on from the experience which I have had with most organizations.

"57 per cent of organisations either do not have, or are in early stage development, of a mobile strategy; 10 per cent have had a fully operational mobile strategy for less than a year; a third of firms have had a mobile strategy for more than a year."
With India turning into the largest cellphone market in the world (or the 2nd largest if you take out the duplicates :-)), it is indeed sad that there have been hardly any significant mobile brand campaigns. The mobile strategy seems all outdated as the pic above. 

The report offers a snapshot of where companies are in their mobile evolution. It notes that brands in media, travel, and financial services are the most likely to have the most mature mobile strategy. Mobile is seen as a way to increase customer engagement, satisfaction, and loyalty, not generate direct revenues: 52 per cent of firms see increasing customer engagement as their number one mobile goal.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Why Big Brands Are Dominating Social Media

In the pre-web days, unless you had a budget big enough for expensive mainstream ad vehicles, like TV, print or radio, it was hard to reach a significant audience with your message. Big marketers had a built-in advantage, and the big got bigger at the expense of the small. The emergence of the web, and especially social marketing, now means the highway to success now has many more "on ramps" for smaller companies.

So why is it, then, when we look at some of the most effective forms of social marketing, big marketers are vastly out-performing smaller ones?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

One of the most inspiring talks I have ever heard.

1. Why, 2. How and then 3.What

We spend the last two months, covering this aspect of emotional vs rational marketing methods in the new digital scenario - and then I come across this 19 minute talk which covers almost everything that we did in 2 days.

Recommend that all brand marketters listen in to Simon Sinek who has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question "Why?"

Friday, November 26, 2010

Implementing CRM

I loved this post and can relate very well to it. On too many occasions have encountered clients / brands in a big hurry to start the "effective use" of CRM without undertaking the rigorous set-up process. Read more about best practices on CRM here.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The future (& Present) of Advertising.

If you are in the business of Advertising or Marketing, this article is a must read. Danielle Sacks has got the state of the industry and the generic thinking spot on. Read the article here.

"The ad business became an assembly line as predictable as Henry Ford's. The client (whose goal was to get the word out about a product) paid an agency's account executive (whose job was to lure the client and then keep him happy), who briefed the brand planner (whose research uncovered the big consumer insight), who briefed the media planner (who decided which channel -- radio, print, outdoor, direct mail, or TV -- to advertise in). Then the copywriter/art director team would pass on its work (a big idea typically represented by storyboards for a 30-second TV commercial) to the producer (who worked with a director and editors to film and edit the commercial). Thanks to the media buyer (whose job was to wine-and-dine media companies to lower the price of TV spots, print pages, or radio slots), the ad would get funneled, like relatively fresh sausage, into some combination of those five mass media, which were anything but equal. TV ruled the world. After all, it not only reached a mass audience but was also the most expensive medium -- and the more the client spent, the more money the ad agency made."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Social WAVE Report.

Universal McCann has has released their 5th Social WAVE report with almost 40,000 respondents globally. The report focus on how the growth in social media is opening avenues never seen before by brands, and show insights on how brands can look to use social to it’s maximum potential.

You can read more about it here or on slideshare.

Statistics: The Growth Of Mobile Into 2011 | Digital Buzz Blog

Statistics: The Growth Of Mobile Into 2011 | Digital Buzz Blog

Very good read.

Friday, October 29, 2010

AR - another interesting example.

The humble "visiting / business card" can be made to amazing things. Here's a superb example of Augmented Reality, which brings a simple thing like a visiting card alive. 

I suggest you visit the site and take a print of the sign and then use it with your webcam on to "EXPERIENCE the introduction with the business card"

Thursday, October 28, 2010

AR - Skoda Fabia Rally Driving - experience !!

Here is another good example of AR being used for an extremely experiential product - a car. Skoda Fabia has used Augmented Reality on this promotion are able to diliver much more than merely awareness. Think about what you (as a consumer) are getting beyond merely visiting a website or seeing and add. 

Rather than waiting for foot falls in their showrooms, Skoda has been able to take the fun of a test drive into the houses of it's potential customers and to get them to experience the thrill of driving (almost) without ever leaving their house. 

Augmented Reality - will finally take things to the next level of connection.

Augmented Reality (AR) has always been exciting however, how finally it is being adopted by more and more brands everyday and it could be / would be is the next big (really big) to hit the marketing community. AR enables a live direct or indirect view of a physical real-world environment whose elements are “augmented” by virtual computer-generated sensory input such as sound or graphics.

AR brings the virtual & real world a lot closer and open up a host of opportunities which are being increasingly exploited by brand owners. Here is a simple example used by Burger King to highlight “Value for a 1 USD” – an interesting and effective way to get the point across and ensure the engagement is longer, personal and more sharable. 

AR brings the advantage & need of physical engagement to the virtual world. It changes the one way communication to a far more engaging conversation. Each experience is very personal and unique to the consumer - enjoyable enough for him / her to share with friends on the social networks. 

AR is integrating well with all other media devices be it mobile, newsprint, internet, last mile / retail etc. Look out for more examples in the next few posts. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Media & the power of social networks.

The impact of the social media on traditional news media and the societies they serve is enormous. While the traditional media houses claim to be embracing the social media power by of twitter accounts of their star journalists and integrating tools of SM within their programming, they seem to be battling a new age business model in journalism, which moves away from the massive “organization” set-up to a more nibble organizations set-up which takes it’s power from crowdsourcing.

Wikileaks is a shining example of this new age of journalism. Read more about Wikileaks.

A significant number (almost 50% of broadband users world wide) confess that mobile or online is their main source for news. There is opportunities for organizations like Wikileaks to move from only addressing the “long tale content” to even main stream news content and needless to add that they cut across to reach audience across the world.

While there are those who would still think that citizen journalism would not overtake traditional journalism – I differ in my views. I would expect the emergence of a large number of “content” specific platforms – which will aggregate content, which even the traditional media would need to feed on.

Meanwhile the following stats should reinforce the view on the rise of sites like Wikileaks.

While you can read more about Wikileaks here, it is however, what is quite interesting to see how the traditional press is worried about it and how petty can an organization like CNN be – instead of focusing on the serious issue of thousands of deaths of civilians in Iraq, they decide to focus on the irrelevant issues prompting the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange walked out of an interview with CNN in London

Almost looks as if the CNN is running a government agenda. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Integrating Facebook into your email marketing campaigns

Integrating Facebook into your email marketing campaigns � SimplyCast: Interactive Marketing Blog

I thought it would be good to share this as a simple yet power tactic to integrate your regular email campaigns (which tend to have a very very low response rates - sub 0.1% in cases) with the powerful ability to create shareable content.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Consumer Involvement Theory - insights for advertising communications

Consumer Involvement Theory - insights for advertising communications

Here is a good note / post on how to approach brand communication based on the level of consumer involvement in the purchase cycle. Experiential communication methods make a lot of sense in high involvement categories (both B2B & B2c as well as Emotional and Rational). Even in case of impulse purchase it is BTL communication methods which make a difference more by way of effective last mile tactics.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Google Instant..

I had written an earlier note on the impact that Google Instant would have on the brands and their strategy on SEO and SEM. Found this very relevant article on the same subject on Read the article here.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Google Instant - game changer for Brands and their agencies.

Google Instant – Google’s new, very quick, letter-by-letter search result offering, would have huge impact on brands and their online spend strategies. Almost instantly the user behavior has adopted to “acceptance of suggested search terms”, this was something which was completely missing earlier.

The results seem to be driven by user history and geo-locational logic and therefore a boon and a matter of concern for brands who are vying for attention and click thrus’.

Just typing “a” in India (ND) throws the following brands up.

The Instant would have an impact on the entire logic of SEO. Previously, search-engine optimization for brands was about making sure your web pages rose to the top of Google’s results once someone had typed in the company’s full name. Now, it appears that a brand that wants to remain top in Google Instant also needs to see a critical mass of repeat visits in relevant locations in order to shore up their results. SEO will have to become a more local, retail-oriented endeavor.
While at the onset, the differences seem trivial but they will get critical as soon as one starts to look at consumer search behavior while using a mobile phone, where in keying is is tedious and hence instant suggestions would be taken quicker.

Brands that can ensure constant presence within search results for just one- or two-letter searches can expect to substantially more hits than those that require a full word for relevant results. Add this to the location-aware mobile ads run by Google, and one can visualize the SEO relevance battle turning very geographically driven.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Promo & Activation Shortlist from Cannes

Its taken us over 7 days (and on some days late into the evening) to get to the shortlist for the category of Promo & Activation for the Cannes Lion. The list has been churned from over 1200 entries from around the world and represents some of the best work in the category.

You can view the list here.

Over the next few weeks (and after the awards are announced tonight. There is a information embargo on at the moment!!), I look forward to reviewing from of my favorite work from this list. Look forward to discussions then.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Another superb activation by KLM

I loved this campaign by KLM. It captures attention and is difficult for anyone to ignore. I brings about a bit of smile.

Also good to see that travelers stop, engage and in a number of cases take a picture to share.

Activation + Facebook engagement.

Diesel created an interactive installation in a Diesel Store in Spain, allowing users to share the moment of buying with their Facebook friends while being in the offline store.
With this the consumers are able to make pictures and publish them directly on to their very own Facebook account.

The promotional campaign ensures that Diesel no longer engages with the single consumer, it is about engaging with the consumer’s entire social network.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Great viral, great browser.

Superb viral campaign by BBH to highlight the speed of Google Chrome. A compelling reason for downloading and trying it. If you have not see it yet it means you are not part of the 2 million who have see it in the 1st week - then see it here;

Also see the making of the viral.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Understanding the effectiveness of events.

Most brand promotion initiatives, esp. the once that are done in an “event” format, have a very vague measurement matrix and most of it is anecdotal in nature.

Here is a tool which enables real time measurement of the success of the brand initiative on preset enabled parameters – EventPulse.

Never undertake another brand initiative without building in the required measurability. Watch the screencast above or visit here or visit for a demo and a conversation with experts.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The next level of b2b marketing strategies.

Every now and then one gets fascinated by the success of a particular marketing technique. Today was another such day (and there have not been too many of them recently :-))

Lead generation strategies for B2B clients is something that me and my agency has been involved in for the last 16 years, and have done tens of hundreds of end to end initiatives and yet for me to get goose bumps to see yet another lead gen initiative is quite remarkable.

I just witnessed my team undertake a purely online, by invitation, highly interactive, highly technical, yet cost effective session with over 254 (earlier twitted number was wrong) delegates from over 8 countries. While my team members have been doing this for a while, I had to be in the same room to understand and appreciate the success model.

The session had over 450 registrations a day prior and the session host had indicated to me that she would expect 50% attrition.

What was wonderful to see was;

Such a large number of participants / delegates, who were in for the “love” of the subject. They were not there to “network” but to “learn”. A lot of physical seminars turn out to be peer networking events.

The program format gave the option for the delegates to simply drop-off if the session is not of interest – and yet the attendance stayed constant. In the age of “conversational marketing” this session was a great example of a two way dialogue between the panel and the attendees and it was not forced.

The participation was from managers and sr. managers of large and medium enterprises and from major cities as well as the slightly distant locations. The entire rational of bandwidth were really a non-issue. (The experience of my team members has been that India and China have not just the highest delegates, but also the maximum questions come from these locations, although local language has to be used in China, Thailand & Korea)

The session lasted for over an hour and the drop rate was less than 6% from start to finish.

The 45 minutes of tech presentation was followed by 25 minutes of Q&A – better quality questions then most physical interactions. And guess what drop rates was still 6%!

The panel of speakers was the best of breed and from locations far away – they needed to spare only about 3 hours in all to reach out to audiences across 8 countries without ever having to get on a plane.

There were enough “I need to know more” and “get a rep to meet me” notes at the end of the session for me to assume that the ROI would be high on the investments in this session.

The format, bring with it huge advantages of reach, scale & interactivity, is also non-intrusive, the content has a much longer “shelf-life”, is more measurable and track able in terms of delegate interaction (pre, during and post) and at the same time far more cost effective as against other lead generation models for B2B marketing.

I believe the way we undertook / undertake the process is a b2b marketing best practice and I will create a process note and insights over the next few weeks and put it here for all to read / follow – in the meanwhile, if you need to understand more on this do drop in a line.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Marketing is like cricket.

Business Standard's Strategist is carrying one of my articles today. I had written this note (over two months of the IPL fever) on the similarities on the evolution of the game of cricket and the evolution of the behavior of the consumer.

You can read the article here.

The note is why a smart marketer has to evolve to stay relevant to the changed consumer and that you either play by the rules of the audience or you perish.

Do let me know your views.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Little Red Riding Hood - RETOLD

What a wonderful project.

""The brief told us to do a classic ad to be printed in the magazine "Filter". The target group was swedes in ages 15–30 years. After some thinking and researching, we realized that a small ad in a small magazine wouldn´t do that much of a difference.""

SlagsmÄlsklubben - Sponsored by destiny from Tomas Nilsson on Vimeo.

The video takes you through the most memorable day in the life of Little Red Riding Hood and along the way, you learn all sorts of details. Like the air resistance experienced by a Volkswagen Type 2-61 Minibus at 43 MPH as measured by Volkswagen GmbH in 1955. Or the wildlife density of the Hundred Acre Wood, showing a surge in the rabbit population. Not to mention the nutrition facts of Grandma with a total caloric value of 10,000 kilocalories. :-)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cost per contact is high. Really?

When compared to traditional advertising media, experiential is often overlooked and under-rated because of a perceived lack of reach, or high cost per contact. While there is the basic logic of "counting your reach" vs "reaching those who count" and the quality of the "engagement", even in terms of reach experiential engagement scores high.

Another bit from a research undertaken by EMF and IMI International in the US, shows that Experiential Marketing has effective reach well beyond consumers directly impacted. When considering sampling costs “per person impacted”, be sure to account for the amplification benefit.

Experiential Marketing - leads to trials.

If you are trying to get consumers to try a product / brand that they do not normally buy / use - do not rely on your ad campaign to transform behavior.

Recent results of a research undertaken by EMF and IMI International in the US, where they asked consumers what influences them to purchase brands they don’t normally purchase, and which of the tactic has the greatest impact in that switch gave the following results;

While 52% by way of Experiential Activated and hence more one on one marketing is exciting - what is even more impressive is that this has stayed consistent over the last 15 years - where-in there is so much of a change in the media consumption pattern.

Nice to note, promotion is another 20%.

Awareness driven communication, does drive sales, but only to the extent of 24%.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Twitter integration into Google search results

Integration of the real time twits into Google search results in my view does three things;

1. gives a new reason for brands to not just be on Twitter but ensure they are monitoring conversation on Twitter, not just of the brand but of the entire eco-system.

2. it brings together the twittering "elite / few" to a searching "majority" and hence cannot be ignored.

3. has an amazing effect on the search engine optimization of any brand / site. In fact majority of 1st page search results seem to be from the social media space, with Twitter leading them all. And it is a lot faster.

Also there is a wonderful way of integrating twitter results specific to your google search into your results for every possible subject. Read here about Realtime Twitter Search Results on Google

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Screencast of MarketPulse

MarketPulse is a superb last mile effectiveness measurement tool. It helps a brand understand how it is performing with respect to various consumer touchpoints - when compared to it's own benchmarks, or when compared to it's competitors.

It also allows a brand to understand the performance across geos and store types.

Check out the screencast of MarketPulse;

If you have problems of screen resolution and are only seeing half a screencast above :-) - please visit this site.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Engagement & reaction.

Wonderful engagement & it's amplification amongst the general audience. Done for Samsung NX10 World Creative Imaging Competition.

Just loved it for it's effectiveness and simplicity of the idea. Loved the reaction of the audience at the end and their move towards their cameras to record the moment for sharing.


While on the site, do check out the chopper and the popcorn and of course the wonderful pics.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Digital Gets Physical

I am a firm believer in that Online marketing and On-ground marketing need to and should go hand in hand. The amplification of "great brand experiences" is best achieved by creating online buzz. Also in this case it is not a chicken & egg situation, it can / should work both ways.

It was therefore a pleasure to read this article in Adweek pointing out how digital mediums are reshaping the way marketers are connecting with their consumers to drive action.

What is really interesting is the absence of typical paid media.

"The Skittles campaign is part of a shift in digital away from users merely sitting in front of computer screens to using new digital tools to affect behavior in the physical world. The growing sophistication of smartphones is driving the creation of these location-based services, which promise to morph the Web from a solitary experience to a ubiquitous connector in the real world.

This evolution has major implications for brands, giving them the possibility of tracking the success of digital campaigns to the store level and changing how they market to consumers. "

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What type of ads work best on social media platforms.

As time spent on social networking sites increases, (and we know that visiting social networks is the 4th most popular thing that folks do online - ahead of checking their personal emails) advertisers are willing to invest higher percentages of their budgets into campaigns targeting users on those platforms.

However, all the traditional theories & knowledge on how consumers react to ads & hence the effectiveness of ads is out of the window.

Psychster Inc.& Allrecipes undertook a study to determine which kinds of ads are most effective and whether the platforms advertisements appear on make a difference.

Download the PDF from here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Greenpeace vs. Nestle

This is a wonderful analysis by Olivier Blanchard on the SM PR war and it's learnings for a brand (in this case Nestle) in his post - How to make sure your Facebook page doesn’t become a PR trojan horse.

Please read the full article here.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Brand ahead of demand? Are you crazy?!

I share and completely understand the anguish faced by Joel Harrison, the Editor of B2B Marketing. I can empathize with him when he says

I was staggered and aghast when chair Richard Perry asked the audience for their view on brand versus demand: what did they think was most important? The response pretty overwhelmingly, was in favour of brand – at least two thirds of the audience voted for it. To be quite honest, I was staggered by this response. ""

Please read his full article here - Brand ahead of demand? Are you crazy?!

What is amazing is that normally there are the two extremes - one set of folks who are focussed on only the brand - what I like to think of as guys focussed on ROE (return on ego), while there are other set of guys who are extremely focussed beyond ROI - they want actual conversions and sales from the agency.

Middle path is the sweet spot. Engagement to drive trails and positive conversations.

Posted using

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Woo Rank - a good tool

I quite liked this tool. It is awfully simple, quick and gives enough 1st level information on the websites and points out the simple (and in some cases big) mistakes. Check it out.

SM beyond FB

In almost all my recent discussions with either brands or with management students, there is an increased awareness and interest on using social media to make their marketing initiatives more "conversational", however, for too many folks it gets limited to Facebook and Twitter.

Below is a good representation of what all should be involved;

The larger version is available here.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Very interesting approach.

Found this site recently very aptly named which tells us exactly how to use Twitter for marketing and PR

Could not resist sharing this one... and for the record I do not agree :-)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Seth Godin on standing out | Video on

Seth Godin on standing out | Video on

Corporate Connections

To download please visit

Should You Be Trying To Create Demand or Desire?

Nice post by Tom Martin, a must read.