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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Social Media for a Growing Business

Brand management is more important than ever in a society that has currently grown accustomed to the internet being readily available almost anywhere through smart phones and tablets. In recent years, managing your brand has gone beyond the usual keyword searches and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics, and has steadily moved into social media. Social media platforms have become breeding grounds for both positive and negative comments and if utilized properly, they can be a large part of your marketing plan.

While social media sites are a great way to reach a completely new client base without breaking the bank, they can also quickly become a company’s worst nightmare. Social media platforms, including forums and review boards such as, can become loaded with negative comments regarding your business and destroy a brand through word of mouth.

If a customer posts a complaint, it is important to immediately comment or respond to show the customer you are trying to rectify the situation. However, not only negative comments should receive a response. Thanking customers for positive feedback is a great way to build brand advocates and show that you listen to your customer base.

To get the highest return on your social media campaigns, brand managers should focus on providing high quality content and give customers a reason to positively interact with you and your brand.

There are plenty of stats that showcase just how powerful social media is for businesses of all sizes. Here are some powerful numbers that make it more than evident that social media is the way to go:

63% of millennials say they stay updated on brands through social networks
46% of millennials rely on social media when making purchase online
89% of 18-29 year-olds are active on social media
78% of companies now say they have dedicated social media teams

Social media has crossed over from being a tool that only forward-thinking companies should use. These stats show that social media marketing has become a necessity just like paid ads, flyers and other “traditional” marketing efforts. In order to compete today, businesses can’t afford not to be active on social media.

The Internet has completely changed the way your business has to look at marketing. And social media is the perfect example of this shift.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Creating a Brand Through Advertising

With thousands of firms — and hundreds of thousands of people — all competing for the same pool of clients and prospects, differentiation is one of the most important ways to gain recognition and build brand awareness. Communicating your firm’s unique characteristics, expertise, strengths and successes to a large number of prospects can be achieved through advertising.
Advertising is not about selling the skill of your firm, but about promoting the qualities that differentiate your firm from so many others. Differentiation is your brand, and advertising is about positioning that brand by promoting and communicating your firm’s differentiators to a targeted mass audience.
For a mid-sized firm to be successful, it needs an effective marketing and sales initiative. Without marketing, public relations and a strong business development strategy, few clients or prospects would know about the firm and why it is unique, resulting in fewer opportunities for new business. Advertising is just one tool in a successful marketing and business development program that can help create new opportunities.
The goal of advertising is to focus attention on what sets your firm apart from others. Branding, through repeated, frequent advertising, is the most effective way to accomplish that goal. Advertising means generating opportunities, and good advertising is generating thousands of potential opportunities every day.
The only way to be heard is to speak, and the only way to be remembered is to repeat over and over a very simple, compelling, single-minded message. Consider that the public is faced with roughly 700 ads and brands per day. To stand out, you must not merely speak, but yell, breaking through the clutter and getting the attention of the prospect with the use of strong creative and a quick, easy-to-retain message.
Repetition and frequency are key components of a successful advertising initiative. Once you establish your brand message, you must drive that message into the minds of clients, prospects, and even staff members. The most effective and efficient way to do so is through frequent, repeated advertising in the same publications or airwaves reaching the same industry or targeted audience.
Advertising is movement and growth. Advertising breathes life into a firm, carrying it to new areas, new markets, and new industries. A firm that keeps moving grows and thrives, while dormant ones tend to stagnate.

Advertising stimulates conversation about a firm, among clients, potential clients and competing firms. When a prospective or existing client tells a member of your firm, "I saw your firm's ad today," you have just been handed an opportunity to build a relationship. Relationship building is vital, as success in the service industry is based on strong relationships.

Advertising can eliminate branding confusion, which causes an identity crisis both within and without your firm. Properly positioning the brand through advertising will communicate to everyone what your firm is about, removing all assumptions.

One final thing to remember – and a very important point – is that branding isn’t a one-time thing that you do at the beginning of establishing your business. It is an ongoing effort that permeates your processes, your culture, and your development as a business, and it requires your dedication and loyalty in order to reflect in your work. At the end of the day, the true measure of your branding success is in earning loyal customers who become your brand ambassadors as well.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

How Brands Talk

A Company or a firm is first known by its very own brand name. This name is known by the people only when the company in the market does a remarkable work. Remarkable work is noticed over the period of time when memory actually registers it.

Is this really sufficient to be known?

There is something like memories connected with moments that creates the chapters of our lives. When we make a decision, we have a tendency to review the past for reassurance that whatever we are  about to do, we’ll be okay.

Here’s a scenario: you go out to dinner with friends. The food is wonderful, the wine is fine, and the environment is just right. Stimulating conversations are flowing, and everyone is happy. Right when you’re about to pay the check, the waiter knocks over your glass and spills wine all over your dessert and pants. Forget about the pants; now you have no wine or dessert. Everything up to this point was perfect—until it wasn’t.

What will you remember when you walk out?

The majority of the experience was blissful, but many of us would remember—and tell our friends—about the spill. If asked to return, we may be hesitant because the memory of the spill overpowers the hour of happiness.We are hesitant because we naturally focus on our losses rather than our gains—what psychologists have called loss aversion. Most of our decisions are rooted in uncertainty about the future, so memories act as fog lights to help us navigate unknown pathways.

So imagine a customer visits your company site, loves everything about you, inquires to support, but doesn’t receive a quick or even thoughtful response? Or worse—no response?

What do you think they’ll do?

Directing your tone and language to create positive, lasting memories for your customers is a staple in support. Not only should the whole experience be good, but most importantly, how that experience ends ought to be good.

Timeliness, empathy, and the right tone and language are essential for helping customers fruitfully, but what ultimately matters is what the customer walks away with: a memory. Ninety-nine percent of the interaction can be wonderful, but the wrong gesture or tone or words can spoil the ending.

So marketing and advertising is not about just positioning or taking the company to the top. More importantly it is creating good and satisfactory memories with customers. Not just the product it's also the values given with the product are considered by the customers. Customers happiness is what matters to the end of it.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Self Adjusting Dynamics of Markets – A Socio Economic Phenomena

In last two and half decades, this world has witnessed great shift socially and economically.  At one hand, we have become boundary less in terms of sharing knowledge and allowing free trade so on the other hand we have turned into less tolerant society due to religious fanaticism and instant reaction.

If we were to consider India, a wave of economic liberalization begun in early nineties when Mr. P V Narasimha Rao took over the reign of country and laid out the foundation of new system for free market and brought an end to license era.  This was done so successfully that it changed India’s position among the world countries as one of fastest growing economies.  Entire world started looking at India with respect and a potential market to leverage its vast population.  India was also projected as great pool of skilled resources and sought by big incorporation.

With the advent of wireless communication in late nineties, we truly became global citizens and this opened up a plethora of new ways of doing business.   

We witnessed that how the idea of virtual market was conceived and born.  We also saw that how over enthusiasm of this new virtual world busted the entire global economy and fell like lifeless body in early 2000.  But soon market corrected itself and started moving slowly and steadily.  New business model shaped up to leverage the immense power of internet as it offered.

There were certainly challenges in terms of learning the new ways of doing business but we finally managed to do successfully and at far bigger scale as we might have even thought. 
Now future certainly looks bright and accessible to all.  Those who have the capabilities to read the pulse and act on it shall certainly come out as great leader and others will follow. Nevertheless, everyone shall have piece of pie.

But there is another side of coin.  If we have grown up to adapt virtual market as reality so on another side, we became less tolerance socially.

Freedom of speech has truly been exercised on the internet using the social media tools and has provided a great medium to people to express their views.   If we were to look and analyses closely then we shall certainly see patterns as age old suppression of various communities being brought up on internet in violent manner.  At one side, we call ourselves truly global citizens so on the other side we created fragmented society.

Terrorism, Maoism, civil wars has suddenly picked up the speed because of the faster inflow of information and reaction of masses is instant.  Almost every country in the world is now in the grip of people unrest. 

New psychological diseases are becoming the topic of debate as people are adopting new ways of communication.  Some are good and some are not go good or rather very bad. Family values are shrinking and morality has taken a great hit.  

Unfortunately everything has turned into a commodity with price tag including LOVE.  We are consuming more medicine than food.  I am sure we are heading toward changing the human anatomy very soon.

Whether we should consider this as good news or not, it is completely individualist perception. But it certainly clears one point that our future generation would be deprived of human touch in relation and I personally consider it as very bad thing to happen. 

Monday, 27 July 2015

New Perspective of Advertising and Marketing

Thanks to new and virtual world created by powerful internet phenomena, an entirely new generation of population has emerged. This new population is truly global in sense and beyond any political and geographical boundary and ready to explore new ways of interactions.  Internet has helped people to maintain another kind of identity in virtual world, which could be completely different from physical identity.
Due to creation of virtual world, business houses are definitely in need to change their approach to market their products and services.  Traditional approach of advertising is slowly losing its effectiveness and not promising optimum ROI in terms of increased sales.
Because everybody is connected to internet so it has become very easy to approach target audience by mere click on mouse button and let technology do the rest.  What you need is a solid marketing strategy so to leverage the maximum potential of internet marketing.
Though BFSI, FMCG, Real Estate, Retails have already adopted new ways of marketing their product and services on internet and making good progress. However, I have personally observed that manufacturing sector is not so aggressive in adopting this new ways. Probably, these companies might not have fully realized the full potential of internet, which can not only help them to connect the international audience but also help these companies to open up new possibilities to increase business across the borders.
According to me, I think, major reason for this not so aggressive momentum is the well established process followed for years and not much of willingness to disturb those.
Another major reason could be that internet is far more effective in B2C marketing than B2B, wherein manufacturing sector mostly deals in B2B kind of model so there is less need for change.
But it may not really be case forever as even B2B model is maturing and helping business houses to generate more revenues.
It is none less than the suicide if this virtual world is ignored and left out at the mercy of convenience. Internet has already established itself as a very important part of human life.
You can love it or you can hate it but you certainly can not ignore it.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Branding, A Thoughtful, Planned And Diligent Journey

Branding Redefined 

Rome wasn't built in a day – A French Proverb

Nothing happens instantly and takes time.  Everything in this infinite cosmos starts with a seed and slowly grows to turn into giant.

In professional world also, these natural laws applies.  

Branding is more of responsibility, credibility and maturity.  Higher visibility is the reward of branding and not the prime motive itself.  

Entire world follows and impart faith in branded product or service considering that exceptional qualities of product/service will add tremendous values in their life. People are willing to pay more to get this extra mile of comfort and ingenuity.

It certainly takes many years of thinking and execution to evolve to ascertain, what is right and what is not so right. To understand your own broader vision, it needs many sleepless nights even to decide the right direction and also failing many times before getting a hit.

Once you reach and turn into brand then you are no more an object (product/service) or person but a phenomena.  You are an idea of new benchmark, new horizon and new possibilities.

Even a single right word would bring cheers to many and a wrong expression can put everything on fire.

Maggi, a two minutes of noodle phenomena, paved the way for new kind of snacks in Indian market and created multi millions dollar industry, is now struggling to win people’s faith again in their once most respected and loved brand. Hard and sincere efforts of many years have crashed like a pile of cards. 

Branding is a success of your strategy and you need to have bigger perspective to handle such a big success.

In nutshell, you need a very strong character to be a brand. Not even a bit less would do. 

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Advertising is nothing but mass communication at its best in terms of creativity

In general, advertising is defined or understood as medium to create awareness about the product or services offered by an organization.  Irrespective of medium (Digital, Print, Outdoor etc.), advertiser has a tendency to overdo the message so to imprint the brand name.  Sometimes it works and sometime it doesn't.

But there could be another way to looking at advertising, which is not only helpful in terms of strategy and planning but also allowing us to be more creative and ensuring that we really get desired results not leaving anything to chance.

This change needs to be done at the thinking level first and then ultimately reflecting the same in execution as well.

Advertising is a tool to talk to many people simultaneously and theoretically can be defined as mass communication.  In this approach, people are listening or creative ad is talking.  

It is exactly like class room kind of situation at far more bigger scale. 

If particular subjects interest significant amount of student, it is primarily because of teacher’s methodology, who is handling the subject for these students.   

His presentation, clarity of approach, methodology and demeanor defines his effectiveness and directly proportional to students performance in his subject.

An advertising campaign would deliver the best result if below mentioned are perfectly taken care.
1.       A clear understanding of the psyche of target masses.  Common habits, interest, adaptability to change,  current mindset

2.       Find out, what drives and move them more emotionally.

3.       Is your product capable to establish personal connect? If yes then why, if no then how can it?

It is important to be creative to avoid the monotony of approach. But it is also important not to overdo anything, which leaves negative impacts.