Gumption, Sensibility & Logic of Content Marketing

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From the digital marketing scenario, we have come a full circle where the lopsidedness of media quantity has found its way back to media quality i.e. content vs media blocks and a million eyeballs. There is always this struggle between copy and art and generating interest in the fleeting digital passerby.

We often hear that faith can move mountains, Faith interestingly can also freeze the brain too. Considering the very mythology of belief, we need to be cognizant of the importance of balance. Often heard in various terms left and right brain balance. Balance between the head and the heart the balance between Gut and Logic. Balance between sensibilities and insanity.

Since 2004 to nearly 2012 FB was content immune from a media spend perspective, to a certain extent and the amount of media money defined the reach. When the era of content resonance started and better content and quality scores started playing a key role in the digital ecosystem of information.

In today’s world of all things digital, the demands on people’s time are more intense than ever. As marketers, we can shout, loudly and often, and hope someone hears us over all the background noise. Or we can capture people’s attention through truly creative work, and start engaging with them in a meaningful fashion by appealing to their hearts.

Recent joint campaign of Air BNB and art institute of Chicago, constructed around a meticulous recreation of Van Gogh’s bedroom as portrayed in one of his most famous paintings. Many Airbnb prospects are looking for more than just convenient, cost-effective digs. We also want a unique and immersive experience of place. In a splendid display of relevance, the ad speaks beautifully to this desire, while also building interest in the Art Institute’s special Van Gogh exhibit.

L’oreal Paris has long been an innovator in the makeup industry, with flashy lipsticks, subtle foundation, and a famous skincare range. But it’s the brand’s interactive Signature Faces content marketing that’s really caught our eye this time. Signature Faces uses artificially intelligent filters that allow you to test how different shades of lipstick would look on you, without having to leave the safety or comfort of your own home. So tech itself has inherent ability to be incredibly creative.

Vallentin Delluc gives his audience a master class in how to fly on skis, in a short but breathtaking film from Redbull. Video shows the athlete speed riding over a deserted French Alps resort. Featuring gorgeous videography and jaw-dropping stunts, this is hero-level content marketing. It’s exhilarating and has received more than 700,000 views, lots of audience engagement in the form of comments — and there’s total brand alignment. Red bull, after all, gives you wings. 

Quality content given the plethora of media and pacing thumbs on the cursor has made the balance of content and reach, or the content being the king even more important … never to forget that context is the Kingdom.

Air the Gumption …. Heighten the sensibility and let logic be the wireframe and you have a winning content strategy out there.

Vincent Van Gogh

Bedroom Painting

“Air the Gumption …. Heighten the sensibility and let logic be the wireframe and you have a winning content strategy out there.”

Overwhelm your Reality

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What does it mean when you dream about flying in the air?

We often discuss and speak about the difference between real and surreal, and everything practical seems like the reality, while one which appeals to our sense of enchantment gets into the bag of surreal. Thanks to our conditioned logical reasoning.

While in this labyrinth I see everyone I know, live the in the various layers between the real and surreal. The real and ideal and our longing to reach the dream. I sure am an integral part of this piece, blessed with the ability to see it in third person.

Whether it be emotions, achievements, perfection, beauty, friendships, chemistry, relationships, grandeur or moments. Constantly creating the anthills of perfection.

Overwhelmed with the reality we want to believe, constantly living between the real and the surreal. From the innocent eyes of the child in you, each piece seems to come together with the powerful perception and a dash of fairy tale.

“The Gypsy sauntered through the desert seeking the oasis of wealth, love and happiness. Travelling through and with the numerous travelers and traders, poets and magicians, dancers and tricksters. Handsome and not so handsome souls. Seeped in the beauty of real & tangible. While most men and women went about their trade sewing their own over whelmed reality. Reaching new realms, exploring wilderness, unbridled freedom and spirited gait.”

While we read the above this it may seem like the story in the wilderness of a desert, amongst passionate nomads and eat, drink and make merry band of people. This soul may rest right in the middle of the city with soul so free.

Go ahead and overwhelm your reality, believe in the life you lead with all its fervor and know that the only real truth that prevails is in your head, softly weaving through the sinews of your soul and strumming rock songs with your heart.

Go ahead and achieve all you want, while the universe conspires to build castles.

Go ahead with unchained melody of relationships rising up and above.

Go ahead and live, over whelmed, surreal and full of magic.

“Powerful perception and a dash of fairy tale”

The Halo Effect of Digital Marketing Decomposed

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How the 'Digital Halo' Helps Business Leaders Gain a Competitive Edge

Digital marketing strategy like marketing strategy needs to be fundamentally on thorough creative principles and aspects of marketing like the right place or ambience, right audience, right pricing and right promotions, right communication. The edge digital has offered for the last decade to marketers is pace, two-way communication, WOM or community engagement and added timing as a very important aspect. Visiting a few scary terms for unfamiliar marketers and business echelons.

SAAS usage seems to yet overwhelm people, well google apps is SaaS, Hub spot is SaaS, Dropbox, Salesforce, Magneto and many more. Software as a service is becoming the order of the day as maintaining heavy server base is increasingly becoming a preference of the past for majority of the organizations.

The big data, is the user data generated by the social and search engines, which people familiar with the usage could cull and auto data slices which the analytical platforms offered for primary research and KPO churning, like the SPSS. The real story then and now is that the data sings stories for tomorrow. For example, 60% of the people do not complete their purchase on ecommerce after checking out. The reasons very close to shopper behavior in brick and mortar stores, 37% percent actually were just window shopping, Web rooming and found a better price (showrooming is gaining ground everywhere in the retail stores), 27 % believe it was taking too long, a new data peek where 56% shy away due to addendum costs, delivery time etc. Thus the data points may be more but the reality of customer experience remains and if you are not a tired marketer you can look at all these and see if the number sings solutions and stories or do you need to dive deeper. Don’t get phased with terms like canonicals (it simply rules out duplication, when did u have a same brand with one store next to the other and not see it as a mistake J), get past the terminology and the stories will be very charming.

Digital Creative, has to a certain extend phased out that “Killer Creative”, but no killer creative still stay and work, just that if its not so killer and can be more, you can see and change it, and make it better within a day or even pull it out for an interim. From Dpi’s to pixels to headline to post, the format demands adjustment but eternally a good idea with superb consumer insight stays, visually, audio visuals or statics of GIF’s… our canvas of creativity and engagement have increased, and its is a matter of hours to know the possibilities…Just be energetic and hungry to know.

ROI has been used as a term for ever, conventionally, top lines and bottom lines were the first for consumer driven categories. The more the phases of measurement the more the milestones of success. Awareness, Lead, Conversion, Reach, Click through Rate. Common Business sense yet needs to be applied to know which one with a sound logical reasoning. Brand, Category, Market Maturity interplay for a logical out put. Well some may say management demands, but hey when was brand campaign directly related to sales, it was connected to a brand track and consideration set.

It ain’t cool or uncool to be digitally savvy, its simply a place of pace and lets read it for what it really is.

Believe if IOT and the digital universe was suppose to be Rocket Science… That’s is what we would call it “ROCKET SCIENCE”.

A Hundred to Ninety-Nine

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An experience of a lifetime,

When you grow up really,

Which only comes to light,

When our perception drives us to expect a 100.

Brings to light why a 100 should never be,

Cause 99 always leaves a room to learn,

And realise it takes very little to Judge,

A room to accept, some space to let be,

Some space for the imperfect perfections all around.

A garden to be, a rose to smell.

A smile so genuine, and to have it all,

It always needs to be a tad bit less than 100.

Cause it takes very little to reach from 100 to 99,

An un trustable word from a trusted source,

A fake projection, a bare cognitive distortion,

Sheer self-insufficiency, a bad overlap of impressions.

The first few protegee’s,

Amongst stood a bright one,

Who managed to get a perception overlapped,

Was a perfect 99, but broken by the estimated,

100 as a thresh hold.

I shudder to think I could be the one,

To want the 100, which was my mere perception,

Driven by wagging tonnes-a-many ,

No words to express,

How sheer adoration turned to wrath,

This 100 took me on like a rat.

No word of regret, or myriad apologies,

Will fill the gap, cause 100 was a goddam trap,

I only wish you’d have a larger heart,

To accept the EQ at 50, though that’s rather sad.

While I make space for the 70, 80 and 90’s too.

I see that the world is prettier,

And even more perfect,

Cause a 100 will never make a perfect do.

You Live for Ever my Thin Santa Claus

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You live for ever my thin Santa Claus, that’s how I describe you to most of my friends and will continue to do so. With soul the size of an ocean and a mind as wide as surpassing the horizon itself, and a heart which knew every sense wherever you stood, the ground became the world.

Professor Vinayak to most, but I was privileged to be allowed to call him by his first name inspite of decades of difference in experience.

To my first job, when you proudly waited in the reception to see me, while half the agency was out surprised and greeting you cause they literally revered you. While you elegantly walked out to take me for a treat. Proud of your gait and elegance …. Ever since

The “come as you are” party when I decided to leave Bombay, and the finishing the wine bottle while you very subtly convinced me to stay, with your famous one liners etching deep into my mind.

To, you being so protective like a father, when your student approached me inappropriately.

To never letting me bend, in life for anything including lighting up J.

To the lunches in your Dadar house, with bizarre WWE and philosophy which was simplistic yet impactful.

To crazy Karaoke sessions, Dean Martin and Harry Belafonte and Wilson Pickett. To your happy feet always dancing.

To burning the floor where each of us lil ones would ignore the boys and dance with just the gentleman … which was afcourse you.

To the bright eyes and proud look you had when I as an lil executive, sat amongst your CEO friends, and spoke marketing. Never told u but more than the conversation the pride in your eyes was over whelming.

To the Kerela Trip teaching the businessmen how to do business …. Loadsa jungle, George and broths.

To the Showman, crowd moved when you stood up, people listened when you spoke… laughed when u cracked your inevitable jokes and shuddered when u were angry. To the indefatigable spirit.

To the small tea parties, we had before I left …. I could go on and on and on ….. so I can never complete writing everything about you…. You can only travel but never leave.

Look at how the universe functions, I write this for you on friendship day, I am blessed to have had a person like you in my life, who had space in his heart for all who he considered as a friend. It is an honor.

I am incapable of writing and obituary for you, because you can only live forever, in my heart, my soul and some one who’s responsible along the way for my very construct …. As a marketer, as an Individual, as a lady, as a human being. I can never miss you because u have left lil part of you in us… and thank you for staying back and thank you for being you.

Opportunity in Adversity – Brands?

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While there is a paroxysm of news and reports on how Covid-19 has affected the economy across the world and how the developed and the developing nations have come on their knees fighting this indefatigable enemy. It has also brought to light the adaptiveness of humans beings and the rapid change we are actually capable of.

Consumerism, like most marketers believe is here to stay, and brands and businesses need to follow and thin slice consumer behaviour to churn out the opportunities. While we read about how people are using the coupons meant to drive shopping mostly replacing expenditure on food today across the US & China, may be there are smarter cues in there which brands and businesses need to dive into.

There is 3000% + increase in the online search for hygiene, hand wash and sanitisers, and methods to keep better hygiene and immunity building. Are we looking at an impending rise in demand for health practitioners for supposedly healthy people. Will Yoga overtake gymnasiums or will gymnasiums integrate Yoga. Civility, personal space and public decorum is likely to lead to increase of demand of grooming and personality training professionals.

While shops and malls are shut down we see a whooping growth on online sales, erstwhile struggling e-commerce likely to grow more rapidly than expected. Online meetings have increased by 400%, Zoom and its likes to get more momentum and comfort of use. Does this spell less business for Travel & Leisure, or could they venture into more customize luxury travel and virtual tours for people with a wanderlust. Will the Go-to-Market strategies turn into Get-the-Market-to Consumer strategy 🙂

Athleisure has been picking up in the last few years, but the share of wardrobe for most working professions would be less than 20% when it comes to semi-formal home wear. WFH in style, clothing could pose to be segment creating opportunity for Fashion Retail.

Food & Fashion have always had each other’s back, with a micro chef arising every corner we may see a lot more interest and interaction on these. Interest in food likely to see a gender shift. Should we be targeting these products differently in the future.

Will this give real estate an eventual rise, with people wanting more space and leisure at home. So the mid segment and up would invest more in larger homes?

There is a 60% jump in online learning and more than 200% jump in online education. A lot of people are involving themselves in online learning, webinars, acquiring new talent online, educating themselves. Education has always been the sweet spot where demands rarely goes down, but this will take it to a whole new level and cross the geographical restrictions even more.

I know many may have questions on whether in this time of strife, how can one think of opportunities rather than help. Online data shows that 25% more people want to help the poor. Well brands who look at these opportunities also have their side where they are helping and contributing. To help you need to be “ABLE” to help. So yes this is a time to lend your hand where required but does not mean you need to shut shop.

Drawing consumer insights and driving growth is as much in fashion now as it always was. If we don’t someone else will!

 

Online Retail and its Challenges

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ShoppingAs standardization begins to gain ground in the online shopping arena, reduced delivery time, availability of options, comparative reviews and quality assurance, reduced dispensable time for the consumers is making online retail to increasingly gaining ground.

 

However, the challenges are much more than that of brick and mortar stores from a customer experience perspective. There is no human intervention to correct, retain or convince a customer. The customer journey has to be immaculate.

 

Cognitive intelligence is likely to play a more important role, in the online shopping experience. The customer choice, what they liked last time they visited, what did they order, the categories of interest and the trend patterns over a period of time. A huge amount of online and in person research needs to go into developing a truly sticky experience, such that one does not lose out on the consumers.

 

In the arena of search, display and look alike audiences. Positioning or the need for a true and powerful brand positioning becomes even more important. Thus unlike the contrary believe that tech would overtake the content and core, in fact the pace of tech makes the requirement for sturdy content even more necessary.  Else the the speed, virality and high interactivity may just about kill faster.

 

Thus the fundamentals of Marketing and POP seems to have huge amount of tech infusion, but remain as pure in form of its core value.

 

Who is saying it? What is being said? How is it being said? Is truth being spoken? Will eventually reveal an ocean of opportunities. What consumers will buy online and what they will not, what will make them do so will be the key questions yet from a physical to an online store.

 

After looking at the pro’s and cons’s and addendums of online retail, my suggestion to fellow marketers is while you catch the pace of tech, please do ensure being fundamentally strong with your marketing base.

I would appreciate healthy competition!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Simple Complexity of Marketing

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The oxymoron as it indicates is an area, which makes us wonder as a fundamental marketers in our day-to-day work environment.

In a world of data overload and massive figures being quoted across, the intrinsic usage and simplicity, thin slicing of information is becoming increasingly rare. The low hanging tools have relatively low understanding and incorrect expectations of resonance.

One such very fundamental element is catchment area marketing and advertising tool called paper inserts. Typically used to communicate where the print granularity does not encompass a segmented area. Over a period another format evolved called door drops. Agencies found another way to monetise local area marketing.

“Door drops” were initiated by eateries, groceries, few FMCG companies to reach the TOM (Top of mind) for the consumer who comes back home to these chores and food. At the doorstep was absolutely correct, as that is the time that the consumers mind map receives the right message, for staples and food. Thus the approach works and is working for several companies in this category. Promotions further strengthen the proposition as consumers see an immediate benefit in it.

However, think about say a very high involvement product like a Housing loan hung on your door, where your are used to seeing menu cards. Are we talking to a customer in the wrong ambience? Is it like selling antibiotics and OTC medicine in a pub?

A home is something you would think seriously about sitting on your sofa within a much more serious format like a manual or a newspaper/serious online financial website.

Thus for this kind of a local area reach one needs newspaper inserts where newspaper circulation itself does not have granularity.

They unfortunately are being mistaken for one another for fast paced, non-insightful marketers. Who need to realize that even inside the person’s house he has different mental acceptance to formats and information.

Is marketing not about talking to the right person, the right message at the right time.

Does any format flout the fundamental approach of consumer insights? Customer Marketing? And monetizing mind maps? Are you in your bid to deliver or exude great numbers missing the basics? Have your considered that actually if you get your basics right, the rest will follow?

Did every product of apple work? Did Pepsi not grow due its design and consumer appeal? Does more lemonade sell in summers? Don’t you feel good when your partner says just the right words in the right time?

The success of a true marketer lies in true insights. The simplicity and complexity of minds is where the whole story lies.

Your Self Served Fashion Statement or Evolution of Fashion & Fashion Marketing

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imagesThe last heard apprehensive compliment, “Oh my god she is so fashionable’ or the genuine admiration of “she makes her own fashion” or a geeky rendition of “she and fashion, ugh” … what were they really talking about, the latest Ferragamo or Gucci wear, the slick sense of individual style or not so slick self styled dork.

Plethora of fashion styles have been created and marketed over the centuries. Let us dig deeper and you shall see the real story. To investigate the elemental sense of fashion, lets look at how fashion evolved over a period of time.

The 12th Century had long tunics, with hose and mantles or cloaks. Women wore long tunics or gowns, characteristic of upper class fashion. 13th century saw blue as fashionable and also adopted by the king. 14th century saw the length of female hem-lines progressively reduced.15th-century Europe was characterised by a series of extremes and extravagances, from the voluminous gowns called houppelandes with their sweeping floor-length sleeves to the revealing doublets and hose of Renaissance Italy. Hats, hoods, and other headdresses assumed increasing importance, and were swagged, draped, jewelled, and feathered. Various fashion’s emanated from France, Italy. Voluminous clothing worn in an abundance of layers marks fashion in the period 1500–1550 in Western Europe. Contrasting fabrics, slashes, embroidery, applied trims, and other forms of surface ornamentation became prominent. Regional variations in fashionable clothing that arose in the 15th century became more pronounced in the sixteenth. In particular, the clothing of the Low Countries, German states, and Scandinavia developed in a different direction than that of England, France, and Italy, although all absorbed the sobering and formal influence of Spanish dress after the mid-1520s. Fashion in the period 1795–1820 in European and European-influenced countries saw the final triumph of undress or informal styles over the brocades, lace, periwig, and powder of the earlier 18th century. In the aftermath of the French Revolution, no one wanted to appear to be a member of the French aristocracy, and people began using clothing more as a form of individual expression of the true self than as a pure indication of social status. The 2010s have thus far been defined by a revival of austerity era period pieces, 1980s neon colors, and from late 2012 onwards, unisex early 1990s styles influenced by grunge and skater fashions. In the early 2010s, many mid and late 2000s fashions remained popular in Europe, the United States, Latin America, Australasia and East Asia, especially the indie pop look which largely drew upon elements of 1970s garage rock and contemporary alternative fashion. In 2013, the early 1990s inspired anti-fashion had made a comeback in the UK, USA, and Australasia among women aged 18–30. Popular upper apparel includes ugly sweaters, khaki super dry trench coats, T-shirts with blazers, plaid, oversized flannel shirts worn or tied around the waist, oversized T-shirts, padded gilets, and crew neck sweaters. Crop tops were also reintroduced, but they didn’t prove popular in stores. In the UK and the US, popular bottom apparel includes skinny jeans, leggings, parachute pants, and high-waist shorts. Desirable footwear included rain boots, flat sandals, stilettos, Keds, TOMS Shoes, Chucks, Sperry top-siders boat shoes, flat knee high riding boots, Uggs, Hunter brand rain boots, Ballerina flats, cavalier boots, gladiator sandals, combat boots, Doc Martens, and The Timberland Company.

I skip from the 18th century to now, depicting how fashion, which was upper class, followed, was actually already becoming individual statements and, how a plethora of fashion styles co-exist.

The trick here is to adorn yourself with clothes, which suit your individual personality and not an era prototype. If you are comfortable being anachronistic in our taste of music then clothes and accessories too can be your personal sense… If you are the kinds who love to explore and do new stuff, by all means go ahead. If you like a particular style from the latest collection by all means indulge.

Cause the first step towards being truly fashionable is not to be a victim of fashion.

When did you see the last marketer display fashion … they are always displaying aspiring personalities and styles and individual personas. The 13th century even had a color, which depicted style, does it really go with you, or are you happier , smarter & sleeker stylised with tiger prints?

(Coming from a core marketer by profession)

Rise Up and Above

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Rise up your head and look around,

People greeting you in the morning,

The pat on your back when a superb job is done,

A happy junior when they are appreciated,

Colleagues with great humour and laughter all around.

Look all around you when an aberration hits your desk.

Talks and words come your way,

Even human management systems get disabled,

People yet ask for more of you, cause they saw you with a smile yesterday.

Judgmental becomes the order of the day.

Rise above and you see so much more,

The people who really matter are few,

People who truly care are rare,

People true of heart, are the one who dare

To standby and they are the ones who fare

With you in every weather

The only ones for whom you may choose to bother.