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November 2012

CONTENTS Featured Articles

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Copywriting for Google AdWords

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Mobile Markerting - An Emerging Opportunity

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Game Marketing

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If Facebook has a new WANT link...

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Gamification: An emerging trend in digital marketing‌!!

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Social Media Crisis Management

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Mobile Marketing

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User Generated Content – A new Marketing Dimension

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Interview with Mr. Ishaan Gupta, CEO of EduKart

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Hi Readers, We are very happy to bring out this month’s edition of Markezine- Digital Marketing. We all know that the world is quickly evolving into a more digital one and so are the businesses and the way they market their products and services. Gone are the days when the businessmen relied on the traditional sources to communicate to their consumers and the reasons for this shift are innumerable such as having a larger and a better reach to your target audience and identifying them in a better way, lower costs of reaching out to them, engaging and interacting with your customers in an efficient manner to get to know about your products and services and the biggest advantage is that your marketing efforts can easily be monitored and tracked and corrective actions can be taken. This issue of Markezine concentrates on very important and happening trends in Digital marketing- Mobile Marketing and Gamification, which businesses now use extensively. The highlight of this issue is an interview with Mr. Ishaan Gupta, CEO at EduKart.com and an alumnus of The Stanford University Graduate School of Business. EduKart.com gives students, young graduates and working professionals access to high quality certificate courses to develop their skills and talent and improve employability. With a wide range of courses in different segments like Retail, Finance, Software Engineering, Digital Marketing, Project Management and more, it is an ideal platform to enhance your knowledge. All the courses come with unlimited telephonic doubt-solving support. We place on record our sincere thanks to all those who worked hard in bringing out this edition on time. Happy reading‌! Team Markezine Editing and Design| Sheeza Shakeel | Shivaraj | Nikhil Girhotra | Ishwarya Lakshmi

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Copywriting for Google AdWords Take up any advertisement, be it online or offline, print or electronic, the most powerful component is the words used to deliver the message. Sometimes we come across certain ads which lack something, either the words don’t create the right impact or the call-to-action is weak. These are all the loopholes of

words. You must be clear about the demographic that you are targeting and you must make sure that your ad appears only when the search is pertaining to your product. The Search Engine Marketers have focused heavily on the importance of keywords but it is not the

copywriting.

only factor that affects your ad getting clicked. Some other factors that contribute to the success of your Google AdWord are as follows:

Online advertisements require a lot of research in choosing the right keywords for your advertisement. You must make sure that your advertisements are targeting the right demographics. Your ads might prove to be useless if the target customers don’t click on them. And every click on your Google ad costs you a lot of money. Therefore, if it is not the right people who are clicking on the advertisements then it is sure to cost you a lot. Google AdWords is a widely used service provided by Google that allows you to create and run advertisements for your business on Google SERPs and on Google’s advertising network. However, the desired results require strategically identifying the keywords and then bidding for them. After creating your Google AdWords account, the first step that goes in designing an effective Google ad campaign is to identify the target audience. You can rule out certain sections of the society depending on the product you are marketing. The next step is to write an effective ad copy. While writing an effective ad copy you must narrow down the range of your keywords. Select particular keyC

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1. Copy: These days Google is using advanced algorithm to test your Google ads. It checks the extent to which your Google ad matches with the user’s search. It also checks the synchronization between your Google Ad and your Ad Copy. 2. Group: Google analyzes your keywords as a group of Ads. Thus, they evaluate if the keywords are relevant to your ad copy. Your list of keywords might be very long and pertaining to your product but if it doesn’t pertain to your ad copy then those keywords would be considered in another group. 3. Landing Page: Your landing page is where people go when they click on your ad. Your landing page should be completely hassle free and must serve what your user is looking for. Google searches your landing page for the keywords. Your landing page must satisfy your users. Thus, bidding for the right keywords is necessary. MARKezine 2


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Industry experts say that if you have not bid for the right keyword then your entire ad campaign might turn out as a flop show. Writing a compelling and snappy ad copy is very essential. You must know how to play with words creatively. Uses of certain ‘hook’ words like get, learn, best can do wonders to your ad campaign and increase your ad clicks. Include the price also in your ad, this will increase the number of conversions. Remember that you must add effective Calls-to-Action to your ad copy like Apply now, Save Today, Buy Now etc. right keyword then your entire ad campaign might turn out as a flop show. Writing a compelling and snappy ad copy is very essential. You must know how to play with words creatively. Uses of certain ‘hook’ words like get, learn, best can do wonders to your ad campaign and increase your ad clicks. Include the price also in your ad, this will increase the number of conversions. Remember that you must add effective Calls-to-Action to your ad copy like Apply now, Save Today, Buy Now etc. In a nutshell, it is not only about choosing the right keywords but also about writing an effective ad copy and designing a creative and innovative ad campaign which caters to the maximum number of customers and results in maximum conversions.

Submitted by: Kumud Pudrani Edukart, An online Education Portal

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MOBILE MARKERTING AN EMERGING OPPORTUNITY Marketing is about identifying and meeting human and social needs. One can say “meeting needs profitably”. According to American Marketing Association “Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and for managing customer

marketing in emerging markets is mobile marketing. Emerging markets have experienced strong economic growth in the recent past and four of the top five mobile markets are emerging markets – China in first place, India second, Russia in fourth and Brazil in fifth. The US is the only developed market to

relationships in ways that benefit the organization and stakeholders”. The highlighted words depict the importance of MOBILE in marketing. Marketing without communication and customer relationship is just impossible. The changing Marketing communication environment defines the opportunities ahead. Technology and other factors have profoundly changed the way consumers process communications. The rapid diffusion of powerful broadband Internet connections, ad-skipping digital video recorders and multipurpose cell phones have forced marketers to rethink a number of their traditional practices. With globalization at its rapid pace Mobile has attracted attention of many of the marketers. One should know – What is Mobile Marketing?

sneak into the top five, at number three. According to Anatel, the Brazilian regulatory agency that oversees wireless carriers in Latin America, Brazil leads the way in terms of mobile penetration on 92 per cent, followed by Columbia (88 per cent); Chile (75 per cent); Argentina (72 per cent); and Mexico (63 per cent). Credit Suisse’s report, Convergence 2010: The Wireless Web World estimates that in the period 2009-2015, the number of smartphones in Latin America will have increased by more than fivefold.

Mobile marketing can be defined as “the use of the mobile medium as a means of marketing communication” or “the distribution of any kind of promotional or advertising messages to customer through wireless networks”. More specific definition could be: “using interactive wireless media to provide customers with time and location sensitive, personalized information that promotes goods, services and ideas, thereby generating value for all.” Definitions apart, we know one of the fastest growing forms of C

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The Indian Telecom Sector has grown by leaps and bounds over the last decade. The growth has been explosive in the wireless segment with teledensity levels reaching 75.42% overall and the subscriber base reaching 911.17 million at the end of Feb 2012 from 893.84 million at the end of Dec 2011. Even more impressive is the teledensity figures for the urban areas, which has crossed 162.61%. On the contrary, the teledensity figures for rural areas remain at around 37.62%. However, the fact that the rural segment is the fastest growing in terms of subscriber base is encouraging. With 68.84% of India’s population living in rural areas, this presents a huge opportunity for the telecom sector. And with such a population India will stand as a favourite destination for mobile MARKezine 4


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marketing in coming years. With comparison to other media, Mobile has many advantages – deciding on the Reach, Frequency and Impact. Total number of exposures (E) is the reach times the average frequency (E=R*F), Weighted number of exposures (WE) = R*F*I. Seeing all this we can say mobile marketing has – OMNIPRESENCE - 75.42% of huge subscribers providing full plate customers. With such a growth rate in penetration it is very easy to reach more number of customers in less time.

with your customers. Increased exposure with your customers. More number of feedback and interaction is possible. EFFECTIVENESS - Assured delivery of message to the customers. When you make advertisement on T.V or display pamphlets, you are not sure that they have been watched by your customers but you can be assured when you send it through mobile. CONVENIENCE - More number of ensured customers base for advertisement. No extra efforts needed for this.

DELIVERY - More number of customers and one can make delivery easy by bunch delivery of messages.

LOCALIZATION - You can attach and reach more number of latent buyers and potential buyers.

AFFORDABILITY - It is much cheaper than any of the marketing techniques. Low cost will attract a lot of users. Bulk usage makes it cheaper.

INTEGRATION - You can integrate those customers with equivalent demand or same customer segment or choose only those whom you want to target. Targeting becomes easier by mobile marketing.

PERSONAL - The more you connect to customers the more successful you are. The major part is retaining your customers lifelong. This can be done only when you connect well. TARGETED - In the case of mass marketing, you can choose the customers of your product, only those can be targeted. Targeting is an important phenomenon of marketing and can be easily achieved by this cost effective way. TWO - WAY - Best way to achieve CRM. Taking

NOVELTY FACTOR - Being new it will obviously attract a lot of seekers and hence increase the consumer base. It can serve as a form of buzz marketing as well as viral marketing.

Seeing the trends of marketing tactics used by many companies, the following technologies can be foresighted to be used for mobile marketing:

feedback has become necessary and important for your product to be successful. This can be achieved by phone very easily. INTERACTIVE - More interaction brings you closer to the heart of customers and you get to know your customers deeply.

Mobile Friendly Website Statistics claim that by 2013 more people will be ac cessing websites via their cell phones as opposed to desktops and laptops. This means that mobile optimized websites are more important now more than ever before.

RELATIONSHIP - Helps in building relationship

SMS (Text) Alerts/Reminders

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SMS has many useful applications in the mobile technology realm, one of which is alerts and reminders. Having the ability to contact your customers with simple text messages is non-intrusive and convenient. Two current examples of industries utilizing SMS alerts and reminders are banks and retail chains. Banks use this technology to alert customers of balances on their accounts. Retail chains can alert customers when certain products are discounted or available.

SMS Rewards and short codes Text WINNER to 123456 and get a free voucher for a round of golf or free fries with your burger or tickets to a local concert! Companies are rewarding mobile customers by having them participate in short code communications via SMS. And these codes appear everywhere - billboards, radio, television and print publications.

SMS Voting/Polling Many of you may be familiar with this technology already. Television shows like Indian Idol, Kaun Banega Crorepati and many others utilize this technology to rank contestants. However, this technology is also helpful in the business world, where users can poll or vote on various products and services. What a great way to get valid feedback on your business!

information that can be used for a variety of applications such as sending a text, making a call or going to a website. The idea is simple but the impact potential is huge! Place a QR code on product packaging and once the customer scans the QR code with a mobile device, the code can link to anything from videos that explain how to use the product to a company’s promotional website.

Mobile Applications Companies and organizations worldwide have adopted the use of mobile apps to help increase awareness and revenue streams. Mobile apps can provide data such as product information, account information, scores to a sporting event, streaming audio and more. Studies show that users prefer mobile games, social media, maps and music in the form of an app as opposed to a web based interaction.

Mobile Search Advertising Mobile users are searching for establishments to eat and relax while on the go. Google Places provides quick mobile search results that will show detailed information about your establishment as well as ratings and pricing.

Mobile Coupons The ability to have a retail clerk scan your phone for 20% off on a product does not sound like a bad idea right? Currently, this technology is widely used by retailers all over the world. Mobile coupons can be available through search advertising in mobile apps, on mobile websites and in many other ways.

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QR Codes QR Codes are similar to UPC codes. They contain

This list doesn’t stop here, it can be expanded to such an extent that one cannot imagine but can also implement the same very soon in coming years. All arms of marketing can be linked through mobile to the customers. This explains the necessity of mobile marketing for every company. Worldwide use of mobile marketing is not a new thing, but India still needs to grow a lot in this field. Uses can be seen in railways, telecom service providers, retail chains, agri input companies and many more. Seeing the MARKezine 6


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needs. Small and medium enterprises are also realizing the benefits of mobile telephony either through increases in productivity or finding new business ventures through the use of mobile phones. All statistics of Indian Telecom sector is mind boggling, be it urban or rural both growing at an unbeaten speed. With such statistics, India has a vast opportunity for this new, untapped area of marketing. Most of the agri input companies are already using this method to the maximum they can. The rural area

statistics of Indian market we can visualize the upcoming scenario of mobile marketing in India. INDIAN SCENARIO From 2001 to 2011, the total number of telephone subscribers has grown at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 35 per cent. The comparable rates in the 1980s and 1990s were 9 per cent and 22 percent, respectively. The telecom sector has received an average 8.2 per cent of total inward FDI between 2000–01 and 2010– 11. Most of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has gone to the cellular mobile segment. The impact of mobile phones on agricultural productivity and revenue varies on the type of service, literacy status of farmers and the type of complementary infrastructure available. However, middle men and traders in both fisheries and farming are dependent on the mobile to monitor their business 7 MARKezine

people are using mobile phones not only to talk with their near and dear ones but now a days it is serving as a connection between the input companies and people. All new technologies, any new varieties, market availability are transferred via messaging on their phones as and when required. The messages are customized into their local language to ease it to such an extent that every word clearly speaks what the company wants to inform. Government agencies are also using this way of message delivery for weather forecast, market price, MSP of different crops and new schemes for farmers. The figure below shows the trend of total mobile subscribers in different countries. India stands in a very respectable position. And this shows the huge opportunity of mobile marketing in India. country. Not only is the rural sector the ultimate customers to be served by mobile marketing, it is still in the early stages both in urban and rural area. With the advent of smart phones the mobile advertising and marketing has a long way to travel. The new AADHAAR scheme and many new initiatives will surely take mobile marketing to new heights. The online shopping, ticket booking in railways or movie, messages

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from retail stores all are one way of mobile marketing. There is a need of new inventions and initiative in this area. The allowance of 51% FDI in multi-brand retail will surely pave the way for traceability factor in supply chain, which will become easier by smart phones in near future. The social networking site today is playing an important role in marketing; this can be exploited to a greater extent by smart phones. Every section of society youth, adult......rural urban.... all will come under purview of mobile marketing sooner or later. Being an agribusiness manager we see mobile marketing having an enormous potential to take agriculture to new heights, connecting the rural people with the fast moving world. Being an adult we see the hidden upcoming potential via smart phones in mobile marketing. There is a long way ahead which will surely be reached with the help of young minds very soon.

Submitted by: Kumkum Bala (PGDM,ABM) Ravi Kumar Kunwar (PGDM,ABM) National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management.

The figures show that India stands second after China as far as number of subscribers is concerned. And it stands fourth in number of internet users in the C

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Game Marketing If Shakespeare was born in the 21st century, he would have said, “All the world’s a game”. With the advent, acceptance and ascendency of social media, the increasing use of the same by almost every brand or marketer was only expected. The snowballing addiction of people towards social media has made marketers come up with newer innovations to keep people glued to their screens longer – be it the 3- inch mobile screen or the 16-inch laptop screen. “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand” is the concept that makes games a learning experience and perfect engagement opportunity. What makes it an instant favourite of people is the fact that through games, menial and routine tasks in life can be transformed into something fun and recreational. Hence, Gamification is in vogue.

a powerful tool to transport information, change consumer behaviour, influence the decision process and the brand perception, etc. The rise of platforms and applications to enable Gamification such as SCVNGR, Badgeville, BigDoor and Bunchball has made it easier for brands to structure campaigns. Gamification can be applied to almost any industry through channels such as marketing campaign, website/content portal, business services and online community to drive participation and engagement. It can be leveraged across enterprise to deal with various user engagement challenges. Enterprise Gamification Innovation management - idea banks, improving team culture etc. by rewarding and engaging employees Motivating sales people who are already attuned to incentive programs based on tiered rewards Education and Learning: e-Learning, certification programs, vocational training Consumer Gamification Customer loyalty programmes by incorporating gaming features such as challenges and quests to foster deeper engagement between the business and the customer

Gamification refers to the use of game mechanics and game design techniques in non-game contexts, in order to encourage people to adopt them or to influence how they are used. Understanding and applying the mechanics of games can give companies 9 MARKezine

Creating awareness about the brands by integrating games into marketing campaign Gamification generates new business when new customers find their friends playing games

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Societal and other uses Health and Wellness - obesity programs, smoking cessation Public Policy and Government - Carbon credits, climate change, welfare reforms Gamification Market Gamification is growing up from hype into a significant business opportunity for Gamification platform providers. M2 Research forecasts the market in 2012 to reach $242 million and climb to $2.8 billion by 2016. According to the recent Gartner report, by 2015 more than 50% of organizations that manage innovation processes will gamify those processes. It further goes on to conclude that by 2014, a gamified service for consumer goods marketing and customer retention will become as important as Facebook, eBay or Amazon, and more than 70 percent of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application.

in order to determine when to award points, levels, and badges or the detailed reports about employee activities provided to real managers so that they can distribute recognition.

The main characteristics of a successful gamified campaign

1) Setting a challenge A challenge often motivates consumers to go that extra step, sometimes literally. The American Public Health Association teamed up with Shinobi Labs to incorporate its Mobile Adventure Walks app into their annual 5k walking challenge. The app was designed to add fun to exercise by asking participants questions about their walk and what they could see around them. The goal was to walk 5k, but the app turned the experience into an adventure.

How Gamification Works Gamification is not just designing video games or just using points (levels, badges etc.) for an application. Analytics lie at the heart of Gamification. It’s the “behaviour engines� that analyse user behaviour C

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2) A scoring system: badges and points By offering a scoring system people are encouraged to return again and again to see if they can score higher next time. Foursquare has been used by events and conferences such as Comic-Con and Consumer Electronics Show to encourage attendees to visit as many areas as possible and collect badges and earn rewards. 3) Progression: levels Gamification is just like a standard computer game, allowing progression through levels where users keep coming back again and again. Starbucks has introduced this into its loyalty scheme: progression through the levels is rewarded with perks such as free drinks or extras, giving users an incentive to keep coming back. 4) Rating: rankings and leader boards With Gamification beginning to creep into the workplace, managers are starting to understand the inspirational power of a leader board and are using it to induce competition, particularly within sales teams. The Salesforce CRM platform enables teams to track performance and offer rewards to the top achievers. 5) Multiplayer options Most people simply love competition. Multiplayer options add a challenge by letting you compete against others – known or unknown people. Nike Plus has a whole range of features to enhance your running experience, including being able to challenge up to 50 friends to compete individually or on teams. 6) The prize There is a need to offer some kind of reward at the end of the experience. It might be monetary – such 11 MARKezine

as cash or discounts – or have some other value – such as peer respect, recognition or fame. A reward system can motivate people to do something that might be seen as a chore. More than 3 million people have signed up Recycle Bank, a scheme where participants earn points by buying environmentfriendly products or choosing green behaviour. They earn rewards in the form of discounts, offers, gift cards or charitable donations.

Reasons behind Gamification being an important tool in digital marketing: Gamification essentially targets the psyche of people. Everybody loves to face challenges, measure their progress with respect to others and get rewards in the end if the performance is up to the mark. Gamification meets these desires. It has competitions, easy progress tracking mechanisms as well as rewards at the successful completion of challenges. Sharing accomplishments and status levels has become very easy with the advent of Facebook and Twitter. Technology makes all things easier, especially competition Real-time data and awesome graphics help in increased customer involvement. Also, the ease with which one can compare one’s performance relative to his peers increases the competitive intensity. Boredom Solution better than TV With the increasing influence of media in everyday life, one needs an exciting medium like gaming to grab the attention of the viewers. Marketers get a better amount of attention Unlike advertisements which usually create consumer awareness through interruption, in gaming one can build awareness without annoying the viewer. C

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Millions of users everyday play social games on their own accord. Facebook with its 1010 million users is the mecca of social gaming Lead Generation and Conversion: Social games have proved to be very efficient for lead generation as they are able to generate much greater interest into the products and services of a business compared to regular online ads. Also, one can easily target relevant users as there is user specific data. Research conducted by Viximo has shown that social games that utilize virtual goods on an average earn 10-35 cents per user.

Few Examples of Firms who have used Gamification successfully Dell introduced Gamification to engage with B2B customers to check their products, download content, provide feedback and share social contacts through earning points and badges.

e-bay introduced a unique gaming system to improve sales and service levels. Through seller points and badges the top sellers on the site are found out. Buyer feedback mechanism is also present which induces the seller to provide better services to the consumers. Starbucks coffee application rewards user with the Starts and Status levels which induces users to keep playing. On reaching Green level, users are entitled for free refills on brewed coffee or tea. This leads to greater playing as people aspire to reach the premium category which is Starbucks Golden

is a social running game. It was a collaboration between Nike and Apple and the game basically stores information such as the elapsed time of the workout, the distance travelled, pace and calories burned by the individual. The users are able to measure their performance relative to other users which encourages them to compete and improve their fitness program. Microsoft Ribbon Hero is a free downloadable game intended to help users learn how to use all the features and functions in Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Office 2010 Microsoft Ribbon Hero is a free downloadable game intended to help users learn how to use all the features and functions in Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Office 2010

Challenges Biggest challenge in Gamification lies in creating a fun based platform where every person is empowered to achieve his goal in his own way. Some of the most obvious risks associated with Gamification include: Cheating: The entire concept of Gamification strategy will be susceptible to cheating. During the design process, businesses should attempt to think of themselves as a player who would go to any extent to win. If the implementation is misused in an unintended manner, a process should be in place to rapidly identify and rectify. One reason games are powerful is because the implicit rules are clear. Without rules and dynamics, cheating may increase.

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Using game mechanics to reinforce a deficient product or process: Gamification is not the elixir that will mend something that is broken. For example, customers will not engage deeply with a biscuit brand that tastes bad just because they can earn points. Belief that Gamification is the domain of only gamers: It reaches everyone. It is important to understand that new means of deriving feedback, posing challenges and driving experiences can increase engagement and bring out improved business results. Relying on a single game element: Gamification is a design process that includes hundreds of considerations, mechanics and theories. Relying on only one element is usually not good enough. Tying extrinsic rewards to artificial achievement: Participants may work to achieve a goal solely for the sake of getting that reward. This approach can work in the short run but in the long run, the focus should be on providing systems of challenges and rewards that can be more meaningful to participants and allowing them the freedom to be creative.

In today’s competitive world of digital marketing, Gamification is a powerful tool and going forward will play more important role in aligning ourselves with consumer insight. The whole gaming experience, the competition levels as well as rewards in the end all have to induce the consumer to play the games again without losing interest to achieve the goal. References 1.http://www.deloitte.com/view/en_US/us/Insights/ 2.http://thenextweb.com/insider/2012/04/01/gamification-adding-stickiness-to-yourcampaigns/ 3.http://www.informationweek.com/thebrainyard/ slideshows/view/232901489/7examples-put-gamification-to-work?pgno=1 4.http://www.business-standard.com/india/

Submitted by: Vikas Goyal, Ranajay Choudhuri and Ritankar Roy Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Delhi

Creating systems of dependency or boredom: As Gamification becomes omnipresent, there is the risk of users getting bored of seeing it so often as well as being dependent on it. While the former can be resolved with a good strategy of innovation and iteration, the latter presents a problem if organizations implement a Gamification pilot and later remove it. Conclusion 13 MARKezine

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If Facebook has a new WANT link... It was raining on a Saturday evening and my mother wanted to check out a new water purifier for our home. Five years ago, Dad would have taken his car out and went out to the nearest possible outlet and we would have looked for various models of water purifiers. But on that day, I sat down on my sofa and browsed across various models available over online retail stores and ordered the one we thought best fitted our needs. I told myself “E-commerce rocks!!” But the problem was to figure out the exact e-commerce store which would provide me the top selling product or the service. Now that’s where I felt the challenge was, and the answer to that might seemingly come from Social Media. Until February 3rd 2004, the world had one address for social networking and that was ORKUT. The next day a new social networking website was launched which hit Orkut like a tsunami. The date was February 4th 2004 and the name of the new website was Facebook! Indeed I tried to login to Orkut to see if I remotely remember the look and feel while writing this article, and of course I did not.

What has Social Media done to a company’s offerings? One word answer – Brand Awareness! And brand awareness it was with low cost. The medium of information has become critical in digital era and who else better to trust than one’s own circle of friends and relatives? The word of mouth publicity has helped companies to position and reposition their C

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brands in order to attract prospective customers. This has worked amazingly well with Social Media websites such as Facebook and Twitter where friends would like, share, tweet and re-tweet about products and services offered by organizations. The subsequent advantages due to Social Media and especially Facebook have been: Brand Association. The ‘like’ and ‘share’ links did exactly that. None of the users come to Facebook to get bombarded with advertisements. It’s a place where the customers can be engaged. Get to know your customers online. The product/ service pages allow prospective customers and existing customers to open up and share their opinions about the offerings. It’s been called User Initiated Conversation. We as product managers or service providers can start a conversation and ask for customer experiences and gain valuable insights that help in enhancing the offering. Facebook is a great medium where there can be a two way communication in real time without knowing each other in person and yet create that emotional connect with your customers. Marketers could understand consumer behaviour using these tools and design products and services accordingly and it’s time to reach the next level on this path.

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I mean affordable, I don’t mean low cost products. The number of likes a product or a service receives, which is demonstrated via a poster or a video is one stop shop for marketers to understand the customer segment that prefers such products or services. The moment they share you have a snowball effect in progress.

What can the new WANT link add? To understand whether the idea of a new WANT link would benefit e-commerce or not, let’s step back for a moment and understand what is that the existing LIKE and SHARE links don’t offer for increased visitors into their online stores. 1. I ‘like’ this product/service There was a brilliant poster to describe one of the cars on Facebook. I loved it. I liked it, and I shared it. Then what? Indeed I “wanted” that car. So where do I go to check out the features of the car, the accessories, the price tag, the comparison report, the service centre details, the loan options etc.? I open another tab, type in the company name and navigate across to find that specific model of the car. Boring! The first impression when I saw the poster ad was I want that car and I should have actually been redirected to the company website exactly to that page which had all the required details about the automobile. 2. I like a video and I ‘share’ it Now this is interesting. There was one fantastic video off late produced by ‘The Hindu’ which is making rounds over Facebook. The video shows how the MPs behave in Parliament. I told myself it was a great job by the newspaper. What did I do? You guessed it right. I shared it. But again, I wanted that newspaper. The marketer in me wakes up and resonates that the 15 MARKezine

moment the video was over, there should have been a link that would either get me subscribed to ‘The Hindu’ or to the issue at hand or at least redirect me to the newspaper web site. Neither of it was an option. Disappointed!! Both the ‘like’ and ‘share’ links enable users to express their interests in a certain product or service, but neither of them gives the real insight if the user wants the offering posted. This is where I feel the new WANT link would bridge the gap. Where the entire new WANT link takes the user to? The expected user experience from my offline chats with people... Scenario-1: “I saw a new ad about running shoes from NIKE, I wanted them. I clicked on this new cool WANT link on FB and I was redirected to the company’s e-store. I simply placed my order and the shoes are on the way. It’s so simple. Love it!” Scenario-2: “The car broke down on my way back home. I know Maruti offers service stations at every corner of the city, but I didn’t have the number. I opened my Facebook account profile, just clicked on the Maruti link that I liked before. There was this new WANT button and all I had to do was click on that. It gave me the contact details of the nearest service station based on my demographic settings. And I paid online for the service. This feature was needed for so long!!” Scenario-3: “There was a rock band concert in Bangalore and one of my favourite bands was performing on that night. I had no clue as to where the tickets were C

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being sold. Even if I figured out, given the traffic jam in the city, there was no way I was going to reach the destination before they would have turned the sold out board. There had been a lot of advertising and branding on Facebook about the event and I had heard that Facebook has this new WANT link. I just clicked on the link and voila, I was booking tickets for the show. This is just too easy and just too good.” The scenarios I described above are possibly the reactions that the users of Facebook are going to have if there is this option of WANT.

Taxes). References Dave Awl (2011), “Facebook Me! A guide to Socializing, Sharing and Promoting on Facebook” http://www.marketingpilgrim.com/2006/10/thefive-pillars-of-social-media-marketing.html

Submitted by: Vinay Kanth Nadikuda Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai

What’s in it for E-commerce? DATA! Yes, and data is all that matters before any decision is taken. Our product or service has 1 million ‘likes’ on Facebook and another 500,000 have shared it. So what? First, it simply means there are 1 million people out there who like our offering and thus so many people are aware of the brand. Secondly, there are 500,000 people who probably recommend our offering, which can be derived from the number of shares over Facebook. But the million dollar question is – How many of them want it? The answer to this question is the new WANT link. Going by the similar statistics, there are a million likes, 500,000 shares and now 200,000 wants. Let’s say as on date your online store has 50,000 visitors a month and the conversion rate is 10%. Now you have 250,000 visitors and there is high probability that the conversion rate would increase accordingly, since all these new visitors are potential buyers and are indeed in need of your product/service. Even if there is a conversion rate of 5% on this new number of visitors, you have 12,500 customers and there is a huge jump in your revenues. Sounds great? Well, it should. After all at the end of day all that matters is PAT (Profit After C

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Gamification:

An emerging trend in digital marketing…!! “Being chased by goons of a different breed jumping and making sudden turns… gosh am I safe or not!!! Ah if only could I have an energy drink to boost my power so that I can bolt faster than Usian Bolt himself……?!!” Strange scenario given above and appears to be someone who is chased by life threatening forms. Such is the gaming world which exists in today’s time. With a very distinctive and detailed appearance of the virtual world gaming has become a surreal reality for people of all ages. Imagine, in the scenario given above the energy drink which comes is “Red Bull”!!

each other. Various known companies like Volkswagen have dived onto this way of marketing. As can be seen, in a car racing game in which, Volkswagen has a virtual car given to the user with features. Quoting a context from the Wikipedia:

This is what the marketers are now targeting and segmenting. It is a known fact that most people of different age groups are addicted, if I may use the word, to gaming. Digital marketing is the study which looks and deals into this way of communication and marketing of the products. The reason for this kind of marketing is that visually a person retains more information, and this is known but it is also known that by experiencing, it makes a person never forget. By giving a product in the virtual world marketers are actually tapping into this aspect of the human retention. In the virtual world whatever a person does is like a reality and experiences leave a very deep impact on the mind of the people. World has gone mobile hence, by providing or finding a way to promote a product in innovative and effective ways for gaining market share. Digital marketing and gamification are complementary to

When seeing in the light of the reputed Ansoff’s matrix of marketing a product it shows a condition of new markets and existing markets for existing products. When we consider gamification it is a new kind of marketing for an already existing product. Hence by using such strategy the marketing experts would help the product in two things. Either it would help in market penetration or in market development. By market penetration it means to tap that part of the market which was not yet tapped by the company which would make the hold of the product in the market more strong. And by market development it implies the way you (marketer) want the market to be developing so that the product is easily accepted by the people. Hence, in case of gamification when we are engaging the user in a particular way, we are actually developing the market of the product. Also

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“Gamification is the use of game mechanics and game design techniques in non-game contexts. Typically gamification applies to non-game applications and processes, in order to encourage people to adopt them, or to influence how they are used. Gamification works by making technology more engaging, by encouraging users to engage in desired behaviours.”

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when viewing the BCG matrix for a product to be a star product, it should have high market share and high market growth rate. Now with the help of digital marketing this can be achieved. By digital marketing we can increase our market share and the cash usage involved will also be justified. Gamification hence also can play an important role in capturing the market share and hence reviving the product from cash cows to star or can maintain the product in the star segment for a long time.

digital marketing’s existence has been discovered. Hence, if a company has to remain a player for a long time or has to capture a market or introduce a new product, digital marketing is an exact platform which is required. And gamification which has the advantage of capturing the customer when young becomes a wild card worth the use or rather an ace of diamond for the company.

Though gaming provides a unique platform for marketing of the products there are some pitfalls and plummets which one has to take care so that the brand image is not destroyed. Every product or a brand carries with itself an image and a loyalty of people. Hence using a game for marketing should be a very sought after decision. Gaming is supposed to be fun and if it is not fun then the brand risks its image in the eyes of the customer. For example if the company manufactures engine oil then it should market itself in a game like “Temple Run or Subway Surfer”. Hence the target audience and the segment chosen should remain the same and the value of the product should also remain the same. The whole point of marketing is creating a perception in the mind of the people about a product. Hence, it is this perception which would in turn help in the creation of the brand, leading to loyalty which is the main reason for marketing.

Submitted by: Submitted by: Ishan Kapahi Marketing Leadership Program School of Inspired Leadership

To conclude I would throw light upon the fact that marketing is fruitful as there is a gap between “what is” and “what is desired”. This gap is where “need” is identified and marketing and perception creation are done accordingly. With the improvement in the technology and advanced thinking of the consumer, C

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SOCIAL MEDIA CRISIS MANAGEMENT-

How would you react & what would you do if you woke up one morning to find thousands of negative tweets and Facebook comments flooding in about your brand? “You can fall as fast as you rise”, says Jeremy Lin, a famous American Basketball Player. With the advent of social media as a popular marketing platform, the phrase has a similar or perhaps more appropriate relevance today in the world of brands and their value. Every brand, every company today has a cluster of icons on their web pages which direct you to their presence in social networking sites. This kind of marketing is cheaper, reaches wider audience and spreads faster. With all the advantages that it has got, this method of marketing is still a double-edged sword because bad messages travel faster than good ones. Also, this platform provides you all the above advantages at the cost of ‘control’. Companies have very little control over what is being said about them in these platforms. In addition to these websites where the companies themselves host a space to seek feedback and communicate latest updates, there are third party websites which act as forums of discussions to talk about brands. When these discussions go awry and go against your brand they tarnish your brand image which is termed as “social media crisis”.

Popular studies say that 20 percent of what is being said about brands online is negative and 76 percent of Social Media Crisis situations could have been avoided had the brands been a little more cautious about their social presence and invested a little more on social media crisis management. Managing a brand’s social presence in itself has become a niche competency today with a growing number of social media managers and social media crisis management institutions budding by day in developing economies. CHALLENGING BACKLASH! “Ok, we’ve heard loud and clear that you don’t like the new logo. We’ve learned a lot from the feedback. We only want what’s best for the brand and our customers. So instead of crowd-sourcing, we’re bringing back the Blue Box tonight.” reads a Facebook post by the company GAP when it changed its logo in 2010 and faced intense backlash from the online community. This, in a way, reinforces the belief that “Customer is eventually the king”. Today unlike ever before, brands are under constant scrutiny, thanks to the omnipresent Social media! It is often heard of brands that succumb to constant consumer pressure (read negative response) and get left behind but return to the marketplace later. It is also noted that such brands perform much better during their second stint. It is definitely the age of brands that hold their fort and beat all odds! The changing trends with respect to media and dy-

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namic customer behaviour make the environment extremely challenging for brands to evolve and accommodate. Customer response, criticism and feedback reaches the companies in no time, this means that companies now will have to tread more carefully than ever before. WHY DO BRANDS FACE BACKLASH? CHANGE is good or is it not? This question, however, does not have one sure answer. Brands are often perplexed when it comes to bringing about an image makeover. Business leaders should ensure that the change they plan to bring about is consistent with the brand’s previous image. The reason for change should be explained through the new promotions. The GAP logo episode illustrated above serves as an example for this. ETHICS issue in products – The online protest drove Nestle to environmentfriendly palm oil.

Advertising or promotion campaign not going too well with audiences – Nike Olympic t shirts for women read “Gold Dig-

the company later had to offer explanation and resolve the issue. Competitor attack The famous TOI-HINDU fight! In last November, Times Of India (TOI) started it with an ad campaign directly taking a dig at its competitor THE HINDU (TH). TOI’s ad campaign was “Stuck up with the news that makes you sleep?” and “Wake up Chennai”. TH known for its old man kind of attitude was not expected to react to this. But contrary to its image, TH countered TOI’s campaign with a series of TV commercials and print ads that read “Stay ahead of times” which in turn gained more popularity than the TOI campaign. Brand Ambassador can sometimes cause harm too! After their brand ambassador’s private life was torn to bits by the media, Gillete and TAG Heuer were worried about their brand reputation and discontinued their association with Tiger Woods. HOW TO HANDLE THESE SITUATIONS?

ging” which was misinterpreted by Twitter and Facebook communities as sexist comments for which C

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1. The first and most important rule, DO NOT PANIC. Because another fumble will only turn this crisis into an irrevocable catastrophe. 2. Position yourself as the primary source of all credible communication concerning the crisis 3. At the first sign of trouble, try to seek the content of crisis and respond to the root cause and through the right channel. If a crisis occurs on twitter, respond on twitter first. 4. Leverage the help of your customers who are still happy with you and are on your side. Let them spread the good word. 5. Plan to respond suitably and optimise the response to reach maximum customers. 6. Regain complete control of the situation in minimum time - you need to rectify the situation as soon as possible, perhaps a tweet in time can be of great help as it will last as long as it lingers on the web. 7. Handle the situation with grace. Social Media is a very powerful platform, it has to be handled with dignity. It is always better to thank your critic for his/her valuable opinion. This criticism can be used to enhance your product/service or brand. As Bill Gates puts it “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”. 8. Beware that the criticism is not a symptom of some larger issue. 9. Shift criticism into an opportunity. 10. Constantly monitor all your social networks with the help of customised tools (google alerts). 11. Take Goodwill measures - When questions are raised on the authenticity of your product, it is ad21 MARKezine

visable to take some goodwill measures that build customer trust. Coca Cola had put this into practice when it was struck with the pesticide controversy. It offered to take Indian customers on tours of its processing plants. 12. If the backlash gets viral, use TV commercials to regain the reputation. This can be done with a help of a prominent celebrity. Cadbury India dealt with its ‘worms controversy’ head on. It acknowledged the situation and roped in one of Bollywood’s most reputed actors, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, to lend his credibility to the brand. It was with the help of this TV commercial that Cadbury could get a new lease of life. WHAT KIND OF PREVENTIVE MEASURES CAN BE TAKEN? Be prepared with the right social media crisis plan Being able to detect a crisis in the making before it spirals out of control. Strengthen the relationships you currently share with the customers, turn them into positive brand experience and positive publicity. Do not attack any competitor directly on a public forum. SOME OF THE GENERAL BLUNDERS THAT BRANDS DO IN CRISIS SITUATIONS Ignore the attack as another “this too shall pass” phenomenon - It shall surely pass but will take your brand along! Deleting the negative comments- This will only piss them off more. Letting your frustration get the best of you and fight back with negative comments- Remember,

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they have got nothing to lose in this fight. A FEW FINAL THOUGHTS It is wise for brands to treat critics and criticism like friends! Brands should not only know what they want people to tell them but also what they might not want to hear. It is challenging to face uncertainties but coming out of them gracefully is the key to sustain. Brands should thank its customers for helping them serve better, pointing out how the brand can do better. A genuine “Thank you� said to a customer ensures him that the brand cares and strives to get better. REFERENCES http://www.radian6.com/blog/2012/09/shiningexamples-of-excellent-social-media-crisis-management/ http://advancedfanpagesolutions.com/category/facebook http://www.kippreport.com/2012/06/the-big-brandcomeback/3/ http://www.katroseconsulting.com/social-networking/how-to-handle-negative-online-feedback/

Submitted by: Bindu Nandigama Sandeep Shesham Great Lakes Institute of Management PGPM 2013

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Mobile Marketing Gone are the days when marketing was done through door to door, word of mouth, through advertisements in newspapers and magazine or through promotions. Now with the invention of internet they can now get not only good but better results. In the present scenario, mobile marketing is done not only for promotion of brands or for an invitation for any event to the general public but also for various educational institutes. Earlier, companies used to advertise their product by giving ads in newspapers and magazines which sometimes go beyond their budget, but now with the use of mobile marketing this has become very economical and assessable as now they just have to send a text message to their regular customers at the time of discounts or any other offer and can keep updating their required information to them regularly. Majority of the marketers have moved their promotion strategy and advertising techniques from newspapers and magazines to mobile marketing.

If you want to be found by the potential customers, then you need to be where the people are looking! Marketing through mobile phones is a great way of creating brand loyalty among the customers through personal communication. After all who doesn’t want personal treatment? Looking from the company’s perspective mobile marketing is very efficient and time saving. Lot of messaging sites is there on internet which allows sending multiple messages at a time. Many of the marketing experts have been of the thought that the next wave of internet marketing will be through the mobile device. In the present scenario, a very large percentage of population globally use their mobile phones as a medium for using internet for sending emails, surfing the web and engaging on social networking sites. Some of the facts are:

Why has this marketing reached great heights in a short span? The only reason is that it takes only a fraction of time to reach consumers than advertising through newspapers and magazines. It has also been found out that marketing through mobile can reach a far greater crowd based on interest, within millions of people using internet, thus all this results into more demand for the product and services and also gives positive results than another source of marketing. 23 MARKezine

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can be subscribed to your mobile list. Also, one more advantage of mobile marketing is that it is cost effective and environment friendly because through it there is no need to leave a paper trail. With email marketing, the customers had to print out the coupon where as in case of texts they can just show their text to the cashier and can get the right deal. It is helpful if your restaurant is having a slow night or if the appointment is just opened up at your office. There can be a case while advertising through mails that emails keep sitting in their mail box for weeks and sometimes get deleted without being opened. According to the mobile report on content activities of the mobile subscribers of the world, 63% of the respondents had used text messages during the previous year. However, it has been projected that India’s percentage will increase by 11.1% in the following year.

GLOBAL UNIT SHIPMENTS OF DESKTOP PCs + NOTEBOOK PCs VS SMARTPHONES + TABLETS, 2005 - 2013 (E) Text messaging is an easier way to go through your customers’ information. This can also be done through the text campaign one can undertake, customer can just text their name to your number and C

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Internet is a major source of communication. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are means of social networking these days. The impact of these sites is so high that when people complain on company’s wall they get immediate reply. Even when a complaint is tweeted on Twitter for a company’s product or service, it is resolved at the earliest as the world is watching. Most of the jobs are posted on LinkedIn rather than advertisement on newspaper. It is better for both customers as well as the company. A company can have free sample of millions of people without any cost involved. There can be a lot of cost cutting as online forums do not have incurred cost. It is the cheapest and the most decent forum one can get for marketing. One can also target specific MARKezine 24


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customers who are likely to be target audience. Online market surveys through Google Spread Sheet and Facebook have become very common now. Mailers have also been a major source of advertising. It seems to be more effective for the reason that the customer can take a relook at the advertisement. It is human tendency that the more you look at the same thing, you tend to remember it. Also, it becomes easy to get connected to the target audience. One can also post videos, as visuals catch more attention. There are enough indications from the market – 6 billion projected numbers of IOS app downloads in 2012 and 8 billion projected number of android app downloads in 2012. Different ways of mobile marketing are:

On basis of this, marketing can be done with following procedure: Marketing through contest generates excitement in the minds of the consumer and the experience is remembered. Similarly, handling the service 25 MARKezine

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part meticulously builds customer loyalty. It is a type of indirect marketing. This can be done by internet banners, Videos, PPTs, product images, etc. It’s the time of mobility, and history depicts that those who do not change according to technology advancement always remain behind. And when something is available with so much of ease and efficiency, why not use it!

Submitted by: Maitri Great Lakes Institute Of Management

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User Generated Content – A new Marketing Dimension User Generated Content – A new Marketing Dimension Different businesses across the globe need to gratify the people who spend and consume its products or services. Traditional ways of essaying the needs of consumers have been used distinctly and independently with the ways of merchandising and marketing the deliverables. With the evolution of technology and with each step of its generation, the modes of connecting to the consumers kept changing and have always been volatile in close relation to the changes in the mass media, and same shift was experienced with advent of the internet. With internet becoming the target of marketers, they started to look for the ways to connect to the target users and hence developed a whole new stream, well known as Behavioural Marketing and Experiential Marketing.

Across the global market, 36% of social media users post brand-related content, 50% of people follow 27 MARKezine

brands in social media, 8% of CEOs label social media a high priority, and 57% of businesses plan to hike their social media spend in 2012, one in three small businesses are now using social media, 89 % of agencies said they would use Facebook to advertise for their clients in 2012 – either by purchasing ads, creating pages, or other methods of engagement, 39% of agencies said they would focus on Twitter, 36% YouTube, 21% LinkedIn and 18% Google+. These facts tell us a story, a story of a new evolving phenomenon that is bound to rule the marketing arena for the next few decades – User Generated Content. The New Advent To reap the benefits out of experiential or behavioural marketing marketers are plunging into the arena of User Generated Content. Businesses today do not stand on the pillars of one way communication; they can’t afford highlighting their proposition for the customers but they also require their customers to revert, thus helping in developing better insights about the adopted strategies, through their experiences and expectations. Holbrook (2003, p. 46) emphasizes the importance of value to today’s marketers by stating “...if we accept the Kotler’s definition of marketing as managerial activities that lead toward the facilitation and consummation of exchanges, and if we follow Kotler and Levy in regarding an exchange as a trading relationship between two parties in which each gives up something of value in return for something of greater value, it follows immediately that customer value is the the basic foundation for C

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everything we do in marketing”.

practices. Now is the time for consumers to come on a platform with marketers and lead the show, guiding marketers on the path to success.

With the advent of internet and exploitation of it as one of the most popular mass media, the traditional boundary that existed between marketers and customers has started to fade with the conception of User Generated Content (UGC). UGC can be inferred as any material created or uploaded to the internet by consumers, it is something consumers do by their own and could be in any form like a video on YouTube, a comment on Facebook page, or any post on a popular blog. UGC has been there in some or the other forms since very early days of the internet, but it took some time for enterprises and traffickers to gauge its real power. The loss in credibility and believability related to other types of marketing techniques, where the interaction was totally biased towards its sponsors making it hard for the audiences to trust, gave ignition to the drive of internet usage and to independent experience sharing without any dilution. The most commonly cited definition for UGC comes from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which defines UGC as having three key characteristics: content that is made publicly available over the Internet; content that reflects a certain amount of creative effort; and content created outside professional routines and C

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UGC Unplugged The uploading of experiential blogs, videos, comments via internet have stormed the social media market providing new insights in form of consumer touch-points to marketers to focus on consumer driven market strategies for giving their business an edge over others. In addition to web blogs customers engage themselves in mobile logs (moblogs), video blogs (vlogs), and audio blogs (podcasts). Several marketers till date have aired user-generated content on their pricey spots in between popular television programs, like Alka-Seltzer, Frito-Lay, Chevrolet and the European National Football League, to name a few, to attract more customers for their business. Revver (www.revver.com) has set up a website as a platform for anybody to post their videos online and letting general public organize them by adding their own descriptive keyword ‘tags.’ Big-shots like Microsoft, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. and American Apparel have signed partnership with Revver which includes inserting code into the video itself that adds a small advertisement to the clip. Remember the Coke-Mentos phenomenon, off course we all do. Who started it – Coke or Mentos? Well, it was started by two people, a juggler and a trial lawyer. They tried to test the geyser effect that was caused when Mentos candies are dropped in a diet Coke bottle. They had it videotaped and posted it online. Within few weeks the video got around 4 million MARKezine 28


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views, they got a revenue-sharing deal worth US $15000, and the video is now posted on http://us.mentos.com. Sears Retail, an online retail outlet uses surveys and email, to create and curate high quality content with efficiency. All high quality interactions are saved and linked to the product on the site. One time conversation is converted into search optimization content. They are strong believers of the fact that reviews are good but stories are better. Each and every customer is requested to write about his/her recent purchase, when the customer responds the story is posted on the blog page of Sears. By leveraging these content channels they are able to broaden their online reach and drive revenues. Coca Cola in order to spread awareness regarding recycling of plastic bottles in Israel, came up with a campaign ‘The Recycle King’ where they leveraged the app Facebook places to get the job done in the most efficient manner. They added around 10000 recycle bins in the Facebook places system. Thousands of users participated by checking-in and uploading 27 MARKezine

their photos and sharing the same with their friends. The most active participant was crowned The C

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Recycle King. By the time the campaign ended, everyone in Israel knew how easy it was to track the location of the recycle bin and contribute to this cause of recycling. These are only few examples amongst thousand others, which depict the power of user generated content in terms of its impact, reach and efficiency. The companies have realized that conversations are going on the web with you or without you. So rather than controlling the whole tornado of public views, it is more rational for companies to turn people into brand ambassadors. As Jeffery Elliot, President and CEO of Bite TV says - “You’ve got a new generation that doesn’t want to be talked to; they want to be included, and they’re going to make their own decisions. The best way to get this demographic on side is to empower them and give them responsibility, choice and freedom to help shape your direction.” So, what drives people to create such content? According to a study there are four drives namely co-creation, empowerment, community and self concept. The above image gives a brief description of the drives and studies done on them. How do companies analyse UGC? Companies either have their market research diviC

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sion looking into UGC or they use the most overused jargon, outsourcing wherein a third party analyzes the online data for them and gives them a report on what is the current user generated buzz. One such company, Andiamo Systems, a leading wordof-mouth and social media analysis provider, does this job of searching, filtering and analyzing such information. In an interview, John Hingley, CEO and Founder, revealed that currently companies use agencies like Andiamo not only to determine what their campaign should be but also to determine what product or product features should be. The data analysis phases are very intuitive; first consumers talk about your company and that data is collected. The agencies then measure and deliver real-time intelligence. The companies use these insights to amend

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analysis. UGC, an Insight into Tourist Destinations Different studies till date have studied and acknowledged that value is in the customer’s experience; therefore there is a need to understand experience from the perspective of the consumer. The concept of experience is purely based on the point-of-view of an individual and exists in his/her mind. Though current usage of UGC in the field of understanding the experience realm and customer value is extremely limited and underutilized, still they are steadily supporting the Tour & Travel services market in developing and enhancing their marketing and service strategies on the basis of customer (tourists) feedbacks in form of the blogs shared by them on the social media – internet through various sites. The use of UGC in evaluating customer value based on experience as published by consumers in their blogs provides an ideal platform to analyze personalized consumer experiences. Various studies conducted across different tourist destinations, on the basis of UGCs gives an insight of the value perceived by the tourists on different realms of experience. 1. Educational Realm: These experimental/hedonic dimensions of value covered panoramic view of travel related advices and destination related stories were considered the most important. This gave an insight to the market that interpretation of tourists is not only about informing people about the destinations but is an overall experience of creativity and skill which forms a link between the consumer and the product. Therefore, encounters between tour guides and tourists are a key component of value creation for this industry. 29 MARKezine

2. Entertainment Realm: From a broader marketing perspective, the contribution of fun, entertainment and recreation to the overall individual experience is considered by the destination managers in offering better and more, to enhance the tourist’s experience and post consumption value. 3. Escapist Realm: Within this realm epistemic subcomponent of experiential/hedonic value dimensions was found to be the most prominent value generator as per the UGCs. This provided the marketers to do something different than their competitors to add on to the platter in-order to attract more tourists as a part of the packages offered. 4. Aesthetic Realm: UGCs generated are mostly generated out of the sensory sub-components (aesthetics, ambience) and emotional sub-component (pleasure, adventure) of experiential/hedonic dimension of post-consumption value. This provides valuable marketing information to destination marketers and tour operators to focus on various nuances of customer value perceptions along with targeting the functional or technical aspects of tourism. Customer’s experience and its propagation through UGCs is becoming the nucleus to experiential marketing and are being explored to its complete potential as a core constituent of business strategy. The detailed analysis of UGC gives an insight of how specific realms, mentioned above, can be utilized in creating emotional bonding among the customers with respect to consumption of the product (in this case the tourist destination). It provides a platform for the destination marketers and tour providers to evaluate the various experiential realms to be focused upon in-order to build emotional ties with the most exotic consumption experience to develop a C

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cutting edge over other destinations.

015, The Market Research Society, 2011.

Conclusion User Generated Content has changed the way marketers look and control their brands. It has changed the way brands enter the market, the way they are propagated, the way they are accepted and the way they evolve in their lifecycle. The online democracy that is offered by the internet has enabled users to express their views publically. Earlier, brands used to be controlled by managers, but now they are being

6. Consumer-generated content - The 2007 Entertainment, Media & Advertising Market Research Handbook

increasingly shaped by their customers. This change marks a shift from publisher-centric media model to a user-centric model. All that marketers need to do is control the information flow and guide their brands to success, which seems simple to say but is highly complicated to implement.

7. http://thesocialskinny.com/100-more-socialmedia-statistics-for-2012/ 8. YouTube

Submitted by: Akhil Girhotra Great Lakes Institute of Management

References 1. Using consumer-generated content for competitive advantage — Interview with John Hingley of Andiamo Systems 2. Christodoulides ,G., Jevons , C., Bonhomme,J., “How User-Generated Content Really Affects Brands”, Journal of Advertising Research, March 2012. 3. Iyanna , S., Bosangit, C., Mohd., A.A., “Value evaluation of customer experience using consumer generated content”, International Journal of Management and Marketing Research, Vol.5, 2012. 4. Holbrook, M. B. (2003), “Customer value and autoethnography: subjective personal introspection and the meanings of a photograph collection”, Journal of Business Research, 58 (1), 45 – 61. 5. Hardey, M., “To spin Straw into Gold? New lessons from Consumer Generated Content”, IJMR-53-1-013C

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Interview with

Mr. Ishaan Gupta, CEO of EduKartDigitization has become a culture of organizations today, with so many networking websites and online forums available, what is the basic formula companies need to follow to engage prospective consumers, irrespective of the sector? Ans. Digital marketing is emerging as an integral part of every business. In the present scenario, no company can exist in isolation with the society and digital marketing is emerging as a very effective tool for maintaining a close relation with your audience. Your digital marketing campaign depends on many factors like the product you are promoting, the kind of audience that you have and your marketing budget. There isn’t any sure shot formula that can guarantee success to a digital marketing campaign but providing quality and original content regularly can be of great help. The content must be engaging, informative and crisp and concise. The companies can engage in activities like spreading news regarding new product launches, participation in major trade fairs or symposiums, information about change in the management team, collaboration, achievement and awards, etc. A company can support consumers to help resolve their queries through technical or product forums. Also, launching some products can exclusively be online and online audiences are given additional discounts over and above the discount received by offline consumers. 2. The low advertisement conversion rate of Facebook is a concern to businesses when compared to 31 MARKezine

Google. How does one engage, nurture and monetize those fans and show a return on investment? Ans. Although Facebook advertisements have a low conversion rate as compared to Google but one of the major differences between the two is that through Facebook you can target your audience. Facebook ads have the targeting feature. Since in a Facebook ad you are bidding on the likes and interests of people rather than bidding on broader keywords like Google, you are targeting only the prospective customers. 3. How important is analytics in this business and are e-commerce companies making the best use of this data to acquire customers? Ans. Analytics is much more than mere numbers. It tells an e-commerce company a lot about the behavior of its target audience like the content liked by the audience, the pages they like to visit the most, the pages they spend a lot of time on, etc. It also tells the time when people visit a site the most. This information can be used for improving the content of pages that are not too popular and have a high bounce rate. Before and after launching an online ad campaign, companies can go in for continuous A/B testing to see which particular ads are doing better than others and then continue with the ones that are doing well and retract the ones that are not doing well. 4. What benefits and pitfalls do e-commerce websites bring with them, in terms of profits, market share and customer retention? Ans. E-commerce websites bring with them a lot of benefits like faster buying and selling decisions. EC

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commerce allows a mass reach of your products. It is beyond the geographical limitations. Customers can easily select a product from around the globe without moving physically. But there is always a sense of doubt attached with electronic transactions. Customers doubt the authenticity of the website and quality of the product. As there is minimal face to face interaction, customer loyalty is difficult to maintain. It has been observed that customers are reluctant to make online payments. The e-commerce companies are already investing a lot to build their credibility and will continue to do so in the coming time. 5. What according to you will be the future of ecommerce due to the gifts of digital marketing? What will happen to ‘kirana’ stores and major retail outlets? Will malls be just a fancy show? What will happen to retail giants? Ans. E-commerce seems to have a flourishing future ahead due to the gifts offered by digital marketing. Digital marketing is supporting e-commerce activities like never before. It is providing greater footage to e-commerce websites. Social media marketing is strengthening e-commerce by providing it mass coverage and rampant advertising. The consequences of e-commerce activities can be witnessed on kirana stores and major retail outlets. Kirana stores aren’t as much affected as are the retail outlets. Many people have started ordering goods online rather than going to the malls and shopping complexes. But, kirana stores deal in items of daily use which makes them imperative in an economy like India. 6. Due to the rising popularity of social media and upcoming 3G services, are mediums like print and TV losing its sheen? What can be a solution C

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to this? Ans. With the advent of latest technologies like social media marketing and 3G services, conventional forms of media like print and TV have slightly lost their sheen. People are spending more time on the internet than in the libraries. New media is emerging as one of the most widely accepted forms of media. But there is also no doubt about the fact that TVs and print media is catching up by developing technologies like 3D and 4D. 7. EduKart has been a progressive online education portal since 2011. In this impressive start up, there must have been challenges your company faced in acquiring customers through the digital way. Can you recall a major challenge in doing your business? Ans. The major challenge that we face is to create the brand visibility of our company. For every emerging company, it is difficult to create a buzz in the digital marketing arena. We try to stay innovative by leveraging digital marketing to its fullest - be it viral videos, contents on Facebook, online evaluation tests, using blog and more. 8. Can you throw some light on career options in the digital marketing arena? Ans. The job opportunities in this field are tremendous as the digital marketing curve is showing a rising trend. There has been an incredible demand for Business Development Managers, Online Marketing Managers, Social & Digital Marketing Managers, Social Media Directors, Interactive Media Strategists, Web Marketing & PR Managers, Marketing Program Specialists and similar profiles. You can also work as a digital media manager, digital media producer, digital media application test engineer, director of MARKezine 32


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digital marketing, digital media strategist and digital media analyst etc. We also realize the importance of this and see the increase in number of people wanting to get ready for a career in the space of Digital Marketing. Our course in Digital Marketing, certified by Internet and Mobile Association of India is one of the leading courses in the digital marketing space. You can check it at http://www.edukart.com/ courses/digital-marketing .

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MARkezine is the Marketing Magazine of the School of Inspired Leadership. MARkezine is an expression of marketing passion which is within ea...