Monday, November 27, 2006

From SEO and SEM to SMO and SMM.

How will the big brands react?

Internet marketing, once upon a time talked about Search Engine Optimisation and Search Engine Marketing. Now it talks about Social MediaOptimisation and Social Media Marketing.Social Media Optimisation or SMO, a term recently coined by Rohit Bhargava,Vice President for Interactive Marketing with Ogilvy Public RelationsWorldwide, aims to "Leverage all the links and marketing value you canget from social and business networks".

Rohit Bhargava's 5 rules on SMO, which eventually got converted to17 rules, courtesy other readers, showcases how the power of online contentcan be used from a business development perspective.SMM, coined by SeoMoz also aims at reiterating the impact of social networking and itscontribution towards marketing.

In the Indian context, the foray of broadband into the houses of averageconsumers has made internet a pervasive influence in users' lives. As unexpected outcomes emerge from unanticipated dimensions, the time is not far when big brands will end up using Social Media to promote theirproducts and use Web 2.0 as an integral part of their marketing strategy.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Online Communities and Brand Building

Image Building and Increasing Market Value

A virtual community or online community is a group of people that primarily or initially communicates or interacts via the Internet. The dawn of the "information age" found groups communicating electronically rather than face to face. A "Computer-mediated community" (CMC) uses social software to regulate the activities of participants. An online community such as one responsible for collaboratively producing open source software is sometimes called a development community. Significant socio-technical change has resulted from the proliferation of Internet-based social networks.

Participation in online communities and forums is the new tool for exchange of ideas and information.
The forums provide multifaceted opportunities to members. Not only do they provide information on latest technological happenings, while anticipating reciprocity and learning as an outcome, but also are the upcoming breeding ground for triggers for innovation. As like minded people converge together, these are new cliques where networking among individuals serves to build strategic mutually beneficial business associations. Also as individuals share ideas, their skillsets come to the fore and they end up building a reputation for themselves, while having a sense of community and efficacy andgaining recognition for their work.

Now how do they affect the marketing process?

1.Brand building through contribution to blogs, comments, articles and chats and by getting featured in related events and publications.
2.Connect, transact, and collaborate with other members to create or participate in new opportunities
3. Gain knowledge towards competitor products and services.
4. Build relationships and gain introductions to prospective clients or associates.
5.Increase website visibility through globally syndicated feeds.

Am gonna try and identify how online communities act as useful tools for Brand Building...not only building brands of products, but will try to focus on how they are instrumental in creating suitable images/brands of individual participants, thereby adding to their market value!!!!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Attrition:Are the good ones leaving?

As people make career choices and leave their current workplaces to explore newer horizons, one tends to think...who are the people who are leaving-the good ones ar the average workers?

A bit of research into the same shows that average workers are broadly content working in a routine kind of an atmosphere with the same roles to perform over and over.Besides as time elapses, they build a resistance to change and the 'fear of the unknown' stops them from contemplating any change in their careers.
So...seeing it from that angle, it is the good people who are lets see..

Why do good people leave?

1.People get stifled 'coz of insufficient growth avenues.
For instance how do you grow in an organisation where the designations above you are already booked by aging people who plan to probably retire from the same seat!!!

2.Monotony on the job profile leading to boredom.
Can we all eat the same food everyday? Besides what happens if the juniors and seniors have the same job profiles....

3.More potential than the current organsation can use..
In times when value addition at the job is what people look forward if they end up doing work below their current potential, there is no alternative but to move..

4.Excellent career prospects outside the current job.
This goes without saying...simple career management tactics...

5.Money...not necessarily
Unless the difference is stupendous!!!

6.Some reason for conflict at the current work place.
If one is capable and opportunities abound..then who wants to stay in an unfavourable work environment?

Hence, if organisations are interested in checking attrition of the good employees, maybe they could sit back and analyse which of the above factors is causing the departure!!!

After all a trained, processed employee is anyday better than a new raw material ,who has to start afresh with the induction process day one!!!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Are happy employees more productive or are productive employees more happy?

As i read this line in an article written by a professor from IIM, an interesting point of discussion emerged...what increases an employee's longevity in an organisation...his happiness in the organisation or his level of productivity?For that matter, what makes an employee happy?...Lets try to tabulate a few points...

My personal opinion is that though money may be an important component in any decision making process, it assumes a much lower weightage when it comes to deciding an individual's happiness on the job.

I would rate this the highest factor contributing to happiness...every individual has a very important need of self-actualisation...a productive job not only caters to that particular need...but also increases self-confidence and raises goes without saying that these traits automatically alleviate the happiness quotient!!

3.Work-place environment?
Phew...sensitive topic...environment at the workplace is important..if there exits a positive environment...happiness level goes plus-plus...a negative environment....level goes minus-minus...

4.Good leadership?
Difficult to find...but a good role model...creates smiling faces...strongly recommended for happy workplaces...

5.Politics at the work place?
Ouch...strictly negative implications on the happiness quotation...too much energy wasted on stupid stuff....

6.Good Learning environments?
Learning is an ongoing process and very satisfying at that...if a job environment provides some value addition gives one a reason to be happy...

Maybe we can all sit back and happy we are at our jobs....lets start rating ourselves on a scale of one to ten...and maybe we could figure out more ways to be happy at our jobs!!!!

After all, we all have only one choose....

The role of a senior in managing his team is of paramount importance...primarily because it strongly affects the members of his team..not only in terms of their productivity and emotions, but also in terms of developing their attitudes towards life. As i read ' One night at the call centre' by Chetan interesting tale of how six employees of a BPO lead their lives and jostle with the routine grind along with their live's problems...there emerged a very nice picturisation of how a team leader's inappropriate handling of his team can have repurcussions on the team members' motivation, confidence level and above all...their approach towards life.

As the team leader tries to take credit for the work of his juniors, the submissive approach leaves them with 2 usual attitude of helplessness to combat the senior and the other...that of tackling the situation head-on...

Each individual has a choice...either to flow with the system and take the former passive approach, thereby significantly lowering one's own self-esteem or to choose the latter and go by identifying what one really wants in life....while not compromising one's own ideals.

At the end of the day, the message is clear... Intelligence,imagination,ability to face failure and above all self confidence are the 4 ingredients of be really successful one must taste failure...for once one has tasted failure there is no fear...for this one must believe in one's own self and be willing to stand up for it, whatever be the consequences..

Just live life on your own terms...after all..we all have only one life....

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Headhunting made easy using Web 2.0

The quintessential technique of writing to share information in relevant media and fora has finally come of age.

Online Communities, networking sites and online blogs are the latest resource pool being used by headhunters for recruitment. A large number of Manpower Consulting Firms are now actively browsing these sites to secure the right candidates.

As people participate in online forums and discussions, their talent comes to the fore ; also key knowledge areas are exhibited, henceforth giving the recruiters greater insight into the right people for the job.

Similarly, organisational blogs also play a pivotal role.They give a good peep into the culture present in an organisation and hence help the recruiter build a path between a prospective employee and the organisation

Many organisations like Baxter India are also using Video Conferencing through Reliance Web world to connect to faraway geographical regions,and not only reducing the talent hunt cost substantially, but also streamline the recruitment process by carefully evaluating the body language of the interviewee.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Five point someone-What not to do at IIT.

Reading this book by Chetan Bhagat is bound to send everyone on a nostalgic trip down memory lane, reminiscing their college days-or what you call the best years of one’s life…

This story of three friends and how their average GPAs propel them into the throes of mediocrity, an abyss from where there is no return…Their 5 point GPAs come in the way of everything-their love, their friendships, their future.

Bordering on humour at times, the book dwells on four years of college life and how securing high grade points can take a toll on the quality of the best years of campus life known to mankind.

The message is clear-having a low GPA does not make anyone a low performer, nor does excessive access to books and hence higher grades, create a better human specimen.What life offers one eventually is a function of the right opportunities at the right time, the willingness to take risks coupled with a significant level of hard work and above all…a GOOD MEASURE OF LUCK!!!!!.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


This is the latest marketing technique in town.I call it Musharrafology.

1.Read your ace rival's book....Seeth with anger...and decide to publish your own!!

2.Compile a set of experiences and truths??? and create a book,supposedly a biography and name it strongly as the 'Line of Fire'.

3.Secure a publisher from as far as New York and getpaid a handsome amount..

4.Tell the whole world...IT CONTAINS SECRETS!!!and start leaking them.

5.Grab headlines in all print media.Get interviewed on TV Channels and radio stations.

6.Appoint...guess who??? GEORGE BUSH as your publicity incharge...

7. Now isnt Musharrafology gonna be successful? You bet...keep a look out for the sales figures...

Anexcerpt from IRISHBLOGS-
I watched a White House news conference in disbelief last night. Lots of mention of this in the news world. Questions from reporter to President Q Mr. President, after 9/11, would the United States have actually attacked Pakistan if President Musharraf had not agreed to cooperate with the war on terrorism? He says that the United States was threatening to bomb his country back into the stone age. PRESIDENT BUSH: First, let me — she’s asking about the Armitage thing. The first I heard of this was when I read it in the newspaper today. You know, I was — I guess I was taken aback by the harshness of the words. PRESIDENT MUSHARRAF: I would like to — I am launching my book on the 25th, and I am honor-bound to Simon and Schuster not to comment on the book before that...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The power of advertising

Discovered an interesting post on Advertisement-Outsourcing on Brands n ads. Real refreshing read. We are all so caught up with the buzz on IT-Outsourcing nowadays that at times,we end up overlooking the power of other industries and media. Advertising, in India, for that matter is a very powerful industry, what with the quantum of ideas and concepts floating around. Besides,i have no qualms in saying,that when it comes to creativity, India will be able to beat any other global player...just wait n watch.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Article Marketing-Drive traffic to your website.

The quintessential technique of writing to create content which satisfies the reading urges of a large number of people waiting to devour quality stuff has fast evolved into an excellent marketing tool.

Creating an article about one's product and services and making it interesting enough for people to click on to read is a tactic which was part of journalism for ages, but the reach of the internet as a self-effacing medium has evolved this into a serious Marketing tool spanning humongous potential.

As more and more online communities and networking sites, along with Social Groups emerge on the scene, ready space is available for a marketer to share details about his product. Online visibility coupled with e-commerce diminishing boundaries for product sourcing, is fast becoming proportional to product growth.

With rampant interlinking between sites and people just clicking from one site to another, information needs to be eye-catching and hard hitting.This automatically increases site traffic and is a low cost marketing techniques.

All one needs to do is-

1.Choose a title that has the right keywords.The most popular key words are obviously the most happening, but in all probability, your article may end up at the bottom of such a search.So,maybe it may be slightly more beneficial to include a one-odd different and interesting key word.

2.Choose a title that is interesting, intriguing-slightly mysterious.

3.For starters try coupling your article with the most-read topics...for instance if you are writing about a Human-Resource Software, talk about the most happening HR practices first and then couple your product details with the same.

4.Try not to make your article very lengthy.

5.Make sure the Author-Resource Box has all relevant information leading to you, the product, relevant website and at the same time is not a huge personal biography.

6.Monitor traffic to your product website through the articles to evaluate the success of your article. This learning-by doing approach will automatically shape your article writing technique. ( Inbound linkages to your site can be tracked by using a backlink checker like or

7.And remember, quality is better than quantity.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Top Ten Signs You are new to web 2.0

Nice post from Prashant Narayanan
Take a look...n considering that some of us may not be from the IT background....ENJOY...


Monday, September 18, 2006

Do i have your permission to make my money?

Permission Marketing-The Personalised Approach to Marketing

Permission marketing can be broadly defined as " Taking permission from potential consumers before sending them an advertisement about your product".By giving an option to a potential consumer, to agree to gain information about your product, the marketer has the advantage of using his resources to target only interested entities.

An excerpt from Seth Godin's views on permission marketing-

The biggest problem with mass-market advertising, Godin says, is that it fights for people's attention by interrupting them. A 30-second spot interrupts a "Seinfeld" episode. A telemarketing call interrupts a family dinner. A print ad interrupts this article. "The interruption model is extremely effective when there's not an overflow of interruptions," Godin says. "But there's too much going on in our lives for us to enjoy being interrupted anymore."

The new model, he argues, is built around permission. The challenge for marketers is to persuade consumers to volunteer attention - to "raise their hands" (one of Godin's favorite phrases) - to agree to learn more about a company and its products. "Permission marketing turns strangers into friends and friends into loyal customers," he says. "It's not just about entertainment - it's about education."

By using this 'personal marketing orientation' technique of marketing on a one-to-one basis,marketers end up with Consumers who pay more attention to the marketing message.With 'product innovations' and customisation being the new buzzwords,one-to-one marketing clubbed with permission marketing is the marketing tool for success.
As the consumer volunteers to being marketed to,the marketer gets his unbridled attention and the chances of success are more...

Friday, September 15, 2006

Lying for Marketing

Last year Seth Godincame out with a book on 'All Marketers are Liars'....kindof true...dont we all embrace falsehood when we try to further our Business Development interests or promote our products?

Lying is an art...and for that matter dont we all lie at times.More significantly, dont we all want to be lied to sometimes?...Specifically when the untruthful reply will be in our interest or nice to hear....Food for thought!!!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

HPs strategy for the small and medium segment

As the real estate boom continues and investments in housing become the major focus area for a huge populace, Hewlett-Packard has come up with a marketing strategy to utilise the surge in demand in this segment.They have decided to tie up with the lucrative home builders segment, by providing customer oriented value propositions.

As local builders and property developers cash in under a surge in demand for good quality residential options, HP has decided to tie up with them for building homes already equipped with IT products.

Areas of interest range from Plasma Screens to digital entertainment centres ;from PCs to other personal access devices.By aiming at the small and medium business segment , HP plans to also include some home control options, to successfully replicate the above promotion model , already being used in the U.S. in India.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Munnabhai creates a new Viral marketing tool called Gandhiism...

Watched Munnabhai..Lage Raho god....wasnt it mindblowing.The people behind the movie have, with extreme simplicity created a new Marketing Tool...Gandhiism!!

In other words, by attaching the movie to an ex-political leader, an ex-revered old man, an ex-idealist, and weaving the movie around his ideology, the makers of the movie have been able to generate mass hysteria...The non-violent approach propogated by the movie has met widespread appeal in these violent times marked with terrorism.

The new marketing technique propogated by this movie is hence
a viral marketing tool (through word of mouth ) capable of generating mass hysteria. A thought provoking, Message based, Positive influencer has been welcomed and recommended..........

A technorati search with Munnabhai as keyword yielded more than 2500 results. This is the amount of written data generated by the above in the blogosphere and we have yet to take into account the otehr media where buzz was automatically created.

A great piece of work....congratulations to all involved...

Saturday, September 09, 2006

As my organisation participated in the Manthan Award conference on e-content in various areas,i came across an interesting site on the Manthan Website...itvidya...A nice forum for IT people to interact, share ideas and help each other...Some of the member contributions are interesting and informative...makes real sense to the not-so-tech-savvy as me...a good endeavour by Ajay........great for people like me who are still experimenting with all this stuff!!!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Viral Marketing-The new B2C Toolbox

An important fallout of the reach of Web 2.0 is the ability to communicate with a large no.of consumers online!!!The idea is to catch the interest of a large populace at a low cost by letting customers do the selling.

Viral Marketing is a Multilevel Marketing(MLM) strategy which exploits the simple human nature to share, by using existing communication networks.

Viral marketing campaigns are at times hugely governed by regional considerations....and are at times successful when designed keeping in mind the cultural roots of the target audience....Some excellent creative viral marketing campaigns have been analysed at-Marketing Sherpa's Viral Marketing Hall of Fame-Top 12 campaigns you could swipe ideas from............makes real interesting reading!!!!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Object Centred Sociality

This is a real heavy term which caught my attention as i carried on researching the reach and impact of social and business networks...

The essence of my exploration is...........people connect with other people not only for the sake of connecting...they need to have something in it a some common object or objective or interest....something that creates a kinship...something that generates a desire to associate, share and for that matter, keep associated....

Dont we all relate better with people who agree with us...people who are part of our immediate environments....who are affected by what affects us....cohesion results as people tend to garner support for their ideas and beliefs,as also benefit from those around. Infact we identify best with people who support our ideas or are instrumental in helping us achieve our objectives and goals.

The keypoint here is....when the common objects breakdown, the social network breaks down too.

That is the reason we have to make use of alumni associations...ex-employee keep in touch...and generate a common platform for posts are also one such object of sociality......most of these networks cease to be functional when the commonness erodes. is a very good example of 'object centred sociality'....a network of individuals brought together by the common 'object'---the desire to learn, share knowledge, ideas and maybe in some way, be useful to each other....A key point here,obviously is Ajay who keeps adding to the 'object' by posting information on useful events,seminars,links,...the works..............hope more and more people keep adding to the "object " and stay connected!!!!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Ryzing and Orkutting

Business and Social Networking along with Corporate or Business Blogging are tools which are catching on like viral fever across marketing communities.
Networking on Business and Social Networks-groups of individuals and organisations has emerged as a key technique in modern marketing. This is a fact we all are aware of...only the size and volume of the entire userbase hit me hard as i read a post on 'Virtual Reality Marketing' posted by Eric Kintz, VP, Global Marketing, HP. He has talked about Korea's Cyworld where 17 out of the 48 million South Koreans are hooked in to this online this rate, being a part of one such network is akin to a qualification/important part one'spersonality.
These online networks help individuals and organisations achieve goals through relationshipping and friendshipping.One can develop relationships, build new contacts and establish friendships.The idea is to develop relationships first and then use them for business.

The focus is hence, on the VCP model(Visibility,Credibility, Profitability) of Marketing-

1.Visibility-The success of all networking is based on the ability of people to remember who you are, what products/services you are associated with and what services you provide.

2.Managing Relationships-Evolving simple aquaintances into credible relationships
3.Collaborating-Joining together for achieving business goals,by making best use of opportunities.

This relationship capital has huge potential if we are able to mimic the dynamics of the real world through online sites and replicate them appropriately to achieve our end objectives. Patience, interactivity and sensitivity are three areas which one needs to work on!! Ryzing on
Ryze and Orkutting onOrkut are the latest buzzwords.

Thursday, August 31, 2006


The changing landscape of approaching the international market...........thankyou web 2.0........

As far as trade and business in Asia is concerned, a lot of new online opportunities have emerged w.r.t providing information on economy, trade fairs, business partners, matchmaking directories, trade policy regulations, market standards,trade statistics, market information etc.There are Tender Galleries, Buyer seller leads and liason between sourcing and Manufacturing across Asia.

In a broader perspective, for Business purposes, Asia can be divided into East Asia (Republic of China, Hongkong,Japan, Mongolia, North and South Korea); South East Asia comprising Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Phillippines, Singapore,Thailand and Vietnam; Western Asia (Arab Countries,UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain,Oman,Cyprus,Turkey etc) and the lesser known Central Asia (Kazakhstan,Uzbekistan etc.)

Business Matching Databases strategically contribute to making partnerships online. One such example is JETRO -The Japanese Government Website directed towards promotion of trade in the region. One can post their proposals on their Business Matching Database, specially if South Asia/ South-East Asia is the target segment. Our proposals regarding our product helped us generate some real sensible enquiries and also direct a significant amount of traffic to our product website.

Some good ones for Asia include-

Friday, August 25, 2006

What is this blog about?

International Marketing has a changed face.

With the advent of Web 2.0, the participatory and collaborative version of the internet , marketing,specially international marketing, has a changed face,specially as far as SMEs are concerned.The newage marketing tools today largely influence modes of market entry.
This blog is a simple collection of some interesting topics on the international arena...maybe some new products....some new organisations...even some revolutionary marketing strategies which have been successful...n how they affect the entire community and social blanket....and generally anything interesting!!!.