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....