Analytics v/s Content in Marketing

Stephen Covey in his highly acclaimed book wrote the following,

“But shortly after World War I the basic view of success shifted from the character ethic to what we might call the personality ethic. Success became more a function of personality, of public image, of attitudes and behaviours, skills and techniques, which lubricate the processes of human interaction.”

To a great extent, marketing is also fighting a similar character v/s personality syndrome; of course, in its own flavour. For example, the founder of Stayzilla stated the following during the time of its closure, “During the last three to four years, though, I can honestly state that somewhere I lost my path. I started treasuring GMV, room-nights and other ‘vanity’ metrics instead of the fundamentals of cash flow and working capital.”

He further adds, “In one of my digital marketing campaigns, I got the chance to work with a renowned CMO directly. In one conversation, he stated that nowadays there’s a lot of fuss around analytics. It seems that analytics tend to drive everything but in reality, it’s the other way round. Analytics provide you with the insights of your campaigns and give you more intuitive understanding of SWOT elements of your marketing campaigns. But if you are first deciding the metrics and then, deciding the rest, you are playing a very risky business.”

In recent job description of marketing, you will easily find responsibilities parts as:

  • Drive online traffic
  • Track conversion rates
  • Utilise range of techniques like paid search, SEO and PPC
  • Social media strategy

In only one JD of digital marketing, have I found the following words:

  • Content development
  • Email marketing
  • Excellent writing abilities
  • Creative/consultative slide ware/content creation
  • Creativity, passion to innovate

The point I am trying to make is that marketing is a creative work. When a prospect visits your website, he/she will only become hooked when he/she comes across remarkable things, which in turn is driven by content. If your content has high engagement potential, metrics such as bounce rate, time spent on a webpage will definitely be rewarded. Take, for example, YouTube viral videos. Kevin Alloca in his TED talk mentioned that a viral video comprises humorous and surprising elements with a point to get across to its audience. Can we see any analytics-based approach? It’s pure human emotions that are defining such viral videos’ success, not Google analytics or super computer algorithm. Yes, such insights will help you in deciding what to publish on YouTube to make it more productive. But again, it will be content that will decide the success of the upcoming video.

In conclusion, I would like to end with the following quote by Seth Godin,

“Content marketing is the only marketing left “.

 

Author: Rupam Lathwal

PGPM Class of 2017, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

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Purple Cow

Destructive marketing is built in products

Traditional ways of marketing are gone. The old virtuous cycle of ‘buy ads – get distribution –sell product – buy ads’ is now gone for good. So, what is the new way to cut the hyper-clutter and stand out in marketing and sell your product?

Stop advertising and start innovating.

Seth Godin, the marketing guru and bestselling author, explains the new era marketing strategy in a unique manner of a purple cow. Suppose you are travelling to someplace and you see the normal black and white cows that you encounter almost every day. Would you look at them twice? Would you talk to your friends about them? No, right? But, what if it’s a purple cow? The chances of discussing a purple cow are definitely much higher. In the same manner, any product which is remarkably different than the ones existing in the industry will raise curiosity among the potential customers.

Remarkable Product

It comes from people who are making something for themselves.  From here, they are able to project the same for multiple audiences. Here are a few examples:

  • Howard Schultz spent months in Italy, drinking coffee and learning. He was in love with coffee. Thus, Starbucks evolved.
  • Rony Abovitz, CEO Magic Leap, drew inspiration from his childhood fascination with scientific fiction in Star Wars. Later, he started working on augmented reality in his garage in Miami and went on to becoming the fastest Unicorn after first equity round.
  • Ray Kroc, coming from the sales background, fell in love with McDonald’s on his very first visit. Later, during the opening of his first store in Chicago, he emphasised on creating the exact taste of French fries and went on to contact research fellows in many universities to replicate the same Californian taste.
  • At around late 2007, roommates Chesky and Gebbia could not afford the rent for their apartment in San Francisco.They decided to put their loft on rent online(on their own website) with beds for three guests and homemade morning breakfast. They named this concept as Air bed and breakfast which is now known as Airbnb.
  • On a snowy Paris evening in 2008, Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp had trouble hailing a cab. In order to solve this very obvious and every day modern human problem, they started Uber – tap a button, get a ride. How simple can it get!

Sneezers

Zespri had a daunting task to launch a new kind of kiwi which is golden in colour with an edible peel. Instead of mass marketing the new food in U.S., Zespri took a risk and introduced it in an upscale Latino community. This community is a regular eater of mangoes and papaya which closely resembles the new kiwi but tastes very different. Such niche Latino community had both the time and the inclination to try something new and different. Over a period of time, this Kiwi grew in popularity among Latinos that Zespri (back in 2001) made a business of $100 million worth.

Sneezers are the first category of people on earth who will, willingly, learn about your product, take the risk to try a product, and bear the pain of introducing it to their friends. This way, marketing strategy becomes much more productive and cheaper. Another benefit in targeting such genre of potential customers is that they are always on the lookout for new stuff. This requires minimum advertisements and marketing expenditure. All you need is to be creative enough to come in their eyesight and, automatically, the rest of the story unfolds.

In case, if you are short of ideas,

  • Find the niche market
  • Create the remarkable product in the right way 

Law of Diffusion

Today, even with narrowing down your potential customers through digital means, your marketing efforts can still fail. The reason being you are one of the 50 marketers who is targeting the same individual for the same set of products and services.

Hence, rather than a push marketing, marketers should devise a pull strategy.

 

law-of-diffusion

  1. Left to Right

Most of us are already aware of ‘Crossing the Chasm’ by Geoff Moore. How can’t it be given a serious thought over here? An idea spreads from innovators to early adopters to the early/late majority (sneezers comes before these). The company should target the innovators and early adopters and strategically build the initial marketing efforts around these two categories. Using the typical mass media strategies would not be of much help at this stage.

  1. Marketing Budget Offloading

The maximum sales and profits come from early and late majority people. Only when your product is being accepted by these people, then only you should offload your maximum budget. Many great astonishing products spent most of its capital on mass marketing. Such marketing efforts came too soon before the idea spreads.

Take-aways:

  1. The message that Tiffany’s blue box and Leaning Tower of Pisa delivers, Pantheon in Rome does not. The marketing is not done for a product. It’s built right in.
  2. Greatest remarkable products and companies such as Starbucks, Apple, Disney, Reliance Industries have been started and successfully ran by marketers. From product development, manufacturing to communicating the value proposition, such passionate marketers have their heads involved in the entire product cycle.
  3. When the company becomes big, it loses its entrepreneurial charm and focuses on profitability. Hence, pick the right maverick in your company for product development and get out of his way.
  4. Work with sneezers. Get Permission from them. Alert them beforehand on upcoming products. Work with them to sell your idea to a wider Audience. (Donald Trump utilised such ‘Stakeholder Driven Media’ internet platforms like breitbart.com to spread his ideology to significant yet unique Americans).
  5. If your company has reached a stage, where nothing seems to be working and marketing department is facing the major brunt, talk to your engineers or product developers and customers. Rather than selling what they wanted to sell, new Best Buy CEO, Brad Anderson, listened to customers and realigned the entire strategy based on their inputs. Often, it was hard and longer in approach but produced more results (and, cheaper too), than typical boring ads and staying that way.
  6. Learn from people who have a track record of launching such remarkable products. Dive deep into the fans’ magazines, trade shows, design reviews – do whatever it takes to feel what your fans feel.

 

Author: Rupam Lathwal

PGPM Class of 2017, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

Chairman Emeritus Reconnect 55 “Sincerity”

My dear friends,

Please think if you have ever searched for,

  1. A single term which can be the root of all the attributes you wish to count and evaluate at the time of appraisal of people working with you.
  2. A single characteristic which distinguishes you as an outstanding and successful person?
  3. A single virtue which can revolutionise our national life and character.

It is SINCERITY, SINCERITY, and SINCERITY!!!

Please don’t get surprised to know that-

  1. I have had a professional friend who if promised me a time when he would revert over the telephone; never failed in his life; MTNL, VSNL, be it any service network, never failed him.
  2. A relative of mine was known for his punctuality so much so that people used to correct their wrist watches with his time of reporting to his own high office and other social events.
  3. I have a family friend who has never failed till date to wish me, my wife, my children and my grandchildren to greet us on our respective birthdates.
  4. My wife has not failed even once to feed me on time till date in the last over 40-years of our married life.
  5. My boss in England, suddenly having trouble with his eyesight one day in his office, was to be rushed to the Hospital. Before leaving office he dictated a two page letter regarding my forthcoming visit to Scotland for the concerned person to receive and take care of me and my wife since we were foreigners visiting their country for the first time.

I can go on counting such examples which are propelled by one single characteristic i.e. “sincerity”.

Sincerity encompasses a large domain of virtues

Sincerity means Genuineness, Honesty, Loyalty, Seriousness, Earnestness, Authenticity, Truthfulness, Integrity, Probity, Forthrightness, Bona-fides, good faith, trustworthiness, straightforwardness, openness, candidness, uprightness, unpretentiousness etc. etc. Sincerity comes out of love, respect, commitment and human virtues imbibed within.

Sincerity Vis-à-vis Job Performance & Success

At Reliance Energy Management Institute, Mumbai we once discovered that all the dozen odd evaluated attributes for Job performance like Job knowledge, quality & quantity of output, time management, cost consciousness, planning & organising, initiative, customer orientation & responsiveness etc. were all linked to “Sincerity” at the roots.

Swami Vivekananda once said “Every successful man must have behind him somewhere tremendous sincerity and integrity and that is the cause of his signal success in life. The degree of sincerity marks the degree of success everywhere.”

Sincerity at the focal point of a strong national character: Japanese Example

Let me start from a story that stays in my mind since long. In a Japanese Railway compartment an old lady takes out a needle and thread from her purse and starts stitching a seat cover that had opened up. Someone asked “was it not the duty of the railway authorities” She replied, “it was the duty of every citizen since it was a national property”. The Japan Railway and other connecting subways and systems are well-known for their incredibly punctual schedules. As such, when there is a delay of even “a minute”, they issue late slips for passengers to take to their employers. After all, it leaves a very bad impression if you’re late to work.

It’s not uncommon for people to work several more hours after their contractual quitting time to complete the day’s targeted output. No overtime payments expected!

Japanese tourists pick up trash from around camp sites and rest stops even when they didn’t make the mess themselves. Japanese students clean their schools by themselves for a good 30 minutes each day. Making it your business to keep communal space clean is a distinct mindset emerging out of your sincerity towards the environment.

Soon after arriving in Japan, when Casey Baseel was still getting used to commuting by train instead of a car, he left his bag on the Yamanote Line. As soon as he noticed, he told the stationmaster, who suggested him to wait for 60 minutes until the same train came back around, as the Yamanote is a loop line. Sure enough, when it did, his bag was right where he had left it. Nothing was taken from inside. I found similar things happening with me in London Tube Train!

The latest government survey on national character has found that 83% of Japanese if they were to be reborn, would choose to live in Japan rather than anywhere else though more than 60% said they feel apprehensive about natural disasters.

Sincerity to each other, sincerity to the Community, sincerity to the Society, sincerity towards Environment, sincerity to the Nation, sincerity to the land of your birth-all in one !!

Can we take some lesson to enrich our life?

 

Satyamev Jayate!!!

With Best Wishes and Regards,

Dr. B.S.K.Naidu, BE (Hons), M.Tech., Ph.D., CBI Scholar, D.Eng. (Hon), FNAE, Hon.D.WRE (USA)

Chairman Emeritus, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurugram, INDIA