MediAvataar's News Desk
How do you get your offline consumers to connect with your brand online? How do you attract and handle leads? While these are simple questions, not many companies seem to have a definitive answer. If we know one thing about lead management, it’s that it’s not easy. Quite often, there is no particular process in place for generating and managing leads from the first conversation through sales closing. Initially, the lead generation plans were executed at events such as trade shows, where a customer would walk up to a kiosk of a company and fill up the lead form sharing his contact details, post which he or she would receive a call from the company’s sales team.
In the pre-internet era, flow of information was to a great extent unidirectional, that is, from corporations/media houses to consumers. But with the rapid diffusion of the internet, not only did the world witness a paradigm shift, but even in India, we observed a fundamental change in consumer behavior. The World Wide Web and especially new emerging platforms like blogs and social sites empowered the flow of information from consumers to consumers and also from consumers to corporations and media. The way information was accessed and propagated resulted in a consumer who was much more aware and had heightened expectations. The shift in consumer behavior brought forth a ‘RoBo’ (Research Online Buy Offline) culture, which was seen as a great marketing opportunity wherein the digital domain could be used to make first contact with the consumers when they are in their research phase – present the idea using relevant communication leading to a company’s digital destinations and seamlessly move the ‘discussion’ offline by connecting the prospect with the on-ground sales person. A recent example would be how fashion e-tailers like Myntra, LimeRoad etc. are endeavoring to create a strong social network to keep consumers engaged to them on their platforms through a content driven approach. Such activities result in a spurt in user engagement and help companies to leverage content and social arrangements to ensure customer loyalty and close transactions, both online and offline.
Lead generation plans in recent times have been customarily incorporating more of digital platforms for a robust result. Today it’s important for a brand to offer both digital and physical interfacing for consumers. Brands need to determine an effective method to shift smoothly between both platforms to keep consumers engaged as they keep switching between both these realms regularly and swiftly. The brand experience should be enhanced to bridge the gap between both these dimensions by creating new tools, to be able to guide consumers from one platform to the other and back and this needs to be a continuous effort. For example, brands can use QR codes and unique tracking URLs to drive leads to online promotions.
Today how you go about reaching your audience determines your success. The road to build an audience and gain leads has become quite a challenge because the average consumer today is hard-pressed for time, making it important for the company to be exposed to various channels—traditional and digital. Most customers will respond to just one channel, so it's crucial to have a diversified, multichannel approach to generate leads and also ensure that these leads reach the concerned sales teams quickly in order to engage the customer at the place of their interest.
Over the years, digital advertising has evolved into a robust marketing platform that encompasses many different facets of digital media. Companies need to look at exploring all possible avenues such as Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, e-mailers, display advertising across portals, verticals, in-mail boxes, Ad networks, and social platforms across devices in addition to using DSPs and affiliates. Each avenue needs to be monitored minutely to learn the response delivered. This has to be cross tabbed with the creative communication used to generate in-depth learning. Measurement and analytics have become an integral part of the process, producing invaluable insights which can be plugged into subsequent campaign strategy.
A company’s retail and direct sales structure should complement the digital domain, facilitating the building of the online-offline connect to provide the consumer with a comprehensive concept or product experience. This also ensures that the assets deployed on the World Wide Web are regularly visited by prospects. This instant response mechanism results in a win-win scenario; the prospect gets an in–depth knowledge and demonstration of the product and thus makes an informed choice. The company benefits owing to the increased probability of prospects turning to customers. Using technology like augmented reality allows a brand to showcase products in an exciting manner, even though they just fall short of the physical touch and feel, it’s ideal for people in today’s day and age. Companies such as Jabong have introduced offline activations such as fashion magazines and connect users with stylists through their chat services. E-tailers like Amazon and Snapdeal too sponsor fashion weeks. These offline and online connects help companies understand the consumer profiles and provide product customization, personalization and relevant recommendations.
Early on, the internet presented a unique avenue to engage consumers, to listen to their views, to understand their concerns and to identify their needs. Today, one also needs to keep in mind that when managing a business account on social media, in addition to promotional activities, attention must be paid to the benefits it provides when used to locate, engage and join in on relevant conversations, thereby helping in identifying and communicating with potential leads.
The growing clout of internet in consumers’ lives has resulted in them posting reviews on various portals, some being positive and some negative. This is where Online Reputation Management comes into picture as it becomes a great opportunity for companies to engage with these consumers, who are willing to express their views, be it positive or negative. This becomes a great learning for companies wherein as an organization we learn to listen to consumers on the internet and respond to them. The essence of good customer service is forming a relationship with customers; each customer is important and it’s crucial to continuously strive to ensure that we keep all consumers satisfied with our products and services.
Going forward, companies should look at channelizing their efforts to strengthen the online-offline connect in areas of lead generation, service requests as well as e-Commerce deliveries. Technology diffusion and improvement in telecommunication infrastructure are opening up immense avenues in this domain. Armed with the right knowledge, tools, and resources, any marketer or business owner can overcome the challenges that come along with audience discovery and lead generation. Stimulating and capturing the interest of a customer is paramount to lead generation.
Authored by Mr. Marzin Shroff, CEO – Direct Sales & Sr. Vice President – Marketing, Eureka Forbes Limited
To strengthen developing market mobile marketing platform, Electra
tenthavenue, home to WPP’s ‘connected consumer’ agencies, announced today the completion of a new partnership with cloud communications telephony company, Ozonetel, to build the new version of Electra, the mobile marketing platform specifically catering for developing markets.
The new tenthavenue and Ozonetel partnership sees the development of new features and improved capabilities on top of the existing Electra platform – a single technology stack through which advertisers can deliver mobile asset formats through USSD, SMS, Interactive Voice Response and compressed video routes across 150 countries.
Combining the Electra platform capabilities with Ozonetel technology means that brands can utilise enhanced mobile marketing capabilities including:
- Measurement of consumer behaviour and engagement levels in real time for a more comprehensive understanding of what content will work
- Consolidation and delivery of value exchange mechanisms, such as mobile airtime and talk-time top-ups to consumers
- The delivery of personalised content and messaging to the consumer through an advanced logic engine
- Multiple enterprise communication models to scale the offering to across all brands and categories of a company
The deal will also allow tenthavenue to integrate new messaging pipes to work with Electra to create new media distribution products moving forward.
Sudipto Roy, tenthavenue CEO for Emerging Markets commented: ‘According to Mary Meeker’s 2015 Internet Trends report, there are still 3.12 billion feature phones globally and yet most technologies focus on an in-app advertising based eco-system for mobile. It’s for this reason, combined with the emergence of smartphone ad-blocking technologies, that there is a stronger demand for device ubiquitous mobile formats and subsequently a gap in the market for a platform that can do this at scale (with robust data, content optimisation capabilities and measurement). We are resolving that gap by improving Electra and embedding it with the ability to drive “value exchanges” with the consumer, taking them a few steps closer to actual sales and loyalty than traditional approaches do.”
Anurag Banerjee, Growth Advisor for Ozonetel added: “We are a product centric company, much like Hubspot and our solutions enable hundreds of companies to manage personalized communications with their customers. We are excited to now extend this support to WPP clients.”
Rupert Day, Global CEO for tenthavenue, noted, ‘This deal is an incredible leap forward for brands operating in developing markets who understand the value in reaching consumers with optimal personalised content. The partnership with Ozonetel aligns with tenthavenue’s investment in TMARC in January 2014, the leading USSD mobile platform in South Africa. It reflects our vision of driving personalised communications of value to the consumer, and elevates the tenthavenue proposition across Asia, Africa and very soon, LatAm’.
The Ozonetel technology platform underpins more than 1000 enterprise customers globally, providing clients with a single entry to connect with over 4 billion addressable connections through 226 Telecom Operators. Current clients include fast growth companies Zomato and BigBasket, and the world’s second biggest advertiser, Unilever. Ozonetel was recently selected by as one of the ‘World’s Top 50 Marketing Technology Startups’ by Unilever’s Foundry program at Cannes Lions Innovation 2015.
Oscar-Winner Adrien Brody stars in & as ‘HOUDINI’, premiering 1st October 2015 @ 9:00pm
The magic of magic never fades to enthrall and captivate audiences, however young or old they may be. HISTORY TV18 presents the Indian television premiere of HOUDINI, a dramatized biopic of the world’s greatest illusionist and unparalleled escape artist who cheated death multiple times. Starting 1st October at 9:00PM, HOUDINI follows the epic tales of Harry Houdini as he emerges as America’s first bonafide world-renowned superstar. From humble beginnings at circus sideshows to sold-out concert halls, Eastern European immigrant Ehrich Weiss rose to become a household name across the globe – Houdini.
Academy Award® winner Adrien Brody stars as ‘The Great Harry Houdini’ as he finds fame, engages in espionage, battles spiritualists and encounters the greatest names of the era, from U.S. presidents to Arthur Conan Doyle and Rasputin. A thrilling ride throughout Harry’s psyche, HOUDINI delves deep behind the curtain into his life through his stunts, his visions and his mastery of illusion. Joining Brody is Kristen Connolly (House of Cards) as Bess Houdini, the love of Harry’s life and right hand when it came to some of his most amazing feats, and Evan Jones as Jim Collins, Harry’s assistant and confidant.
As a norm, a magician never reveals the secrets of his trade. But in this new mini-series, the curtain is pulled back not only on his close relationship with his mother, which led him to spiritualists after her death, but also the secrets behind some of Houdini's most successful illusions like the Chinese Water Torture Cell and Escape from Murderer’s Row.
Block the date to watch this outstanding series starting 1st October 2015, every Thursday-Friday @ 9:00PM, only on HISTORY TV18.
If not, here are four tips to help you succeed
Every brand and organisation wants to build its innovation capability – and marketing is often the department that leads the charge.
However, company culture is the key enabler. If it isn’t conducive to rapid decision-making, flair, rewarding risk-taking and encouraging people to explore, then it’s hard to be innovative. A few have transient "SWAT teams" that are ring-fenced for a period of time to think chaotically. Others bring in consultants to challenge thinking "outside-in", while some have dedicated innovation teams.
Every organisation must make choices about what is important, what it will reward and how to allow those activities to flourish. If it’s out of touch with its customers’ experiences, how can it change?
Big issues abound when it comes to innovation strategy: the growth of big data, which can both overwhelm and illuminate, the way in which digital has socialised the innovation process, the challenges of managing diffuse networks and the tensions between free creative thinking and a process-led management structure.
Nonetheless, here are some approaches that can help brands get more out of innovation:
Look for ideas outside your category to shake it up
Look at Gillette (razors and blades), HP (printers and cartridges) and Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi. The latter sells its phones at tiny margins in order to capitalise on the bigger potential revenue stream from software. Its revenues hit $5.2bn in 2013, with users downloading more than 1bn apps.
Make insightful connections between challenges you face and everyday life
Bio-mimicry (the study of nature to inspire solutions to design challenges) can be a key driver of innovation. Consider Ornilux, a glass-sheeting product designed to reduce bird collisions with windows through the inclusion of a special UV-reflective coating. Inspiration came from orb-weaver spiders, which incorporate UV-reflective strands into their webs to warn birds away.
Consider crowd-selecting, as well as crowdsourcing, ideas
A fan-made prototype kit that appears on crowdsourcing network Lego Ideas needs 10,000 people to support it. Lego will then review it for manufacture and, if the kit goes into production, the person who had the idea receives 1% of future net sales in payment. In essence, Lego is handing over some control for the customer experience to the people most devoted to its brand.
Don’t wait until you have the "perfect solution" before testing your idea
Akin to crowdsourcing, a co-creative and iterative approach to prototyping and commercialisation can help leading innovators succeed. 3D printing is showing us what it is now possible.
Invest time early with stakeholders beyond the user
Engaging with partners and stakeholders enables innovators to truly understand value-creation from their perspective, securing vital support. This is particularly acute for pharmaceutical companies, which often come under intense scrutiny from physicians and insurers.
Ensure you’ve pinpointed the repeatable model so that you can roll it out quickly. Keep close to the customer experience to remain on track.
Once the innovation is launched, the hard work is often just beginning. The "test and learn" approach to diffusion or rolling out innovation demands agility and customer connectivity. Be prepared to commit to it and scale it if it works, or cut your losses if it doesn’t.
Take time to design an innovation culture that is reinforced by leadership and enables people to deliver their very best.
Culture is king. Innovation is unpredictable and chaotic, but organisational resources need to be planned and structured; the right culture will reflect both to enable innovation to thrive.
Written by Mhairi McEwan,Group CEO and Co-Founder at Brand Learning
Winning Strategies for an Evolving Media Landscaping
The advertising landscape is evolving at an extraordinary pace as media proliferation and technology advances create new ways of connecting with consumers. We watch videos on phones, stream music on laptops and read newspapers on tablets—sometimes all at once. Needing to reach, resonate with, and get a reaction from the right audience in a world of choice can make it difficult to decide where to allot one’s advertising dollars.
While there isn’t one simple rule for maximizing advertising effectiveness in such a saturated market, understanding how consumers feel about the ads served on the various media platforms they use every day is a good place to start.
WHO DO WE TRUST?
The most credible advertising comes straight from the people we know and trust. More than eight-in-10 global respondents (83%) say they completely or somewhat trust the recommendations of friends and family. But trust isn’t confined only to those in our inner circle. In fact, two-thirds (66%) say they trust consumer opinions posted online—the third-most-trusted format.
Owned (brand-managed) online channels are also among the most trusted advertising formats. In fact, branded websites are the second-most trusted format, with 70% of global respondents saying they completely or somewhat trust these sites. In addition, more than half of respondents (56%) trust emails they signed up for.