Small.Business.Marketing

New marketing demystified for Indian SMEs

Archive for the tag “Social Media”

Whistling in the wind?

It is customers and not your product, per se that will create your product, get it adopted, have it talked about.
It was brought home to me personally, rather forcefully as I watched the relative successes of two of my recent posts on my personal blog.

The first one, an account of a recent trip back to my engineering college, IT-BHU, went viral on Facebook and LinkedIn. It had 410 FB likes and 10 LI shares. It had 70 comments on the blog, triggered discussions on FB and LinkedIn groups. Even today, it pulls in tonnes of visitors. As someone, who blogs infrequently and writes on no particular topic in general, this was huge. On a few days, the visitor count was more than 500. Read more…

My pet peeves on Twitter

Be warned, this is a rant.
Why set up a Twitter a/c only for one way broadcast and NEVER respond to customers?

I am fairly active on Twitter ( @canindya )and do carry out conversations with kindred souls. I also share links, interesting stuff that comes my way and also links to content that I generate. For example, this post, when published will also be shared on Twitter (and LinkedIn).
Now, there are lots of businesses on Twitter. From giants like Microsoft to News sites like The Economist or the Hindustan Times. They are all broadcasting hundreds of stories everyday. These are all bots.

Don’t even bother writing to them. Those are “unmanned”, broadcast-only accounts. Your chances of getting a response from @sachin_rt or @aplusk is greater than getting one from @HTBrunch, for instance.

Read more…

Who is saying what?

Does it really matter? What can you do?

They are talking about you. Even as you present the last month’s sales numbers, they are whispering about how the next month or quarter is not likely to be as good.

Even as you immerse yourself in planning distribution logistics for an imminent product launch, you fail to notice the storm brewing over a competitive product failure. Guess what? You did not realize that this will call into question the credibility of the entire product category.

They are the ones who queue up for hours to buy an iPOD or watch the “1st day, 1st show” of a much anticipated movie. Even before your formal marketing was being put in place, they were whipping themselves into a frenzy; talking about it, anticipating the pleasure.

“They” are as likely to be your customers as competition. As likely to be positive or negative.

What should you do?

Should you participate? In how many places can you be at the same time? How many intelligent conversations can you sustain at the same time?

Can you “control and concentrate” the conversation? Host your own blog, have your own twitter account. Hoping to “stay on the topic”, you end up with shutting out the vast big blogosphere where perhaps more insightful comments are being passed at the very moment.

I am quite excited at the launch of a couple of companies in this space; one of them is “pure” Indian, incubated in IIM-A and is doing pretty exciting stuff in the social analytics space. This is Beevolve.com. To understand what they do, go to their blog.

The other company is Buzzgain; based in US. Including at least one of the founders, the rest of the team is Indian.  They have a much wider product and services portfolio.

The importance of these startups is that they enable  SMBs to at least dip their toes into Social Media monitoring and take action basis the insights gained. Unlike the big corporates with huge budgets for marketing and PR and analytics, the SMBs do not have either the money or the manpower to focus on social media monitoring and analytics.

CRM 2.0: limited to campaigns?

In my earlier post on Social Media and CRM integration, I had pointed you to a “great discussion” that is on right now. Now, I am a little unsure.
Having read all the posts so far, I wish these guys will hurry up and get to the point. At least the point which deeply interests me. ;)

How do you make CRM “social”?

1. Is it by capturing all the myriad customer voices on Facebook, Twitter and blogspaces, by monitoring millions of conversations and winnowing those that are relevant to your product, company and brand? Is it by being able to drill down to an individual customer’s comments and relate it to his profile on our database?
2. Is it trying to create a “complete map” of an individual contact by using his profiles and activities on sites such as FB, LI and Twitter? These ideas have a lot of wow, how do you do it in a way that is not so expensive as to drive Citibank into bankruptcy? :) And, how do you manage this without employing an army of intelligent, empowered and motivated marketers who will be needed to participate-in, mentor, or seed those thousands of relevant conversations?

So, guys, hurry up. I am waiting to know. In the meantime, check out this post by Mario Pergolino of Marketo which details the state of the art ):
If you do not have the patience, let me summarise:
Mario essentially advocates using social media as another channel of disseminating marketing messages. It does not answer my questions above; but, to be fair, the article is not seeking to. It had a limited brief of summarizing how e-mail can work with social media, and it does just that. Social media is virtually an advetrtising platform and since this article is from Marketo, it calls for deeper engagements via email (“give your e-mail recipients the inside scoop”).

From here, to Social CRM or CRM 2.0 is a long way. There are still many posts left of the promised 30 on the CRM Magazine blog. I will wait.

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