Carving a return path for consumers

A marketer’s dream is to get the consumer interaction. And am sure all try hard and give it what it takes to get in touch with the Right Prospect. Still, even after one manages to get in touch once, how often do we really feel satisfied with that one contact?  

Many a times what we miss is to give them a return path. A way to not just get in touch with us, get read, heard and understood but even mapped. So that next time on, it’s not only an informed conversation, but a 2-way communication of benefit to both. This is not just the responsibility of those companies that are B2B, but even B2C. 

Many B2B and high-ticket B2C companies invest heavily in CRM and Customer loyalty programs, but smaller companies lack not just the infrastructure, but also at times the desire to do the same. 

As each contact point, each communication across various channels/mediums add to the customer experience, this can be enhanced, monitored and even monetized if attention is given to processes and details.

Moving Beyond Viral Marketing

I still love the word “viral” and I include this in most of my marketing plan. But increasingly, with so many social media marketing, breaking clutter for “word of mouth” campaigns is getting difficult.

Going forward, to break the advertising clutter one would need to create concepts that are not just entertaining but are mashable and expandable/hackable. This would help them become extreme customizable and shareable.

It’s like a great idea that is entertaining enough to be forwardable, is Mashable to form a part of other applications and is expandable which allows others to add their bit to it and provide a framework for people to be creative!

Imagine a company that allows users to not just choose / select / vote to help decide corporate Logo (NDTV Convergence Ltd), or a title (Movie : Jab WE Met) or even title song (Movie : Rehna hai tere dil mein) but even ask the users to Create commercials where a company might provide different video assets and soundtracks to enable customers to create their own commercials.

NDTV Convergence logo selection

This ways, the viral and word of mouth effect would be extended and made customizable creating a different genre of marketing – Co-creative marketing!

Advertising in Virtual world

kids.jpgkids.jpgKids have now become focus of attraction for almost all advertising – starting from Car to loans!This is not just limited to family products on TV and main media, its escalated its way to virtual world too. 

There are many gaming sites/communities which attract kids who who spend hours a month playing games and socializing. Though these may boast of successful experiments with marketing wherein preteens are driving virtual Toyota Scions on sites such as Whyville.net and Gaia Online, and they’re wearing the latest digital fashions from DKNY at Stardoll.com. Nickelodeon also talked about coming plans to run “immersive” ads in its 3D environment for kids ages 7 to 14.

kids.jpg

In India, the same is seen by bubblegum and other ads in which kids get so involved that each time my neice pops in a gum, she waits for Boomes to come and take her on a joyride! In India and abroad, as of now kids gaming is a nascent industry with relatively no standards for advertising and media watchdogs.

With 3D worlds, lines between content and product marketing is blurring and kids start to believe all the fantacies they live in are for real. Such games change the equation for brand marketers because a child’s interaction and emotional engagement is so high.So far, the only regulations protecting kids online are through the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) of 1998. The legislation stipulates that sites targeting children under the age of 13 must post a detailed privacy policy and obtain permission from parents to collect any personal information about them. However, COPPA doesn’t deal directly with advertising.

With innocent minds and emotions at stake, advertisers and brand managers need think – Are kids really ready to live in such in virtual worlds?