After a long time..

I see my last post was in 2010. So much has changed since then! I moved to London for some years … became a mom 🙂 and then decided to come back to India…! Its been such an exciting journey- both personally and professionally.

I always said that the lines between channels to reach out the B2C and B2B guy is blurring. Of course the buyer jouney differs a lot. B2B buyers don’t do any impulse shopping, are still loyal to the brand due to complexity involved and have a longish gestation time. But to get into the consideration set, its same the same old vehicles. Peer review and word of mouth are top vehicles for both.

Content is the key here.

“61% of prospects prefer to buy from companies who create their own content and experiences.”

Source: eMarketer, “Lead Generation biggest challenge for B2B”


Weekly roundup (22-26 Feb 2010)

1. Google real-time search adds status updates from Facebook Pages

It’s the first time the search giant has indexed content from the world’s largest social network in its real-time results.

The key thing to remember, however, is that Google has much more limited access to Facebook’s real-time data than its competitor, Bing. Microsoft has deeper ties to the social network, as an investor in Facebook and as a search provider for the site.

Microsoft has the ability to index public status updates, while Google’s access is limited to updates from Pages, which are vehicles for marketing rather than personal content.


2. – Doctors Get Own Social Networking Space

My opinion: I don’t see this model to be successful soon in India. There are many “yellow” pages that have profile of doctors.

Few questions:

  1. Would I go to a doctor reading about him/her on social networking page?
  2. How feasible is it for doctors to continue answering to queries by patients – for free
  3. How much time would busy/well trained and popular doctors spend on this?
  4. In presence of sites like NDTVdoctor that have specialized advisory panel of doctors, how credible would this site sound.

 Having said that, I tried this new feature that I have not seen on other sites – Search by Symptom. It is basically a doctor(specialist) search depending on symptom that you choose from an interactive application. Something that could be a selling point!

 3. Government finally gives approval to the 3G auction

 It is widely being speculated that in most circles three slots would be on sale while a few areas may have enough air waves to accommodate four players. However, Delhi area can have only two slots – thanks to extreme spectrum saturation.


 4.  Sports fever goes online!

–          Comscore Media metrics has announced statistics for sports websites in India which has seen a huge jump in visitors and time spent in January 2010.


–          After scoring 200 runs in an ODI innings against South Africa, Sachin became a twitter master too owning 3 out of the top 10 trending spots on twitter.  Most trended keyword was #sachinisgod – for almost 4 hours all through South Africa’s second innings.

–          Another good news is that youtube has bagged a 2 year exclusive deal with the IPL for streaming matches live. They have also roped in a sponsor for online series.

Source:, Comscore

5. DOCOMO – did the new! 

By giving away completely free access to Major social Networks like – Facebook, Twitter, Orkut & LinkedIn through its Buddynet Plan. The plan will also offer free usage of Nimbuzz chatting app on its network by Buddynet subscribers.


6. Maharashtra Police Launches ePortal

King of clones

Do we need more than 1 touch-point to reach the same place? Or better still duplicate websites?

When you think of news, what comes to mind? – NDTV/IBN or If ties-up with NDTV/IBN to provide “their” news in a co-branded way, will it become a success? Or would it stay as “good to have” feature with no future planning?

So what is a better approach? To offer a bouquet of services in related genre? Or expand in all possible directions – related or unrelated?


Network 18

As long as one take ownership and is not based on just tie-ups. The way Network 18 has expanded in all possible segments – by investing in them – not just tie-ups.

A great thing that NDTV has created is NDTV Social. Personally, I am a big fan of it. I believe the team and leadership at NDTV have created a good product and have tried to bridge the gap between anchors and audience. Something that IBM had also done successfully be being fore runner for “audience anchors”.

Still, despite having tasted success in something that they own, why did NDTV decide to go in for a tie-up again –for Property.  

NDTV Property 

Will I go to NDTV for property lookup? Not unless they come out with their own strong product and yes promote it heavily to get my mindshare.

A memorable decade..

Last day of a decade.. and what  a decade it was.  Still remember those initial internet and online marketing days when “But who will see it on internet” was such a difficult question to answer. . I remember struggling with data to justify a merge 1.5-2.0 lac spends on online.

Client, and probably rightly so, were very apprehensive of the medium..  those days with dial-up connections, only animated gif banners and emailers were possible.

However,  few clients had that vision and they utilized online marketing and paved way for innovations.  Citibank, Incredible India campaign (Ministry of Tourism) come to mind not only as they were top spenders, they were open to new formats.

Now with the kind of broadband connections, internet penetration and interactive media units, social media and networks mushrooming every day, we surely have come a long way..  

And with so many options available, we now have problem of plenty..  How to target right audience without being intrusive or spreading ourselves too thin..

Ghosts of Brand’s Past

Not sure if Dell would like it, but despite doing so much on social and digital media, it is still remembered for the mistakes committed in handling social media crisis.

I was invited for a social media knowledge sharing session and opening notes mentioned how some companies have been proactive – Starbucks while others like Dell had no choice but to enter social media. 

Don’t fool yourself that “it’ll all die down”

Before they became the shining example of social media goodness that they are today, Dell made many mistakes in handling crises. From the emergence of ‘Dell Hell’ and numerous ‘I hate Dell’ blogs to the exploding batteries saga, Dell would probably be the first to tell you they learnt a lot from those early days. You can’t just ignore a crisis and hope it’ll all go away, it won’t.


Dell’s social media engagement was initially forged by crisis — from the “Dell Hell” summer of 2005 to the fl aming laptops in 2006. But from these trials, Dell emerged as one of the most engaged and active companies in social media, with an engagement score of 123 in 11 channels. Their best practices pertain primarily to how to extend and sustain engagement across the organization.

Source: The world’s most valuable brands. Who’s most engaged? – Wetpaint, Altimeter

I would say any publicity –positive or negative helps a brand in long term. Negative brings you in eyes of customers and gives you a chance to put forward your point of view. It helps when people talk/search about you. It’s a trigger that helps your brand perform and correct mistakes/blunders!

And positive is anytime welcome. That too helps a brand work harder to maintain the positive sentiments.


This makes a good website…

Our Idiot box is online

Television serials online – started probably with Hulu and have now reached India with sites like Star TV and Zoom streaming complete programs online. 

Star TV has introduced Star Player on their site ( – a great online video entertainment tool that streams shows of the Star Network (channel V included).  Though I have accessed the site from home broadband only (I work in office :P), its interesting to see quick streaming, good quality video along with social media networking elements – allows you to rate/comment/chat/search similar shows.

What also adds to their advantage is the fact that they have created small capsules of the programs with mouse-over write-up.  So, if you have missed or want to view a part of the program, this helps. 

And best is that the site is not overcrowded with ads! That gives a clutter-free and premium look to the site. 

Overall, I found this very impressive! 

What can they do better? Well – few things for sure. Instead of using the main area on homepage for one program promotion, they can create a small video/slideshow of new programs – that could help them promote more than one program. All genres would find interesting programs being introduced and so, pardon my saying, but Star TV’s “saas-bahu” serial image could be improved.

Compared this to Zoom – I think they are in different space all together. While Zoom is a channel website – showcasing schedule, image gallery, news and gossip, celebrity pics and video as well, startv site is focused towards online video entertainment.

Both have their niche defined, but if you ask me, I liked startv website more.