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..

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 (www.startv.in) – 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.

 

Startv.in

Startv.in

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.

Convert prospects to customers: Be Found

 Connecting with the right set of prospects when they have a “need” is crucial to marketing given the current economic and social scenario.

How does this happen? In what circumstances would you reach the people “ready” to spend? Simple – when they are looking for you!

 

And to do this, you need to be there – to impress them when they look for you. This concept, also called Inbound marketing is fast picking up owing to reduced marketing budgets and increased ROI pressures.

Inbound marketing

You

Prospect

Create/collaborate

Blog, Wiki, website, Ebooks, white papers, thematic websites/pages – thoughts.com, SEO, PPC

RSS feeds, readers, Search Engine, adwords, technorati, blogpulse

Syndicate

wire releases/content, reach high traffic sites, listing

Digg, reddit, stumbleupon

Tag & share

Video clips, images, virals, bookmarks, presentations

Youtube, msn video, flickr, facebook, social networking website, del.icio.us, slideshare

Brand websites: An online tool to reckon with!

 Remember the days when each page “HAD” to have a BIG logo to be able to suffice the branding norms set by brand managers? Times have really changed with marketer spending money behind Campaign centric brand websites, which at times,  do not even carry the product name in the url. Take for instance sites by    Whatstheprogram.com Meethamoments

Clinic All Clear : www.makeyourmoves.com
Ponds: www.iblushed.com
Cadbury: www.meethamoments.com
Lux: www.xappeal.in
Kwality Walls : www.spillurdill.com
Lays: www.whatstheprogram.com
HSBC: www.yoursolutions.co.in 
There are few other marketers who wish to experiment, but with limited risks, like:
Sunsilk : www.sunsilkgangofgirls.com
Mentos: www.mentoshelpline.com
Maxfresh: www.maxfreshclub.com 

Interestingly, all the above-mentioned sites cover brand and more. Besides talking about their won products, the websites provide a whole host of activities for the visitors. Slipping in to the genres of Social networking, these sites try to combine brand with every-day activity.  They seem to have understood the rules of the game: Activity and loyalty are key to SMM success”.   

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!

Is Web2.0 an online phenomenon?

Reiterating what I said in one of my previous posts – web2.0 is a socially driven phenomenon, facilitated by technology

So is internet necessary for web2.0? Not Really! Web2.0 is not online-dependent.

An interesting parallel is that of mashups. The benefit they offered to users was an integrated experience of viewing things/contents from different sources on the same page – without having to go to multiple sites.

Extending the same idea to offline – read an interesting article on Bnet Yum Brands, the global fast-food restaurant operator. Interestingly they adopted the similar concept in 1995. Yum began with multibranded units — restaurants that offer two different fast food brands under the one roof.

Such Mashup restaurants/Co-located restaurants offer customers more food choices, which is especially convenient for families.

The core concepts of web2.0, namely, collaboration, syndication (distribution), mashup/aggregation (mix n match) and personalization can be adopted by offline business to give them a winning edge!

NBC proposed to launch TV show ‘widgets’

Thought an interesting concept, still not too sure if this is the only way to solicit visitors and entice social interaction.

What is that they would offer different from other social networking sites? I agree, NBC video is something they can leverage on, but then why do the run of the mill stuff of providing buddies, personalized profiles, blogs etc.

Though not mentioned in explicit terms, hope they do not just provide blog infrastructure and invite people to create blogs within NBC domain. This can stickiness, but early adopters would, all probability be, those who have profiles on multiple sites. Through this, they can definitely increase pageviews and traffic, but no guarantee of “relevant” and “serious” traffic.

A better approach would be to collaborate with existing social networking sites, allowing people to share and upload videos and photos from NBC and generate discussion.

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