How Not To Fret And Provide Unified Customer eXperience

Every single day, people, at the top or who are responsible to make a brand name, wish that the world out there is not staring at them or taking a dig at their brand’s inconsistencies.

 

For them, there’s a never ending tussle ensuring their employees, existing and potential customers and partners, investors, and influencers are getting one impression about the brand. And there is no brand confusion or conflict, arising from how few things turn up.

 

And, with millions and billions of people across the world connected via social media, words spread like a wildfire.

Brands Are Not Built Overnight

Brands, are not built overnight, nor are they built by the effort of a few people; it’s built by the efforts of every individual, as an on-going process.

 

If you, as an employee, want to convince me to something then you ought to believe in it before you can sell the idea to me, a customer.

 

Imagine you working for an airline or restaurant brand which puts customers first, but you, as an individual employee, fail to keep the customer happy either by providing the best possible service or by not listening to what the customer is asking for, then you have failed not only the customer but the brand as well.

 

Well, the customer would think the policies to be contentious and feel cheated by the company/brand. And, with the access to smart phones and social media, we all know what can happen next.

ONE Brand, ONE Journey

A brand experience should be like a process, a bond, a commitment across the organization which every individual must invest in and live up to.

 

Irrespective of there being multiple divisions, subsidiaries, acquired or merged business units, the primal focus should be to integrate this to form ONE brand.

 

The joining of forces should mean defining everything for that ONE brand – the vision, the organizational structure and its diverse culture, the brand values and market positioning.

 

One should understand that the company’s ultimate goal is to grow and fulfil customers’ expectations, as one entity.

 

If the business units continue working as individuals then the first and foremost challenge would be the management of cross multi-functional units, which could and, to some extent, would result in confusions, miscommunications/overlapping roles & responsibilities, and unnecessary hold-ups – not only for employees but for the customers as well.

 

To enable business units to deliver unique brand experiences, which is aligned with the stake-holders’ demands and expectations, it’s imperative to have a command centre or a centralised controlling unit which manages and directs every other business unit.

What Do We Do Now?

Well done! All you have managed to do by now is put together the engine from a Ferrari, tyres from Michelin, seats from a Mercedes, body from Rolls Royce, and similar things.

 

The restructuring was like putting all the part together for a concept car. However, the test drive and customers reviews is what you need to fine tune your car, before you can mass produce it or call yourself a premium brand, and be really proud of what you’ve created.

You get the idea, don’t you?

Oh silly! You need the customer feedback and success stories from each of the units integrated and then use them to define the common policies and work culture which will drive your business.

 

While you’re at it, don’t forget to reassure your stakeholders that the combined entity will only work towards improving the collective strengths and will focus on reducing the pain areas.

 

Remember that customers are like audience members at a show. They don’t see the lighting director or the makeup artist at work behind the scenes; they only see the performance on stage. Processes and procedures are just as integral a component of brand experience as the final product.” ~ Jason Cieslak

 

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Video Marketing Has-Been and Will-Be Around

It’s funny, how small things in life don’t make any sense when they happen, but you could relate them, years later.

My younger brother learnt playing games and counting number even before he went to school.

In those days, gaming was not as popular and a limited number of companies manufactured such units.

Era Old Gaming…

If I remember correctly, it was a stiff competition between Atari and Nintendo. Atari being famous for their joystick controller and Nintendo for better graphics.

Anyways, the crust of the matter is that my brother would play these games or watch me play, and then learn where things needed to progress were, try to find different things he could do, and learn alphabets and numbers to track game progress and password to continue from a saved timeline.

Considering the age, less than 3 years, no one actually thought it was that important or was helping his growth. In fact, we were scolded for spending too much time playing video games.

Fast forward x 20, to this day. Thinking, out of the blue, I realised the impact those games had and can have. A little more analysis, and I was quick to spot the visual aid in learning.

Do You See The Connection?

Don’t worry, you will, soon.

Rather than going through the books or listening to someone telling you, a person is able to grab things when assisted with visuals. The vision, through eyes, gets registered in the mind, faster than we know. Weird, ehh?

Adding Life To These Visuals…

I wouldn’t even ask you to select between a series of print outs and a video, to present something. Guess, you know which is better.

The idea of watching something as against images, is always luring.

The voice, the tone, the music in the background – could be used to create a situation, relevant to the content. The voices, indicate our mind to put more focus, and can pump the heart rate – think of a horror movie or an action sequence.

Ever watched a drama or an intense movie?

The voice and the way in which the actor delivers the speech, gets us involved and we feel we are part of the happiness or the sorrow that actor is going through. It hits our emotional chords.

Tell Me A Story…

That’s the power, you can create with a video.

The content, the sound, the linking – the broader story; that’s what gets to your customers.

There is so much you can say and tell, with advancement in technology – you can use various graphics and sounds.

The same video can be transmitted over multiple channels to reach millions of people out there, worldwide.

To connect with customers and to create an impact – create an awesome video. But first, create a story to show in that video! ~ P.R.

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How Not To Spend More And Still Sell The Product: Influencer Marketing

During the good ole days, newspapers, pamphlets, and television ads were the most used marketing channels. To some extent, they still are!

Mind Tricks!

Reflecting back, could you list some of the ads you remember still? And, why?

We tend to remember (ads promoting) things which,

  1. We could related to ourselves
  2. Had a brilliant concept
  3. Had a familiar face in it

 

Whether you think about your childhood or think about children now, you would notice how we are lured in to buying things, even if we don’t need it, just because it was promoted using a person or character we followed. Spiderman, Movie actors, cartoon characters (Doremon, Peppa Pig) – ring a bell?!

 

But, did you really think

  • Pierce Brosnan would eat betel nut just because he was in the ad?
  • Kareena would use lux soap?
  • Chota Bheem/Peppa Pig actually went to school with all that bag and pencil box?

 

It’s because they are known and have a following, these people or characters are used to promote products; which would make people to believe

  • The product is used by the person, perhaps
  • The product is endorsed/backed by a known person and hence safe to use
  • The product is better than other similar ones, since it is being promoted by a well-known person

The Influencing Act!

These well-known people (influencers) are there to influence your decision, make you believe which you otherwise wouldn’t, and are able to reach to mass or fans – instantly; thereby making a larger impact than those marketing agencies would make, following other practices.

In this era, people have so many social media channels on which they are active, and connect with their fans and followers.

Each of these followers further have a circle of people connected to them, so on and so forth. Virtually, you are connected to millions of people around the globe.

Theoretically, the chances of getting a response or someone buying/trying a product which you promote, are more.

Modern marketers are tapping on this trend!

The cost of engaging a creative ad agency, getting people to perform in it, getting the prime TV slots, and so many other associated costs are reduced. Not to mention the time and effort in getting the ad to market.

Now think, I’ve a million followers on three different social channels. If I say or promote anything on it, it will reach countless people within a few seconds – thanks to the internet!

Even if a percentage of those followers buy the product eventually, it’s a huge profit for the company; considering the amount they would spend on getting me to promote it online.

And this, my friends, is nothing but Influencer Marketing!

Influencer marketing (also influence marketing) is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on specific key individuals (or types of individual) rather than the target market as a whole.” – Wiki

Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive your brand’s message to the larger market. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead inspire / hire / pay influencers to get out the word for you.” – Tapinfluence.com

 

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5 Tips Gummies for Dummies on Marketing

You might be a marketing professional, an entrepreneur, or an enthusiast. Even if you are totally unrelated to these fields, yet want to make a social presence – so what do you do?

You browse the internet for information, reading endless blogs or stories, and imitating or following endless people. Then you embark upon a journey which turns out pretty depressing, pretty soon. Alright, maybe not as quickly as I may have sounded.

You think your marketing strategy works?

You do get some response, like a few likes or shares, and maybe a few comments as well. Then you read more, try to plan your working strategy, and follow it to get a few more followers.

After weeks or months of following the routine, planning and re-planning, you are nowhere near to the figure or reach you though you would be.

I, personally, have been a member of these social platforms for nearly a decade now. But, I started seeing the potential or utility of them, and be regularly active on them quite recently.

I’ve had some success, but mostly disappointment. To be fair, I must call it a learning experience than a failure.

If you’ve been paying any attention, from your own experience you would’ve realised by now that until you are known to the world otherwise or you are obnoxious enough to create a furore, you wouldn’t be someone whom the world would follow.

There goes your reach, organic or not, out of the window!

Does it have to be really that way?

In life… There are no shortcuts! Couldn’t seem to remember where I heard that before. Anyways, the point is – you can’t possibly think of making a huge difference, overnight!

Check out the profile of most followed people, within the industry of your choice or any other. They did not plan for any of it, rather spoke their minds out. And they did not stop!

1.      Be Original, as much as you can. Least, you can paraphrase it!

2.      Trending topics, discussions, world events, breaking stories – choose variety to spice it up

3.      Take advantage of creative team, if you have that option, to bring some infographics or banners for campaign

4.      Tell a story or be part of it, get involved

5.      Break the monotony; challenge the normality – Be different otherwise there are many others like you

One last thing, which no one would tell you is to be unconditionally charitable. No, I’m not talking about donation (in any form) or money. Be open to support people, follow them, promote their work, write appropriate comments, and be creative with your language.

A social or online deed is like a boomerang and comes back manifolds, when it does. You just have to be patient!

 

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How Not To Fall For The Online Marketing Trap

Yeah.. yeah.. Knowledge is power, we all know that and heard it several times. But, in order to gain more knowledge what do we do? We speak with intellectuals or read about the area of our interest. The information is widely available over the internet, look where you know must!

What is the most common thing which you hear from the experts?

First of all, there are no experts on the matter. Whoever go where they are now, never thought they would reach there. Well, they must have hope for it for sure.

They all will tell you to follow what they have done. Have you come across blogs or articles which say, “5 step to achieve this” or “3 things you have been doing wrong” or “How to make money quickly”?

The internet is flooded with such trap doors!

Why do I call them trap doors?

  • First and foremost, they all have similar information, just paraphrased or tweaked info-graphics.
  • Secondly, it’s a marketing pitch for the author, if only you could understand.
  • Thirdly, somehow it worked for the author, but do you have any way to validate it?
  • And lastly, isn’t marketing all about being able to convince the potential customer. And, in this case the author convinces you that his method or write up is pretty useful to you.

The more you are convinced, the more chances you’re going to like, share, and/or comment on it.

Now think, who is benefiting from it eventually?

Who is getting famous, getting more followers, and eventually making money?

I bet you knew that already, just didn’t want to admit you were falling for the trap as well.

There is nothing to be ashamed of or denying the fact. Look at the bright side, it was not a complete waste. Every bit of hearing or reading tells you something, gives you a different perspective which you can plan to use it to your strength, your strategy.

You Still Don’t Believe Me, Do You??

OK .. Tell me, what do you think about this?

Can you tell me which strategy worked here and in which article have you come across such a scenarios which fits the bill?

Let me tell you – NONE!

For Chris sake, if people knew what would work for sure, wouldn’t all those people who read those (marketing) articles be famous already?

And, if that were true then you wouldn’t be writing any articles any more since you would be flocked with curious people wanting to know how you did it?

Wouldn’t your mind be like a supercomputer, predicting human behaviour?

More than information, current events, or any other guide people are interested in bold and obnoxious content. You start sharing your sensual photos and you are a hit overnight.

Then again, events like Football World Cup was enough to crash the social media.

If only human minds were predictable, any strategy you followed would have done wonders for you.

Till then, the only thing you could do it read, plan, execute, and have patience.

Unless of course, you are willing to showcase your ugly side and cause an online stir; but never fall for such traps which guarantee you success, overnight!

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