Lesser known Indian marketing books that are worth reading

The best marketers are the ones who constantly try to improve their craft, no matter how good they are at it already. If you are looking to read some offbeat, lesser-known marketing books that will help you in enhancing your marketing skills even more, here is a list of such books written by our very own Indian authors.

Storm the Norm: Untold Stories of 20 Brands that Did it Best

Written by Anisha Motwani, this book is a unique collection of contemporary, true stories about Indian businesses and brands that rewrote the norms of their respective industries. All the twenty stories are not only inspiring, but they will also bring in some remarkable change in your approach towards marketing and business management.

Nawabs, Nudes, Noodles

This quirkily titled book written by Ambi Parameswaran, an ad veteran, discusses the story of Indian advertising over the past 50 years. Over a hundred ads have been studied and examined in this book by the author. This book will let you know how advertisements take inspirations and influences from politics, culture, society, etc. Reading this book will give you in-depth knowledge about Indian advertising scenario.

Is Your Marketing in Sync or Sinking?

Have you wondered why some start-ups become hugely famous while some just fade away? This book published by Notion Press and written by Yaagneshwaran Ganesh gives you an in-depth knowledge of the various marketing principles. While most marketing books talk about the macro concepts, this book speaks of the micro concepts of marketing as well; this is quite crucial for new-age marketers.

Learn Marketing in a Day

Marketing is no longer restricted only to management graduates. As marketing has become a pervasive, universal concept, learning about key marketing strategies has become important for everyone in the corporate field. This book written by Ajith P will act as a beginners’ guide to learn marketing.

Marketing Unplugged – Spotting the Elephants in the Room

How interesting would it be if there is a toolkit of new techniques that you can use to come up with new, innovative marketing strategies? Well, that’s what the Marketing Unplugged book has in store for you. This book written by Suman Srivastava is a book full of scholarly yet delightful ideas for marketing.

IIMA-Why I Am Paying More: Price Theory and Market Structures Made Simple

Satish Y. Deodhar has written a series of management books under the IIMA book series title. If you are looking to read the series, Why I Am Paying More is the right choice. This book explains the dynamics of pricing with respect to demand, supply, market structures, etc. Beautifully illustrated through various case studies and examples, this book is something that you can never put down.

India Reloaded: Inside India’s Resurgent Consumer Market

Dheeraj Sinha’s book on Indian consumer market is something that every marketing professional should read. Some brands and businesses fail in the Indian market mainly because of their assumptions about the Indian consumers. This book tries to break all those myths and misconceptions. It gives a fresh, new, and a genuine perspective about the Indian consumer market.

Linkedin Marketing: An Hour A Day

Social media marketing is the need of the moment. While there are a lot of books, guides, and online materials about Facebook and Twitter marketing, Linkedin is one of the important yet underrated forms of social media marketing. This book written by Viveka von Rosen is a step-to-step guide for succeeding in digital marketing, especially in Linkedin marketing. By reading this book, you will know about how to use this powerful social media platform (Linkedin) to make sure that your business gets noticed by the right set of audience.

The Sweet Spot: How to Maximise Marketing for Business Growth

As we all know the sweet spot is the optimum combination of factors or qualities to achieve success. True to the name, this book brings to your notice the sweet spots that you can explore and utilise in the field of marketing. In other words, just like how sportspeople make hardest shots or tasks look easy because of the sweet spot, this book also allows you to make your business grow in an innovative, seemingly easy way.

Brand Shastra: Use the Power of Marketing to Transform Your Life

Mainak Dhar has written a dozen of books in multiple genres. Considered to be one of the best-selling authors in India, Mainak Dhar primarily writes on science, marketing, and management. Brand Shastra is one of his latest books and is also listed under the Amazon’s list of Memorable Books of 2016 So Far. This book discusses the various aspects of marketing, ranging from primary promotions to B2B marketing. More than talking about the theories of marketing, this book explains the science and logic behind the various marketing tactics.

We hope, by now, you have a handful of books to be added to your to-be-read list. What are the other books published by Indian authors, that you would suggest for marketers to read? Let us know in the comments.

How to drive conversions with Instagram

By now, everyone knows what Instagram is – the social media platform that enable its users to take pictures and short videos and share them in the app (and on multiple other platforms as well, but that is a completely different blog for another day). Nevertheless, a new day is on the rise… Instagram is not only hashtags and pretty pictures. Over the last few years, the app has evolved from a teenage forum where girls would hit like when their BFF uploaded yet another selfie, to becoming a platform of huge potential revenue when it comes to all sorts of business.

As of now, Instagram drives sales with a high average in orders, and according to Shopify, Instagram referrals actually results in an average order value of $65, which is second only to Polyvore’s $66.75. Even though most visits will not end up resulting in a purchase, the ones that do, will result in considerably higher revenue than other social networks –take for example YouTube’s $37.63 average order value. Another major piece of the puzzle is the number of active users, and seeing as the user base for Instagram in India alone is estimated to be almost 6 million active mobile users every month the question should no longer be “should your company have an Instagram Handle”, but rather “how do you maximize your income through your Instagram”? E-commerce, Fashion, Real Estate, Hospitality, Medical Care… you name it, every single industry can profit from Instagram, when used correctly. Read on, and we will make sure that you are fully prepared to dive into the ocean of endless possibilities by teaching you how to leverage Instagram to build relations that ultimately can help to drive conversion with this unique social media platform.

Your Images

Just like the key to any good fairy tale is to start it off with “once upon a time” and end it with “and they lived happily ever after”, the key to crack the Instagram code, is your pictures. They are easier to digest than text, and they are more effective for evoking emotions, which will enhance the chances that your message will be remembered. When it comes to visuals on social, Instagram is supreme. You want to use images that drives sales, and studies show the first real data on Instagram’s capability to drive sales and perhaps more important, the essentials of a picture that boosts sales conversions. The University of Wisconsin conducted a study and learned valuable insights, which we are more than happy to share with you. Here follows a list, in random order, of what their study showed was important when it comes to what type of pictures that drives sales:

  • No filters
  • High level of the colours blue and yellow
  • No question marks or exclamations
  • Longer captions
  • From infrequent posters with a high number of followers

This knowledge can be seen as somewhat of a hurdle for some, since the elements that used to inspire engagement (likes and comments) are not the same as the ones that now trigger sales conversions. No need to worry though, this simply means that one must now use a mix of criteria when creating Instagram photos.

You can use multiple tools for Instagram including some focussed on e-commerce.

User Generated Content

Posting user generated content is one of the most powerful ways to boost the credibility of your company. As consumers, we tend to perceive content originating from our peers as being authentic, because we trust that the everyday community has less of a vested interest in making a corporation look god compared to its employees. Keep in mind that consumer decision making is not always driven by price or quality, but in fact, a lot of consumers choose brands they associate with a lifestyle that sits well with them.

For example, if you buy a BMW, you are not just buying a car, you are buying into a lifestyle. Visual user generated content, which basically is the foundation Instagram is built on, is all the more impactful, as it allows us to see products being used in real-life situations, which again makes it easier for us to imagine ourselves using these products or services. So re-post your followers content if it aligns with yours, because not only does this help to create a bond with the consumer through shared interests, it also portraits the product in real life. The emotional bond that is created when using UGC is exactly why ads with this content converts better on Instagram than the refined studio shots created by professionals.

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Another very important tool to use is to leverage the reach of influencers on instagram. It is a known fact that consumers are more likely to trust a recommendation from friends and family as opposed to a brand or a vendor. This is why it is good business for companies to use social media Influencers and user generated content to get the word out about their product, offer, service or whatever they wish to convey to their online audience. Influencer marketing has the power to drive sales, sign ups and app installs by using links and promotion codes which can be tracked. Tracking and analysing the data and ‘Call Per Click’ are numbers that are going to help you modify your spend in order to generate revenue from Instagram. Instagram also its own analytics tool now.

Determine what metrics you care to track and make sure you keep a weekly or maybe a monthly report to monitor your progress. You also have to take advantage of targeting since Instagram now has the same targeting, creative and measurement abilities as Facebook. It is up to you to use the features and get the best possible results from your Instagram ads and campaigns.

Brands are excited about the success they have seen with website conversion ads on Instagram and the potential the platform has to offer –and quite frankly, so are we! Tell us what has been your experience in using Instagram. Click here to continue reading blog articles around Instagram.

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Making Content Marketing work for your Brand – Digital Summit

Below is the gist of the panel discussion on Making Content Marketing work for your Brand at the Digital Leadership Summit In Chennai In August 2016. We had two panellists moderated by Mr Prem Kumar Sivakumaran from The Smart CEO Magazine: Ms D Vijayalakhmi – Murugappa Group and Mr Rajasekar KS – matrimony.com.

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Summary of the Pannel Discussion

  • Content marketing needs to be more about content and less about marketing
  • Target the right platform that connects with all your key audience
  • Make it lesser about the brand and more about the reader
  • Connect with your audience with emotional stories
  • Video is an effective marketing tool that will continue to grow

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is the current buzz word, and the session started with a discussion on what each of them feels about content marketing. We also have had a Digital Chai Pe Charcha On Content Marketing Success in 2016 andyou Can Read It Here.

Viji from Murugappa Group highlighted that content should be something that is interesting to all readers. Content that makes the reader feel good, look good and do good is a successful content marketing campaign. It should be lesser about the brand and more about the audience. For more detailed steps on creating high quality content check out our blog on 10 Ways To Create 10x Content.

Rajasekar expressed that content marketing is more about content and less about marketing. While most brands believe that it is about amplification, Raj said that it’s more about understanding the customer and their problems. He also said that when a company starts talking about customers problem, its business starts and when it starts talking about its business, its problems start. Content should engage the customers; then it can be a successful one.

Content marketing strategy

At Murugappa Group, it is predominantly about the brand itself. Viji spoke about how at Murugappa, they also think of fun and meaningful stories and try and connect with the target audience, even when it is about the B2B brands.

Raj spoke about their initiatives at happymarriages.com, a content marketing initiative set up by BharathMatrimony. He talked about how it was initially tough to create content around it because people were unwilling to talk about their expectations from marriage. So his team set about trying to understand what issues couple would face. After three months of research, they arrived at 500 themes and worked with authors, senior writers and an internal team to write engaging content that the audience could relate to.

While talking about strategies, one of the members of the audience asked an interesting question about with so much content out there, how do to stand out? The panellists agreed that crowdsourcing high-quality content is the answer. They also spoke about examples of organisations such as Amercian Express Bank, GE initiative that has done a great job in standing out. Prem also highlighted using a platform such as curata.com, a platform that curates content, which also enables marketers to scale content marketing to grow leads and revenue.

How do you measure success?

The panelists both agreed that although you can look at shares and likes, the success can be measured only when you get customer feedback. If a content piece has solved the customer’s pain points, then you have succeeded. They also urged any company using content marketing to use this as a metric.

Video is an effective marketing tool

The panellists spoke about how video is the most captivating of all channels, and each of them highlighted how they leveraged video in their organisations. Raj explained how his team went to five cities and interviewed 36 couples. They chatted with customers about relationships and aired these on national TV.

Viji talked about the Murugappa Madras Song. She highlighted how the company found a connect and used that to create a video that went viral. The video was so powerful that even a  city-based league team requested the conglomerate to make an anthem for them as well.

The panellists also urged marketers to resist making a viral video for the sake of making one and asked marketers to keep their ears tuned to the customer.

There are a lot of ways in which you can create good quality videos with a low budget. Read our blog to know more.

Emotion is essential

Whatever be the industry, there is always a way create stories. The key is to understand the audience. Viji mentioned the farmer video that the Murugappa Group made. They asked a simple question, “What is the most important job in the word?” This emotional video stuck a cord with the public and was shared far and wide not only on social media but also on WhatsApp.

Integrating PR and content marketing

The panellists advised startups to leverage PR and stated examples of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and how they used their social media campaign to not only gain visibility but also get a lot of PR coverage as well.

Raj also spoke about Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Airlines jumping off a ten storeyed building and how the media wrote about it. He also asked marketers only to do these crazy stunts if it suits their personality and the brand. PR is the biggest pipe to the audience, and it can get customers. So whatever campaign a marketer does, it is important to leverage PR.

Content marketing is a must-do for all brands, and more brands are willing to spend money on it. Raj also spoke about how any marketing initiative is ultimately boiling down to content and about how marketing cannot exist without content. Content is the only pipe you can sell any product.

Prem also added that the first ever content market initiative was done in the early 1900s by John Deere, the tractor company when they created a magazine ‘Furrow.’ So the concept is not new only the term Content Marketing is.

 

 

 

Top Business Centres in Chennai

The concept of shared work spaces and business centres is getting extremely popular these days. With Business Centres offering ready-to-move-in workspaces, it saves established companies and startups an easy way to setup operations.  With significant cost saving potential and opportunity to network, many start-ups and businesses are moving towards shared workspaces and business centres. Convinced you should try this out? Here is a list of best business centres in Chennai.

From providing high energy work spaces to just a mailbox, Workafella has a range of options to choose from. Some of the facilities provided include housekeeping, electricity, internet, complimentary reception services, CCTV, access to common area, pantry services with unlimited caffeine, free meeting room hours and  more. Workafella provides a fully furnished office space, with 24×7 access. Choose from a Private office, Coworking Space, Virtual Office or Mailbox. Workafella is centrally located in Alwarpet, Chennai providing easy access from many parts of Chennai.
Location: No.37, TT Krishnamachari Road, Alwarpet, CIT Colony, Mylapore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600018

Workafella Business Centre in Chennai – get a quote today

With cutting edge infrastructure, The Executive Centre provides office spaces that are perfect for start-up and small businesses. Their office spaces have high-speed internet, meeting and conference facilities, making it extremely convenient for businesses. Apart from serviced offices, they also offer virtual offices, co-working space, and instant offices. The Executive Centre is also present in Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore as well.
Location: Tamarai Tech Park Level 5, Thiru Vi Ka Industrial Estate, Inner Ring Road, Guindy, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600032

Located at the heart of the city, DBS Business Centre has an entire range of world class business facilities combined with personalized service. With facilities such as secretarial services, meeting rooms, pantry services and safe deposit lockers, DBS is ideal for any business.
Location: DBS House 31A, Cathedral Garden Road, Chennai -600 034

MLS Business Centres are fully furnished offices that are equipped with professional telephone answering, secretarial support services and meeting and conferencing facilities. Apart from Chennai, MLS Business Centre is also present in Pune.
Location: 148, 6th Floor, Dr.Radhakrishnan Salai, Mylapore, Chennai – 600 004

With flexible options and World-class IT and telecoms infrastructure, Regus provides office spaces for one person or a whole team, for a day, week, month or as many years as needed. Regus has modern office furniture, professional business environment and on-demand access to meeting rooms by the hour. Apart from Chennai, Regus is also present in other cities in India including Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Bangalore, etc.
Location: Chennai Citi Centre 10/11, Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai, Level 6, Chennai, TN 600004

Vatika Business Centre provides high quality, fully furnished office spaces designed for all kinds of small, medium sized to large corporations. With modern amenities and state-of-the-art business environment, Vatika Business Centre is also affordable. Besides Chennai, they are present in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Gurgaon and Pune.
Location: Prestige Polygon, 3rd Floor, 471 Anna Salai, Teynampet, Mount Road, Chennai – 600035

How Digital drove success of Carat Lane – Digital Leadership Summit

Below is the gist of the talk given by Mithun Sacheti on “How Digital drove the success of Carat Lane” at the Digital Leadership Summit in Chennai in August 2016.

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Key Highlights from his talk include:

  • Discovery is going to be driven by digital, consumption will remain omnichannel depending on the product/service
  • Consumers often make the decision online, but still, like to see the product in high-value purchases
  • Omni-channel is the approach towards profitability and Carat Lane has seen that with their Delhi centre, which contributes to 38% revenue and is a profitable city for them.
  • Extremely data driven approach with 4000 data points being tracked every month
  • Even spends on TV are tracked diligently
  • Key metrics to track: Cost per lead, Cost per conversion and Cost per visitor/traffic
  • Early days for digital transformation with more to see in the coming years

Mithun started off by highlighting that Chennai as the choice for Carat Lane did not come from the fact that he was based here but based on research that Chennai has the fastest clearing airport in the country. He goes on to talk about how opening the first Jaipur Gems store was challenging. Their biggest learning over the initial years was getting a clear understanding of the top/key customers since they used to get only about three walk-ins a day when they started out. They soon realized that making customers discover the store and new products is key. So when they opened their next store in Coimbatore, they were able to combine their learnings to ensure that 500 key customers walked into the store just on day 1.

How did they get into e-commerce?

They realised that discovery of products is a problem because of the limited walk-ins in retail as well as the limited scope to discover products before walking into the store. E-Commerce fundamentally changes the discovery process.

Today consumers make a choice before entering the retail store – the decision is usually made online. This is why global e-commerce started with books so that the discovery & shopping can happen online. For other products discovery is still lead by digital, but consumption is happening across e-commerce, offline retail, kiosks, etc.

In 2011, Carat Lane opened its first retail store – but they got it wrong in many ways. Firstly, they did not put much jewellery over there, though in hindsight they understood that consumers come in to try out the product. In Mithun’s words “We assumed customers were as obsessed with technology, as we were”. This changed when they opened their future stores. Moreover, their Perfect Look app allows you try out jewellery real time, and this was a big hit amongst consumers.

Why do consumers have distrust amongst e-commerce companies?

Mithun highlights on e-commerce evolution in India and candidly pointed out that between 2000 to 2009 there were early adopters who did not focus on last mile delivery and consumer experience – players like Indiatimes, Rediff, infibeam. This mostly led to distrust from consumers because they went through such bad experiences from these brands. This, of course, changed when the new age e-commerce companies started, including Carat Lane in 2008.

Is ROI real in E-Commerce?

Mithun was candid in saying that “Understanding of ROI was missing when we started, but we understood it the right way.”

In 2012 when the company evaluated its results, it realized that cost of acquisition was so high; it would take three transactions to make the customer profitable but an Indian consumer shop for jewellery twice a year so there was something wrong in the approach.

Their retail stores were a game changer because the process of discovery started falling in place. Consumers now started coming to the store with the product photograph wanting to try the product. It became evident that conversions will happen where they have an omnichannel presence. Two years ago they opened six stores in Delhi and now 38% of their revenue comes from Delhi and is the only profitable city of operation at the moment.

Is it an analytics business or a jewellery business?

Carat Lane is an extremely metric driven business, as Mithun pointed out. They track 4000 data points every month, but the critical ones are

  1. Cost per lead
  2. Cost per conversion
  3. Cost per visitor/traffic

Mithun aptly put it “There is never too little data”. Data helps bring clarity, and while it took Carat Lane 6 years to figure it out, it finally made sense. In the early days, the cost of consumer acquisition was never in focus. You need to know how much you are willing to pay for each of the above actions, as the business profitability depends on that. Each company needs to create its own attribution model – based on customer type. Google Analytics is a good starting point.

Mithun spoke at length about the advanced analysis that is done on TV ad spends. They used tools to find out in which tv program & which ad break & which ad slot had the highest visitors and highest brand search of Carat Lane. As per Mithun, searches & traffic ultimately reflect in conversions & sales assuming you have a great product + great UX. Of course, it’s not a perfect model. You can have assumptions and capture the ROI, in case there are two ads at the same time

On Startups, Funding & more

Speaking on how they used the funding they got, Mithun admits “Money is like oxygen, the human body is like iron – money can corrupt you”. They have learnt it the hard way and now moving towards profitability with a data-driven approach.

Talking about his investor, Lee Fixel, he mentioned an interesting quote. Apparently, Lee said, “My Fund has ten lives. You as an entrepreneur has 2-3 lives. Carat Lane has one life. If you think omnichannel is the right approach, then let’s do it.”

On closing. Mithun said that Digital would own discovery and budgets will move digital – which was also reflected in the Social Beat Industry Report. We, of course, agree when he said that India would be driving the digital transformation and even today with the worst internet bandwidth ever we have achieved this much – it’s only up to our imagination what the future holds!

Digital Chai Pe Charcha – Secret to a successful Influencer Campaign

The sixth edition of the Digital Chai Pe Charcha was held at our office on 27th August 2016. It received an excellent response with about 15 participants including entrepreneurs, professionals, digital marketers and social media influencers taking an active part. The topic of discussion was the secret to a successful Influencer marketing campaign.

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Here’s a quick summary of the key takeaways from the session:

What is Influencer Marketing?

  • Word of Mouth – Digitally
  • Brand Ambassador
  • Key/Celebrity Influencers, Social Influencers and Peer Influencers

Word-of-mouth advertising has always been the most powerful tool, and influencer marketing is WOM Advertising 2.0.  In simple terms, it means shaping the opinions about your brand using the most influential people amidst your potential customers. If you are a brand, you make friends with the most influential people at a place where you want to sell. Now, they talk about your brand and recommend you to their followers (potential customers).

Why use Influencer marketing?

The main reason that brands are looking at influencer marketing are:

  • Ad Blockers
  • Neutral + Engaging – Not an Ad
  • SEO + Organic Growth

Given that word of mouth, marketing generates more sales than paid advertising; more brands are beginning to think about influencer marketing as part of their branding strategy. In the last 12-16 months, we have seen many interesting influencer marketing campaigns in India run by the likes of Cadbury, Allen Solly, Ford & much more.

How to identify right influencer?

For any influencer campaign, selecting the right influencer and partnering with them is crucial. Checking the influencer’s reach is the first thing you would need to do. This can be measured in terms of the number of followers/fans or the number of visitors to their blog/posts. Always remember to choose quality over quantity.

The following are the parameters you should be using while choosing the right influencer.

  • Moz Domain Authority– This is a score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines.
  • Reach in Social channels– This will include page likes on Facebook, followers on Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.
  • Estimated traffic from similar web – This tool provides user engagement statistics for websites.
  • Blog Alexa Ranking – This tool provides commercial web traffic data and analytics.

Challenges in Influencer Marketing

  • Inability to attribute to ROI
  • Getting the right influencers and Lack of large quality influencers
  • Focusing on wrong goals/metrics – e.g. Twitter Hashtag
  • Transparency of Pricing – No metrics/benchmark

What ROI to expect?

  • Short Term: Engagement, Content Creation
  • Mid Term: SEO
  • Long Term: Brand Building, Loyalty, Sales

Challenges for an Influencer

Based on our interactions with influencers, the survey we ran amongst influencers, and learnings from various events such as Social Media Week Bengaluru, there are a few challenges in influencer marketing.

  • Brief is not always clear
  • Not enough freedom given
  • Payment delays
  • Changes mid-way during campaign
  • Not communicating expectations upfront

Those of you who missed the first four editions of the Digital Chai Pe Charcha can check them out below:

 

You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter! Check out the hashtag #DigitalCPC for more details on the next Digital Chai Pe Charcha meet.

Top 10 Financial Startups in the World

Unlike corporate companies, start-ups are not about the limelight. They are about distortion, adjustments, hard work, dedication, integrity, taking responsibility, and struggle, especially financial startups. While founding a financial or Fintech startup seems to be a cool career plan, not every startup reaches the top of the ladder and has attributes that can help it become well-established. Some of the 10 well-known financial start-ups that caught the world’s eye are as follows:

1. Adyen

Headquarters: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Founding year: 2006

Industry: Multichannel payment services

Known for providing advance payment services to more than 3500 plus merchant brands like Uber, Facebook, etc., the company has reported over 100% growth in its revenue and almost 40% growth in customer acquisition by the year 2014.

2. Avant Inc.

Headquarters: Chicago, USA

Founding year: 2012

Industry: Financial Technology and services

Previously known as AvantCredit, this Fintech startup was originally planned to serve as a mid-prime lender. Gradually, they began offering loans to many states in the US. In the past 4 years, the company saw a sizeable growth.

3. TransferWise

Headquarters: London, England

Founding year: 2011

Industry: Peer-to-peer money transfer services

This Estonian developed startup supports more than 300 currency routes globally. With more than £3 million transferred, for the customers, the company’s money transfer policy looks no different from the traditional money transfer service. However, the difference lies in the backend on how TransferWise routes the payment.

4. Nova Financial

Headquarters: London, England

Founding year: 2015

Industry: Property and finance advisory firm

The independent startup, Nova Financial Ltd. is a privately owned firm, which specializes in assisting clients to identify the most suitable property investments for their specific personal situation based up on their goals and preferences.

5. Dianrong

Headquarters: Shanghai, China

Founding year: 2012

Industry: Personal finance & software firm

What started as a brainchild of Mr. Soul Htite, this startup is now China’s leading internet financial services company. With 2500+ employees and 25+ offices across China, this firm offers innovative financial solutions.

6. KnCMiner

Headquarters: Stockholm, Sweden

Founding year: 2013

Industry: Bitcoin mining

This unique Fintech startup provides secure, effective, and green blockchain power to the world. In short, their aim is to design, build, equip, and run industrial computing centers on renewable hydropower.

7. Paytm

Headquarters: Noida, India

Founding year: 2010

Industry: E-commerce

What started as a mobile recharging and bill payment app is now a eCommerce startup. Now India’s largest mobile payment service platform, Paytm Wallet is used for various online payment services as well.

8. Number26

Headquarters: Berlin, Germany

Founding year: 2013

Industry: Modern banking services

Styles as a bank of the future, Number 26 provides free and flexible services that differs from the conventional, rigid bank structure. Launched in Germany and Austria, the firm has almost 10,000+ customers.

9. Freecharge

Headquarters: Mumbai, India

Founding year: 2010

Industry: Bill payment and recharge

Started as recharge and bill-payment app, Freecharge was named as one of the most promising technology startups from India by Pluggd.in, in the year 2011. By 2015, Freecharge was however acquired by Indian e-Commerce platform Snapdeal for a whopping INR 28 billion.

10. Prodigy

Headquarters: London, UK

Founding year: 2007

Industry: International student loans provider

This startup helps international students, who want to attend participating business schools or other postgraduate schools, by providing them student loans. In the current year, Prodigy Finance was included in the European FinTech 50.

Digital Chai Pe Charcha – Measuring ROI from Digital Marketing

The fifth edition of the Digital Chai Pe Charcha was held at our office on 9th July 2016. It received a wonderful response with about 25 participants including entrepreneurs, professionals, digital marketers and social media influencers taking an active part. The topic of discussion  was Measuring ROI from Digital Marketing.

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Here’s a quick summary of the key takeaways from the session:

Types of Returns from Digital Marketing

There are two types of returns from digital marketing:

1. Tangible Returns:

These are metrics that translate into immediate business results such as Leads, Sales, Registrations and Traffic

2. Intangible Returns :

These are metrics that do not measure immediate business results such as brand awareness, customer engagement, customer satisfaction and brand reputation.

Which Metrics Should You Measure?

Metrics you measure will depend on your business goals and objectives.

For example, if your objective is lead generation, then you would measure metrics such as Leads/Enquiries Generated, Revenue from Sales, App Installs and Website Traffic.

On the other hand, if your objective is brand awareness, then you would measure metrics like likes/fans/followers, reach, impressions, mentions, social engagement, likes/comments/shares and retweets/reposts.

Tools to Measure Results

There are a number of tools available to measure the metrics mentioned above. They could be categorised as web, mobile, and social media analytics tools.

Web Analytics tools:

There are a number of web analytics tools that you could use. You could use Google Analytics to understand details about the volume and quality of your website traffic. Tools like Kissmetrics, help determine advanced analytics on the behaviour of your users.

Mobile App Analytics Tool

For those of you have the mobile app for your business, tools like Mixpanel and Appsflyer help you learn how people use your app. It also helps draw insights from this data to optimize and improve your marketing for better ROI.

Social Media Analytics Tools:

These tools help you analyze the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts by measuring metrics like likes/fans/followers, reach, impressions, mentions, engagement, likes/comments/shares and retweets/reposts. Social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn have inbuilt analytics tools for marketers to analyze the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. Other advanced analytics tools for social media intelligence include Radian6 and Simply Measured.

Call Tracking:

With the growth in mobile use globally, the number of leads coming through phone calls is increasing rapidly as compared to leads through web forms. In this scenario, it is important to use tools like Knowlarity and Exotel to track call leads effectively and attribute them to the right source.

Measuring ROI from a Digital Marketing Channel

The simplest way to measure if ROI from a channel would be positive, is by checking if the Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) is greater than the cost of acquiring a customer through that channel.

The table below will help you with a simplified framework to calculate LTV. For more details on LTV calculation, you can read our article on Customer Lifecycle Value vs Cost of Acquisition in E-commerce.

LTV Metrics

Participants then did this analysis of LTV and cost of acquisition to calculate channel ROI for their businesses. They shared their learnings with the rest of the group. This was followed by an interactive discussion and Q&A session.

Those of you who missed the first four editions of the Digital Chai Pe Charcha can check them out below:

Edition 1 – Challenges Faced In Marketing A Startup

Edition 2 – Content Marketing Success In 2016

Edition 3  – 101 On Digital Advertising For Startups

Edition 4 – How To Use Instagram For Business

You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter! Check out the hashtag #DigitalCPC for more details on the next Digital Chai Pe Charcha meet.

What methodology do you use to calculate ROI from your digital marketing efforts? Do share your method, experience, and learnings in the comments below!

Mobile First Strategy to leverage micro moments of consumers

Micro Moments has become a buzzword in the digital marketing environment in recent times. Especially, after Google’s content marketing team, Think with Google, came up with this phrase, more and more digital marketers are trying to utilize the micro moments to benefit their brands.

To start with, more and more consumers are using smart phones for most of their browsing. According to two different Google consumer surveys, almost 68% of smart phone users say that they check their smart phone within 15 minutes of waking up every morning; also, 30% of these users admit that they actually get anxious, when they don’t have their smart phones with them. In most countries, searches happen more via mobiles than desktop computers. This means that digital marketers, who intend to make an impression with their clients, should adapt mobile first strategy religiously.

According to the often quoted KPCB Internet Trends Report, it is said that most people check their phones about 150 times a day and they spend 177 minutes on an average with their phones per day. This means that, on an average, a mobile session lasts for just 70 seconds. Apart from texting their partners, sharing their selfies or travel pictures, commenting on their friends’ photos, there is a specific point of time where people look at their smart phones to get influenced by brands. These small moments where the consumers look for information on their phones are the micro moments that every digital marketer should utilize.

Four types of micro moments

According to Think with Google, these micro moments can be classified into four, namely:

  1. I-want-to-know moments: More and more users are looking up for information online. On the go, many users search for different information ranging from routes to their destination to deals in ecommerce sites. The amount of such consumers have increased significantly in the past few years.
  2. I-want-to-go-moments: More than ¾ of users use their smart phone users use search engine via their phone to look for any local store or company. Even to look up for something as trivial as an electrician or florist, people use their smart phones. According to Google Trends report, in the year 2014-2015, there is 2x increase in “near me” based search interest.
  3. I-want-to-do moments: While doing a task, most users use their smart phones to look see instructions. Be it any DIY craft or a simple day-to-day recipe, people use their smart phones to check how to do what they want to do.
  4. I-want-to-buy moments: This is the most explicit micro moment. Before purchasing a product online or offline, more than 80% people actually look up their phones for consultation before buying. Also, mobile conversion rates for ecommerce sites have significantly increased in the recent times.

These are the four micro moments that are crucial for any business. With consumers’ online attention span being very low, i.e. as low as few seconds, to leverage these micro moments of consumers, brands must adapt mobile first strategy.

Four ways to leverage consumers’ micro moments:

To grasp your consumers’ micro moments, a brand must refine all its contents to be mobile responsive and follow these four approaches.

1. Being there for the users always

One of the interesting facts about most consumers is that they might not be rigid on what brand they want. If they are looking at their phone for information or merely browsing, they might be more interested to buy your products if the information you provide interest them. Especially, while looking for information, users pick the business that are there in their search results and that have the most attention-seeking content.

By being there always in their smart phone, via both paid and organic methods, you stand a more chance than your competitors to convert them into your customers. One may think that by merely being there in the social media, how can a brand make the smart phone users become its consumers. The true fact is that by being there when users need some information, your brand is helping customers in their decision journey.

Also, at this point, mobile first strategy plays a major role. Since most of the searches happen via mobile phones, your website, landing pages, ads, posts, and any content should be mobile responsive. Also, it must be interesting and crisp to be read within those micro moments.

2. Providing users the information they need

While you can make an amazing first impression with the first approach, to make the users your clients/customers, you need to do something more; in fact, you must do something more powerful. Bounce rate of many sites and uninstalling of many apps are on a rise; the main reason for this is that most of these brands fail to be useful to their customers in the four micro moments explained above.

If your consumer is on a search engine searching to buy a product related to your brand, he or she is more likely to pick your brand over a hundred others when your content is useful than the others. We have a detailed strategy on how to create 10X better content than your competitors. With mobile first strategy, you are in a good spot because it allows you create and showcase more pertinent content in these micro moments. This is why in our view a blog is important for every business. Using information like their past search history, location, time of search, and keywords, one can efficiently decide what to showcase to which user.

For example, if you are a brand that has multiple products, based on the target group, their preferences, you can use retargeting to showcase products/creatives that are useful to them. Rest assured, you would have definitely leveraged their micro moment.

3. Catching up with users’ speed

If your mobile site or app takes a long time to load, the users are more likely to leave your site/app for other that of other brands. All your efforts of providing useful content and being there goes waste, if the speed at which your information loads is slow. To optimize your mobile site and app speed to suit the speed of your customers, you must follow these steps:

  1. Keep it simple: Having too many forms, additional or redundant steps, etc. makes your customer bored. Have a one step sign up form, i.e. via Facebook or Google. Also, enable click-to-call options, instead of displaying phone numbers. Similarly, all addresses must be linked to GPS to open via maps directly. This way, the users will be able to do what they want to do without any hindrances.
  2. Foresee users’ expectations: From predictions to drop down menus, from enabling auto-fill option to getting past browsing history, try everything that will speed up the process. You can also display products/services on the app based on their past search history.
  3. Combine the best UI with simple design: As much as an attention-seeking UI is important, it will be of no use, if it takes too long to load. Therefore, the app/mobile site must not only be designed to be user-friendly but must also be designed in a way that it loads quickly.

Almost 40% of users wait not more than 3 seconds for a site to load before leaving the site, if you do not optimize your site better, all your other efforts becomes futile.

4. Measuring your strategy

You have done your best by being there, being useful, and being quick. With mobile first approach, these efforts will definitely reap results. The results can either be customers or leads to prospective customers. However, on the longer run, measuring and reviewing your micro moments strategy is what helps you to refine and evolve with the evolving trends.

Digital Chai Pe Charcha – How To Use Instagram For Business

The fourth edition of the Digital Chai Pe Charcha was held at Karya Space on Saturday, May 28th 2016. The turnout for this event was fantastic with over 60 entrepreneurs, working professionals and social media influencers participating in the session. The topic for this session was all about Instagram and how it could be used to leverage business.

Instagram is a very powerful platform which when used correctly can help brands and business reach out to a niche and specific audience. The customers that brands acquire through Instagram can display strong loyalty towards the product or service.

Here’s the presentation that was discussed during the session

It was a very interactive session with the participants sharing their personal experiences with Instagram and asking plenty of questions. Here are few tweets shared by participants about the event.

EventTweet1

EventTweet2

Here’s a quick recap for those who attended the session and for those who could not make it yet would like to leverage Instagram for their business

  1. Instagram is a young and an emerging platform and great for Indian brands to get in early
  2. Instagram pictures showcase not just a good looking product or a service but a lifestyle
  3. High quality and organic pictures work very well on this platform and products need to be showcased with a story
  4. Text showcased on images in a creative and aesthetic way can work very well to promote content like blogs and articles
  5. Instagram does not allow clickable links on the content accompanying the image. Therefor the bio and the website link becomes extremely important to direct the potential customers to the website
  6. Instagram Ads are a great way to reach the relevant target audience. To run ads on Instagram, one needs to use the Facebook ad manager and link the brands Instagram page to the corresponding Facebook page. More details are mentioned in the presentation shared above.
  7. Instagram ads work especially well for mobile apps and websites that are mobile optimized
  8. It is important to keep track of your followers and unfollowers through apps like Crowdfire, social rank etc
  9. Hashtags are very important to help the right audience and can be broadly divided into three categories – Popular, Industry related and Brand specific
  10. There are many influencers on Instagram who specialize in a certain industry, eg. Food, beauty, Fashion, Parenting etc. To help reach the right demographic brands need to leverage and tie with these influencers.
  11. Using analytical tools available online, it is imperative to understand the progress of the page and even analyze the best performing hashtags
  12. Maintaining a steady flow of interesting posts and content is crucial since a long break may result in losing the traction generated over time

While these pointers can help you, like any other platform, Instagram is constantly changing and brands will have to adapt and implement these changes. In fact over the past couple of days, Instagram has rolled out a massive algorithm change due to which you will see posts based on your interests rather than chronological order. The reach due to hashtags will decrease and your followers will be more important than ever.

What has you experience with Instagram been so far? Do share your feedback in the comments!