Category Archives: Digital Marketing

Star Plus Nayi Soch

#NayiSoch Star Plus Campaign

One TVC that struck my mind and emotions while watching the first ODI between India and New Zealand, was the #NayiSoch TVC by Star Plus. The obvious reasons were – 1) It featured M.S.Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, 2) It had a very emotional message that an individual derives identity as much from one’s mother, as much from one’s father, 3) Simple campaign hashtag to remember – #NayiSoch. A quick search on Google led me to this article on Business Standard that detailed out the reason behind this campaign by Star Plus. The timing of campaign is absolutely bang on with the India vs New Zealand cricket series. And not to ignore the agenda of the campaign, which emphasizes that ‘women are today opening up endless possibilities for themselves and for generations to follow’. 

Digital Campaign of #NayiSoch

If I keep aside my digital marketer hat and empathize with a TV viewer who just encountered the TVC, I believe 9/10 viewers would first search Google with search terms related to ‘#NayiSoch’. I did the same, as I myself wasn’t aware about the purpose behind this campaign. The Google Search Trends also, prove the same.

Star Plus Nayi Soch Campaign #NayiSoch

Google Trends

Surprisingly, Star Plus wasn’t running any Google SEM campaign on such a high potential campaign. However, there were couple of news articles that covered this campaign. Then, I moved to Twitter (my ideal destination for research!) to find out what was going on. Well, this time I wasn’t surprised to see a Promoted Trend (paid Twitter trend) on campaign hashtag – #NayiSoch by Star Plus, leading to the campaign video.

While I proceeded to YouTube to search for other videos of the campaign, noticed the YouTube masthead. So, Star Plus backed their TVC with two high impact properties, one each on Twitter and YouTube.

Star Plus Nayi Soch Campaign

YouTube Masthead

Twitter Campaign – #NayiSoch

I was super impressed with the campaign concept and branded content. As I tweeted about it, I instantly received the reply from Star Plus. We have many a times seen such automated reply featured adopted by brands in the past.

The major Twitter integration comes into picture once the user clicks on the above link in the reply tweet from Star Plus. The first click on the tweet, diverts to the campaign landing page that explains the details about the future steps.

Star Plus Nayi Soch

So, it asks for user’s mother name, which will be featured in the customized Profile Picture. The user’s cover image would be changed to the one featured here. Also, the user can choose a jersey number. The next step is of Twitter authentication, post which user’s Profile Image and Cover Image gets changed.

If you would like to try it, you may do it here. Now, did I like the Twitter campaign?

My thoughts on #NayiSoch Campaign

The combo of Twitter Promoted Trend, a branded video and an innovation by leveraging Twitter API was all brilliant on face of it. However, I am not sure if users would end up flaunting mother’s name on the Profile Image and Profile Name. Twitter is a semi-professional platform for many professionals and a change in Profile Name would be considered as a potential risk in losing one’s identity (or being found when people search by their regular name). The campaign concept is well appreciated, however our identities won’t change overnight with such campaigns. Hence, even I revoke access to the #NayiSoch Twitter application and corrected my name from ‘Anandan Vasanthi’ to ‘Anandan Pillai’.

My digital identity or otherwise that is established as ‘Anandan Pillai’ for last 34 years can’t be changed with couple of clicks! I wouldn’t have thought twice using the same on Facebook, but Twitter at least to me is a professional platform, where I see a huge risk in such change of identity even for a short duration. Even if some people in the heat of emotional moment stick to their changed Profile Name and Profile image, it needs to be seen to what extent it lasts. For me it lasted not more than 5 minutes!

But, if you ask me did the campaign do well in garnering word of mouth, I bet, it did to a great extent. And the below metrics speak for themselves. Also, here is another campaign that establishes the fact that this generation is active on mobile, while they are watching TV! What are your thoughts on the campaign?

Nayi Soch Star Plus campaign

Keyhole Stats

However, few other ways in which Star Sports could have made this campaign come alive are the ones discussed in below tweets 🙂

Key learning from Social Selling book – “You Are The Key”

‘Social Selling’ has been widely quoted in blogposts and industry reports as an emerging sales methodology in the era of social media. It has learnt to be contributed to an organization (especially B2B organizations) substantially. Recently, I had the privilege of receiving a signed copy of ‘You Are The Key’, a book focused on social selling authored by Apurva Chamaria and Gaurav Kakkar (my seniors at HCL Technologies). I found this book genuinely informative. I hereby share some of the key learning I had after reading this book.

What is Social Selling?

Before we look at the learning from the book, lets first understand the term. In the authors’ words – Social Selling is a systematic process that requires the seller to ‘reach’ out to their potential customers on social networks and spend time with them. It means to ‘discover’ and understand the customer better than the competition. This proceeds to ‘engagement’ whereby, applying the expertise from across the organisation, one is meaningfully, adding value to the customer. Finally, to ‘act’ by focusing on the opportunities that create the most profit’. 

Social Selling book

Let’ now go through some of my key learning:

1) Evolution of Sales Methodologies: The first chapter of the book introduces readers to how sales methodologies have evolved over the period of time. The chapter is very detailed with coverage from earliest sales methodologies like ‘barter’ to the latest methodology of ‘social selling’. The chapter covers details about ‘Product Selling’, ‘Persuasive Selling’, ‘Solution Selling’, ‘Value Selling’ etc. It is an informative read for any young professional who has plunged into the sales role. the detailed timeline of various sales methodologies sets a good foundation for readers to understand how sales process has changed with not only the time but also with the change in business ecosystem and technology intervention.

2) Social Selling is different from Social Media Marketing: Many still confuse or use ‘sales’ and ‘marketing’ interchangeably. In the context of social media, there is high probability for this confusion to prevail. Hence, it seems authors have been mindful and dedicated couple of pages in the first chapter to clarify the difference between ‘social selling’ and ‘social media marketing’. Quoting verbatim from the book, the differences to be:

a) Social selling is focused on sales professionals, rather than marketing professionals

b) Social selling aims to cultivate one-on-one relationships, rather than broadcast one-to-many messages

c) In traditional business terms, social media marketing efforts supplement the sales process in any organisation. When it comes to social selling, sales and marketing do not work in complimentary terms, but converge in their exercise to generate more awareness, engage with potential customer and convert them to possible leads. 

3) Six Steps of Social Selling Process: It always helps when there is a list of activities for people to understand how far have they progressed in the journey. The book clearly lists the six steps of social selling as – i) Understanding the social platforms and creating your persona, ii) Publishing content to suit your persona, iii) Identifying prospects, iv) Listening, v) Approaching prospects and customers, vi) Engaging prospects and nurturing relationships. Each of this point has been covered in detailed in each chapter of the book.

4) Importance of Personal Brand: Authors highlight that its imperative for sales professionals or for that matter any professional to build their own personal brand. Businesses don’t have between two organizations but because of the trust and respect one professional has for the counterpart. Creating a compelling social media persona, having appropriate social media etiquettes and behaving in a responsible manner on social media channels are basic requisites for a sales professional. Hence, it becomes inevitable for sales professionals to build a strong personal brand on social media channels. According to authors sellers on social media channels could be a The Storyteller or The Confidante or Advisor, depending on the tactics they employ to engage with prospects. The third chapter of the book details out all basic steps that one should consider to build a strong personal brand on key platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus.

5) Content Curation, Creation and Publishing is key to Social Selling: Given the fact that sales professionals are always on the go and mostly will find paucity of time, it becomes crucial for them to understand the content curation, creation and publishing tactics. Quality of content shared on one’s social media channel is what projects the personal brand. So, sales professionals should follow an effective content strategy aligned to their sales funnel, listen and respond to all conversations that come their way and more importantly should also measure effectiveness of content they share. Chapter 4 of the book talks about do’s and don’ts about content curation/creation/publishing, lists down few tools to curate content (SmartBrief, Hootsuite, Buffer, Alltop etc.) and also lists down few tips to publish content. These tips would help any sales professional for publishing content on any social media channel.

6) Engaging Prospects is crucial for Social Selling success: As it happens in an offline conversation / negotiation, it is imperative for sales professionals to be vocal and engaging on social media channels to arrive at successful end. Facebook lists, Twitter lists, LinkedIn Groups are some of the simple tricks of listening the prospects and engaging with them on regular basis. The conversations should happen on a regular basis. Chapter 7 of the book talks about all tips and details about having an engaging conversation on key social media channels.

7) Enterprise Social Selling Framework is needed for large organizations: This was the fantastic takeaway for me from the book. The framework suggested by authors is very detailed and will be helpful for any large organization who wish to roll out the Social Selling program. The framework consists highlights three key phases of this program – Pre-Launch, Execution and Post-Launch. The key aspect of framework is to have detailed governance mechanisms and adequate change management tactics to be taken care of across all stages of the program. The framework helps one understand the key responsibilities of marketing department, vendors, sales team, sales support etc. The program can’t be successful without the valuable contribution of all stakeholders.

I am sure this book would be of great help for beginners in Social Selling. Go grab your copy now!

Christmas Social Media Campaign by AirAsia airlines!

Let’s look at this interesting Christmas social media campaign by of AirAsia. Most of us would have come across the remarkable Christmas campaign by WestJet in 2013 when they surprised their flyers with gifts at the baggage collection belt. Check out this video for reference, before you read on to know what AirAsia did in Bangalore on this Christmas Day. I and many of you would have wondered if any Indian brand could attempt to do this!

AirAsia surprised its flyers with gifts at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport on the occasion of Christmas.

Soon the flyers started tweeting about this surprise..

Check out this album on AirAsia’s Facebook page which added to the coverage of this campaign.

Now, let’s analyze and learn what more AirAsia could have done to garner more eyeballs. After having invested enormous resources (read effort, time and money) in executing this first-of-its-kind campaign on Indian soil,  AirAsia could have leveraged social media and PR on a wider scale to popularize its efforts. Even after being so active on social media platforms, I accidentally landed upon this initiative only today (three days post the campaign!). No, I am not saying AirAsia could have invited few ‘influencers’ at Bengaluru KIA and splashed on social media about this campaign. I am sure their agency would have suggested this for sure ;).

Here are my views on AirAsia’s Christmas Social Media Campaign:

  1. Engage Audience: Even though it was meant to be a surprise, it would have been worth to engage with audience before the flight. May be few probing questions could have been asked to the flyers before they boarded flight about the surprise that awaits them on their arrival at destination. Also, once audience received the gifts at the baggage collection belt, those moments could have been captured for a nice post-campaign video. Few of the reactions could have been instantly captured through Vine and shared via Twitter. Live streaming of those moments could have been attempted via Periscope / Meerkat from AirAsia Twitter handle. My basic point is to capture emotions for video content. Videos speak the best!
  2. Campaign Hashtag: AirAsia could have announced a hashtag for this campaign and printed them on the name tags they posted on each gift. It could have been a subtle way for AirAsia to induce gift receivers to tweet / post around that hashtag. Today’s Twitter/Facebook/Instagram generation is very well aware of why and how hashtags are to be used. This could have helped AirAsia generate enormous UGC.
  3. Involve (Tease) Competitors: AirAsia could have tossed a googly at their competitors through social media. Ofcourse it could have been risky but that’s how you get mileage of traditional media when such events ‘get noticed’.
  4. PR coverage: It wouldn’t have been a bad idea at all for AirAsia to have involved their PR houses effectively to get this news covered on traditional media. Did you notice or hear about this initiative anywhere on media for last three days??? At least I didn’t. Let’s take all learning from how e-commerce players in this country involve traditional media for PR (apart from their paid full-page ads). Its imperative for a brand to leverage PR on such important and once-in-a-time opportunities.

Now some food for thought, for digital marketers reading this blogpost. Should a brand copy a campaign? Yes / No / Maybe? I once heard in a digital marketing conference where a speaker said ‘By the time you decide upon an innovative idea, someone else would have already implemented it at some corner of this world’. I go by this view. I don’t say you can’t be totally innovative, but there is no harm in replicating (or copying) a tried and tested idea and localize it to your target audience. However, a brand should always try to customize the idea for its target audience and build upon the idea. Something more can be always attempted and that’s where the creativity comes into picture.

As I said in the beginning when I first came across WestJet campaign, I always felt if any Indian brand could attempt to do it and here we are fast forward to 2015, where AirAsia attempts it. Kudos to the team, but there is always a scope for improvement 🙂

If you had come across any other interesting Christmas social media case study, please do share in the comments section.

Happy Holidays folks!

Content Marketing Strategy by The Economist around New Year!

It’s that time of the year when we all would like to look back. We all would wait for TV channels to air top 10 world news, top 10 sports news etc. Here is an example of how a publishing brand has provided an interactive experience of looking back on their website with the help of interesting content marketing strategy. It’s none other than The Economist. Beginning 1st December, they share one important news per day that was published earlier in the year. Some digital marketers may tag it as a ‘repeat visit tactic’, some may call it as a ‘content marketing initiative’, overall the thought and execution both deserves an applause.

Thought: Shortlist best content rich informative articles (that consist of maps, charts, data visualizations and interactive features) published throughout the year, share it with target audience and bring them back to the website, which is an excellent content marketing strategy.

Execution: Unlike a blogpost with a list of top news items, an element of interactiveness has been very well leveraged. A layer of suspense and hence curiosity has been infused into the effort, which is very good from engagement perspective. A specific page has been created and titled as The 2015 Daily Chart Advent Calendar, which hosts a calendar.

Content Marketing Strategy

Each date’s window is locked and will reveal the content only on that day. So as of 5th December, only five windows (From 1st -5th Dec) have been enabled. When you click on other days, it shows the locked sign.

The Economist promises a new graphic that’s hidden behind the Number 25 window, which will be revealed only on the eve of the Christmas.

The Economist has been doing this exercise year-on-year and you can check their earlier year’s calendars too.

The Economist previous calendars

The major learning from this content marketing strategy campaign are:

  1. No fresh content required for the Christmas campaign
  2. Great thought to re-use existing content
  3. Intelligent way to bring back traffic to the website
  4. Surprise element ensures visitors will revisit website regularly for these 25 days
  5. From engagement perspective it’s a great strategy

This article was originally posted on Digital Defynd.