Tuesday, 9 December 2014

My Expectations From Digital Marketing Industry in 2015

Now that we are approaching a New Year, there is a sudden rise in number of blogs & articles on ‘changes marketers would see in digital media in 2015’ or ‘trends & predictions in Social Media for 2015’. Too much written about more budgets, more data, more innovations, apps, emerging social platforms and other stuff from the pundits of this medium.

Below are the ‘real’ changes, I as an experienced Digital Marketer would like to see in the year 2015 from the point of view of brands in India.

  • Worldwide we are experiencing exponential rise in data. It is actually a goldmine but requires deep digging. Only those brands which are able to harness the potential of their present data and turning it into information will rise in the field digital in 2015. Every organization must focus & invest in Business Intelligence units and churn the cream from the milk.

  • Data Mining
  • Analytics has to be center of all digital activities. For all those organizations which are not looking at their website or social or media campaign analytics and still investing in digital for the namesake are just making fool of themselves. This field is growing mahoosive (arggh, me making the use of the recent urban dictionary ‘more massive than massive’) and one has to learn to separate wolves from the sheep in this industry. Info-graphics are boon to brands after they evaluate their analytics and measure it according to various metrics.

    Analytics is the key of Digital Marketing
  • Integration of activities like SEO (Search Engine Optimizing) + SEM (Search Engine Marketing) + SMM (Social Media Marketing) will prove to be differentiating strategy for brands. All the three should have similar content & keywords to cross sell each other be it your website or social media or paid reach. Till date we were just talking about online offline integration, but now we also see some brands saying ‘we are on Facebook, Twitter and thus we are doing digital’ which is so not complete. It is essential to make full use of all three buckets – Earned, Owned and Paid Media. They are no more separate & brands must tactically use them together.

    SEO, SEM, SMM Integration
  • Integration of content creation & its delivery – We saw many brands creating wonderful campaigns & innovations in India targeting their specific audience (rare scenario because most of the brand campaigns are directly adapted from west). However these campaigns were thinly spread across social mediums because of the low budgets to market them. In the era where we have the local barbers & multiple fake accounts present on Facebook , brands cannot just depend on organic reach. It has become extremely difficult and more over even FB is pushing paid marketing. Therefore it is very important for brands to allocate sufficient budgets not for campaign creation but its marketing too.

    Brand Influencer
  • Every organization must listen to its online audience. Identifying promoters & critics and then forming a strategy to leverage the ones who can talk positively about the brands and also slowly converting the negatives towards neutral. This activity should be consistently followed to create online ambassadors & brand influencers.

To sum up, I would love to see amplification of digital media through following:

Effective Implementation of Digital Marketing


Friday, 19 September 2014

Amzaing New Ad from NESCAFÉ | #ItAllStarts

This Ad from #Nescafe is breaking the barriers of creativity, thinking out of the box, clutter free and most important touches the note of every person watching it. And themed it perfectly - #ItAllStarts

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Ticket Booking Experience on GOIBIBO.COM

Status on 18th Sept 2014: Issue Resolved by GOIBIBO.COM
Thanks to Social Media, the post received 400 views in less than 24 hours and my friends shared across Facebook and Twitter. I believe the crisis management and the customer care team of GoIbibo (Ms. Anjali, Head - Customer Delight and Ms. Aditi, Team Lead - Customer Delight) saw this spreading, responded at night itself, then called up politely in the morning. By afternoon, the issue was resolved and they have agreed to refund the money. I can only say - my beautiful friends, power of Social Media and a common people like us who dared fighting beyond made it possible.

Status as on 17th Sept 2014: Never Book Your Tickets Through GOIBIBO.COM
GOIBIBO is an extremely FRAUDULENT and CHEAT portal. Please beware before you book your tickets on this site. I am duped of Rs. 10,000. And you might be the next one so please read this incidence before you plan your itinerary with them.

Flight bookings for 1st wk of Oct from GOIBIBO 

We planned a trip to South Africa during first week of OCTOBER’14. While booking they were not accepting my Citibank card and the message was “transaction declined by the bank”. Upon calling the bank they said we have no records of the transaction being declined from this site and your card. 

SMS confirmation of failed payment
So why this ERROR message on their site. We tried 3-4 times but no success. Their ERROR message was also fake??

Error in Booking mail from GOIBIBO

After unsuccessful booking for the hotel in Cape Town South Africa  for the date selected as 4th Oct 2014, we got a message ‘UNABLE TO PROCESS THE BOOKING, DO YOU WANT TO TRY AGAIN?’ We pressed YES to continue. GUESS what, the transaction went through. BUT the systems automatically took the DEFAULT DATE  as 19th Sept. I SELECTED 4th OCT 2014, HOW THE HELL IT BECAME 19th Sept?? ISSUE in their WEBSITE that it takes default dates when you try to continue after unsuccessful TRANSACTION.

Wrong Hotel Bookings

We called them for this error within TWO MINUTES and they told us it is NON CANCEL-ABLE (IT WAS CLEARLY a CANCEL-ABLE BOOKING). We said ok, no issues, shift the dates to 4th Oct 2014 and we will do it WITHIN 24 HRS.

Mail Confirmation from GoIBIBO

It has been more than 3 days today and everyday there is mail or a message of negative response saying we cannot do it. NO REASON. Till date the rooms in that hotel is available at THE SAME PRICE but they are saying NO WE CANNOT DO THIS CHANGE and WE CANNOT even RETURN YOUR MONEY.

Our Mail to GoIBIBO

My question is simple to GOIBIBO - SHOULD I PAY for the FAULT in YOUR WEBSITE? IS there NO CUSTOMER CARE POLICY? Do you check their Facebook page; it is filled with such posts of FRAUD BOOKINGS. Did you CHECK that I CALLED within 2 MINUTES and email was sent within 10 MINUTES of the incidence.

By the way I was in touch with Mr. HARIT SAPRA as customer care person. I also got in touch with Mr. Ankur Srivastava, who apparently is Sr.Manager Operations, CRM, Fulfillment, Vendor management for Hotel, Holidays and FPH (As per his LinkedIn profile). But only one impression I got from these two men which is same as the organization–IRRESPONSIBLE, NON CARING and NO RESPONSE to multiple queries.
SMS to Ankur Srivastava

Last Mail from GOIBIBO

LAST MAIL I got said, we checked our system it works fine, so we will not be in a position to do anything for you. Does GOIBIBO even realize that I am booking entire International trip and would not lie for such issue?

BUT the ANSWER they want to hear is – THEY do NOT WANT customer doing transactions on their WEBSITE. They do not want business and that is why they offer such harassing and painful CUSTOMER SERVICE. #PATHETIC

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Honest Feedback on Zomato

My love for food drove me to write this blog after so many months. This feedback for Zomato is pure, honest and not at all biased because I am a person who lives to eat, travel, explore new cuisines, restaurants and everything that life offers.

So, here goes a list of all things that are fantastic about this site:
  • Zomato, no doubt is one of the most sought after name when you have to search about the restaurants, cuisines, prices, menu and reviews. It has an automatic brand recall that the person searching on the website or the mobile app does not go anywhere else except this site when it comes to food.
  • Even when a person searches the name of the restaurant/pub/bakery/cafe, many times the first link on the Google.com is of the Zomato (of-course, the link goes directly to your search query). This means that they allow themselves to be on top of the brand's own website.
  • It offers something for everyone - They have organized their website and app so beautifully that it reminds me of the quote by Steve Jobs on Design - 'Design is not just what it looks like and feels like, Design is how it works'. They have so many clearly classified categories to chose:  
Easy navigation, beautiful designs
  • Their creatives are beyond awesome. There is a team of clever minds working on amazing food pictures and innovative copy writing, be it on the website or on Facebook or the famous campaign #FoodPorn on Instagram
  • They are the most updated and when I write this, I actually mean that every new joint is on their site. It is just a search away. And they have most user generated reviews too.
Now coming up to the stuff that I do not like about this site or it can be taken as feedback for improvements:

    Search on Zomato Home Page
  • The home page 'search options' does not hold a 'wow' factor. Why is Chinese there in the list but not other cuisines like Italian/ Mexican etc. It should be consolidated list of all your beautiful categories you have listed on the second scroll of your home  
    Categories on Zomato's site
  • The first scroll's footer makes it appear that it is the end of the site. And then you look at the scroll bar to see that the best part of the site is actually in the second scroll.
Zomato - Home Page
  • There should be a section of 'whats new', which should take the user to the page of all the new places in his area
  • The images of the menu of individual restaurant appears very distorted or sometimes not readable on the mobile unless one zoom them. 
  • Introduction to badges/loyalty points to reviewers etc. can be made to attract more reviews like TripAdvisor.
While I hope that these must be the common feedback from all the users of Zomato website/app, I would certainly look forward to visiting the site more and more with pepped-up features. Hope the readers of blog do it too :)

Monday, 25 August 2014

Facebook's New Algorithm - Aug' 2014

What #Strategy must the brands now follow so that they are liked, followed and shared by fans?

New Facebook Algorithm Changes

  1. Facebook will now prioritize link posts over photo updates that have URLs in the captions
  2. Facebook will be devaluing click-bait headlines i.e. encouraging people to click will not be entertained by Fb.
So you as a Social Media Account Manager know what to do next with your posts UNTIL the next update comes from Facebook (they update there algorithms very quickly)


Wednesday, 19 February 2014