HCL Relationship Beyond the Contract in partnership with LinkedIn

HCL has launched a digital campaign called ‘Relationship Beyond the Contract’ in partnership with LinkedIn, and is promoting the app with a digital video.

Concept: Every relationship – be it between family members, friends, colleagues or clients and vendors – operates based on an agreement, whether written or unwritten. When it comes to business, though, not every contact goes beyond the contract.

A contract can only convert to business advantage through a value centric relationship. Following this belief, the company has launched a digital campaign called ‘Relationship Beyond the Contract’ in partnership with LinkedIn, and is promoting the app with a digital video.


Top 5 Recommended Marketing Strategies for 2014

5 Critical Success Strategies for Companies in 2014

In the last 2 years, we have seen the emergence of new technologies, innovation across various management (operational) functions as well as new out of the box entrepreneurship thought approaches.  This year will not be driven by what corporate giants would show but by innovative thinking of new kids on the block.

Here is my quick retake on these success mantras, which eventually will be the vital components of most of the successful companies in 2014. The effective implementation of these best practices would not only require a detailed ROI driven planning and implementation till the last mile but would also be dependent on successfully driving marketing and brand strategies with excellence. 

  1. Highly Personalized & Customized Customer Experience & Customer Services by leveraging Big Data
  2. Content Marketing as part of overall Marketing Strategy
  3. A 360-degree integrated multi-channel distribution strategy
  4. Developing unique brand experiences by storytelling
  5. Integrate new age customer-friendly technologies

1. Highly Personalized & Customized Customer Experience & Customer Services by leveraging Big Data 

big dataBig data is going to play a vital role in how companies across the globe will take the next leap in customer engagement as well as in customer service.

The biggest challenge of effectively leveraging Big Data would be to use the plethora of information to match with real consumer insights, preferences and behavior to improve the experience of your customers. One interesting perspective would be to use this data in analyzing the consumer behavior and think of new outcomes which their consumers would adopt. It would further create a solid foundation of CRM to establish highly customized communication and eventually build a respectful relationship with customers.

2. Content Marketing as part of overall Marketing Strategy

content marketingContent marketing has emerged as the most critical piece of an inbound marketing strategy. If we analyze some of the trends that are discussed below, there are no second thoughts that we’re poised to see explosive growth in the way businesses ‘do’ marketing.

In the year 2014, ‘Content marketing’ will have distinct importance within organizations courtesy its significantly lower customer acquisition costs. Marketing strategies would be built around it with investments being made in documented content strategies and eventually in recruitment of dedicated content marketing managers.

Another important aspect to be considered is that “mobile will overtake desktop usage within the next 2 years”. This would lead to the next area of growth for content marketing. Interestingly, Google’s recent rollout of its new algorithm, “Hummingbird,” along with the complete revocation of keyword data from Google Analytics, reinforce this prediction.

Creating content that can be read ‘on the go’ will become increasingly important, which means mobile-friendly formatting, shorter and more actionable blog posts, and considering which devices your audience will be using to access your content.

This would drive in the emergence of a customized & personalized content marketing approaches e.g. GPS-enabled smartphones will increasingly utilize location and personal-preference information to provide content (offers, content, information) based on a user’s current location.

3. A 360-degree integrated multi-channel distribution strategy

integrated-marketingCompanies may allocate different weightages to different marketing channels but that have to realize that their prospective as well as existing customer is seeing, experiencing and engaging with their brand at every possible touch point. Be it offline or online or mobile, the success mantra of any marketing campaign lies in a closely integrated and implemented campaign that leverages all possible consumer touch points.

Companies need to make a seamless combination of off-and-online elements into one single multi-channel distribution strategy. They need to deliver direct brand-to-customer interaction with the help of innovative technology (e.g. touch screens, sensors, interactive cameras, Wi-Fi- and 4G-connectivity, LCD screens), by providing opportunities to experience products (see, feel, touch, smell, hear, taste) before and during the purchasing process, by providing easy-to-understand and stimulating product presentations and merchandising solutions, by offering expert staff, consultation facilities, samples, etc. Good examples are EMart, KFC, British Airways, IBM, Converse and Adidas.

4. Developing unique brand experiences by storytelling

Brand StorytellingThere is no denying the fact that unique brand experiences are vital to engage with consumers. It stimulates word of mouth publicity that generates a lot of user-generated content i.e. in one word “viral content”.

Unlike the direct transactional sales driven communication, companies will have to utilize interesting storytelling techniques. They will have to acknowledge the fact that their prospective customer is a human being first and thus they should talk in a human language. Interesting stories using videos, blogs, consumer experiences, brand stories, pictures, songs….all would be leveraged to build a direct communication with their customers.

This drastically reduces the investment in sales and business development efforts as your products, services and brand is literally being marketed and sold by none other then your prospective as well as existing customers who have become your credible and influential brand advocates.

Not to forget – One major strategic objective of this approach besides encouraging customers create an emotional connection with your brand, will be to drive them to action.

5. Integrate new age customer-friendly technologies

hot-new-social-technology-means-businessAs mentioned above, this is an era of integrated marketing communication. Today’s customer is one of the most advanced adopters of new age technologies and tools.

And with media publishing companies leaving no stone unturned in utilizing every possible platform for advertising, it has become imperative for the companies to ensure that not only channels but also technologies are well integrated too in their marketing campaigns.

  • Mobile technology (the main platform for more than 50% of all social interactions)
  • Augmented reality for real time virtual experience
  • Compatibility of web assets with all platforms using responsive designs
  • Location based customer/prospect mapping and personalized location based marketing
  • Streaming and On-Demand media
  • Cognitive Computing will further evolve and assist companies to understand and predict consumer behavior using artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms.

In a nutshell, marketing and branding in 2014 will require more than ever the integration of marketing into all business efforts and departments, including customer experience, design, sales, and product development by effectively leveraging new age customer friendly technologies.

Mobile Apps Trend: Flag, A Kickstarter Project promotes advertisers to offer free photo printing services

The concept of creating advertising marketplace on your website and offer free services e.g. Google, Facebook or any other top portals, are the thing of the Internet Marketing 1.0. In this new era of mobile apps, companies are creating (I term them as) utility mobile apps to offer free services to their users. And as their predecessors did, manage the operating costs by giving space for advertising.

One such interesting rendition is Flag Kickstarter Project. A new app called Flag, currently seeking Kickstarter funding, wants to do just that. Every month, users (in the US only to start) will be able to have a pack of 20 prints sent to them for free.

Of course, nothing is ever for free, not really; somehow, the paper, the printing, the shipping, all need to be paid for. Flag’s proposed funding model is twofold. Firstly, every print will have an advertisement printed on the reverse side, which is usually left blank or with the brand of the photo paper patterned on.

Flag Intro Video

This seems like an ingenious solution: when a photo is on display, the back can’t be seen, so your prints will be perfectly usable. Prints will be sent in the shape of the digital file you capture, too, so you are guaranteed to get the full image.

How to derive measurable ROI from Social Media?

Random metrics to measure Social ROI

A decade after the advent of social media, there is a lot of ambiguity on the actual effectiveness or rather in quantitative terms the ROI from social media spends. We come across several performance indicators yet there aren’t any integrated metrics components available that can measure all components and derive a realistic ROI number.

According to The CMO Survey (a recently-released survey of 410 CMOs by Christine Moorman from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a Forbes contributor), almost half (49%) said they aren’t able to quantify whether social media has made a difference for their companies, while 36% said they had a good sense of qualitative – though not quantitative – results. Only a meager 15% said they’ve seen a proven quantitative impact.

All these forecasts and insights point in one direction and that is -> “How effectively we have leveraged advertising platforms of social media channels?” Not surprisingly, in a Big Data-driven era, that lack of clarity is coming under increased scrutiny; 66% of respondents say their boards and CEOs are tightening pressure to measure ROI.

Let us explore how a holistic social media performance evaluation metrics should be created and what metrics should be analyzed for each of them:

There are two main objectives to calculate the ROI from social media that need to be considered:

  1. ROI from the perspective of social media tools i.e. likes, shares, engagement, reach etc.
  2. ROI from sociocommerce perspective i.e. how much traffic was driven to the website and how many of these converted into sale.

Let us start with the first objective of analyzing metrics to calculate ROI from social engagement.

1. To calculate content reach among total fan/followers base

People you can potentially interact with when you use social media are simply the maximum number of people you can reach through your social networks i.e.

  • Brand reach = Total number of fans and followers on different social media sites – 30-35% of the total followers.

(The absolute number would always be the total number of your brand followers across all your social channels, but to calculate the net reach; we should reduce 30-35% of the total count and not consider the common profiles that are following your brand on different social channels)

Every piece of content you share can also be shared by your fans and followers. When they do so, even more people see your content. This results in the following equation for content reach:

  • Content reach = Brand reach + ∑ (Shares) x (Reach of each sharer)

E.g. Let’s say you tweet a link of your press release to your 100 Twitter followers, and one of them finds it interesting enough to share with their network. They then re-tweet it to their 1,000 followers. This is how you would calculate both your brand reach and your content reach:

  • Brand reach = 100
  • Content reach = 100 + ∑ (1 Share) x (1,000 Twitter followers) = 1,100

2. To calculate content engagement and then brand engagement

Content engagement can be measured by social media shares (i.e., retweets, likes, shares, comments etc.). The level of your content engagement helps you understand if your content resonates with your audience. For example, did your audience feel connected with your content enough to share it with their networks?

  • Content engagement = (Shares + Comments) / Total number of posts OR Clicks/Content reach

This will help in analyzing the kind of content your followers base prefer reading and interacting with i.e. highest engagement.

On similar lines, we can also take into account what is being talked about your brand on the social space that is not published by you.

  • Brand engagement = Likes + Tweets + Comments + Mentions

As we all are aware, here the standard Online Reputation Management Analytics tools such as Radian6, Attentio, Brandeye etc. comes into play to analyze the health of these social mentions i.e. positive, negative or neutral.

3. To calculate the impact of your content strategy vis-à-vis acquisition of new fans & followers

You need to analyze and gain a clear insight on how your actions had an impact on the increase/acquisition of new fans and followers. You have to look at your social media efforts holistically and to tie them back to the goals you are looking to achieve. Let’s discuss this with an example:

Day 1: 100 Followers on Twitter -> 2 post on a new offer

Day 2: 102 Followers on Twitter -> 2 posts (1 on offer and other one with a TVC ad)




Day 10: 125 Followers on Twitter -> Asking for a product feedback

On similar lines, the impact of your content can also be evaluated as well as best performing content approach can be identified during a targeted campaign that is using paid promotions.

You can also come up with real insights by clubbing it with the analysis of the standard CTR, CPM, CPI, CPC etc. on best performing banners and ads through the advertising platforms of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Slideshare etc.

Now the role of the second objective comes into play i.e. “ROI from sociocommerce perspective i.e. how much traffic was driven to the website and how many of these converted into sale.”

=> Tie the performance metrics with sales to calculate ROI driven through SocioCommerce

For this, there are several parameters to be monitored and analyzed (Here Google adwords, webmaster and analytics kind of tools play an effective role):

  1.  From adwords platform: Clicks, Impressions, CTR, Avg. CPC, Conversion (through goals), Cost / conversion, Conversion rates (from visitor to buyers), Sale & Revenue per visit, Abandoned shopping carts etc.
  2. From Analytics/Webmaster: Audience demographics & psychographics, technology, channel/campaign  performance, traffic, keywords, visits and referrals from social channels,

For detailed metrics, please evaluate or take recommendations from your digital media agency to choose from tools by Google, Adobe Omniture, Compete, Crazy Egg, Optimizely etc.

Ref. Source: iContact

Recommended reading for more information:

Info graphic by MDG Advertising on “The ROI of Social Media”

Info graphic on “10 examples of social media ROI”

the_roi_of_social_media_mdg_advertising_infographic (1)10-examples-social-media-roi



eCommerce Case Study – E-Mart’s Flying Store

South Korean discount chain E-Mart deployed a fleet of ‘flying stores’ around Seoul as part of a retail promo aimed at the city’s time-pressed workers. Addressing the fact that South Koreans work the longest hours in the world, the retailer teamed up with marketing agency Cheil Worldwide to encourage consumers to shop from the E-Mart site while in transit. E-Mart’s truck-shaped balloons – branded with the company’s bright yellow signature colour palette – were each equipped with a wi-fi router that provided free internet access as they floated through shopping malls, trains and other public spaces. Shoppers could quickly connect to the wi-fi hotspots via their mobiles to download the E-Mart app and purchase items immediately from its mobile site.

PRUEBA RULODuring the month of the promotion, downloads of E-Mart’s app rose to 50,000 while its mobile sales more than doubled. The retailer also felt the benefits of this campaign offline, as coupons downloaded from the balloons drove a sales increase of 9.5% in its stores.

The high penetration of mobile devices (against PC ownership) in Korea means its population is especially well-primed for this mode of shopping. When Tesco tapped into this market with its 30 *digital pop-up ‘walls’ in Seoul’s subway and bus stops, the associated app amassed 1.1 million downloads over a two- to three-month period.

Check the case study video

Micromax’s MAd on A94 smartphone pays users to watch ads

With a simple 4 step process, Micromax’s advertising application MAd will allow users to watch advertisements and earn points from every advertisement they view, which can then be converted into rupees. The application will be supported across all GSM telecom operators and works for both prepaid and postpaid customers. With one time registration, the service will work for all opted-in subscribers, and the money will eventually be credited into their postpaid/pre-paid accounts.

Micromax MAd Smartphone“We aim to create a medium to interact, engage, entertain and connect with the consumers by lending them our ears to voice their areas of interest, preferences and incentivising it for them through reward. This service would provide an engagement communication channel for the brands to break away from the clutter. It will also prove to be significant for mobile eco-systems by solving the problem of average revenue per user (ARPU), and contributing to the overall profitability,” said Rahul Sharma, co-founder, Micromax.

The smartphone sports a 4.5 inch full touch screen and runs on the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system. It is powered by a 1.2 GHz quad core processor and has 512MB of RAM. MAd A94 has dual 5MP autofocus camera’s (one at the rear and one in the front) that can also record videos. On the connectivity front, it has Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi and the company has provided an 1,800 mAh battery, which it claims will provide up to 5 hours of talk time and 150 hours of stand by time.

Other than the MAd application, the smartphone also comes with M!Live portal to download unlimited games, videos, wallpapers and music; BBM and Hike for instant messaging; Spuul to watch free movies; Kingsoft Office to read, write and edit attachments on-the-go; and Opera Mini browser for net surfing.

Source: http://techcircle.vccircle.com