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Marketing Masala in the Digital Age

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  • Filed under: Web
  • Delhi can stop waiting for its buses now..

    Here’s the latest from our deal ol’ Delhi Transport Corporation, or more correctly, the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System Ltd.:

    After going the digital way with on-board GPS, the DIMTS fellows have now gone a step further by creating an Online Bus Information System that will help Delhi citizens plan their bus journeys, effectively cutting the wait-time at bus-stops to a minimal.

    Citizens can now track buses on Delhi roads in real time though DIMTS’ “Online Bus Information System”. Both AC and Non-AC buses plying on selected BRT routes and all the AC buses on different routes in Delhi can be tracked using this system. Rest assured, it won’t be long before the system is extended to ALL the routes & buses!

    ETA Display Click here to View the Estimated Time of Arrival of Buses on the Bus Stops

    virtualdisplaymap Click here to View Route-wise Expected Time of Arrival of Buses on Delhi Map (Google Map Integration!)

    OneView Click here to View the location of Buses on GIS Map of Delhi (Roll-over mouse on each stop. Green pointers are buses (incl registration numbers for ID)

    This is awesome stuff..and an example for others!

    More info can be found on the DIMTS website!

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  • Mumbai Terror and the role of new media

    Mumbai suffered one of its worst terror nightmares these last 3 days when armed terrorists took over strategic spots in Mumbai, leading to a bloodshed yet unparalleled in its gruesomeness.

    While the terror attacks received worldwide media coverage, it was no less covered extensively by citizen journalists and common people who used a host of digital mediums to add to the story. Internet, and new media tools, came on the forefront as reliable tools to track the terror drama.

    wiki_mumbaiA wikipedia page was constantly updated by vigilant users, providing a single point of reference.

    Many twitter feeds contributed to real-time reporting & status update, which were utilzed heavily by the administration, media as well as citizens to get regular updates as well as channelize real-time help.

    image

    Twitter feed for Mumbai

    Twitter-fed list of useful local numbers

    Post the attacks, these feeds have become the buzz-ground for discussions, opinions and to plan next steps to solve the problem at its roots.

    image A google maps page also became a ready reference guide, especially for people outside India to get a real-life perspective of where and how things were happening.

    image Vinu’s photostream was picked up by Fox News & CNN as well as multiple channels to provide real-time updates on all that was happening.

    image Over 2000 videos have flooded youtube post the attacks.

    image The MumbaiHelp blog has updated lists of all relevant helpline numbers as well.

    Launched: India’s own Laptop Community

    Through the years, Indian consumers have gotten used to the fact that if they want to find out more about laptops, they only have two options:

    1. Read international reviews & opinions, a lot of which may not be applicable to India

    2. Tread the dusty Nehru Place (New Delhi) or equivalent lanes in the city and dodge the dodgy hardware shops and hope to get a good deal

    Both are impractical and unfriendly options, and more often than not, the only savior is the IT department admin at your place of work or Word-of-Mouth via friends. The only problem is that these routes can only yield limited info and hence, limited results.

    Thankfully, India now has its own laptop review site – with Indian content, products that are available in India, best laptop deals and more.

    image

    http://laptopcommunity.com/ is a community review site designed purely for Indian audiences and their needs. Still in its infancy, and hence beta (!), the site already has 100s of laptop models reviewed including the latest hp laptop, Dell, Apple & Acers of the world..and a list of models rated prominently basis their popularity with users. There is also an integrated discussion board (PhPBB based forum), product videos, Q&A, latest India-specific news & new launch info and some well written & regularly updated articles relevant to the site’s content.

    Users who consider themselves laptop experts can join the community as experts to guide others. I am joining for sure…think I have had enough of providing gyaan to all & sundry, and it wont hurt to spread my wings a bit! Brands can look at the site as a niche opportunity to advertise their products to a bang-on TG…makes sense.

    Try it out..and do leave a comment here about how you find the experience!

    Next Up:BarcampDelhi5!

    BarCampDelhi5

    BarCampDelhi5

    BarCamp is an international network of user generated conferences — open, participatory workshop-events, whose content is provided by participants — often focusing on early-stage web applications, and related open source technologies, social protocols, and open data formats.

    BarCamp Delhi is proposed to be a camp where enthusiasts get together and discuss/ brain-storm/ share opinions/ information/ wisdom about anything. Be it Web Technologies, technology related trends, Mobiles, Hacking, Blogging, Vlogs, Social Media etc. that interests the people.

    When?

    11-12th October – Barcamp Delhi 5 has tentatively been decided to hold on these dates.

    Where?
    How to register & Volunteer?

    * Click on BCD5Campers to register yourself.

    * Barcamp is your event. Help this event by Volunteering in some or the other tasks: BCD5Volunteers

    Proposed Talks/ Sessions

    See the list of sessions planned and/or add your talks: BCD5Sessions
    IIT Delhi

    On the History of Barcamp, please read here.

    Smells like lunch!

    Check out this KFC Press Release about a really innovative marketing campaign!

    In a marketing first, KFC is highlighting the launch of its $2.99 Deals by placing the mouth-watering aroma of Kentucky Fried Chicken in the halls and offices of corporate America.

    Forget television integrations or corporate naming rights, Kentucky Fried Chicken’s first-ever “scent-focused” pilot program teamed KFC with corporate mail rooms nationwide. Along with carrying inter-office mail, overnight packages and bills, mail carts in Washington, D.C., Chicago and Dallas delivered the aroma of freshly prepared Kentucky Fried Chicken during pre-lunch mail drops.

    Through the pilot program, KFC worked with an online company, a business-to-business consulting firm and a non-profit, to include a $2.99 Deal – a plated meal including KFC’s world famous chicken, a side item and a biscuit – on the actual mail carts that pass the offices of hungry workers.

    “There is truly no better brand ambassador worldwide than the signature aroma of freshly prepared Kentucky Fried Chicken,” said James O’Reilly, chief marketing officer for KFC. “And we couldn’t think of a better way to showcase the value of our new $2.99 Deal than to inject the mouth-watering scent of Kentucky Fried Chicken into the corridors of corporate America.”

    To bring the sweet-smelling promotion to life, KFC collaborated with Chemistry.com in Dallas; the Trade Association & Society Consultants of Washington, D.C.; and the Chicago offices of the Salvation Army.

     

    More Smelladvertising:

     

    image

    VIA (the washing powder) ran a poster campaign in Stockholm and Malmö which..er..actually smells!

    Push the little spout at the bottom of the poster and you’ll sniff a sample on how the washing powder smells. Or how clean clothes smell after being washed with Via.

    HOT!

    So, smell some fried chicken, and if it gets too much, there is always the refreshing detergent smell to wash it off! Anyone for coffee beans?

    More examples? Look at how newspapers are using smelladvertising to regain lost commercial revenues…here

    The IE8 concerns around the Chrome fever…

    In the midst of the Chrome Launch, Adage has this interesting viewpoint on Internet advertising and the implications that new browsers bring on to the table…

    Latest Microsoft Browser Fuels Fear

    IE8 Gives Web Surfers More Power to Block Ads and Cookies

    By Beth Snyder Bulik
    Published: August 28, 2008

    YORK, Pa. (AdAge.com) — Microsoft’s newest bro

    wser is still only in beta, but it already has the advertising world in a tizzy. Its “InPrivate” set of features on Internet Explorer 8 out this week has publishers, marketers and industry advocates worried that it could block their ability to distribute, track and even monetize what the Interactive Advertising Bureau values as a $21.2 billion-plus internet-ad industry.
    But Microsoft Internet Explorer general manager Dean Hachamovitch advises to remain calm. “The point isn’t to block content or ads. The point is to put users in control of what they’re sharing,” he said, adding he has read and heard many misconceptions about what InPrivate can and cannot do.
    Stealth surfing
    For instance, the InPrivate Browsing feature — already slang-termed “porn mode” — only allows a user to hide single browsing session activities from “over the shoulder” viewers such as family members. It does not block ads from being served to the user or from advertisers counting views or clicks.
    It works, and got its nickname, by letting users surf porn sites (or any other content, for that matter) without caching any content such as a list of URLs visited, cookies or other data. That could mean no cookies on your computer — as well as no cookies for future use by marketers or publishers, although only during selected InPrivate sessions.
    However, it is the InPrivate Blocking feature that seems potentially more worrisome for advertisers. InPrivate Blocking acts to inform users about sites that consistently track and collect browsing histories. In fact, when a user opts into an InPrivate session, it will automatically block third-party content if it detects that the third party has “seen” the user more than 10 times. So, for instance, if the third party is advertising.com and it is serving ads across 10 sites a user has visited during an InPrivate session, it will begin to block advertising.com tracking codes and possibly content on the 11th website.
    Cause for concern
    Mike Zaneis, VP-public policy for the Internet Advertising Bureau, said while he is encouraged that InPrivate is never a default option on Internet Explorer — meaning that users have to manually opt in each time — he still has concerns.
    “With IE’s market share, will so many people activate that so that it could affect the revenue side of the industry?” he asked. “Any content from anywhere that appears as third parties, whether advertising or stock tickers or news feeds, all appear as third parties, and in theory their content could be blocked.
    “And if you’re blocking all third parties, you’re also going to block all analytic companies,” he said. “You’d be blocking the companies that do the auditing of ad delivery.” He’s particularly concerned about the potential disruption to the entire accounting system of internet advertising.
    Mr. Hachamovitch concedes that IE 8 has no way of knowing if the content is an ad, a stock tracker or a newspaper column. It can only tell if it is third-party content. So that does mean that any content, say, ads, analytics and more, can be blocked. However, he repeated that the user must select InPrivate every time. And users can create “allow” and “block” lists, so-called whitelists and blacklists, to always allow content from trusted sources. Consumers can also subscribe to lists of acceptable content created by others.
    Microsoft itself has tips for publishers and advertisers on how to get third-party content and ads seen. Publishers, for instance, can serve the ads directly from their site (making them first-party content) or they can make third-party content look like first-party content, he said.
    Letting consumers decide
    Ultimately, the point of InPrivate is not to block anything, but instead to give consumers control of the online information they chose to share, or not, Mr. Hachamovitch said. “In a world of well-informed consumers who expect choice, we all need to be thoughtful about how we conduct business,” he said. “To me, this really starts the conversation. IE8 Beta 2 starts us thinking about the expectations people should have about what they share and how.”
    Of course, Microsoft is hardly anti-advertising, and in fact, depends on ad-servicing revenue from its own sites like MSN. In May 2007 it purchased for $5.9 billion aQuantive’s three businesses — Atlas, DrivePM and Avenue A — as a means to build out a massive ad platform, and it had pursued Yahoo in a bid to gain more display-ad leverage. Microsoft, moreover, is a longstanding member of the IAB.
    “From the Microsoft perspective,” said a spokeswoman, “we’re right there with the rest of the crowd in that we think there is a lot of benefit in targeted ads. We just believe consumers have the right to know it’s happening and to opt in.”
    JupiterResearch analyst Emily Riley said the industry upheaval may be moot soon enough anyway, as ad targeting has come under serious scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission. She said she believes the many different industry factions will come up with — by force or free will — guidelines and standards that are acceptable to consumers and regulators.
    “In the short term, though, I can understand how it could be scary for advertisers, because ad targeting is so valuable,” she said.

    Intel today launched its ambitious “Connected Indians” movement at The Taj Palace, New Delhi.

    connected indians

    Check out www.connectedindians.com!

    The Connected Indians movement aims to be the catalyst for delivering the power of the Internet into the hands of a billion Indians. Intel states that its success will hinge on spirited public and private participation.

    Over the next few months, Intel will mobilize people, resources & infrastructure to facilitate Internet adoption across India.

    Over time, this collaboration will help build partnerships between people, Industries and stakeholders via a complete and connected ecosystem to accelerate the growth of Internet and its benefits to the society.

    The Connected Indian web site is an innovation in itself wherein users can click on an interactive map to locate their co-ordinates, and then post their voice for an Internet-enabled India. Not only that, they can utilize the in-built feature to invite more of their friends and peers from their web contact lists to add in more numbers.

    There is also an India Speaks section that highlights different areas where Internet is making a huge difference in the way people, processes, industries & services in India are progressing with the power of the Internet.

    Intel is following up this movement on-ground with specially-designed “Net Yatras” wherein it will showcase Internet’s benefits to Indians using interactive tools & techniques.

    This is one movement that has been designed with a specific cause in mind and Intel promises that for every 10,000 Connected Indians who register, the movement will donate a PC to selected government schools in rural areas.

    Now that’s what we call a spirited initiative!

    Know more about the movement here.

    Join the movement here.

    Join the Connected Indians Orkut Community here.

    Intel’s partners in this venture include google, HCL, Zenith, Edurite, MAIT, BSNL, Reliance Communications, Tata Indicom, Acer, Intex, Novatium, Wipro, Asus, CII, e-zone, lenovo, NIIT, Tata Communications, Croma, NASSCOM etc.

    It will be interesting to see the kind of products & services Intel will introduce to take this step further & forward. Here’s wishing Intel all the best for the initiative & hoping that more & more brands take such steps towards better propagation and acceptance of technology!

    Knol by Google

    Knol, A Forum, A Blog or Wikipedia… Well, the mighty Google has come up with another marvel. I can see that Google creates stuff that can help people, and earn while the products are free to use.

    knol-logo

    This time, Google created something, that they call “a unit of knowledge”. In words of Google, a knol is an authoritative article about a specific topic. In first look, it might appear as a simple Blog. Here you create articles as you do in Blogs, but they are consolidated as in Wiki. There can be contributors, collaborators and community members. You can edit, or just suggest an update. Moreover, you can have revisions. You can review Knols, post comments and reply to comments. So this makes it more like forums.

    What’s in the box?

    Here you will find topics like Heart Attack, AIDS, Prostate Cancer, Name Verification, Installing UBUNTU and millions more. But that’s not all, you can add your own Knol and enhance the knowledge base.

    How Authentic is the content?

    Knols are pieces of knowledge, written by authentic people from respective fields. Moreover, Google verifies members, so anything they post is genuine. Besides, people can flag your content or update it as in Wikipedia.

    What else?

    If you think that this is a nice initiative, then wait for more surprise. Google has linked AdSense to it. Google allows you to link any existing AdSense account or create a new one on the spot. Then you are given option to display ads on your article. You can chose it for all Knols you publish or on selective Knols.

    But the part, that interests me most is License. Google Knols offer three license types.

      And did I mentioned Collaboration Model. They are giving three collaboration Models…

    • Open Collaboration model, where any signed in user may edit the Knol
    • Moderated Collaboration model, where any signed user may suggest edits to the knol, but these needs approval from an author before being published (Now here they take over Wikipedia)
    • Closed Collaboration model, where no outsider is allowed to play with your knowledge.

    Still More…

    You can import doc, xls, pdf, txt and other documents. You can have your profile page and there is still more to be explored…

    Check out…

    http://knol.google.com/

    Less Is More

    So what is it that evades a mail recipient’s attention?
    According to Gary Levitt and Rob Lubow,who run marketing profs,a marketing blog, “In an attempt to break from the herd, many email marketers ironically adopt a herd mentality of more clutter, more content, more MORE.” Well, that’s exactly the wrong thing to do, apparently.

    In email, less is more, Levitt and Lubow say. To help you understand the need to simplify your e-outreach, they offer three key questions to ask yourself before your next email campaign:

    What kind of email do you want to receive? A personal note from a good friend is likely at the top of your list. And even then, you don’t expect more than a couple of lines of text.
    How much time will someone invest in an impersonal marketing message that’s also sent to thousands of other people? The answer: Not much. Instead, “[B]e a friend,” advise Levitt and Lubow. “Keep it simple. Keep it nice. Make a good subject line that’ll earn those 3.5 seconds you need to get your simple message across.”
    Will your message be sharing space with ads? Gmail, AOL and Hotmail are just a few of the providers that frame email with ads these days. “There’s only one way to stand out from all those ads,” the authors claim. “[L]ook less like an ad.”
    “Once simplicity is embraced, you’re free to converse plainly with your clients—easily and often. Designers, template-selection, and deadly cross-service compliance issues fall away. Your readers save time, too, and love you for it.”

    About MD

    Masala Digital is not just about Digital Marketing - it's about marketing in the digital age. The defining lines of marketing that segregated ATL, BTL & Digital hardly hold any water in the age of integrated marketing that assimilates effective practices across all available mediums to create truly integrated ideas. Masala Digital is the platform for sharing, collaborating and participating to add wings to these thoughts. You too can contribute..check out the "Contact Us" page for more information.