Masala Digital

Marketing Masala in the Digital Age

Shake off that click, willya?

Its painful to see just how some myopic online marketers in India have shortchanged the medium.

In India, its been an uphill, albeit fun journey to convince traditional marketers to realize the online potential. Why even debate the fact that its simpler for most marketing managers to go along with traditional – considering they grew up with it and hey, they are assessed internally for stuff they do for a billion Indians…not the extra 0.3 above that eh? Hmm. Sobering thought.

Now instead of building the online story, the charisma, the wow and really, capitalizing on its niche value as the preferred medium of the “classes” – the early onliners tried making a quick buck and rep by exploiting the ultimate clincher – performance – a bit early in the game. All because, no marketer was paying attention to their incessant whine otherwise, and maybe they weren’t too good any other which way.

So, the whole “only a person clicks” was misconstrued into this magical sounding “direct” and “personal” story and sold in the name of “CPL” – effectively screwing up not just the user experience that was now inundated with ads, but also leading to malpractices like click frauds that cheated the brands.

All this done to a medium that is truly personal, and in a space where humans actually spend time with themselves.

Why advertise when you can talk here? Why hurry when we can build relationships? For once we have the opportunity to truly realize terms like CRM, Loyalty, Preference and desires like love. Let’s not screw it up any further, shall we?

And to the CPL media planners – hell, they are shaking the Wii now..go measure that! :D

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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.

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    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.

    Gharkamai: Yet another Indian dot-com startup!

    All boys & men working from home rejoice…and welcome aboard Gharkamai!

    Gharkamai Logo

    Started by a couple of Delhi dotcommers, Gharkamai is in beta as we speak, and aims at connecting businesses with business professionals as per need.

    So if you are looking at home-based work, have an unexplored expertise, need extra income, then log on & create a profile. Similarly, if you need freelancers and project-centric professionals, it makes sense to look some people up over here.

    2 reasons why the resource pool should be good here:

    1. Home-based workers strive to deliver better, as a sense of entrepreneurship comes in, leading to better results

    2. In these recession-led times, pink slipped folks can find solace here!

    The only glitch – registration process is a bit long, and you need to submit a CV…painful. Hope the owners do something about that!

    Check it out & do post a comment upon your experience…

    3G vs VoIP?

    Just a thought – if India keeps waiting for 3G…next auction date for spectrums is in Jan sometime it seems…will VoIP take over video calls, the prize 3G candidate for business?

    Telcos have long looked at video calls as the prime motivator for expensive 3G subscriptions, and handset manufacturers have kept pace with ensuring availability of video-call enabled handsets.

    So probably they wont pull out, but does it make sense for telcos to pay such huge spectrum fees when available 2.5G/EDGE Internet is good enough for video & voice VoIP?

    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!

    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!

    The Solutions|Digitas “We”deo!

    We created a short music video to showcase the India team at the Digitas Global Meet in Paris last month. The video titled “ Right Now @ Solutions Digitas”, is a inspired by Van Halen’s 1991 hit “Right Now”.
    You can view it right here!

    Concept, Script, Visualization, Direction & Presentation by: Nikhil Sarup (Squintedeye Media!).

    If you haven’t seen the original video, watch it here:

    The new-look Intel Youth Network is live!

    Intel has completely revamped its initiative for the Indian youth, with the launch of Intel Youth Network (youth.intel.com)

    Homepage

    Targeted at the tech-focused youth, the community focuses not only on technology, but also features information on exciting career options and some interesting on-site games to engage the audience. The youth Network is a one-stop shop for the youth to find interesting & relevant information, understand computing-related technologies, refer friends to win rewards, participate in exciting games & contests and  a lot more.

    The network also offers an innovative web-based referral scheme, wherein members can pass on PC-sales leads that they may come across within their peer group/friends/family to GID’s (Genuine Intel Dealers) and earn exciting rewards upon closure! This in our opinion is one learn & earn program that is relevant, exciting and can be utilized with minimum fuss!

    Bigger plans are afoot to make the website even more relevant & focused in the coming days.

    Solutions|Digitas designed the new look and feel and worked with Intel in bringing in content partners. They also are managing the website and will be responsible for future updates, promotions et al. Solutions|Digitas’s involvement is not just limited to the online aspect of the program. They are also actively managing all on-ground promotions including those at colleges, malls & multiplexes.

    You can join the network here!

    Amul creates a presence in Second Life

    Reported by Kapil Ohri @ AFAQs

    Amul, which established its presence in Second Life in March by setting up its virtual parlour, is now working to expand its presence in the virtual world.
    Trimensions, a Gurgaon based company, is helping Amul to develop its existence on Second Life. Rahul Dutta, chairman and managing director, Trimensions, says, “Amul is planning to buy eight-10 islands, equal to 160 acres of virtual land, in Second Life to set up a simulation of its production and distribution facility. The objective behind launching a virtual setup is to demonstrate its functioning to the consumers, and experiment with any change in the production or distribution system virtually before executing it in the real world.”

    clip_image001

    Screenshot of Amul Ice-cream parlour

    Dutta adds, “Setting up ice cream parlours on Second Life was actually a pilot project. It will take around six months to launch the virtual Amul setup on Second Life.” The Amul ice cream parlours showcase topical ads of Amul starting from the late 1990s, Amul TV commercials and product displays.
    Before Second Life, Amul’s presence in the online world was restricted to Amul.com (a corporate website), Amul.tv (showcasing short films and TVCs related to Amul) and AmulIcecream.in (to sell ice cream).
    Second Life is an Internet enabled virtual world in which users can create their virtual identities. These identities can move around, interact and socialise with other users. Members of Second Life can participate in individual or group activities and create and trade items like virtual property and services with each other. A member has to pay for the space he purchases on Second Life. Second Life is developed by Linden Lab, a company based in the US.

    Around 13 million users worldwide, including 50,000 Indians, are registered with Second Life.

    © 2008 afaqs!

    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.