Tag Archives: marketing solutions

Do you need a Video content?

Video is a phenomenon, more than 4 billion hours of video is viewed each month. In fact, YouTube is now the second most used search engine after Google.

Integrating video into your marketing campaign isn’t as easy as creating a video and putting it up on YouTube. Creating a video that is effective, relevant and successful can be rewarding but how do you integrate it successfully?

Lets talk about the basics of video, issues you will want to consider while planning the video content ideas, and see what typically will be ideal to develop an idea into a video content.

Lets understanding video as a media, the most common mistake made by companies creating video is thinking of video content as being identical to blog posts or infographic content, rather than as a unique and independent media format. Where blog posts and infographics may consist of text and image content, video utilizes text, moving images and sound simultaneously, making it much more unique.

To be precise, video is not appropriate medium for all content goals. Video should naturally lend itself to a narrative curve, including a climax and resolution. If you have a product or service you are trying to sell, don’t use the entire length of your video making a sales pitch. Instead, create a narrative context around the product.

If you are trying to convince your reader to complete a complex, or prolonged action then you need to consider breaking up your content into smaller pieces. Videos should have a very simple and direct call to action.

The ideal length for video is under four minutes. If there is too much content, you may have to draw your video out to 10 minutes, it won’t be as effective as a precise one, because your viewers is likely to lose interest. If this is the case, you need to use a different media form.

Ask few questions to youself while planning the video content, questions you definitely should consider. One is, would this content lose meaning if it were in text and image form? If your content would lose meaning or relevancy without being accompanied by visual or audio information, chances are video is a viable option. However, if you can easily imagine your message getting across effectively without the use of video, you might want to decide whether the additional time and effort required to produce a video will be worthwhile.

Secondly, does the content require aesthetic as well as conceptual engagement?

In the first question, we ask whether content would lose meaning if it takes a media form other than video; in question two, you need to ask yourself if your idea requires a visual or auditory element in order to be engaging.

Though video is certainly a nice option to have, if the information imparted is text heavy and primarily conceptual, rather than visual which is comprehension and learning. The visual display adds nothing to the experience, as it is just a list of text.

Thus if your content does not require visual or auditory components to be useful or engaging, then your idea is not ideally suited for video.

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Human touchbase new marketing mantra – agree?

Its a fact, adding face and voice to a brand has become a necessity and has become a popular trend too. Businesses are realizing that customer interaction, engaging content and adding face to the brand are valuable and means a lot to their customers and business stakeholders. The connection of emotions has become beneficial to a business or a brand. Companies like Amazon take pride in customer service and their human touch is happily welcomed by customers. Over the years, they have not only become extremely powerful but very successful too because they adapted to the new trend of marketing that revolved around engagement and personal touch. Actually, this provides comfort to customers which ultimately drives sales and win brand loyalty over long term.

We have seen the success that has come to some product companies because of their human touchbase approach. But the question is, can other industries also reap the benefits using the personal touchbase approach? The answer is, yes. More than ever, financial services are seeking ways to brand themselves in the right light. And the only way to reach customers is  by producing engaging content with a personal feel that ultimately benefits the consumer is a strategy that financial service companies should adopt. According to Google’s Zero Moment of Truth study, consumers are using 10.8 sources of information prior to making a banking product purchase while consumers are using 11.7 sources prior to an insurance purchase. These statistics demonstrate the importance of producing positive, engaging and humanized content that consumers can make use of while making a decision. These sources can be anything in the form of informative videos, expert analysts guides to CEO blogs. The tactic of producing useful and appealing content is a strategy that will gain momentum in the financial world since customers are continuously looking for guidance and explanations, human touch and relatedness facet are becoming more and more crucial to the consumer when they are making financial decisions.

Showing the faces behind business and giving a voice to services through the art of storytelling is an outstanding marketing tactic. Videos are the most effective and engaging medium to display the face and voice of your company. Every company has employees with unique individual stories that their audience can relate to. Storytelling is such a versatile instrument and can be utilized within any type of industry. And as a matter of fact, personal touch approach in marketing is here to stay for a long long time.

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Brands are not built overnight

This is a guest post

I have good understanding of how businesses in America, UK, Europe and many other countries operate. For them, marketing is an important aspect and the whole company and its ideologies are based on it. And that’s also the reason why even the youngest companies also have a very strong value in the market place.

Here in India, its exactly the opposite. There is a gap in understanding the need of a brand. There are many reasons that support it, most important one is, companies are not funded and are very dependent on the sales report determined every month end. Which automatically deviates the resources towards increasing sales force and equipping the department with all they need leaving marketing far ashore. Let me share this, recently, I was in a meeting at a potential client’s office. The CEO says, ‘no we don’t want to brand’, then she added, ‘we are already a branded company, people know us, we get covered by various papers all the time’. Then she asks me, ‘what do you mean by branding’. I gave her the example of Nike’s Swoosh. She said, ‘well, we first need money coming in then we will think about branding’.

I just want to bring this to the notice that branding is not so expensive as many businesses are worried about. And as a matter of fact, brand is not built overnight, it needs time, patience and perseverance from its creators and visionaries. Its important to create a brand identity right in the beginning so that all communication, website, collateral, logo, etc. are in line with the brand identity from day one. For a start-up, a nice working logical website with information easily available on the website is a staple. Or else what’s going to happen is, a company operates for sometime, has different stationery and collateral. There is no clarity on what and when to use, and ultimately it comes to a situation when a staff send out a mail, it has a different look and when the other one communicates, its different. This kind of chaos only creates dilemma and questions in your counterpart. If you cannot manage your own communication, how are they going to manage work for others and this means it can also cost business.

Hence, professional vibe is extremely important for succeeding in business. In the past, we have experience of working with start-ups like PolicyBazaar and VitalWires. Lets focus on VitalWires, at that point of time it was known as Gravity Microsystems, a SAP consulting firm. In 2010 the company was looking for a partner to help them rebrand from scratch. Industree had the opportunity to be associated with the company right from name selection to setting brand identity, guidelines and marketing strategy. We had a couple of meetings with the board and team members to understand their ideas and vison for the company. In over a year’s time, VitalWires transition was a success. Today, they are a strong team of 40-50 employees based out of Gurgaon.

We helped them create a brand guideline which includes brand identity, objective, target, story and personality. I also realized that developing the guideline really helped the company because it clearly described what all they could perform. Since templates and product lines were also developed based on the guideline, all brand elements were used as mentioned in the guideline. Which meant all outgoing communication was consistent and focused. The color palette also addressed the need of showcasing VitalWires as a no nonsense company. The main color ‘blue’ stands for inspiration, sincerity and spirituality, which actually is the objective of VitalWires. We also managed their online activities, content development and time to time need basis work. It was a satisfying project and we made it happen.

This is for the readers, marketing is not so expensive as it is perceived to be. Of course, it will be a different story if you are going by Above the Line (ATL) activities to market. However, I have something in mind to say about ATL, which we shall do in the future post.

If you are a start-up, don’t wait for the last moment to start marketing your organization, because as I said earlier, start early and brand it right. You will save time, energy and money. When you are new, work pressure is less and you have the patience and time to spare. As time passes, you know what works and what does not and accordingly you may adjust when things when the business is still young. Hire a professional company to assist in creating a brand identity and they will suggest you the rest.

Hope this post is helpful to many small sized businesses because that’s where branding is mostly neglected.

Bijeta is the author of this article, she is the founder and director of Industree since its inception. You can follow her on Twitter

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Defining Target Customers

While positioning a brand we generally come up with primary, secondary and tertiary target customers. The primary purpose of defining target customers in the brand positioning stage is important, it helps establish the target customer clearly in mind when thinking about brand benefits and relevant differentiation. The more detailed the target customer description, the more powerful is the brand’s unique value proposition. It will also help later when marketers need to develop marketing and media plans. Idea is to hit the bulls-eye of the target so that a there is a firm understanding of primary customer, but knowing that your brand will also appeal to people outside of this bulls-eye. Often, there are influencers and approvers in purchase, especially in B2B situations. In fact, there are sometimes committees of people involved in the purchase decision. Regarding target customers versus target audiences versus target markets, to a large extent, different people use these terms to mean the same thing. For manufactures, often the question is “Should our primary target be direct customers (distributors, retailers or resellers) or should it be the end consumer?” Of course, we always want end consumers to be our primary customers.

Its important to get attention of the ideal or primary target customer as much as possible when positioning the brand. For instance, we have positioned one restaurant chain having two different target customers.

there is this one restaurant chain whose target markets are so diverse that one set of customers considers it as a “special occasion” restaurant, they would dress up to dine in this restaurant. While there is another set of customers who considers it to be their everyday casual dining restaurant of choice and feel completely comfortable dining in casuals and dine their often. The first market type may dine in this restaurant once or twice a year (or less), while the second market is likely to dine there on a regular basis.

Now the job is done, customer target is defined. Its time to consider how this restaurant must cater to both audiences.

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Community branding has a much more deeper meaning

In today’s world companies are hungry to connect and in troubled economic times, every company needs new ways to do more with what it already has. Although many firms aspire to the customer loyalty, marketing efficiency and brand authenticity that strong communities deliver, only few understand what it takes to achieve such benefits. Many fall into serious misconceptions about what brand communities are and how they actually function.

For companies considering a community strategy, we offer cautionary tales and design principles. For those with existing brand communities, we provide new approaches for increasing their impact. Here the approach is not about whether a community is right for the brand but its about the willingness to do what’s needed to get a brand community right. A brand community is a business strategy, too often companies isolate their community building efforts within the marketing function, not a brilliant idea. For a brand community to maximize benefit, it must be planned on a much higher level involving business goals.

Lets take an example of Harley-Davidson here. Following the 1985 buyback that saved the company, management completely reformulated the competitive strategy and business model around a brand community philosophy. Beyond just changing its marketing programs, Harley-Davidson retooled every aspect of its organization from work culture to operations and governance structure to drive its community strategy. Harley management recognized that the brand had developed as a community-based phenomenon. The “brotherhood” of riders, united by a shared ethos, offered Harley the basis for a strategic repositioning as the one motorcycle manufacturer that understood bikers on their own terms. To reinforce this community-centric positioning and solidify the connection between the company and its customers, Harley staffed all community-outreach events with employees rather than hired hands. Executives were required to spend time in the field with customers and bring their insights. This close-to-the-customer strategy was codified in Harley Davidson’s operating philosophy. Decisions at all levels were directed by community perspective.

Thus, it is very clear that brands need a reason and strategy to interact with people, just like people need a reason to interact with brands. Sociologically, shopping gives people a sense of belonging to a community and allows them to communicate with others. This gives brands an opportunity to build communities of interest with people around their products and so form relationships with their customers and fans after the transaction is complete.

Brands need to understand how to connect with their fans and build relationships. An effective strategy requires brands to carefully consider what their customers are looking for and what role a community should play. The Communities in real terms are representation of the broader interest of members.

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