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Change is the only constant

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PERFORM OR PERISH – A brief about changing business environment and decision making.

An object continues to remain in its state of rest or of uniform motion unless acted upon by an external unbalanced force. The mentioned statement, though not verbatim but statesNewton’s first law of motion as known to all of us. Absolutely applicable to everything in the universe could it also be true for business organizations? Is it possible that business units too need to change from their state of rest or uniform motion when acted upon by an external force? The answer in the context of modern day industry dynamics is most definitely a YES!
Change is the only constant.
The age old adage is as true for business as we know it as it is for anything else. Any modern business or industry as we see it today is a product of decades of evolution which can be seen as both a cause and an effect of the changing dynamics and how these organizations respond to these changes makes the ‘Darwinian principle’ of survival of the fittest applicable to these organizations.
 

One of the major drivers of this change in the recent past has been the information exchange. It would infact be safe to say that in the current scheme of things based on the impact that this has had on the economies and the industry that we are very much a part of the “Information Age”
This information exchange has not only speed tracked business processes but completely transformed our understanding of how business function in the larger scheme of things.
During research for this article, I had multiple conversations with people right form small start-ups to conventional business having survived the test of time, one glaring fact that surfaced prominently was the paradigm shift in our perception of the drivers of economic growth. Not too long ago we were talking about fields such as 1) Infrastructure, 2)Telecom, 3)Manufacturing, 4) Retail, etc. In the recent past these contributors may not be as fortunate to find a place in our list of top 4, we are more inclined to mention factors such as 1) Social Media, 2) I.T and I.T.E.S 3) Ecommerce and E-tail, 4)Education and Healthcare. Few of these mostly unheard of not too long ago. That brings us to the question of what exactly has changed. Businesses have been evolving for as long as our understanding of the concept of business itself, why is it that only now it has reached a point where the change not only augments but completely disrupts and revolutionizes the segment that it comes in contact with. The answer to that question lies in the question itself. Most smart phones in the market right now have more computing power than what was available for the entire Apollo Mission, as absurd as it may sound it is completely true, the engine of growth is fuelled with such capacity in the modern day that businesses have changed more in the last 20 years itself than in over 50 years preceding that put together.
We are seeing more and more number of billionaires being produced by the world and just as many organizations going out of business for not being able to keep up pace with the industry. That brings me back to my original point of the ‘Darwinian principle’ of perform or perish being applicable to businesses now more than ever.
One reality of modern day business is uncertainty, based on the speed at which the business may be affected by this uncertainty brings us to the question of how proactive or reactive organizations need to be in their strategy decisions, decision making in general has reached supersonic speeds due to the availability of information and intelligence. All threats pose more of an opportunity now more than ever, just needing an initiative from these businesses to make the most of them, a reactive approach under these circumstances not only opens the markets to other players racing to compete for market share but also leaves the business vulnerable to redundancy in terms of keeping up to pace with the overall industry.

It would be safe to say that businesses today need to be more on their toes and flexible to change now more than ever, gone are the days when organizations could afford to stick to their strategies and incorporate minor changes basis their competitors actions, examples are plenty of organizations that enjoyed a lion’s share of the market only to lose it to competition in the face of changing industry dynamics and their inability to take appropriate action on time, we have been a part of the generation that witnessed companies like Nokia and Motorola not only introduce constant innovation but at a period enjoy a market share more than most of their competitors put together, losing all of it due to their inertia in incorporating change, all of it in a period of less than 10 years. This brings us to an important question, how much do organizations need to change and how quickly, honestly there is no standard answer to it but one thing that’s for sure is that organizations today need to beyond just accept change, they almost need to anticipate change and ensure a certain amount of flexibility in all their strategies, infact, the organizations that have performed the best in the last 10 years or so are the ones have not only accepted but almost always initiated change.
To take an example, we can look at Facebook. A company that primarily started into Ivy League social media, expanding into a mass social media platform enabling content sharing, to a full-fledged technology and innovation company (owing to acquisition of oculus rift and others) going into avenues unheard of with “free-basics”, a company that not only stands as a billion dollar empire right now but lined up to be much more than just that in the foreseeable future owing just to proactive decision making. Doing all this in just the last 10+ years while taking some really big businesses out of business in the process and successfully catering to their market.
Proactive decision making and willingness to change their approach towards business strategy decisions is enabling businesses today to not only have the option to evolve but also to lead an evolution and increasing the horizons of businesses as we know it in every step they take. All this is evident from how Facebook has approached its business over the years.
Businesses have always been “changing with the changing environment”, this reactive approach that has served its purpose to most businesses over the years has definitely taken a back seat in the context of the current scenario, a company can no longer afford to wait for their competitor to introduce an innovation and take action accordingly to save their market share, the time from introduction of an innovation to capturing market has reduced substantially forcing major players to take notice of not only their immediate competitors but also any and all new players entering the market with the threat they propose to completely revolutionize the industry is not being taken lightly. Same is evident from companies like Godrej entering into the online space with efforts like “big basket” to ensure safeguarding its market from much smaller players throwing much larger challenges in the market than most established players.
To sum up the entire article, its best said by some people who not only understand this phenomenon but have left a global imprint by employing this understanding to their everyday effort.

In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks” – Mark Zuckerberg.
“This is a fantastic time to be entering the business world, because business is going to change more in the next 10 years than it has in the last 50” – Bill Gates.
“Willingness to change is a strength, even if it means plunging part of the company into total confusion for a while” –Jack Welch.

Source:
http://www.zmescience.com/research/technology/smartphone-power-compared-to-apollo-432/
For quotes mentioned: refer Goodreads.com, brainyquotes.com, google, etc.

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Are consumer insights being leveraged by marketers today?

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The google search for “Consumer Insights” defines it as “the intersection between the interests of the consumer and features of the brand. Its main purpose is to understand why the consumer cares for the brand as well as their underlying mindsets, moods, motivation, desires, aspirations, and motivates that trigger their attitude and actions”

While this definition pretty much suffice what is customer insight, we still need to know what marketers do with this Insight. Do they make use of this research to generate leads for sales or expanding their reach or for that matter improving their brand image. In this complicated and complex marketing environment, consumer insights have begun to take hold in the corporate mindset.

Researchers, or those who casually profess to provide consumer background, are now being forced to provide more than just numbers, but real useful information that can be acted on by all parts of the organization that are involved in doing business with prospects and customers. Consumer insights research gets under the skin and inside the consumer’s head to find the “why” of a purchase, to understand what happened, and to project what could occur in the future.

Dove was looking for repositioning of their brand as it was being overshadowed by rival brands.They conducted a study of more than 3,000 women in 10 countries in order to learn about women’s priorities and interests.

They came out with an insight that only 2 percent of the women interviewed considered themselves beautiful .They understood through research, that to appeal to women, you had to feature compelling women that looked like them.

This is an iconic campaign that not only has won numerous accolades from the ad industry, but has repositioned the DOVE brand as a brand for today’s woman (regardless of the age) and one that is supported and beloved by women around the world. According to Huffington postarticle dated01/21/2014 “Executives at Unilever suggest that the campaign has boosted sales”.

Earlier the mode of communication use to be One way with print media, TV, radio being the biggest player but with the advent of Internet, Social media plays a big role in understanding consumer behavior. Real time data can be generated, instant customer feedback and tracking their online behavior have been some of the ways through which brands are engaging with their consumer. Facebook, Instagram, youtube, twitter helps brand create buzz around their product and have meaningful conversation, promote themselves and also get some insights about visitor. These channels can help them have two-way communication with consumers, and thus build trust that can help them go long way.

Revlon India leveraged the power of social media to better understand the mindset of Indian women and their attitudes and habits towards foundation. The insight generated then used to tailor the campaign according to prevailing preferences.

Companies like flipkart, Snapdeal heavily rely on the social media platform, since all their customers are Internet users and have a presence on one or the other social media platforms. These companies have huge pool of data and using various analytical tools they try to understand the data Amazon.com Inc., the world’s largest e-commerce company, uses high-end analytics and algorithms in a number of areas such as recommending relevant products to users, showing users relevant search results, displaying ads to users that they are very likely to click on, predicting future demand for products, detecting spam reviews and detecting fraudulent orders.

Not only do these insights help companies to improve their efficiency but also cater to the needs of consumers better. On the other hand, consumers get benefited by it and have direct engagement with the company. With social media soon becoming part of our life it is a must for companies to use such platforms and try to be in connect with the users.

Machine learning as a concept is highly being used by these companies. Machine learning is a scientific discipline that deals with the construction and study of algorithms that can learn from data. With the help of such data they analyze the anxiety level of their consumers to rank the sellers. Micro targeting is done where the consumers are shown product according to their past purchasing behavior or how they use internet to surf online. Twitter, Facebook ad platform allows this geo targeting method through which it is easier for companies to target their product to specific customer. Various tools help analyze consumer engagement regarding a product and the reach of the product.

With current technologies it is easy for companies to track their consumers but at the same time is not an easy task to assimilate these data and extrapolate meaning out of it. Once you know why your customers do things a certain way, it will be much easier to establish and build long-term relationships with them.

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Start-ups – the new hotspot for employees today

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“People are not your most important asset. The right people are.”

                                                                                                   -Jim Collins

The word ‘Start-up’ is bandied about a lot when young aspirants talk about placements. The Start-up wave that has gripped the country has changed people’s perspective about working in a new venture. The reasons for this could be numerous: work environment, greater responsibility, decision making etc. Therefore, from college grads to senior executives, people have started looking for a work profile that offers more than just a heavy pay cheque. Hence, Start-ups have turned into one of the most sought-after places to work in. When asked about Start-ups to the fellow-mates, they said it invokes an idea of working in a flexible environment without any strict code of conduct. I do not know whether this is true or not for all start-ups, but there are a certain number of perquisites that come with working in a start-up. Such as …

More responsibilities, more opportunities

Working in a start-up means you are part of a small team where the responsibility you are going take up will be far bigger than what you are going to have in a large corporation. This will not only add up to your experience but also provide you with lots of other opportunities, especially if you are not quite sure what kind of gig you want to end up in. For example, an engineering guy wants to test his skills in marketing… he can do that in a start-up.

Awesome work environment

People are enthusiastic about their work mostly because they are doing what they believe in. there are fewer codes to follow like

– The dress code (you can wear informal clothes, grow beards etc.),

– The hierarchy code (as you may possibly be working under one of the co-founders)

– Flexible working hours (ideas do not always come in the 9am – 5pm shift)

An experience that counts

Experience of working under people who have started their own business is of more worth than working under people who have never gone off to create something of their own. These professionals approach things differently and it is truly an amazing experience to learn the nitty-gritties of the business from them.

Financial incentive

The salary is generally lower but its more about the stocks. The equity is greater. And this generally true for the first and second hires.

Entrepreneurial knowledge

The kind of insight of business you get when you work in a start-up far more valuable than what you get in a big firm. This kind of hands-on experience may help you start a new venture of your own someday. The values that you are instilled with are more important than any other benefit. Taking decisions of your own, knowing that you are responsible for your team’s success etc. bring out the best from you.

The aforementioned points could well be the reason for the ‘start-ups being a lucrative destination’. However, lack of resources and recognition can make it difficult for a start-up to attract the best and bright talent. People tend to be pessimistic about working in an unknown company, which has a possible life of only 5 years. Established Corporations have a ton of data about them on the internet and one can easily research about a big company to know whether it is good for him or not but it is hard to predict that about a start-up. Similarly, for a start-up, it is very hard to determine which type of candidate is best suited for the job.

Start-ups generally commence their business with few members and expand their employee base, eventually, as and when they deem fit. The need to have the right kind of employees is very important, as the impact of one’s work is greater in a Start-up than in a large company. Along with that, small companies have budget constraints and therefore they cannot afford hiring mistakes. That is why they need to come up with a balanced recruiting strategy so that they can hire the person who suits the requirement. Well … this is easier said than done. It becomes a tedious task to choose from a wide array of job applicants, which includes fresher and experienced candidates, as they come with certain benefits of their own.

Benefits of hiring a fresher…

It is easy to groom a fresher, than a veteran professional, the way company needs. Freshers do not have a rigid notion of how things should be done. And therefore they can be moulded according to the requirement, by the company.

Demands lesser salary than an experienced worker. If a job can be done alike by an experienced worker and a fresher, then why not have it done by a fresher who comes with a cheaper price tag.

Brings in fresh perspective. Inexperienced candidates bring in a new outlook on an old problem.

Benefits of hiring an experienced candidate…

They possess years of experience. Senior Professionals have the kind of experiences which freshers are not familiar with. So, they are usually in a better position to handle responsibilities.

Doesn’t need mentorship. Senior Professionals are highly skilled in what they do and do not need time and mentor understand the work.

Experienced candidates can guide the freshers. They possess a readily available vault of knowledge with which they can guide their team of freshers to the objectives they want to achieve.

Working in a start-up is a different experience altogether. It can act as a good Launchpad to kick-off your career because of its ability to engage and empower young personnel. Similarly, for a senior professional who is fed up of his monotonous job and is looking to do something new in an unconventional way, joining a start-up is the way ahead. Surely, there is a lot of work to be done in there, but the learnings you get along with the joy of creating something different is worth doing your job for. Being a part of a small company or a start-up is like building something unique brick by brick, creating something out of nothing. You are in the centre of the whole operation that, hopefully, might become the next best thing.

Sources:

  1. https://www.themuse.com/advice/startup-or-corporate-which-is-better-for-your-career
  2. http://www.chalre.com/hiring_managers/recruiting_quotes.htm
  3. http://www.fastcompany.com/3025459/leadership-now/why-i-turned-down-apple-for-a-startup
  4. http://www.officechai.com/learn/so-should-you-join-a-big-company-or-a-startup/
  5. http://yourstory.com/2015/08/join-or-not-a-startup/
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The Importance of Enhancing Customer Value

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(Can marketers afford to take the customers for granted or should they find ways and means of enhancing customer value to thwart the threat from competition)

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.

  • Bill Gates

 

This quote prompts the power that could help a firm to achieve unrestricted success.

Indeed, Firms do need to value their customers, consumers and deliver products and/or services that are advantageous, user-friendly to them. Firm needs to strategically develop product/services features, align its rational benefits as well as emotional benefits as per the needs, taste and customer’s preferences. Firms strive to deliver this customer value at a profit.

Owing to vast rapid dynamic competitive markets, consumers have a wide varieties of options to choose the needed desired product amongst several other similar products. If after consuming it, he is not satisfied with the features offered by the product, he will easily switch to some other similar relative product without any restrictions and sometimes without even looking at the cost advantages that the old product had offered, if any. Brand loyalty and Brand Switch are just a thin line away from each other. Intense Proper care hence is needed and must be taken by Firms to sustain and expand customer loyalty.

Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong.

  • Donald Porter

Thus Firms just need to align their product mix such as it favours, suits the customers well; if not it is the best product in the market.

Firms must hence understand consumer markets. It might be possible that firms may not need to market its products/services to all consumers. Proper Effective STPD strategies will help the firms divide the market into key market segments, analyse the segments and then target the segments which it can profitably serve best and create competitive customer value. The below quote helps us to understand this considerably.

Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

  • Damon Richards

Subsequently, one of the very most important Principle and/or Element of Firm’s Marketing Mix is “Product” Strategies. This usually includes strategies involving analysis of product variety, quality, design, features, brand name, packaging, sizes and others. Firms need to research on their consumers and their markets to obtain competitive advantage using their products strategies.

Complexity of Products should be taken into consideration while working on effective and efficient marketing strategies of that product. The product should provide the best core customer value that defines the basic, indisputable need that consumers are looking for. The Actual Product Features consists of added to the core product Brand Name, Quality Performance, Packaging and key features/benefits that differentiates it from others. Associated Product Features involves providing key assistance in financing, warranty and support to the core product.

Know what your customers want most and what your company does best. Focus on where those two meet.

  • Kevin Stirtz

Firms might need to add items and increase depth of their product mix to relate and address to changing customer preferences or to gain competitive advantage that would help it to increase profits and sales. Firms may also need to delete items and decrease the depth to minimise opportunity lost and eliminate unprofitable or low margin items and realign its capital and its resources. In worst scenarios, Firms might feel it necessary to remove a complete product line and decrease Product Mix Breadth to give complete focus on other profitable product lines, internal growth strategies priorities or to address the new challenging customer market needs. Corresponding, Firms might add a new product line and increase its breadth to boost sales and profits and tap new customer markets and diversify its portfolio to minimise potential risk and gain potential rewards and synergies.

Firms should strive to make strong brands and work to manage its value effectively through careful analysis, study and planning, a long term determination and commitment and unique value creating strategies. These strategies include working on brand positioning, brand marketing, brand performance and their cumulative efforts in creating and growing brand value.

Packaging Strategies implemented by Firms also does have an impact on customers. It attracts customer’s attention while allowing the product to stand out from those offered by its rivals or competitors. It acts as additional promotional tool and has appealing advantages. It also offers repositioning of their products at a minimum additional cost. With customers becoming environment intelligent, Firms have started working on designing the packaging strategies to make the product more ecological and this gains additional customer confidence and increases customer value.

Firms should work to obtain and achieve competitive advantage by implementing value-creating strategies, not simultaneously being implemented by any current competitor. These strategies need to be rare, valuable, and non-substitutable.

Developing a sustainable, competitive advantage with strong brand value requires customer loyalty, a great location, unique merchandise, proper distribution channels, good vendor relations, a reputation for customer service, and multiple sources of advantage.

The following quote makes this easy to grasp.

Make your product easier to buy than your competition, or you will find your customers buying from them, not you.

  • Mark Cuban

Thus, it is necessary that Firms should and must strive for competitive advantage and work on developing and realigning its marketing strategies to enhance customer value.

Graphic Image – http://www.nccarm.com/about-NCC/value.php

Sources

  1. Marketing Management (14th Edition) By Philip Kotler
  2. Marketing (4th Ed) by Grewal Levy
  3. Quotes – http://www.forbes.com/sites/ekaterinawalter/2014/03/04/40-eye-opening-customer-service-quotes/

 

Student Details:

  • Name: Sonraj Gaonkar
  • Date of Submission: 27th November 2015
  • Name & Address of College: MET Institute of Management, Bandra Reclamation, Bandra (West), Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050
  • Stream: MMS Finance
  • Year of Study: SY [MMS Finance Second Year]
  • Residential Address: 6,Mohini Mansion, Behind Anand Talkies, Kopri, Thane (East), Thane, Maharashtra 400603
  • Age: 26
  • Email ID: gaonkar@gmail.com
  • Mobile No: +91 977 342 5024
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STARTUPS – the new hotspot for employees today?

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“Great vision without great people is irrelevant”.

Being a startup hiring good people might prove to be a struggle since the startups have neither the cash nor the fancy office to get the attention of the top professionals & efficient employees. But it goes without saying that for the success of any business specifically startup; only having the innovative idea is not going to suffice the task but also bringing the right people on board can make all the difference in the business.

Today, young workers are looking for an additional form of compensation: an organi­zation that allows them to do meaningful work, offering opportunities for personal growth and autonomy. They also seek organizations and leaders that share their val­ues and demonstrate their commitment to ethical behavior in the workplace and in the community. When such is the situation then the need is in being “EMPLOYEER OF CHOICE” from the point of view of startups, because they need to attract and bring together the best and brightest people to work on the challenges and opportunities of a new business.

Let’s see why and how startups are attracting talents right from fresher’s to senior management professionals.

  • House of innovation, challenges & opportunities

People always have desire to achieve something new, that to which is challenging. In a big well set up organizations employees generally have to follow the pre-defined code of conduct; which don’t provide much opportunity on the part of the employees to show their creativity. On the contrary Startups provides the platform, that most of the talented employees want, by creating and innovating something new and different and presenting the same innovation as an challenge to complete which tempts those talented employees to participate and contribute something and be the part of upside of the business. This is how the innovativeness of the business model itself proves to be an attractive factor for a talented pool of employees.

 

  • Building the company’s image as an emerging brand

As a startup creates the pull of attractiveness through its future prospects for which the employees want to work can further be intensified by building the company’s image. One of the possible techniques used is word of mouth by making the existing employees company’s brand ambassadors. It would work on how they share positive feedback about the company which would attract more like minded people. Also the employees can be offered monetary incentive for successful referral to quickly find talented people for the organization.

 

  • Make way for creativity

In startups creativity is given much importance. Employees are given much freedom in this front, resulting in removal of roadblock as far as their creativity is concerned and also eradication of red-tapism, as there is streamline approval process to allow for greater ease between ideas & their fruition. This sort of offering by a startups helps to fetch them the best of the best creative people for their success. Also startups try to make the workplace an ideal place to be in by attaching meaning & purpose to whatever employees do to the success & failures of any business.

 

  • Giving something attractive in lieu of salary

More and more startups are realizing the power of ESOPs to hire the best talent, particularly for positions, where the salaries are not easily affordable. It’s difficult to resist an offer where there are chances of turning into a millionaire overnight, when the company get funded or acquired or go for an IPO. ESOP’S come in a lock-in-period. So employees can exercise the options only after the vesting period is over & hence they are likely to stick around longer in the company to reap the gains. Thus talented employees and managerial professionals do not miss a chance of turning into a millionaire overnight; over and above this the employees get a sense of ownership in the organization if they have a significant number of shares which will in turn motivate them to create value for company.

 

This is exactly what FLIPKART did, nearly 1/4th of this E-commerce startup’s 7000 full time employees own a stake in the company. Over 400 of its employees turned “MILLIONAIRES” after the firm received $1 billion in funding.

 

  • Generating the need for recognition amongst the fresher’s

Fresher’s always have a need of getting recognized at the place where they work, which can be satisfied in the startup where there are only limited number of employees, where a good performer can be easily get noticed in comparison to a larger company where there are 1000’s of employees. So the adventurous millennial often chunk those handsome job offers in pursuit of a risky but more satisfying startup job. Also one of the prospects of any individual associating themselves with the startups is to grow along with the company.  The motive here is to build the work identity around a cause rather than a company.

 

 

“Startup life represents a distinctively different culture than is found within traditional corporations which, for many employees is actually a perk.”

  • RICH SLOAN

Co-founder (STARTUP NATION)

 

 

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Content is no more King?

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“Content is king” was the words spoken by the great Microsoft founder, Bill Gates in 1996. Digital strategy has come a long way since that day. In 1996, there was no Facebook and twitter and Askjeeves was the most trending search engine. People blindly following this quote have been the reason for their failed digital strategies. In today’s volatile market, it is pure ignorance to think that content is the only king. Though content is certainly important, relying on it alone won’t help you connect with your target audience. You need to add certain elements into this mantra to experience success with it once again. Let us look at some of the reasons that prove that content is no longer king.

 

1) An overdose of quality articlesWith the advent of Facebook and twitter and other social media sites, there are around 2 million blog posts uploaded every day and they are shared through social media like crazy. Most of this content is of top quality and they never get read. A lot of companies are facing similar problems as their content is buried amongst millions of other content. This is proof that how quality content can get lost in today’s world. 

2) Content Reach

Great content is amazing. It certainly gives you an upper hand with connecting with your audience. Great content motivates people, sparks their creativity and pushes them towards action. Sounds great, right? Yes, but all of this counts to nothing without reach. In today’s world, content engagement is decided on the number of visits to your link. But this concept can be tricky. There is a big difference between visiting a link and actually seeing or reading your content.

 

The real challenge starts when your audience actually engages with your content. If your target audience is accessing content through a mobile phone and your website does not support mobile devices then your “king” becomes a mere common man. Moving forward article positioning, call to action, headlines all play a very important role. Many experiments have been conducted wherein decent quality content with excellent reach, conversion and relevance have experienced better results than only using quality content.

 

3) Audience is king

Today’s audience have a wide variety of options to choose content from. They will only digest content that most relevant and useful to them. You need to focus on the factors that gain their attention rather than just focusing on quality of the content alone. The truth about today’s content marketing is that packaging and analytics plays a crucial role.  They can increase the effectiveness of your digital strategy by 100% and highly improve its effectiveness.

 

4) Sad truth – Average content can be successful

Yes, we need to accept the fact that catchy content is experiencing immense success in today’s world. Facebook’s algorithm actually prefers this type of content and marketers are leveraging its power. They take top content from Reddit and infuse it with catchy headlines and introductions and post it on facebook. Now they are not 3000-word articles filled with great content but catch your attention and make you laugh for 10 seconds. They make a lot of money through Adsense and give proof to the fact that sometimes good content is not required to be successful.

 

5) Context

Quality content without context is like giving an excellent speech to a crowd full of deaf people. Context is the inherent intent which exists in the heart of the content. Content is the way through which you subconsciously plant that intent in the minds of the readers. Valuable context gives you the power to grab readers’ attention and make him invest in the value that you are providing. It helps you build trust and confidence towards your brand. Context is empowering, without it no matter how good your content is, it will always turn out to be boring and dull. So combine your goals with the expectations of your audience and you give birth to a new king.

 

6) Content is prince

The new king and queen are research and promotion.  The times have changed in today’s digital word. Apart from concentrating on quality content, one needs to collaborate with the research and promotion teams. With the right strategy and coordination, your content will stand out great value and context from the rest of the world.

 

The greatest lesson one can keep in mind in today’s world is that audience is the key to success. They are the ultimate consumers and all strategies formulated should be with their satisfaction in mind. So finally content is just a means towards achieving your final goal. It is rather an important part of a puzzle along with various other elements that are useful in achieving digital marketing success.

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Marketing Strategies for Startups

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“A ‘startup’ is a company that is confused about –

  • What its product is.
  • Who its customers are.
  • How to make money.”

– Dave McClure

Starting a business is exhilarating. The fundamental truth about the startup is, having a unique product is not enough to keep a business going. You have to sell the product and to do that you have to show the potential buyer the value of what you are selling. Without marketing, no one will know your business exists –and if customers don’t know you’re there, you won’t make any sales.

Simply put, startup marketing is a unique challenge often times because of the limited resources, whether it’s time, money or talent. Sometimes the best strategies are the simplest. Marketing your startup in today’s competitive business economy is undoubtedly difficult, but there are steps you can take to make sure your startup gets a fighting chance at success. Successful startup marketing requires that you have both a great product and great marketing.

Every startup is unique, so we won’t discuss tactical methods in great detail. The strategy we recommend is to simply build a product worth recommending. If every single user recommends two new users, you have exponential growth.

Focus on Target Customer

It’s easy for startup founders to believe the whole world will love their products. After all, founders eat, sleep and breathe their products. The reality is that only a small portion of the population is interested in your product. If you try to market your startup to everyone, you waste both time and money. The key is to identify a niche target market and go after market share aggressively.

Staying focused will help you reach your target customer more efficiently, and it is a better use of your limited resources.

Leverage Social Media

There is an incredible burden on startups to maximize marketing budget without compromising quality.

Social media is great and necessary. Social media is an inexpensive, far-reaching way to attract attention. Signing up for most platforms is free and easy. And once you’re online, you can reach millions of people on the Internet with your message. This provides you with almost unlimited possibilities — something you won’t find anywhere else in the marketing realm.

The reason it’s so effective is that it is where people spend most of their time now. It allows you to get in front of peoples faces in a much more effective way as credible sources of information. People trust things that are shared among friends. It allows you interaction with your customers.

Incentivize People to Share

Most people will not go out of their way to give you a “like”. Give people in your target market incentives to connect with you socially online, and they will.

If you want people to talk about your product or service, there’s nothing quite like giving them an incentive to do so, but how do you motivate your consumer? To get your actual consumers to follow you online, you need to give them good reason. Offer an immediate discount for tweeting about your product or service, or ask them to post about it on Facebook. Or, in exchange for “liking” your company — maybe they could receive some additional perk.  Generally speaking, the better your offer, the more takers you’ll get.

Match your incentive with your ask. Ideally, your prize can also work to market your products, service or business image.

Use Trial and Error

“Enlightened trial and error” is the mantra of renowned design firm IDEO, and embodies the idea of not being afraid to fail often in order to succeed sooner.

When coming up with marketing strategies, embrace the process of trial and error. Carefully watch the results of the initiative, and if it works, don’t be complacent. It’s easy and more tempting to not improve when something is working. To discover a more efficient and innovative approach along the way, you have to be willing to fine tune your current strategy.

If it doesn’t work, tweak it, try again, and drop it if it ultimately doesn’t work. Mistakes are inevitable in business. It’s these mistakes that allow you to tweak your marketing to be more effective in the future. Keep in mind that what works for one business may not work for yours (and vice versa).

The most important asset for any startups is to be told what needs improving, and have an agile system for making those improvements. For early-stage startups, feedback is more important than customers. The faster you can resolve customer objections, and the more scope you have to improve the product to match market demand.

“What do you need to start a business? Three simple things: know your product better than anyone. Know your customer, and have a burning desire to succeed.” – Dave Thomas

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