#5 Viral Marketing Techniques you need to know today

If you are in India or an Indian in any part of the world, then I believe you have already been swept by the videos and pictures of this kohl eyed girl who until yesterday we had no idea about. Yes, I am talking about Priya Varrier who has now become the “most searched celebrity in India in a span of 2 day”! Now there couldn’t have been a stronger nudge than this for me to write about this subject, so here it goes…

Literally, all it took was a barrage of facial expressions and a wink that appears for a few seconds and the whole country was head over heels in love and awe for this teenage girl from Kerala.

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The result?… everyone was occupied on social media talking about this video, sharing it, liking it, making memes about it and most importantly relating to it. If at this point you are asking yourself this question “how can I make it viral?” then here are some quick tips to win the viral game.

#1 CONTENT IS (& WILL ALWAYS BE) KING 

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I know I am not the first one to say this so ignore the mic drop. But seriously,  it is the content to start with that will potentially make it viral in the end. Content marketing was widely spoken about in 2017 and its ripple effect will continue even this year, only the focus will be on Video Content in 2018. With the proliferation of features on social media platforms that has made video an easy to access, view and share form of communication, people now like what they watch (not just see).

Also, you’d agree that videos are a more spontaneous and interactive form of “talking” to your audience. So for starters keep up and adapt to new forms of content to make it viral.

 

#2 RELEVANCE, DON’T LOSE IT

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This brings me back to the viral video that urged me to include this point in the list of techniques. Well not everyday you see viral videos making headlines but whenever you do, it is mostly about a subject/topic/event/phenomenon that was already being talked about. In the case of  this video clip trailer for a song in Priya Varrier’s debut Malayalam film, Oru Adaar Love, which was launched during the valentine’s week when the youth of this nation was already fishing for something playful and romantic to kick start their valentine’s participation on social media. And they found it in the twenty-seconds iconic wink 😉

 

Thus it is really important for your content to be relevant to the times which will make it easier for people to relate to it. Now that does not mean you cannot change the subject and that is where the next technique comes into picture.

 

#3 HIT THE EMOTION

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Again emphasizing on the content, the core of your message should cater to the emotions of your audience. Be it happy, sad, shock or annoying…if it’s different it will work. Remember the Turkish chef aka “Salt Bae” who sprinkled some salt with loads of attitude and rocked the internet last year? Also, the dancing hot dog which until today I have not been able to make much sense of, and now very famous Prof Kelly and his adorable kids who walked into his study while he was live on BBC. Some of these never seen before stuff on internet were bound to go viral because everyone’s looking forward to some thunderbolt event to start their day.

 

#4 BE SELECTIVE 

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Now here I want to talk about a misconception about Viral Marketing. As the name and subject suggests, we are talking about volume, number, quantity and the bigger the better type. So going by this understanding, the universe is your audience to achieve the scale of being viral. But NO! the concept of targeting still applies. You need to be selective and know your target audience for your content. This will further help you in selecting the right communication channel, reach to people which related interests and pick influencers who are important for these target audience.

 

#5 MAKE IT EASY TO SPREAD

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It has to be contagious like viral. If your content is easy to share, download and embed then it will be spread as fast as virus does. So, allow people to share your content or message easily, embed it on their own sites and download it for use later.  While doing all this, make sure your simplify your message for people to understand and share.

There you go! now you know it all. I hope these techniques will help you make your content go big. And for me…this gif is making me hungry 😐

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make Money Blogging: The Beginner’s Guide To Affiliate Marketing — Antony Agnel

Blogging looks fun but in the long run, it is an expensive job (or should I say a gift?) unless you very well know how to monetize your blog. Registering an average .com domain name costs around $10 to $15 dollars per year and paying for web hosting can take it further high. Hosting a […]

via Make Money Blogging: The Beginner’s Guide To Affiliate Marketing — Antony Agnel

Merchandising Basics

The genesis of this post is a long-standing debate with my colleague on a topic that can be safely put as “Marketing Vs Merchandising”.  To begin with, I feel  that there cannot be a debate/discussion on Marketing “Vs” Merchandising because the latter is a very important subset of the former which also consists of several arenas including pricing, promotion and sales lead generation. If I were to present an analogy, consider marketing division as a human body and the different marketing functions as its organs that operate on their own to keep the human body up and alive! so you see now a debate on kidney Vs Human body is kinda ridiculous.

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who is the brain you ask?! well…most often it is the marketing head of the company 😀

But the best part of any discussion is the information exchange that happens (sometimes to win a pointless argument) and this time I got to learn about the merchandising basics that will help you close the gap between marketing, sales and operations that sadly work in silos in most organizations!

Merchandising is defined as the act of promoting the sale of goods, especially by their presentation in retail outlets. The keyword here is presentation. Not to sound shallow, but the presentation of products, goods, services, offers, sales reps, furniture and displays inside your store is a testimony for the standard of your store.

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So watch out for these merchandising basics to make your store look like picture 2:

#1 STORE LAYOUT 

Spending a lot of time with the store layout to figure out the most optimum store setup is highly recommended in the case of new outlets. 3D layout and dry runs should be done before you actually start setting up the store units. This step can make or break the entire shopping experience in your store for the customers. During the dry runs where you approach the store from the eyes of the customer…figure out the high visibility areas, congestion areas, navigation challenges, placement zones which would be best for the store.

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example of store layout for a pharmacy

the grades A,B and C in the payout are a part of the “Visibility Grading”. A being the most visible areas followed by B and C. Again, this here is the final layout which was finalized after a lot of permutation & combination of the display unit arrangements.

#2 MERCHANDISING SEGMENTS

Merchandising segments are defined to maintain the uniformity or uniqueness of each product category and hence maintain the overall look and feel of the store. merchandising segments are also mean to make the in-store shopping experience of the customer a lot more convenient. Let’s continue with the pharmacy example…so there will be broad product categories like skin care, hair care, feminine care, eye care, OTC medicines, vitamin supplements, baby care , etc. For a merchandiser it is very important to different each of these product categories in a visible manner so that the customer knows exactly where to find what.

Also, each merchandised segment should be have a line of connectivity for the customers to move from one product category to another without even realizing it. so having wall units for skin care, hair care & feminine care in a continuous line will make more sense than skin care, baby care & vitamins.

#3 STORE DISPLAY 

It is what it means! make your store look good…for which all the efforts are being made. But here are some sub points that will simplify your understanding of the display in a store:

  • Counter display – Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) should be displayed at the counter. The area of the counter display is graded as a high end visibility area in the store and are meant for handy products that might slip out of a customer’s shopping list. e.g chewing gums, candies, hand sanitizers, wipes and so on.
  • Free Standing Display Unit (FSDU) – or a Floor Stand is an integral part of  store display.  Utilizing floor display in a correct manner not only increases the likelihood of impulse purchase but also the willingness of shoppers to switch between brands.
  • Window Display – It is important to keep window display area tidy at all times as this signifies your store reputation. Do not stock up products in front of the window display as it portrays a disorganized viewpoint of the store. But window display is crucial for promotion material to entice the customers.

#4 LEVEL PLACEMENT 

There are few important things to consider when placing products on the shelves, such as:

  • Placing your most profitable items at eye level
  • Placing products for children and pregnant women at eye level
  • Placing your popular or targeted products in between eye and knee level of visibility

#5 PLANOGRAMS 

Once you have decided which products are to be placed on which shelves basis the best visibility plan, it is important to consider how the products have to be arranged on the shelves too. A planogram is a visual diagram, or drawing, that provides details on the placement of every product in a retail store. These schematics not only present a flow chart for the particular merchandise departments within a store layout but also show which aisle and on what shelf an item is located.

while I have tried to superficially touch upon the basic merchandising practices, there is a lot more that goes into making a store look flawless and customer friendly. But these pointers will definitely lay a strong foundation in your learning about merchandising and will surely make your views count in “merchandising Vs. marketing” discussion 😛

 

 

 

 

 

We got inside your pockets! (Tissue Box Marketing)

Let’s say if I have 10 unread emails in my inbox, chances are  that at least 3 of them are some kind of a marketing proposal. Marketing proposals are usually written by advertising and marketing agencies, design companies, or by individuals who are pitching an idea to a potential client. Who wouldn’t want to know about these ideas that can potentially uplift the existing marketing efforts and drive results. So I usually reserve my time for reading these emails and the hidden agenda (not so hidden anymore) is to know what’s new in the market, statistics that can change the game and most importantly what’s becoming obsolete.

Agencies usually cover a casket of communication channels including the traditional  newspaper, television, radio and trendy social media platforms. But they also explore some rather unconventional channels to take the customers by surprise. If i were to use a nomenclature then this is typically known as Guerrilla Marketing – unconventional (read “in your face”) promotion of products and services with little budget to spend.

Here I want to talk about one such type of guerrilla marketing tactics that has garnered a self explanatory name for itself – Tissue Box Marketing. I am sure you are are not impressed yet and I don’t blame you. Having your logo and company information  on a pack of tissues what’s the big deal right?! Here’s the big deal…

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Guerrilla form of marketing falls under ATL (Above the Line) Marketing where the objective is to reach to the masses and spread awareness. As a marketeer I know that ATL strategies are hackneyed as hell because you do the usual mass media stuff like print ads, radio and flyer distribution at high foot fall areas. Yes, flyers in this digital day and age! we all know what happens when an overly colorful and informative piece of paper is shoved into our hands…a quick scan and you get rid of it in most cases.

*For me I keep anything that has home delivery service 😛

But what if this flyer was more than just a piece of paper? AHA moment!

Enters the idea of tissue box marketing which is extremely prevalent in Japan (not sure if it originated there). The pictures show that your messaging can be sophisticated or  crude but you can be sure that the customer will make space for it in his pocket or purse. wallah! you got inside their pocket what else. As a marketer I find this as such an achievement because now every bearer of your tissue pack is an ambassador of your brand. Also, tissue paper as a product connects with the customers who use it for their personal hygiene. That for me is win – win.

The sheer simplicity and effectiveness of this revamped version of an old tactic has impressed me a lot. The only best thing that can top this would be distributing free food haha 😀

 

 

What’s new is your view!

Happy to share this interesting read on Forbes :

The Top 10 Trends Driving Marketing In 2017

Honestly the article does not contain information that we don’t already know. So don’t expect to find the success mantra or the next big thing for your marketing campaign. But you will certainly receive a fresh view of how you can use the marketing channels and tools to the fullest to achieve your marketing goals. I really found this helpful, especially the emphasis on using video content for marketing. I truly believe that customers “listen” to what they see!

The article also talks about data driven marketing that surely helps in making promotions intelligent, accurate and personal. But I feel big data is just one side of the story (no doubt a rather important side) . Small Data or what we commonly know as market/consumer insights are still a cornerstone of formulating a path breaking marketing strategy for any company.

Small Data by Martin Lindstrom  is a collection of case studies that ingrains the importance of on-ground research and reading between the lines to crack the code. Eager to share key takeaway from this amazing book and that’s most likely going to be my next post. Stay tuned and keep sharing.

 

Silly Me @ Times

Past couple of weeks I have been “dismissing” the morning alarms (yes, plural) on my phone, which once used to be snoozed to death before I would even consider calling it a new day. With eyes wide open, I wondered what could be wrong? Did I finally satiate my body and mind with the slumber that it had been craving for all these years OR am I an insomniac now? The plethora of possibilities and webMD did not present a good picture…the endless web of internal links landed me on the most dreaded page called “cancer symptoms”. Time for some positive thoughts, I said to myself, and decided on a very generic prognosis for my unusual sleep pattern – STRESS. Surrounded by scented candles, essential oils and green tea mugs (both empty and filled) I thought the de-stressing game was on point…at least the Instagram pictures would make you think so.

As I crashed after a soulful day, the thought of waking up just in time to manage looking like a human for office made me smile. Next morning with eyes wide open and the phone screen shining bright on my face, I had two questions on my mind…What is wrong with me? And Why is green tea so over rated? It was then, 4:30 in the morning, that an email notification which read ‘win a diamond ring’ made me go AH HA! While I was still connecting the dots in my mind and working out a possible cause, a series of email notifications started a frenzy of vibrating fits on my phone. Diamonds, grocery free codes, discount coupons, mall offers, season collection…you name it and I had it in my inbox at 5 o’clock in the morning! That’s like 2 hours before my first alarm goes off, are you kidding me?

This ‘vibrating-ping-pong-notification-fest’ has been keeping me awake all this while. Pheww…it’s not insomnia but now I’m definitely stressed about how to stop this noisy morning ritual which I don’t even recollect starting in the first place. For the first time I was opening emails that were either ‘too good to be true’ or ‘too much to be real’. And the irony…as a marketer I often work on content for email marketing and newsletters and being on the receiving end of it was not quite pleasant. With a heavy heart and serious doubt for my profession I decided to unsubscribe and stop receiving these emails and newsletters.

The first was an online apparel site where I have never bought anything but I do like to check out what’s in store so I gave this one a pass. Next was an online grocery which had a coupon code and some simple steps to use it. After I was done grocery shopping and efficiently using the coupon to avail discount, there was no way I was going to unsubscribe this one. It took me 2 hours to realize that I could safely unsubscribe 2 emails that were completely useless in my inbox the rest (13 of them) were in fact of some use for me. This was a bitter sweet moment for me… when I appreciated my profession that allowed communication of such life changing offers and also dreaded the sleepless early mornings.

I was startled by the “nothing else matters” ring tone on my husband’s mobile phone when he said those golden words that would change my mornings forever…. “can you put that on silent please”.

Duh! right 😛