Monthly Archives: March 2015

After Section 66A, it is the muscle that will play!

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Section 66A

- L Subramanyan, CEO, Trivone Digital 

So Sec 66A gets thrown out of the window by the Supreme Court. No surprises there. Any reasonable thinking human being would have been appalled by the sheer brazenness of the section. Obviously, it does not include our lawmakers – who are neither reasonable nor can think like human beings.

The bigger question that is not answered here is – what gives our lawmakers the right to craft such pieces of legislation, which go fundamentally, against democratic tenets? After all, aren’t they answerable to anybody, at all? Thirdly, can those people whose lives were made miserable by the police u/s 66A, now claim compensation against the state for, willfully crafting a piece of legislation, which was prima facie against humanity.

And look at the shamelessness of these ministers and ex-ministers. The very same people who hailed it are now saying that the SC judgement is ‘welcome’. Messers Sibal, Chidambaram, Ravi Shankar Prasad, lawyers all, who had a major role to play in drafting the legislation, defending it in public, are now hailing its demise. Can the Supreme court try them under any law? Is a forked tongue allowed by law for a minister and elected representative in a democracy?

Now that they don't have the legal protection of law, the elected reps will start unleashing their goons on FB posts and tweets that they don't like. They will start beating people up, burning buses, create a public disorder to protest. Since the so called ‘perpetrators’ are any way defenceless against hooliganism by political cadres, free speech will again become a casualty.

Maybe The Hon Supreme Court should start examining the role of these politicians when they start muzzling voices of dissent using muscle!

Category: Leadership

The Jaldi 5 for B2B Digital Marketing

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Challenges2

- L Subramanyan, CEO, Trivone Digital

Challenges2

In the beginning was the word… the written word, lovingly called ‘text’, then came the design element followed by a whole wave of social media tools. Somewhere along the way, Whatsapp and their ilk got into the act. Just when we thought it was some kind of a (brief) end-point, along came the video. While all this was going on, the platform changed from desktop to laptop to tablet to the ubiquitous cell phone.

The above paraphrases the changes that I have seen in the last four years that I have been running Trivone. Inevitably, this has led to a constant change in the business model (any version of which lasts just a quarter or two, anyway).

If that is evident to you, and me, there is one animal that is somewhat oblivious of the above mentioned changes – the Indian (if not other) companies that are selling to other companies, called the B2B segment. Most use their websites (and ALL of them have one) as nothing but a broadcast tool, not updated regularly, replete with ‘prison-row’ kind of images, with gibberish that would have you reaching for the next large peg of Black Dog!

The irony is that the maximum usage of this change is probably the B2B companies. Consider this: B2B companies have a finite set of customers or at least a finite universe of prospects. They have a very clear and rational business case (no depending upon the finer emotional sensibilities of their customers), can convey most of their information across formats, the cost of converting their stories into videos is relatively low and everybody in the B2B business has a cell phone.

So what is the problem? To my mind, it is just plain and simple inertia and a bull-like stubbornness to accept that digital is a part of business. Most of such companies have a CIO, who is only, at best, an infrastructure manager and is a technical geek. (S)he is not considered to be strategic to the business. The attendant problem is that anything that is IT is the CIO’s bailiwick, and hence considered IT and hence not strategic to the business. It is not as if the CEO or the owner doesn't understand the importance of Digital in her life; it is just that (s)he believes that her life and her business are two different things. That is the irony.

How do we change this mindset? For starters, the owner has to understand that Digital is core to the strategic business of the company; irrespective whether one is selling toothbrushes or rocket launchers (not that either of the businesses is inferior or superior to the other). I would ask each owner to do the following, from tomorrow morning:

1.     Start reading the business newspaper on a tablet. That way you can read a story, comment and send it to people in a company.

2.     Get social yourself… throw out the black tie and start getting your Linked in, FB, Twitter accounts active. You will meet people from your business and affiliated groups, start following discussions and over time you will start to participate.

3.     Make your company website page the default page on your browser. Even if you spend less than 3 seconds on it, that is 15 seconds in a week! A huge increase from today’s 15 seconds in a month, if at all.

4.     Make your marketing person explain why (s)he cannot use digital marketing tools to reach out to prospects. It is possible that (s)he may not be able to do all the time, at least it will make her think before giving you a marketing plan, sans digital

5.     Spend at least half a day in a month to attend the countless digital marketing/ mobile marketing events. Most of them may be worthless, but even if one such event gives you one insight once a month, you are on your way.

That's it! Nothing enormous. The above five things will not take more than 10 minutes of your time in a whole day! Who knows, pigs may actually fly.

 

How to fix sucky content!

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- Ruchika Narang, Marketing Director, Trivone Digital

I like to think that content is like music. It is a tool to communicate and connect, while striking the right chord with the ‘listener’. It needs to resonate with your audience.

Your content needs to stand out in the eyes of the dynamic, evolved customer who is now being hit with more information than he can handle (I mean Internet is a lifeline in today’s age!)

In our last post we wrote about how to figure if your content sucks. Let’s talk today about some ways to fix sucky content!

#1 Study Your Readers – The first step to creating great content is to know exactly who your reader is. If you do not address what the audience wants, you will not have an audience in the first place. You need to talk about their pain-points, their challenges, their goals and needs to ensure you have their attention. For this, you will need to thoroughly study your target audience – identify them, understand them and gauge their behaviour, likes and dislikes in order to produce relevant content. Experiment with different kinds of content topics and measure what posts are bringing in the most readership to get an idea of what your viewers want to read.

#2 Focus on your Niche – The second step is to study yourself. Once you’ve identified whom you are talking to and what is it they seek, drill down to what problem you are going to solve for them. Get specific! Flesh out your content such that it gives your reader tactical pointers, action methods and tangible benefits to address their needs. A broad overview of a theory is good but a step-by-step guide is excellent! Remember to provide absolutely accurate supporting data and information.

# 3 Be Original – Originality can go a long way in helping you optimize your content better. In a race to put out more and more content, sometimes we forget about the quality and most times we forget how Google will react! We tend to rehash articles or publish content with copyright but this is hardly driving value to your viewers. They want to hear what YOU have to say, so put down your ideas, your thoughts, your solutions in your brand’s voice and tone.

# 4 Style your Content – So maybe you are writing great content but your readers just find it boring! Style your content posts to suit your viewer, ex. A research paper may be long, corporate looking filled with graphs but an article can definitely contain short and concise bullet-pointers, infographics, videos. Spend significant time deciding your headlines! Big, bold, catchy headlines again will have a very big impact on whether the viewer wants to read the post or not. Your headlines may be read by a 100 people, but only 20 will open up to read it – increase this number by making your post ‘attractive’. Now attractive doesn’t mean just make it pretty, design from your content out and make it visually appealing. Use multimedia.

# 5 Actionable Content – There are two aspects of ‘action-filled’ content. Firstly, it should contain tactical and practical points of information that the reader can immediately apply and use. Secondly, it should be constructed to drive responses. Always keep a comment section to drive conversations, but this isn’t enough. Ask your viewers questions, provide them with answers, try seeding conversations through opinionated content pieces. Have ‘share links’ to encourage distribution on social media pages.

 

Does this post help you? We'd like to hear what challenges you may have in content creation and marketing.

Category: B2B, Content Marketing

5 ways to know that your Content SUCKS!

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- Ruchika Narang, Marketing Program director, Trivone Digital

In our previous posts, we’ve highlighted how it is imperative to deliver good content, how to get started with your content marketing strategy and even jotted down a simple framework to accomplish the latter. While we go and on (and we definitely will!) talking about ‘everything content’, it’s also important to know whether the content you are creating is resonating with your audience. Content is NOT JUST the words, the font, the creative, the code, the UX, the Ads. It’s the whole package – the process and the complete experience.

So how do you know you are going wrong with content?

 

1.When you treat your content as a COMMODITY

Instead of as a mission – a critical business aspect

Content is all about People – your customers. It is important to write your content keeping in mind the reader audience, that are core to your business. The content needs to be treated not as just a ‘feature’ but as an element core to your business and marketing strategy.

My favourite example is that of Unilever’s www.BeBeautiful.in – a site that provides tips on best hair care, oral care etc. which they understand their consumers are searching for. The clever thing is that it doesn’t promote its beauty products overtly but the latter are natively integrated into the content – subtle and simple.

 

2.When you publish AS MUCH CONTENT as possible

Instead of carefully curating relevant and compelling collections

Flooding your reader with too much content be it tweets, posts, write-ups tends to be simply irritating! In an attempt to join the content marketing bandwagon, may firms miss out the ‘marketing’ element and simply go with dumping a whole of content on their pages – content which is not relevant, exciting and engaging will dissuade a customer from coming back to your site. It is vital to understand your customers’ behaviour, their likings and interests and design or curate content specifically for them. If you can create personalized content for your users, then nothing like it!

IBM’s Smarter Planet (on Tumblr) is a great example of well curated content that contain people and company stories on using technology to build a ‘smarter planet’.

 

3.When you DON’T SCHEDULE your content

So you miss out on relevant opportunities

Scheduling your content can go a long way to grab a customer’s attention, particularly by leveraging key events, seasons, big-ticket activities throughout the year, ex. The Oscars or SuperBowl or The Union Budget. By maintaining an editorial calendar at the beginning of the business year and planning content as you would plan any other marketing activity truly helps you to not miss out on the ‘action’ when the time comes.

Starbucks had launched a site segment “How do you know it’s fall?” that allowed viewers to enter their own tweets into a form, pre-hashtagged with #itsfallwhen. The idea: you know it’s fall when you can get yourself a pumpkin spice latte. This activity scheduled for the autumn season is both fun and interactive, generating own as well as user generated content.

 

4.The PLATFORM DICTATES how the content works

Instead of content shaping the platform

Your content should be personalized for platforms as well as for devices. Content must be designed differently for say social platforms or for smaller screen devices such as mobiles although it is communicating the same message. Your content must be rapidly adaptive and portable. A mobile first strategy may neglect the desktop users and vice-versa. Hence your content strategy must be optimized. Look at creating multiple titles, images optimized for different resolutions, responsive design layouts etc. while maintaining brand consistency so users still feel ‘at home’ while consuming content from different places. 

Media Houses such as CNN, ET, BBC are doing a great job with creating portable content for their print, TV, mobile app and online versions.

 

5.When you design first and PLUG IN the content later

Instead of designing from the content out

Content design is as crucial an element as writing the content. Gone are the days of making your web pages look ‘pretty’. Design today is all about connecting to the end-user by allowing the content itself create the layout that suits it best. Illustrative content such as infographics is more visually appealing and likely to get more engagement from your readers. Avoid using pre-designed templates into which you later fit your content. Instead, your design should resonate the tone, voice and matter of the communication piece.

Amul Butter creatives stand out when it comes to designing from the content-out methodology.

 

You can dress up bad content, but you won’t fool anyone!