The agile digital marketing

Digital marketing is agile. Heard it, said it and experienced it many times earlier but I think the recent #CWC15 trend on Twitter is just one of the simplest and most perfect examples to explain this agility. Twitter this time definitely upped its engagement quotient manifold with its live cricket dashboard. It was a very well crafted and well promoted initiative with prompts and alerts at most visible places. Even a non-cricket lover couldn’t miss to notice it.

Twitter riding on an event is nothing new, neither marketers trying to grab consumer’s attention on all possible screens. But what was interesting to observe was the speed at which marketers could change their communication on this medium, engaging their audience in the moments that mattered, with messages that were contextually relevant at that point of time.

Just look at some of the screenshots grabbed on Twitter last week. Many brands came out with interesting messages that were very different from their general marketing communication, though some surely appeared to be force-fit in their quest to be different or relevant to the game. But overall the noteworthy point was the number of brands advertising on Twitter this time or the number of messages that brands could promote everyday depending upon which match it was and who was winning or losing the game. Imagine coming out with so many options during traditional advertising days? Imagine the cost implication or effort required to do it then? And no, I am not at all comparing the new age vs. traditional medium like television for things like reach. No doubts, television wins hands down at least in Indian market when it comes to reach but if I have to just take the digital medium as a second screen option, then the flexibility that this medium offers to adapt and be real time is fascinating!

And to me, the one brand that stood out completely on Twitter during ICC World Cup 2015 was Cadbury 5 Star. Not only were they smart in their content, they were also nimble enough to change as required. This Ramesh-Suresh duo knew how, when and what to speak. Otherwise, remember the reactions on seeing those super upbeat ads for any team during the commercial break on television esp. when that team was losing the game.

If I have to quickly jot down the steps on how to engage with your audience real-time without going into too much theoretical details of agile marketing, then I would sum it up in just three simple steps:

  • Listen intently
  • Communicate constantly
  • React instantly

Easy, isn’t it? Think again :-). How many of us listen carefully before communicating? How many of us communicate judiciously instead of reacting? How many of us react immediately without listening properly? Sometimes the simplest things are actually not so simple to handle and so is the case with digital medium. While the medium is very easy to use but not everyone knows how to use it to its full advantage. And those who have figured it out are already excelling in engaging with their audience on second, third or multiple screens.

BTW, I started my post with digital medium but when it came to referring to this year’s world cup, I only used Twitter as an example. I am myself wondering why I could notice all of it only on Twitter and not anywhere else? Is it just me who thinks that Twitter was the most preferred second screen option during this world cup? Would love to read some numbers by other sites but for now I would leave you with this latest post by Twitter that officially states on how #CWC15 played out on Twitter across the world.

Quick Bytes: A “Don’t” in Social Media

Dear Brands,
It just does not make any sense to put an icon for Facebook or Twitter in print ad without giving your URLs or official page titles for readers to find you quickly. I saw this big ad in TOI today with one of the call for actions being “Follow us on Twitter and Facebook”, despite the space being available to mention the URLs or official handles, there was just no mention of the same. To add to that the name is common enough to generate enough pages if you go ahead and search for it.

I recently observed even a television commercial doing the same – a prominent chocolate company ad on television stated “participate in our contest on Facebook and win prizes”, well the screen with this message lasts for few seconds, but all it mentions about the location to participate in contest is a plain “F” icon for Facebook. No mention of the page URL at all. And if you go ahead and search for that brand on Facebook, there are enough pages with that brand name to get you confused about the identity of the official page.

Please remember it’s not a web or interactive digital ad in front of your customers where they can click the icons and land up on your page. Won’t harm (esp. when you have space to utilize) to mention something like @yourname or /yourname near those icons. Easier for your customers to reach the right location quicker!

Why marketers should use Twitter?

Update on 30th May’09: ssp

I had personally joined twitter more than a year & half back but was not an active user of the account then. Initially, I just used to read updates from the people whom I was following & then slowly got into posting my updates too. In fact I became totally active (rather addictive ;)) almost after six months of opening my account & the more involved I got into this the more I realized the power of it. Very soon I opened an account on behalf of the company where I work & started tweeting about the updates of my company. Well, what started just as an update mechanics is now converted into a full-fledged customer interaction medium. I’m totally amazed at the viral effect & the potential of this medium from promotion & customer engagement point of view. I occasionally keep on reading about twitter & it’s phenomenal growth etc., but based on my personal experience with twitter I think I have come to a conclusion that this medium is definitely a must for every new age marketer who wants to be in touch with his net savvy (or shall I say tweet-savvy) customers. Here is why:

  • Creating & Tracking Brand Buzz: I have found twitter to be one of the best mediums for being updated with what people are writing about your brand. I’ve used  other popular alert services including the ones for twitter too but I find the “search” option on twitter to be really a smart way of being updated about at the moment” buzz of your brand. It surely gives a real time insight into your customer satisfaction, dissatisfaction, needs & gaps of your service.
  • Word Of Mouth (Or Tweet of mouth :-)) : While a negative tweet definitely harms your image but a positive tweet followed by different retweets surely leads to excellent word of mouth marketing. There is this one guy who was having problems with our service, I read his negative tweet which he had written just 2 minutes ago, I immediately escalated it to our internal service delivery head & in next 5 minutes the guy got a call from our service head. The guy got so impressed that he immediately tweeted about the power of twitter customer service. In next 15 minutes when his problem was solved he ensured to mention the prompt action taken by our company in so many tweets of his and was all gaga about the service attitude & brand promise of our company. Thanks to all his retweets which gave us a positive boost to our brand that day. After that my SD head ensures to search for keywords related to our service every 2 hours 🙂
  • Competition Tracking: If your competitor is also active on twitter, then toh wah bhai wah! Isko kehte hai chandi ho jana! Easiest & fastest way to be abreast with what competitors are doing as well as how many customers are dissatisfied by your competitors is to search your competitor related keyword in twitter. I’m telling you it’s a very effective medium for competitive taka-jhaki 😛
  • Customer Feedback / Suggestions: It’s definitely a very quick medium to seek feedback before any new launch or for announcing any new update / feature / product etc. And thanx to tweet-savvy customers they give you some very genuine feedback immediately.
  • Potential Targetting: Highly effective medium to reach out to potential customers too, check out who is looking out for your kind of service & reach the potential TG in a smart way.

Serious word of caution: When I say it’s an effective medium for marketers to promote & engage, this does not mean it should be used as a free tool for SPAMMING. Beauty of twitter is that twitter users till date DETEST spamming a lot. So, don’t go ahead posting only URLs or your service related promotions. You’ll only lose the interest of your followers & it just takes a few micro seconds to “unfollow” your brand. If it is fast method to engage, it is equally fast to un-engage. So, think again before you start abusing this medium. Key is to interact, talk, engage personally & tweet something which your followers can look forward too :). If you’ve captured the attention, you can definitely promote your brand in a more involved way.

Twitter launches “suggested users”

Today morning when I logged into my twitter account, I found this new tab “suggested users” in find people section. It has to be a development between yesterday to today as it was not there two days back when I had clicked “find people”. But what is interesting is that there was no formal announcement or whatsoever on twitter main page about it, quite a silent launch of a new feature from twitter! Though there are lots of external tools and apps for twitter but twitter on its own has hardly launched anything in recent times. So, when twitter launched something on its own I must say I was having somewhat high expectations from it but when I used this tool I didn’t find it much useful. In fact I can’t understand the logic of this recommendation at all. So, is twitter recommending these users to me based on my profile or my friend’s list profile or the nature of my updates? The algorithm is not at all clear. And to add to that what disappoints me further is that I am getting quite common suggestions for my both accounts – I maintain two accounts, one my personal account and second on behalf of my company where I work. There is hardly any similarity between these two accounts, neither in terms of following / follower list nor in terms of updates or profile. So, how come the users suggested are having so much similarity? So, is it just a set of some users which twitter is recommending to everybody in different permutations and combinations??? And some of the other recommendations are absolutely bizarre, have a look on the two scrnshots:


Britney 2.0!

Celebrities using web 2.0 platforms is no new phenomenon now…we have seen lots of examples of Bollywood as well as Hollywood ones. From having their own websites, to blogging, to official presence on networking sites like Facebook and Orkut, celebs are doing it all to reach their audience and establish a direct connect with them. And as if these were not enough, now they are having their fan following on twitter as well. Yeah, celebs are actually on twitter now! And following this trend is none other than Britney Spears who has re-launched her website as well as an official page on twitter. Her official website is having a video which says something like this:

“Hello everybody, welcome to the new I want to thank all of you for all your support, it really means a lot to me. I’m going to take you where no paparazzi lens ever could”.


Well, looks like the lady who has always been in news of late for wrong reasons and who is trying to make a comeback with her album “Womanizer” has taken up her image building exercise quite seriously now. One can see Britney all over internet, she is trying to make her presence felt across different platforms – be it Britney TV Channel on Youtube or her revamped official website or her blog or her updates on Twitter. Have a look on these vibrant scrnshots 🙂



As I write this, her Twitter page is already having 2901 followers (and still counting) and 22 updates! Great going lady! Hope social media helps her in revamping her image and she gets covered for the right reasons now. Just one thought – In this age of direct interaction and open communication, isn’t it bit weird that her blogs as well as updates are written by someone from her team and not herself? I didn’t find any post or interaction from her apart from that welcome video. Well, not every celebrity writes blogs himself / herself but at least they project to do so and direct contact via posts, comments or replies definitely gives a feeling of personalized interaction to the fans. Well, I think it would have been better if Britney would have written at least some posts herself (if not all), if not then maybe the language used could have been first person instead of third person. But overall, Britney’s presence on social media is receiving an overwhelming response from her fans and the figures of hits and views of her latest video are already making news in media.


Update: When I took the screenshot of Britney’s twitter page, her followers count was 2835, it took me approx 20 minutes to write and post this, that time the follower count was 2901. Now when I’m trying to edit this post a bit, her follower count is 3237! 402 followers in less than 45 minutes! Whoa…that’s some count I must say 🙂