How to hook your customers with transparent marketing?
Markets today, are swamped with products and each product is trying to establish a conversation with you. What if brands were real people? How would they speak? And have they really been able to develop a conversation style similar to people you would like to connect with? There seems to be a long way to go for many.
Let’s say I meet two people and here’s how they introduce themselves (and here’s what I think about them in my head):
Brad: “Hi, I am Brad. I have got a great job with an awesome pay (Great! But.. er.. what kind of job?). I am charismatic and have got a killer personality (let me be the judge!). Did I tell you my IQ is way above average? So you can bank upon me for taking life-changing decisions(Woah! How do I know, we’ve just met!). All it would take is one cup of coffee with me for you to know that I am the best person you’ve ever met or can ever hope to meet (That’s desperately cheesy!)”
Ted: “Hi, I am Ted. I have been working at Boogle inc. for past 10 years. Currently I head the AI vertical there and am working on the next gen of bots.(Concrete information, brainy person). You are a marketeer isn’t it? I could help you develop a chatbot for your customers if you want (Indeed! I could use one!)On weekends you would find me either trekking or sailing. You can join me for a trip sometime and I am sure together we can have fun (Cool! that would be such a relief from my mundane routine!).
Who do you think I would like to stay in touch with: The ‘Bragger Brad’ or the ‘Transparent Ted’?
Most people in today’s world would prefer Ted and a smart advertiser understands this.
Gone is the time when a product would sell by making unreasonable, untruthful and unverifiable claims. People have matured and outgrown the tactics that were earlier used to captivate them. They have been victims of false promises and are sceptical about trying anything new which claims to be ‘the best’ or ‘miraculous’.
Guesstimates by reputed research firms indicate that on an average 5000 marketing messages per day are hurled at an average person who has access to television, internet and visits nearby stores. These marketing messages can be in the form of labels, logos, hoardings, mails, print ads, jingles, video clips and so on. The list is never-ending.
Customers now have learnt to carry a mental sieve and choose to retain less than 1% of all the marketing messages they come across. What we need to understand is that when it comes to buying something new, the potential customer is cynical. The one thing that can win the faith of a cynic is ‘genuineness’ and here is where transparent marketing comes into picture.
Some people might argue that bragging might actually provoke the listener enough to ask more questions and to enter into a conversation. The ‘Bragging Brad’ approach indeed seemed to be quite effective in the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s. It was used widely by advertisers to entice the customers by sowing the seeds of questions like “what?”, “how?” and “really?” in their heads hoping that the customer would say “let me try!”.
The basic assumption of this marketing technique is that the target customer would easily ‘want to experiment’. And that’s precisely why today a lot of marketing professionals are finding it difficult to get over the trend of ‘self-praise’ and ‘exaggerated-claiming’.
Reality check: Today’s customer leads a fast-paced lifestyle and wants quick reliable information. She sees herself as smart and emotionally intelligent. If you are questioning the basic intelligence of a customer by using vague flowery terms or by making cliché promises, be prepared to get overlooked. Worse, you might end up repelling a potential customer.
Transparent marketing dares the brand guardians to go beyond the traditional ‘My product is the best’ approach and brings along a new wave of fresh marketing techniques.
If you are a marketing enthusiast wanting to embrace transparent marketing, here’s what you need to learn:
The 5 secrets of transparent marketing
1. Valid + Verifiable = Valuable: Communicate the true value of the product by using terminology which is relevant to your brand and is testable. For example: Showcasing a survey or a research conducted by experts or highlighting past work and expertise of your product developers.
2. ‘Too good to be true’ or ‘too fake to be considered!’: Using non-deceptive marketing tactics is the key to transparent marketing. Exaggerated use of superlative words can lead to a disconnect between your brand and the customer. You should definitely emotionally connect with your customers but don’t try to emotionally fool them!
3. “Let another man praise thee and not thine own mouth”: King Solomon gave this advice to his son. It’s been 3500 years, and his advice still holds true. There is no substitute to ‘word-of-mouth’ marketing, so if you trust your product, communicate what is necessary and let the indirect buzz do its work. Create customers who create customers.
4. Customers buy for their reasons, not yours: Present concrete facts to support what your product/service specialises in so that the customers find their way to the product and not the other way around. If a brand knows its target audience, it should make sure it plays on its niche rather than trying to become a brand-for-all in the first go itself.
5. “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”: This quote by Bill Gates sums up the significance of customer engagement beautifully. The idea is to become more human and to be upfront to your customers about your weaknesses and let them know that you need them in order to improve. Create platforms for them to interact with each other and with your organisation. Listening to your customers gives you a direction in which you can advance on a journey of continuous improvement and that is what true marketing is.
Customers are evolving and so are businesses. Transparent marketing doesn’t need to be dull or drab but it has to be more than just bragging or entertainment. It’s definitely a challenge for the modern-day marketeer to create a voice for their brand which will be heard and not be rejected as noise by the potential customer. Most smart marketeers are now looking to achieve what we can call ‘creative transparency’.
Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution might have been contested by many, but seems to hold true at least in the competitive battleground of marketing: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
The author of this article is the founder and chief content strategist at Wytti- a content marketing firm which takes pride in creating witty content for businesses across the globe.
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Planning to start up? 5 Fitness mantras for aspiring entrepreneurs
If you plan to stand on your own feet, your legs better be strong enough! While fitness needs to be on the priority list of everyone alike, it holds a crucial key to success for startup founders and independent workers.
Health has only recently begun to get the attention it always deserved. And if you have been anything like me- neglecting exercise on the pretext of work load, traffic or plain laziness- time to pause and learn a few tricks.
1. Kill the ‘I don’t have time’ excuse: This is the biggest lie that we tell to everyone and unfortunately to ourselves. The issue is, we don’t take working out seriously enough to take time out for it. Instead of being a mandate, time for exercise is a choice which we don’t often pick. If you really care about yourself, stop giving yourself a choice. Decide on a time duration- it could range anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. And instead of trying to squeeze out time from your schedule, make this a part of your schedule as your daily necessary appointment with yourself. Choose on rough a time of day when you are most likely to be free of any obligations and go for it guilt-free.
Quick tip: Trying to wake up early in order to begin one’s exercise regimen can be a dampener for many. Instead fit the activity anywhere in your existing routine to begin with to ensure that you don’t make the task anymore difficult for you.
2. Go for the most feasible and most appealing solution: Most career-oriented professionals like the idea of learning something new. So here’s a chance for you to decide on what it should be. Take time to decide what you would really like to learn. There are numerous activities one could choose from- Yoga, Taekwondo, Mixed Martial Arts, Crossfit, Taichi or any form of dancing. Now, whether you have the time to go to a proper class for the same (which has to be in the proximity of your residence or workplace) or whether you are open to following online training videos is up to you to decide. I personally enjoy mixing styles and learning different things and hence Youtube works best for me. With the added convenience of anytime, anywhere, I get robbed of any excuses from my kitty. However, for many of you enrolling into a class may ensure that you really follow through.
Quick tip:Take your call based on which excuses you make the most! You would naturally commit yourself to something that you enjoy doing.
3. Breaking the inertia: The body can be a real sloth- not wanting to move an inch until it’s required to. Identify when you are starting to act like a sloth and shake yourself up- that’s the most difficult thing, really! Because most of us have made it so in our heads! However, for once try to push yourself to stand- think of how good a workout can make you feel. Think of all the times you’ve exercised in the past and how you felt after that.
Quick tip:The day you don’t feel like doing anything, just coax yourself to get up and do something as simple as taking a walk or stretching your arms and legs for a very short time and you might be pleasantly surprised by your desire to continue once you’ve kick-started the activity.
4. Convince yourself to help your brain: Physical activities help in bringing a balance to your life. When planning to launch a business, some days are bound to be frustrating and stressful and only a form of physical activity may be able to de-stress you and cheer you up for the road ahead. When you stretch yourself to achieve a fitness goal, you train your mind to push similarly when it comes to your business goals. From mood boosting to memory enhancement to better decision-making skills, this article is much too short to sum up the psychological benefits of exercising in one form or the other.
Quick tip: Every time you go for a physical activity just tell yourself that this will also make your brain smarter and sharper at everything else that you do.
5. Get addicted to water: Make water your favourite drink! You’ve heard it already from various sources and at the risk of being unoriginal I can still not exclude this point when I write about fitness. When you are into the process of building a business from scratch, you may end up forgetting things as obvious as drinking water. Keep your favourite bottle handy and ensure you drink at least 3 litres of water everyday (and more depending on how intense your workout sessions are).
Quick tip: Try drinking at least 3 glasses of water immediately after you get up- you might feel a bit too full, but trust me, it’s one of the best habits you would have cultivated in a short while.
If you are already on track, good for you! If not, just begin with a one-week trial for yourself while keeping in mind the above mentioned mantras and embrace the new you. You will look better, feel better and do better. What more do you need!
The author of this article is the founder and chief content strategist at Wytti- a Bangalore based content marketing firm which takes pride in creating witty content for businesses.
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7 beautiful lessons in entrepreneurship from Sui Dhaaga
Far from Bollywood’s tried-and-tested mix of glamour, violence, cuss words and obscene jokes, Sharat Katariya’s Sui Dhaaga is a refreshing breath of fresh air.
While, this may not be the first movie in this genre (Guru and Rocket Singh to name a couple), it does a splendid job of leaving you with a feeling called ‘I can do it too…’ and not just that, it also shows you how. And that’s exactly where it hits the nail!
So here are some important lessons in entrepreneurship taught by Mauji(Varun Dhawan) and Mamta(Anushka Sharma):
1. Realize where you are In the first few scenes of the movie, we see Mauji being asked occasionally to act like a pet animal by his employer’s son and Mauji without even realizing that he is doing something beneath his dignity, complies. While most of those working in the corporate world, thankfully do not face such circumstances often but because they hardly question their modus-operandi, a lot of them get domesticated and end up doing stuff they are over-qualified for. Often before an entrepreneur is born, an employee realizes that his leash is in someone else’s hand.
2. No time is perfect time
A lot of dreamers keep on waiting for the perfect time to take the plunge. Mauji and Mamta on the other hand decide to stick with their decision of taking a risk at a time when their family is neck-deep in financial trouble. Neither do they abandon the family to go for their own adventure, nor do they sacrifice their own dreams. They establish a balance right in the center of a thunderstorm. Problems are a part of life and one cannot wait for all the problems to disappear in order to take important turns in one’s journey. You never know, waiting too much may make you miss an important turn.
3. Nothing wrong in starting small Although Mauji quits his employer in a moment of heat, he struggles with the thought of ‘how to begin’. Mamta quite wittily puts the idea of a roadside make-do arrangement in Mauji’s head and the business begins with a sewing machine in the middle of nowhere with their basic marketing tool being- going to every possible shop nearby and letting them know where Mauji sits and what he does.
4. Don’t shy away from struggles
Here’s where, honestly, we see a bit of exaggerated drama in the movie. Mauji and Mamta end up travelling several kilometres on an old bicycle just to get hold of a sewing machine. The endless queue for the machine clubbed with the bleeding of Mauji’s foot and his absence when his turn actually comes, may make the whole scene look a little too filmy. However, the real-life struggles faced by several entrepreneurs can be equally taxing if not much worse. No kidding. Learn to embrace struggles rather than shying away from them
5. Your work will speak for you
Mauji stitches the perfect maxi for his beloved Amma who is in the hospital. And soon enough (again a bit of exaggeration here), people flock to him to buy a similar maxi. In real life, demand for something new doesn’t really rise up so fast. However, if your product/service is really good, word of mouth is sure to fetch you your initial list of clients.
6. Be passionate, not foolish
When Mauji and Mamta are offered a job at a local fashion designer’s factory, they mull over it and considering their economic condition, decide to take it. If nothing else, they learn the nuances of the trade at this place and are able to extend some financial support for Mauji’s mother’s treatment. Ofcourse, they leave this job later once they realize that the designer doesn’t really stand for the values they believe in. But they leave as much more skilled and wiser individuals.
7. Make your family your team and your team your family
How to build the right team is one of the biggest questions which haunts anyone willing to start up. Mauji’s strongest support is Mamta, his life-partner. And when they both have to take up a challenge involving more hands than four, they convince the people living in their vicinity to join them. The lesson- Reach out to people you already know- your family, friends and people you’ve already known for a while. Their support will help you kick-start your venture and you will have people you love around to celebrate your initial fruits of success!
Successful Site Architecture: Making your site search engine friendly
You brim with dreams and aspirations at the thought of making a profitable website for your venture. The question is what steps should you take to make your dreams come true? The first step to make your presence marked in the digital world is to make your website easily searchable.
If you plan to design your own site, you need to keep certain aspects of site architecture in mind to make it easily accessible for search engines to index. Here we share some quick tips which you can use as a checklist while making your site search-engine friendly. Some of the basic guidelines listed by Google webmaster to make a website easily searchable include the following:
The site should be made with proper hierarchy and text links.
All pages of website should be accessible from minimum one static link.
A site map should exist for users which can take them to chief links of the site.
Make sure there are no broken links in your source code.
Avoid using important content as an image. Crawlers of most search engines do not recognize text included in images. Instead, use text for important content and links.
After reviewing these basic guidelines for designing the site, it would be a good idea to pull up your socks to enhance the ranking of your site in various searches:
The first significant point is to narrow down your keywords- words which a user will use to search the type of content your site is offering. Use these keywords in the headers, titles and starting lines of your content.
Submit the important pages of your website to various search engines, important ones being Google, Bing and Yahoo.
Do an extensive research on the methods used by various websites which are ranked high in various searches. You can learn from that competitor of yours who shows up the moment you write your dear keywords in the search bar.
Make sure that you update your website regularly, post original content and optimize it according to search engine algorithms.
Track the location of visitors, the percentage of conversions and the percentage of relevant audience and learn which keywords are best suited for your site accordingly.
Offer newsletters, free reports and valuable services to make sure you have regular visitors to your site.
Also ensure that the description of all “metatags” of your webpages is vivid and enticing for the users. Many search results show these and hence this can be very helpful in driving traffic to your site.
Do remember that even if your site has unique content which can be of great help to the users, your site will not have any significance till it reaches the suitable audience. So it’s critical for you to make your site architecture search engine friendly. You know it well- being ranked high on a search engine is the best possible publicity for your site!
SEO Mistakes that introduce you to Google’s Naughty List
Just the other day you were getting a nice trickle of traffic for your posts. The clicks on your web presence were growing with every new post published by you. Just when you were planning to grade Google as the main source of traffic for your business –it all stops. Your existence and online identity is all wiped out from Google –as if you never existed. Every singular post put by you vanishes into thin air. No alarm, no warning bells…… Nothing!
All this and more, obviously leaves you bleeding, whimpering and wondering what went wrong. If this has happened to you, then you are not alone. With new SEO rules coming into play and Google becoming all the more stringent with whatever’s being posted on its face –the going according to SEO experts is obviously getting tougher for those who have been or are on the verge of being blacklisted. Read on for some mistakes that are a complete no-no as per SEO professionals (even though you may be nurturing a feeling that they are legitimate).
Mistake #1: Purchasing Links
If you are an avid user of SEO based marketing strategies, then you must have noticed the ads posted by diverse firms in this field. These ads guarantee you thousands of links as well as first page rankings for just a paltry fee. Just ignore them. All these links are from disreputable, spammy sites and fake social networking accounts. They often point to intermediary pages and supposedly create “link pyramids/ link wheels” to protect you. Though they may work for a while for your business, you will soon get caught by the ever-evolving Google. They have always managed to map people like you. The best policy? Refrain from buying (or selling links). Period.
Mistake #2: Joining Wrong Link Directories
Before signing up with an online directory, do ask yourself these questions.
Is the directory known for rejecting URLs? If there are no rejections in the offing, then the directory chosen by you may simply be a free-for-all and useless link website.
Are the URLs present in the directory of high quality or are they spammy and don’t talk too highly of the kind of submissions on the same?
Are the services provided for free? As per experts, a genuine directory will always charge a small fee for the evaluation of the URL submitted.
Link directories are no longer the most reliable part of SEO marketing campaigns. It’s well advised to research upon trustworthy industry-specific directories only—they help in boosting your search rankings.
Mistake #3: Keyword Stuffing and Article Marketing
Though a rage in 2008, the idea of spinning multiple articles from an original one (after making minor adjustments) and linking them back to your site is just not accepted by today’s Google. Though a few SEO companies are still encouraging article marketing, it’s now a dying technique that fails to get the correct response from search engines. And yes, filling up pages with an unnecessary numbers or keywords leads to negative user experiences —steer clear of such tactics!
To err is human. We can only try to err a little less.
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The Year Gone by: 2018 Underrated Bollywood Gems
Often films with huge marketing budgets and star-cast elbow down some brilliant movies with great content. 2018 was an year of some beautiful films, some of which did not get the limelight they deserved. If you are a movie connoisseur, here’s something that you will love us for!
#wyttiyear #bollywood #underratedbollywoodmovies #mustwatch
2018 Women Friendly Changes Across the World
“When a flower doesn’t bloom you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower”
– Alexander Den Heijer
Let’s just say, the world hasn’t always been a kind place to nurture a strong, independent woman. However, gradually we are witnessing changes promising a better ecosystem for all. As the year goes by, let’s take some time to appreciate a few initiatives taken across different countries- initiatives which strengthen our belief in our movement towards a better, more inclusive society.
PC: www.brit.co, www.nmtv.tv, zeenews.india.com, www.albawaba.com, www.independent.ie, www.therooftop.news, www.reuter.com