Category Archives: New media

Social Media ROI and Enterprise 2.0

So many brilliant people are racking their brains, blogging, putting awesome presentations on slideshare, youtube (like the one above)  on how ROI of social media campaigns can be measured and how several companies are already benefitting from making social media a key part of their marketing efforts. Continue reading

Amazon learns from Apple ?

After selling just the Kindle reader for 2 years, Amazon first launched the “Kindle for iphone” app and now “Kindle for PC” . It was high time. Not everyone into reading is happy to spend USD250 for the Kindle reader or has a iphone. Despite being a voracious reader I have been dawdling a bit about buying a Kindle. With “Kindle for PC”,  you get a reading experience half-way between the book like experience of Kindle  reader and the current reading experience on a computer screen. So 50% improvement at zero cost. Continue reading

et tu HSBC

Picture 20Till now HSBC was brand royalty for me when it came to banks & financial services branding and communication. Seems like even Gods have feet of clay. This banner ad on the HSBC HK site tries to attract new HSBC premier customers ( minimum deposit HKD 1mn or USD 100K) with a “scratch and win”. Wow !!! I used this mechanic to sell a few more soaps and detergent bars to a reluctant retailer in India about 15 years ago. How the world has changed since the recession. Blame it on Lehman.

P&G keeps learning.

P&G is one organization which continues to amaze with its hunger  for “more and better” in everything. Its arguably by far the best consumer goods company in the world. Outstanding people are the foundation of this reputation and they have been trained and groomed largely internally. But in today’s fast changing marketing landscape, even P&G is realising that it doesn’t have all the answers and needs to reach out and learn. Connect & develop was one such initiative to accelerate its product innovation pipeline efficiently. Now in another interesting move, there is a planned talent swap with Google with the stated purpose of – “to learn more about each other and about targeting customers”. Read more here.

If Connect & Develop was about maximising the value of R&D dollars, this  is about maximising the media dollars. Think about what this early dalliance can lead to  : The world’s largest advertiser ties up with what is perhaps the world’s largest media property.

The timing is also good. With the recession led pressure on margins and costs, anything which helps maintain or increase share of voice with a reduced media spend is welcome. P&G wants to know more about the online media habits so that it can confidently shift more media dollars away from mass-media. For Google, getting a convert like P&G would mean other companies will follow soon.

Well done !! Stock up on both the scrips.

Outsource creativity-Pay per Idea.

If you wished that everytime you had a marketing problem, you could get marketing brains all over the world to “pitch” their ideas , you could choose the best one and only pay for the one you use, your wish has started taking shape on the web via

It will take many blows to the “agency” model for it to completely collapse. Big spending multinational clients will continue to want continuity in brand thinking and consistency in execution. However for the mid and small size businesses an ideas marketplace like bootb where you only pay if you use the idea while getting to choose from multiple solutions to your specific marketing problem/need, without paying high development costs/fees, can be very appealing. Even big brand names like LEGO, DISNEYLAND, PEUGEOT are already on the site with their briefs (Peugeot’s brief received 66 solutions).

This also has potential to bust whatever remains of the “creative” high ground occupied by the creative types. The next time your agency team comes with just one single concept/idea in response to your brief and tries to sell it to you as the right solution, while you shift and squirm in your seat thinking “can we see some more options, without breaking the bank”, you might be tempted to tap into bootb (incidentally bootb stands for Be Out Of The Box).

Freelance creatives and marketing consultants have existed for some time on the web offering their services at a fraction of the normal costs. Where bootb scores is, in giving clients a choice of solutions to the specific problem, at no incremental cost vs the fixed budget

The bootb concept is like an agency “pitch” with no fixed cost, with no committment to give the business to anybody and no obligation to continue working with the winning “agency” in the future. You risk nothing (except perhaps the loss of confidentiality with respect to your coming marketing plans, as your marketing needs are there for anyone registered on the site, to see via the brief. For e.g, I know via bootb that Puegeot is launching the new 308 in March in Russia). Think about it.

Bootb cannot replace the assigned agencies for obvious reasons. However as a source of multiple solutions/ideas against a defined brief it is a good resource (even for agencies). While (just like the agency system) there is no gurantee you will get the right solution, the difference is if you don’t like anything you don’t pay anything (unlike the agency system where the time sheet meter keeps ticking). Given their revenue model (10% of the fixed budget as their commission) and low fixed costs, I reckon they will be profitable soon.

The site design of bootb is “creative” and quite different. I like most of it, except the background color (black), which not only makes navigation a bit difficult, but is also symbolically against the idea of “out of box” thinking. The black hat in the 6 thinking hats created by the creativity guru De Bono stands for  caution. When you wear the black hat you try and see all the faults in a particular solution. But this is a minor executional niggle in what is essentially a great Idea!!

Buy Dell shares.


You can’t keep a good man down for very long. First SONY and now DELL is on a comeback trail. I can feel it and see it. The focus on basics – good product design, excellent customer service and relevant innovation – is showing. Read here about how they are listening to the consumer, turning complaints/problems into a positive opportunity for the brand and harnessing the “wisdom of the crowds” to develop new products or improve existing ones.  Continue reading

Insights on “guru”-ism

An excellent reminder on the dangers of starting to “live in your head”. Read here : Stay hungry, Stay foolish. Nice post with an interesting video from the TED conference.

Continue reading