Doing business the Indian way

The Indian industry is slowly realizing that to succeed, a business needs to employ “local” tactics and techniques rather than emulating a Western practice. You have to understand and accept that India is a different market and to do well here you need to think like an Indian and deliver what this market needs.

I had this wonderful experience that set me thinking last weekend when my husband and I set out for Commercial Street, Bangalore. For reasons that all Bangaloreans are intimately familiar with, we decided to take an auto rickshaw from MG Road to Commercial Street. We found one willing to transport us albeit with a caveat.
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Making market research count

Want to validate your new idea in the market and test its viability? Or you already have a product in the market but are not seeing the expected results? Else your product is present in a few markets and you want to expand its reach further? These are questions for which a business needs to find answers to from time to time. And market research offers a reliable way to understand the market and plan your next steps.
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When not to initiate market research

Many words have been written on why a company should initiate a market study exercise. But what is equally important is knowing when not to initiate such an exercise. Here are 3 key considerations –

a. Timelines: If you do not have too much time for a detailed study, the best idea is not to get into it. Many times, we have seen companies get into a market study with very aggressive timelines. There is pressure on the data collection and analysis phases leaving scope for errors, missed opportunities etc. In cases where there is little time, it is best to go with secondary information, insights from people in the field, and talking to industry experts/analysts.
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Have you spoken to your sales team recently?

I recently met with a client to discuss ideas for a marketing campaign that she wanted to launch for a particular offering from her company –an offering for a typical B2B enterprise. Initially we discussed coming up with something different and exciting that would catch the fancy of the target audience to remove the monotony from an otherwise boring offering. However, as we got into the details, a few things became clear. Coming up with something out of the ordinary would have certainly been innovative and different. But the client wanted a quick start and did not have the flexibility of a long preparation period which is essential in such cases. More importantly, a jazzy campaign was likely to end up as a marketing-led one with little or no participation from sales. Ultimately, the sales team has to buy-in completely into a marketing campaign or it to be successful. Finally, we converged on an approach that would be acceptable to sales and help them strike a conversation with the prospective client.
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5 steps to launching high-impact campaigns

One of the key goals of marketing organizations is to assist and enable sales. This goal gave rise to metrics such as number of leads through marketing and RoI of marketing initiatives. In fact, such measurements are becoming more commonplace as marketing becomes more and more accountable for the budgets they are allocated as well as the actions they take. This is a good thing in my opinion. Why? It forces a marketer to understand the big picture and take considered decisions. The marketer cannot rush headlong into spending money whatever is the current flavour of the season. However, he will be forced to arrive at the best course of action for his business based on market data, previous experience, company culture, available budgets, target audience and business capabilities. A more holistic approach is needed.
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The holy grail of content marketing

I recently took a class on Content Marketing for students enrolled in a Master’s program in Communications and Media. The objective was to expose the students to the big picture and provide an industry practitioner’s view of content marketing in the B2B sphere. B2B content marketing is a constant revelation for even those in the industry and was even more so for these students.

What exactly is content marketing? The classical definition says that it is all about creating and distributing relevant and value-adding content to your target audience in such a way that it positively impacts your business. It has become essential for survival in today’s market conditions because the customer is savvier and more well-informed, has more options to choose from and is inundated with information. So the goal is to figure out a way for your company’s voice be heard amongst all the noise in the ecosystem.

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Before you rush to write that brochure

Many of us marketing folks have experienced a harried request for a brochure from a sales person and set about delivering despite an overflowing to-do list.  After all, this brochure is going to be the difference between winning and losing a customer, right? Wrong!

Marketers usually don’t hesitate to pull all stops to deliver a piece of content especially when the request originates from a sales person. Before jumping headlong into it, you should always take a step back and ask these questions to the requestor.

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Market Strategy is not an exercise only for the big boys

It’s that time of the year when many companies are in their planning mode preparing for the next fiscal year. This involves zeroing in on the markets to address, the offerings to take to market and from there arriving at a target to pursue. Once this target is finalized for the different business segments, it is broken down into segmental plans, which leads to marketing plans.

This is an involved and significant exercise in larger companies occupying strategy and marketing teams for a few weeks. Obviously, the targets are huge and a considered approach is needed before fixing them.

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The measurement conundrum

How do I determine the effectiveness of white papers or blog or any piece of content for that matter?  How do I demonstrate RoI of my content marketing efforts?

Sounds familiar? These are some of the questions that clients frequently keep asking us and rightly so. With the grudging acceptance of marketing’s contributions in running a business leading to improved budgets, marketing functions are under the radar more than ever and need to prove their efficacy. Gone are the days when brand recall, engagement and other such qualitative metrics suffice. Today management demands a clear correlation between marketing efforts and business results. And we go back to the root question – how do we meaningfully link marketing efforts to business outcomes? Let’s just consider content marketing for the purpose of this blog.

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Easy ways to generate content from what you already have

Generating content for regular communication with your stakeholders is the bane of every B2B marketer. One challenge is coming up with engaging and relevant themes that would excite your audience and the second is developing content assets.

Here’s where repurposing can help and play a huge role in reducing your stress levels and ensure that you actually produce useful content for your target audience.

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