Tag Archives: Marketing

A Story to Read and Write!

19 Jun

Sometimes you need to bribe children for their own sake, yes bribe – and yes for their good.

I knew a 7-year-old who had to be coaxed for a doctor’s check up and some tests. Now, she had extremely articulate parents who tried to put sense in her; but this kid surprised them. At the end of the entire ordeal she made a deal – “Buy me a book on the way back and I will go to the doctor.” A seven-year old kid – not asking for a visit to the circus or chocolates or a new toy – but A Book, and a big, fat book she ended up selecting!

No prices for guessing – this was Me.

And till date I read – whenever and wherever possible, a minute waiting for someone, quick five pages before starting the day’s work at office, the loo, cheating through a conference call, on my lap-under the laptop in a meeting where I am sure nobody would notice me – I have prayed for people to turn up late while waiting at a cafe, I have deliberately missed getting down at my metro station so that I can finish the chapter, I have read with a torch in the blanket so that my parents don’t find out I am awake and bless the mobile and e-books during parties and sociadal (social -suicidal: one and the same! ) functions.

But  honestly I am not an avid reader –  I am gazillions of books behind being an avid reader and it pains – it pains right there where it hurts the most that however hard I try, I would eventually miss out on so many stories.

“Stories” – Precisely the reason behind that little kid to yearn for a book ! Stories – the reason for all those antics, just to pop my head into some pages!

Now this uncanny passion for stories governs my life to the extent of crazy!

My maid comes wearing new bangles – and I hear the clink of a story; a girl staring into space in the bus and I see a story; My friend returns from a trip and I want to hear the story; The aunty at the yoga-centre always seems so confused and I wonder what’s the story; A friend does not believe in love and I seek the story –  A birthmark, a marriage, broken glasses, love for a brand, beaches, a subtle hello, high-squeaked voices, faces at the doctors’ clinic, drug addicts caught, my neighbour’s shopping behaviour, crossed fingers and flying balloons, broken promises and soul-ripping eyes, lazy walks, an addictive smile, choice of a book, rash driving or a hug – behind everything, everywhere I sense a story: Feelings, Reasons, Incidents behind, Dreams ahead – waiting to be read, waiting to be told – stories in every molecule the universe holds!

Stories – the reason my every What follows a Why, details I seek behind every action and word – even a sigh!
Stories – the force behind Marketing – my career choice
Stories – that help me figure out things – virtue or vice!


Quoting Kristin Martz: “We lose ourselves in the things we love, we find ourselves there too.”

“Stories” is why I attempt to Write !!



The Marketing-Research Cusp

20 Jan

This is just one of the many contests floating around on Twitter (and other networking websites too) these days – a predictable fall-out of the Social Media penetration(actually – now expansion) – It really caught my eyes and I could not resist ruminating further.

A simple contest  by Cafe Coffee Day looks to me like an extension of Do-it-Yourself (DIY) research ( I am not sure whether it is intended or unintended). But this contest sure has an excellent multi-pronged usage:

1) Promotion of a new product,
2) Social Media Marketing (and hence, in my personal opinion current Word of mouth marketing) and increasing consumer connectivity,
3) Maintain and expand Loyalty,
4) Taste testing and Perception mapping – I agree, Perception mapping is not purely in its traditional, statistical approach but still, providing an image of the product and then seeking (collecting) Top-of-Mind reaction does give the coffee major a qualitative assessment of what their customers think of the new item. Additionally while traditionally taste testing meant contacting people, approaching them and then providing them with some incentive for taste testing, this is a kind of win-win situation where they assess consumer reaction, get a sense of the results with minimal cost and added marketing benefits.

Such promotion-research cusp essentially opens a huge scope for further creative ideas for marketers. However, there are certain pain points that I can think of:

1) Target – A very important aspect of traditional research/ data collection is that the sample ensures optimum representation of the average customer. But in this case, the followers have made the effort of searching  Cafe Coffee Day on Twitter themselves. Hence, in all likelihood they are ardent consumers of the chain. It is very difficult to track the demographic/ psychographic profile of the consumers from the website. Moreover, one also captures only the active social media user segment.

2) User Conversion – Also, a very important aspect of taste testing would be to convert non-visitors to their cafe into visitors. Hence, such taste-testing should be complemented with traditional research as well where one can test whether the new item would recruit new footfalls (especially with the growing cafe culture and growing competition in India)

3) Context – This medium of research also differs based on the context – We should keep in mind the Indian context where internet penetration stands at 7%-8%. Hence, we lose out on more than 90% people while carrying out research activities. The case would be entirely different in countries with high internet penetration.

In spite of the cons, this is just the beginning of social media exploitation for marketing. And even in the Indian context, think of a niche technology major or a study targeting marketers or journalists – Social Media is a great medium.
As for us, we need to think of the ways around these vices, which sure are present.

P.S : I have deliberately blacked out the tweets other than what I wanted to focus on.

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