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Well, just as any other marketing strategy and methodology is important and it works, the concept of email marketing is equally important. Email marketing is sending emails to a group of subscribers promoting your product or services.
In fact, most marketers don’t realize that email marketing is one of the major components of marketing.
But just as everybody has myths about web marketing, there are a number of myths in email marketing too. If you want to make this strategy flawless, you can consider 5 email marketing myths you shouldn’t believe.
If you think unsubscribing is bad for your business, then it is time you think again
Yes, that’s correct. Unsubscribing has a far wider concept than you think. The audience who subscribes aren’t necessarily focused on knowing about your product or services. They may have done it in the spur of the moment or to get the information about your product for their own use.
That does not mean they are going to buy it from you. And unsubscribing speaks volumes. First, not interested and the inactivity of the user are about not being very much indulged in reading what you present them in your emails. And then unsubscribing saves you from the trouble of including them in the list of recipients who never respond or express interest.
Email is dead
If you think that emailing has lost its charm, then you are absolutely wrong. There are hundreds and thousands and millions of organizations that are making huge sums of money with email marketing.
In fact, email marketing is a major component of traffic for most websites.
The length of the subject should be less than 55 characters
If you think you can make a better and the intriguing subject line that exceeds 55 characters, and then feel free to do so, because content is the KING.
It is true that if you make subjects that are shorter, it will of course result in higher rates of opening, but it is never said that it will also result in higher clicks or higher conversions.
Thebest time for sending emails to subscribers is either the Monday or the Tuesday
Yes, it is true that everybody gets back to work on these days. But that is not necessarily true that the subscribers are more open to reading emails on these days only. There are millions of people who read their mails on everyday basis, no matter if it is a weekday or if it is a weekend. So you make sure that you send them emails on everyday basis. Weekends are the two days where the people get enough time to take a detailed look to their emails.
If that you send with a trusted automated responder, there is no reason to worry
Organizations like Aweber, Infusionsoft etc. changed the meaning of how marketing is done. There was a while where you must be uncertain about giving your email address online because you could open the ways to interminable spam. Then, some big email marketing names ventured up and led the pack so you would know whether you hit “Unsubscribe,” you would be allowed to sit unbothered.
These myths are the perfect signs that email marketing isn’t bad and can result in the increase of sales and business in ways you wouldn’t think of.
There are companies all over the world that are experiencing the rise in business with the help of email marketing only. They are consistent in sending emails to their subscribers, draw their attention and ensure that on receiving the subscriber responses will take care of their queries and answering their concerns.
So do not take these myths into account and make your email marketing more effective.
Author – Charlie Robinson
(He is a marketer and interim VP of Marketing of multiple tech companies. He is currently heading marketing at Adling, a digital agency in Cupertino).
The best marketer of our time was, inarguably, Steve Jobs. And everything Steve Jobs did was aimed at one thing – marketing his products. His presentations were performances, his product demos were carefully directed and choreographed; there was an air of showmanship about everything going on at Apple leading to a launch. Even their support stories became huge news. Walter Isaacson and others dissected this approach later, but at that time, all of us consumers were led to think only one thing – I need that Apple device!
That need wasn’t an accident; that craving was the result of an orchestrated marketing campaign, parts of which would never come under the understood umbrella of ‘marketing’. And that is where they won. The lesson in this is very simple – everything is marketing. Every single thing. Even something like customer service. In fact, here’s Forbes terming customer service the new marketing. I couldn’t agree more.
But it’s not just customer service that now falls under marketing’s all encompassing realm. Sales and support can also be ‘marketed’. In fact both sales and support, tied in with customer service, can become integral parts of the marketing machinery, using every customer touchpoint as a marketing channel.
The ‘support is marketing’ line
This is the first point of customer contact and definitely the most important. An indifferent support experience is not going to get a prospective customer to open his wallet. We need to make him pause, make him think, and make him buy. Every support query should be treated as an opportunity to clear roadblocks a customer has in using the product. Anticipating the next question and offering help before the customer even asks is part of this. This is just good support, you might argue, and that is exactly what I’m talking about – great support is great marketing.
The ‘sales as marketing’ story
It was the last week of the month and our sales team was rushing to complete targets. A colleague called up a hot lead and it turned out the lead, the CEO of a small business didn’t know about our occasional agents feature, which would cost him a lot less than actually buying usage for a whole agent. My colleague could have sold the customer the extra agent, but he didn’t. He explained the occasional agent concept, and when the customer purchased our product, he spent less and got more value. That customer would now think twice before leaving us, if ever. If that is not spectacular marketing, I don’t know what is.
The Bottom Line
As marketers we are looking for a customer to 1) spend more on our product and/or 2) tell someone else he should be using our product. When sales, support and customer service add up to give a customer a smooth and satisfying experience, he’ll have no qualms in spending more on our product or recommending us to others. Our job is done.
And that is why I think we need to take that lesson from Steve Jobs to heart. Everything is, in fact, marketing!
When a bunch (around 45-50, I didn’t keep the count) of Product enthusiasts – with experience accumulating into decades – gather at a single place to share their learning on specific topic in a compact & well-moderated session of 2 hours, it’s worth every bit. That’s how I felt coming out of the inaugural session of #PNMeetup – Pricing for Enterprise Sales: Specific & Important Topic, Quality Participation, Richness of Experiences, and Quality Conversations.
The location, Hauz Khas Village in New Delhi, carries a constant buzz and energy. Very apt for a meet-up like this. Kunzum Travel Café (Thanks for being a great host for the event!), should be happy because participants used up every nook & corner of the place. Many of us had to settle down on the carpet with no more sitting or standing space left! Of course, the snacks & coffee was great too. But, that’s not what everyone coming in was specifically looking for (especially since the last 500 yards got harder to make with the traffic and parking situation ;-)).
We were looking for some great (practical, experience based, relevant) conversations and takeaways on Pricing. And, there was plenty of it, coming from speakers as well as from the participants. As much as is possible in 2 hours of time, that is, also thanks to some great moderating & counter-questioning by Arvind Jha during speaker sessions, and Rajat Garg & Vivek Agarwal in the un-conference session.
Tushar Bhatia, Founder of Saigun Technologies, set the tone for Enterprise Products Pricing by sharing his experiences on Pricing Strategies and Sales tactics. Tushar emphasized that Pricing is not a linear decision, but a complex process and subject to assessment from multiple parameters. He also differentiated the Pricing Strategy from Sales Process. Pricing, as per him (in the context set of Business Planning, Scalability, Consistency, Standardization, and a reflection of the Value Proposition) is a guide at broader level, while on sales tactics front, one should be willing to consider the customer & geographic circumstances as well. The decision matrix for Pricing decisions typically is pretty complex, and a product undergoes multiple iterations of pricing models
before arriving at the sweet spot. However, various types of customers may need to be assessed in their own contexts when deciding on a deal pricing, especially in the traditional Enterprise Sales scenario.
Tushar also emphasized that the Enterprise Licensing deals should consider not only the product pricing, but also the other costs (such as, hardware) and provisions (such as, for Product Support). The considerations on TCO are critical, because the customers assess the products, not only functionally, but also very critically from an operational viability perspective in longer term. Tushar also laid out few questions that need to be answered while deciding the pricing model. The detailed presentation from Tushar on “Pricing for Enterprise Sales” can be found here.
The discussion, then, veered towards the product pricing strategies in areas such as Telcos, serving also as a cue for Tarun Anand (CTO & Co-founder at Semusi) to pitch in and provide his perspective. He shared his experiences in working with the big Telcos on working out product strategies and pricing models. They tried out various pricing models, in partnership with Telcos especially, and had mixed results over time before arriving at something that seemed to work. However, pricing remains a volatile when dealing with the larger partners and in more complex ecosystems, such as Telcos.
In Tarun’s experience, one needs to ascertain that the partners in the ecosystem are ready to take your product to the market if that is the expectation. It is also important to ensure that the pricing terms & conditions are clear, and you are able to hold the customers as well as partners accountable in the operational limits as much as you can. After all, you want to focus on running the business and do not want complications of financial & legal nature. In the context of Pricing and products strategy, in areas such as VAS, as per Tarun, one needs to be very careful. “VAS is dead” in his words! 🙂
Tarun also emphasized “there are takers for product at ANY price point”. One need to clearly understand whom one wants to target, and also understand that it’s not only a question of moving the pricing point up & down in inverse proportionality with the volume of customer base. There are various triggers for the pricing, one of which is the “premium value perception”, and also the fact that once you move into a market with a particular price point, increasing it later on is almost impossible without hurting your customer base and overall strategy.
The heat in the Mobile Apps makes the App Pricing a very sought after topic, and that’s where Prashant Singh (Co-founder at Signals) came in and provided a good framework for the high level App pricing approach. There are two clear distinct possibilities – Free & Paid. Complete Free, as per Prashant, directly leads to an Ad based model for revenue that shouldn’t be a preferred model as such for most app developers. In fact the question is not whether to go Free or Paid. Question is when is the user ready for monetization. “You hit when the iron is hot, as simple as that”, Prashant says.
Prashant provided a high level framework to judge which approach should be adopted by the App Developers, based on the two parameters: “App Life Span” and “Time to Realization of Value”. Based on a combination of the two, one can decide on the high level strategy (Portfolio/Platform/Utility/Device Embedding/Brand Apps…) and Pricing model (Advertisement, Paid, Transaction based, Freemium, Development level, and so on). Check out this presentation – App Pricing Tactics for more details.
One key point that drew interest was around the Price Point for App at the launch time. Contrary to the normal belief, Prashant says, one needs to launch the app at a price point that is higher than the Median price point for the App store. That provides the App Store an incentive to showcase the App, and it is important since App Stores control the downloads more than the “content” or “quality”, at least until critical mass. Growth Curve of the app can be maintained around Median and depending on the value prop of the App, the baseline pricing can be used at sustenance phase. Another strong point of view from Prashant came around the Advertisement model, which as per him is the last to be considered. And if Ad model is considered, his advice is to “not” let the control away – “Always have your server in loop”.
While all the content and discussion, and few laughs in between, served well to our appetites, snacks were served amidst a quick “Unconference” session moderated by Rajat and Vivek. We discussed and debated on some great points. I’m finding it harder to capture every bit here and I don’t want to be partial to only what I remember right now! I hope that if you attended and are reading this, you would be able to add your takeaways in comments section! 🙂
Overall, I had a great time. The highlight of the session, for me at least, was the richness of experience and passion for products. And I met some really cool folks! Many of us hung out until later in the night and continued the conversations, which is a great sign. A small impetus can go a long way, and I’m very excited that Avinash has triggered this spark that all of us as a community have to fuel into a passionate ecosystem around products. Great initiative, ProductNation! Looking forward to the next edition on Jan 19th 2013!
PS 1: And, there was a cake-cutting for Avinash on his Birthday! Great gesture!
PS 2: Some Tweets from the session!
#PNMeetup “Enterprise decision cycles are long” Absolutely! Sometime too long in India – have felt it many times!
Great people have come, and great people have gone. But what they have left behind for us is timeless wisdom that has survived the change of marketing models from 4Ps to 4Cs, Al Gore inventing the Internet and funny cats doing funny things. Here’s bringing to you marketing wisdom from eons back, and their translation in today’s world.
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former ~ Albert Einstein back in time
What it means today – Only two things are infinite, the universe and social media agencies, and I’m not sure about the former.
I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand ~ Confucius
I click and I forget. I search and I remember. I open multiple tabs and I forget again.
Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company ~ Mark Twain
Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the direct marketers.
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe ~ Abraham Lincoln
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four reading how-to posts and best practices guides.
If you are going through hell, keep going ~ Sir Winston Churchill
If you are going through hell, take pictures for the Facebook page.
Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth ~ Buddha
Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and discount coupon codes from affiliates.
My advice to you is get married: if you find a good wife you’ll be happy; if not, you’ll become a philosopher ~ Socrates
My advice to you is get married: if you find a good wife you’ll be happy; if not, you can make a viral video about it.
You have to give people something to dream on ~ Jimi Hendrix
You have to give people something to make a meme on.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion ~ Alexander the Great
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of a marketer with a drip marketing campaign.
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Gandhi
First they ignore you, then they look at you, then they click you, then you make money.
Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go ~ Oscar Wilde
Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, wherever they click.
A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life ~ Charles Darwin
A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of Internet memes.
You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality ~ Ayn Rand
You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of installing an ad blocker.
Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul ~ Marilyn Monroe
Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for clicking on an ad.
I’ll be back ~ Arnold Schwarzenegger
I’ll be back.
Got some of your own wisdom to share? Bring it on, and become a living legend.
For any products company, product support is a given, and part of the products business fabric. However, almost all Enterprise Products Companies end-up offering the professional services beyond basic product support. These services could range from simplistic implementation support, to integration, to solutions-building, to architectural consulting, to IT advisory support. The decision to perform professional services could be driven by customer-demand, or by the intrinsic need of the product being sold, or even driven by the business strategy itself to generate peripheral revenue.
It’s important to understand where the boundaries lie, and what goal does a certain type of professional services serve. The decision to commit to a particular type of professional services needs to be driven by a conscious thought process. This is important because the time & resources required to build various skills & operating models for serving the various flavors, change dramatically from one to the other.
1. Product Support
This is the core to the products model and serves as just that – support to the main products revenue, and to ensure customer satisfaction. While the core strategy for any product should be to make it so good that it requires minimal support, there’s always a need for support – offline and real-time for the customers.
2. Implementation Services
An ideal product is ready-to-use off-the-shelf, however, in case of Enterprise products the need to configure & customize could wary. Most times, customers demand for an implementation service packaged in the license deal initially, in order to ensure success. Most times, products businesses have to employ this mechanism also to close sales cycle and to ensure a consistent source of post-sale revenue from such services, and also indirectly to ensure expansion of the product usage through consistent personnel presence on the customer premises.
3. Integration Services
This is where it starts going slightly further away from the core skills that the organization may possess organically. Integration with the existing IT systems and other products at the customer premises would require the skills & management practices beyond the core areas of the organization. An extra source of revenue is one of the temptations, but there are also scenarios where integration of the product is critical to the success of the product, making such services mandatory. This is especially true if the product interfaces are not built with open-standards, and require the integrators to know the details of how the product is built internally. The correct approach would be to build the product interfaces in a way that doesn’t force the business into such compromise to induct professional services for integration. There’s an indirect impact of diversion of core product resources to such integration projects unless such professional services are pursued by design, and resources built accordingly.
4. Solutions & Consulting Services
This is where the game gets strategic, and resources expensive. And the reasons to do this are not any more intrinsically important, but strategically targeted to higher value to the customers and hence, access to the larger pie of the wallet. However, this is easier said than done. Unless there’s enough scale & case in the existing business to allow the focus on such services, strategic, and by design, a business is better off focusing on building the core products business stronger by investing resources there. This makes sense for the products, which are more like Platforms that provide larger leverage than in a Point-solution product.
5. Advisory Services
This is important for the products that are targeted for larger ticket sizes and are built for Enterprise-wide deployments. The IT strategy alignment as well as the strategic positioning of the product becomes important, and it also requires much larger IT leadership level involvement. For Enterprise Platforms, or even for departmental level strategic investments, this approach to professional services can bear fruits. However, building it into a business line requires the core product business to be strong, ready for the leap.
While the Businesses can look at starting off with the lower scale of Professional Services and build up over time, the decision is very strategic and long term. Professional Services, while offering additional top-line, could actually be a resource-intensice and money-draining proposition if not built properly. The mindset that governs the professional services line of business is drastically different from the product side of business. The operational efficiency is paramount, & profitability can very quickly take a hit. Even more importantly, professional services are more intensely people-driven and the skill sets required to build and sustain this business over long term are not trivial. Look, think, and think hard, before you leap.
PS: There are other considerations on Professional Services that directly or indirectly impact the core product business. I will cover in those in the next post. Until then, hope this helps! 🙂
Marketing is about communicating effectively with both existing and potential customers to influence them. Traditional methods of marketing would not work in today’s context because the nexus of converging forces are transforming user behavior and revolutionizing business and society. The consumerization of IT as a result of the availability of excellent devices, interfaces and applications has helped people to become more sophisticated users of technology, and the individual has been empowered. To reach out to, connect with and influence these empowered, technology savvy people, marketers will have to adopt new technology, processes and methodologies. This article “6 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2012” posted in boston.com talks about some very interesting developments around Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Mobile and Tablet, facebook, Video, Internationalization and Localization. From technology prospective, I can at broad level map these to Online, Mobile, Social, and Information. Clearly we are seeing that the nexus of converging forces has started to influence marketing function and technology has already started to play an important role.
Marketing Budgets as a Percent of Firm Budgets
As per the CMO Survey conducted by Christine Moorman from Duke University, marketing spend is on the rise. As per her there are six key reasonsdriving this shift which include increase in adoption of social media in marketing, big data, business focus on growth, long-term focus and so on. Digital Marketing is the future and it will rock the marketing world. That the marketing going through a shift a new kind of service providers would and are emerging to help the marketing team with this digital marketing transition. Gartner has already published its first magic quadrant for digital marketing agencies. Looking forward to lots of disruption in this space in the coming years.
This is more of a go-to-marketing issue rather than juts marketing per say. This issue
is mainly suffered not by startups but mainly those who probably has a product which
is selling and doing good and now thinking what is the next product I should do or
even those say who are in services successful in one area and want to enter another
or say those who are successful in services and now want to enter products. Basically
those who are successful in what they are doing and now want to enter another area
under the same brand name. This is one of hotly debated topics in the marketing
world which is the “line extension strategy” and “line extension trap”. In fact this is
the problem plaguing most big MNCs and enterprises (and even small and medium
sized companies looking for expansion) and that confusion is something our SMEs
should take advantage of (when dealing with the Big boys of the industry).
Most so called enterprises need to keep growing at a constant pace else they will be
looked down in the stock market and they have to keep looking out on expansion.
Here comes the trouble – where do you expand? There are many ways and I broadly
classify them into two as “the market line extension” and “the technology line
extension”. In technology line extension you base the technology as the common
factor, have multiple products which have similar technology base and then try to
serve probably different markets. Then there is market line extension where in you
extend to other products which are in line with your other products in the market
but may be very different in technology and implementation. In the former, easy for
engineers very tough for marketing and sales and in the latter, easy for market and
sales but very tough to engineering and also lot tougher time to market too. What
decision you take on this “line extension” many a times depends on the pedigree of
the decision maker (say CEO) and this is where the Line Extension can fall into “Line
extension Trap” and push the company spiraling down the hole. Most of the decision
makers from technology background take the former route where as those from the
business and marketing or even sales background take the latter approach.
My opinion after seeing many companies faltering is that, it is better to err on the
marketing side because that is closest to the customer and you don’t have to rebrand
or change the perception in the mind of the customer (what is called positioning)
when you do a natural line extension (in the minds of the customer) compared to
when you do a technological line extension where in your brand suddenly stands for
two totally different things and you lose ground in both places and I call this “Line
Extension trap” and I have seen many companies make the same mistake of taking
the technologically route rather than the Marketing route and you lose your existing
dominance as you are seen going away to the other markets and you get killed or
fiercely defended in the other markets because there is already a leader who will
defend his territory to the hilt. Ofcourse you will suffer in your own market because
the competitions (like SMEs who have laser focus) will start describing the big guy no
longer belongs to this market and solidify their position as the expert in that area. This
is where the SMEs need to keep a close eye on their big brother competitor and as
soon as they fall for this “line-extension-trap”, time to attack the market and make it
There are lot more strategies and learning’s in this topic and I will keep them for
ensuing articles but in the meantime if you have any questions, concerns or if you
disagree with me, please do drop me an email to [email protected]
Indians have been known to be poor marketers for long, especially when it comes to taking products to the world. It is easy to blame the lack of good management schools for this but there are a whole lot of other softer aspects at play – limited exposure to different cultures around the world, limited hobbies with watching pirated movies being the favorite one, poor taste in things proven by the fact that Chetan Bhagat still writes and the lack of a sense of humor. And it gets even worse in the tech world where talking to a screen for sixteen hours ensures normal conversation skills are gone out of the window too. But the good news is things are changing. The last 2-3 years have seen a bunch of companies who know better than to put lame plugs in every forum they can lay their hands on, and blast emails starting with “Dear Sirs/Madam.”
This post brings to you 5 Indian startups and small businesses that really get marketing. These are companies that have been able to cut through the noise and claim their rightful positions in the market. These are your new homegrown marketing heros.
Visual Website Optimizer (Wingify) #1
Visual Website Optimizer is in the business of selling A/B testing tools to help marketers increase sales and conversions. When it comes to their own marketing, they don’t do anything different or fancy. They just focus on getting the basics right and measure it down to the smallest decimal. Then they play around with the page heading, call-to-action buttons, microcopy and measure it again. Rinse and repeat.
What they get right:
Clean website that explains the product, builds credibility and leads the user to try it out instantly.
Obsession with numbers. For every feature and success story, they mention how they increased conversions by 137% rather than over 100% or multiple times.
Excellent blog with fundamentals of A/B testing, case studies from varying domains and enough sparks to get the reader to try out their own tests.
What they don’t (aka unsolicited advice):
The sea of numbers gets a little too mechanical at times and Visual Website Optimizer could bring a more human touch to their communications. The homepage could tuck in an image of actual people using their product. Ditto for their banners which just have their tagline slapped on them. Also their blog posts need to have the author names displayed prominently so the readers know whom to address in the comments. People connect to people, not to some faceless entity.
Zomato is India’s largest restaurant guide. For them, a major part of their marketing is done by the product itself. A clean interface, comprehensive restaurant info and in-depth reviews by passionate foodies makes this the goto destination for everything food. I have made sure to pass on the word to all fellow foodies and gluttons.
What they get right:
The social aspects they introduced recently with a foodie leaderboard of sorts, an option to follow other foodies and trending restaurants. I call myself a foodie on most of my online bios but have never written a restaurant review. Now with the added incentive, I sat down to write a couple of my own reviews and started following people who I see have similar tastes.
The rebranding from Foodiebay to Zomato. It allowed them to expand into other verticals without the name being a constraint, and kept legal troubles with eBay at bay.
Their events and contests. While I haven’t participated in any of them, I can see a lot of buzz on Facebook every time there is one happening.
What they don’t:
Blog. Have you ever clicked on the prominent blog link from their main navigation? It takes you to a blog talking about their learnings along the startup journey. Now people come to Zomato to know more about restaurants and food, not about startups. They should have a blog talking about the new hotspots in the city, dishes to try out, restaurant reviews and overall trends from the world of food. Funny thing is they do have another blog calledZomato Crunch talking about a bunch of the topics I mentioned, but it gets no love from the main website. I don’t remember how I chanced upon it and have to google the name to get there every time.
Twitter over-flooding. A lot of people ask Zomato for restaurant recommendations when they are in a new city or want to discover more places to eat. Zomato just re-tweets it out and during the weekends, it ends up clogging my timeline. So here’s what I would suggest – Link to content on Zomato Crunch from the main handle and have another handle for helping fellow foodies with restaurant recommendations, maybe even different ones for different cities.
Banner ads. Zomato was able to beat Burrp at the food game owing to their cleaner interface. However, with multiple ads slapped on the right panel every time you are checking out a restaurant (and most of them are yuck!!) this will come in the very way of what got them to ramp up so quickly. Of course they need to make money for which they could either do sponsored listings, or go the Google Adwords way.
Cleartrip is another company where the product does the talking. Every time I have to book an air ticket, it’s straightaway Cleartrip for me. I don’t even bother checking any other place.
The funny part about Cleartrip’s marketing is I haven’t seen them market their product at all. Their blog talks about a couple of TV ads but the only time I have seen them are on their YouTube channel. They focus on making their product simpler every single day and that’s what they talk about on their blog and Twitter. And they have been able to build quite a fanfare going that route.
What they get right:
Positioning. In an industry where everyone has been screaming “Save 30%, DISCOUNT!!!, Rs 1500/- off”for years, they have been able to carve a niche for themselves targeting business travelers and developing loyal customers (don’t really have numbers on this but I am sure there are more people like me).
Twitter timing strategy. Every time they have something new to tweet about, you will see 2-3 tweets coming from their account one after the other. All of them are re-worded versions of the same tweet, but this tactic ensures that you are not going to miss the tweet as you scroll down your timeline.
No junk emails. In an industry where constant emails talking about discounts to places I never want to go to are the norm, Cleartrip again stands apart. I have never received an email from them that I wasn’t expecting. And the emails that I get are very nicely done.
What they don’t:
SEO. If you google for “flight tickets”, even Cleartrip throws “free”, “cheap”, “save 15%” in the paid results and more surprisingly in the organic ones too. While they say these SEO tactics are working well for them, they could probably do better leveraging the Cleartrip brand name and mentioning how easy it is to book tickets with Cleartrip.
Freshdesk provides help desk software, a crowded space having bigger players like Zendesk and Desk.com. But with the right marketing stunts (and I guess a good product), they have been able to create their own space in the market. Their biggest stunt came when a cloud analyst Ben Kepes called them a Zendesk rip-off just because of the “desk” in their name. The Zendesk CEO joined in the attack too and then one of Kepes’ Twitter followers called them a bunch of Indian cowboys. Freshdesk created a separate website detailing these blows, mentioning that they are proud Indians and talking about how Freshdesk outshines Zendesk. The entire incident made Hacker News glory too. Since then, Freshdesk has kept at it and is now a popular name in the help desk space.
What they get right:
Keep true to their name. All their communications have the element of freshness liberally sprinkled through them. Their blog supposedly gets you “Your daily dose of peppermints, orange juice and oatmeal cookies” and they have a whitepaper…err green paper…called “Is your support team ready for a zombie apocalypse?” And no, they are not wannabe attempts at being cool. They are cool.
Positioning. Have positioned themselves as an underdog rival against the mightier Zendesk, they are able to generate excellent media coverage for themselves.
What they don’t:
Discounts. Their website has so many “discounts” and “free” slapped all around that you are bound to ask for one even if their product is the best thing since sliced bread. Also playing too heavily on the discounts angle makes it look like the product is inferior.
Website navigation. There were a bunch of times when I had no idea which section of the website was I in, or what was I supposed to do next. The different navigation structures at the top and bottom certainly don’t help, and neither does the absence of breadcrumbs.
I cheated. I am only going to give you four companies that get marketing. You, my friend, give me one.
Which Indian company do you admire for their marketing? The idea is not just to create the initial big bang, but to be at it regularly measuring and improving as you go along. If that company is yours, don’t be shy. Just be ready to explain why. Over to you.