6 ways to execute low budget digital campaign

This is a very common situation faced by most of the digital companies (especially ad agencies) these days. Personally, I use to be so scared of the moment when my client would say that there are limited budgets or the budgets are slashed just when I was about to present a million dollar media engagement ( of which at least I was fully convinced ) or a fancy “IPL / BPL / ITPL type” sponsorship deal.

You could actually hear a stunned silence in the meeting room which is full of planners, client servicing and of course the business manager. Within 5 minutes, your entire servicing team would lose the taste of their machinated coffee and you (as Account Manager) are looking for a place to hide.

You don’t know what would you tell your boss, should you update the CV in the meeting room or after reaching office? Your quarterly revenue target now seems like a “mission to mars”.

Here’s what I have to say, don’t lose hopes yet. It is not just about money right now, there’s a lot more you can do to hold that client forever. Control that moment and use it to your advantage.

In a situation like this when you have to run a low budget campaign and the client is not willing to pump in more dollars, instead of panicking and letting that small budget go to alternative marketing or not being spent at all, you need to bring your best saviour forward – Content.

Here are few ways in which you could run low budget campaign in digital:

First

Find out the most critical needs of the client at that very moment, make a comprehensive wish list shared by the client. It could be,

  • generating leads for their upcoming product
  • creating engagement within a target segment
  • building reach in a specific geo
  • driving traffic to their corporate website
  • increasing video views of their new commercial.

and so on and so forth.

Second 

prioritise the wish list & discuss it with the client as to what is the most important need at that point of time. Lets just say, it is building reach in a specific geo location.

Third

There is no need to do an integrated digital marketing when the budgets are limited. Instead, generate as much powerful branded content (in the form of images, text & video) as you can using this money since that will help you generate buzz, not just in that geo but everywhere. Most importantly, a brand can host that content on their site to drive powerful SEO for a long time.

Create strong powerful ideas for local audience to create some UGC as a part of your campaign. It could be a simple concept around selfies/ videos or anything for brand advocacy would do just fine.

Fourth

Utilise free media channels like social & email databases to promote it within the targeted Geo. Make sure you cover all the possible digital touch points to seed the branded content. In fact, try creating as much liquid content as possible and distribute it outside conventional social channels like Facebook, Twitter, google+, blogs or Instagram.

Fifth

Offer your client best value for money in that limited budget by generating series of localised video content for the specific geo (even better if it is in native language) that can be distributed on diverse video platforms like Youtube, Vimeo etc.

Sixth

Show him the huge value you’ve created by achieving multiple marketing objectives within the limited budget you were given. The report should have the following:

  1. Unique hits on website
  2. Video views
  3. Content downloads
  4. Leads Generated ( through Content Marketing )
  5. Social Engagement – new users added on Facebook/ Twitter
  6. Liquid Content Created

Low-Marketing-Budget-Content-Marketing

Remember, there is nothing better than seeing a smile on the face of your client, and if you really offer him value when budgets are low, he would spend with open heart when there are bigger budgets.

Digital Trends in Mobile App Marketing for 2014

With the pace at which connected tech is evolving, very soon Smart TVs, integrating television along with the power Internet technologies and social media, will replace Television.

Having said that, India is still world’s third largest television market in the world with a combined viewership of 415 million. Millions of these potential Consumers still consuming majority of their daily entertainment & infotainment through television broadcast on a daily basis.

Continue reading

4 simple hacks to close more digital ad sales

In my career, I must have interacted with hundreds of digital ad sales professionals from around the globe, while some of them were my colleagues, others I’ve worked closely with as a client. Often the difference between a good, bad & ugly ad sales person is visible immediately after the first meeting.

With social media becoming one of the most sought after marketing platform, role of an ad sales person has become even more tougher as most of the marketing focus & priority has shifted to capturing social landscape through powerful audience engagements on Facebook, Twitter & YouTube.

Interestingly, even after a significant change of media landscape, there is tremendous opportunity for ad-sales teams to offer value to the advertiser. Lets not forget, most of the brand advertisers hate blindness when it comes to spending their marketing dollars and they keep on looking for newer avenues & opportunities to reach out to their target audience.

Besides having great client relationship skills here are few pointers that can really help the ad sales to make a strong business case:

Talk Marketing not Sales

Whenever you are meeting any brand or marketing person, do not start the conversation with your website / ad network / solution, instead set the context from how marketing teams are leveraging digital platform for achieving different metrics. Always keep a case study handy from a latest successful marketing campaign. Even better if your website/ product was part of that campaign. That gives you a connect or hook to bring your service / solution into the discussion without making it look like a cheap sales pitch.

Listen, not Speak

It is difficult for an ad sales guy but I’ve seen this on numerous occasions in my career, meetings where the client is talking 60% of the time are more successful compared to when the sales person is too busy delivering a never ending sales pitch. You have to find a way to bring your client into the discussion. Listening to your client will give you clues as to how to make your offering relevant to the client’s most critical requirement. Even more important, client would give you complete hint as to how they want the proposal to look like. Do not let your “typical” sales mentality rule over you. It is time to listen and not speak.

Know about your Technology

One of the reasons why digital selling has become increasingly difficult is because nothing remains constant in the digital world. Technology has made every strategy a perishable. So in order to be in the driving seat, you must know what is going on in the technology world. Keep an eye on the competition, has anyone launched an app in your domain, how popular is that app? How can a client use re-targeting in their campaign? Which ad platform offers best technology? Which campaign used technology in the best possible manner & how?

Often during the client meetings, you would see the conversations digressing into different directions, often technology becomes the topic of interest across brand & marketing teams. For someone who is not aware of these changes may just lose interest of the client very easily. Especially, when you meet your client in a third party event or seminar, your knowledge can really get you great clients for long term.

Learn to move on

Know when to stop chasing any client. Imagine, you’re after a huge account with big potential, and it seems like your solution is just what they are looking for. Yet, many times, a sure thing turns out to be a no-go. Digital salespeople waste too much time chasing what they think should be the ideal fit. Instead, focus on the clients who love what you’re offering, and build those partnerships. You never know; you might just find a winning approach for your client after focusing your attention elsewhere for a short time. Then you can go back to them later with a killer proposal.

Digital Case Study – FMCG – Mcdowells #No1Yaari

With video advertising becoming the most potent engagement weapon in the digital marketing parlance, brands & ad agencies have quickly grabbed this opportunity with both hands & using it to maximise their advertising ROI.

Mcdowells, as a brand, has been a big fan of using long & short form videos in the past to promote their brand message. Clearly, their spends have gone up significantly in the last 3-4 years, especially into digital. I am sure a lot is to do with their target segment which is mainly SEC A,B Youth & young adults. Continue reading

RIP Reports – Worldwide Failed startup trends

Let me start this post by making a simple statement. By the time I would finish writing this post, according to latest startup trends, around 11,000 new startup business would get added to this world. Must be wondering how I found that number?

According to a massive research startup study done by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor– around 472 million entrepreneurs worldwide attempting to start 305 million companies, approximately 100 million new businesses (or one third) will open each year around the world.

reynoldsInterestingly, Dr. Paul D. Reynolds, Director, Research Institute, Global Entrepreneurship Center also says,

” The developing countries of Asia and Latin America are far ahead of Europe in starting new businesses, according to a recent survey of global entrepreneurial activity. But few start-ups have the potential to make an impact on jobs and growth, and a negligible number benefit from venture capital, with the vast majority reliant on informal funding. The 2002 annual survey by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) was carried out across 37 countries representing 92% of world GDP. It finds that 286 million people, 12% of the workforce in these countries, are engaged in starting or running a new business, implying a global figure of about 460 million. “We were quite shocked by how high the index is in the developing countries,” admits Paul Reynolds, the GEM project co-ordinator. “Only now do we have a fuller understanding that half of the people in many developing countries are doing it out of necessity because they cannot find work, and that is what drives the rate up so high.” 

Every now and then we keep seeing these lists on buzzfeed or twitter around “17 coolest startups that can change your life” (like this one) and I’m sure a lot of you feel wow about the whole concept of startups. But let me spoil your party, most of these startup companies typically die around ~20 months after their last financing round and after having raised $1.3 million.

Failed startup Companies By Sectorfinal

  • 55% of failed startups raised $1M or less, and almost 70% companies died having raised less than $5M overall.  Not a big surprise. Companies at the earliest stages are the most vulnerable due to limited financial runway, immature products and businesses and general uncertainty about whether the market needs what they’ve built.
  • In each year since 2010, 70% of all dead tech companies have been in the internet sector. This is hardly a surprise as within tech, a majority of funding and deals has gone to the internet sector and so it would follow that the sector would have the largest proportion of dead companies.  The % of companies dying within the internet sector has stayed relatively range bound over the last several years as well.

On his many failed experiments, Thomas Edison once said,

I have learned fifty thousand ways it cannot be done and therefore I am fifty thousand times nearer the final successful experiment.

Well, it seems a lot of our modern day entrepreneurs have taken that quote to their hearts.

The rate at which startups are failing is quite incredible. Media, quite literally has made the whole idea of startup funeral extremely cool. It is hilarious (even bizarre) that the failed entrepreneur wants to grab the same attention like a war hero. The irony however, is that the media (especially the social media) is happily obliging to do it. Public post mortem of a failed Startup seems to have become a general startup trends in the business circles. A lot of professionals find it intellectually stimulating to visit the #RIP sessions of the startups. 

Dead_startup_Funding_Raised

 

Dead_startups_Time_Since_Funding

According to CB Insights report:

  • While the dead companies on our list raised $11.3M on average, the median funding raised which is a better measure in this case was $1.3M.
  • the average company dies ~20 months from its last funding round in the absence of additional funding or acquirers.

But the question which is bugging me continuously is,

Why do so many startups fail? 

Typically, there could be hundreds of possible reasons for a failed startup like:

  • lack of strong value proposition
  • high risk low return business model
  • longer sales cycles
  • non scalable, non profitable business

and many, many more. You could actually read about reasons of startup failure all around the web.

startups_failed_industry_Rankings

 

According to CB Insights startup trends,

“Death is not specific to a particular type of sector or industry. In fact, the companies on our dataset represent a fairly diverse set of subindustries.”

Interestingly, in the following Ted Talk, Clara Brenner, Co-Founder of Tumml talked about why a lot of social startups face such high failure rates.

She has mentioned about the importance of seed funding & how it needs to be utilized in a startup.

Also, the relevance of Impact Investors to Urban Innovation startups can be co-related with the importance of finding the right investor that matches your company’s vision. 

Finding a right investor for a startup is nothing short of doing matrimony match making. A lot of the startups fail even after getting several rounds of seed funding because the investor does not show enough trust or faith in the founding team’s vision.  

Digital Trends for Automotive in 2015

According to a survey conducted by Dimensional Research, an overwhelming 90 percent of respondents who recalled reading online reviews claimed that positive online reviews influenced buying decisions, while 86 percent said buying decisions were influenced by negative online reviews.

 

has-reading-online-reviews-impacted-purchase-decision

 

Without doubt, we can now say that the conventional purchase lifecycle has changed (and continuously changing) with the ever increasing dominance (& relevance) of social media in our daily lives.

For those who are new to digital marketing, here’s a simple video that compares the purchase lifecycle back in 1990s vs 2014.

Unlike mediums like television or radio, internet audience can stumble upon your brand / product from anywhere. In today’s complex digital environment, there are more than 24 possible touch points that any auto buyer can go through in order to make a purchase decision. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the fortune of a brand gets decided somewhere between those never ending twitter feeds & Facebook timelines.

24 research touch points for auto purchase

24 research touch points for auto purchase

Take an example of car buying which is one of the most dynamic purchase life cycle concept in the modern day marketing.

Last year, Google Insights released a report according to which In-market auto shoppers are doing their digital homework. Auto video research is on the rise and mobile usage has increased 35% year over year. ( Read how digital drives auto shoppers in stores)

In this Google infographic, you can learn some of the digital automotive trends showing how consumers use the web to search for and buy cars.

Google_Auto_Trends_Infographic_2014

 

Key Digital Automotive Trends from the above infographics:

  • With more than 48% of car dealer search queries are now coming from mobiles, smartphone is increasingly becoming an important platform using which auto shoppers are doing their research.
  • Digital Search & Product Reviews are becoming an integral part in the auto purchase lifecycle.
  • Auto shoppers checking for product videos & video reviews is on the rise year on year.
  • Online Video is becoming most critical content piece in the entire buying decision.