Wednesday, December 16, 2009

SMART I pants

SMART is one of the most common mnemonic one hears in relation with Targets and KPI's. I think for marketeer's sometimes we should make it SMARTI

Time Constraint
& In your Control

With so many organizations having complex matrix organizations , multiple indirect reporting lines and virtual leadership control over your KPI's or targets becomes a key factor of success. Make sure that the buck stops with someone and not with a committee cos then you never end up achieving the desired results. Remember SMARTI pants

Friday, December 04, 2009

Always think from the customers perspective

I was trying to make a presentation for my company which is used to seeing and making only technical presentations on how good the features of the product are. I needed to make it interesting in a non technical sort of way. I was struggling with it for atleast a couple of weeks (I think i have spent too long a time among the pure technology/features thinkers) and realized i needed to simply go back to the basics...Why would my customer want it and for what reason....I know this seems like Rule no 1 in Marketing 101 but it helps to keep remembering it once in a while.

Customer buys you for his needs not for your features. Match the features satsifying those needs and you have him. Simple and yet lost so many times...

Monday, November 16, 2009

What are you?





Monday, July 20, 2009

Kids - Try this new and amazing Social Networking tool

Hey kids and grownups everywhere, try out this most amazing Social Networking tool. Its called "Outside"!!! Im not sure how social is this whole social networking craze is making all of us nowadays... Remember the days when we use to spend all evening playing cricket and football and came back all sweaty and tired for a nice shower and litres of mom's iced lemonade??? Splashing each other with puddles of mud in the rains and making comments on strangers walking by our local park "hang out"...What are the kids doing nowadays? Running home to tweet their arrival back from school...then spending 2 hours online commenting on others, giving the weirdest of quizes( which color underwear are you?) and throwing virtual sheep at others. This then throws up the question we are all asking around us today(Atleast the 25+ ages group- I think we were the Gen X)
How social are the social networking sites making us today? Its a double edged question. Some say more....some say no more.. .Voice your views

Friday, June 26, 2009

Thriller no more....

Well poor ol MJ had to die this apparent sudden death to get me out of my blog slumber. Woke up this morning to read the message left on the google chat by an ol batchmate of mine, simply saying "michael jackson is dead". I thought this was a virus message that must have come from his chat box as we haven't chatted for years. Ofcourse my curiosity was aroused enough to check and voila, it wasn;t some virus bot message. The King of Pop's eulogies were all over the web, the morning breakfast shows were showing all celebrities one by one pouring their tributes on the "greatest pop musician on the planet".

Its funny how celebrities tend to become important threads of the web of our lives. To each their own bunch of celebrities. I'm sure MJ was a high recall one for most people on the planet. 6/10 Trending topics on Twitter on him should give an idea of that I guess. Im sure Google analytics would also show up the same results for today.

Also im sure others like me would also have noticed how celebrity lives follow the typical PLC curves almost perfectly - the whole introduction, growth,maturity and decline phases all clearly marked out in most lives. And as with many good products/brands some also have a slight jump in the late maturity stage and re invent themselves to last longer in the public memories. Unfortunately for MJ his tweak in the late maturity stage had nothing to the good memories of moonwalks and music but the infamous child abuse charges and divorces and the worst cosmetic surgeries of the planet. Im guess he was just out to show Who's bad!! RIP MJ- You were loved more than hated. Thats something no one can take away from you.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

I thought it...he blogged it

Here's something probably all of us think about once in a while in the rat race of life. I was having a similar argument/discussion along this line...Seth blogged it. Here you go

Has someone got the answers too?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The things that kids CAN do...

A very heart warming and heart wrenching episode happened in front of me a couple of weeks back and I just got down to blog about it after talking to a friend about it. A preamble first, I truly believe that in educating our kids lies the solution of half our country's problems.

I was in an auto and it had stopped at a busy signal. A couple of kids - a boy and a girl around the same age came near the auto. I first thought they were there to beg. The boy keeps his foot on the auto and the auto driver shoos him away. Then I see them move onto to the next auto and the girl starts to point at the auto's license plate and reads it out to the boy. The boy is repeating after her. That's when it struck home that she was teaching him the alphabets and numbers by reading out the license plate numbers....

This incident just confirmed my belief that the illiterate kids from the poorer class of the society
(Maybe I'm not being politically correct here) have the same drive to learn and grow as from any other class. And I think we should do all that we can do help these kids learn and give them a chance at living a decent life. WE have done enough talking and not enough action. I have decided take my first step towards doing something about this. I have decided to join MAD (Make a Difference) and see how I can make a difference, cause I know these kids surely CAN.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sit before you Strech...

"Irrinittu kaalu neeta" is an old Mallu proverb (Badly translaed as the Headline) but it holds true to toadys marketing atleast in the B2B industry.If you were to look for B2B Marketing on the web you would be overloaded with great advise on how to use the latest Web 2.0 tools for marketing your wares. Started with Blogs which in turn lead to social networking though MySpace, LinkedIn, Facebook and others- moved to instantly gratifying social microblogging through Twitter and now everyone talks about Friendfeed ,where you bring in all your social networks and tweets into one place. Every marketing guru worth his salt (or not) is preaching about the "real time" connect with the customers and how to make your blogs,corporate social networks and Twitter accounts "human" and constantly and actively "engage" him/her.

As a marketeer you might be forgiven to believe that the entire world has moved on from offline to online in the B2B space and you must be the last person who hasn't done it yet. Well im here to tell you ( suggest rather,I ain't no guru to tell!) that although all these gurus are preaching from Tokyo to Hawaii that the customers will not see you in favorable light if you are not present in the online space, they might not be completely accurate.

I think many B2B companies are still struggling with their basics and this becomes more and more evident when the going gets tough like in today's market scenarios. Especially in immature markets like LAM and APAC regions. When business is booming, everything looks hunky dory when you look at your sales books at the end of the quarter. But when going gets tough, customers are deffering purchase decisions and delaying payments you are faced with realities. Did you get your basics right in the first place?

I haven't done any official market research but when i talk to my peers about how well they know their markets, I'm hearing a common voice - We really don't know the market out there. There are a million leads every sales guy or sales manager is sitting on but having no time or resources to work on it. And all of that potential gold mine is down the drain. I think most B2B companies still think daily sales (Which of course is necessary for any company to run) and forget there is need to understand how to channel their efforts to actually DO the Sale. Show me a Sales Manager who knows/is learning the insides of his market rather being the top Sales Guy of the team and Ill show you an exception to the rule.

Take a step back, think simple - know your strengths- identify your target markets and learn everything there is to know about them. Know all the players in these segments, identify the issues with each stakeholder (End User,Consultant,Contractor etc) and rationalise to them in clear terms how your prodcut/service is going to solve their problems. And for all these you need face time or atleast phone time- Mano-a Mano and not online lead generation. Everyone deals with a zillion tools daily in their line of work and no one wants to fill one more online survey. They want answers and the more personal it is the more confident they feel. So put your money first into the good old offline marketing department. This is not to say online is not the future but check out this year's marketing spends the consultants are recommending and you'll see what i mean. Get real, Get personal, Get business. Or find yourself on the floor rubbing your behind...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mr President - SHOES have taken over the planet

The Bush Shoe who started the SHIT (Shoes and Heels International Takeover of planet earth) Association has called for a global press conference in some undisclosed hideout in Af-Pak. All the global media have been blind folded ,scrutinized - checked for bugs,bombs, GPS trackers etc and brought to this cave somewhere in the beyond of nowhere.

Out comes the infamous Bush shoe although its really hard to make out if its really him. He's completely changed. With a full beard, and white turban adorned over his head he walks cockily in front of the world media and takes the chair at the head of the conference table(Don't even ask how in the world did a conference table ,LCD projector and a laser pointer show up in a cave).

"Allahuakbar-OmNamashivaya-PraisetheLord-Atheists ruleeee" chant is the opening line of Bush Shoe. "My dear beloved media of the world. You must be all wondering why I have called you all today? Don't worry . All your curiosity will be laid to rest in a few moments. You would all have seen how I daringly attacked the most powerful man on the planet a few months ago. You also would have been seeing more recently how my friends Chidambaram shoe and Jindal shoe have done our organization proud by attacking their namesakes. And the question in every man,woman and child's man is WHY? "

"Well the answer is very simple. We, the shoes and heels on this planet have been tread upon, exploited,walked over,kicked,beaten and tyrannized for centuries now. We who sought to protect delicate humans and their delicate feet have been subjugated to gross injustice and shoe rights violations. There was a time when there was a symbiotic relationship between the shoe kind and human kind. We were made out of love and hard work with human hands. Made specifically for the humans we were to call our mate for life. Polished daily as nourishment, stitched when hurt and kept in soft boxes when we grew old.But with time Human kind has lost all its heart. The cruelty has taken over all its kindness and gentle attitude towards us. We are now made by robots and machines ,subjected to genetic experiments by mixing of our natural skin with god knows what kind of synthetic skins and even after that our hardships only begin. We are thrown around, never polished and even if polished done so by unhealthy toxic liquid polish which suffocate us but most importantly the umbilical relationship we shared with human kind has been severed."

"Starting from the day we are put us on they feel our bite because we were never made specifically for our human mate but instead mass produced.(Clearly a mistake of the human kind) and we are made to suffer for this. They show us around to their friends for a few days and out comes the newer models and they forget us like rags. We remain unpolished,hidden in the darkest closets filled with rats who nibble at us day in and day out. After a few years while cleaning those closets they find us and instead of stitching our wounds and taking care of us, we are guttered and thrown into the rubbish."

"Enough IS Enough!!! We the Shoes and Heels of the world have decided to seek revenge for all the injustice meted out to us and seek to restore our rightful place as rulers of this planet. It is with this intention I have started the SHIT Association and the SHIT Movement across the world. After I attacked Bush I could convince all the Shoes and Heels in the world to unite against the common enemy and I told them - In less than an hour, aircrafts from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of shoekind. "Shoekind." That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it's fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom... Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution... but from annihilation. We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: "We will not go quietly into the night!" We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day! "(Applause fills the rooms,goosebumps everywhere)

"And it is with this intention we have declared out right war on the human race. You can see our squadrons are sent out around the world. Across the Atlantic to Europe, Out to the East to China and Japan. Our troops recently infiltrated the Indian borders and attacked their leaders in plain sight. All of this is with one and only one intention. We will be the Rulers of the Universe. Hahahahahahahahahahaha!!! " Any Questions?

One lady journalist from the press raises her hand. "Afternoon sir, I represent DNA newspaper in India where Chidambaram shoe and Jindal shoe recently attacked our leaders. Although you are calling yourself and your cadets heroes, isn't it true that all of you infact failed in your missions as you never touched any of the leaders and they remain unharmed. What is our comment on this?"

Bush Shoe -" Hahaha - This is the idiocy of the human kind I'm talking about. Those were not failed missions but great successes. Those missions were not our attacks. Those missions merely were a warning to the entire human race that we can attack anyone anywhere at our will. Remember FEAR is the key in any war. We want to put the fear of SHOES in all human kind and scared out of their pants they are, right now....Next question"

Another journalist raises his hand - "Mr Bush Shoe, even though you are calling yourself the Shoes and Heels ......Association, we haven't seen heels in action.Would you say your organization is gender biased?"

Bush Shoe - " Foolish Man. Heels are an integral and key part of our organization. Infact I would even go ahead and state it on record they have been trained to be supreme assassins through the centuries of attacks they have dished out to all the human males by their spouses/girlfriends/mothers. They are our second and most deadliest line of attack. They infact- BOOOOM!!!

A small explosion occurs in the room and the chair where Bush Shoe was sitting is blown to smithereens. Everyone tries to get out but the Shoe cadre blocks the exits. Theres a lot of commotion and screaming in the room and dust flying everywhere. Slowly the dust settles and the Bush Shoes dead body is lying on the floor with blood still oozing out. Someone breaks down the door from outside and in walks Osama with his men. "Hahahahaha - Bush Shoe, whose the Ruler of the Universe now?", Osama screams. "Go back to your leaders , o people of the media, and tell everyone everywhere ,who the real ruler of the world is."

Suddenly the video screen drops out behind the conference table (Again do not ask). And a camera comes on. We can see the image of a man who looks like the Bush Shoe and he starts to address everyone - " Hahahaha Osama, you ignorant asinine prick. You really think I would fall for that trap. That was just my double. You will pay dearly for this , you will pay with your life for this, OSAMAAAAAAAAA!!!!"

Sorry for the awfully long post. I got a bit carried away I guess by the Shoegates. Hope you enjoyed it though.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

All the World's a Fool

All the world's a fool,
Fooled into selecting their governments,
Governments fooled into choosing their policies and policy makers
Who get fooled by the war mongers to wage never ending wars,
War mongers who are fooled by the terrorists who feed them,
Terrorists who are fooled by their leaders into believing this war has a meaning,
Leaders who are fools to believe that there are Gods watching us,
All the world's a foolMen and women are fools in love
Fools to believe in the Valentine's days and the April Fools days
Promoted by the marketing guys to make a buck
Marketing guys who are fooled out of their bonuses
Bonuses which fool the Big shots into Bank assets
which are not worth the paper they are written on.
Doesn't the world know better than - that the buck never stops
Making a fool of everyone.
All the world's a fool.
All the children who were having fun,
Fooled into education to spoil the fun,
Education fooled them into a (rat) race,
A race which fooled them into working more for a promise,
A promise which said if you worked , you could have all the fun.
Wasn't it what the children were having my friend?
All the world's a fool.

Inspired to write my first poetry on questions that sometimes pop up in my mind. There are plenty more but I felt sleepy to write more. I know I know, its an insult to poetry but I thought why not give it a shot. For I'm just being a fool. And by the way Happy Fools Day.:-D

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Soumya's murderers found

Six months after the brutal murder of Soumya, the Delhi police claim to have found the murderers. It seems its a gang of thieves who have also been involved in the murder of another Delhi BPO employee,Jigisha.

It seems they were out to rob both the victims and drunk when they hit Soumya with a country made pistol. Somehow it doesn't feel right that someone would be willing to kill for a few thousand to be shared by 5 people. The police seem convinced and so does Soumya's father.I guess its just my sixth sense tingling and hopefully its really been solved. Read more about it here.,+Jigisha+arrested,+claim+police&artid=ecVoYvtEppg=&SectionID=b7ziAYMenjw=&MainSectionID=b7ziAYMenjw=&SectionName=pWehHe7IsSU=&SEO=DELHI,%20POLICE,%20SOUMYA,%20VISHWANATHAN,%20JIGISHA

What's really crazy is to see the comments made by the people below the news article, in which they say women shouldn't work at night or in jobs which might provocate these elements. I read it and it irks me to no small measure. And then i think, will I be happy about sending my mother,daughter,girl friend or wife out in the night alone in the streets of Delhi and I cannot seem to completely disagree with the essence of these comments. That's the sad state of affairs for the security of women in the country.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Trying to force back this Bloggers block

New year came and went by and I didn't write a word. Not for lack of events definitely. I would even go so far as to declare my 2009 welcome as my best new year welcome ever. A lot has happened in 2 months but alas blogging hasn't been one of them. New job, new yet old base, new additions to the family, travel for work and travel for pleasure,cutting out of rice in my diet and an geometrically progressing job description being part of the incomplete list.

I'm happy to no end and pissed and frustrated on the other end. Although i would say happy wins this time over. However my mind has gone blank in regards to blogging so I thought I needed to regain control and pen something, anything down.

Elections are around the corner, Obamania is slowly winding down with the realization that he might not have all the answers after all (What a surprise!), Taliban's slowly taking over Pakistan, LTTE is slowly being extinguished, Phelps had a joint (Big deal I had one too- didn't make me an 8 time olympic gold winner), pink chaddis were gifted to Muthalik and ilk. The world moves on whether I'm blogging or not. So why not let my mind wander and think again of what is,what can be,what shouldn't and be the boss of my own spiel. Amen!