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Rajeev Sharma

5+ of articles published

Critical Analyst / Storytelling Expert / Narrative Designer

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Rajeev Sharma, is a recognized thought leader with over two decades of experience in digital media, social marketing, mobile and digital technologies. He was head of J. Walter Thompson (Digital), for 7 years and served as a member of the JWT’s Global Digital Council. Currently Rajeev works as an Independent digital consultant, through his Digital consulting firm Awrizon, advising start-ups and brands on digital transformation and growth.

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Data Breach and All that, Now What
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5129

Data Breach and All that, Now What

When a trainer at a workshop many years back, showed a packed audience a dozen ghost sites in the background secretly tracking a user on a famous airlines website, it did create panic. Social media websites had just started to become the darling of Digital marketing folks then. Data and Privacy laws since then have continued to remain unclear, uncertain yet glorified. With the big Facebook breach, we digital marketing and advertising folks are expected to relook at the equation. It also becomes important to understand how we reached here, the extent of the mess and the areas that concern us as we tread the path going forward. Some of these below areas concern us: – Our regular tools and our approach to consumer segmentation, targeting and content seeding. – ‘How much of data’ is enough and where does the ethical boundary end. – Practices of unethical fans acquisition and data brokerage rampage. – Finally, what the consumer wants and the code of ethics. An Overview of Association Rule Mining and its Applications Let’s take a step back. Is this data breach something new? Haven’t companies helped clients acquire fans at cheap prices or data brokers with their ability to use big data – connecting dots mapping users’ personal information and making inferences for granular targeting. The key question is if it affects Digital marketing and communication? Yes, but not much, just minor hiccups and some adjustments. We need to understand the real problem. Is it Facebook or how we approach Data and the “deep insights” we demand from these Social networks? We know, our pitches to brands rest on the richness of consumers’ data and insights we derive, then leading to the ideas we built on top of them. Most of this is around the consumers ‘personal information’, a traditional planner or a digital strategist spending weeks to uncover consumer characteristics, their actions and insights. Folks in Digital have always been beneficiary of gaining access to vast amount of user’s personal information, including other aspects like IP, location, Device, etc. Most ad networks blindly flock to Google and Facebook because these giants promise granular targeting. As an industry, we may have crossed several lines too. We are all responsible for this insane world, we have landed ourselves in. Data Analysts: Myths vs. Realities While we discuss this topic globally, both brands and consumers are in a fix today. Technology and its terrible dependency have made consumers live in a state of continuous ignorance. Their data exposure starts from their browsing history and goes deeper exposing their likes, tastes, preferences and actions. Additionally, this problem is compounded by Social media giants whose entire premise is based on capturing consumer data details of which consumers aren’t really clear about. Our learners also read: Top Python Free Courses Now with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in Europe, and multiple other steps, we hope consumers will know what data is being collected and have the ability to remove their information from the servers if they want to. We as marketers need to rethink targeting, tracking, privacy, data collection and its ethical usage, all over again. We need to clearly ask, how much of data capture is enough. What is that opt-in or opt-out request likely to be? For once, imagine a No-Data World (NDW), where we have broad segments basis which we devise campaigns and come out with innovative, non-intrusive ways to reach out to the consumers. Think how we operate in a kid’s world. Advertising may need to get more creative and create deeper meaningful experiences. It may find it a bit difficult to change and adjust, even though its minor; while consumers will seemingly adjust too, to a privacy-based experience going forward knowing clearly what happens to their data. Facebook or No Facebook, the data privacy issue needs a wider discussion, though we hope these social giants will take positive steps themselves as opposed to being forced by enforcement agencies. They have a responsibility towards society. upGrad’s Exclusive Data Science Webinar for you – Watch our Webinar on How to Build Digital & Data Mindset? document.createElement('video'); https://cdn.upgrad.com/blog/webinar-on-building-digital-and-data-mindset.mp4 Explore our Popular Data Science Courses Executive Post Graduate Programme in Data Science from IIITB Professional Certificate Program in Data Science for Business Decision Making Master of Science in Data Science from University of Arizona Advanced Certificate Programme in Data Science from IIITB Professional Certificate Program in Data Science and Business Analytics from University of Maryland Data Science Courses Facebook did publicly apologise and ensured this won’t happen again. Making users believe its all about connecting the world and then hiding privacy terms under complex reams under settings, needs to go. Data Scientists: Myths vs. Realities Top Data Science Skills to Learn to upskill SL. No Top Data Science Skills to Learn 1 Data Analysis Online Courses Inferential Statistics Online Courses 2 Hypothesis Testing Online Courses Logistic Regression Online Courses 3 Linear Regression Courses Linear Algebra for Analysis Online Courses The era of Mass Customisation and Micro Addressability is being revoked and the future is about to change, yet again. Let’s be honest, to start with! Learn data science courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Executive PG Programs, Advanced Certificate Programs, or Masters Programs to fast-track your career. Read our popular Data Science Articles Data Science Career Path: A Comprehensive Career Guide Data Science Career Growth: The Future of Work is here Why is Data Science Important? 8 Ways Data Science Brings Value to the Business Relevance of Data Science for Managers The Ultimate Data Science Cheat Sheet Every Data Scientists Should Have Top 6 Reasons Why You Should Become a Data Scientist A Day in the Life of Data Scientist: What do they do? Myth Busted: Data Science doesn’t need Coding Business Intelligence vs Data Science: What are the differences?

by Rajeev Sharma

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04 May 2018

Answer These 4 Questions to Build a Brand and Not Just a StartUp!
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Answer These 4 Questions to Build a Brand and Not Just a StartUp!

This is a guest blog from Rajeev Sharma, founder of Awrizon, it was originally published here. Imagine, what would have happened if Uber had concluded that innovation meant building more comfortable taxis for commuters. Good for us they didn’t do that, instead, picked a different insight. They analysed the problems people went through while booking cabs and after a lot of brainstorming, they solved that and built a brand out of it! Several times, we wonder, if there can be a framework to help small businesses, growing brands, and startups with brand building. Such that, they can easily market in this complex digital world and yet continue to focus on all the other things that matter? If you are one of them you will agree that there are enough things to distract you. There will be occasions when you will feel lost, a bit less confident and feel that the market is evolving faster than you can manage. You are convinced that your startup or idea has the potential, but what seems like a big question is what to do with it. It’s going to be an important question since building a brand and creating a successful value proposition needs a committed approach. Today, success is all about adapting to change – and the change is rapid. Learn Online MBA Courses from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career. These are the four areas to consider as you begin the journey: What’s the problem (amongst your likely audience) that you are trying to resolve? What’s the solution you have thought of and what is your product or service promising to do? Who exactly are your consumers, what do they do/read, how do they spend their time? What do you want them to do or feel as a result of your product or service? What are your brand’s values? How does it behave, communicate, create experiences and deliver on the promise it makes? How do we start? Let’s assume you broadly know the space your brand wants to operate in. Analyse the problem While getting to this, the best way is to look deep into the consumer’s mind. That could be done by talking to them, looking at their conversations, carrying out surveys or spending time with them, even living with them. Lego did exactly that. After losing market share and realising that this new ‘instant gratification’ generation may not have the patience with Lego. They visited an 11 yr old German boy’s house – a Lego consumer who proudly pointed out to his worn-out sneaker shoes as the item which made him the best skateboarder amongst his peers. The Lego team realised it was this social currency (among peers), that was most important to this boy within the skills he chose, whatever that skill might be (in this case skateboarding). You know the areas that interest you. Look for information and make a list of consumers’ reactions, insights and other valuable information that you can gather. Now imagine, the consumer’s journey towards the purchase, the steps he/she would take to move towards completion of their action. Think of all the steps, multiple touch points and offline-online interactions they have in the category you are building your product or service in. The trick here is to find areas where the consumer can have a frictionless experience. Friction is the opposite of consumer experience. Make a list of all the possible ‘tension’ or ‘friction’ spots. Consumers can’t express what they need so the best way would be to watch them. Experts call it Frictionless Customer Experience (FCX). A digital design agency is creating a cafe on anticipatory design philosophy. The Baristas get to know the customer is approaching even before he/she has reached (through an iWatch, for instance), and start preparing their favourite drink and keep it ready. They call this philosophy – ‘flow not friction’. Offer a unique solution How do you create a unique offering? Something that is unlike what others are offering, something unique. A quick thumb rule which I have seen a few great brands following are: Benefit – What’s special about what you are doing for the consumer? Outcome – What is it going to result in, eventually? Story – What is your unique narrative, your storytelling? Strengths – What makes you uniquely strong? Remember it as the BOSS philosophy. You will narrow down the audience, but at this stage, you should continue to think of the values your brand is adding to their lives. What’s special about what you are doing? Look at other competitors in your category and find some uniquenesses you want your brand to display. If your brand can deliver something more than what your consumers are expecting you have a winning proposition at hand. It can be a new concept or something incremental to an existing one, or even a different way of using an existing product or service. When I conduct corporate workshops, one of the activities we do is to ideate and create a radically new product out of a mashup of 2 or 3 existing products or services keeping the consumer’s growing needs in mind. Nike has been a great example since the brand got created in 1971. Along with its symbol the Swoosh, it has focussed on innovation and used new technologies effectively. Their vision has continued to remain the same – ‘to connect with athletes to aspire and enable them to do better’ and always stayed ahead fulfilling their consumer’s new and unmet needs. Identify your audience There is a trick here. It’s definitely important to understand your audience, but in today’s time, you need to do more work. I meet clients, who say ‘I am thinking of a new content channel which will provide intelligent content to children’ or ‘I am a healthcare brand and I want to make the process of booking appointments with a healthcare practitioner super easy’. There are several great ideas and entrepreneurs out there. It’s important to microscopically observe your vast audience and build personas. Each will have a distinct need and will need a different approach and strategy. The point here is not to get trapped in the traditional – Age, SEC classification. Instead, first think of people around you, teachers, gym co-members, colleagues, neighbours, etc. Are there people that are most likely your target audience? If yes, wonderful! They are actually your target group. Define them. You will get different personas. Unless you know your audience, you will fail to effectively talk to them. Get into a room and ask what drives them, what are their favourite things, where do they hang out, what are they likely to do online and what can be offered to them that can add value to their lives? What is their unique ‘unmet’ need that you could possibly fulfill? Always remember consumers only have an existing reference to make. They cannot predict how they will respond to a new concept, or articulate a new need. We know, Snapchat created a radical shift in video creation with vertical videos. They realised, consumers were not behaving normally when it came to creating videos (they held the phone vertically while talking or chatting but changed the orientation when shooting videos). Snapchat just made people record their videos in the easiest, natural way and with over 10 million vertical videos each day on Snapchat, we know it was a great shift. Build a brand essence What is the essence of the brand that you want to build? Its values will manifest in the way your brand behaves, talks and communicates with your audience. You could be a healthcare brand or a book-reading app or a fitness product. You need to discover the essence of your brand. Ask yourself, what are the adjectives your brand is most likely to be associated with? Think of things important to you, close to your heart. These possibilities are the values you want your brand to be associated with too. Go deep, it will help you create a personality. You could want to be bold and edgy or radical and rebellious. Don’t try to be like others. Be something new, unique, something that truly resonates with what you intend to be. Defining your brand as a person is the best outcome. You should look at your competitors as differentiating yourself is the key to success. Be true and authentic and it’s okay to defy set rules. See Tinder, for instance, it says online dating should be as casual as hanging out at a bar and worked on this theme. In fact, MIT Media Lab recently came up with a prize for those who are shaking up the status quo or breaking the rules called the “New Disobedience Award”. Scribbling all of this down on a whiteboard with inputs from all stakeholders and then segregating those will be great. At the end, you should have a sense of the values you want your brand to be associated with, its personality and the tone. Eventually, this will also become a great brief for your designer to come up with the visual language, designs and the logo (if it’s not already created). While defining the vision, discuss what your brand wants to be and its reason to exist. Arrive at one statement – the big vision that will get etched in stone, something that you will eventually want to be, several years from today. When P&G created beinggirl.com it was not to talk product but to “illuminate” the TG’s world (the 11-14 yr old girls age segment to help them out in embarrassing moments, hygiene related issues etc.). Tell stories Storytelling is the best way to bond with your audiences. Find those unique aspects of your consumers’ lives and build your content around these micro-moments and their life experiences. Let there be emotions because that’s what people associate with. Good stories will lead to visibility and reach. With good visibility, your brand will develop shareability. Research shows that our basic qualities – belonging, expression, self-discovery, emotions, freedom – when used in storytelling, get the best consumer connect. Remember, when Nike got Nancy to run again – a runner who previously came 6284th at the Boston marathon and lost her job and confidence – gave her running shoes and all the motivation she needed. She was no less a champion than the top runner. This is a story that stays true to Nike’s brand essence, a brand that doesn’t just sell footwear but stories of a personal quest for excellence. Featured Program for you: MBA from IMT & Deakin University Storytelling comes in all forms and shapes – experiences related to customer care, or the actual product and packaging, or even in-store experiences. How many times have we loved the Starbucks experience? They say a Starbucks store is in third place in the lives of its people. A quiet moment to gather your thoughts, a small escape. Starbucks staff smiles at you, and that alone makes it a place that feels like a breath of fresh air. This is why you should never forget the people you hire, your employees. Successful brands have this great desire to promote a culture that resonates with their brand. Zappos, the online shoe and clothing retailer gives a reverse reward for employees if they want to quit. It pays them money to quit if they think they aren’t fitting in. Okay, so we are done for now. All of this needs to stay consistent. At this stage, you will have defined your brand’s reason to exist and values. The value of your brand will get built over time, as your loyal customers grow and bond with it. The challenge is to stay on track and continue to strive to build loyalty.  So go ahead and rule the world. Talk to partners who can now show you how to best use Digital, which channels to choose, what KPI’s to keep and develop smart and impactful messaging. Keep up the enthusiasm, courage, hunger, and willingness to adapt to unknown situations and you will do wonders! If you want to learn more about marketing and entrepreneurship, Liverpool Business School & upGrad offers Master of Business Administration (MBA) Liverpool Business School which helps you to transform your career. The program provides 1-on-1 mentorship from industry leaders, 1-week immersion program at University campus, dual credentials (MBA from LBS & PGPM from IMT), network with peers at offline basecamps and more.

by Rajeev Sharma

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30 Jan 2018

Influencer Marketing – The Silver Bullet
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5213

Influencer Marketing – The Silver Bullet

Anyone who can exercise some influence can be called an Influencer, and Influencer Marketing is based on that premise. We all understand the basic, human truth – We value opinions of people we trust. Recently, in one meeting with a large Influencer Marketing Agency, I wanted to know what they tell their clients… They were quick, ‘The list of Influencers and their reach, interest, background, tone etc.’ I heard them out and asked them, ‘What else?’ They continued, ‘We brief them well, talk about the brand etc’. I said, Great. ‘What else?’ They looked around. Reassuringly continued further, ‘We also give them the ‘possible things’ to say. We don’t give them content to simply cut and paste, we are different.’ As the lead communicator took a sip of water I, as expressionless as before, thanked him for the great revelation, looked around and asked one more time, ‘What else..?’ Pin-drop silence. They now looked at me and said ‘What else..?’ It was my turn. They looked around. Reassuringly continued further, ‘We also give them the ‘possible things’ to say. We don’t give them content to simply cut and paste, we are different.’ As the lead communicator took a sip of water I, as expressionless as before, thanked him for the great revelation, looked around and asked one more time, ‘What else..?’ Pin-drop silence. They now looked at me and said ‘What else..?’ It was my turn. Learn digital marketing courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career. I asked them three questions: One, how many times have you used data? Data in terms of algorithm-based analytics, which can deeply convey the ‘nature’ of your influencer’s influence and convince your client all about the science, the influencer’s brand affinities, interests and so on and so forth. Second, do you boldly dwell into the return on investment? For instance, how will it drive sales? Thirdly, do you treat it like a campaign, developing a campaign strategy with a build up, an idea, the extensions, and amplifications leading to the KPIs? I added one more, bonus question. How are you comparing your Influencer campaign with the clients’ other, currently running and traditional digital campaign; i.e. KPI to KPI? Whether for budget-strapped start-ups or developed brands, Influencer Marketing is turning out to be a key element in the Digital Marketing mix. There are times it has delivered 10x returns! A brand called ‘Shoes of Prey’ tied up with a beauty blogger (vlogger) to enable a 300% increase in sales. Some Influencer Marketing observations Earned Media Value It’s important to talk about the earned media that the Influencer campaign generated. Provide examples where it has resulted in ‘incremental sales’ when regular consumers were engaged with Influencer content for a corresponding test period. Experimentation Tie-in the Influencer campaign with a great offer or deal. This usually works wonders. Walmart clubbed both together and got a 45% increase in redemption. Another brand saw 30% increase in footfalls in their retail shop when measured before and after. Micro-Influencers Don’t become obsessive about Influencers. Look for the more impactful Micro-Influencers. Sometimes, they can be better and more useful to you and your brand, than larger Influencers. It’s also not always required that you go with Influencers from the same industry. Influencers could be from an unrelated industry, as long as the connection is made and obvious to your user. An SUV model by Buick picked Pinterest influencers to create a unique proposition, rather than picking automotive influencers. Grassroots  Social listening tells you who is talking about your brand and is happy with your product or service. Think of Fans, Super Fans, Micro-Influencers, General Influencers, Influential followers and so on. Another great discussion I had recently was about identifying influencers who are going to be big soon and bonding with them or developing long-term relationships to reap benefits in the future. Campaign Mindset There are several great examples of brands getting Influencer marketing right. Please don’t just scribble down a list and rush into it. Conceive it like a campaign, think before and after and build it through and through. SAP used Influencer Marketing to sell its B2B conference. It got some influencers to create a video, which worked out really well for them. Another retailer got 50 Instagrammers to wear the same dress to promote the product itself as well as the brand. Here are a few things to remember: Combine the Creativity, Storytelling, and Uniqueness of each channel and leverage what technology can enable. Instagram isn’t the only platform to use. Pleasantly surprise the audience with the choice of your Influencer. Refer to the ‘Got Milk’ campaign; nobody expected the influencers that were chosen to be chosen. Use both scientific thinking and creativity. Best Digital Marketing Courses Online Advanced Certificate in Brand Communication Management - MICA Advanced Certificate in Digital Marketing and Communication - MICA Performance Marketing Bootcamp - Google Ads from upGrad To Explore all our courses, visit our page below. Digital Marketing Courses Follow the ROARS Formula: R (Research Research Research – this is the most important part) +O (Objectives, very sharply defined) + A (Alignment with the audience, brand) + R (Right influencer – Study their reach and engagement) + S (Scope for creativity, strong content and freedom to the Influencer to build authenticity). Remember Influencer marketing will lead to advocacy, sales, buzz, SEO and everything else that comes with it. Whether your consumers are in the awareness stage, or active consideration or purchase stage, this tool for mass marketing will deliver if done right. As a trend, some brands are getting Influencers to participate in long-term partnerships and collaborations to create new product designs. Two brands, Target and Band-Aid, are doing this as we speak. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and influence away! Over 200 million people are using ad-blocking software. Your users, current or potential, don’t want ads. They just want honest opinions and this is the time to leverage that sentiment change. So you see, with Influencer marketing, you’ve just found yourself a silver bullet! In-demand Digital Marketing Skills Advertising Courses Influencer Marketing Courses SEO Courses Performance Marketing Courses SEM Courses Email Marketing Courses Content Marketing Courses Social Media Marketing Courses Marketing Analytics Courses Web Analytics Courses Display Advertising Courses Affiliate Marketing Courses upGrad’s Exclusive Digital Marketing Webinar for you – What’s new in Marketing? document.createElement('video'); https://cdn.upgrad.com/blog/rumi-ambastha.mp4 Have you tried out some form of Influencer marketing for your personal brand or business? Write your success stories here, in the comments section, for others to learn. Featured Programs for you – Advanced Certificate in Digital Branding & Advertising from MICA Digital Marketing Free courses to Learn Influencer marketing free course Introduction to advertising free course Influencer marketing right free course SEO basics free course SEM basics free course Email marketing free course Social media marketing introduction free course How to leverage user generated content free course Content marketing free course Fundamentals of marketing free course Brand marketing masterclass free course Popular Digital Marketing Blogs Beginners Guide to YouTube Marketing : Complete List How to Monetize Your YouTube Channel? Top 5 Actionable Steps The Complete Guide on setting up a LinkedIn Company Page Everything You Need To Know About Digital Marketing A Complete Guide to Digital Marketing Strategy: What it is and How to create it? Digital Marketing Tutorial: A Step-by-Step Guide To Become an Expert Future of Digital Marketing: How It Goes From Here Importance of Digital Marketing: Top 10 Reasons Your Business Needs it Digital Marketing Challenges: How to Win Amidst the Challenges in Digital Marketing

by Rajeev Sharma

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09 Oct 2017

Winning the Market with Consumer Journeys
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5130

Winning the Market with Consumer Journeys

It is almost a given for a brand today to monitor its consumers across the journeys they take to purchase and beyond. Most companies have realised the importance to do so and many are already doing it. But very few succeed to ‘pick’ what matters, generate the relevant insights and be able to ‘orchestrate’ these journeys to their advantage. One of the big tasks for a brand rests on delivering a great experience to its consumers. That experience should drive engagement and enable actions. By delivering a great experience, essentially a brand is trying to remove any tension or friction between the consumer and itself. Brands have realised that a zero tension consumer experience associated with the desired behaviour is the key to a winning strategy. Learn MBA Courses from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career. When we say consumer experience we mean the end-to-end experience, different from the term ‘user experience’, which is a more individual interaction. A consumer’s journey is typically a series of steps from awareness or discovery, to purchase and beyond. So how do we ensure we are on top of our consumers’ journeys? Firstly, it is critical to get all the unstructured and structured data analysed to see the touch points your consumers are using. It could be searching on a search engine, visiting a website, walking into a store, calling a call centre… or even interacting with your brand’s representative. You will need to study to find out which interaction is leading to what result. Remember, though these are individual touch points they should not be seen in silos, but holistically. Brainstorm and analyse what your consumers think and feel about you, talk about you, research, explore and finally prefer you over others. Secondly, identify and try to resolve their needs, especially the unmet ones, whether through a great new solution, a sudden delight, a creative use of technology or by simply reinventing how they interact with you. Essentially, think of ways to disrupt their journey. Remember, transactions are strongly associated with actions like purchase, repeat purchase, brand buzz, loyalty, advocacy etc. Consumer experiences are getting more social in nature, which is adding complexity to brand functions. Organisations have to integrate their business systems to ensure the experience their consumers have across channels is consistent and superior. Building a strong consumer experience should be the top priority for all executives. It creates value for the consumer. This value comes from the experience the consumer has with the brand and is an all-encompassing one – from customer service to product usage, quality, reliability etc. Gifographic: How to Build a Successful Sales Funnel Being able to see the consumer journeys from a unified view, across all the touch points, can help brands gain a strong advantage, especially in three areas: 1. Knowing what motivates and drives consumers to take certain actions What you need to consider is creating a comprehensive consumer journey map linking each touchpoint with the action desired. You may discover how users coming from ‘offer related’ keywords act differently on a review page as supposed to users who aren’t price conscious and hence stay there longer. 2. Getting to know which channels work better What you need to consider is building a simple slide to show what each channel is delivering. Simply categorise the channels basis their objective, then have two columns against each – conversion and revenue. This will help you determine where to allocate the budget and KPIs. Simply categorise the channels on the basis of their objectives, then have two columns against each – conversion and revenue. This will help you determine where to allocate the budget and KPIs. You may discover that a simple influencer campaign drove more conversions but less revenue as opposed to a contextual search targeting.   3. Disrupt the consumer journey with innovative and creative data-driven messaging What you need to consider is finding ways to delight the consumer and be able to orchestrate their journey. You may realise that a quick targeted ‘Get a friend along – Get an upgrade’ mobile campaign to offer seat upgrades on match day, will not only fill your stadium but also generate additional revenues. Once consumer journeys are mapped and understood, you will be in a position to segregate them in clusters – based on behaviour. This behavioural data along with the understanding of the reasons behind that behaviour is a wonderful combination. Behaviour + Attitudinal insights. One telco once confessed that more than three-fourths of the consumers who churned a particular month had actually visited their ‘how to close an account’ tab 2-3 weeks before quitting. Pity, the brand couldn’t use this intelligence. Consumer journeys today are key to how consumers experience a brand as their experience benchmark has been set by great companies like Google, Apple, Amazon, etc. This experience is not one-off or tactical, but a much larger, long-term one. An experience that travels beyond purchase. After all, consumer journeys are an end to end affair. 6 Lessons in Innovation and Marketing Excellence Summing up some key points: 1. Think about consumer journeys and always aim to create value for consumers. 2. Apart from delivering a great product, generate an experience that’s superlative. 3. Do what you need to do to understand your consumer’s needs – expressed or unexpressed. 4. Put down a consumer journey map, starting from where your consumers begin their journey (not from where your brand is visible). 5. Measure the above across touch points and then find unique disruptions that will delight your users with additionally. 6. Continue to build and improve, as your consumer journeys increasingly get non-linear, fragmented and unexpected. Hope this finds value and helps in your efforts to perfect your consumer’s experience, and that you are watching them and building meaningful insights! If you want to learn more about marketing and entrepreneurship, Liverpool Business School & upGrad offers Master of Business Administration (MBA) Liverpool Business School which helps you to transform your career. The program provides 1-on-1 mentorship from industry leaders, 1-week immersion program at University campus, dual credentials (MBA from LBS & PGPM from IMT), network with peers at offline basecamps and more.

by Rajeev Sharma

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21 Sep 2017

Why Brands Need To Do More: Lessons from Google, Airbnb & Uber
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5208

Why Brands Need To Do More: Lessons from Google, Airbnb & Uber

This is a Guest Blog by Rajeev Sharma, Founder of Awrizon. Digital allows brands to go beyond what they are meant to be. The moment we think of consumers interacting with our brand first in Digital – it makes us sit up. Consumers expect the brand to behave in the same way as they experience it elsewhere. In fact, they expect much more than just the way it looks or even the way it makes them feel. They want to interact with it in the way they are accustomed to interacting with other brands. From one channel to another and back, across screens whether offline or online, the brand is expected to provide them with a seamless and superior experience. The brand has 3 challenges in these scenarios: 1. It needs to understand the consumers’ needs and expectations, especially their unknown and/or unmet needs. 2. It has to understand how it would use technology. 3. It needs to craft the experience in delightful new ways, which are less about the brand but more like a story that is weaved into consumers’ lives. Learn digital marketing courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career. Thankfully, we are moving away from words like eyeballs, devices, users and more into terms that depict the consumers as they are – as humans with needs and problems, some expressed, some unexpressed. This new way of building a strategy is one that starts from the consumer and his/her world, backward. A brand is a mix of several different facets, experiences, ideas, and relationships. Technology helps brands define how their message will be communicated. The consumers decide how, when and if at all they want to participate in these brand experiences. Technology doesn’t affect the brand’s core values; neither does it make anything more complex. Companies such as Apple and Google continue to focus on simplicity despite the complexity in their businesses and the related advancements in technology. This perhaps is the most challenging time for brands to strike the right balance between pushing the boundaries of creativity and storytelling; at the same time remaining consistent. A digital brand needs to show its promise and value up front.  What is it going to do for the consumers? What are the ‘unmet’ needs it promises to solve for them? Marketers need to go beyond the current boundaries of the brand to think what the brand can do, i.e the larger, currently unthought-of context the brand can operate in. Yes, it is challenging but it is also equally exciting. Great digital brands build new expectations and anticipate needs. This means thinking about consumers, going beyond the regular set of competitors while redefining the competition and discovering great experiences that add value to the users’ lives. There is a lot to be learned from brands like Disney, Apple, Google, Lego, Uber, Amazon and many others; on how to build themselves ‘beyond’ what they are meant to be. Best Online Digital Marketing Courses Advanced Certificate in Brand Communication Management - MICA Advanced Certificate in Digital Marketing and Communication - MICA Performance Marketing Bootcamp - Google Ads from upGrad To explore all our certification courses on Digital Marketing, kindly visit our page below. Digital Marketing Certification Let’s see briefly how these brands got there: At first, Google was just a search engine. A website allowing users to search and find whatever information they were looking for. Soon, the company realised it had to serve larger needs of users that extended beyond the web and ventured into mobile, television, automotive and other things soon to become great companions to, and admired brands by, billions of us. Airbnb solved a need for travelers to find a place or a spare room while traveling around the world. It built an unmatched experience throughout the journey from the time of booking to the stay and beyond. With its rating and ranking system, it built an ecosystem of feedback and conversations, further improving its service. Uber did the same. Technically, Uber is only a mobile phone app that helps connect riders with drivers. When Uber came into existence in 2009 (called UberCab then), it imagined a great untapped need of connecting passengers and drivers who were owners of vehicles; solving the problem of getting cabs when someone wanted it and almost exactly at the instant they wanted it. Uber offered a great experience based on convenience. Top Digital Marketing Skills Online Advertising Courses Influencer Marketing Programs SEO Optimisation Courses Performance Marketing Certification Search Engine Marketing Course Email Marketing Strategy Content Marketing Strategy Social Media Advertising Digital Marketing Analytics Website Analytics Online Display Advertising Best Affiliate Programs The examples are many with all these brands having one thing common – the fact that they resolved an unmet/unexpressed need and built an experience that consumers continue to love and find immense value out of; embedding it into their lives and going beyond what they were meant to be. upGrad’s Exclusive Digital Marketing Webinar for you – Webinar with Q&A Session on Digital Marketing document.createElement('video'); https://cdn.upgrad.com/blog/kapil-panchal-alumni-talk-about-careers-in-dm.mp4   Digital Marketing Free courses to Learn Influencer marketing free course Introduction to advertising free course Influencer marketing right free course SEO basics free course SEM basics free course Email marketing free course Social media marketing introduction free course How to leverage user generated content free course Content marketing free course Fundamentals of marketing free course Brand marketing masterclass free course Popular Digital Marketing Blogs Beginners Guide to YouTube Marketing : Complete List How to Monetize Your YouTube Channel? Top 5 Actionable Steps The Complete Guide on setting up a LinkedIn Company Page Everything You Need To Know About Digital Marketing A Complete Guide to Digital Marketing Strategy: What it is and How to create it? Digital Marketing Tutorial: A Step-by-Step Guide To Become an Expert Future of Digital Marketing: How It Goes From Here Importance of Digital Marketing: Top 10 Reasons Your Business Needs it Digital Marketing Challenges: How to Win Amidst the Challenges in Digital Marketing

by Rajeev Sharma

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28 Aug 2017

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