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Wearing my mobile marketer hat – the most common question is – what can we do on mobile or build me a mobile strategy.

Great stuff, will like and love to! but hold your horses. Mobile is far more exciting platform than ever before in the hands of a good marketer.

We all know what people do on their smart phones (the likes of iOS, Andriod and Windows Mobile platforms) and feature phones (the likes of Nokia, BlackBerry). There are enough studies to prove that mobile is all about – email, sms, calendar, games, apps, and ofcourse the phone itself…am not sure with the development of smart phones and cheaper data access have call time dropped…and sms’s and data usage has gone up.

But, this small chart will help you understand what all you can do in the mobile space:

Mobile Feature Brand Opportunity
SMS/MMS Missed Call SMS (Footer), SMS Spam, SMS CRM, Transactional SMS (Footer), Status SMS, Custom SMS Apps (SMS 2.0)
Apps In App Advertising via mobile networks, build your own app, games, branded environments
Call Tone Caller Ring back tones (branded)
Voice Mail Branded Voice Mail Greetings
Camera QR Code Scanner,  Photo Recognition Apps, Augmented Reality
Calendar Reminder Ads (via ad networks)
Screen Lock Screen Images or Wallpapers
Browsing Mobile Ads (via networks), mobile site
Alarm Give the user a custom alarm clock
Music Advertise in digital radio channels
Search Mobile search campaigns, mobile sites
Video Video ads via Mobile Ad Network

While the above list is not exhaustive, you can clearly see the opportunity that mobile has for your brand.

Google has put up an interesting video of what they see as user behavior on mobile (ofcourse it is hinting mobile search) :

But at the end of the day, all i can say is that mobile is going to be pivotal in the coming future. And, it is not very far away.

In Singapore, the IDA has already given a green signal for introducing NFC  (read PR article here)enable payment spots. So, mobile coupons can go that extra mile (i know most marketers hate coupons)

So what mobile marketing strategy will you deploy for your brand/product in 2012? will you invest ahead of the curve or just wait for case studies to be build on other brands before you can think of doing something on it…


If you’ve been running facebook ads for sometime now and are baffled with the CTR’s and volume of clicks that come from these ads – don’t be. Imagin facebook ads as a promoter in a crowded marketplace – who is distributing brochures/handouts to catch your attention. Your friend picked one (liked) – so you also picked (liked) one up; you may walk into the store (page) – feel its a good store (like/fans) – say something or try out new clothes and walk out…by the way we forgot about the promoter – how do we reward him/her who got the person in…

In the social context ‘CTR’ will misslead you since you will compare it with a display banner or a emailer or a search response…

Thus CTR is the wrong metric to apply to a facebook ad.

I am thinking, we should have a measure called ‘Conversation Impact Rate’ and/or ‘Brand Like Rate’..this helps you measure the response to your ads as well as what these ads are doing to bring in the social conversation important for your brand on your page. Even tab interaction can be added to these metrics. The metrics are beyond the click in social.

So evaluate your facebook marketing campaigns carefully, yes you might be targetting to the right demographic…but they behave different in social than on a marketing media channel…think about it…

As smart marketers we don’t like to put all our eggs in one basket and like to manage risk better. But in the attempt to manage risk – we make our marketing campaigns more data diverse with almost endless effort to collate data and make sense from it. With the digital media world shaping up faster than before, it makes all the more sense to start to consolidate your digital marketing efforts either in-house or with one (1) agency – this can either be your digital media agency or your digital creative agency or your social media agency or your PR agency…wow…isn’t the choice so easy to pick from 🙂

here are few reasons why you should consider consolidation :

1. Data Management : currently if you are struggling to get your agencies to report into one dashboard or even you internally trying to make sense of data from different sources. it makes all the more sense to conslidate your data reporting with one agency or use a tracking technology which is unified across the digital channels and each agency can report back into it. Thus to make the best use of rich data that your campaigns collect – consolidate your data!

2. Buying Efficiency : if you have one agency managing your online creative, banner buys, SEM, SEO, Social and Mobile – you suddenly have more negotiation power on your publisher deals – especially the one’s which involves long term tenancy on prime portals. This also benefits if your a marketing manager managing multple brand profiles – as all the brands can benefit from this buying.

3. Cost Efficiency : if you thought with multiple agency and multiple negotiated rates from 2% – 8%; gives you an average of 4% commission paid to different agencies – you are wrong. You are ignoring the value of the above two points – which together can make your agency commission look like 0% – purely because you saved over heads and have better buys than ever before! Sit with your CFO and you will notice the power of consolidation.

4. Happier Stakeholders : suddenly you have all the data answers that everyone in your organization was seeking. now that will earn you some serious brownie points. this all happens because all your data is with one agency or data source and it is now far more accessible than before. invest in a good data analysis tool – or build a dashboard with your web analytics or agency teams. it will cost a bit in the beginning; but the long term benefits are huge!

I think between the agencies – the thin line of service offerings will continue to grow even thinner. So i don’t think that 2012 – your organization will continue to work with multiple digital agency – as the months roll down – more and more organization will start to build their efforts to consolidate their media efficiencies…


With Facebook Developer forum (F8) just announcing some really cool new dimensions in the Facebook product, there are some serious implications for the social marketer thinking of tapping into the social network called – Facebook.

Here is an Asia prespective…

The era of the ‘connected web’ is turning into a reality with every passing development of Facebook, something that AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft and Google have been trying to crack over the past few years.

The conversations will no longer be about a Facebook or a ‘Like’; but as marketers we need to start thinking of ‘OpenGraph’ and how can your application become a part of the user’s live ‘Feed’. The new development also has put the ‘wall’ behind the focus and everything about Facebook is going to be about the ‘Profile called You’

During the initial phases a lot is going to get focused on the ‘new profile’ page; which lets your characterize who you are and makes available all the information about you easily accessible. And, chances are most of the users will like to clean up this set of information as quickly as follows. But what will follow that will of most interest to us as marketers.


  1. Increased time spent on Facebook – there is more to know about everyone you know in your life. As per ComScore users spent 2,500 million minutes on Facebook as of December 2010. I bet that is going to increase.


  1. LifeStream – “Those Sponsored Stories are not just going to be about me liking Samsung,” he said. “They will be about me watching my favorite program on my Samsung device” [Ian Schafer, CEO of Deep Focus]. Marketers will need to think real time, almost to an extent where brands will need content to synergize with what the audience is interested in to ‘listen’ or ‘watch’ or ‘play’ or share! This is going to be a BIG challenge for all marketers.


  1. OpenGraph – while the user no longer needs to change authorization of the application; this will make apps being able to link up quite easily across user groups and profiles. The battle for the most used application will begin soon. Brands are again going to struggle to come up with kickass applications idea to make apps – engaging, monetizable, and sharable! But think again – is this the opportunity to extend that iPhone app to Facebook – make it seamless?


  1. Word of Mouth – will the top channel by which consumers will abide by and this is what Facebook is going to capitalize on for the marketers.


The opportunity with this development is huge. But Asia will take some time to get on the bandwagon with adopting to this changing face of Facebook. But, more and more it will become relevant for advertisers to be on Facebook and not just a Facebook page – but a brand environment that thrives on – connections & conversations.

Whats your timeline Marketer?

When you forgot to stop counting

Yes you can put up counters on your website to show how many more days/hours to go before the event….but Turn them off when its over!

Singapore Media Awards Official Website Screenshot

Continuing from my previous post, I’ll focus on bounce rate and most advertisers wonder WHAT should be my bounce rate. So after looking at multiple data set here is what I think of – What is a good bounce rate or should be!

First thing first – bounce rate can be at a page level or at the site level – I’ve looked at a more granular level (page level) as I think every site has a flow so we need to ensure the performance at each of these touch points. Feel free to compare your site against this. No one to my knowledge has tried to do this compare table; but there is no harm :

Page  Best Bounce Rate Worst Bounce Rate
Homepage 40% 75%
Contact Us Page 70% 90%
Product Catalogue Page 30% 65%
Product Details Specs Page 20% 55%
Product Support Page 30% 70%
Contest Page 50% 90%
Contest Form 50% 95%
Contest T/C 70% 100%
General T/C 70% 100%
Overall 48% 82%

Few things to note with this table :

1. This is for a normal website not a micro-site or site made in flash. As site in flash with improper analytic implementation will give you data-heart-attack.

2. These numbers are averaged across a sample site data base of 100 (some which i’ve created some others have created).

3. As a guiding principle to make life easier anything above 50% bounce rate can call for worry due to poor site design; but if the site is meeting the objective i won’t bother with this metric too much; or may be it is your learning point.

Net net – a relative metric which compares performance in terms of content engagement – use it wisely.

Hope this helps 🙂

OK explain this statement to a struggling web analyst – my bounce rate is 50% but the time spent is 3 mins.

Choose your options:
(A) This Suckx
(B) Wow Amazing
(C) I have no clue are you using a free tool?
(D) The person spent 3 mins on your site/page and left it for another web destination outside of your website (did the user do what you intended him/her to do while on the page)

If you have that analytical creature in you – you will know that these metrics are very apart from each other. Let’s begin with definitions:

Bounce Rate : Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page. Use this metric to measure visit quality – a high bounce rate generally indicates that site entrance pages aren’t relevant to your visitors. The more compelling your landing pages, the more visitors will stay on your site and convert. You can minimize bounce rates by tailoring landing pages to each keyword and ad that you run. Landing pages should provide the information and services that were promised in the ad copy. (Source)

Time Spent on Site : The time a visitor spends on your site. Or Time on page : This field indicates how long a visitor spent on a particular page or set of pages. It is calculated by subtracting the initial view time for a particular page from the initial view time for a subsequent page. Thus, this metric does not apply to exit pages for your site. (Source)

The lesser the bounce rate the better the engagement of the user on your website. But engagement is a factor of content on the site. If you just have 10 lines of text and few images you you are not expecting the user to spend a lot of time on the page and proceed to the next page or destination based on the action required on the site or what if you just have 1 page then but for sure you will have a 80% bounce rate. It is one of those derived metrics which has to be handled with care keep in view the content of the page.

When you combine the 2 metrics together you need to look at the derived answer – ‘result’ or ‘action’. Each page on your website has an objective to meet, let’s list down few of them :

Page General Objective
Homepage Welcome User
Contact Us Page Give user an option to reach you
Product Catalogue Page Give user a snapshot of all the product you offer
Product Details Specs Page Give user more detailed info on the product s/he selected
Product Support Page Give user to reach out to customer support
Contest Page Give user details of a contest
Contest Form All them to participate in the Contest
Contest T/C Make them aware of T/C
General T/C Make them aware of general T/C

Each of these objectives can be met in a specific time and engagement with the page. Till the time they are within the specified boundaries all is acceptable. You can do it by simply taking a print of the page you want to review and pass it to any general audience to see how much time they spent reading that article – that will tell you is the time spent good or not; or even so reflect on the engagement factor.

You can also use different optimization & tracking tools out there which helps you establish these co-relations. So depending on the nature of your website your bounce rate / time spent will vary. You cannot compare your bounce rate with any other website just like that – the parameters have to be as balanced as possible.

I’ll break here and continue in another part.

Another trivial marketing topic, where I’ve heard conversations on ROMI, ROAS, ROI, RPDS (Return Per Dollar Spent), etc. an organization is free to invent its own version of this acronym but the formula to calculate will remain the same. i.e. (revenue – cost)/cost

Another word that marketers like is – measurability. And, when asked by the management they look up to their agency to help answer the measurable aspect of the media (hidden question of the marketing plan). This goes back to my previous post of different components of a marketing plan – creative, media and business. ROI impacts the business objective that the creative & media are trying to drive together. Marketing team structures are getting complicated and there are information ownership gaps & confidentiality issue when it comes to measuring the actual impact of the marketing plan.

Thus Return on Investment is never seen the complete sense; with an exception where the a media type is able to capture it. We only look at the media $ spent and ignore operating costs, costs of developing the creative, etc. which are integral to the marketing plan.

So if I built a microsite + build some banners + bought some media = Total Cost of the Marketing Plan
Which resulted in $x in sales or x number of registrations (which is worth $y) or x number of visits to the store (which has a probability of y% to purchase) or x% of coupon redemption = Returns from the Marketing Plan (it has to be a $ value)

Am yet to see that coming thru or I’ve heard we have web analytics in place (then what are you doing with it?).

While I like to challenge a client to have answers; but few might find it too intimidating and think I am trying to act too smart (the agency guy knows it all – ha!).

Am not on an ego trip here, but stating why ROI get’s missed most of the time. Yes branding/awareness is also ROI; cause it shows how more favorable is your brand over the other and this increases the likely hood of your product being bought (given people like it).

There are no ROI benchmarks – but establish ROI based on business/economic rules – zero sum game or diminishing returns or high returns; see when your marketing plans are actually contributing to profits, chase your CFO for marketing $ evaluations.

Its now or your money won’t return to you…

Its been 7+ years I’ve been part of this ever growing digital media space – while the industry spends have grown this side of the world is yet to grow with it from a ‘strategic usage’ point of view.

The heart of this thread is how is the CTR 0.06% (600 clicks of a million impressions) better than CTR 0.10% (1000 clicks of a million impressions) on the same website between 2 different creatives – is it a factor of the creative or bad/good media planning?

I still feel CTR is a double edged sword just like Compounded Interest Rates.

Most marketers will not look at the finer details of the media plan to see the efficacy of it – were weight-ages attached to the creative served, did the ad serving system auto optimize the best CTR ad, creative B was better than creative A in terms of getting the attention, did you buy too many impressions or too less?, was there more competition at the time the ads were served, and finer details list are long!

Marketing programs comprise of 3 different set of objectives – creative objective, media objective, and business objective.

CTR sits between Creative Objective & Media Objective and eventually impacts the business objective. And no one in my experience have correlated this relationship and derived a better marketing program out of it – cause it costs money!

Everyone will point the finger at the media placement for a poor as the creative costed a BOMB to make and no one will question it, it was suppose to work and was approved by the management! But, so was the media plan!

So coming back to 0.06% vs 0.10% : both are rate of response to the creative message that went out on the same media platform – creative B must have been more engaging for the consumer to click on, the message was more promising. What this means is that for the future the 0.10% CTR creative information can be used to make future creatives (i am sure the media plan will remain the same). Think over it – look at the recent media plans you’ve signed off – don’t they all look the same!

And best practices say – if your CTR is low change your creative!

Next topic – R for (Never Seen) Return on Investment (ROI)

I recently purchased a Philips 32″ TV to be gifted from Reliance Digital at Ambi Mall in Gurgaon.

While I went on an non-offer day, there was hardly any one who could tell me which is a good LCD to buy and their demo systems could not show Live TV (always buy a LCD tv based on how it shows Live TV and not the recorded DVDs). But anyways after a lot of hide-and-seek I finally found someone who could help me make a purchase while I fiddled with the TV’s my self.

The ordering process was swift and it didn’t take more than 1 min to close the entire billing deal and I was promised that the TV would be delivered to me the following day.

Well the TV arrives well packed and stuff, only to realize that they have sent me the wrong model! The delivery people said – sorry sir we can’t take it back, our job is to deliver – right or not you figure it out with the store.

I’d placed an order for : a Philips 32″ LCD Model Number : 5203 and they delivered me Model Number : 3403.

reliance digital 1 ordered and wrong delivered(Left image is Delivered Product, Right is Ordered Product)

I think manufacturers also now need to start fixing this on their part. There is hardly any noticeable difference between the 2 models, yet the one delivered is 4000 bux cheaper!

See for yourself : Philips Model 3403 Compared with 5203

So I tried reaching the Reliance Digital Ambi Mall on 0124-4029099 and it was busy and has been busy for 5 continuous day! later I tried reaching them on their ResQ services on 0124-4472222, and that too no one answers.

Luckily the delivery people left me with the number of the back-end supply manager, I called him up only to realise that he has sent the right model as per his details.

I went back to Reliance Digital at Ambi Mall that very day and file a report with their ResQ division. First the guy was like, how can this be possible. Then I showed him the picture of the delivered model. He couldn’t do much and he was stumped! He called up the Depot and check with the Supply Manager, and he again said that he has sent the right model. Nevertheless, he just took my complaint down and said he’ll call me back in the evening – which hasn’t happened. And, further he passed the buck and said, please be in touch with the supply manager as he only can update you with the details!

Apparently, their SKU Management system has tagged this model against the SKU mentioned in my invoice! Now Beat That! (See the BAR CODE closely on the image on the left above and compare that to the one in the bill and you would know what i mean.)

It’s been 4 days since I’ve been chasing Mr. Anil Yadav (0999602xxxx), and he’s been confused ever since. Promises me that he will call back in 5 mins and never does, tells me that he’s trying to find the model and so far he hasn’t – maybe Indiana Jones can help him find this model. I mean it’s 4 days and you can’t find the model! “Sir, me laga hua hoon aapke case per, mujhe paanch min do”. – arghr ! tht’s bullshit!

And, no one tells the truth!

And, today his number is going busy – i think he’s trying to participate in Kaun Banega Crorepati or something.

I am in utter disgust with their level of after sales support & ignorance. I think Reliance should just go back to mining oil and whatever their original business is and get out of customer business they are not in capacity to manage it. I am glad they took all Subhiksha out of business.

So, next time you go to Reliance Digital – make sure you doing the right thing! and I shall try again to reach Mr. Yadav!