Consider this. You’re watching TV and you see an Ad about a new mobile phone with an URL at the end of the advert. What is the probability that you’ll either go to the direct URL or search for that mobile phone on your handheld device then and there itself?
Pretty good chances right? Especially if you already are browsing the net on your phone like most people.

With an exponential increase in the number of smartphone users and people browsing the net not just on their PC’s but also on laptops, tablets and mobile phones, people are more online in the virtual world than they are alive in the real world!
Now, how can that be a ‘Eureka’ moment for marketers?

Answer: Keep your eyes open!

The audience nowadays can be divided into three tiers-

  • Two Screen : TV and Computer
  • Three Screen : TV, Computer and Smartphone
  • Four Screen : TV, Computer, Smartphone and Tablet

And at the same time, tablets change the game, because they bring the app ecosystem together with the best usability aspects of the smartphone and computer. You can do plenty with your phone, but it’s not always easy. Most sites don’t work well with smartphones let alone mobile phones. In such a case, tablet users aided by their app world find it easier to access the web and its services. But then the question arises – Do marketers ‘make’ the audience do that?

It is important that the marketers understand the audience psychology. People are ready to move on to their 2nd or 3rd or 4th screen while watching TV! For marketers, there is an opportunity to create content and experiences which are complementary to that shown on TV. Why not put the URL to your website or Facebook Page if you’re running a contest? You’d do that on Paper Ads, why not do it on TV Ads too when you have the opportunity and platform to do so!

Online offers an immediate response mechanism for viewers of TV ads. It allows brands an opportunity to capitalize instantly off the effect of the ad. We know the attention and memory span of the Ad audience is very low unless and until you’re able to either catch up on their emotion factor or just purely have an awesome Ad no one can resist watching again and again. In such a case, if a call to action is given to the audience so that they can immediately continue the interaction with the brand even after the Ad is over, it’ll surely gain the brand a good number of new followers if they’re able to utilize this follow up path well.

If a URL is shown at the end of an Ad, it should be made sure that the URL is easy to remember and also that when the audience goes to that web page there is a clear path to what should be done next and if a sale or a step closest to making a sale in present, it should be achieved in as less clicks by the person, as possible. At the same time, if the person is searching Google for news related to the brand right after seeing the brand’s Ad, the brand should have done their homework well in advance and made sure that  brand and non-brand search terms are in high enough positions to capture the extra search traffic that TV Ads will generate. In short, after extensive keyword research, do the SEO well before getting into this aspect!

A couple of points I would like to emphasize upon when you design such a campaign would be-

  • Make sure that if you give your Facebook page as the connecting URL, the person doesn’t have to search the page extensively to find the related post. It would be good to have related info in the Timeline pic, at the same time adhering to Facebook Guidelines of the same.
  • If you are targeting a particular keyword or phrase, one guaranteed way to top the search engines around the time of TV ad campaigns is to buy the term.
  • Make sure the landing web page is mobile friendly. A lot many people might still not have smartphones and would be accessing your page via mobile. DON’T fend them off!
  • Have a clear call to action and path process to the end page. Also make sure that if the person is required to fill in some data, you don’t ask for too much data. It just might test their patience and might cost you a valid customer.
  • Add direct social sharing options from the page.
  • Provide a good range of contact options like phone, mail and contact forms and also make sure that you do respond to them as soon as possible when a query does come.

These are just some of the points that I have found to be right and effective. If you have any more points to add, would love to hear them out!

The morning started off with the front page of the newspaper shouting out loud that it was a hartal (some politician had been murdered brutally). Bad news to begin the day with. So I moved on to the sports page when my mobile scheduler beeped – 1330 hrs: Attend Workshop on Intellectual Property Strategies at Startup Village!

Darn! I had almost forgotten.

So, after a client meeting scheduled in the morning that dragged on till noon, I, along with my friend Manu, reached the Kinfra campus of Startup Village at about 1430 hrs. An hour late! Luckily, we were let in to attend the session. (Thanks guys!).

The first session was handled by Mr Dilip Kumar, Founder at Inolyst. He spoke about the differences between patent, trademark and copyright and the pros and cons of each. Shortly thereafter, the audience gathered was honored by the arrival of Mr P. H Kurian, IAS, Principal Secretary IT, the Chief Guest. He was welcomed on board by Sijo Kuruvilla George, CEO, Startup Village.

522893_133302030127121_1473528549_n

Kurian Sir first asked each and everyone of us present there to introduce ourselves and then smoothly moved on with the session. He spoke from his in-depth knowledge about the field and from his first hand experience as the Controller General of Patents, Trademarks and Designs. He explained to us using various examples about what are the implications that could be faced if patents are not applied for at the right time and the legalities involved.

After Kurian Sir’s session and before moving on to Dilip Sir’s session, we had a wonderful Tea Break. Wonderful, because the samosas felt like heaven for both of us who hadn’t had anything since morning 😀

Well. As we moved on to the next session, each of us started understanding in more detail about why an execution strategy is needed for creating valuable intellectual property. Dilip Sir explained to us further about the structured model involved in the lengthy process of patent registration and “WHY” exactly importance should be given to patent registration – not just for protection but also as a means of getting investors and revenue generation based business model.

This last session, which also happened to be the lengthiest session of the day, also covered the differences in patent filing aspects in India and abroad and also revealed some important facts for technology entrepreneurs like how in India we cannot file for a patent for a software per se.

As the day’s session ended and I left the building, one couldn’t help but feel awed at the awesomeness of the place. A place, that would house some of the budding minds and aspiring entrepreneurs of the present generation. Something which maybe, only another start-up entrepreneur would be able to appreciate.

 

Me: You know what, your idea totally sucks!
My Partner: Ya? As if your idea was better!
Me: Atleast it didnt involve hanging a rabbit upside down from a helicopter!
My Partner: Oh, so you think that’s mad and not throwing the client down the cliff just to check whether he’s light-weight or heavy-weight???
Me: Hmmm… You’re right. Fine. But I get to select the helicopter.

And that’s just another one of our daily “brainstorming session”! 😀

Ever since I got into this business of building my own start-up, one thing I have read and been told to an umpteen number of times is that – make sure your partner is a mirror image of you. Both of you should think alike in all aspects…. etc etc..

And I couldn’t disagree more!

Okay, I agree to the fact that both the partners should be focused and pretty clear about the vision and mission of the company. They should also be very comfortable working together and not be like long-lost-enemies-who-got-together-to-save-the-company kind of people. Other than the usual ‘needed’ qualities like these, which are pretty obvious from common sense, it would be all the more better for the growth of the company if the partners are ready to get at each others throats during a brain storming session and at the same time enjoy a coffee together after 10 minutes.

Ever heard the saying that always listen to what your enemies say about you, because they’ll always point out your negatives! Similar goes when you have a brain-storming session for ideas. In a start-up, where you don’t have too many brains to come up with too many ideas, arguing over a idea helps a lot. Especially when ideas are needed most in a field like SMM, One person comes up with an idea and the other person comes up with reasons as to why it wouldn’t work out. Then the former tries to find solutions to all the problems the latter person pointed out. And as the discussion goes forward, finally a stage is reached where you either understand the initial idea was pretty stupid or you have an idea in your hand that is completely refined from each and every aspect you could think of. Voila! Success!!

Consider this. Your partner has very similar tastes and frequency pretty same as yours. Whenever a decision is to be taken, no matter how much you try to think out of the box, one would think only the way he has ‘programmed’ his brain to think over the course of his life. Outside-the-box thinking is nothing but thinking differently. And it doesn’t come by ‘deciding’ to think differently. Its a state of mind where you continuously train your brain to think differently in all situations. So, when there exists such a scenario, no matter how much you try, you’ll almost always come up with an expected result (unless there is an external person whom you include in the decision making process). Now, when you have someone with you who is totally, absolutely, completely different than you, look at the positives. You’ll get to see each point from every single point of view possible. What happens in this argumentative process is that knowingly or unknowingly you tend to filter out all the negative aspects involved in the idea. And only when one is able to fully convince the other, will you ‘actually’ reach a  decision. A decision which you can be pretty sure you wouldn’t have to take a second look at.

Obviously, me saying this doesn’t mean that all partners should be like this. I was just arguing against the so-called-myth I have heard and been told to, a lot. And again, this shouldn’t be the ONLY factor based on which you should judge/select your partner. There are a lot many other things which am sure you don’t need a blog post to tell you about. Its all elementary dear boy!

P.S. If you find me inactive in Twitter for over one week, please understand that my partner murdered me for writing this post. After all, this post is dedicated to him. XD

P.P.S. Just so that none of you misunderstand, though our brain-storming sessions are ‘murderous’, I consider myself goddamn blessed to have my best buddy as my work partner too 🙂

Would love to have your views regarding the same. Feel free to drop in your opinions/suggestions below.

Well, I’ll be frank with you from the start. It wasn’t exactly the first page. Or any page if I am to be true to myself. It was all a result of a prank which no one cared to verify about. And it ‘might’ have had become news too even before people would have cared to find the truth behind it.

It all started with a few of my friends – @rameezhere, @dubliyublog and @fuzzhead045 trying to get #OccupyUniCal to trend, to proclaim our open frustration towards our University. I too joined in the fun and came out with all sorts of jokes about the University (most of which were actually true!). For example the case when a guy passed the exam without even appearing for it and another guy passing the exam when he copied from his friend’s paper and both of them had different electives! All the stories, if jotted down, would be worth a novel!

So then, coming back to the ‘almost’ TOI story of #OccupyUniCal. Here’s how the events turned out over the past couple of days.

22 March 2012 – 11:50PM I sent out the following pic, supporting #OccupyUniCal

23 March 2012 – Full Day Me and most of my active friends on twitter sent out hilarious tweets supporting the hash-tag #OccupyUniCal

23 March 2012 – 11:30PM With an “evil grin” on my face and a prank in mind, I upload a photoshop’d pic, with the tweet –

“Looks like #OccupyUniCalDID Trend for a while!! Kewl!! Anybody noticed??”

24 March 2012 – 6PM By this time most of my active friends on Twitter had either Retweeted or atleast seen the above pic.

24 March 2012 – 7:31PM A correspondent from TOI tweets me and my friend @dubliyublog saying –

“I’m reporter of Times of India. Want to do story on unical. Reply asap. 944xxxxxxx”.

Needless to say I was ROFL and LMAO!! Since I lost my net connection at that exact time, I was not able to reply back to him.

24 March 2012 – Around 10:30PM I text messaged the correspondent apologizing for the delay in response from my side. He tells me he would call me the next day and get the story from me. Soon enough, I reply to his mail explaining to him the whole situation as just a prank with the concept of the prank actually meant as an initiation to actually encourage more people to tweet about it. I also ask him whether he would be able to make any news out of the first pic (The pic on top).

25 March 2012 – 5:29PM Not hearing anything from the correspondent (whom I sincerely presume was out for a sensational and not sensible news), I post the following tweet with the given pic-

The Story of how  trended in a single day with just about 40-50 tweets!!

BANG!!

Then began a chain reaction of @Replies on Twitter to all my friends :D. Couple of them see the lighter side, couple of them do not. But hey, all’s well that ends well! At least for me things turned out to be pretty good! I got more clicks on my Tweet than I have ever had and a TOI reporter even contacted me for the news! Sheesh! What more could I ask for? 😀

But all the same, this ‘experiment’ did teach me an important factor about the Social Audience- in the rush through to consume information, many people fail to check, or at least think about the genuineness of the news they read. People are so interested reading things they “want-to-read”, that at times they even stop thinking for themselves! How else can you explain to me that people believed a hash-tag trended with just 90-100 tweets by 7-8 users?

Well, I am no one to judge anyone. I intended my prank to actually be a prank and nothing else. But finally it turned out to be more of a kind of Social Experiment.