Decoding Consumer Sentiments

As the fastest growing economies in the world, India is making its presence felt worldwide within the online industry as the third largest country in terms of internet users with over 112 million users as of September 2011. Out of this, 78% (88 million) are from urban cities compared to 22% (24 million) in rural. Analyzing the trends, a growth rate of 13% is estimated over the coming years. Insights from the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) estimate businesses investing approximately 1200 crores onto social media. Forecast shows growth at about 1.35 Lakh crore by 2015, with India’s share likely to cross Rs. 10,000 crores. These figures suggest that in the next two years, India shall overtake USA.

Evolution of digital as a medium is complimented by leveraging the potential of social media further in terms of usage in advertising, product launch decisions and direct engagement with consumers. While this progression is a necessity, it is increasingly important for businesses to translate their social media efforts into understanding consumer sentiments and scan competition.

We put together certain metrics to convert vast amounts of data available over social media, converting it into insights that help impact businesses positively and create a sustained presence online. As Formula 1 made its debut in India, MindShift Interactive gathered insights on consumer sentiments and brands associated with Formula 1, on social media. While putting our metrics together, a large number of negative conversations were seen but as brands, teams and organizers announced their associations, a MindShift was seen in the report concluding upon a positive Sentiment Analysis of 76% of the overall conversations tracked. This displays that the shift created by brands, organizers and others involved in Formula 1 lead to a happy state of mind.

Airtel, with three campaigns and a direct association with Formula 1, lead the way with 270 conversations, showcasing a heavy Social Media Outreach. 86% conversations were generated around the Airtel Simulator Challenge, followed by 64% through Sahara Stake Buyout and 61% of the Red Bull Racing Event, Delhi. MindShift Interactive concluded upon the insight that brand associations played a heavy role in creating awareness as well as influencing events, and in turn, the consumers attached to it.

Another MindShift in social media, we wish to inculcate is “One size does not fit all”. Customization is a key to engagement whether it is the content, contests or platforms you create for a specific business. The Formula 1 report throws light on this with insights showcasing that while Facebook was a platform with maximum investment and brand associations, Twitter dominated in terms of engagement with 700 conversations. It is important for businesses to gain insights on their consumers and competition to truly leverage a social media presence for them.

When you analyze consumers, it is seen that the sport was dominated by male audiences with 84 conversations created by them. An interesting insight from this research displayed that while only 16 % of the conversations were through females, they used social media to write news articles, blogs and twitter, with a heavily positive tonality as compared to the male audience. 3 % females attended the event vis-a-vis only 2 % of the male audiences, showcasing a higher conversion amongst females. A definite interest in the sport is seen by women and we believe if marketers create customized strategies that cater to women separately, engagements and possible conversions could see a higher spike.

Overall, while it is evident that the associations helped increase buzz about Formula 1 and kept the excitement alive among the audience, a lack of consistency in keeping the engagement alive was evident throughout. It is important that engagement is sustained and measured at all times to help predict and iterate when required. This will help businesses convert their fans into influencers.

At MindShift, our desired goal is to recreate brands in a truly social environment by gathering insights not only from the outlook of the people affected by the actions of brands, but also from a business viewpoint.

(Excerpts from Social Media Study 2011 on Consumers Sentiments & Brand Associations by MindShift Interactive)

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‘Service tax on online, mobile media will hamper growth’

hindubusinessline.com, Feb 28 2015 Article Source: http://bit.ly/ServiceTaxOnline

The new Government’s maiden Budget proposal to levy service tax for online and mobile advertising has not gone down well with media agencies.

Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift Interactive, a digital marketing solutions company, said the move would adversely affect the online industry’s growth.

``It reflects differentiated treatment, as traditional print media remains unaffected with respect to the tax purview, but new digital media, that is actually driving innovation, will have to unfortunately bear the brunt,'' Rais said in a statement.

Stating that currently, India’s exponential mobile penetration and app consumption patterns were driving the growth of the mobile advertising industry, Rais said the development could hamper innovation efforts of the entire ecosystem. The latter comprises mobile development startups, advertisers and publishers.

Last year, online and mobile publishers and advertising networks were subject to service tax once again, after two years of nil service tax. Online and mobile advertising were included in the `negative list' for service tax in April 2012. Last year, it was removed, and has already negatively impacted advertising budgets. Service tax in India is at 12.36 per cent.

Budget 2015: Start-ups like SETU, unlike online ad tax

Economic Times, Feb 28 2015 Article Source: http://bit.ly/SETUadtax
(This integrates 14 regulatory…)
Start-ups have welcomed the e-biz platform, SETU mechanism and bankruptcy reforms announced in the Union Budget 2015 but are wary of the service tax on online and mobile advertising. Thumbs up for e-biz platform With an aim to boost entrepreneurship in India, the Budget has pitched for the widespread usage of the recently launched e-biz portal. This integrates 14 regulatory permissions at one source, enabling faster clearances for setting up businesses.
"States are embracing and joining the e-biz platform. However, if we really want to create jobs, we have to make India an investment destination which permits the starting of a business in accordance with publically stated guidelines and criteria," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said while presenting the Budget 2015-16. "I intend to appoint an Expert Committee for this purpose to examine the possibility and prepare draft legislation where the need for multiple prior permissions can be replaced with a pre-existing regulatory mechanism," he said. Reacting to this move, Divakar Vijayasarthy, founder, MeetUrPro, said: "Consolidating start-up approvals through e-biz portal by including state approvals will certainly bring down the complexities in setting up business. With more and more states participating in this initiative, this portal would eventually act as a single window for obtaining regulatory approvals and licenses. "If implemented, this would be the single-most important development to improve the ease of doing business in India." SETU spreads optimism Another major announcement in the Budget is setting up of SETU (Self-Employment and Talent Utilisation) - a techno-financial, incubation and facilitation programme to support all aspects of start-up businesses and other self-employment activities, particularly in technology-driven areas. "I am setting aside Rs 1,000 crore initially in NITI Aayog for this purpose," said Jaitley. Commenting on this, Shashank ND, founder & CEO, Practo, said: "The financial allocation of Rs 1,000 crore under SETU will significantly help boost the start-up ecosystem in India. The additional focus towards strengthening of IT infrastructure, the backbone of the Indian start-up industry, will accelerate growth." Easy exit norms to help start-ups The budget also announced bankruptcy law reform to make the process of shutting shops easier. On this, Saurabh Srivastava, co-founder, Indian Angel Network, said that reform will help start-ups in taking a leap of faith and give boost to setting up of more indigenous companies. Service tax on online and mobile ads unwelcome The budget has proposed levying service tax on online and mobile advertising. Commenting on this, Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift Interactive said: "We believe this move will adversely affect the industry's growth. Currently, India's exponential mobile penetration and app consumption patterns are driving growth of the mobile advertising industry and this development could hamper innovation efforts of the entire ecosystem comprising of mobile development start-ups, advertisers and publishers."

Budget 2015: Media & Entertainment sector hopes for investment in education to build talent pool

Economic Times, Feb 28 2015 Article Source: http://bit.ly/BudgetMnE
(With boom in the digital…)
The media and entertainment industry currently shows a good growth path, backed by strong advertising revenues. Digitisation has provided greater impetus to the sector. As a result, demand for talent with niche skill-sets is growing at a rapid pace. This calls for investment in media-related education to build a strong talent pool, feel industry experts.
Budget focus 1. Standardised taxation 2. Skill development/skill based education and up-skilling 3. Removal of service tax on education and training activities Talent focus Today, employment numbers in the media and entertainment industry are quite disconcerting. "Over 50 per cent of those employed in the media and entertainment industry have no formal training. Despite this, the sector is able to sustain the successful spells. If we had access to a steady stream of well trained/well educated talent, the success rate would have been much greater," said Meghna Ghai Puri, president, Whistling Woods International. With boom in the digital media space, demand for niche skill-sets is also increasing. But there is a huge demand-supply mismatch. "A higher investment in education within the media industry will help churn out the right talent and help in faster and better recruitments," said Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift Interactive. "Budgetary impetus in skill development and vocational development fields will enable better skilled and better educated talent to enter the media & entertainment industry thereby, changing the landscape dramatically," added Puri. Business focus A budget which allows better access, better growth potential and smoothes the way for industry growth, will always benefit job growth across all segments including media & entertainment and education. Thus the media and entertainment industry is looking for standardised taxation from the Budget 2015. "It should not be taxed any more or any less than any other industry just because it is entertainment related. The industry is happy to contribute its fair share towards nation building but it should not be discriminated against as far as taxation is concerned solely because it falls under the category of 'entertainment'," feels Puri. Further Puri added, more tax relief to the middle class will also benefit the industry as it will increase the spending in consumption of media and entertainment content. The government has earlier supported the growth of the media & entertainment sector by taking various initiatives such as digitisation and increasing FDI limit from 74 per cent to 100 per cent in cable and DTH satellite platforms. Today, it is working on a new innovative model of financing infrastructure in the country which is likely to boost employment in the sector, in times ahead.

Union Budget 2015: Guest Column: Govt should spend on digital infra development: Zafar Rais

exchange4media.com, Feb 26 2015 Article Source: http://bit.ly/UBGCZafar

India’s Entertainment & Media is expected to touch Rs 1,199 billion growing cumulatively at 13.2 per cent CAGR to 2015. This will largely be due to rebound in consumer spend, advertising spend and, most importantly, in the E&M spend. The industry is poised for greater growth in the foreseeable future though some key regulatory hurdles remain. Significant revenues in Indian E&M industry continue to be non-digital though there is good growth in digital spends. With rebound in overall advertising, internet advertising too is projected to grow by 25.5 per cent over the next five years and reach an estimated Rs 24 billion this year. While there is good revenue growth, the challenge for the Indian industry would be how to make the growth profitable in all its constituents. Favourable government policies will help but the industry does need to look at their own operating model so that sustained investment in the E&M sector becomes possible.

Over the last few years, the industry has witnessed a huge focus on digital marketing and promotion. The union budget is round the corner and the expectations from each sector are high. Expecting government to relax certain tax benefits to industry players is the driving force. The Indian consumer is now reaping the benefits of enhanced digital experience with smart devices and enhanced bandwidth speed and we are hoping the budget leads to future infrastructure investment. Digital education is expected to be promoted in a big way under our PM's digital India initiative and we are looking forward to some specific forward steps and budgetary allocations for it in the forthcoming budget. Few expected highlights from the budget would be: 'Make in India' Agenda The government initiative for the digitization and employment opportunities should be as promised. The purpose of initiating this campaign was to boost local manufacturing sector for domestic and global markets. If the budget broadens the arena, planned higher employment rates can also generate a better working force. It is impressive to see that the Finance Minister will be allocating Rs 10,000 crore to support the start-up ecosystem in India. This will have businesses acquire access to low cost finance, softening of interest rates and ease setting start-ups. Employment is anticipated to increase considering the government is working on a new innovative model of financing infrastructure in the country.  We’re definitely moving towards more recruitment and enhanced skill sets Enhancing The Education Ecosystem Skill sets are increasingly in demand with the digital media industry growing at a rapid pace and not enough to satiate the need. A higher investment in education within the media industry will help churn out the right talent and help in faster and better recruitments Tax Exemption Policies Keeping in mind the inflationary scenario, the budget might have a higher tax exemption limit that might increase exemption of Rs 2.5 lakh limit to at least Rs 3 lakh. Increasing the basic limit will mean a higher disposable income, spending power and savings. If the tax exemptions for women are increased higher than R. 3.5 lakh it could as result in having higher ratio of working women then that at the present. Stable internet access to rural India The last decade has witnessed unprecedented Internet diffusion in India. Over the past three years alone, Internet usage in India increased from 100 to 200 million people. The increase has not taken place only among the urban but also amongst the rural Indian population. Regional marketing is thus going to be essential and crucial for advertising in the next few months. Regional marketing will impact not just Facebook usage but also advertising in order to increase Google and SEO ranks, providing content of higher relevance to different segments. Widening the internet usage among the rural areas will also impact the marketing initiatives for the year Liberalization of FDI in eCommerce sector The retail sector online will receive the much needed boost with policies in the ecommerce sector. Policies can help create increased employment and higher benefits to consumers.  The benefits will affect consumers, government, e-commerce players and retailers in general R&D on social media too should be given similar benefits to encourage the entrepreneurs to work out innovative solutions for a better digital connectivity of the nation.

(Zafar Rais is the Founder and CEO of Mindshift Interactive)

Budget 2015: Media & Entertainment wishes for investment in education to build a strong talent pool

timesjob.com, Feb 26 2015 Article Source: http://bit.ly/TimesJob
imageThe media and entertainment industry currently shows a good growth path, backed by strong advertising revenues. Digitisation has provided greater impetus to the sector. As a result, demand for talent with niche skill-sets is growing at a rapid pace. This calls for investment in media-related education to build a strong talent pool, feel industry experts. Apeksha Kaushik, TimesJobs Budget focus
  • Standardised taxation
  • Skill development/skill based education and up-skilling
  • Removal of service tax on education and training activities
Talent focus Today, employment numbers in the media and entertainment industry are quite disconcerting. “Over 50 per cent of those employed in the media and entertainment industry have no formal training. Despite this, the sector is able to sustain the successful spells. If we had access to a steady stream of well trained/well educated talent, the success rate would have been much greater,” said Meghna Ghai Puri, president, Whistling Woods International. With boom in the digital media space, demand for niche skill-sets is also increasing. But there is a huge demand-supply mismatch. “A higher investment in education within the media industry will help churn out the right talent and help in faster and better recruitments,” said Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift Interactive. “Budgetary impetus in skill development and vocational development fields will enable better skilled and better educated talent to enter the media & entertainment industry thereby, changing the landscape dramatically,” added Puri. Business focus A budget which allows better access, better growth potential and smoothes the way for industry growth, will always benefit job growth across all segments including media & entertainment and education. Thus the media and entertainment industry is looking for standardised taxation from the Budget 2015. “It should not be taxed any more or any less than any other industry just because it is entertainment related. The industry is happy to contribute its fair share towards nation building but it should not be discriminated against as far as taxation is concerned solely because it falls under the category of ‘entertainment’,” feels Puri. Further Puri added, more tax relief to the middle class will also benefit the industry as it will increase the spending in consumption of media and entertainment content. The government has earlier supported the growth of the media & entertainment sector by taking various initiatives such as digitisation and increasing FDI limit from 74 per cent to 100 per cent in cable and DTH satellite platforms. Today, it is working on a new innovative model of financing infrastructure in the country which is likely to boost employment in the sector, in times ahead.

Online dating: This is how to spot scammers this Valentine’s Day

Indian Express, Feb 13 2015 Article Source: http://bit.ly/IEOnlineDating Valentine's day, online dating, cyber security, scammers
This month, Indian singles will flock to the multitude of dating services that are available online. Online dating has lost the stigma it once had, in fact a recent study by MindShift Metrics in India found that nearly 67 percent of singles know couples who are dating online and have met via online portals. Their studies also show that by 2040 couples that have met online (33 per cent) will rise to 70 per cent – reflecting the popularity of these services to be on the rise, which has caught the attention of scammers. What are the risks? As with anything you post online, it’s out there for everyone to see, so you will want to be careful with what identifiable information you use in your dating profile. While there are a plethora of legitimate daters on these sites, you still don’t know what kinds of individuals you are dealing with. You can run the risk of becoming a victim of stalking, harassment, Catfishing, identity theft, webcam blackmail and even phishing scams. In order to help mitigate these risks, be very careful with what information you provide on your profile. Profile Do’s and Don’ts: · Create a username that you have not used on any other accounts. Your username can be searched, and anything tied to that username can come up easily. · The same applies for the photos you post on your profile. A user can do a reverse image search and easily locate other websites where that photo is posted. So, in this case, it’s ok to go selfie crazy! · Set up a free email account to use with your dating account that has a unique name. Most sites offer their own in-site messaging that protects the anonymity of their members; however, people will often move their conversations to email or telephone as they get more friendly online. · When the time comes for a phone call, set up a free Google Voice account, which will generate a separate phone number and forward it to your mobile. That way you can protect your phone number until you feel comfortable enough to give it to your potential match. · When choosing an online dating site, be sure to choose a reputable, well-known website. Research the sites you’re interested in. Some sites allow you to either delete or disable your account. Since users sometimes return to online dating, the site retains your information. Make sure you check the sites’ privacy policy and verify how data with these accounts are handled. Some dating sites make profiles public by default, which means that they can be indexed by search engines. · Check the privacy policy to see how the service will handle your data. One popular online dating site recently got into some hot water by secretly experimenting with and manipulating their member’s data. · Join a paid site. Since members have to pay to communicate with each other, this means that there will be more legitimate daters and less scammers. Some of the paid sites also conduct criminal background screenings. How to spot online dating scams: · An individual may contact you with a sob story, about being stranded in a foreign country, or a sudden family emergency. If they ask you for money, you should report them to the service you are using and then block them. · To help verify the identity of the person that you’re talking to, ask for a recent photo. If they protest or makes excuses as to why they can’t provide a photo, it is best to err on the side of caution. · If you’ve been chatting up a potential sweetheart for a while, and they continually put off meeting in real life, this could be a red flag. · Don’t visit links sent to you by people you haven’t talked to for very long. Scammers will pose as a member and try to get their target to click on links, usually leading to porn or webcam sites, and sometimes can even lead to malicious sites that download malware onto your computer. · If someone requests a webcam chat, be especially careful about your behavior. The criminal can record the webcam session and they can use it to blackmail you. If the conversation you’re having starts to take an uncomfortable turn, it’s okay to disconnect the chat. · Scammers create fake profiles that are run by programs called bots. Their objective is to get you to click on a link that will lead to either porn, malware or scam you out of credit card information. It’s actually quite easy to spot a bot, as they have a set of predetermined “canned” responses. If you notice that the conversation you’re having seems a bit off, or the person isn’t answering your questions directly, chances are it’s a bot. Catfishing Catfishing is a different kind of scam in and of itself. Catfishing is when a user assumes the identity of someone else. This tactic is used by online predators to try to trick people into an online romantic relationship. Catfishers will always make up excuses as to why they can’t meet you, talk on the phone or meet up on webcam. If the user’s profile seems too good to be true, it probably is. Do a reverse online image search of their photos, and if they appear in other places, under other names, you may have caught yourself a catfish.

Fine dining deconstructed

The Mumbai Mirror, Feb 6 2015 Article Source: http://bit.ly/MMfinedine
Mumbai Mirror Bureau Fine dining deconstructed
A recently released survey provides an insight into the country's fine-dining culture. The results of an over two-month-long qualitative research, released recently and providing an insight into the country's fine dining culture, threw up quite a few interesting observations. The study was done by MindShift Interactive, a digital marketing and research organisation, from August 15 to October 15, 2014. The report analysed the fine dining culture via consumers of two age groups--18-24 years and 25-35 years. "Eighty nine per cent of the participants from 18-24 years prefer visiting a fine dining restaurant once a month, while within the other group, it is 80 per cent," said Arashdeep Sandhu, head of MindShift Metrics, the research arm of MindShift Interactive. The budget for 47 per cent people within the age of 18-24 years is Rs 1,500 per person, while 63 per cent people in the other group share the same individual budget. The frequency of dining out is obviously higher over the weekends and customers prefer travelling within five to ten km of their current destination, the report observed. According to the research, Italian, Continental and Chinese were the most preferred cuisines. "Besides, customers are looking for specialty-centric cuisine, when it comes to fine dining," added Sandhu. It was revealed that most diners also preferred a good bargain. As many as 36 per cent liked being updated on sales, offerings and updates, while 23 per cent did not mind receiving text messages. Food iterant Zomato was found to be the most preferred option within the 18-24 years age group, followed by Food Panda, which is rising in popularity with respect to food promotion tactics, such as coupons and Just Dial, while Google search dominates the searching preferences for 25-35-year-olds. "For reviews, Zomato (also the most downloaded app) is the largest platform. Facebook and Instagram follow," said Sandhu. Incidentally, Sandhu pointed out, that bloggers and friends (influencers) have a 65 per cent of influence in the decision-making process of a customer online. Ambience and pricing were the other two factors that contributed to the decision making in Delhi and Mumbai, while they didn't seem to matter much to people from Pune and Bangalore.

Office Space

ET Panache, Jan 23 2015 Article Source: http://bit.ly/MSIceo

MindShift Interactive CEO Zafar Rais's workspace captures his love of animals and Batman

32-year-old Zafar Rais's workspace is full of elements that capture his characteristics — a lover of animals, a batman fanboy, a travel enthusiast, and a digital geek. Rais’s workspace is full of elements that capture his characteristics — a lover of animals, a batman fanboy, a travel enthusiast, and a digital geek. 
The 'me' wall
These posters represent all that I am. The first one is about my passion for travelling. The second is for my love for felines; and the fact that I am a Batman fan. The third one is about social media marketing. MindShift Interactive CEO Zafar Rais's workspace captures his love of animals and Batman Art of butterflies
I got this from a Kenyan market. Butterflies intrigue me and this piece is made from dried butterflies — already dead, not killed. This was made to represent the local women. MindShift Interactive CEO Zafar Rais's workspace captures his love of animals and Batman
Feline love
I bought this leopard at a store in Vienna. I love the cat family so this really appealed to me. It represents a lot of what i want to portray and constantly work towards. MindShift Interactive CEO Zafar Rais's workspace captures his love of animals and Batman Stationery man
I collect notebooks so whenever i am travelling, i pick up a few. I have one that details a war. another old rolex address book was given to me by my grandfather. I also love collecting pens. I am also an absolute apple guy. MindShift Interactive CEO Zafar Rais's workspace captures his love of animals and Batman
Tin on the wall
Walking on the streets of New York, a Batman tin poster caught my attention. It turned into a thing and now, whenever i travel, these are the first things i look for in a city. The posters capture my passion for travelling and also are campaigns of my favourite brands.

MindShift wins Mumbai’s High Street Phoenix & Palladium’s digital duties

afaqs.com, Jan 23 2015 Article Source: http://bit.ly/MIwins
The agency will work on the digital strategy to building brand affinity and salience.

MindShift Interactive has bagged the digital mandate of Mumbai's shopping destination, High Street Phoenix and its luxury half, Palladium. The agency will work on the digital strategy to engage and build loyalty while building brand affinity and salience amongst the target audience.

Zafar Rais Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift Interactive says, "We are delighted to have High Street Phoenix and Palladium join us as we collectively work towards making it a destination for luxury events and experiences, leveraging social media. Our digital insights show the power of digital on the luxury market and we intend on leveraging the same to grow the brand further. " Rajendra Kalkar Rajendra Kalkar, senior centre director (West), The Phoenix Mills says, "It has been a great four months of strategising with the team and we are glad to optimize the fast-growing digital media platforms to build our reach and engage our audience with great content." The brands have started off with campaigns on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The agency created #BaggedAtPalladium during Christmas, #ShopAndWin which was created to drive awareness about an offline promotion and #PalladiumEOSS to drive footfalls during the End Of Season Sale. All the hashtags trended across Mumbai, with conversations amongst influential bloggers and tweeps enjoying a cumulative outreach of 3,284,833 users. Integrating the retailers through social media promotions has seen success in partnerships with brands such as Body Shop India, French Connection UK, Truefitt & Hill, amongst many more in the pipeline. MindShift Interactive runs three business verticals, namely, MindShift Digital (Digital Marketing, Development & Influencer Relations), MindShift Metrics (Digital Research Consulting) and MindShift Activate (Large-scale Events & Promotions) each working towards achieving a unified goal of providing brands with the ideal outreach. Some of its clients include JW Marriott Mumbai, Renaissance Hotels, Sula Vineyards, Lancome, Kiehl's, Giorgio Armani, Za from the House of Shiseido, Remy Martin, High Street Phoenix, Palladium, Max Bupa Health Insurance, HomeShop18, Reliance 3G, BIG CBS amongst others.

2015: Digital Way Forward

huffingtonpost.com, Jan 23 2015 Article Source: http://bit.ly/DigiWayFwd
Zafar Rais Headshot
 
MOBILE PHONE INDIA
The current state of digital is directly tied to data. Data is everywhere, informing marketers about audience interests, consumer intent, and device activity. The current trends in digital marketing involve marketers applying new techniques, making use of new platforms and softwares to plan, manage and optimise their marketing efforts. There's a real thirst for knowledge amongst marketers for the new trends in digital marketing and reviewing the latest marketing techniques and technologies. In deciding on the most relevant trends for marketers we don't just look at what's 'Hot' or 'Cool', but instead focus on what makes the biggest difference to marketers from a commercial sense. Here are the digital marketing trends we identified last year.
  • Digital platform as a wholesome marketing: Content creation, search optimisation and social media will be less considered as specific departments and treated more like skills that exist across the organisation.
  • Mobile will not be the exception: Mobile user experience is steadily moving up and the focus will be on sophistication, while maintaining simplicity. Brands should not simply import their website to mobile, as it becomes hard to navigate. It's too easy for consumers to move on to another brand that has a mobile responsive website. Mobile banking, recharge and content viewing on mobile will become routine.
  • Marketing through wearable technology: Consumers have positively got on to purchase of wearable technology. Brands like Apple, Samsung and Sony have intrigued the consumers to stay connected with ease. Adoption of wearable technological devices is expected to gradually increase next year, and it would be wise on the marketers' part to not ignore this potentially exciting segment in 2015.
  • Big Data becoming even Bigger: Marketers should be equipped with the information that will help them make better decisions and provide better services to their clients. Data analysis solutions will become more popular and available in 2015 Big data, and with the help of advanced analytics this will bridge the gap between brands and consumers, leading to a more refined targeting by brands
  • Digital campaigns will be data driven: Advertising on social media will focus on driving measurable results using cutting-edge tracking and analytics. Websites will focus more on optimising conversion rates than increasing website traffic.
  • Digital marketing spend on the rise: With digital media becoming an inevitable part of the consumers' lives, digital platforms are now constantly trying to give the best user experience. This in turn will increase the competitiveness between brands, which would imply larger spends by marketers in the coming year
  • Content is still King as long as it's qualitative: Content has been an integral part of digital marketing strategies for a few years now, but with so much of it out there, future content needs to be better and smarter. Content that's relevant and interesting isn't just a good idea, it's a requirement. 2015 will see more and more of refined branded content being consumed by online users.
Before crafting the budget of fiscal year 2015, brands must first understand the latest digital marketing trends, including the use of technology to leverage search and social data. The success of today's marketing organisations is largely driven by their adoption of digital technologies to transform their business. As we move towards 2015, the digital transformation of today's organisations will only accelerate, with several trends driving it forward.

MindShift Interactive Gains The Digital Mandate For High Street Phoenix & Palladium

socialsamosa.com, Jan 22 2015 Article Source: http://bit.ly/MSIdigimandate

MindShift Interactive has partnered with country’s much appreciated shopping destination, High Street Phoenix and its luxury half, Palladium by extending its services in digital portfolio. With tasteful art, music and luxury strategically reinvented into the destination, MindShift Interactive has excelled in aligning a clear vision about the destination’s digital pathway to engage and build loyalty while building brand affinity and brand salience amongst the target audience.

MindShift Interactive is using digital media to strengthen awareness for the brand to maintain and uplift the affluence across social media and through innovative offline-online integrated campaigns which promise to help achieve marketing objectives and benchmarks within the industry.

Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift Interactive Private Limited, said, “We are delighted to have High Street Phoenix and Palladium join us as we collectively work towards making it a destination for luxury events and experiences, leveraging social media. Our digital insights show the power of digital on the luxury market and we intend on leveraging the same to grow the brand further. ”

Rajendra Kalkar, Senior Centre Director (West), The Phoenix Mills Limited, said, “It has been great four months to strategise with the team and we are glad to optimize the fast-growing digital media platforms to build our reach and engage our audience with great content.”

The brands have started off with some interesting campaigns on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Notable examples include the innovative #BaggedAtPalladium during Christmas, #ShopAndWin which was created to drive awareness about an offline promotion and #PalladiumEOSS to drive footfalls during the End Of Season Sale. All the hashtags trended across Mumbai, India with conversations amongst influential bloggers and tweeps, enjoying a cumulative outreach of 3,284,833 users. Integrating the retailers through social media promotions has seen success in partnerships with brands such as Body Shop India, French Connection UK, Truefitt & Hill, amongst many more in the pipeline. With larger campaigns and offline integrations to digital in the pipeline, 2015 will see luxurious indulgences and experiences showcased across digital.

MindShift Interactive is an Insightful Digital Outreach powerhouse that provides businesses with a data-centric approach towards achieving an impactful, innovative and, most of all, sustained Digital presence.  MindShift Interactive runs 3 business verticals, namely, MindShift Digital (Digital Marketing, Development & Influencer Relations), MindShift Metrics (Digital Research Consulting) and MindShift Activate (Large-scale Events & Promotions) with each working towards achieving a unified goal of providing brands with the ideal outreach backed by ideal insights. MindShift Interactive extends its expertise in Social Media, Digital Media Planning & Buying, Instagram Influencer Marketing, Video Marketing and Social Media-lead Behaviour Analysis audits. They are leading the industry through their remarkable campaigns with increased insights within the lifestyle, luxury, hospitality and entertainment industry. Select key clients of MindShift Interactive include JW Marriott Mumbai, JW Marriott Sahar, Renaissance Hotels, Sula Vineyards, Lancôme, Kiehl’s, Giorgio Armani, Za from the House of Shiseido, Remy Martin, High Street Phoenix, Palladium, Max Bupa Health Insurance, HomeShop18, Reliance 3G, BIG CBS amongst others. MindShift Interactive has been instrumental in conceptualizing some of the largest Twitter and Facebook campaigns, namely, #FeelingBlue for Reliance 3G, #ChappalMaaro for The Bombay Store, #WalkForHealth for Max Bupa Health Insurance & the first-ever high outreach Instagram campaign in India, #GoNoFilter for Lancôme.

MindShift Metrics has created reports highlighting industry trends on the Selfie Epidemic, Formula 1, Bollywood leveraging Social Media, Social Media usage by the Hospitality & Tourism industry and their recent report sharing insights Into The Digital Habits Of A Fine Dining Customer.

MindShift Interactive wins digital mandate of High Street Phoenix, Palladium

campaignindia.com, Jan 22 2015 Article Source: http://bit.ly/MIpalladium
Mindshift Interactive wins digital mandate of High Street Phoenix, Palladium
Mindshift Interactive has won the digital mandate of High Street Phoenix and Palladium Mall. The account was won following a multi-agency pitch
 
MindShift Interactive is ‘using digital media to strengthen awareness for the brand to maintain and uplift the affluence across social media’, informed an official statement.
 
Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift Interactive Private Limited, said, “We are delighted to have High Street Phoenix and Palladium join us as we collectively work towards making it a destination for luxury events and experiences, leveraging social media. Our digital insights show the power of digital on the luxury market and we intend on leveraging the same to grow the brand further.”
 
Rajendra Kalkar, senior centre director (west), The Phoenix Mills Limited, said, “It has been great four months to strategise with the team and we are glad to optimize the fast-growing digital media platforms to build our reach and engage our audience with great content.”
 
 

MindShift Interactive Gains The Digital Mandate For High Street Phoenix & Palladium

bestmediainfo.com, Jan 21 2015 Article Source: http://bit.ly/MSIBags

The agency will engage and build loyalty for the shopping destination

mindshiftMindShift Interactive has partnered with the country’s much appreciated shopping destination High Street Phoenix and its luxury half, Palladium, by extending its services in digital portfolio. With tasteful art, music and luxury strategically reinvented into the destination, MindShift Interactive has excelled in aligning a clear vision about the destination’s digital pathway, to engage and build loyalty while building brand affinity and brand salience amongst the target audience.

MindShift Interactive is using digital media to strengthen awareness for the brand to maintain and uplift the affluence across social media, and through innovative offline-online integrated campaigns which promise to help achieve marketing objectives and benchmarks within the industry.

Zafar Rais

Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift Interactive, said, “We are delighted to have High Street Phoenix and Palladium join us as we collectively work towards making it a destination for luxury events and experiences, leveraging social media. Our digital insights show the power of digital on the luxury market, and we intend on leveraging the same to grow the brand further.”

Rajendra Kalkar, Senior Centre Director (West), The Phoenix Mills, said, “It has been a great four months to strategise with the team, and we are glad to optimise the fast-growing digital media platforms to build our reach and engage our audience with great content.”

The brands have started off with some interesting campaigns on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Notable examples include the innovative #BaggedAtPalladium during Christmas, #ShopAndWin, which was created to drive awareness about an offline promotion, and #PalladiumEOSS to drive footfalls during the End Of Season Sale. All the hashtags trended across Mumbai, with conversations amongst influential bloggers and tweeps, enjoying a cumulative outreach of 3,284,833 users. Integrating the retailers through social media promotions has seen success in partnerships with brands such as Body Shop India, French Connection UK, Truefitt & Hill, amongst many more in the pipeline. With larger campaigns and offline integrations to digital in the pipeline, 2015 will see luxurious indulgences and experiences showcased across digital.

 

MindShift wins Mumbai’s High Street Phoenix & Palladium’s digital duties

adgully.com, Jan 21 2015 Article Source: http://bit.ly/MSIwins After leading the industry through their expertise with some remarkable campaigns within the lifestyle and luxury space, MindShift Interactive has partnered with country’s much appreciated shopping destination, High Street Phoenix and its luxury half, Palladium by extending its services in digital portfolio. With tasteful art, music and luxury strategically reinvented into the destination, MindShift Interactive has excelled in aligning a clear vision about the destination’s digital pathway to engage and build loyalty while building brand affinity and brand salience amongst the target audience. MindShift Interactive is using digital media to strengthen awareness for the brand to maintain and uplift the affluence across social media and through innovative offline-online integrated campaigns which promise to help achieve marketing objectives and benchmarks within the industry. Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift Interactive Private Limited, said, “We are delighted to have High Street Phoenix and Palladium join us as we collectively work towards making it a destination for luxury events and experiences, leveraging social media. Our digital insights show the power of digital on the luxury market and we intend on leveraging the same to grow the brand further. ” Rajendra Kalkar, Senior Centre Director (West), The Phoenix Mills Limited, said, “It has been great four months to strategise with the team and we are glad to optimize the fast-growing digital media platforms to build our reach and engage our audience with great content.” The brands have started off with some interesting campaigns on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Notable examples include the innovative #BaggedAtPalladium during Christmas, #ShopAndWin which was created to drive awareness about an offline promotion and #PalladiumEOSS to drive footfalls during the End Of Season Sale. All the hashtags trended across Mumbai, India with conversations amongst influential bloggers and tweeps, enjoying a cumulative outreach of 3,284,833 users. Integrating the retailers through social media promotions has seen success in partnerships with brands such as Body Shop India, French Connection UK, Truefitt & Hill, amongst many more in the pipeline. With larger campaigns and offline integrations to digital in the pipeline, 2015 will see luxurious indulgences and experiences showcased across digital.

Making Waves

Financial Chronicle – Brand Wagon, Jan 20 2015 Article Source: http://bit.ly/TFEmakingwaves

Prime minister Narendra Modi led ‘Make In India’ campaign is generating huge buzz online. Industry veterans say it’s time for the campaign to move forward

Prime minister Narendra Modi’s dream project ‘Make In India’ has been succesful in creating buzz online. Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have seen humungous response from netizens across the world. On Twitter, for instance, the campaign has 2,84,000 followers and the countries that maximum number of followers come from are India, the US and the UK. “Over the  past four months since the account opened, it has added almost 19 thousand followers per week, with its most popular tweet, amassing more than 1.7 thousand re-tweets, and favorites respectively,” says Raheel Khursheed, head – news, politics & government at Twitter India. The prime minister had kicked off the campaign on September 25 last year. Make In India was launched with the objective of transforming Indian into a global manufacturing hub. According to the Press Information Bureau, Make in India is one of the fastest growing initiatives ever in the digital space. PIB said the campaign has generated more than 2 billion global impressions on social media and the website has so far been accessed by over 1.7 million users from across the world. Digital analytics firm MindShift Interactive says that in terms of engagement, ‘Make In India’ has been hash-tagged or viewed in hash tag more than 217.4 thousand times. The campaign’s page on Facebook gets a new member added every three seconds which is definitely unusual for government led campaigns and not many private enterprises can boast of such success online. Industry experts point out that it is extraordinary for an industrial campaign, as against those that target mass consumers directly or indirectly, to generate such response. “BJP government in general and prime minister Modi in particular are the masters of spin. They recognize the importance of public communication. They know the necessity of engaging with the people,” says Sam Balsara, chairman and managing director, Madison Group. Arguing that in the past many governments undertook ambitious landmark projects but did not engage with the people in promoting and thus, lost the plot. “Such large scale projects in the past were not supported with a detailed action and communication plan. The Modi government understands the need of a good action and communication plan, implemented and executed with the collaboration of the people,” he says. Another industry veteran Prathap Suthan, founder of ad agency Bang In The Middle, says a good campaign is only half the job done and a lot more needs to be done to take the initiative to its logical conclusion. “It will take more than just a campaign to stoke patriotic fire and get our industries and enterprises to rally under that cry and actually start living the idea. To me, the campaign is something that gets the people of India united under a banner, but that’s just about what the advertising can deliver. To make this work, a whole new slew of government policies and principles need to be laid out. Making in India has to turn habit and reflex,” says Suthan who had led the India Shining campaign for the BJP in 2004. “What this country needs is no longer advertising. But case studies or stories of real action, of companies and CEOs acting as ambassadors of this movement. Actual facts and figures of renowned Indian companies taking up this call and aligning their growth plans in sync with this initiative,” he adds. Is the government listening?

Seeking more taste bud treats

Hindustan Times, Jan 19 2015 Picture1 The article highlights Fine Dine restraints in India along with its social media presence and effectiveness. The article shares research inputs from MindShift Metrics along with perspective and insights from Arashdeep Sandhu. The article highlights inputs from others like Ajay Chopra – Executive Chef Westin Mumbai Garden City, Anjan Chatterjee – Founder  of Speciality Restaurants, Saket Saurabh – CEO #fame

Research by MindShift Metrics reveals that 89% people indulge in eating at a fine dine restaurant atleast once a month

trendmelange.com, Jan 16 , 2015 Article Source: http://bit.ly/MSIresearch

Mumbai, January 16, 2015: MindShift Metrics, the digital research arm of MindShift Interactive launches a research report (with the sample size of 150) that reveals the Fine Dining culture in India. The research report shares insights into the digital habits of a fine dining customer amongst the age group of 18-24 years and 25-35 years in India. The objective was to analyse the frequency, search patterns, preferences, service expectations and impact of influencers and reviews, due to which the culture of fine dining is picking up and will continue to grow in India. The findings of the report will assist marketing, sales, operations and analytical departments in the hospitality sector on how to stay ahead of competition and be relevant within so many options available today. The report will also be helpful towards independent players and food chains looking at setting up base in India.

The research reveals that approximately 89% of people in the age group of 18 years till 35 years visit a fine dining venue once a month. It is noticed that the eating pattern largely depend upon offers, discounts, loyalty membership because 59% people eat out on the weekdays. The research showcases the preference of platforms (Zomato, TripAdvisor, Justdial, Food Panda, Groupon, etc.) to refer to, before decision making. Furthermore, Mindshift Metrics has dwelled into cuisine preferences across age groups as well as their influencers. The need for service, ambience, food is basic but with changing times, the insights showcase how music and seating preferences play an equally important role. The outcome of the report is to showcase to the hospitality industry, sharing light upon the importance of the location, preferences of potential customers and how reviews and social media influencers are a growing phenomenon.

In association with Social Samosa, MindShift Metrics has jointly released the report in association with SocialSamosa.com where the Report is available for purchase. You may buy it here: http://bit.ly/MMdining

Key Highlights of the Report: 1. Restaurant/fine dine venue search happens maximum through mobile phones followed by desktops 2. Zomato is the most downloaded and preferred application when it comes to fine dining, followed by Trip Advisor 3. Mobile Coupons soar higher than regular Coupons as the user is highly approachable via Mobiles 4. Opinion Leaders from Twitter and popular Bloggers influence approximately 65% of a customer’s decision-making as they share reviews, offers and discounts with their followers 5. Ambience, friends, food and service are the most talked about on social media

Beyond compensation

timesascent.com,  Jan  6, 2015 Article Source: http://bit.ly/itsmyascent

The growing desire for indirect compensation among India’s working population is on the rise Palak Bhatia In their efforts to increase employee engagement, many organisations have adopted the provision of monetary and non-monetary benefits apart from one’s monthly salary to their staff. Indirect compensation allows employees to enjoy services that make their personal and professional lives easier, thus offering a positive influence to their overall productivity. J Subramanian, chief group HR, GATI, lists some of the different kinds of indirect compensation that organisations offer to their employees, “Some common indirect incentives include monetary benefits, health benefits, flexible working hours, sponsorship to study programmes in ivy league universities for various courses, maternity benefits, membership to premium clubs, foreign travel with spouse, stock options and profit-sharing.” Indirect compensation is not just about monetary benefits; it is also about the various intangible benefits that the organisation can provide. Saba Adil, head-HR, Aegon Religare Life Insurance, explains, “Indirect compensation is about providing conveniences and additional benefits to employees based on their requirements, so that they can give their best at work. It is a way to show that you care for your employees; it may not necessarily encompass 100 per cent of your population at all times (like a childcare facility may be used by a select few) but nevertheless creates goodwill for the employer.” Chaitrali Singh, director - HR, ZS India, tells us why professionals today find indirect compensation an attractive feature in their packages, “People at junior levels typically focus a lot on what their monthly pay is, so it is important that the fixed pay is meaningful enough for them to join. But their stay depends on whether they enjoy their work, feel like they are making an impact and what their learning experience is like. So, indirect compensation does play a key role in defining whether people want to build a long-term career with the firm.” Indirect compensation can play an important role in building employee engagement. Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift Interactive, elaborates, “The zeal of an employee to work harder does not just stream down to the monthly pay anymore. Non-monetary compensations recognise the work put in by an employee and form a lucrative measure to rope in new talent as well. Extending certain incentives beyond the employee and onto the family members helps emphasise on the fact that companies look at our employees as members of our family.” Rajani Tewari, HR head, Wockhardt Hospitals Ltd, elaborates on how it is important that organisations take into account their employees’ opinions when deciding on the indirect compensation, “Salaries have become a mere hygiene factor today; it is the non-monetary benefits that help maintain a healthy work-life balance. To aid the process, we have a ‘Voice of Wockhardt (VoW)’ suggestion box at the corporate office and at each unit, where our associates can drop in their suggestions. In case we receive one, we look into its practicality and consider if it can be incorporated into the system.” Hence, professionals today are actively seeking some indirect compensation packages and companies need to leverage their advantages in keeping employees happy.

Sneak Peak into the Digital Trends in marketing for 2015

adgully.com, Jan 2 2015 Article Source: http://bit.ly/SPdigitrends

Digital marketing has seen an evolution like none other and all this is mainly due to the ever-changing digital landscape, mass adoption of technology and the growing proliferation of devices and their usage across all age groups. Very importantly, consumers are changing in terms of adoption, psyche and acceptance which impacts how they consume digital content as well.

The digital landscape has seen considerable growth and even more so with the massive penetration of mobile devices across the globe, with India alone at 81%. With a multitude of new technologies entering into the mainstream and digital marketing constantly evolving, 2015 will shape up to be a particularly exciting year.

Let’s have a look at a few digital marketing trends that are shaping the year to come-

Mobile Marketing –

Mobile marketing is the new hub, connecting the consumer, wherever he is, to digital and integrating social with everyday activities. QR codes, augmented reality, mobile apps and social media platforms on mobile are several ways by which mobile has empowered the consumer and is still ever growing. Mobile apps have become table stakes both for B2B and B2C. Brands leading in different industries like retail (Walmart), sport gear, health fitness (Nike), banking & finance (Citizens Bank) etc have developed applications for mobiles that enhance the customer experience and integrate their presence in their consumer’s lives. Such integration by brand developed applications shall be a key growth sector in year 2015. Communication solutions provided by instant messenger applications are also seeing great applicability in marketing endeavors and are already an integral part of a consumers means of communication and social networking.  Services like Wechat and more recently Snapchat which grants a unique communication model based on ephemeral messaging are being greatly employed by brands to connect with consumers and provide personalized as well as group targeted advertising. Application revenue models are also differentiated and seeing developments in terms of pricing models which grant users full access in paid version and limited but free access which are ad-supported. By inserting mobile services and smart tools at key points in their everyday journey, a marketer can effectively leverage their brand as well as provide valuable service to the consumer.

Regional Marketing-

Regional focused marketing initiatives are also seeing a spur in interest and development as marketers are beginning to realize the potentials and the opportunity that the rural markets and the audiences present to brands. Marketing initiatives in these areas, prominently of HUL and its ‘Kaan Khajura Tesan’ a marketing apex strategy and brilliant execution used the power of mobiles even to push forth its branding and very effectively by smartly merging entertainment services with brand information and marketing. Digital India is another initiative aiming to bridge the communication gaps and overcome barriers of access to this latent market of consumers by facilitating high-speed internet and making services available electronically thereby further enhancing and improving the marketers chances to better reach out to this earlier less traversable market. With the aid of improved technology and access, marketers can now realize and push branding efforts and marketing to this huge mass of latent market just waiting to be explored.

Predictive, Adaptive & Responsive Marketing –Social Listening

Digital marketing is now no more only buying space online and flashing ads to consumers in the hope of them noticing your ad and moving on to a purchase cycle. Smart digital marketing is all about being predictive about what consumers would want and where your services can be made available. It not only about understanding your consumers and adapting to their requirements but also being flexible to their requirements as much as possible and being responsive of their queries and doubts. Being responsive and speedy in service delivery is essential as the digital consumer of present has a very short attention span and needs prompt response. Digital now also empowers marketers and has tools available to pre-empt a consumer and predict requirements.

Social listening is the key to this tactic, providing marketers access and control over information so a potential customers need can be realized and capitalized upon. Social listening can be augmented by marketers across platforms to harness the power of social listening through social command centres that enable them to track conversations online about the brand, track brand sentiments and develop strategies to tackle the changing digital social landscape.

Omnichannel Marketing & Storytelling Transcendence –

Digital grants marketers the power to transcend platforms and develop seamless messaging across platforms to connect with consumers throughout the day no matter which device or platform they use. This is a trend which will see more enhancements in the years to come inspite of currently being leveraged and adopted by several brands and marketers to an extent. The key idea behind this is developing a seamless and well-rounded customer experience and a brand or messaging story by being omnipresent and delivering a clear and precise communication to the customer, thereby effectively leverage itself. The merits of this obviously grant a top-of-mind recall among customers for that brand and also present marketers the opportunity to fit their services to a customer’s everyday cycle and essentially engrain themselves to provide services when required even before being voiced by the consumer. However being omnipresent requires a lot of skill and resources for the marketer and has to be dealt with carefully. Omnichannel marketing is still at a nascent stage and holds great potential for further creative developments and modifications to enhance marketing and messaging storytelling.

Multiscreen Marketing –

The phenomenon of multi-screening is one which has transformed the way advertisers and marketers can now connect to their audiences. Discussions on TV content now happen on mobiles and desktops; 59% people log onto social networking sites and forums while watching TV. 49% use apps and internet to browse about content being watched. This definitely presents a huge potential and area that marketers can truly capitalize on to deliver their messages and keep consumers engaged to their brand throughout their device experience. With ‘media convergence’ the new buzzword in town, you can now see that content merges and sifts through devices and screens seamlessly. Different screens present different opportunities and represent different tools in the minds on the consumers. It is becoming evermore essential for marketers to understand what devices mean to different people and which one may be used for what purpose, when and why. With digital booming and device ownership expanding, this is the future.

Social Media Monetization –

There are several social media platforms out there for marketers to capture and build upon but how do you monetize it? This is a key question that marketers have been juggling with. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have added several new option and functionalities like a donate button, repurposed like and share buttons, more flexible advertising designing and payment models. These are a few modifications that will see more change and are yet to grow. ROI on digital is still a facet which has yet to be engineered.

Digital Enabled Wearables –

Digital has morphed and enhanced the way we communicate on an everyday basis and with the development of wearable technology, this further expands the horizon. With technology like Google glass, Nike Fuel band, Pebble, Jawbone etc, marketers have even more scope to further augment their marketing and brands to the customer to a whole new level. This is a change marked by augmented reality and wearables which could be so profound in terms of information, communication, marketing and digital itself.

Mashup –

Digital no longer separates PR, SEO, Social& CRM. Digital is a mashup. Communication on digital reflects and combines all these aspects and provides a wholesome communication to consumers. This makes it all the more essential for marketers to give a huge amount of importance to what and how they communicate on digital platforms. A single post, comment, tweet and image can make or break a brand. This form of communication is yet being experimented with by brands and marketers to enhance, package and augment secondary services to consumers.

It’s safe to say, 2015 is an exciting year for marketers to be on digital which is an ever changing expanse of new technology developments and ever demanding consumers waiting for you to go viral.

The author of this article is Mr. Zafar Rais – CEO MindShift Interactive.

Positive sentiment galore on social media around

exchange4media.com, Dec 29 2014 Picture3 The article features the Great Online Shopping festival event engagement report by MindShift Interactive along with industry perspective on the e-commerce sale. Industry perspective by Nitin Bhatia, Director & Agency Partnerships of Meltwater Group was also shared in the article

Social Recruitment is now a trend

Dainik Jagran, Dec 24 2014 Picture2 The article highlights the latest trend in using social media a hiring tool by companies. Perspective and insights by Mr. Zafar Rais has been shared on the trend

Advertisers Go vernacular on Social Media

Economic Times, Dec 24 2014 Article Source: http://bit.ly/FBTwitterPosts
NEW DELHI: Coca-Cola posted its first tweet in Hindi last fortnight when the International Premier Tennis League was being held in New Delhi, and it got it 350 retweets compared to just 10-15 retweets of most of its English tweets. Nobody's surprised. There's a substantial increase in use of Indian languages on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, and several large and small advertisers including PepsiCo, Bharti Airtel, suiting brand OCM and winery Sula Vineyards say use of regional languages in social media campaigns give them much higher resonance than the same thing in English.
According to social media agencies, brands' Facebook posts using Indian languages such as Hindi, Tamil and Marathi get almost 150% more response than similar English posts, thanks to increasing penetration of Internet into smaller towns and cities. "Language is surely helping a better engagement," said Anusha Shetty, CEO at Autumn Worldwide, a Bangalore-based advertising agency specializing in social media. "This approach will start playing an important role in the next two years as Internet penetration increases and more people from tier 3 and 4 (cities) join the social space," she said. "We are seeing the birth of this approach now." Shetty said sprinkling languages such as Hindi, Malayalam or Tamil boosts engagement from consumers by 160% to 220%. Autumn Worldwide recently did a social media campaign for apparel brand OCM with a mixed language approach to target audience from tier II cities. For a recent Luminous ad, the video content on Facebook was in Hindi, which got replies in 'Hinglish', leading to 'massive engagement'. PepsiCo's Mountain Dew recently had a campaign in the south with one Tamil word in it, while Orient Electric had a campaign with Chennai Super Kings with Hindi words. All these campaigns received good response on the social media. Aneesh Madani, head of sports partnerships at Twitter India, said there has been 300% increase in tweets in Hindi in 2014 alone. "Given that Twitter now renders in all Indian languages and the fact that India is one of the fastest growing user bases for Twitter worldwide, we will see an upward trend in vernacular conversations," he said. "Brands and partners are starting to explore the vernacular and the opportunity to stand out while connecting to users is ripe," Madani said. "Expect more during the ICC Cricket World Cup as well as the Indian Premier League." Coca-Cola's recent experiment on a refreshment-based post in Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil and Kannada got over 150% response compared to the same post published in English. "We are being able to engage in a dialogue with consumers in their language of choice, rather than just pushing one way communication," said Debabrata Mukherjee, vice president for, marketing and commercial at Coca-Cola. According to Mindshift Interactive, 64% of rural internet users — or, 24.3 million out of 38 million users — use the internet in their local language, and that vernacular sites are growing at 56% year-on-year, while English sites are growing by just 11%. A joint study by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International said regional language content availability can boost the growth of Internet in India by 24%. No wonder, brands are looking to increase their engagement in Indian languages. Rishi Dogra, head of digital marketing at PepsiCo India, said the firm is actively evaluating the opportunity of using regional languages for engagement on all social media platforms.
Salil Kapoor, COO of Dish TV, said all promotions of its brand Zing Digital, a DTH platform for regional channels, including on social media are being conceptualised in regional languages. Pan Vilas mouth fresheners, endorsed by actor Shah Rukh Khan, has told its social media agency Gozoop to communicate only in local languages next year to get tier 2 and 3 audiences engaged. Gozoop has started to optimise content for social media in vernacular languages, as those on social media tend to reply to posts in local languages, said its co-founder Ahmed Naqvi. "During events or matches, the engagement is much higher when we translate our tweets and sometimes can take the engagement up to 200% for our posts," he said. Zafar Rais, CEO at digital agency Mindshift Interactive, said wine maker Sula Vineyards got significantly higher consumer response when tweets were sent in Marathi. He also pointed out that advertisers' cost per click goes down when they use regional languages, from about Rs 6 to Rs 4. "A lot of brands which reach out to regional audiences — for example, Airtel — are now interacting in regional languages like Hindi and Marathi to get to better costs per click," Rais said. Last fortnight, Google introduced Hindi ads on its display network, pointing out that there are more than 500 million Hindi speakers around the world. "We're excited to launch support for Hindi, which will enable global advertisers to connect with one of India's fastest growing online audiences," the Internet giant said in a statement. Google launched its translator in Hindi in 2007 and its Hindi portal in 2009. In September 2011, Twitter launched regional content delivery in Hindi. Google and Facebook o?er search in nine Indian languages — Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada or Malayalam.

Want a job? Why not a ‘selfie video’ resume?

Hindu Business Line, Dec 23 2014 Picture4 The article on the front page of the publication highlights on the trend of having selfie videos shared as a new form of a recruiting process. The article highlights the process used by MindShift Interactive along with the view point of Mr. Zafar Rais. The others contributing for the story are Divyangana Srivastava- Director HR, JW Marriot, Chaitrali Singh – Director HR,ZS Associates and Sanjor Jose, CEO Talview.com

10 social media features you’re probably not using

rediff.com, Dec 10 2014 Article Source: http://bit.ly/SMfeatures
Did you know that you could tag people on Twitter? Or that you could download your friends' profile photos on WhatsApp? Here are some interesting features of Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp that you're probably not aware of. Social media features you weren't using

Facebook

You can change your username

Facebook has now made it easy for a user to change their Facebook page's username.

Any administrator can now change the page's URL directly from the Page.

To change the URL, one has to go to their Facebook page, click 'Edit Page>Update Info, fill in Basic Information and 'Change Username'.

Note: The user can however change it only one single time.

Unfortunately, if a user has more than 200 Likes they cannot change the overall name of the Page

You can change your 'Voice' There is a new tab on Facebook pages, in the menu bar called 'Voice'. The add-on of this tab is a pretty subtle change, but it helps to stop users from getting confused about whether they're engaging as themselves or a page. It gives you the option of be liking, commenting and interacting as the page or yourself. Twitter You can tag up to people in a tweet Twitter allows you to tag upto 10 people every time you add a new photo to a tweet. These tags don't count against your 140 characters. The tagging option can be found just below the compose box for your tweet. You could mute an account If you aren't really interested in knowing the details from a certain account or receive too many spams on your newsfeed, rather than opting to unfollow someone, you could mute the account for as long as you'd like. This feature is quite helpful for those looking to maintain a low profile online. Click on the 'More' drop-down and choose 'Mute' from the list of options. You can share more than one photo in a single tweet Sharing up to four photos in a single tweet is now an added feature of Twitter. When composing a tweet, upload an image and then click on the 'Add more' option to keep adding more images. You can organise your tweets  Collections -- a new type of timeline on Twitter. It gives you more control over how tweets are organised and delivered on the platform. You can create the collection; give it a name, and select which tweets you wish to add -- manually or by using the API (Application Program Interface). Collections have their own pages on Twitter.com, are public, and can easily be embedded on your website. WhatsApp You need not update your new phone number On getting a new data SIM, there's no need of registering the new number and adding contacts to WhatsApp. All you need is to carry on using WhatsApp with your previous number. When you activate WhatsApp with the new SIM, you'll be prompted by the messaging service to register the new number. You can just ignore the pop-up or cancel it, and your WhatsApp should work linked to your old number, while using your new data SIM. You can get rid of blue tick marks WhatsApp had recently released the new read receipts feature that shows a blue checkmark when someone sees your message, which resulted in quite a big backlash against it. To recover from this backlash, they have released an update for WhatsApp. This feature is however only currently available to Android users who are on the all new beta version of the app. You have to download the beta and head to your Android phone's settings, enable Unknown Sources to install the APK file as it's not in the Google Play Store yet. Users can just access Privacy via Settings and disable Read Receipts. You can recover old messages Sometimes, we delete the conversation and later on realise that we should not have deleted that message. To recover the deleted conversation, there are two tips for WhatsApp users: To recover messages that are 7 or less days older, you will have to re-install (uninstall and then install the WhatsApp). During the re-installation process, WhatsApp will prompt you to restore. After clicking restore, you will get all your deleted messages. You can download your friends' profile pictures WhatsApp does not allow anyone to download the profile picture. But, there is a WhatsApp trick that can help you do this easily. First navigate to SD Card > Whatsapp > Profile Pictures. The folder has every profile picture that has been checked. The author Zafar Rais is founder and CEO at Mindshift Interactive.

Making the internet talk local

The Financial Express, Dec 9 2014 Picture5 The column on the growth of internet in India credits MindShift Interactive’s research report on the research findings of  social media using regional languages for a local engagement. The column concentrates on having local languages as the next step to a wide reach of the internet along with mobile marketing as the next big push. The story on page 7, Reflect section provides an in-depth view by eminent columnist of the publication

Questions you should be asking your employee

indianmonitor.com, Dec 8 2014 Article Source: http://bit.ly/IndianMonitor Asking the right questions is a great way to show your employer that you've done your homework and you're interested in the job. Here's why asking these questions matter for your career. image Who doesn't love an interesting candidate who can engage the interviewer in an interesting conversation? A curious candidate is the best kind of candidate, says Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift Interactive. "I love an interesting conversation rather than a one-way Q and A," he says. "It's always good to hear when a prospect asks questions such as -- How would I scale? How open are you towards people shifting from one area to another within the company?" Usually it is the employer who asks the questions. This time, we asked hiring managers from across the country to tell us what questions employees should be asking them at the end of the interview. Read on and tell us how many of these have you asked… Is this a new or existing role (job position)? It is extremely important to ask the interviewer if the role already exists and where the current incumbent is moving to, says Savitha Gaekwad, managing partner, Antal International. The company specialises in recruitments across the globe. If s/he is moving within the organisation, asking this question gives the candidate an indication of where the role could lead him/her, she says. Who will I be reporting to? Most organisations don’t have a clear reporting order, observes Tavleen Singh, HR-recruitment, Manpower Consulting. This, she says could pose problems later, often leading to delay in decision making and delegation of functions. "The answer to this question will help the candidate gain clarity on the flow of responsibilities and understanding the leadership and decision making powers better," adds Singh. Could you define my career path in the organisation? One of the most common questions interviewers ask candidates is: Where do you see yourself five or 10 years down the line? This question helps HR understand your life goals and ambitions better. At the same time, asking the hiring manager to define your career path helps you understand whether you are in the right place, says Rajneesh Avasthi, HR Manager, Career Focus Technologies Pvt Ltd. "It also helps you understand the hierarchy and various levels of management so that you can strategise your career goals accordingly," adds Avasthi who interviews candidates for mid and senior level positions across India. What is the appraisal structure of the organisation? This has to be every employee’s favourite question, says Tavleen Singh. "Most employees tell us that they were misinformed about the appraisal structure and notice period and came to know about it only after they joined the organisation. In response, I can only tell them that it was their job to find out before they signed the offer letter." It is important to know who are the key stakeholders invested in making you successful in this new assignment, notes Savita Gaekwad. Find out how frequently the organisation appraises its employees. When was the last time they appraised their staff? What is the average (minimum) percentage of appraisal? Do you allow employees to transfer roles within the organisation? Within the first few months of joining an organisation, a majority of candidates -- mostly fresh graduates and soon-to-be-marrieds -- start sending requests to find out if there are opportunities in their hometown, says Tavleen Singh. Organisations find it difficult to meet the demands of employees who complain of 'family pressure' and 'stress' as major reasons to look for a transfer of role. "Sometimes, organisations include a clause in the work contract stating a minimum period you will have to serve in the organisation before applying for a transfer," says Singh. The problem is that employees sometimes sign on the dotted line without reading these tricky clauses, she says. If I am shortlisted, how soon do I have to join? This is one question very few people analyse, feel experts. Candidates often say yes to a job offer only to realise that they need to serve a longer notice period at their current place of work, says Rajneesh Avasthi, HR Manager, Career Focus Technologies Pvt Ltd. Avasthi gives an example of how an employee at mid-manager level had delayed his joining date by 20 days last year, which caused the company to incur losses of a few lakh rupees. "Your future company’s time is as precious as yours. If you have prior commitments, it would be helpful if you can confirm your availability instead of starting your career on a wrong note," Avasthi advises. What is the next step in the hiring process? In his eight-year career as a hiring expert, Avasthi reveals that only two candidates have asked this question so far. "We expect every candidate to be excited about the job opportunity. If you ask questions like 'when can I expect your call?' it might disappoint the hiring manager and make you look greedy. "However, a question like 'what is the next step in the hiring process' will most definitely not be dodged and also help you gauge what to expect next," he advises. All the above questions are important, but candidates should ask them only if the answers are not available in the public domain such as the corporate website or annual publication. Dr Zubin R Mulla, Associate Professor at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences advises candidates to "do their homework well and read everything about the company and the role they are being interviewed for." And he warns, "While asking smart questions will put you in a positive spot, trivial and obvious questions will make you look like a complete fool and you may perhaps even lose out on the opportunity."

7 questions you should be asking your employer

rediff.com, Dec 3, 2014 Article Source: http://bit.ly/ImpQues
Asking the right questions is a great way to show your employer that you've done your homework and you're interested in the job. Here's why asking these questions matter for your career. Questions you should be asking the employer in a job interview Who doesn't love an interesting candidate who can engage the interviewer in an interesting conversation? A curious candidate is the best kind of candidate, says Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift Interactive. "I love an interesting conversation rather than a one-way Q and A," he says. "It's always good to hear when a prospect asks questions such as -- How would I scale? How open are you towards people shifting from one area to another within the company?" Usually it is the employer who asks the questions. This time, we asked hiring managers from across the country to tell us what questions employees should be asking them at the end of the interview. Read on and tell us how many of these have you asked… Is this a new or existing role (job position)? It is extremely important to ask the interviewer if the role already exists and where the current incumbent is moving to, says Savitha Gaekwad, managing partner, Antal International. The company specialises in recruitments across the globe. If s/he is moving within the organisation, asking this question gives the candidate an indication of where the role could lead him/her, she says. Who will I be reporting to? Most organisations don’t have a clear reporting order, observes Tavleen Singh, HR-recruitment, Manpower Consulting. This, she says could pose problems later, often leading to delay in decision making and delegation of functions. "The answer to this question will help the candidate gain clarity on the flow of responsibilities and understanding the leadership and decision making powers better," adds Singh. Could you define my career path in the organisation? One of the most common questions interviewers ask candidates is: Where do you see yourself five or 10 years down the line? This question helps HR understand your life goals and ambitions better. At the same time, asking the hiring manager to define your career path helps you understand whether you are in the right place, says Rajneesh Avasthi, HR Manager, Career Focus Technologies Pvt Ltd. "It also helps you understand the hierarchy and various levels of management so that you can strategise your career goals accordingly," adds Avasthi who interviews candidates for mid and senior level positions across India. What is the appraisal structure of the organisation? This has to be every employee’s favourite question, says Tavleen Singh. "Most employees tell us that they were misinformed about the appraisal structure and notice period and came to know about it only after they joined the organisation. In response, I can only tell them that it was their job to find out before they signed the offer letter." It is important to know who are the key stakeholders invested in making you successful in this new assignment, notes Savita Gaekwad. Find out how frequently the organisation appraises its employees. When was the last time they appraised their staff? What is the average (minimum) percentage of appraisal? Do you allow employees to transfer roles within the organisation? Within the first few months of joining an organisation, a majority of candidates -- mostly fresh graduates and soon-to-be-marrieds -- start sending requests to find out if there are opportunities in their hometown, says Tavleen Singh. Organisations find it difficult to meet the demands of employees who complain of 'family pressure' and 'stress' as major reasons to look for a transfer of role. "Sometimes, organisations include a clause in the work contract stating a minimum period you will have to serve in the organisation before applying for a transfer," says Singh. The problem is that employees sometimes sign on the dotted line without reading these tricky clauses, she says. If I am shortlisted, how soon do I have to join? This is one question very few people analyse, feel experts. Candidates often say yes to a job offer only to realise that they need to serve a longer notice period at their current place of work, says Rajneesh Avasthi, HR Manager, Career Focus Technologies Pvt Ltd. Avasthi gives an example of how an employee at mid-manager level had delayed his joining date by 20 days last year, which caused the company to incur losses of a few lakh rupees. "Your future company’s time is as precious as yours. If you have prior commitments, it would be helpful if you can confirm your availability instead of starting your career on a wrong note," Avasthi advises. What is the next step in the hiring process? In his eight-year career as a hiring expert, Avasthi reveals that only two candidates have asked this question so far. "We expect every candidate to be excited about the job opportunity. If you ask questions like 'when can I expect your call?' it might disappoint the hiring manager and make you look greedy. "However, a question like 'what is the next step in the hiring process' will most definitely not be dodged and also help you gauge what to expect next," he advises. All the above questions are important, but candidates should ask them only if the answers are not available in the public domain such as the corporate website or annual publication. Dr Zubin R Mulla, Associate Professor at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences advises candidates to "do their homework well and read everything about the company and the role they are being interviewed for." And he warns, "While asking smart questions will put you in a positive spot, trivial and obvious questions will make you look like a complete fool and you may perhaps even lose out on the opportunity."

Has Indian Super League been able to crack the digital code?

indianmediabooks.com, Oct 31 2014 10 The article highlights social engagement of the Indian Super League on the digital platforms. Along with the perspective of Mr. Zafar Rais, Chetan Asher, CEO, Tonic Media has also shared his perspective. The research data has been given credit to MindShift Interactive

ISL scores with digital media

exchange4media.com, Oct 31 2014 Article Source: http://bit.ly/ISLOnSM

It has been more than two weeks since the ambitious Indian Super League  (ISL) was inaugurated. TV ratings for the first week matches were off the charts; as much as 12 times that of FIFA World Cup 2014 opening day and double of the opening week reach for the FIFA World Cup 2014, claimed Star.

Indian Super League kicks off with a buzz in launch week

Viewership numbers shot through the roof not only on television, but also online on starsports.com.The website recorded around 800,000 visits each for the first two days of the tournament which is 80 per cent of the average IPL viewership on starsports.com and the highest for a non-cricket tournament, said Star in a media statement. The number of visitors to the site continued to grow as the League gained momentum and recorded 5 million visits over the opening week.

According to Simplify360, the official hashtag #LetsFootball saw 113,178 tweets, 1.06 billion impressions and 68,483 mentions on the launch day. The official Twitter account for the tournament has around 56 thousand followers currently, less than half of IPL’s 1.6 million followers and way behind England’s Premier League’s 6 million plus followers. On Facebook , Of course, these comparisons are moot since this is just the first edition of the tournament and Simplify360 found that is already being spoken about in 50 countries around the world. It has also already reached 1 million fans on Facebook. On YouTube, views are in access of 2 million with nearly 4,000 subscribers.

“The digital era has put forward a platform for every property to reach a wide audience with an advantage of instant feedback. Indian Super League has strategically focused its campaign via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, garnering just about 70,000 mentions of the ISL on social media (majority of them on Twitter) in the last 15 days,” said Zafar Rais, CEO of MindShift Interactive. However, despite the tremendous buzz, mentions of the #LetsFootball hashtag have dropped considerably since the launch day said Mindshift.

Something that has helped keep the buzz mill going is a couple of innovative properties that ISL has introduced. Match Day Wars keeps a track of the Twitter conversations struck up by fans of opposing teams on the day of their match. The results of which are then posted on the ISL website. Users can also tweet to the official ISL handle (@IndSuperLeague) and get the entire ISL schedule on their mobile phones.

The glam factor associated with ISL has also helped in keeping interest and conversations high. Franchise owners and celebriteis like Sachin Tendulkar, Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan, Sourav Ganguly, John Abraham, etc. have done their part by constantly tweeting and posting photos about the ISL and their respective teams.

The ProKabbadi League was a surprising hit in India but we saw that the buzz around individual teams was fairly low. This was mainly because most of the franchises were not active on social media. Like their counterparts in the IPL, the ISL teams seem to have realised the importance of using the social media to connect with their supporters.

According to Simplify360, the Delhi Dynamos lead the pack on both Facebook and Twitter with 351,847 fans and 21,756 followers respectively, but the others are not that far behind.

In terms of individual buzz across franchises, Simplify360 found that in the last 30 days (i.e since October 1) Chennaiyin FC has seen the most buzz with 36,000 mentions on social media, followed by North East United with 21, 000 mentions. This could be attributed to star power—Abhishek Bachchan and Mahendra Singh Dhoni own the former while the latter is owned by John Abraham. Their good performances in the first few games have also not hurt their social media clout.

Social networking going the e-com way

Business Standard – The Strategist, October 29 2014 9

Why digital is not an option, but a necessity for brands today?

Bestmediainfo.com, Oct 29 2014 Article Source: http://bit.ly/DigiForBrands

On the occasion of World Internet Day, BestMediaInfo.com spoke to digital experts to understand if brands are on course in their usage of the online medium or if there is a need for a course correction

digital-medium

What if one day you wake up and find all your social messaging apps and the internet not working? Not only will you feel lost and disconnected, but you’ll also wrack your head trying all possible means available to restore connectivity immediately. Brands too will go berserk if they lose touch with the online world.

In an era where brands are launching their advertising campaigns first on the online medium and then on traditional media, and where consumers can rant and complain about brands that don’t please them, at the click of a mouse, brands have become extremely cautious and highly dependent on this medium. With the digital explosion, the mentality of both brands and marketers has changed tremendously, which is why we see a surge in online advertising in India.

According to the MindShift Interactive study, it is projected that the size of the online advertising market in India will be Rs 2,938 crores by FY13-14. On an average, this market has been growing at 30%, year-on-year, from FY10-11 to FY13-14. The growing FMCG spends on online advertising represents an increasing opportunity for digital marketers to tap into the enormous potential of online advertising.

On the occasion of World Internet Day on October 29, BestMediaInfo.com spoke to digital experts to understand if brands are using the online medium in the right measure and direction, and if there’s a need for any course correction.

The digital effect

Zafar Rais

Zafar Rais, Founder and CEO, MindShift Interactive, said, “The online world has certainly evolved and there is now more acceptance and education in this domain. We are certainly moving in the right direction. There are a few obstacles in the path which, I believe, will diminish gradually, and right now we are part of the evolution and learning phase.”

Rais further added, “Around five to six years back, majority of the brands didn’t have any idea of the digital world. Their priority was to just have an online site, but now the major chunk of the industry has turned digital. I can attribute the rise of online marketing spends to mainly two factors – one that it is a cheaper medium and secondly, it helps brands to gauge the market sentiments easily. In the years to come, there will be higher budget allocation in this domain, serious players will last and the industry will stabilise for sure.”

Gaurav Pathak

Gaurav Pathak, COO, Razorfish, observed that digital has fundamentally changed the way brands behave, as well as the way they organise and optimise their marketing efforts. “While the personalities of individual brands are varied and unique, there are certain key factors which brands need to keep in mind in the new marketing landscape. One must be a conversationalist, discoverable, content creator and always be constant,” he suggested.

“You will always find early adopters and laggards. But, given the changing marketing landscape, every brand will have to think about their digital strategy sooner than later. Digital is no more an option but a necessity, if the brands have to stay relevant in today’s’ scenario, given the way consumers are consuming data,” he added.

Ahmed Naqvi, CEO and Co-founder, Gozoop, believes that today, the offline & online world are in sync more than ever. “Some call it the internet of things, but I prefer calling it the ‘new world’. No doubt, we are heading in the right direction. The only thing we should be cautious of is the urgency in replacing human factors​with everything digital at a speed that causes imbalance. From a brand’s perspective, digital is a large part of the present and a larger part of the future. The things that fill the rest should not be ignored,” he stated.

While many brands have taken to the digital world, there are some who still adhere to old school advertising. Naqvi said, “Almost all brands have realised the importance of digital, and for the few who haven’t, it’s better late than never. For most of our global clients, the digital spend has comfortably reached double figures of their total spends, and Y-o-Y we are seeing it grow exponentially. And this will continue.”

Vinish Kathuria

Vinish Kathuria, COO, Digital Quotient, said, “Think about the time when India won the 1983 Cricket World Cup. At that time, other than TV and radio, there was no way of reliving the joyous moments. But today, in the internet era, in a gap of not more than 30-40 seconds, an update is always available. Therefore, access to information has become so much easier, not only for those sitting in front of the computers, but also for people located in any corner of the country – be it the farmer or the pregnant lady getting health tips on her mobile.”

Despite the surging popularity of digital among marketers, the medium is still not given its due share in terms of ad spends. The primary reason for this, Kathuria said, is that fact that India has several family-owned businesses, and many brands are still in their ‘safe zone’ where they hesitate to experiment with new means of advertising. However, he is hopeful that things will change. “In the years to come, the entire pyramid can just get reversed, with digital getting the highest budget share,” he remarked.

On Course

Sumanta Ganguly

Sumanta Ganguly, Senior Vice-president, LinTeractive, believes that brands have actually no other way but to get digital friendly, because it is where the consumers are and, by rule, brands should follow their consumers. “The world is complicated and will continue to remain complicated; businesses won’t get back to where they started. In the same way, the online domain is in the stage of VUCA – volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. I don’t feel the need for any course correction, as you can’t change anything, but what is in your hand is to craft your presence better in this era,” Ganguly stated.

Pratik Gupta

Echoing similar thoughts, Pratik Gupta, Co-founder, Director – New Business & Innovations, FoxyMoron, said, “Surely, we are moving in the right direction. The simplest example would be the fact that, we (FoxyMoron) started six years back with four people and now we are a strong team of more than 200 people. Things are changing in this fast-paced era at a phenomenal pace. Communication has now got a new meaning, where digital communication stands for more of storytelling and where the targeting effects are immediate. I don’t need to wait for TRPs and GRPs; I know what is working for the brand and what is not. Therefore, conversations have changed and different parameters have come into the scene.”

Matthijis Klinkert

Matthijis Klinkert, Strategist & Partner, Fabrique, part of Brand Dialogue group in India, said, “We do not believe there is a right or a wrong direction. Social media has found a place in the daily lives of people the way it is. And, it has changed many people’s lives (for better or for worse). Just look at the revolutions in the Middle East right now and the role social media played in it.”

The challenges

Anything which grows fast also stands at the risk of falling faster. What challenges does digital pose to brands and marketers? According to Naqvi, brands and marketers need to be realistic of what they expect from each channel of digital marketing, and how they can be mapped back to their business KPIs. “There is no ‘one size fits all’ and smart brands & marketers should know how to get this right. ​Another challenge is personalising every customer interaction with relevant brand experiences. Meeting the expectations of the always-connected customer is at times difficult, but definitely achievable,” Naqvi stated.

Kathuria of Digital Quotient, said, “The challenges in this medium are that it still hasn’t caught up, and the quality of all the content produced is not of superior quality. For instance, a brand can have one TVC in a following quarter, as against Facebook posts, which are updated daily. Therefore, it is obvious that the quality will not be the same for every post. Quality check is something that brands need to work on.”

Klinkert gives a more optimistic view and chooses to look at the opportunities rather than the challenges or dangers. “The only threat digital holds for existing brands is that it tends to make their products look enormously outdated overnight. In Europe, we saw the complete disappearance of travel agencies for holidays. Virtually no one books their holiday or flight tickets at an office, you just do that online. The same goes for banks. Many bank shops changed radically or disappeared from the streets, while the only contact for people with their banks is via their website or mobile apps.”

He offers a few words of caution to brands. “Stay agile; be prepared to change your business. Never think, ‘this will not apply to me’, because it will,” he said.

The Social Media Push For ISL

Businessinsider.com, Oct 29 2014 Article Source: http://bit.ly/SMPushISL The Indian Super League (ISL), which is touted to be a game changer for football, has had quite a successful opening. The league scored a record reach of 74.7 million on its first day and the cumulative reach for the first week was a whopping 170.6 million. These reach figures are the second highest for any sports league, after the twenty-twenty cricket league, IPL. Now these numbers speak volumes about the encouraging response the league has got from the viewers. Interestingly, social media has played a key role in creating buzz around the league. Zafar Rais, CEO of MindShift Interactive says, "The digital era has put forward a platform for every property to reach a wider audience with an advantage of instant feedback. Indian Super League has strategically focused its campaign via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, garnering just about 70,000 mentions of the ISL on social media (majority of them on Twitter) in the last 15 days." Social Media Presence Of ISL The league has quite a strong presence on key social media platforms including Facebook, twitter, youtube besides others. The leagues' total fan likes on Facebook were a whopping 1,078,081. Twitter followers were 54,284 and YouTube had 2,298,298 views and 3,772 subscribers (As of October 26, 2014). Compared to the 20-20 cricket league IPL, these numbers look miniscule, yet they are quite encouraging, considering this being the first year of the league. Moreover, these numbers are much ahead of India's domestic football league, the I-League. Other than this, there are Facebook & Twitter accounts of the 8 teams that are part of the Indian Super League, namely - Mumbai City FC, Atletico De Kolkata, Delhi Dynamos, Kerala Blasters, Chennaiyin FC, FC Goa, FC Pune and Northeast United FC. The Buzz Created So Far There have been just about 70,000 mentions of the ISL on social media (majority of them on Twitter) in the last 15 days. The league's follower count on Twitter is 1/29th of the fans of the EPL (English Premier League), and 1/14th of the fans of the IPL (Indian Premier League). So, it hasn't really kicked off in India on the social media front as it would have expected. #LetsFootball is the most popular hashtag that is trending around the league. With the general sentiment around the league being positive, males between the age group of 21-30 are the most who have used this hashtag. In terms of popularity, the hashtag is discussed more on Twitter than Facebook (source: Mindshift Interactive report). It is also more popular than the I-League, the traditional top division football league of India. Stats around the hashtag #LetsFootball Now, let us just look at some interesting statistics around the hashtag #LetsFootball. ● According to the Mindshift Interactive report, there were about 113,178 tweets, 1.06 billion impressions and 68,483 mentions of the hashtag on the day of ISL launch. ● These mentions of the hashtag have dropped considerably post launch day. ● On the opening day of the league, 5 of the 7 trending topics in India were related to ISL. These are: #LetsFootball, #IndianSuperLeague, #atleticodekolkata, #MumbaiCityFC and Luis Garcia. ● The Indian Super League is talked about in 50+ countries, including the likes of USA, UK, Indonesia and Brazil. Celebrity Promotions On Twitter The celebrity glitz has also helped the ISL generate buzz on social media platforms. Cricketers and film personalities like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Salman Khan, Ranbir Kapoor and John Abraham co-own franchises in the ISL. These celebrities and a few others have added to the ISL social media zing by mentioning it in their tweets. During October 7th-14, 2014, the ISL got 1100 twitter mentions by Priyanka Chopra, 900 mentions by Sachin Tendulkar, 840 mentions by Hrithik Roshan, 635 mentions by Sourav Ganguly, 440 mentions by Ranbir Kapoor, 400 mentions by Abhishek Bachchan and 130 mentions by John Abraham. Looking at these numbers, one can say that social media has helped create a good initial buzz for the league. Though there is a need for a lot more to be done, not just this season but in the forthcoming seasons, to take the ISL to the heights of other popular leagues like the IPL and EPL.

Top 10 Marketing Tips while engaging with Generation Y

adgully.com, Oct 27 2014 14 The authored piece by Mr. Zafar highlights the engagement tools required while marketing to the generation Y. The article has also been a part of the Adgully.com newsletter, alongside the news of Mr. Martin Sorrel – Executive Officer of WPP

Why social media makes the customer a dangerous king for brands?

Bestmediainfo.com, Oct 21 2014 Article Source: http://bit.ly/SMforBrands

Brands are compelled to be at their best behaviour and always on their toes as social media bashing becomes the norm. How should brands deal with this pressing need to be quick, smart and human? Marketing honchos, digital heads and brand experts share their views

Brands-feature

In the last two weeks, social media has been abuzz with discussions on two topics: the Flipkart Big Billion Day sale debacle, and a consumer complaint against Amul Milk. The posts went viral to such an extent that they managed to create a negative vibe for the respective brands. However, both these brands were extremely prompt and smart to keep the damage in check by responding swiftly.

The day after Flipkart’s sale, Sachin Bansal and Billy Bansal personally sent out an apology letter to aggrieved consumers, and promised to not repeat their poor performance ever again. This gesture was highly appreciated in the online community because people felt that the note had a ‘human touch’ to it.

Amul, on the other hand, replied to the consumer who had posted about her ‘horrifying’ experience with Amul Milk by not only sending its team to personally visit the complainant’s house, but also posting a rather lengthy reply on its Facebook page. This brought the negativity down and also managed to restore faith in consumers’ minds.

In an era when consumers can rant and complain about brands that don’t please them with the click of a mouse, how do brands keep up? BestMediaInfo.com spoke to marketing honchos, brand experts and digital heads to understand the importance of a responsive brand in this digital era and the golden rule for keeping the customer happy.

Being ‘all ears’ to the customer

Ramesh Chembath

Ramesh Chembath, Associate Vice-president, Marketing, Godrej Appliances, said, “Customer service is the core for any brand, be it in appliances or any other industry. Throughout history, big and established brands have evolved ways and means to reach out to customers to ensure that the grievances get addressed at the earliest. For example, Godrej has over 600 service centres, just to ensure that the customers get the best service at the earliest. But, the challenge was the limited opportunity for customers to reach out to the company.”

“Therefore, with digital revolution, a whole new world for customer interaction has opened. Today, most customers, before making any purchase, go online to read the feedback on various forums from other buyers. Therefore, if brands don’t address the consumer grievances on time, it will surely leave a negative impact on their minds, which will slowly damage the reputation of the brand,” he added.

Godrej is one of the early adopters of Online Reputation Management (ORM) tools to track positive and negative sentiments in the digital space. Today, the company tracks all digital and social assets, along with numerous online consumer forums, to check consumer feedback and resolve them at the earliest and to their satisfaction. As a result, the company has successfully responded to more than 3,000 queries and grievances on social media and other forums. The golden rule which the brand follows is inclusiveness of all the stakeholders in its journey, and believes in the rule ‘Know your customers like nobody can and serve your customers like nobody will’.

Vivek Nayer

Vivek Nayer, CMO, Automotive Division, M&M, emphasised on the need for brands to first analyse sentiments and act accordingly. “As an automobile major, we are very proactive and responsive. There have been many occasions when consumers have directly tweeted to our Chairman Anand Mahindra for problems faced by them and action has been taken immediately,” he said.

Lloyd Mathias

Lloyd Mathias, Marketing Head of Hewlett-Packard India, said, “Marketing has now become a two-way process, with a consumer’s say having a very important role to play. The golden rule which every brand should follow is to stay honest with consumers and never take them for granted; otherwise, they will come to bite you back. So, if you have committed a mistake, apologise from your heart, but make sure you don’t repeat it.”

For Mad Over Donuts, being a food & beverage company with more than 50 stores across India, it becomes a Herculean task to track and respond to all the appreciation and grievances that they receive each day. To add to this, in a huge community of more than five lakh donut lovers, one wrong move can lead to a crisis. Therefore, to keep the consumers happy, the brand conducts fun campaigns and contests on various platforms. This is done by its social media team which monitors social trends in real time and keeps adding a fun twist wherever possible.

Tarak Bhattacharya

Tarak Bhattacharya, COO, Mad Over Donuts, said, “Today, as the world gets more connected as ever through social media, people love documenting and sharing their opinions and feelings in real time. It is, thus, more important than ever for brands to be cautious and alert about the sentiments shared by their consumers and fans. Each time a brand fails to respond or acknowledge actions of its social media audience, it is a huge missed opportunity.”

He says that the trick also lies in being prompt, because when a brand fails to respond immediately, the number of negative comments and flak towards the brand only increases as time passes, until it snowballs into a PR disaster and the damage becomes irreparable. “The brand then comes across as an entity that does not care about its customer and no customer enjoys being associated with a brand like that,” he explained.

Vijay Kshirsagar, Product and Service Head, Mitashi Edutainment, said, “Through our call centres, we try to at least look into consumer grievances and reply within two hours to any complaint. The severity of the complaint decides how badly it can tarnish the face of the company. But, thanks to the dawn of the digital age, it has now become easier for the consumers to interact with us. We always believe that customers have endowed trust by purchasing our product; now if they face any problem, it is our duty to solve it and never turn our back to them.”

Foster, not fester

Harish Bijoor

Commenting on Flipkart’s apology and Amul’s prompt response, Harish Bijoor, Brand Expert & CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults, said, “The digital age is a ‘quick and now’ age. In this age, responses need to be quick and fast as well. What Flipkart has done is quick and fast. The Bansal apology is a classic one. It addresses issues and addresses fallibility. I call this ‘fallibility branding’. It simply means to say that we are all human beings. All of us err. Please forgive us for this big error. In a day and age when complaints go viral, marketers’ responses can also go viral. That is the learning from Amul’s response, which is a brilliant one. Who would have imagined these cooperative marketers from Anand would be so quick and efficient in response!”

Bijoor’s word of advice to brands is: “If problems are not addressed immediately and are swept under the corporate carpet, they fester. 99% of consumers will not even complain after that first complaint. However, they will nurture a grouse in their hearts. This grouse moves from heart to pocket when the next buying occasion arises. Never allow complaints to fester. Stay honest; stay real; stay fallible. When you make a mistake, sit on top of a mountain and tell everyone that you messed up. Consumers love that. If the error is a particularly serious one, publish a white paper on it and put it in public domain. Never hide. Never ever hide. And never ever pass the buck.”

Saurabh Parmar

Saurabh Parmar, Founder & CEO, Brandlogist, quotes David Ogilvy’s famous words, ‘The consumer isn’t a moron, she is your wife’, and reiterates how relevant it is today. “If consumers are going to talk about you anyway, why shouldn’t you be a part of the conversation?” he asked.

“There are broadly three steps in this entire consumer redressal process, first of which is to make sure your systems are efficient enough to prevent any issues from happening. In case of an issue, you should have an effective social media monitoring system to detect it as soon as possible. Finally, create an effective and courteous response addressing your customers’ concerns. I believe Flipkart failed to deliver on the first point and Amul, despite doing very well on the first and second parameters, failed on the third. They could have definitely been much more courteous when addressing a customer,” Parmar observed.

Nip it in the bud

Zafar Rais

Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift Interactive, pointed out that a customer service redressal and social media response work at different paces. “If you have a dedicated customer service department, the team probably has a process in place that works well to respond to within 48 hours. However, on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, if you let that much time go by before responding to customer inquiries or complaints, it seems like ages. Hence, a swift response of even assuring the customer of guaranteed support works. Simple acts of responding with a timeline or acknowledging receipt of their concerns and then working upon it go a long way,” he stated.

Swati Nathani

Swati Nathani, Co-founder, Team Pumpkin, said, “In these times of unlimited connectivity, you never know when a single tweet or a simple comment spreads like wildfire and causes severe damage to a brand’s reputation. Flipkart and Amul are two different cases. On one hand, Flipkart acknowledged its mistake in front of millions of customers and sought an apology for failing to deliver its promises. Amul, on the other hand, was so confident of its product and operations that it decided to visit that one customer’s home, resolve the matter and close it duly. While Flipkart’s apology ensured repair of its damaged reputation, Amul’s stance enhanced customers’ confidence in the brand.”

Social media gives consumers an upper hand, which sometimes proves to be unfair to brands. “We have had many instances when people who lose a certain contest start writing negative things about brands until they are recognised in some way. This certainly is not a very happy situation for the brands to be in, but through smart customer service and great online reputation management services, this can be taken care of,” Nathani said.

She further added, “I have always believed that customer service should run in the blood of employees of the organisation. If customer service is only limited to lip service, where the only aim is to shut the customer up, it will only last for a short time. To ensure proper customer service, the brand’s entire value chain must practise it – right from quality production to great after-sales service, and the most crucial element in the chain is employees’ attitude towards customers, which can make or break a brand.”

Pratik Gupta

Pratik Gupta, Co-founder, Director – New Business & Innovation, Foxymoron, said, “Treat your brand as a human being. It is very important to manage the online reputation of a brand, which many are not doing. I feel Flipkart’s apology was a genuine one; it committed a mistake, so it accepted it without giving an explanation as to how it happened, but promised not to disappoint its customers again. Amul has also done a fabulous job in clearing the negativity which surfaced on the online medium for a few days. There is no way that a brand will know beforehand of any impending problem, but they can surely stay prepared.”

While the love-hate relationship between brands and customers is more evident than ever in this socially-connected world, brands have to try doubly hard to appease and delight customers, one post at a time. After all, the customer is a bigger king is these times of social media.

Apply now @ Social Media, MNCs Hiring

Economic Times, Oct 20 2014 Article Source: http://bit.ly/SMforMNCs
(These companies aren't…)
NEW DELHI: Uber Cabs and Twitter India are hiring. But unless you follow the right people on Twitter or are on their mailing list, you'll never know about it. These companies aren't putting out advertisements on their websites or using traditional recruitment companies to find them the best candidates; but have been sending out mailers and tweets to customers or followers.
The team for Twitter India has posted tweets inviting candidates to apply for a job in Mumbai.It reads: "Team @TwitterIndia is looking for an associate partnerships manager to join us.#ApplyNow." Uber Cabs is looking for managers and has decided to go the non-traditional route to find them. In a mail to clients in Delhi, it said: "Are you fired up by the opportunity to move your city through data and analytics, world-class support and creative strategy? Come join us!" The company's general manager in Delhi, Gagan Bhatia, said people who have used their service are the ideal candidates since they are locals. "This is a fantastic tool to use for recruiting." Social recruitment has taken off with a bang over the past year. "It's a quick process that helps short-listing candidates while doing some research on them. We help clients like Sula Vineyards and L'Oreal find junior to midand senior-level executives," said Zafar Rais, founder and chief executive at Mindshift Interactive, a digital outreach company . According to Rais, about two million jobs are posted on Twitter every month and around 39% of all job seekers are on Twitter and 23% have leveraged Twitter in their job hunt. In addition to this, 45% of the Fortune 500 companies include links to social media on their career pages and 45% are hiring managers to use social media websites to check candidate backgrounds. The most popular social media or networking sites used for recruiting are LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and BranchOut. And candidates, too, are getting smarter. They are engaging with brands, analysing activities on social media and then drawing out job offers from there. Companies like Aircel, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Expedia and HCL Technologies are conducting recruitment drives exclusively through social media platforms. Some of the other big names in the social recruitment space are Infosys and the Tatas, who use social HR as a tool to recruit prospective employees. Cosmetics brand L'Oreal launched its Facebook page `L'Oreal Careers' and International Business Machines provides a `Smarter Workforce' technology to help businesses capture and understand data from social media. HCL has saved over $500,000 on recruitment costs by leveraging LinkedIn. One of the main reasons for the shift, say social media experts, is that the dynamics of the traditional recruitment processes are changing."Social media has a pull factor. It helps engage prospective candidates and companies have to convince them to work with them. It helps get passionate and more committed candidates than someone who was pursued by an human resource manager," said Ankita Gaba, co-founder of social media knowledge website socialsamosa.com. Sumana Samuk, account director at advertising company Ogilvy & Mather who looks at social media strategy for brands, said companies must be integrated with social media platforms."Business will use this as a way forward to hire.It not only shortens the process of hiring but also saves cost for organisations. In addition to this, social profiles are representative, more or less of what the candidate is and it's good to do research on them before hiring."

Is your virtual presence your new identity to the world?

itsmyascent.com, Oct 10 2014 Article Source: http://bit.ly/SMreput

Zafar Rais

Social media is being utilised in nearly every facet of professional and personal interactions. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, You Tube, and news feeds have made it easy for people to connect online. The upside of this is that it’s easy to build and expand your network which can help you in your job search. Is your virtual presence your new identity to the world? HR heads are now exploring newer ways to know more of the prospective personnel by checking the ‘social health’ and tapping them through social media – LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Evaluating the knowledge and competence comes second, post he/she has crossed the social media test. Profile seems to be the first view about you to make the company realise your worth. With social media driving brands to search candidates, learning how to write a good bio can certainly set you apart. Creating online presence with a good profile does not need an investment of a lot of time. Sketching down as to what describes you the best without forgetting your own personal space is the catch. According to the 2014 census, almost 18 per cent of the entire population of India is using the Internet. It is then, that HR heads realised the potential of social engagement that leads them to understand talent and merge business objective with people’s personal goal. Deciding on how you intend to use social media and to whom you would want to share access through your personal life is a decision that is purely yours. You don’t necessarily need to completely sanitise your profiles because companies want to hire real people. With regards to Facebook, the privacy setting allows you to share certain information with people out of your friend circle. Here, taking the decision of what exactly you would keep public (a feature of Facebook to allow data to be shared outside your friend circle) is what companies would review and create a perception about you. Drunken party pictures, hate messages and provocative images would work against your favour and might also strike you off the list of a company you desire to enter. On the other hand, a business-friendly platform like LinkedIn will judge you on various aspects like past work experience, talent, nominations and skills. Many employers conduct a basic internet search on their job candidates to learn more about them. Make sure that what they find is positive and reflects well on you.  Also making sure your profiles’ summary has the right keywords will enable yielding the right results. Share company news, industry articles that will help attract more people to view your profile. Hence, goggle yourself to see what pops up in your search. If there are distasteful images or comments that you’ve posted or friends have attributed to you - take them down and ask your friends to remove any pictures or comments that you wouldn’t want a prospective employer to see. Be vigilant about maintaining your privacy online. Make sure you secure your privacy settings on Facebook and other social media sites, so that only trusted friends can see your pictures, your wall and updates. The author is CEO, MindShift Interactive

Selling Via Text: WhatsApp An Emerging Marketing Tool

startupadda.com, Oct 6 2014 11 The article is an authored by Mr. Zafar on WhatsApp as an emerging marketing tool for branding. The article provides a link-back to MindShift Interactive website and HomeShop18’s microsite

Selling Via Text: WhatsApp An Emerging Marketing Tool

NextBigWhat.com, Oct 1 2014 12 The article is an authored by Mr. Zafar on WhatsApp as an emerging marketing tool for branding. The article provides a link-back to MindShift Interactive website and HomeShop18’s microsite

Marketing through mobiles

The Smart Manager, October 1 2014 Picture1 The one page article highlights  the perspective of Mr. Zafar Rais on the new trend of appvertising and how can it can create value for brands

Influencer Marketing: How It Can Make Your Brand Tick?

BusinessInsider.com, Sep 30 2014 Article Source: http://bit.ly/DigiMktng In these times of digital marketing expansion, influencer marketing is the buzz word that you come across every now and then. However, very few marketers understand how to use this form of marketing effectively to get the best results on the digital media platform. What is influencer marketing? In offline context, children, family, friends and colleagues - all are big influencers in the consumers' decision to buy something. In online context, influencers are individuals who have a persuasive voice, authenticity and an audience on the web. Brands can leverage these social influencers to gain voice in user content and feedback surrounding their products. This is what influencer marketing is. In other words, one can define influencer marketing as a way of digital marketing, where a company/brand focuses on enrolling people who have an established credibility and audience on the social media platform to spread good word about its brand. Why influencer marketing makes sense for your brand Influencer marketing is a significant tool and plays an important role in a brand's social media strategy. But what makes this tool so important? Well, the consumers are listening to people online before, while and after making their purchase decision and traditional ads are becoming less important and less credible to consumers. 74% consumers make their purchasing decisions on the basis of what is said on social media, reports a study conducted by digital marketing agency ODM Group. 78% respondents of this study said that the companies' posts on social media impact their purchases, while 90% of them trust peer recommendations, and ads are trusted only by 33%. As per the data shared by Mindshift Interactive, information by brand advocates is 70% more likelier to be seen as good and credible, and social media referrals are 71% more likelier to result in a purchase decision. A nielsen study suggests that influencers on social media help grab those audiences who have begun tuning out of traditional ads, banners etc, and become more active on social media. What's highly influential on social media? Influencers on Facebook and Twitter seem to have a say on the digital medium. 92% of the social media influencers have an account on Facebook, and 83% of them post more than once per week. About 88% of these influencers have a twitter account, and 71% of them tweet at least once a week. According to a research by SproutSocial, out of the 53% people who use Twitter to recommend any company, service or product, 48% purchase that product or service. Twitter is said to be the number one platform for influencing electronics related purchase decisions, says research by Mashable. Zafar Rais, CEO of MindShift Interactive says, "Influencer Marketing is crucial in today's times towards building evangelism & adoption. As social media climbs the communication ladder with speed, businesses must further understand & embrace the value of influencers. Many popular brands in the region are approaching the 'Twitterati' as they play an important role in creating awareness, promoting products and in encouraging online communities to try new things. These influencers are passionate and when they are made to understand a brand appropriately & be part of it as ambassadors, they can be of great advantage towards helping your brand gain momentum and sustain it, which should be the ideal strategy." Tips for marketers When going out on influencing your influencers on the social media, marketers can take hint from the following tips: ● When scouting for influencers for your brand/product/company, go beyond the demographic filters and explore the passion and interests of your potential influencers. This ensures a deeper connect and better fit between your product and the influencer. ● Indulge and engage the influencers with the content that interests them. This will add value to them and their audience, which means better results for your brand. ● Influencer marketing is not about reaching audience huge number of prospective buyers; it is about quality connection with your audience. So, focus on the quality of interaction you get out of the influencer marketing approach. ● Don't treat influencers just as your marketing platform. Invest time and effort in understanding them and building a long-term relationship with them. ● Keep a track of how the interaction and engagement initiatives involving the influencers result for your in terms of leads, conversations, attendance at events, etc.

Will Twitter Analytics drive advertisers away from paid promotions?

Exchange4media.com, September 24 2014 6 With the recent feature update on Twitter, the article highlights industry over views on the feature and how will the impact for it be. The industry experts contributing are Gautamm Mehra, Business Head (Social Media) of iProspect Communicate 2, Mr. Zafar Rais, CEO MindShift Interactive followed by Parminder Singh, Managing Director of Twitter (Southeast Asia/India/MENA), Bhupendra Khanal, CEO and Founder of Simplify360 and Suveer Bajaj, Founding Partner of FoxyMoron

Gaming : Console vs Mobile

Telecom LiveSeptember 24 2014 4 The impactful exposure on insightful  thoughts from Mr. Zafar Rais along with Mr. Manish Agarwal – CEO Reliance Games and Nitish Mittersain – CEO Nazara Technologies share about gaming on console or mobile

 Is Social Media your career path?

Afternoon D&C, September 24 2014 Article Source: http://bit.ly/CareerInSM
Social Media has taken over the world with its fresh interactive methods and varied options for personal communication. Due to the sizable active users that frequently visit the social networking sites on a daily basis, it is now a part of a person’s routine and a great career option, writes Zafar Rais – CEO MindShift Interactive Posting a quick tweet to make purchase decisions is part of our shopping experience today. A decade ago, we explored specific virtual destination for topic related interactions and now agencies have begun to leverage their brands through the use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked In and WhatsApp. In recent years, the extensive use of the platform has also opened career opportunities in the field of social media marketing and strategizing. Big, small or medium – agencies are looking at professionals who can head a strong team for a positive brand presence on the digital platform. An agency would hire you depending upon a limited skill list. Keeping the same in mind, job profiles are sketched below. A servicing agency and a social media agency do have common links but what sets them apart is the nature of engagement and platforms of work. A role of the Online Community Manager is diverse. This professional is a liaison between a company and an online community (social networks, message boards and email groups). As more people come together online to share similar interests and ideas, online marketers have the perfect opportunity to target these groups and pitch their own products and services. The online community manager's goal is to use online communities to increase brand loyalty and web traffic and to maximise their company's social media marketing strategy. It involves analytical, creative and business-oriented skills to promote a company, products and services. An online community manager never has the same job on any single day; their role involves adapting to new online technologies and social media tools. Social Media Marketing Managers, on the other hand, oversee the design and execution of social media marketing strategies. Their goal is to drive audience growth and bring their company and brands to the forefront. A number of social media tools are used to analyse the best marketing tactics for each social site. Since each social networking platform works differently, content has to be adapted to maximise its effects. The social media marketing manager oversees the communications strategy for these platforms and delegates their goals and expectations to the rest of the social media team. Search Engine Optimizer (SEO): An SEO expert is responsible for improving a company's organic search results. Their job involves analysing websites, testing different marketing techniques and creating new quality content. SEO specialists use social media websites to market new content. In an age where digital technology outperforms print sources, social media is a quick way to spread more than status updates and commercial information. Every campaign requires research. Innovating and working out of the box requires knowledge on what are brands doing apart from your own. The Research Manager helps understand market trends in the digital space, providing analysis on the performance of brands on social media, consulting brands on their strategies and their way forward, overlooking the reporting structure of the company and ensuring that the employees are updated with the latest tools and techniques on social media. An agency does have a manager, who services the brands with a strategised plan known as the Account Manager, similar to that of any other agency. The job entails overlooking the brand on day-to-day basis, daily client coordination, daily monitoring the social media properties, managing the team, monthly campaign execution and ensuring targets are met. Considered to be a multifaceted Interactive Project Manager (jack-of-all-trades), the 'IPM' has in-depth knowledge and experiences in a variety of platforms and interfaces. Most IPMs will understand different protocols and have excellent communication and organisational skills. In the professional sense, Blogging (Corporate Blogging, Revenue generating Blogs, etc) is what has caught up with time. The Blogger must create regular content which promotes the marketing message or other focused material that advances the company. Social networks allow us to discover, connect, and engage with the right people. Careers in this field help socially engaging with the potential consumers on a personal level. Making your presence felt on each and every platform is not necessary, but choosing the right medium and going by the simple rules of the network will definitely help towards creating a MindShift experience.

ALS Ice bucket challenge going beyond mundane viral marketing

indianmediabooks.comSeptember 18 2014 Article Source: http://bit.ly/alsib

1img300Viral marketing or virality is a highly abused digital marketing term that gained prominence in India when Dhanush decided to create the masterpiece called Kolaveri Di. Soon came Gangnam Style, Harlem Shake and then memes like our very own babuji jokes or Alia Bhatt trolls.

The mere thought of videos of people shoving iced water on their heads turning into a phenomenon makes one question the very definition of the term viral. But here is the ALS Ice Bucket challenge – one of the biggest viral phenomenon that tied names such as Justin Beiber and George Bush in one string.

ALS Ice Buck Challenge – the phenomenon

The challenge first got live and received increased media attention in the US on the 30th of June when personalities from the ‘Golf Channel’ show, ‘Morning Drive’, did a live performance of the challenge on-air. This then got the challenge mainstream. Pete Frates, former Boston college baseball player, also suffering from ALS began supporting and posting about the challenge on Twitter. Frate’s sporting connections became the initial focus of the challenge and strengthened its focus on ALS.

Commenting on the phenomenon Zafar Rais, CEO MindShift Interactive said, “Within a short span of time, social media has helped the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to raise both, money and awareness very effectively. The success of the challenge through the medium reinstates the greatness of social media. The campaign has seen excellent awareness, celebrity involvement at an organic level and tons of chatter across the globe.”

Over 50 political figures, 200 notable actors and actresses, 200 athletes and 220 musicians participated for the cause. Indian celebrities like Sunny Leone, Sidharth Malhotra, Akshay Kumar, Bipasha Basu, Riteish Deshmukh, Abhishek Bachchan, Sania Mirza, Hansika Motwani and many more took the challenge to carry the flag forward.

The social media legend

Within a short span of time, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge lit social media on fire, raising both money and awareness. The challenge became a solid case in the clout of earned media.

But how widespread has this been?

Social media wise, 90 per cent of people are viewing the content, eight per cent are sharing or liking it, and the remaining two per cent create the content.

Over 28 million people across Facebook have posted about, commented or liked a post related to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and 2.4 million videos related to the ice bucket challenge have been shared. People have also posted more than 1.2 million videos.

About 2,330,000 videos related to Ice Bucket Challenge have been cited on YouTube. The phenomenon has been mentioned more than 2.2 million times on Twitter since July 29.

Goldmine for marketers

Viral elements become social media influencers amongst themselves. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge witnessed some of the biggest brands leveraging on it to create engagement prospects.

The challenge managed to engage a few gadgets as well. Now, this social media phenomenon is indeed a winner. Samsung’s Galaxy S5, the waterproof phone also took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in its new ad, donating the money to ALS and nominated its competing water proof phones iPhone 5s, HTC One M8 and Nokia Lumia 930 to take the challenge.

The results will leave your mouth wide open

The ALS team last year generated a total amount of US$88.5 million since July 29-Aug 26, this effort raised over 34 TIMES the amount for ALS compared to the same period last year (US$88.5m vs. US$2.5m).

With a nearly 800 per cent increase in donations, organic celebrity involvement, supreme rise In conversation and the tremendous amount of content generated and shared on brand channels and by individuals, the Ice Bucket Challenge has been more than a success.

Virality has always been associated with marketing, engagement with consumers and popularity of a brand. But the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge brings forth the fact that the basics of viral marketing can be used to achieve something far greater.

Influencer Marketing: How to Build Relationships with Influencers on Twitter?

iamwire.com, September 13 2014 Article Source: http://bit.ly/InflncrMktng
What is Influencer Marketing? This form of marketing can be understood as the practice of focusing on people who have an established credibility and audience. They are individuals with a voice that persuades others by their authenticity and “easy to relate to” content. We look at influencers as the public figures who emerge from the crowds and impact our decision making abilities. The concept of influencers comes from the very beginning of our life span. Our parents, teachers, friends and other important individuals have advised and influenced our choices due to which we always learn from others before we take any leaps. The next question is, “What drives us to learn from someone who we only know through glamorous profiles and their extravagant number of followers? The answer to that can vary from “They have seen more than us” or “They are interesting and good looking” and more. Whichever way the response goes, it is concluded that these individuals have the power to engage, educate and attract you. social media_iamwire Image Source: Shutterstock When you align with an influencer, not only do they bring their audience, but they also bring their audience’s network as well. Because of the loyalty of their audience, an influencer has the ability to drive traffic to your site, increase your social media exposure, and flat-out sell your product through their recommendation or story about their experience. Once we understand the importance of Influencers, we question ourselves on how we can build relations with these individuals. Let’s understand that further by looking at influencers on Twitter, which is a popular space other than the blogger forums that gives influencers an area to practice their voice and creative flare. Show Your Love You can begin by following them and then showing your love when an influencer tweets any message which is relevant to you or your brand, retweet these messages and also the links to their blog. Ask For Their Opinions Frame simple questions and @mention their handles. This will show them that you value their thoughts and appreciate their expertise. Mention and Express Gratitude Once you have caught their attention mention them and express gratitude, it is always best practice to get a quick “go ahead” on any content that you may want to disclose to a mass audience about an individual. Your influencers may have fans who might not like you misusing their influencer’s position so it’s best to have them onboard. Write about your influencer and @mention them in a tweet for them to share. This is a way of joining. Stay Connected Once you have formed a bond, stay connected by continuing to talk to them and retweeting their posts. When you find the right space and time, invite them to write exclusive content/write a blog or mention you in their video log and they will be more than happy to do so. Always remember, influencers are not your celebrity endorsements. They have a voice of their own, a self created fan following and it is important you find influencers who are interested in your offerings. Don’t forget that they are passion driven, so if you include them in your pre-launch process, give them the elite treatment, and involve them alongside all marketing campaigns, then your influencers will become more a part of your team than one-off novelties. About the Author: Zafar Rais is the CEO of Mindshift Interactive and has a well-heeled experience of 15 years in areas of Marketing, Branding, Business Development, Operations, Research and Product Innovation. Through his entrepreneurial venture he promises to deliver an Insightful Digital Outreach for businesses and create a Social Media presence that is intelligent, impactful, innovative and, most of all, sustained.

Visual Trends Leading The Way In Social Media

Business InsiderSeptember 10 2014 Article Sourcehttp://bit.ly/SMvisualTrends
Today's society is turning into a visually mediated one. For the audience, it is much simpler to get the message through to an individual via images as compared to reading text. Not just that, visual content defies all language barriers. And that's the reason why visuals are playing a key role in driving content marketing in social media. Platforms like Instagram and Pinterest driving visual content With the popularity of Instagram and Pinterest, visual marketing is becoming a core part of social media marketing. Brands that work wonders with images can successfully use Instagram and Pinterest as a platform while sharing news about the brand. Pinterest traffic is proving to be the longest lasting social media post, so taking the time to create a pin in the perfect size is well worth the time. 42% of all Tumblr posts are photos. Not just that, Pinterest users follow more brands than Facebook or twitter users. Now that in itself proves why visual content is key to a brand's social media marketing strategy. Telling the brand story through pictures The popular saying 'A picture is worth a thousand words' applies aptly for brands on social media. When it comes to their products, businesses are learning to show, not tell, and visual content sites are fuelling our desire for beautiful photography and sensational design. Two years ago, marketers were spreading the maxim that "content is king," but now, it seems, "a picture really is worth a thousand words."And why not? The numbers support that a brand story unfolded through pictures has a larger reach and impact. According to data shared by Mindshift Interactive: 40% of visual content is more likely to be shared by users on social media than text content. Not only that, 80% visual content is always recalled by people, leading to a better way of tapping the target audience. Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift Interactive, says, "The ability to make your viewers watch an advertisement, share it and talk about it is when the true return on investment in visual marketing is seen. With diminishing attention spans amongst the youth, brand messaging needs to break the advertisement clutter and speak sense to the viewer within a shorter period of a few seconds. Instagram has increasingly shown success in creating and disseminating such brand messaging, allowing it to also break cultural barriers through a visual journey." Why pictures work better? Science supports the fact why pictures have a stronger impression on people's mind than text content. Scientific studies establish that coloured content stays better in a person's mind than black and white and 90% of information that is sent to the brain is actually visual. This clearly helps a brand in getting its message to the consumer. In fact, a study conducted at Wharton School of Business states that 67% people were persuaded by the brand person who supported the conversation with related images. Moreover, pictures convey the message in a much shorter time than text and thus it is more effective. The average attention span of a person is eight seconds and a visual content takes just one-fourth of a second to register that is quite helpful for a brand looking to catch attention of the consumers. Making brand message easily shareable and spread faster An interesting visual help people connect better with it and as mentioned earlier, people tend to share it further. This makes the message shareable and spread faster than a text content about the brand. Design matters When focusing on visual content for social media, It is important that brands focus on having a consistent design and theme. For instance, it is important to have a specific colour palette as it is an instant visual cue to the audience and they connect it immediately to the brand across different social media platforms. While designing the visual content one should focus on having two or three colours as that is the maximum amount recommended for a colour palette. In marketing, they say it is all about telling your story, with visual marketing in social media, we can say it is all about showing your story.
Tags : Social Media, Digital, Digital Marketing, Marketing, Campaign, Internet Marketing, Social Media marketing, Digital Agency, Media, Influencer Marketing

Is Social Media your career path?

Afternoon D&C, September 10 2014 7 8 The two page exposure in the Education and Career section is an authored piece by Mr. Zafar Rais highlighting the career options in a social media agency

Programmatic ads cannot replace sales teams

Exchange4media.com, September 10 2014 5 The article highlights the view by industry experts on the programmatic ads. Along with Zafar Rais, CEO MindShift Interactive the others include Swapnil Shrivastav, VP (Ad Tech) at Times Internet, Sanjay Tripathy, Senior Executive Vice President and Head (Marketing, Product, Digital & E-Commerce) of HDFC Life Insurance and Narayan Murthy Ivaturi, Director - Global Sales & Strategy, Vserv.mobi

How your can be next Ice Bucket Challenge : What marketers can learn from it?

Hindu Business Line – The Catayst, September 10 2014   Picture2 3 The article highlights the positives marketers can learn from the virality of the Ice Bucket Challenge. Along with Mr. Zafar Rais, Siddhartha Ramakrishna – Bangalore based brand professional, Greg Cash – Communications Director of ALS Foundation, David Dubois - Asst Professor Wharton School, Jonah Berger, Vineet Karnik – National Director of Group M, Ankita Gaba – Co-Founder of Social Samosa

HOW HOMESHOP 18 USED WHATSAPP MARKETING FOR ‘SHOPPING MAKES ME HAPPY’ CAMPAIGN

Pitchonnet.inSeptember 9 2014 Article Source: http://bit.ly/WAinHS18
HomeShop-18-copyfff
Homeshop 18, the shopping destination for all age groups, wanted to expand its target reach and change the mindset of consumers. The two mascots Sunny & Billy were introduced this year to engage consumers on an individual level. The challenge was to change the perception of customers and position HomeShop 18 as an all-rounder, as compared to just a TV Shopping network. How did the brand amplify this message on social media? HomeShop 18 tied up with Mindshift Interactive, a trusted digital marketing agency that understood the brand and its target audience through its association with it for over 2 years. The various phases of the campaign started rolling out from June this year. The 360 degree digital outreach used platforms like Facebook, Twitter, a Microsite and WhatsApp to create awareness. For the first time, digital marketing explored a new medium in the mix – WhatsApp Marketing, considering the strong penetration it has in India. MindShift Interactive designed the campaign by using WhatsApp to spread happiness for users’ on-the-go via amusing memes and jokes through the father-son duo of Billy and Sunny, whilst providing offers to consumers as well. Over 200,000 WhatsApp subscribers were sent daily content. The customers also had an option to subscribe to these memes, updates on the ‘Caturday’ Sales and offers and be part of the enjoyable life of Billy and Sunny. On social media, Billy and Sunny were used to engage with the customers through individual Twitter handles. Their conversations were focused on generic topics like happiness and excitement around shopping, fashion, jokes, etc. The duo interacted with key opinion leaders and digital enthusiasts, as two individuals that were passionate about shopping and spreading happiness through it. On Facebook, the content included the theme of happiness and extended to interesting promotions and deals that ensured happy customers. The engagement rate soared up to 45 per cent, while the digital commerce portal saw a total of 30 per cent more visits than the usual days. On the day of the campaign launch, Homeshop18 conducted a contest to encourage customers to participate by sharing Happy Moments over a period of 3 days across Twitter, Facebook and the microsite using the hashtag #18HappyMoments. The happiest tweets received daily gifts that ranged from a VU LED TV, Nikon Camera, iPad etc, hence making the Shopping Makes Me Happy concept go viral. The campaign strategy, conceptualization and development took approximately 4 months. Mindshift Interactive made sure the right branding, platforms and communication were adopted, to represent the mascots..

Debate over brands riding the ‘ALS Ice Bucket Challenge’ wave

Bestmediainfo.com, September 8 2014 Article Source: http://bit.ly/BrandDebate

Brand icons such as the Pillsbury Doughboy, the Old Spice Man, KFC’s Colonel and McDonald’s Ronald McDonald have taken the challenge to take pot shots at their rivals. But is this tantamount to trivialising a critical issue like ALS?

ALS-Ice-Bucket-Challenge

With the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge getting attention of people from all walks of life, brand icons and mascots could not be far behind. International brands are using the challenge to make a statement and also to promote their products. Brands like Samsung’s Galaxy S5 and brand mascots like the Pillsbury Doughboy, the Old Spice Man, KFC’s Colonel and McDonald’s Ronald McDonald have taken the challenge to highlight their respective product features and also to take pot shots at their rivals.

In one of the videos, Samsung’s Galaxy S5 phone takes the Ice Bucket Challenge, donates money to ALS and also nominates its competing water-proof phones – iPhone 5s, HTC One M8 and Nokia Lumia 930 – to take the challenge.

KFC’s Colonel Sanders gets himself dunked in a KFC bucket filled with ice. In the video, he further announces that for each participant accepting the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and using a KFC bucket, KFC will donate an additional $100, giving up to $10,000 in total.

Isaiah Mustafa, the American actor widely recognised as the Old Spice man, also accepted the challenge, but couldn’t complete it because ‘his perfectly cold muscles rejected cold water’, the video conveys. Even though he couldn’t perform the challenge, Mustafa pledged to donate $1,000 for the cause.

BestMediaInfo.com spoke to brand and digital experts to understand if it is a good idea to ride a popularity wave or exercise caution when dealing with sensitive issues like ALS.

Harish Bijoor

Harish Bijoor, CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults, said, “I don’t like the idea of brands taking the Ice Bucket Challenge. For me it is like fishing in muddy water. Personally, I have never liked the format of the Ice Bucket Challenge but it was okay, considering it was raising awareness on ALS. But now, with brands joining the league for their own marketing and publicity purposes, it has become very nasty. You are trivialising a critical issue like ALS.”

Bijoor expressed his disagreement in a tweet that he posted a few days ago.

Santosh Kumar, Co-founder, Webitude, said, “Social media is a space where the public considers the brand not as a product but more as a friend. Therefore, taking the Ice Bucket Challenge by brands is a very smart way of guerrilla marketing where they are diluting the proposition. There is no doubt that every brand leverages topical issues, but they should also act more responsibly. What I find with these brands is that they have forgotten the responsibility part. I liked the videos in which the employees of an organisation are seen undertaking the challenge; it shows rising awareness, has a fun element in the videos and money is being donated to the ALS fund.”

Pratik Gupta, Co-founder, Foxymoron, sees no harm in brands taking the challenge. “Brands in the social media space have become a personality by coming closer to people. So, my question is if individuals can undertake the Ice Bucket Challenge, why can’t brands?” he asked.

Zafar Rais

Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift Interactive, informed us that within a short span of time, social media has helped the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge raise both money and awareness very effectively. “The success of the challenge through the medium reinstates the greatness of social media. Over 28 million people across Facebook have posted, commented or liked a post related to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and over 1.2 million videos have been uploaded. The campaign has seen excellent awareness, celebrity involvement at an organic level and tons of chatter across the globe,” he said.

Facebook is a must-be medium, while You Tube tops engagement!

Shine, August 18 2014 Article Source: http://bit.ly/FBisMust
Facebook is a must-be medium, while You Tube tops engagement!The social media war is on and is only set to get hotter. We share some statistics on how various media are getting ranked and a detail on who uses Facebook the most.
According to research data Facebook users in India are expected to hit 108.9 million by the end of 2014, from 77.8 million in 2013. Must be medium: In terms of social media useage, Facebook seems to be the must-be medium that anyone who is on the net has to to be on! This is followed by Twitter, next comes Google Plus, Linkedin, Tumblr and Pinterest respectively, as per statistics available for India in 2014. Young, males online hang-out: Facebook in India is the hot medium of the young generation, especially males! Over 71% of FB users are male and 47% of users are between the age group of 18 to 24 years. The next largest age group is the 25 to 34 year group, comprising 29% of users. Only 5% of users are above the age of 45! Metro mania: The 3 key metros with maximum Facebook users are Mumbai (3.7 M), Delhi (1.6 M) and Bangalore (1.3M) respectively. However FB is now increasingly gaining popularity in the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities and towns like Raipur, Nagpur, Kochi, Manali etc are increasingly gaining users. The medium that entices: However in terms of engagement, which means amount of time spent on a single medium, plus number of pages surfed per visit, You Tube tops the list! Next on the list comes Google Plus followed by LinkedIn, Twiiter and Facebook respectively. This is as per a survey by Shareaholic done over a six month period. This means that though is on FB, what actually engages the audience is You Tube! Internet on an uptrend: With technology playing its part, the rise of internet users in India has been tremendous over the last few years. We grew from 121 million in 2011 to 243 million active users in 2014 and this number is expected to go to a staggering 300 million by the end of 2015. By end of 2014 itself, it is estimated that India will be ranked as the second largest nation in terms of internet users. This increased use internet clubbed with increasing mobile useage is definitely leading to increased use of social media. (All statistics given above are as shared by Mindshift Interactive)

Channel V gave a chance to the youth to survive breakups and move on

newssuperfast.com, August 12 2014 Article Source: http://bit.ly/Vsuprfst
Perhaps the best way to get over a relationship break-up is to talk about it, and meet new people. For many youngsters, hitting the dance floor and grooving till the music dies is a sure way to laugh again, and feel rejuvenated. This is how Channel V’s new show ‘Jhalli Anjali KeTooteyDil Ki Amazing Story’ comforted the country’s youths reeling through a break-up, by organizing multi city break-up parties as part of the launch marketing campaign for the show. The parties got better with none other than Anjali from the channel’s new show ‘Jhalli Anjali KeTooteyDil Ki Amazing Story’, who was partying along too. With the tagline of ‘Bitter tha par better ho saktahai’, the show takes the audience to Anjali’s healing and self-discovery journey after her first breakup. After going live on Channel V on April 28, the show interacted with its young viewers through breakup parties organisedin Pune, Jaipur, Chandigarh, and Indore Shows like ‘Jhalli Anjali KeTooteyDil Ki Amazing Story’ – along with other newly-launched shows like ‘YehJawani Tara riri’ – have been designed with Channel V’s focus on the country’s youth, and a new brand thought that, ‘What feels so right, can’t be wrong’ said PremKamath – EVP&GM, Channel V. ‘The breakup parties aim to engage with our audience and since they are all gathering under a common agenda as personal as breakups, it is definitely a somewhat bonding moment for everyone who joins us’ he added. With the help of our digital partner, a strong digital buzz was created about the multi-city break up parties and associations with strong media brands like HT and Red FM ensured deeper reach to the youths in these cities. Commenting on the campaign Mr. Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift Interactive said ‘We are glad to be associated with CHANNEL V, which has pioneered unique youth engagement
initiatives since its inception. We strategically targeted young audiences and captured their attention via the Event Page this time, that communicates Break Up Parties across the country. The campaign reached out to 2.4 mn people across the country. Creative visuals & thought provoking content are successfully doing justice to increasing curiosity while twitter engagements are working their way up towards further increasing awareness about the campaign as a whole. We look forward some interesting benchmarks being created once again!’ Channel V, the No 1 youth entertainment channel, reaches 16 million viewers. It is present across youth touch points on air, online, ground and mobile. It has a ground presence of 3 million participants with its ground property ‘Channel V India Youth Fest’. It reaches to 1.1 million youngsters with its VithU mobile app, while it reaches out to more than 5 million fans on the digital platform.

Twitter India’s $10,000 minimum budget irks agencies, brands

exchange4media.com, August 12 2014 Article Source: http://bit.ly/IndianTwitter

Twitter might be concentrating on increasing its user base in India and forging relations with broadcasters and content owners, but by asking Indian marketers to cough up a pre-set minimum budget before using any of its promotional tools is putting off many clients.

Agencies we spoke to said that Twitter asks marketers for a sum to the tune of $10,000 or around Rs 6 lakh as a minimum commitment for any campaign. The campaign can be run for three months, though agencies said that in many cases, this period could be negotiated and extended. By agreeing to spend at least this amount on the campaign, brands can then make use of Twitter’s promotional tools such as promoted tweets, promoted accounts and promoted trends.

This does not apply to the hashtag campaigns, contests, or other Twitter activities that brands carry out on Twitter. However, if a brand wants to use any of these three tools to boost its organic reach, then it will have to be ready to pay at least this minimum amount.

“The beauty of digital is that you can start small and then scale up. Here, they (Twitter) are asking you to work on a traditional media model,” argued Siddharth Hegde, MD and Founder, Ethinos Digital Marketing.

At a time when a promoted post on Facebook starts from as little as a few hundred rupees, it is no wonder that many brands are a bit wary of investing such a big amount and, that too, in a single quarter. Zafar Rais, CEO, Mindshift Interactive remarked, “Twitter is evolving gradually, but the entry point of Rs 6 lakh is too high, which makes brands sceptical. Facebook is a cheaper option. For agencies to see 100 per cent value in Twitter, there needs to be transparency. A lot of budgets are set on a quarterly basis and clients balk at investing so much money on one platform.”

Another reason for this scepticism, he added, is that brands have been used to doing a lot of generic stuff on Twitter such as hashtag campaigns and contests. These have, in most cases, served the brand well. To make use of Twitter’s promotional tools at such a high investment does not really fit in with the short-term campaigns that most brands run. It might probably be more suitable for those who want to continue a campaign over a period of a couple of quarters as it would help to spread out the costs.

The head of another digital agency acknowledged that the minimum budget was a barrier. “If the amount asked would have been rational, it would not have been a problem. If you see results, then you might still pay. Right now it is unchartered territory for brands,” he said.

Chetan Asher, Co-founder, Tonic Media, suggested that brands would probably have invested that much amount if left to themselves, but making it mandatory creates a mental block. When asked whether he had seen reluctance by his clients on investing in Twitter due to this, he said, “Clients mull over it and are slow in adopting it (Twitter advertising), though not completely ruling it out.”

Sanjay Mehta, Co-CEO, Social Wavelength agreed that Facebook is taking away the bulk of advertising money right now due to it having more options and the targeting being sharper. But he, too, said that despite the minimum budget, clients are willing to put in the money.

It would do well to remember here that until 2013, even US advertisers had a minimum budget requirement of $5,000 for a period of three months. However, this was done away with when self-service ads were made generally available to advertisers in the US. Perhaps, we might see something similar in India when the market matures a bit more. For example, Asher told us that after one has met the guaranteed amount for the first campaign, Twitter’s sales representatives tend to be bit more flexible about the minimum budget.

However, the challenges in India are very different. Digital marketing has just started picking up over the last couple of years. India has one of the largest numbers of small and medium industries who might have been keen to get on to Twitter to promote their brand but for this huge roadblock. Even among the large brands, an understanding about how effective social media can be for promotions and advertising is just dawning.

Another thing, say agencies, is that Twitter ads in India are ‘self-serve’, but not ‘self-buy’. Basically, to buy a Twitter ad, one has to go through its appointed representative, in the case of India, Komli Media.

According to Suveer Bajaj, Co-founder and Director (Operations), FoxyMoron, “The $10,000 commitment is kind of putting off. Twitter ads also cannot be bought directly from Twitter, but have to be bought through Komli (Komli Media). This year, the cost per follower has also gone up from Rs 30 to Rs 40-45, so it is still not a commercially viable option.”

Twitter’s India representatives had not replied to our emails or calls at the time of filing this report.

Facebook trumps Twitter as marketers’ favourite?

Exchange4Media.com, August 11 2014 Article Source: http://bit.ly/FBTwitterAds

Over the past months, both Facebook and Twitter have made a string of additions and improvements to their advertising inventory. These include new ad units, better targeting, more efficient tools for advertisers, etc. This comes at a time when both these social media giants are attempting to increase ad revenues from non-US geographies, especially from developing nations like India.

For example, according to reports on Facebook’s recent earnings reports, only 0.23% of its advertising revenue was from India, which translates to about $12.5 million. A paltry sum if you consider that India hosts Facebook’s second largest user base after the US. Twitter’s revenues from India are not known but Rishi Jaitly, Head of India Business for Twitter had said that the current emphasis for the microblogging platform, which has around 20 million users in India, was to increase the user base.

Digital marketing spends have been increasing at a rapid pace in the country over the last couple of years. According to the 2013 PITCH Madison report on media spends, digital is expected to grow the fastest among all advertising mediums in 2014 at 32.4%. But most of these spends, when it comes to social media, have traditionally been spent on fan acquisition and engagement activities. The amount spend on actual advertising on Facebook and Twitter is still negligible, though digital agencies we spoke to expect it to grow in the future and the new optimizations and ad tools being available to advertisers could have a role to play.

Facebook remains advertiser favourite

Despite the nascence of the new advertiser tools, Facebook is still the favourite option for advertisers between the two, say agencies. To be fair to Twitter, they have been present in India for far less amount of time. Facebook, with its years of presence, has built more trust with brands. Also, there are more case studies that brands and agencies can refer to.

Apart from this, Facebook also provides more ad options for advertisers than Twitter. To get an idea, Twitter has just three main advertising options available, which are, promoted trend, promoted account and promoted posts. Recently, Twitter released Amplify which is a tool that attempts to bridge the gap between TV and digital advertising. Recently, it was launched in India in partnership with Vodafone and Star Sports.

Agencies also agree that Facebook’s targeting is much better than Twitter’s. “Twitter just started targeting by location and one can still not target on the basis of gender, interests or age,” said Suveer Bajaj, Co-Founder and Director (Operations), FoxyMoron. Social Wavelength’s Co-CEO, Sanjay Mehta also said that Facebook takes away the bulk of ad money because of these reasons. “Twitter is a little more of carpet bombing. However, for campaigns of urgency, Twitter does work,” he said.

Similarly, Zafar Rais, CEO of Mindshift Interactive, opined that advertising on Twitter would increase if agencies start seeing 100% value in it. The reason why many advertisers are put off by Twitter is because it is more expensive and a certain minimum commitment in terms of ad spends is required by Twitter from advertisers, which further puts off clients say agencies. “What it(Twitter) does is more like a traditional media model rather than digital which allows you to scale up from small investments,” said Siddharth Hegde, Founder of Ethinos Digital Marketing.

Social ad spends growing

Vivek Bhargava, MD of iProspect Communicate 2 feels the numbers are low only when compared with global standards. “The growth rate that we have seen from our clients has really picked up in the last 6-10 months and we can expect the entire segment to be worth at least a few thousand crores easily in the next 5-10 years,” he said. Sanjay Mehta, Co-CEO of Social Wavelength also said that brands are keen to experiment with new ad options, whether it is app download ads, custom ads, etc. According to him, fan acquisition used to take away the majority of spends earlier but this is just not relevant these days.

A major chunk of marketing spends go into digital, says Rais. “There is a lot of hope for the new Facebook tools,” he further added.

But not everyone is convinced with the new ad units

Amit Tiwari, Director & Country Head (Media) of Philips India, however feels that not all the new optimizations introduced by Facebook and Twitter have 100% proof of success as they are still at a very nascent stage. “I don’t believe in generating conversations on the basis of payments. TV will continue to remain the main medium for advertisement in the country for years to come. Digital is a supplementary medium for most advertisers who want to draw more audiences,” he said.

The digital head of a broadcaster said that though they had been approached about using Twitter’s new Amplify tool, it did not make sense as the spends would not be justified. Rais also agrees that, unlike Facebook which has been around for years, there are still no valid Indian case studies for Twitter that brands can refer to.

Facebook has the most ad options available for advertisers and one would have thought that brands would have warmed up to them, but the same problem, which is lack of enough experience using them, also plagues them. The problem, say agencies, is not with the tools but just the fact that they are still too new.

For example, FoxyMoron recently did a campaign for Garnier using the new Facebook Missed Call feature. Though the campaign itself was highly successful, Bajaj, admitted that with only 1 or 2 campaigns having used the feature, it has yet to establish itself for advertisers. Interestingly, Twitter is also currently testing a click-to-call feature.

Facebook partners with ZipDial to launch new 'Missed Call' ad format

Similarly, when asked about the new Buy button that Facebook is currently beta testing, Bajaj opined that India is still far away from being a market that can see adoption of such tools due to credit card and internet penetration issues among other things. “If we had more case studies, it would help,” he mused. In fact, Bajaj told us that he expects client spending on Facebook to stagnate for the rest of the year. When asked for the reason he said, “People have spent a lot of money on fan acquisition and with Facebook organic reach now less than 1%, promoted posts are not reaching all these large fan bases they have built up,“ he said.

The free ride is over on Facebook

In fact, this reduction in organic reach has been seen as a key development in recent months forcing advertisers to rethink their strategy. However, agencies still maintain that Facebook is a cheaper option than Twitter.

Channel V gave a chance to the youth to survive breakups and move on…

indianshowbiz.com, August 10 2014 Article Source: http://bit.ly/Vsurvival Perhaps the best way to get over a relationship break-up is to talk about it, and meet new people. For many youngsters, hitting the dance floor and grooving till the music dies is a sure way to laugh again, and feel rejuvenated. This is how Channel V’s new show ‘Jhalli Anjali KeTooteyDil Ki Amazing Story’ comforted the country’s youths reeling through a break-up, by organizing multi city break-up parties as part of the launch marketing campaign for the show. The parties got better with none other than Anjali from the channel’s new show ‘Jhalli Anjali KeTooteyDil Ki Amazing Story’, who was partying along too.

Channel V gave a chance to the youth to survive breakups and move on

desitvforum.com, August 8 2014 Article Source: http://bit.ly/VdesiTVforum
Perhaps the best way to get over a relationship break-up is to talk about it, and meet new people. For many youngsters, hitting the dance floor and grooving till the music dies is a sure way to laugh again, and feel rejuvenated. This is how Channel V’s new show 'Jhalli Anjali Ke Tootey Dil Ki Amazing Story' comforted the country’s youths reeling through a break-up, by organizing multi city break-up parties as part of the launch marketing campaign for the show. The parties got better with none other than Anjali from the channel’s new show Jhalli Anjali Ke Tootey Dil Ki Amazing Story, who was partying along too. With the tagline of ‘Bitter tha par better ho sakta hai’, the show takes the audience to Anjali's healing and self-discovery journey after her first breakup. After going live on Channel V on 28 April, the show interacted with its young viewers through breakup parties organisedin Pune, Jaipur, Chandigarh, and Indore Shows like Jhalli Anjali KeTootey Dil Ki Amazing Story – along with other newly-launched shows like Yeh Jawani Ta ra ri ri – have been designed with Channel V's focus on the country's youth, and a new brand thought that, ‘What feels so right, can't be wrong’ said Prem Kamath - EVP&GM, Channel V, “The breakup parties aim to engage with our audience and since they are all gathering under a common agenda as personal as breakups, it is definitely a somewhat bonding moment for everyone who joins us,” he added. With the help of our digital partner, a strong digital buzz was created about the multi-city break up parties and associations with strong media brands like HT and Red FM ensured deeper reach to the youths in these cities. Commenting on the campaign Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift Interactive said ‘We are glad to be associated with channel V, which has pioneered unique youth engagement, initiatives since its inception. We strategically targeted young audiences and captured their attention via the Event Page this time, that communicates Break Up Parties across the country. The campaign reached out to 2.4 mn people across the country. Creative visuals & thought provoking content are successfully doing justice to increasing curiosity while twitter engagements are working their way up towards further increasing awareness about the campaign as a whole. We look forward some interesting benchmarks being created once again.”

Whatsapp Addiction: Women Go Tech Savvy!

theviewspaper.com, August 7 2014 Article Source: http://bit.ly/WhatsAppWomen

FeArticle-Image-

If your mom texts you over Whatsapp to ask what you want for dinner then you know that you’ve officially entered the era of technology. India, with a whooping count of over 160 million online users has become a major technological base. From trade and commerce, to entertainment, and internships and discussions, the online world has captured the attention of the Indian audience. As a result, numerous chat applications have sprouted up in the market. Whatsapp, the most popular chat application at present, has replaced the traditional Short Message Service (SMS) and has lured the consumers with the plethora of options that it offers. Now, plans are made in an instant, pictures get shared globally within seconds after capturing fleeting moments, and your entire group of friends can stay connected via group conversations. These days wherever you go, your friends are sure to virtually follow you. Similarly, Viber, an application launched by four Israeli partners, offers free calling service. Are you out of balance? No problem! Just download Viber, and you’re good to go. You don’t ever have to miss your old friends now. They’re just a smartphone away. Not only is the onset of technology bringing us closer, but it is also helping in magnifying the client base of corporates by leaps and bounds. It isn’t uncommon to receive a text advertising a spa or selling a plot of land. Companies can now build a much wider client base with ease, primarily because managers and directors to housewives, everyone has been enraptured by this magic mantra. Studies have shown that women are the top users of the online portals. Besides chatting, they also constitute a large portion of the customer base being served online and are statistically proven to be much more active on social groups online. Zafar Rais, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Mind Shift Interactive, says “WhatsApp is part of our daily mode of communication and has revamped our outlook towards texting. Women are more receptive to brand relations through social media platforms than men. Hence, it’s important for brands targeting women to understand the platform’s virtue and adapt accordingly.” Tech savvy women of today share selfies, they shop online and they run the business world on their fingers. They have so much going on in their virtual world, and it is almost impossible to stop them now!

Channel V gave a chance to the youth to survive breakups and move on

Tellychakkar.com, August 7 2014 Article Source: http://bit.ly/VBUparty

Craze of WhatsApp among women

BusinessInsider.com, August 5 2014 11012584_910966635612030_701087911683518543_n The article highlights about women on WhatsApp and the influence of the application. The research data and quote by Mr. Zafar Rais is mentioned in the article  

Blocked Out? Try this

Afaqs.com, August 4 2014 Picture1 The article on how brands can manage to put forth advertisements on the digital space that do not get skipped by viewers. The industry experts contributing are Mr. Zafar Rais, CEO MindShift Interactive, Sanjay Menon, VP & India Marketing Services Lead Sapiennitro and Prateek N Kumar CEO & MD Neoniche

The Viral Code

Impact , August 4th 2014 Picture4 Picture5 The cover story highlights on viral video and brand marketing

Communicate creatively to avoid getting skipped

Business Standard – The Strategist, August 4th 2014 Picture3 The article on how brands can manage to put forth advertisements on the digital space that do not get skipped by viewers. The industry experts contributing are Mr. Zafar Rais, CEO MindShift Interactive, Sanjay Menon, VP & India Marketing Services Lead Sapiennitro and Prateek N Kumar CEO & MD Neoniche

Facebook vs TV: Slow and steady wins ad spends?

exchange4media.com, August 12 2014 Article Source: http://bit.ly/FBvsTV

Facebook vs TV: Slow and steady wins ad spends?

 

Facebook has grown beyond just a simple social networking website but a way to learn about the audience preferences and a vital marketing tool for brands. Is it possible that Facebook can overtake TV as a preferred advertising medium in the not so distant future in India?

Facebook’s rapid growth as an advertising medium Currently, Facebook has a reach of more than a 100 million in India. This is dwarfed by the 535 million broad reach of television in India. The reach of television has been possible due to the close to 55 years that it has enjoyed since its introduction in the country. However it has been 10 years since Facebook’s inception and has achieved rapid progress in the short span of time. The fact that it allows two-way communication with the audience is something brands had never experienced before with advertising on TV.

According to Vivek Bhargava, CEO, iProspect Communicate2, “Unfortunately effectiveness of TV has been declining by a few percentage points every single year. In the last 20 years, effectiveness of TV has reduced significantly. Facebook on the other hand started as a medium that had limited reach, the initial ad units had very limited engagement value, however its effectiveness has been growing exponentially the last five years”. The reason he cites is firstly the advent of video advertising units on the social media site with even more engagement value that TV, secondly, the targeting of niche and specific audiences and lastly, user choice on whether they want to watch a commercial or not. Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift speaks about how Facebook is fast emerging as a means for brands to reach out to the different age groups grasping online content through various forms.  “Advertisements are strategized with the goal of reach and recall and hence deciding if TV is better than Facebook is very crucial. Facebook works wonders in reaching out and gaining insights on the campaign and the product or service launched, especially towards a 15 to 35 year old audience. TV, on the other hand, still has a stronger foothold when it comes to urban and rural audiences when the objective is mass outreach,” he adds. Suveer Bajaj, Co-founder & Director – Media Operations, FoxyMoron said, “Another reason for Facebook being an effective medium over TV is the cost efficiency benefit it provides. TV sells Gross Rating Points (GRPS) and Facebook sells them via Cost Per Unique Reach (CPUR). Hence, CPUR when optimised correctly can be substantially lower than TV and can either contribute to an incremental reach or to a diminished relative CPUR saving.” Do brands get what they are looking for on Facebook? Facebook is rapidly broadening its reach and at the same time honing its selective targeting of customers. Giving a marketers perspective on it Ramesh Chembath, AVP – Marketing and E-Commerce Head, Godrej Appliances said, “Brands use digital media to achieve both (mass reach and selective targeting). It varies for different categories and also depends on the campaign objectives. While big impact properties like page takeovers, masthead on YouTube or Yahoo login billboard are used as reach builders, specific targeting options are used to reduce spill over from selected geography or demographic profiles in many campaigns. On Facebook, brands do both large and specific targeting as it has a large enough base for mass marketing and many built-in targeting tools for specific targeting.” Commenting on brands choosing between mass reach vs. selective targeting Ajay Kakar, CMO, Aditya Birla Group said, “Brands want to reach out to large audiences but ideally they would like to segment their communications. For instance, a brand wants to capitalise on Diwali but it should show Diwali the way it celebrated in the North and the way it is celebrated in the South. So those days where we had standard ads going on national television should and will change. Facebook will slowly but surely extend its reach but today TV is still a first medium of choice.” However, according to Anisha Motwani, Director, Chief Marketing & Digital Officer, Max Life Insurance for mainstream brands where reach is currently keenly looked at, TV is the most effective medium. “When you’re looking at a popular mainstream large brand with national presence, Facebook could never substitute television till now because it is still a niche medium. There is only 12 million population of internet users in India and we are actually targeting a 60 crore. Internet doesn’t even reach there. But for luxury brands and premium brands who are targeting younger people it might still be worthwhile.” Be that as it may, according to Preetham Venkky, Head Digital Strategy & Business, KRDS Singapore, Facebook is currently in the process of finding a solution to the problem of rural reach through an initiative called Internet.org. He says that this initiative allows people to access the internet through mobile phones without the need to spend more money on large data plans. With leading companies partnering in the organization it hopes to explore solutions for providing affordable internet solutions to remote regions. Ad spends for Facebook are increasing While television currently occupies the maximum ad spends for a brand, ad spends are now increasing on Facebook. Refuting this Rohit Gupta, Multi Screen Media (MSM) said, “There is no comparison between the two mediums. Facebook is a very niche medium in the digital space and is continuing to do well because their strategy is in the zero base. This definitely doesn’t eat into television advertising because television touches 800 million people, whereas the whole digital medium only touches 200 million. Facebook is a very metro phenomenon and is a more male dominated, whereas television is more female, family inclusive and its spread is far more. Television touches all age groups and all strata of society at every income levels. They (TV and Facebook) complement each other. They don’t eat into each other’s market share.” Similarly, Anooj Kapoor, Business Head, SAB TV said, “TV and Facebook will probably co-exist and marketers will continue to integrate both to have a much more meaningful and impactful conversations with everyone. Look at the advertising spends on the offline channels (mediums), you will see that they haven’t been disturbed. Revenues have increased in the last 4-5 years.” However, with people today paying more for subscription channels that show content without ads increasing and online TV channels such as Netflix airing ad free content there will be a shift in ad spends from TV to Facebook and other digital mediums in the future. “TV spends still top the chart, but Internet is the fastest growing medium in terms of spends as well as user base and it is definitely eating into the pie. As digital media enables real-time measurement of campaigns and specific targeting options, we are seeing a trend where slowly but surely brands are consistently increasing their digital spends,” said Chembath. Similarly, Sanjay Mehta, Business Owner & Jt. CEO, Social Wavelength says, “TV ad spends are way higher than Facebook ad spends at this time. But what we clearly see is a sharp rise in spends on Facebook. And now, with Facebook advertising enabling interesting targeting features, rich media content and extremely sharp targeting besides the enormous reach, we will clearly see a shift happening from traditional advertising and on to digital advertising as a whole and Facebook advertising in particular.”

“As television is losing its effectiveness, I know tens of clients who are reducing their TV budgets and increasing budgets on Facebook and other digital mediums. How consumers started consuming MP3 instead of CDs, or digital photographs instead of developing rolls, they would consume internet content from their TV sets and not be aware of the difference. There was a time when print was a dominant medium, TV in-spite of being a late entrant came and became a dominant medium.  The same is bound to happen to TV through digital. I am sure that a few years down the line, digital spends would be larger than TV spends in India,” adds Bhargava.

 

Going desi with local languages the new trend on social media

Indianmediabooks.com, August 7 2014 Article Source: http://bit.ly/SMNewTrends

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Homemade food, in the comfort of your home, with a nice Bollywood flick playing on the television set – nothing beats the pleasure of spending time Desi style.

A recent study by IAMAI and IMRB International shares that in 2013 there were 169 million active internet users out of which 71.8 million (42 per cent) were local language users. The availability of content in regional languages can boost the growth of internet in India by 24 per cent.

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The increasing demand for content and services in regional language has changed the very axioms of online services and marketing.

The northward moving online regional economy

One of the early movers to fill the need gap of regional language users was Google which launched its Translator in 2007 and its Hindi portal in 2009. Twitter launched its regional content delivery in Hindi in September 2011 and IndiBlogger hosted 350 Hindi blogs (1861) in 2010.

India has the second largest user base when it comes to Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, while for Pinterest India accounts for only 9.3 per cent of the user base. To make up for it, on March 19, 2014 Pinterest launched language support for Hindi as a part of its app update for Android and iOS users.

According to a report by Mindshift Interactive, Hindi is the second most preferred language after English in India. Also, in rural India 27 per cent of users use Hindi to access online content followed by Marathi and Tamil languages.

In urban India 60 per cent of users access online content in Hindi, followed by Marathi and Tamil languages.

Marketing play by brands in DESI style

India is a home to nearly 800 languages and using these languages for digital engagement or marketing can be indeed tricky. Indians have various methods of including their regional dialects in their otherwise English devices. For instance, Indians prefer using English alphabets even though the content may read out in Hindi. Thus, brands have to be very smart while going the desi way.

BBC India has been using Hindi in its social engagement very smartly. Starting in July 2011, BBC is a 1.4 million fan page with an engagement ratio of approximately nine per cent. NDTV English on the other hand has 3 million fan page with an engagement ratio of approximately 7.5 per cent.

An engagement ratio of nine per cent shows that the audience engaging are relating to the (regional) content and conversing too. Also, Hindi content of Google+ is helping BBC India to increase the relevance of their content, thus increasing their SEO rank.

Another interesting example of apt use of regional language is by Bangalore Traffic Police, which used a combination of English plus Kannad to send across the message of importance of helmets.

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Similarly, Airtel India started targeting regional content to relevant audiences.

         

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The way forward  

The number of vernacular sites in India is growing at a rate of 56 per cent YOY and English sites at a rate of 11 per cent, YOY.

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“Regional Marketing is thus going to be essential and crucial for advertising in the next few months and it’s time for brands to capitalize on the same at the earliest. Regional Marketing will impact not just Facebook usage but also advertising in order to increase Google & SEO Ranks, providing content of higher relevance to different segments,” said Zafar Rais, CEO, Mindshift Interactive.

Rais shared with IndianMediaBook that while using local languages in business strategies brands should be very precise.

Know your audience: Taping the right audience with the regional language driven content can help the brand in going a long way.

Brand Campaign: The end user will reciprocate your message if he understands the message well. If Hindi works at a better comfort level then English then go ahead alter the campaign likewise.

Social Customer Care

Adgully.com, August 8 2014 Article Source:- http://bit.ly/SoCuCa A social media influenced urban audience is now creating a perception of brands not only through TV presence but through the digital world as well. The purchase decision is now also impacted by reviews, preferences, post and tweets on Facebook, Twitter and other digital mediums. 43% of consumers believe that a direct response to their questions is most important on a social media platform. Most companies’ view social media as a marketing medium, but customers expect more – and they’re willing to reward brands that go the extra mile. Using social media as a customer service channel allows you an additional way to wow customers that can be worth its weight in gold. Social media has enabled both consumers and brands to have a shared voice and interact on a public stage, creating a balance that addresses the wants and needs of both is crucial. Social media has not just enabled direct communication between brands and consumers; it’s created a new paradigm between the two. Also, it’s interesting to know that 31% users expect social media platforms to provide direct access to customer service representatives or product experts. By not using social media, it only creates a pile of customer service questions, praise and complaints that go unanswered at times. Almost every company is at a different stage of their social business journey. Some are already active and thriving across the board. Others are taking their first tentative steps. Wherever you are, there are four broad areas you will need to focus on in order to realize its full potential which include listen, engage, measure and scale. Each of these areas has its own set of objectives and requires that you focus on what will deliver most value to your business. Having a clear view of the bigger picture and what success looks like for your social customer service will ensure you devote your efforts to where you can make a real, tangible difference. Twitter has emerged as one of the prime locations for social customer service. It has been the arena for explosive episodes featuring companies who ‘don’t get it’ as well as providing some of the best examples of engagement by those that do. While examples of failure are legion, here we’ll focus on what you can do to get it right. Most of the customer service issues that have blown up on Twitter are the result of companies taking too long to respond. Twitter is a near real-time medium (closer to texting than email). As such, customers expect you to reply quickly. Indian brands have awoken to the need for social care and have picked up pace in ensuring engaging and informed responses. Brands within the ecommerce, telecommunication and automobile sector have set processes, response time targets and trainer to handle automated and personalized messages to customers In order to know where you stand when it comes to customer service on social media and improve your brands reputation in this sector, a few tools that could help you with your Online Reputation Management are Brandwatch, Ubervu, Trackur, Simplify 360, Sentiment Metrics, Reputation defender. Finally, don’t ignore ratings and reviews sites – they’re home to a surprising amount of service and support requests masquerading as reviews. Remember, the fundamentals of social media customer service are not significantly different than traditional customer service. The biggest distinction is the accountability granted by its public nature. Take that accountability seriously and your loyal customers will continue to do business with you. Social Customer Care also has a secondary but no less significant function that applies to all brands in any industry. And that is steering the real-time conversation and mentions of your brand on social. Naturally, your brand wants to be everywhere your customers are, and on social you can address queries and contribute to what your customers are saying about you instantly. By: Zafar RaisCEO, MindShift Interactive. About the Author: Zafar Rais has a well-heeled experience of 15 years in areas of Marketing, Branding, Business Development, Operations, Research and Product Innovation. He started his career as a ‘Marketing Consultant’ with Oxygen Healthcare Communications where he was accountable for building strategy to achieve the business objectives of Hungama, Bristol-Myers Squib and Glaxo. Zafar played varied roles in his career but with a focus on Digital, a calling that came while he headed branding at Kellogg India Pvt. Ltd., taking on the onus of creating interactive social engagement. Picture3

Workplaces: Is it a man’s world?

Indiatimes, June 30, 2014 Link: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/relationships/work/Workplaces-Is-it-a-mans-world/articleshow/36756915.cms   Organisations today recognise the importance of diversification of their workforces. Be it age, race, religion or geography, companies today try to accommodate skilled employees from all strata in their human resources. One of the most vital factors in this diversification process is gender. Unbalanced gender ratios often foster an environment in which the majority is unreceptive to the ideas and work of the minority. It is therefore, advised that a healthy equilibrium between the genders is essential at workplaces. When the workplace of a male professional has much lesser number of female employees, it subtly plays with his mentality that women are maybe lesser talented. As a result, males come to feel that it is a `man's job' and are less inclined to trust the work of women employees. Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift Interactive, elaborates, "In a social context, if a man works around a large number of men and fewer women, he is definitely bound to think that capabilities differ depending on gender. This is mainly because he is not given a chance to explore or witness a woman's sense of work and progress. It impacts the team-working ability of both men and women if men do not trust women to do the work they are assigned for. If a man lives in a pretext that it is a `man's job', it's time to shift that way of thinking. We have men and women doing the same work in our office, without ever having a bias towards either side. Organisations facing such a situation must work towards changing it through bonding exercises, highlighting strengths of men and women employees and ensuring the top managers aren't biased." In contrast, when the office has a larger number of female employees, it makes male professionals more open to their opinions, brings a human touch and does not allow ego to come in the way. Sumithra Mathew, vice president and head HR of a real estate website, explains, "Perceptions of talent may vary based not only on numbers, but also on the role assigned and competence required for executing the role. Given that, women employees certainly bring in a different dimension to the workplace. Male professionals are beginning to recog nise this and companies that leverage this diversity stand to gain in the long run." Hence, it is important to maintain a good gender ratio in organisations. Saba Adil, head talent, AEGON Religare Life Insurance, elaborates, "Good gender diversity is always healthy for an organisation as skills complement each other in a gender-balanced environment and is good for everyone. It allows companies to get the best talent in from an available talent pool and create a work atmosphere that is more inclusive, considers more viewpoints, perspectives and sharing of ideas, leading to more innovation, better solutions and hence better performance." Hence, organisations must work towards improving their gender ratios so as to create a nurturing and productive atmosphere in the offices.

Social media needs to speak local lingo

BUSINESS LINE, June 26, 2014 Link: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/features/brandline/social-media-needs-to-speak-local-lingo/article6151463.ece?ref=wl_smartbuy   A significant portion of growing Internet usage comes from non-urban areas. To be understood, advertisers have to speak to customers in their language
When you create a Facebook account, your language is set by default based on your location, but you can also change it according to your preferences. Users are comfortable using Facebook in English while a growing population believed their local language helped them be more grammatically correct in their communication with others. Going regional is necessary as more than half of the world's 2.4 billion Internet users sign into a social network regularly. Google launched its Translator in Hindi in 2007 and its Hindi portal in 2009. In September 2011, Twitter also launched regional content delivery in Hindi alongside Google and Facebook offering a search engine in nine Indian languages. Furthermore it’s interesting to note that IndiBlogger, a popular Indian blog portal, hosted 350 Hindi blogs recently, which only means the relevance of going regional is increasing. Around 64 of rural internet users in India (24.3million active users out of a total of 38 million) use the internet in their local language. That means regional language content availability can boost the growth of Internet in India by 24 per cent. The regional language sites are growing at 56 per cent year-on-year and English sites just by 11 per cent. I will say that with the caveat that overall Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and YouTube were the top five social media tools used by marketers, with Facebook leading the pack. But if you break it down by business-to-business marketers, marketers are more focused on LinkedIn, Twitter and blogging, at least, according to the 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report. According to a recent study jointly done by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International, Hindi is the second most widely preferred language after English in India. In rural India, 27 per cent of the users use Hindi to access online content, followed by Marathi and Tamil. In urban India, 60 per cent of the users access online content in Hindi followed by Tamil and Marathi. Audiences define the language. When you start putting your efforts into regional or niche social media websites, being aware of the regional social media etiquette is essential. Working with local social media experts to understand online behaviour can also work well. India has the second highest user base when it comes to Facebook or LinkedIn or Twitter but in the case of Pinterest, India accounts for only 9.3 per cent of the user base. Pinterest, on the other hand, also provides language support for Hindi as a part of its app update for Android and iOS. Other languages supported in the newly updated app and website includes Thai, Malay, Vietnamese, Romanian, Hungarian and Greek. LinkedIn has launched a Chinese version of its website and has also introduced three new languages to improve Asian user base – Korean, Bahasa Indonesia and Bahasa Malaysia. The brand leveraging social media using regional languages is BBC - Hindi (Facebook & Google). Started in July 2011, BBC Hindi is a 1.4 million fan page with an engagement ratio of approximately nine per cent. NDTV (English), on the other hand, has a 3 million fan page with an engagement ratio of around 7.5 per cent. An engagement ratio of 9 per cent shows that the audience is relating to the content and conversing too. BBC Hindi has used this strategy to tap markets where other new players have not made a mark. The last decade has witnessed unprecedented Internet diffusion in India. Over the past three years alone, Internet usage in India increased from 100 to 200 million people. The increase has not taken place only among the urban but also amongst the rural Indian population. Regional marketing is thus going to be essential and crucial for advertising in the future and it is time for brands to capitalise on the same at the earliest. Regional marketing will affect not just Facebook usage but also advertising in order to increase Google and search engine optimisation ranks, providing content of higher relevance to different segments. Currently only 10 per cent of the Indian population is on Facebook, the majority of which is from urban areas. However, there is an increase in the rural Indian population joining Facebook. Regional marketing is going to be essential and crucial for Facebook advertising. Brands are slowly taking the regional route to cross the language barriers. While a significant effort will be put in by the marketers in regional marketing, they will also receive great help from the social networking websites which will be providing the option of consuming content in various languages.   ZAFAR RAIS, FOUNDER & CEO - MINDSHIFT INTERACTIVE

An unequal workplace

Times Ascent, June 24, 2014 Link: http://www.itsmyascent.com/articleDetails/career-Advice/152577   Organisations today recognise the importance of diversification of their workforces. One of the most vital factors in this diversification process is gender. Unbalanced gender ratios often foster an environment in which the majority is unreceptive to the ideas and work of the minority. It is therefore, advised that a healthy equilibrium between the genders is essential at workplaces. When the workplace of a male professional has much lesser number of female employees, it subtly plays with his mentality that women are maybe lesser talented. As a result, males come to feel that it is a ‘man’s job’ and are less inclined to trust the work of women employees. Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift Interactive, elaborates, “In a social context, if a man works around a large number of men and fewer women, he is definitely bound to think that capabilities differ depending on the gender. This is mainly because he is not given a chance to explore or witness a woman’s sense of work and progress. It impacts the team-working ability of both men and women if men do not trust women to do the work they are assigned for. Organisations facing such a situation must work towards changing it through bonding exercises, highlighting strengths of men and women employees and ensuring the top managers aren’t biased.” In contrast, when the office has a larger number of female employees, it makes male professionals more open to their opinions, brings a human touch and does not allow ego to come in the way. Sumithra Mathew, vice president and head - HR, of a real estate site, explains, “Perceptions of talent may vary based not only on numbers, but also on the role assigned and competence required for executing the role. Given that, women employees certainly bring in a different dimension to the workplace. Male professionals are beginning to recognise this and companies that leverage this diversity stand to gain in the long run.” Hence, it is important to maintain a good gender ratio in organisations. Saba Adil, head - talent, AEGON Religare Life Insurance, elaborates, “Good gender diversity is always healthy for an organisation as skills complement each other in a gender-balanced environment and is good for everyone. It allows companies to get the best talent in from an available talent pool and create a work atmosphere that is more inclusive, considers more viewpoints, perspectives and sharing of ideas, thus leading to more innovation, better solutions and hence better performance.” Hence, organisations must work towards improving their gender ratios, so as to create a nurturing and productive atmosphere in the offices.

#SelfieMonday: How is the selfie phenomenon redefining digital marketing dynamics?

Indian Media Book, June 23, 2014 Link: http://www.indianmediabook.com/selfiemonday-how-is-the-selfie-phenomenon-redefining-digital-marketing-dynamics/   Sex selfie, birthday selfie, post-accident selfie, love claiming selfie, friend-zoning selfie, family selfie, Hollywood selfie, Bollywood selfie – from funerals to baby showers, a selfie for every occasion. Not only is the phenomenon a social rage, but also a vast source to User Generated Content (UGC), that brands have managed to leverage well in the past few years. Call it a trend or a disorder, selfie has emerged as a king element, which has managed to create a dynamic shift in the fundamentals of digital marketing.

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Selfie shaping social media dynamics According to data by Samsung, 30 per cent of the photos taken by people in the age group of 18 to 24 are selfies. The frequency of usage of the word (seflie) in English language has increased by 17, 000 per cent since 2012. Instagram has nearly 35 million selfies uploaded so far. “Considering the statistics, Selfie’s have been a popular talk on Facebook (48 per cent), followed by WhatsApp and text (27 per cent), Twitter (nine per cent), Instagram (eight per cent), Snapchat (five per cent) and Pinterest (two per cent) but what makes the selfie phenomenon more interesting is how brands have decided to ride the wave in order to connect with consumers,” shared Zafar Rais, CEO MindShift Interactive. Not only the number of selfies has gone up, but also the nature of selfies has started creating a difference. Data points out that duck selfies have been claimed to perform 1122 per cent better on Instagram. Marketers boarding the selfie bus With selfies becoming more popular every second, the opportunity for marketers to tap into this ever-growing audience to get their attention has increased greatly. The keyword here continues towards being the essence of social media – gaining insights about your consumers by listening to them and decoding what they truly want, and how they want it. This, merged with understanding mindsets behind a selfie, and how to go about creating a connect with your brand would ensure success to the brand. #DoveSelfie Dove used selfies to inspire through a series of videos celebrating real beauty and showcasing how social media helps redefine beauty. The videos highlighted how mothers and daughters compare their perceived flaws to attributes others compliment them on. The video claims to have garnered a total of nine lakh views and helped create a paradigm shift amongst each of the individuals interviewed on how they saw themselves. In India, Dove launched the #DoveSelfie contest inviting women to take a selfie of their best hairstyle as per the theme of the day and post it across Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. “My whatsapp alone receives around five different selfies from my friends / cousins just to show their latest dresses, accessories and make up. It is really not difficult to spot the trend and therefore, the social media marketers had to take full advantage of this trend. A lot of youth centric brands are already up with a lot of selfie based contests and activations and some of them seemed to have some real good traction on these campaigns,” Swati Nathani, Business Head, Team Pumpkin. dove S #FamilySelfie Contest Highlighting their targeted at the entire family, & tapping the Indian sentiment of taking photographs with family members, Max Bupa encouraged Twitter audiences to take a family selfie with their loved ones Insurance plan. With participations from influential tweeps, the campaign claims to have received a total outreach of 244,000, driving further awareness of the brand on Twitter while giving it a boost 500 targeted followers within four days. family selfie SS #BackIsTheNewFront In order to promote the brand’s latest backpack, the campaign highlighted how everything is done backwards in today’s times, and included the concept of reverse selfies, where one had to show off their unique style with their backs facing the camera either with the help of a mirror or get it clicked by someone. #BackIsTheNewFront SS #GoNoFilter Lancome India launched their new variant ‘DreamTone’ on Instagram in a campaign titled #GoNoFilter to target women and the Selfie generation of the country to go out in confidence and take photographs without using a filter, in order to connect back to the product which asked women to go without makeup due to the confidence the product provided of clearing all skin blemishes. The campaign hit 1500 followers within a few weeks and an outreach of 792000 Lakh, being labeled as India’s largest Instagram campaign. Lancome-India-GoNoFilter-SS Star Wars selfie initiative Star Wars launched their Instagram account in 2013 with a comical Darth Vader selfie with the caption, ‘Another day at the office. #StarWars #DarthVader #selfies #gpom’. In the first four hours, the account reportedly gained 30,000 followers. Till date, the image has over 63,000 likes. Star wars SS Making selfies work – Expert advice Certain brands have managed to leverage the selfie rage well; a lot of clients still draw a blank when it comes to utilising this format of User Generated Content. While there are no hard and fast rules in terms of using a selfie in a campaign, there are certain dotted lines that marketers could benefit from. Understanding the mindset: “The keyword here continues towards being the essence of social media – gaining insights about your consumers by listening to them and decoding what they truly want, and how they want it. This, merged with understanding mindsets behind a selfie, and how to go about creating a connect with your brand would ensure success to brands,” added Rais. Zafar-Rais SS Do not impose: My strong tip to marketers would be not to impose selfies on the products / Target Group where selfies are not relevant. With the selfie rage going on in the market, we witness every other brand / product trying to impose the selfie phenomena. Mareters should avoid doing that explained Nathani. Selfie is no longer a digital phenomenon. It is a way of life, wherein the youth prefers sharing a bit of their self with the world. In the lieu of the increasing self awareness among people in general, the selfie culture does not seem to be going down anytime soon. Sooner a later, brands have to hop on the selfie ride. What will make a difference is that how they do it? swati-nathani SS

6 steps to build a strong Twitter presence for startups

Tech Circle, June 23, 2014 Link: http://techcircle.vccircle.com/2014/06/23/6-steps-to-build-a-strong-twitter-presence-for-startups/   Tweet at regular intervals & maintain engagement The bigger your brand, the more is the necessity to follow this rule. Remember, Twitter is about connecting with your fans on a more personal level. However, if you are tweeting more than 20 times a day on a daily basis, you are not engaging fans in conversations, you are shouting at them. It’s best not to over tweet as well. Make an informative profile Other than personal engagement, Twitter is also a great medium to share brand information with your fans. You can talk about discounts, offers as well as product USPs, but you need to do it an innovative yet subtle manner. Use short yet witty descriptions People go through your profile every now and then; so give them a good reason to hit that ‘follow’ button. Use a good display picture and cover photo but never use poor grammar or wrong spelling as the brands credibility gets affected when you commit some silly errors like these. Monitor keywords, hashtags and your competitor’s activities You can engage with tweeps (a person’s followers on Twitter) who are in need of a certain something and are talking about it on Twitter. Or engage with tweeps who are unhappy with your rivals brands (but never overdo it), this way you can win new followers and thus potential customers. But over-indulgence and being too inquisitive about the fans and their lives questions the credibility of the brand as a whole. Shout out to users who mention you Nothing makes a tweeps day than being retweeted or being mentioned by their favourite brand. However, only boasting about your brand and features makes your profile boring. Rather mention your product features and talk about how your brand can help people in innovative ways (but do it in a delicate manner). Don’t take too long to reply The best of brands’ twitter profiles reply to their fans and their queries and concerns as soon as possible. The faster you reply, the greater engagement you create. (Rais is the founder & CEO of Mindshift Interactive, a digital media agency. As told to Techcircle.in’s Nikita Peer)

5 things you’re doing wrong on Facebook

Rediff, June 17, 2014 Link: http://www.rediff.com/getahead/slide-show/slide-show-1-career-5-things-you-re-doing-wrong-on-facebook/20140617.htm   Facebook is definitely one of the most popular tools of social communication. With its user-friendly features and accessibility across demographics, Facebook also has the ability to be misinterpreted by many -- a post you think is funny could rub the wrong way if it's not communicated effectively. Besides that, there are a few mistakes most of us are subconsciously repeating without realising the impact it has on other users in your circle. Perhaps, you can try avoiding the following mistakes and take charge of your account: 1. Sending mass messages to your network Nobody, and we mean absolutely nobody likes to read a message sent to many by some unknown party. This is the equivalent of a spam in your inbox. 2. Constant self-advertisement The objective for your brand to be present on social media platforms should be to engage and connect with your fans on a more one-to-one basis. Self advertising only makes your page boring and thus results to lesser number of followers. 3. Turning off your user comments function Negative comments from users are a usual occurrence. A fun-loving college friend who never takes you (or your posts) seriously, a spammer, a cynic are some of the types of people you will come across in your list. It’s how you handle these situations with skill that makes you a true professional. 4. Spamming Newsfeed with frequent posts Limit your Facebook posts to a certain number daily. Your fans wouldn't appreciate seeing your content every time they scroll through your Newsfeed. 5. Ignoring your page insights Have you spent time analysing your online behaviour -- the posts that worked and those that didn't? Maybe you should do it more often -- like, once every fortnight? Based on this information you can improvise on the timing, frequency and the quality of your posts.   The author is CEO, MindShift Interactive, a digital media agency.

Set to be the next online superstar?

Mid-Day, June 4, 2014 Link: http://www.mid-day.com/articles/set-to-be-the-next-online-superstar/15351190   Social media research indicates that there are 58 million Indian viewers on YouTube and 33 million Twitter users. With such high numbers, dedicated networks and platforms are offering digital media solutions to content creators and helping to groom and promote them. The numbers say it all: there are around 58 million Youtube users/ viewers in India and 33 million Twitter users. Of this, 38% of the traffic comes from mobile phones. There has been a 27% increase in online Indian audience in the last 12 months itself. With such numbers, India is now in an enviable position to exploit the digital domain. Maximising on this are companies that optimise digital content.

The Culture Machine Studio

Take for instance, the 11-month-old digital media company Culture Machine in Malad, which is also a multi-channel network certified by YouTube. Sameer Pitalwalla, former director at Disney India, and Venkat Prasad, former product manager at YouTube, founded it. At their 6,000 square feet production studio, they amplify Youtube/digital talent. They have 150 creators on board, across music, comedy and lifestyle. Their digital hits include The Sonam Kapoor Selfie Song while prominent clients include singer Shraddha Sharma.

Sonam Kapoor

Speaking about ‘viral’ videos, Pitalwalla says, “All great videos have the potential to be re-created (copied) and co-opted (mutated) by others. Combine this with an understanding of what’s trending and the right content format, and you can manufacture virality.”

Culture Machine studio

Nikhil Pahwa, founder and editor, Medianama, which analyses digital media, says that networks like Culture Machine and Nirvana Digital (distributes and monetises music and video) sign up with content owners and cross-promote their content across the network. “They play the role that music labels did for singers.”

Sameer Pitalwalla

He adds that while content creators are best at creating, they may not necessarily know what works with audiences: “Professional help in identifying content for creation, helping shoot it, and figuring out the best means of promotion are essential.”

Nikhil Pahwa

Building brand value FoxyMoron is a digital solutions agency where strategists, designers and marketers manage brand-led activities. It started as a summer project in 2008; today, they boast of 180 employees across Mumbai and Gurgaon.

Zafar Rais

They have worked with brands like L’Oreal and Asian Paints. Some of their viral videos include the Maybelline Baby Lips lip balm campaign featuring Alia Bhatt. The video was made up of 6,000 kiss sounds contributed by audiences via Facebook. It’s co-founder Harshil Karia states that such videos help brands expand their reach and get new audiences.

Baby Lips

Similarly, MindShift Interactive is a digital outreach platform with a data-centric approach to sustain digital presence. They recently invested in providing clients with Instagram influencer marketing and social media-led behaviour analysis programmes. Their clients include Homeshop18 and JW Marriott; their campaigns include the first-ever Instagram campaign #GoNoFilter for Lancôme. Zafar Rais, who has 15 years of experience in marketing and branding, started the company. “Our audience consists mainly of the youth who access videos on the move. When online content goes viral, it boosts campaign outreach,” he states.

The science of going viral Being a Youtuber/Instagrammer /Viner is hard work, admits Pitalwalla: “It requires commitment to create content regularly and be nimble to try new formats. The bigger you are on these platforms, the bigger is your offline business.” He adds that Indian audiences are young, affluent and have a short attention span. It’s roughly 60-65% male and the balance female. 13–35 is the core target group, accounting for 60-70% audiences. Post YouTube’s success, every aspect of offline presence grows, claims Pitalwalla. “With music artistes and comedians, their event bookings increase, the rates they charge per event increases. Overall, every aspect of their business potential grows exponentially.” Pahwa adds that Indian content owners are making money, but not enough in comparison to TV. “To some extent, YouTube is at fault as it encourages fragmentation, it doesn’t have differential rates for premium content, and is not transparent about how its search works. Life is going to get tougher, so the ones that are doing well need to focus on other means of monetisation (sponsorship and product placement) and other platforms to distribute their content. They have to continue to experiment and reduce costs.” Rais states that some factors that can ensure the success of content are ensuring the content caters to the target audience, that it resonates with the identity of the brand and makes an emotional connection with the viewer. He also emphasises the use of keywords and annotations (texts and links over videos) as well. According to Karia, it’s the animated funny virals, videos of flashmobs and ‘caught-on-camera’ content that attracts viewers: “Scripted ‘behind the scenes’ content is equally interesting to watch and most brands are using it. Long-format content like educational tutorials also attract viewers. Bloggers are taking content marketing a step further through reviews and product tutorials.” “With Twitter, make your profile interesting, keep tweets short, insert re-tweetable words, and ensure you reach out to followers,” advises Rais.

Smriti Irani, Sushma Swaraj or Rajnath Singh: Who is Modi’s most social minister?

FirstBiz, June 2, 2014 Link: http://www.firstbiz.com/data/social-minister-modis-cabinet-86535.html   Smriti Irani, Sushma Swaraj or Rajnath Singh: Who is Modi’s most social minister? Recently, new Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued a list of do's and don'ts for his new council of ministers and not surprisingly, one of these was about using social media. All ministers have been urged to create Facebook pages and sign up on Twitter, in a bid to make all government operations transparent and easily accessible to people. The move comes as no surprise given Modi used social media extremely effectively during his election campaign and was one of the many sources of his success. Among his council of ministers, he leads them quite comfortably on all major social networks. While Modi has about 4.63 million followers on Twitter, his ministers are also quickly following his example. All senior cabinet ministers have made sure that they have a fairly strong following and have a high engagement level on both Twitter and Facebook. According to a report by digital marketing research firm Mind Shift Interactive, ministers active on social media include Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Smriti Irani, Dr Harsh Vardhan and Arun Jaitley Here's a quick look at who in the current cabinet are most active on social media. 1   On Twitter, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has the most number of followers. However, Smriti Irani, the union minister for human resource and development, has the highest klout score among all the other socially active minsters. 2   On Facebook too, Modi tops them all. It was reinforced again, when in just about four days after its launch, the official Facebook page of the Prime Minister’s Office attracted over 1.1 million ‘likes’. But among the ministers, Home Minister Rajnath Singh has the most active presence on Facebook, followed by Smriti Irani. Source: Mind Shift In fact, ministers are now announcing future economic policies on social media too. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Jaitley on Sunday wrote on Facebook to announce he would uphold fiscal discipline, reduce inflation and increase growth. "Reviving the growth momentum, containing inflation and altering the pattern of growth to gainful employment is today an overriding priority. There is a need to boost domestic low-cost manufacturing and hasten the pace of reforms. Price stability and growth are inter-twined but may require a different strategy," Jaitley wrote in a post. Contrast this with the UPA where key ministers such as P Chidambaram, or Pranab Mukherjee when he was Finance Minister, or even former External Affairs minister Salman Khurshid, stayed away from social media. Except for a handful of ministers like Manish Tewari and Kapil Sibal, who joined Twitter closer to the elections, no Congress leaders was accessible on social media.

MANTRIS WHO FACEBOOK: HOW MODI TURNED BJP INTO A SOCIAL MEDIA WARRIOR

In.com, June 2, 2014 Link: http://www.in.com/news/lifestyle/mantris-who-facebook-how-modi-turned-bjp-into-a-social-media-warrior-52789522-in-1.html   PM Modi's sarkar is all ready to take the social media world by storm. There's a totally revamped website for PMO India with regular messages, a video gallery, pictures and even a section on Narendra Modi's personal life. A new PMO India Facebook page that was updated five days back and has already managed to get close to a million likes, and a new jazzy Twitter timeline that has pictures and not just boring tweets about a policy. India's new Prime Minister has also stressed that all his Cabinet ministers need to use social media extensively. According to an Indian Express report, a government source says, "Like his poll campaign, crowd-sourcing and digital media will continue to play a crucial role in governance too The new PM has already issued a diktat to all his ministers to be present on Twitter and Facebook and interact with masses. Modi ministers who tweet: Late last night, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley shared a detailed blog post on Facebook discussing the future economic policies and the challenges ahead. To be fair, Arun Jaitley has always been active on his blog and what made this different was that it was shared on his Facebook page was as well. Jaitley wrote on Facebook that, "Reviving the growth momentum, containing inflation and altering the pattern of growth to gainful employment is today an overriding priority. There is a need to boost domestic low-cost manufacturing and hasten the pace of reforms. Price stability and growth are inter-twined but may require a different strategy." He went on to note, "India must prepare itself for this. We must commit ourselves to this discipline so that in order to strengthen the Indian economy which can improve the quality of life of every Indian and pull out the deprived ones from the state of poverty. Short term disciplining till we reverse the present trend will give us long term benefits." You can read his entire blog post on Facebook. It marks the first time that Indians have been informed about government policy via Facebook.UnlikeShashi Tharoor in the UPA, Jaitley is not an exception in the Narendra Modi's cabinet, which is fairly active on social media. All the big guns in Modi's cabinet have made sure that they have a fairly strong following and engagement level on both Twitter and Facebook. According to a report by Mind Shift Interactive, ministers active on social media include Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Smriti Irani, Dr Harsh Vardhan and Arun Jaitley. The report notes that Rajnath andSmriti Irani are the most active on Facebook as well -- as we can see in the chart below. Where Twitter is concerned, almost all the ministers have a clout score that is above 70 which is very respectable. This is radically different from UPA where key ministers such as P Chidambaram, or Pranab Mukherjee when he was Finance Minister or even Salman Khurshid who was the outgoing External Affairs Minister were AWOL on Twitter. UPA's social media battle was often fought by Manish Tewari, who only became and I&B Minister in October 2012 and the likes of Sanjay Jha and Digvijya Singh, who while prominent party faces, weren't really in the government.Social media genius of Modi. But biggest indicator of the dramatic shift from UPA to Modi sarkar is the PM himself. Narendra Modi has two Twitter accounts, one where he is tweeting in personal capacity as an individual and the other is the PMO India Twitter account. The fact that he has continued to maintain his personal Twitter account shows that Modi understands the need to engage with his audience on both levels: as the head of India's elected government and as Narendra Modi the political leader.According to a study titled "Social Network use by Indian Politicians" at the University of Michigan by researchers Joyojeet Pal and Priyank Chandra, Modi's social media success is a consequence of the kinds of interactions he engages in on Twitter. Narendra Modi, "has a careful system of reciprocity." What this is means is that Modi follows a selected number of casual Twitter users who post about him or BJP, unlike the majority of politicians on Twitter who tend to either follow other celebrities, or not follow anyone at all.As the study notes, there is "a sub-genre of posts by people who post about 'being followed' by Modi, which in itself is considered a prize."The study notes that Modi's strategy fosters the impression of being a peoples' person - of offering a kind of parity to his people. "Modi's selfies on voting day or with Chetan Bhagat give the impression of a common technology user, not an ivory tower politician," says one of the authors of the study in an email interaction with Firstpost .But PM Modi isn't just content with revamping the various PMO social media accounts and the official websites. According to an Economic Times report, close to 87,000 online citizens headed by BJP's Communication cell will keep an eye on the Modi government. The PM has constantly stressed on the need to create an accountable and transparent government.The report notes that "the aim to 'Transform India with Narendra Modi' is not only to act as a pressure group on the government by not just tracking various schemes and their implementation, but also enabling citizens to exchange views and give constructive inputs."Rajendra Pratap Gupta, who is coordinating the citizens' circle initiative, told ET that the group will monitor the performance of all ministries to ensure they fulfill the promises made in the manifesto. Of course, the objectivity of the group remains debatable given that it is run by the BJP, but it reveals yet another facet of a complex and extensive PR strategy built around social media.Modi had written in a letter on the new PMO website saying, " I am a firm believer in the power of technology and social media to communicate with people across the world. I hope this platform creates opportunities to listen, learn and share one's view."With that kind of endorsement from the big man, the Modi sarkar shows every sign of becoming a full-blown social media junkie.

‘But first, let me take a selfie’

BUSINESS LINE, May 6, 2014 Link: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/but-first-let-me-take-a-selfie/article5982968.ece  
Companies are using selfies to promote their brands  
 First, Barack Obama’s selfie at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service went viral. Next, it was Narendra Modi’s turn to take the picture of his inked finger, while the credit for the most re-tweeted selfie goes to Oscar awards host Ellen DeGeneres.
Perhaps taking the cue from celebrities, companies are now using selfies – internet’s biggest trend - to promote their brands. The Oxford Dictionary, which recognised selfie as the word of the year (2013), defines it as: “a photograph one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or a webcam and uploaded to a social media website”. “Brands have begun using selfies to create a buzz. A number of campaigns have already been launched, with companies utilising it to create brand awareness, brand loyalty and brand recall,” said Zafar Rais, Chief Executive Officer at MindShift Interactive, a digital marketing firm. The campaigns with a #hashtag are conducted on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram and other microblogging sites and lifestyle blogs. For instance, Max Bupa Health Insurance recently conducted a campaign about health insurances by asking people to take family selfies and upload them on Twitter. The campaign - #FamilySelfie – touched 2.4 lakh online users. “Selfies are emerging as an important platform and every brand needs to capitalise early on to this trend. Brands are earmarking about 10-20 per cent of their total advertising spend on digital marketing, of which selfie campaigns are becoming a major part,” said Max Bupa Health Insurance’s Director Sevantika Bhandari. Another instance was that of Lancome India. The luxury perfumes and cosmetics company’s #GoNoFilter campaign urged Instagrammers to post pictures taken without using filters. The seven-day photo challenge was also the largest Instagram outreach campaign in India. Dove’s #DoveSelfie campaign also found its mark among social media users. The beauty brand invited women to take self pictures of their best hairstyle, as per a theme of the day. On Monday, GSM operator Vodafone India launched a group selfie contest – #vodafonefanarmy – under its consumer engagement programme. Skybags (#BackisTheNewFront) and McDowell’s Signature (#SignatureSelfies) were other brands to have successfully tested a selfie as a marketing tool. As of October 2013, there are about 35 million selfies on Instagram globally, according to a MindShift study. As for sharing of selfies, Facebook leads with 48 per cent, followed by WhatsApp and text messages (27 per cent), Twitter (9 per cent), Instagram (8 per cent), Snapchat (5 per cent) and Pinterest (2 per cent). However, will selfies rake in some moolah for corporates? “That seems a little far-fetched,” added MindShift Interactive’s Rais. Now, a force to reckon with, Indian brands have begun humming lines from US-based The Chainsmokers’ hit song: ‘But first, let me take a selfie.’  

USSIE: PHOTO-BOMBING THE SELFIE

VERVE MAY 06, 2014 Link: http://www.vervemagazine.in/arts-and-culture/ussie-photo-bombing-the-selfie   On the beach in Mexico? Take an ussie! People have evolved from clicking a narcissistic selfie to a more socially approved ‘ussie’. Verve gives you the know-how on this newest social addiction Oscar ussie with Jennifer Lawrence Bradley Cooper Ellen DeGeneres

The infamous Ellen DeGeneres/ Bradley Cooper Twitter celebrity picture, with a record-breaking shot holding 11 people, knocked out the selfie wave. After scouring the internet, we took an instant liking to the term ‘ussie’.

What is an ussie? Zafar Rais, CEO at MindShift Interactive, gave us the complete low-down on this growing obsession. He defines ussie as the next-level selfie. “It’s a self-inflicted group photo where the participant of the group also acts as the one taking the picture.” More justifiable than the selfie, it adds more viral-ity to your photograph once uploaded, as ussies are interesting to the person taking them and the ones in them – unlike its unfriendly predecessor. Verve’s guide to perfecting the trend 1. The person with the longest arm should take the picture, to ensure the most panoramic and flattering view. Make sure the person taking the picture doesn’t hold the award for shakiest hand, or else all you’ll have is a distorted mess. 2. The more people in the frame, the better your lighting should be. 3. Practice your pose. A few calculated moves can avoid the usual clamouring of “No! Delete that one”. 4. Look into the eye of the camera. Most have the tendency to look at their reflection. Whichever you do, it’s best to look in the same direction. 5. The perfect time to click an ussie is in swimsuits with suntans! We all know how it’s never easy finding someone to take a photo for you. Ussies lend the hand and ability to click the photo independently, without missing out on the friend who usually forfeits being in the picture.

Guest Times: The ‘Selfie’ epidemic – lessons for marketers

BEST MEDIA INFO, May 5, 2014 Link: http://www.bestmediainfo.com/2014/05/guest-times-the-selfie-epidemic-lessons-for-marketers/   Zafar Rais, Founder & CEO, MindShift Interactive, writes about the relevance of selfies to brands and how the likes of Dove and Max Bupa have tapped into this potent audience group Zafar Rais On November 19, 2013, social media got more importance with the inclusion of ‘selfie’ in the Oxford Dictionary as the International Word of the Year 2013. If you’re wondering what the term means, the Oxford Dictionary defines it as: (n.) a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website. The Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year is a word, or expression, that is chosen once it begins to attract a lot of attention during the year, reflecting the ethos or mood of the particular year and having cultural significance. The word is shortlisted through over 150 million words of current English that are in use across the web. Selfie, as an expression and action, has garnered a large amount of traction within the last one year with an increase in frequency of use of the word by 17,000 per cent, making it a choice with little debate. A lesser known fact is that selfie was first used in 2002 on an Australian online forum and then gained momentum via social media in 2013, becoming mainstream shorthand for a self-portrait photograph. According to a 2013 survey, two-thirds of Australian women aged 18-35 years take selfies with the purpose of posting it on Facebook, the leader when it comes to the platform where the largest number of selfies is posted. Samsung’s poll shows that 30 per cent of the photos taken by people in the age group of 18-24 years are selfies and that resonates louder with Instagram proudly highlighting the existence of 35 million selfies on the platform as of October 2013. A selfie is a way of you showing something about yourself making you question the Duck Selfies which are claimed to perform 1,112 per cent better than regular selfies on Instagram! So, why does one need to take selfies? Given that social media platforms are breeding grounds for flattery and support from friends in the form of likes and comments, it’s no surprise that the term gained popularity amongst various age groups and audiences alongside the adoption of Instagram. The youth are digitally born and their opinions and decisions are driven by what their friends think of them and what makes them constantly connected. How they’re perceived and accepted is defined by the places they go to, the clothes they wear and even the lip shade they’ve considered for the day. All this, and the company they keep, gets covered through a selfie, giving them a boost in the way they see themselves and present themselves in front of others. The youth develop themselves based on societal acceptance and the competitive nature of humans through likes, comments and shares boosts our morale and compare our lives, giving the confidence of being accepted. What you’re wearing and where you are were the most common selfies until the celebrity selfie at the Oscars was shot by Ellen DeGeneres at the 86th Academy Awards with 12 celebrities, becoming the most retweeted photograph ever garnering a total of 3 million retweets and receiving total impressions of 32.8 million through Twitter and news sites. Ellen’s group selfies brought about the current trend of taking selfies in large groups, termed as #Ussie or #OscarSelfie, also increasing the audience age group to older adults. Selfies have no occasion but statistically the popular locations for taking a selfie are holidays, homes and night-outs. The top reasons for taking a selfie are to remember happy moments, capturing a funny one or showing off a brilliant outfit. selfies The business that selfies have opened up is evident with technology investments through mobile applications that help you touch up your photographs to mobile messaging platforms like Snapchat created with the intention of chatting via photos or videos, to smartphones with front-view cameras that make it easier to take multiple photos until you get the right one to be labeled as your selfie. So where are selfies being shared? With 35 million selfies posted on Instagram, it is responsible for making selfie what it is today. Instagram’s key success factor continues to be the ability to touch up photographs before they go online. Having said that, as of now Facebook leads the way with 48 per cent usage of selfies coming from it but the ability for tools such as Instagram that sync with Twitter and Facebook seamlessly to increase outreach will go on to make Instagram a leader in capitalising upon the selfie phenomenon. social Selfie as a hashtag grew more than 200 per cent in usage since January 2013 while making way for adaptations in the form of #selfiesunday, #selfienation and some rather interesting hashtags doing the rounds like #belfie(bottom selfie), #aftersex selfies with people snuggled up to their lovers and, of course, the #OscarSelfie which brought about the trend of taking photographs in large groups and is also termed as #ussie. selfies2 Do selfies have any relevance to brands? Wherever you look, it’s a given you will see people standing with their phones and arms stretched out, ready to click a selfie. This gives rise to a marketers need to tap into this potential audience and get their attention. The keyword here continues towards being the essence of social media – gaining insights about your consumers by listening to them and decoding what they truly want, and how they want it. This, merged with understanding mindsets behind a selfie, and how to go about creating a connect with your brand would ensure success for the brand. Here are a few who have rightly merged consumer and brand insights to achieve success on digital. 1. Dove #BeautyIs (Global) & #DoveSelfie (India) launched on Women’s Day Selfies were used as a route to inspire through a series of videos celebrating real beauty and showcasing how social media helps redefine beauty. The videos highlighted how mothers and daughters compare their perceived flaws to attributes others compliment them on. The video garnered a total of 9 lakh views and helped create a mind shift amongst each of the individuals interviewed on how they saw themselves. In India, Dove launched the #DoveSelfie contest inviting women to take a selfie of their best hairstyle as per the theme of the day and post it across Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. dove-ad 2.  Max Bupa Health Insurance – #FamilySelfie Highlighting their insurance plan targeted at the entire family, & tapping the Indian sentiment of taking photographs with family members, Max Bupa encouraged Twitter audiences to take a family selfie with their loved ones. With participations from influential tweets, the campaign garnered a total outreach of 244,000, driving further awareness of the brand on Twitter while giving it a boost 500 targeted followers within four days. maxbupa 3. Skybags #BackIsTheNewFront In order to promote the brand’s latest backpack, the campaign highlighted how everything is done backwards in today’s times, and included the concept of reverse selfies, where one had to show off their unique style with their backs facing the camera either with the help of a mirror or get it clicked by someone. skybags 4. McDowell’s Signature – #SignatureSelfies Leveraging smartphone users and with the attempt to help people take better selfies, the contest roped in ace fashion photographer, Atul Kasbekar, and launched an Android and iOS application with filters to enhance the look of the selfie taken, along with tips from the photographer himself. With the limitations alcohol brands have in marketing themselves, this was an excellent strategy towards connecting with the youth and creating brand evangelism. One element that defines the success of each of these brands leveraging selfies is that they all make people feel good about themselves and help them showcase something they’d like to. That defines the success based on understanding the consumer pulse, and ensures positive brand outreach. Wrapping up As brands tie in with the term and get their hands around it along with a better grasp of visual styling networks like Instagram, the future of selfies seems promising and the word definitely won’t be just a fad. Apple has embarked on a mission to allow their users to take the highest quality of selfies from their smartphones in the history of humanity while also offering a new section in the iTunes store dedicated to Sharing Selfie apps while fixing lenses to the iPhone. Instagram sees a daily traffic of 7.3 million users, and an average of 60 million photos uploaded daily. Being acquired by Facebook makes it more seamless and susceptible of owning and leading the selfie domain for years to come. Gmail, in an attempt to be at the forefront of innovation, has recently announced ‘Shelfie’, the Shareable Selfie, built on the idea that you shouldn’t be selfish with your selfie. Shelfie enables you to check, read and write emails while seeing your face in the background. The confidence Gmail shows is evident with their claim to make Shelfie the Word of the Year 2014. As they say, there is no such thing as bad publicity and that becomes evident with accusations being thrown at selfies of increasing enquiries with plastic surgeons to making the next generation vain and addicted to their phones. (Zafar Rais has an experience of 15 years in Marketing, Branding, Business Development, Operations, Research and Product Innovation. He has played various roles in his career but with a focus on Digital, a calling that came while he headed branding at Kellogg India, taking on the onus of creating interactive social engagement. Through his entrepreneurial venture, MindShift Inetractive, Rais aims to deliver an insightful digital outreach for businesses and create a Social Media presence that is intelligent, impactful, innovative and, most of all, sustained. His leadership, MindShift Interactive runs three verticals, namely, MindShift Digital (Digital Marketing & Influencer Relations), MindShift Metrics (Digital Research Consulting) and MindShift Activate (Events & Promotions.)

How Lancome wooed the selfies…

VJ Media Works, April 25. 2014 Link: http://www.vjmediaworks.com/retail/shoppermarketing-detail.html?id=36_How_Lancome_wooed_the_selfies   Lancome India launched their new variant ‘Dreamtone’ on Instagram along with MindShift Interactive in a campaign titled #GoNoFilter to target women and the Selfie generation of the country. Read on to know more... Social media is becoming a hub where brands and shoppers meet and get closer on new levels of engagement offering quick data analysis. As Lancome India, along with MindShift Interactive, launched Dreamtone on Instagram to create the   #GoNoFilter campaign targeting women and the Selfie generation of the country, we find what it took to create an engaging campaign which earned the brand 1500 new followers in just three months' time. As the campaign hit 1500 followers within three months, the initiative is labeled as India's largest Instagram campaign. MindShift Interactive crafted a campaign around the fact that women love SELFIES (self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a hand-held digital camera) and displaying it across social media platforms. The campaign titled '#GoNoFilter' ran women through various challenges over the course of 7 days geared towards the idea of sharing photographs without the use of an Instagram filter (filters are a commonly used feature of Instagram that allows users to enhance their photographs), in connection with DreamTone which claims to bring about the confidence in women to go without make up. Kiran Singh, General Manager – Lancome India, said speaking about the campaign, “The target group for Lancôme skincare especially is women over 30  with sophisticated tastes, and who understand the value of efficacious skincare that is backed by extensive research. With DreamTone, which is a skin tone correcting product, the skincare catalogue has now become an excellent proposition for women in their 20’s as well who believe that prevention is a better option than just a solution. The Lancôme make-up range has always been something that many women swear by especially for products like our mascara. There are frequent make up launches that keep the excitement going and promoting these launches on our digital media works well for us. The best way, we feel, to entice customers is to offer them products that are truly relevant to them and that deliver results, all with extremely high levels of service.” Influential Instagrammers in the beauty & lifestyle domain participated and got their followers to indulge in the #GoNoFilter Challenge, in the form of a 7 Day Photo challenge. As a part of the challenge, Instagrammers were asked to post beautiful pictures of things that inspired them without using any filters. Keeping in line with the aesthetics of Instagram, the best entries were shortlisted and winners were gratified. The challenge engaged about 200+ participants with over 1,500 images being posted using the #GoNoFilter hashtag. As a result, the followers of Lancôme India doubled, growing from 600 to 1200+ in a span of 7 days and leading to conversations across Facebook, Twitter and lifestyle blogs. Zafar Rais, Founder & CEO, Mindshift Interactive Pvt. Ltd,. said, speaking about the campaign, “The challenge created a superlative engagement of 7%-8% (average engagement is about 4% across brands) showcasing increased consumer enquiries (sales& awareness) for the product. In addition to the above we brought together a luxurious Tea Party at the Lancôme Boutique where the brand introduced DreamTone, over a relaxing pampering evening for niche Bloggers and Twitter and Instagram influencers. With over 50 photographs of the event and products being shared on social platforms using #LancomeLove and #DreamTone, influencer relations were successfully nurtured towards give #GoNoFilter its due outreach.” He further added, “  Women were elated with the campaign and spoke of #GoNoFilter at the store to the level of asking for it given they'd love to experiment with a product that allowed them the confidence to step out without make-up.” In addition to the campaign, MindShift Interactive has been responsible for creating a sustained and engaging presence for the brand with the provision of content through visual styling for Lancôme, making it a benchmark amongst international counterparts. Zafar Rais adds, "Insights form a crucial part of a brand's strategy on digital. We decided to launch Lancome India on Instagram with the insight that women love the platform along with the data showcasing people loved sharing photographs with Filters on Instagram. We dared women to go beyond the regular and share their best snaps, without any touch ups to their images and see how much people love them as it is. The same insight was used for their Selfies, helping them realise that after using DreamTone they'd see a visible confidence towards going without make- up." Kiran Singh from Lancome India adds talking about the impact of the campaign, "It is the main reason why we grew rather quickly in terms of followers and the engagement with our users has been great. It’s been great to see people showing off their Lancôme products!”

Lancôme India Debuts on Instagram with Biggest Outreach Campaign

INDIA RETAILING, April 23. 2014 Link: http://www.indiaretailing.com/Beauty/7/31/32/10232/Lanc%C3%B4me-India-Debuts-on-Instagram-with-Biggest-Outreach-Campaign   In a bid to promote its new skin care product range DreamTone, famous beauty brand, Lancôme India has debuted on Instagram with an innovative campaign. The campaign has become India’s first successful Instagram campaign, making it reach 1,500 targeted followers in span of three months. The brand partnered with MindShift Interactive to craft a campaign with insights on Women love Selfies and how women have increasingly been displaying their love for Instagram versus other social networks. The influential followers of Instagram in the beauty and lifestyle domain participated in the campaign and also got their followers to indulge in a seven Day Photo Challenge. The challenge engaged about 200 plus participants with over 1,500 images being posted using the #GoNoFilter hashtag. As a result, the followers of Lancôme India doubled growing from 600 to 1200 plus in a span of seven days and leading to conversations across Facebook, Twitter and lifestyle blogs.

Lancome India’s #GoNoFilter Campaign For New Product Launch

MEDIA POONDI, April 21, 2014 Link: http://www.mediapoondi.com/2014/04/21/lancome-indias-gonofilter-campaign-for-new-product-launch/   To launch its new product ‘Dreamtone’  Lancome India with agency MindShift Interactive created a social media campaign that focused on Instagram and the hash tag #GoNoFilter. MindShift Interactive leveraged their experience in devising an Instagram Influencer Marketing based campaign. The brand’s insight was that their target market was not actively using Facebook but still loved taking selfies and sharing them on Instagram. The brand organized an offline even in Mumbai and Delhi with a 7 day Photo Challenge. (more…)

Lancôme goes no-filter on Instagram

Best Media Info, April 8, 2014 Link: http://www.bestmediainfo.com/2014/04/lancome-goes-no-filter-on-instagram/   MindShift Interactive designs campaign to launch its new-generation customized skin tone correcting serum, Dreamtone; brand sees jump in online followers Lancome While Facebook and Twitter have been the most used social media platforms which have gone beyond just a method to keeping in touch, there are other platforms available on the web which can serve a strong purpose for marketers. Lancôme India has launched its new-generation customized skin tone correcting serum, Dreamtone, using the popular filter and photo app, Instagram. MindShift Interactive designed an Instagram campaign around the product titled #GoNoFilter. The idea behind the campaign was to make Lancôme India a well-known brand especially among the youth. Lancôme made the bold move of solely using a digital interface for the product launch, with insights on how women love ‘selfies’ (self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a hand-held digital camera) and how women have increasingly been displaying their love for Instagram vis-à-vis other social networks. Kiran Singh, General Manager, Lancôme India, said, “We partnered with MindShift Interactive for the launch of the latest edition to our star skincare range, DreamTone. What set them aside was their keen sense of aesthetics and their strong sensitivity towards luxury brands. The MindShift team was very intuitive of our needs and understood our brand well. We were very pleased with the way Instagram was integrated into our digital strategy. #GoNoFilter was a fabulous way to start off our Instagram journey, and the response we received from users, in terms of engagement with our content as well as creating their own, was promising.” Influential Instagrammers in the beauty & lifestyle domain participated and got their followers to indulge in the #GoNoFilter Challenge, in the form of a 7-Day Photo Challenge. As part of the challenge, Instagrammers were asked to post beautiful pictures of things that inspired them without using any filters, which are a commonly used feature of Instagram that allows users to enhance their photographs. Keeping in line with the aesthetics of Instagram, the best entries were shortlisted and winners were gratified. The challenge engaged about 200+ participants with over 1,500 images being posted using the #GoNoFilter hashtag. As a result, the followers of Lancôme India doubled, growing from 600 to 1,200+ in the span of seven days and leading to conversations across Facebook, Twitter and lifestyle blogs. The campaign led to increased consumer enquiries, sales and awareness of the product. MindShift Interactive also brought together a luxurious Tea Party at the Lancôme Boutique where the brand introduced DreamTone over a relaxing, pampering evening for niche bloggers and Twitter and Instagram influencers. With over 50 photographs of the event and products being shared on social platforms using #LancomeLove and #DreamTone, influencer relations were successfully nurtured to give #GoNoFilter its due outreach. Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift Interactive, said, “MindShift has always leveraged Insights as a route of ensuring impact for businesses, and we merged them along with a deep understanding of lifestyle and luxury brands to deliver the #GoNoFilter campaign for Lancôme India. Instagram is a growing platform in India and when used appropriately can deliver volumes for brands looking at tapping the mobile engaged demographic.”

HomeShop18’s #MakesMeHappy campaign engages 23Mn users

India Infoline, March 4, 2014 Link: http://www.indiainfoline.com/Markets/News/homeshop18/5879015373  

The success of this campaign was defined by the use of a generic hashtag and personalized caricatures

MindShift Interactive, leading digital marketing and research firm, successfully completed a comprehensive Social Media campaign that created an unprecedented buzz for HomeShop18’s new ‘Shopping Makes Me Happy’ jingle. The one-of-its kind social media campaign was emotionally driven to bring a singular opinion asking people What makes them happy. The campaign garnered an overall outreach of 23 Mn users across Social Media, trending for over 24 hours across India and engaged a total outreach of 816,532 on Facebook, 636, 540 on Twitter and 240,000 on Instagram. The success of this campaign was defined by the use of a generic hashtag and personalized caricatures that resulted over 5000 organic views for the video which contained HomeShop18’s jingle. Flowchart: Alternate Process: Key Highlights • 23 MillionOverall Social Media Outreach • 5549 Organic Video Views • 87% Social Media Sentiment • 4942 User Conversations • 4.7Mn Influencer Outreach The campaign was built in 5 phases with Twitter conversations revolving around happiness and excitement amongst key opinion leaders& vibrant digital enthusiasts. The interactions started with influencers exchanging tweets with reasons and people that made them happy across Twitter. The conversations with ‘Happy’ thoughts saw huge traction on Twitter with several people talking about their experiences as a result of which HomeShop18 surprised people with vouchers to increase the happiness quotient. With conversations at a peak with influencers and followers alike, HomeShop18 announced the Shopping Makes Me Happy Jingle video and encouraged their followers to share happy moments using the hashtag #MakesMeHappy. The hashtag trended along with augmented conversations, interactions & live tweets, resulting in increased dialogue amongst digital enthusiasts. Audiencesincreased the sentiment outreach further by engaging their followers on topics involving shopping, family, love and all things that made them happy.The largest innovation in the campaign that makes it stand out from the usual ones was the creation of personalized caricatures that brought alive the tweets on happiness and were gifted to each person as a surprise on their timeline. These personalized caricatures created an elevated enthusiasm amongst the influencers which gave an opportunity to MindShift to anchor a one-of-its kind ‘Caricature Video’. The video was made on-the-go and was a compilation of the innovative tweet caricatures, happy moments uploaded by followers and with background music that represented it all; the HomeShop18 jingle. This was shared across the social media realm by HomeShop18’s owned platforms on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest and of course YouTube, giving a total of over 5500 organic views within 3 hours. (Link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOitKabIUOE) Well known celebrities like Mandira Bedi, blogger Miss Malini, stand-up comedians like Kunal Rao and Sahil Shah alsogot involved in the campaign and were seen sharing emotions around what #MakesMeHappy. Network expansion was generated through engagement activities with popular brands from the hospitality sector& several e-commerce portals. Commenting on the immense response garnered through this campaign, Zafar Rais, CEO of MindShift Interactive said “We leveraged social media’s greatest need-Conversations, and accelerated that with surprise elements to break away from the clutter. A mixture of influencers, caricatures and creating on-the-go videos added to the uniqueness of our #MakesMeHappy campaign resulting in the attention of 23 million individuals across social media.” As quoted by Vikrant Khanna, Chief Marketing Officer, HomeShop18 “To break away from the clutter, it’s important for a brand to keep innovating, and with HomeShop18 that’s how we create benchmarks. The brief was towards letting everybody know about our new positioning and embedding our Shopping Makes Me Happy jingle in their minds. The response and conversations we saw online is evidence of the success it achieved.”

I, me, myselfie

Business Line, April 3, 2014 Link: http://m.thehindubusinessline.com/features/brandline/i-me-myselfie/article5867299.ece/?maneref=https://www.google.co.in/  
There are enough people standing with their phone-clutching hands extended for a selfie. Are marketers focusing here?
The selfie first appeared in 2002 on an Australian online forum before the social media catapulted this shorthand for a ‘self-portrait photograph’ into the mainstream, and even the Oxford Dictionary, in 2013. A survey that year found two-thirds of Australian women aged 18–35 took selfies to post on Facebook, the most popular destination for the selfie. Samsung’s poll showed that 30 per cent of the photos taken by 18-to-24-year-olds were selfies, and that clearly resonates with online photo- and video-sharing social network Instagram’s proud declaration that it hosted 35 million selfies as of October 2013. The youth in this digital age are greatly driven by what their friends think of them and what makes them constantly connected. How they are perceived and accepted is often defined by the places they go to, the clothes they wear and even the lip shade they have considered for the day. The selfie captures all this, as well as the company they keep, boosting their self-image. What you were wearing and where you were remained the most common selfies until the celebrity Oscar selfie shot by talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres at the 86th Academy Awards became the most retweeted photograph ever. That sparked off the current trend of taking selfies in large groups, termed as #Ussie or #OscarSelfie, and now the older adults too joined in. Statistically, the popular locations for the selfie are holidays, homes and nights out. The top reasons for taking one include freezing a happy moment, capturing a funny one or showing off a brilliant outfit. The business that selfies have opened up is evident from the technology investments in mobile applications that allow you touch up your photographs, mobile messaging platforms such as Snapchat that enable chatting via photos or videos, and smartphones with front-view cameras to snap a selfie at your best. So where are selfies being shared? With 35 million selfies, Instagram is responsible for making the selfie what it is today. The feature that allows one to touch up photographs before they go online is key to Instagram’s success. Having said that, Facebook currently leads, with 48 per cent of selfies coming from it; but the ability to sync with Twitter and Facebook to increase outreach will make Instagram the leader in capitalising on the selfies phenomenon. Selfie as a hashtag grew more than 200 per cent in usage since January 2013, making way for adaptations such as #selfiesunday, #selfienation and some rather interesting hashtags such as #belfie (bottom selfie), #aftersex selfies showing people snuggled up to their lovers and, of course, the #OscarSelfie. Do selfies have any relevance to brands? There are enough people standing with their phone-clutching hands extended, ready to click a selfie. Marketers will need to tap this potential audience and get their attention. The keyword here remains the essence of social media — gaining insights about your consumers by listening to them and decoding what they truly want, and how they want it. This, together with understanding the mindset behind a selfie, and the ways to create a connect with your brand. Here are a few who have got it right. Dove: #BeautyIs (Global) and #DoveSelfie (India) launched on Women’s Day Selfies were used to inspire, through a series of videos celebrating real beauty. In the videos, mothers and daughters compare their perceived flaws to the attributes others compliment them on. The videos garnered nearly 9 lakh views and helped create a mindshift in how the individuals interviewed saw themselves. In India, the #DoveSelfie contest invited women to take a selfie of their best hairstyle according to the theme of the day and post it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Max Bupa Health Insurance: #FamilySelfie Highlighting its insurance plan for the entire family and tapping the Indian love for taking family photographs, Max Bupa encouraged Twitter users to post a family selfie with loved ones. With influential tweeps joining in, the campaign attracted 2.44 lakh participants and 500 targeted followers within four days. Skybags: #BackIsTheNewFront To promote the brand’s latest backpack, the campaign highlighted how everything is done backwards these days, including the trend of reverse selfies, where one had to show off unique personal styles with the back facing the camera and taking either the help of a mirror or another person to click the picture. McDowell’s Signature: #SignatureSelfies Leveraging smartphone users and helping them take better selfies, the contest roped in ace fashion photographer Atul Kasbekar to provide tips and launched an Android and iOS application with filters to enhance the selfie. With the marketing limitations on alcohol brands, this was an excellent strategy to connect with the youth and create brand evangelism. As brands engage more with the concept of the selfie, it clearly won’t remain just a fad. Apple has embarked on a mission to enable users to take the highest-quality selfies from their smartphones, while also offering a new section in the iTunes store dedicated to selfie-sharing apps and fixing lenses to the iPhone. Instagram sees a daily traffic of 7.3 million users, and an average of 60 million photos uploaded daily. It acquisition by Facebook makes it more seamless and capable of leading the selfie domain for years to come. Gmail recently announced Shelfie, the Shareable Selfie, built on the idea that you shouldn’t be selfish with your selfie. Shelfie enables you to check, read and write emails while seeing your face in the background. Gmail is confident it can make ‘Shelfie’ the Word of the Year 2014. (ZAFAR RAIS Founder & CEO, Mindshift Interactive)

Social Media Case Study : How HomeShop18’s #MakesMeHappy Campaign Went Viral to 23Mn Users Within 24 hours

Social Samosa, April 2, 2014 Link: http://www.socialsamosa.com/2014/04/social-media-case-study-homeshop18-makesmehappy-campaign/   Brand Name Homeshop 18 Agency Name MindShift Interactive Introduction MindShift Interactive, leading digital marketing and research firm, successfully completed a comprehensive Social Media campaign that created an unprecedented buzz for HomeShop18’s new ‘Shopping Makes Me Happy’ jingle. The one-of-its kind social media campaign was emotionally driven to bring to viewers one single question: What makes them happy? Objective
  • Create awareness about HomeShop18′s new positioning and jingle.
  • Drive maximum conversations around it
Execution The campaign was built in 5 phases with Twitter conversations revolving around happiness and excitement among key opinion leaders and vibrant digital enthusiasts. The interactions began with influencers exchanging tweets with reasons and people that made them happy, across Twitter. The conversations with ‘Happy’ thoughts saw a huge traction on Twitter , with several people talking about their experiences as a result of which HomeShop18 surprised people with vouchers to increase the happiness quotient. With conversations at a pea, from influencers and followers alike, HomeShop18 launched the Shopping Makes Me Happy Jingle video and encouraged their followers to share happy moments using the hashtag #MakesMeHappy. The hashtag trended along with augmented conversations, interactions, and live tweets, resulting in an increased dialogue amongst digital enthusiasts. Results The campaign garnered an overall outreach of 23 million users across Social Media, trending for over 24 hours across India and engaged a total outreach of 8,16,532on Facebook, 6,36,540 on Twitter and 2,40,000 on Instagram.

Social Media Case Study : How HomeShop18’s #MakesMeHappy Campaign Went Viral to 23Mn Users Within 24 hours

Social Samosa, April 2, 2014 Link: http://www.socialsamosa.com/2014/04/social-media-case-study-homeshop18-makesmehappy-campaign/   Brand Name Homeshop 18 Agency Name MindShift Interactive Introduction MindShift Interactive, leading digital marketing and research firm, successfully completed a comprehensive Social Media campaign that created an unprecedented buzz for HomeShop18’s new ‘Shopping Makes Me Happy’ jingle. The one-of-its kind social media campaign was emotionally driven to bring to viewers one single question: What makes them happy? Objective
  • Create awareness about HomeShop18′s new positioning and jingle.
  • Drive maximum conversations around it
Execution The campaign was built in 5 phases with Twitter conversations revolving around happiness and excitement among key opinion leaders and vibrant digital enthusiasts. The interactions began with influencers exchanging tweets with reasons and people that made them happy, across Twitter. The conversations with ‘Happy’ thoughts saw a huge traction on Twitter , with several people talking about their experiences as a result of which HomeShop18 surprised people with vouchers to increase the happiness quotient. With conversations at a pea, from influencers and followers alike, HomeShop18 launched the Shopping Makes Me Happy Jingle video and encouraged their followers to share happy moments using the hashtag #MakesMeHappy. The hashtag trended along with augmented conversations, interactions, and live tweets, resulting in an increased dialogue amongst digital enthusiasts. Results The campaign garnered an overall outreach of 23 million users across Social Media, trending for over 24 hours across India and engaged a total outreach of 8,16,532on Facebook, 6,36,540 on Twitter and 2,40,000 on Instagram.

Shopping made easy – HomeShop18 went digital to refresh its offering on a limited budget

Business Standard, March 31, 2014 Link: http://www.business-standard.com/article/management/shopping-made-easy-114033000654_1.html   Name of the brand: HomeShop18 Agency: MindShift Interactive Digital case: Shopping Makes Me Happy E-commerce is best described as a warzone currently. With competition mounting HomeShop18 wanted to refresh itself to stay relevant. It came up with an interesting new proposition-'Shopping Makes Me Happy'- but the problem was it had a small budget. The jingle had to be popularised with a digital-first strategy that encouraged interactivity. The only other support vehicle would be radio - so that the jingle can be popularised quickly. Shopping-HomeShop18 The main online vehicle it zeroed in was Twitter. The danger was that the social networking site was fraught with contests, with something new being launched every other week. In short, HomeShop18's strategy had to be clutter breaking. For HomeShop 18, the target group was 22-40 year-old audiences that express themselves openly via social media and go for e-commerce portals as their primary route of shopping. MindShift Interactive was hired as the agency to create the digital innovation. HomeShop18 had to bear in mind the insight that with decreasing attention spans and with the ever-increasing number of campaigns, consumers were becoming selective about the brands they wanted to interact with. Given that, the social media campaign was driven on emotion -people were asked what made them happy. The campaign was built in five phases with Twitter conversations revolving around happiness and excitement among key opinion leaders and digital enthusiasts. The campaign garnered an overall outreach of 23 million users across social media, trending for over a day in India. With conversations at a peak among influencers and followers alike, HomeShop18 announced the 'Shopping Makes Me Happy' jingle video and encouraged followers to share happy moments using the hashtag #MakesMeHappy. The biggest innovation in the campaign was the creation of personalised caricatures that brought alive the tweets and were gifted to people as a surprise post on their timelines. These personalised caricatures really elevated the level of enthusiasm and gave an opportunity to MindShift to anchor a unique caricature video. The results demonstrated the power of social media. The total number of tweets on the topic were 9,937, and timeline deliveries were to the tune of 17,229,339. There were 100-plus re-tweets for the personalised caricatures. Facebook postings crossed 2 lakh. The #MakesMeHappy video posted 5,547 views on YouTube. On Instagram it reached 2,40,000 views, while on Pinterest it touched 9,142.  

HomeShop18’s #MakesMeHappy campaign, by MindShift Interactive, goes viral engaging 23Mn users within 24 hours!

Afaqs, March 3, 2014 Link: http://www.afaqs.com/media/media_newslets/index.html?id=57291_HomeShop18%27s+   MindShift Interactive, leading digital marketing and research firm, successfully completed a comprehensive Social Media campaign that created an unprecedented buzz for HomeShop18's new ‘Shopping Makes Me Happy' jingle. The one-of-its kind social media campaign was emotionally driven to bring a singular opinion asking people What makes them happy. The campaign garnered an overall outreach of 23 Mn users across Social Media, trending for over 24 hours across India and engaged a total outreach of 816,532 on Facebook, 636, 540 on Twitter and 240,000 on Instagram. The success of this campaign was defined by the use of a generic hashtag and personalized caricatures that resulted over 5000 organic views for the video which contained HomeShop18's jingle. Flowchart: Alternate Process: Key Highlights • 23 MillionOverall Social Media Outreach • 5549 Organic Video Views • 87% Social Media Sentiment • 4942 User Conversations • 4.7Mn Influencer Outreach The campaign was built in 5 phases with Twitter conversations revolving around happiness and excitement amongst key opinion leaders& vibrant digital enthusiasts. The interactions started with influencers exchanging tweets with reasons and people that made them happy across Twitter. The conversations with ‘Happy' thoughts saw huge traction on Twitter with several people talking about their experiences as a result of which HomeShop18 surprised people with vouchers to increase the happiness quotient. With conversations at a peak with influencers and followers alike, HomeShop18 announced the Shopping Makes Me Happy Jingle video and encouraged their followers to share happy moments using the hashtag #MakesMeHappy. The hashtag trended along with augmented conversations, interactions & live tweets, resulting in increased dialogue amongst digital enthusiasts. Audiencesincreased the sentiment outreach further by engaging their followers on topics involving shopping, family, love and all things that made them happy.The largest innovation in the campaign that makes it stand out from the usual ones was the creation of personalized caricatures that brought alive the tweets on happiness and were gifted to each person as a surprise on their timeline. These personalized caricatures created an elevated enthusiasm amongst the influencers which gave an opportunity to MindShift to anchor a one-of-its kind ‘Caricature Video'. The video was made on-the-go and was a compilation of the innovative tweet caricatures, happy moments uploaded by followers and with background music that represented it all; the HomeShop18 jingle. This was shared across the social media realm by HomeShop18's owned platforms on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest and of course YouTube, giving a total of over 5500 organic views within 3 hours. (Link to the video: http://bit.ly/HS18MMHC) Well known celebrities like Mandira Bedi, blogger Miss Malini, stand-up comedians like Kunal Rao and Sahil Shah alsogot involved in the campaign and were seen sharing emotions around what #MakesMeHappy. Network expansion was generated through engagement activities with popular brands from the hospitality sector& several e-commerce portals. Commenting on the immense response garnered through this campaign, Zafar Rais, CEO of MindShift Interactive said “We leveraged social media's greatest need-Conversations, and accelerated that with surprise elements to break away from the clutter. A mixture of influencers, caricatures and creating on-the-go videos added to the uniqueness of our #MakesMeHappy campaign resulting in the attention of 23 million individuals across social media.” As quoted by Vikrant Khanna, Chief Marketing Officer, HomeShop18 “To break away from the clutter, it's important for a brand to keep innovating, and with HomeShop18 that's how we create benchmarks. The brief was towards letting everybody know about our new positioning and embedding our Shopping Makes Me Happy jingle in their minds. The response and conversations we saw online is evidence of the success it achieved.” Clik here to view: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOitKabIUOE

Social Media Case Study : How SulaFest 2014 Reached Out to More than 50 Million People on Social Medias

Social Samosa, February 28, 2014 Link: http://www.socialsamosa.com/2014/02/social-media-case-study-sulafest-2014/   Brand Name Sula Vineyards – Sulafest ’14 Agency Name MindShift Interactive Pvt. Ltd. Objectives
  •  Increase buzz, engagement and the desire to attend Sulafest among loyalists and new audiences
  •  Build awareness of the schedule and the partners
  •  Highlight what’s new and expected in 2014 at Sulafest
  •  Generate sales for the event
Execution Phase 1 Facebook  Main stage line-up, travel plans, accommodation and ticket sales went up on the event page and allowed people, who were attending, to co-ordinate. Relived the good memories, shared the key; artists shared brand loyalist testimonials.
  • We disclosed one band every alternate day
  • True fans were identified by clues given before the event
  • Recall and adoption for artists created through the sharing of band videos
Twitter
  • Users were asked to share their reasons for attending #SulaFest
  • Send in a warm welcome to the band and meet them at #SulaFest!
  • Trended in Mumbai for the entire day and across India for a few hours
  • Give a musical twist to your name
Phase 2
  • #Sulafest #WineLovers send a picture of yourself with a glass of wine and with goodies at the @Sula_Vineareds Stall
  • Stay Fashionable while at #SulaFest and share it with us by clicking a photo, along with a bottle of Sula
Phase 3
  • #Sulafest ‘14 Album uploaded
  •  Posts thanking fans for their love at Sulafest
  •  Posts talking about the next year and new experiences
Results
  • Facebook fans increased – 4,805
  • Fans talking about it – 4,503
  • Engagement Ratio – 12%
  • Current fan base – 22, 249
  • Twitter followers –  increased 802
  • Current follower base – 5, 291
  • Social Media Sentiment Analysis – 77% Positive
  • Instagram outreach – 5.7 million
  • Facebook outreach – 25.5 million
  • Twitter outreach – 1.06 million
  • Twitter Timeline Deliverables – 18.10 million
  • Total outreach – 50.36 million

Facebook in bid to give more bang for ad buck

Business Standard : http://bit.ly/BusStdOct8 Priyanka Joshi / Mumbai Oct 08, 2012, 00:25 IST While the social media giant says 70% of campaigns gives a return on ad spend of three times or more, many feel Facebook has still not managed a consistently successful model With over one billion users, Facebook is now about three times the size of the US population. But, the social networking site is struggling to prove that it can make money from this huge pool of users. According to a study by HubSpot, 93 per cent of adults on the internet are on Facebook, yet only one per cent of a brand’s Facebook fans make their way to company websites. It was probably the low conversion rates that led General Motors to pull out its ads from Facebook, billing them as “ineffective”.
Days before Facebook’s IPO (earlier this year), this move from a company that had reportedly spent close to $10 million on Facebook advertisements alone in 2011, forced many to reconsider their social marketing plans on the social platform. Since its IPO and advertisers like GM pulling out, Facebook has unveiled a variety of new advertising capabilities in recent months, including ads designed to be viewed on smartphones, various formats that advertisers can measure, and the Facebook Exchange where advertisers bid real-time so that ads are delivered quickly and are more relevant to users.”This means that in addition to targeting the types of people you want to reach among the Facebook population, you can now also reach segments of specific people based on information you have about your own, offline audiences,” Facebook explains on its own site The new moves to make advertising more relevant and targeted to users on Facebook seem to have gone down well among marketers. Sunny Nagpal, MD & Co-Founder, Httpool India that has executed over 500 online, mobile, search and social media advertising campaigns for brands such as Airtel, Nokia, Cadbury, Tourism Australia, Tata etc, says, “Telecom and autos are two of the most active advertiser categories on digital media in India. Auto marketers seek profiling more than telcos, and options provided by FB in its advertising options to segregate audience can be a real game changer.” But a study by WordStream, a search marketing management company, argues that Facebook comes across to be a less effective ad medium than Google. “Somehow Facebook still hasn’t stumbled upon a model that’s proven consistently successful for marketers, or that brings in the revenues to match the site’s massive user base,” Forrester Research analyst Nate Elliott noted in a blog post. Just as GM realised that people simply weren’t looking to purchase cars when they are on Facebook, brands, digital marketers and agencies in India too are beginning to see sense in the argument. But it’s not an industry-wide realisation, claim digital marketing agencies. In India, where 25.2 per cent of internet usage is for social networking (comScore data) and over 53 million Indian users have a Facebook account, it’s rather difficult to convince brands to shift attention away from Facebook. Recently Facebook shared data that claimed that 70 per cent of campaigns (on its platform) resulted in a return on ad spend of three times or better, and 49 per cent of campaigns showed a return on ad spend of five times or better. Zafar Rais of digital media agency, MindShift Interactive, says, “Before Indian brands opt for Facebook ads, it is important to know what type of consumer is on its mind. Further, brands must understand that Facebook ads can be used primarily to drive website traffic, acquire fans for the brand’s page on the platform and build sponsored stories that can be shared in a form as ads among friends (such as “ABC” likes this brand,” to gain fans socially).” Facebook essentially enables advertisers to place text and image ads on its platform targeting audiences by variables like age, location, birthday, hobbies, etc. But how does one engage, nurture and monetize those fans and show a return on investment? Nagpal of Httpool admits that clickthrough rates (CTR) are really low on FB (as like on most social networking sites). “CTR is not the metric you need to check and ROI should not be measured by sales generated but by growth of a page,” he reasons. The CTR of an advertisement is defined as the number of clicks on an ad divided by the number of times the ad is shown, expressed as a percentage. The average CTR of an ad on Google display network is about 0.4 per cent or 10 times higher than Facebook ads, claims a study by Wordstream. Ads that are tailored for brands’ fans on Facebook deliver the best return on investment, underlines Rais. Acquiring fans through ads is the first step on the journey to monetizing marketing efforts, he believes. “The new advertising and marketing initiatives (introduced by Facebook) in one part make the brand’s approach to the advertising easier and will help the advertiser come onto the ad-platform easily. The other part, of generating better reach is a good initiative, but will only work if it is non-intrusive to Facebook user,” says N Chandramouli, CEO of Comniscient Group, which has been a communication consultant to several global companies that include brands such as DHL, Henkel, Botox, D&B and J&J. While users on Facebook do not come looking for services and goods, those on Google (Search) are almost always searching for them. Marketers agree that it is easier to lure a consumer on Google with a sponsored listing or ad versus on Facebook. “Both, Facebook and Google offer paid advertising models in addition to free online marketing tools like Facebook Fan Pages and Google+ Business Pages. These pages don’t require the marketer to pay, but are considered great venues for promoting brands and products. The key difference for advertisers to understand between Facebook and Google lies in purpose—is the brand trying to promote knowledge about itself, or sell a specific product?,” says Advit Sahdev, CEO of ODigM, an online digital marketing company.

Social Media Case Study: How JW Marriott Created Buzz About Indian Food Blogger Awards

November 5, 2013 Link: http://www.socialsamosa.com/2013/11/social-media-case-study-jw-marriott-indian-food-blogger-awards/   Brand Name JW Marriott Agency Name MindShift Interactive Objectives
  • To create a buzz on Social Media about the Indian Food Blogger Awards to be held at JW Marriott, Mumbai.
  • To increase interactions, fans and followers through the promotion of the event.
Execution
  • The activity began on the 11th of October.
  • Twitter contest was conducted on the same day, with the winner being awarded entry to the event.
  • A Facebook contest was conducted on 12th and 13th October with the same prize.
  • Posts were put up on Facebook and Twitter throughout the week to promote the contest, along with the event.
  • Conversations around the awards were built up throughout the 4 day campaign.
  • On the day of the awards i.e. the 14th of October, real-time conversations on Twitter were conducted to engage the nominees and guests which helped in creating excitement and buzz.
  • Finally, Live Tweeting during the award show kept everyone updated about the activities at the venue (JW Marriott, Mumbai) and the winners.
Results
  • Total Tweets: 488
  • Total Participants: 181
  • Total Contest Entries: 308
  • Total Reach: 4 Lakhs
  • Total Facebook Interactions: 182
  • Increase in Twitter Followers: 60
  • Increase in Facebook Fans: 78
  • The JW Marriott Handle and Hashtag both trended in India!

Social Media Case Study: How Star Plus’ Survivor India Executed an Influencer Outreach

Social Samosa, July 31, 2013 Link: http://www.socialsamosa.com/2013/07/social-media-case-study-star-plus-survivor-india-influencer-outreach/    Brand Name Survivor India Agency Name Mindshift Interactive Execution Phase 1: Screening Party at Vie Lounge
  • Invitation to Twitter Influencers and Prominent Bloggers
  • 2 days for an outreach towards + 100 Followers
Phase 2: Maintenance Phase Khichdi Party Coverage:
  • Exclusive Coverage of the Khichdi Party was shared via Twitter
  • Live Tweeting/ Pictures/ Quotes from contestants
Pre-Buzz Tweets:
  • Countdown to the show
  • Interesting Facts/Trivia about the show, Island, Contestants, Host and the International format were shared
  • Started seeding #SurvivorIndia hashtag
  • New Year – #ISurvived2011 by…
  • RTs and Conversations with celebrities
Phase 3: Offline Integration - On Ground Event
  • Buzz creation
  • LIVE Digital Webcast
  • Twitter Contests
Results Phase 1
  • Over 18 Twitter Influencers at The Party
  • +15 prominent entertainment and bollywood bloggers
  • Survivor India and Star Plus Outreach +50K
  • Blogger Outreach +25 Online Portals
@SurvivorIndia Handle was amongst the most popular one’s on the day of the event. Phase 2 and Phase 3
  • Reach -1.2 Million
  • Phase 3 Webcasr – +10Lakh views
  • More than 3.5 Lakh Views in a Week
  • 172 Followers Increase in 5 Hours
  • +50% Conversations garnered Positive Consumer Sentiments
  • Engagement was at an all-time high

Social Media Case Study: Mango Frooti V/S Slice Aamasutra

Social Samosa, July 24, 2013 Link: http://www.socialsamosa.com/2013/07/social-media-case-study-mango-frooti-vs-slice-aamasutra/   Agency Name MindShif Interactive Mango Frooti - About The Campaign
  • Frooti, a 27 years old Parle Agro sub-brand signed Shah Rukh Khan as it’s Brand Ambassador
  • This is it’s (Frooti’s) biggest celebrity endorsement campaign (after it’s association with Siddharth Malhotra)
  • Focus of the campaign – ‘King of Bollywood’ endorsing the ‘King of Mango Drinks’
  • Frooti’s ‘Social First’ approach stands out
One day after Frooti launched it's campaign, Slice Aamasutra launched their campaign with Katrina Kaif #Pheeka pad jayega Slice Aamsutra - About The Campaign
  • Campaign – Iske saamne sab kuch Pheeka pad jaega
  • After showcasing a seductive side, it’s time to witness the playful love triangle
  • The twitter campaign highlighted on all things that were hot, but are now #Pheeka
Hits and Misses
  • Frooti emerged as a front runner, dominating Twitter and YouTube numbers
  • Frooti managed to engage with Twitter Audience in three phases, keeping in mind the attention span of Twitterazi
  • Frooti Tweet Volume was 76%, whereas Slice Twitter Volume was 24%
  • Innovation, Celeb Power and Gratifiations worked in Frooti’s favour
  • Slice led the race on Facebook, with a higher increase in Fans and engagement ratio.
  • Brand Ambassador’s associations on Digital was missing ( especially SRK’s presence wasn’t leveraged)
  • Facebook was given a Miss, only being used as a mediator to launch and spread awareness about the Campaign
  • Slice did not leverage it’s YouTube Channel, by sharing videos on Facebook directly.
 

Social Media Case Study: A Shoppers Bag by HomeShop18 gets 10k daily shares

Social Samosa, July 19, 2013 Link: http://www.socialsamosa.com/2013/07/social-media-case-study-a-shoppers-bag-by-homeshop18/   Brand Name Homeshop 18 Agency Name MindShift Interactive Execution
  • Step 1: Reach the Shopping Bag
  • Step 2: Select a Number and answer a Simple Question for Us!
  • Step 3: Access the Website to get clues
  • Interesting Trivia and Fun Questions that you can answer!
  • Prizes worth Rs.35,000 up for grabs.
  • Two Bumper Prizes for the Grand Prize – Tablets!
Results
  • Average Likes per Post on Facebook: 150+
  • Shared: 1,80,000+ Times (Daily – 10K Shares)
  • Shopping Bags Choosed: 4,645
  • Played by 8,000 People
  • Website Traffic increase: 2X Of General FB Clicks
 

Social Media Case Study: Under the Dome on BIG CBS Love

Social Samosa, July 12, 2013 Link: http://www.socialsamosa.com/2013/07/social-media-case-study-under-the-dome-on-big-cbs-love/   Brand Name Under The Dome Agency Name MindShift Interactive Objectives
  • Create awareness about the premiere of Under The Dome on BIG CBS Love
  • Create Excitement & Buzz around the show
Execution Phase #1: TweetUp
  • Invites to the influential people on Twitter
  • Twivte to our guests
  • Organizers and Invitees
  • Personal invites to each tweeps
  • Influencer lead contests
Phase #2: #UnderTheDome Contest Contest Flow: Step 1: If you were stuck #UnderTheDome what would you take with you? Step 2: Key Influencers RT’d and participated Phase #3:
  • Live Tweets during the show
  • Live Reviews of the Show
Results Phase #1:
  • New Followers gained after the TweetUp: 32
  • Total Tweets: 3166
  • Total Reach: 3.4million
  • Total Timeline Deliveries: 6.34 million
  • Total Participants during the tweetup: 2120
  • India was the 2ndlargest country to contribute towards tweet about #UnderTheDome
  • Women between 18 –24 were the top conversation contributors
Phase #2:
  • Total Contest Participants: 900
  • 3.55pm Total Tweets: 1827
  • Total Reach: 1.72 million
  • Total Timeline Deliveries: 3.06 million
  • Followers gained after contest: 44
  • Trended in Mumbai & India for + 4 Hours
Phase #3: 
  • Total Tweets during show: 428
  • Total Participants: 300
  • Total Reach: 6,01,381
  • Total Timeline Deliveries: 1.02 million
Highlights
  • India was the 2nd largest country to contribute towards tweets about #UnderTheDome
  • Number of Followers increased: 78
  • Total Outreach: 5.7 million
 

Social Media Agency Feature: MindShift Interactive

Social Samosa, July 11, 2013

Link: http://www.socialsamosa.com/2013/07/agency-feature-mindshift-interactive/

Who are we?

MindShift Interactive provides you with real-time data, using Social Media, to understand your consumers and competition, converting it into strategies that ensure a rich Social Media Outreach, high in intelligence, engagement and crossing boundaries of innovation. Whatever we do at MindShift Interactive, we ensure you’re backed up by Insights to give you an impactful and measurable Digital Outreach. Our Approach With the help of proven tools, streamlined processes and a rigorous Metric Scorecard® we help you make sense of all the data available over the digital sphere, converting it into strategies and insights to create a Social Media Outreach that is rich in intelligence and engagement. We ensure a recognizable Return On Investment, and answers for Marketing, Production, Customer Service, Human Resources, Communications and other business units. The MindShift Process the mindshift interactive process social media agency                                                               Team Our team joins hands with over 14 years of functional and industry expertise in Traditional & Digital Marketing, Research, Psychology & Development. Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift Interactive +12 years of Digital Marketing with Startups and Products in Marketing, Advertising, Research, Operations and Sales. An Early Adopter and Influencer of social networking platforms, avid traveler and highly passionate about creating a MindShift across the globe via Insights. Arashdeep Sandhu, Head – Operations & MindShift Metrics +6 years within Digital Optimization, Reputation Management, Research and envisioning the creation of a MindShift via Insights and thorough Research on Social Media. What's in the name? MindShift represents the need to clean up and activate true digital marketing. There are plenty who’d create a campaign for you but almost no one ready to gain insights before and after it, towards bettering the impact and outreach for the moment and the future. Going with the flow is dull. We keenly believe it’s about seeking out something that challenges our brands, people and us. We create MindShifts in the way you launch a brand or even the way you use a platform to deliver for you. If you’ve got a streak to create something legendary, a MindShift is inevitable. The latter half, oft forgotten, Interactive, adds flavour to the space we are in, ensuring an association with the brand and its users. It also represents how we merge digital with metrics to give you the much needed insightful digital outreach. What we do? MindShift Interactive has two business units, namely: MindShift Digital – Digital Marketing | Social Media
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Influencer Outreach Management
  • Digital Development: Mobile Apps, Websites, Social Apps, Games
  • Digital Marketing: Mobile, Email, SEM, Media Planning, Augmented Reality, RFIDs
If you’re looking at converting a lot of marketing jargon into impactful outreach for your brand, we work on that for you. You’ve of course got to be daring enough to take the leap towards a MindShift. MindShift Metrics – Social Media Research
  • Consumer & Competition analysis
  • Reputation Management
  • Trend Forecasting
  • International Benchmarking solutions
  • Customer Care Dashboards
  • Surveys & Reports
The Metrics ScoreCard® Tool helps you track, analyze and handle any crisis situations for your brand. Why we do it? After 12 odd years in the space, and years trying to educate people on the true impact digital could have for them, it was time take things in our hands and change the way people think and act. We understand the need for insights and the need for truthful engagement and we’re well on our way to change things, 1 brand at a time. How we evolve? We challenge ourselves every time to create a campaign or presence that was better than the last. Being insight-driven, we keep a keen watch on brands, consumer trends and competitors, tapping what’s new and working for them. Keeping it relevant and solving an issue for a brand is what many forget. We ensure its part of the solutions we’re about to provide. Our work for The Bombay Store (#chappalmaaro), Reliance 3G (#feelingblue) and Homeshop18.com (#18ThingsIWant) are a few campaigns that have proudly contributed towards a MindShift. Social responsibility in social media 1. Agencies focus too much on campaigns and not on sustenance. Move beyond that and gain insights on how people interact with your brand after every activity you conduct. 2. There are rules on each platform. Implement them and make social media a healthy platform for you, consumers and your brands. 3. Teach your clients the rights and wrongs. Don’t give in. Need of the hour 1. Co-existence between Agencies. This is the only way we’ll survive. Or else, we’ll be over-powered by in-house solutions. 2. Avoid under cutting: Ensure an eco system where social media is offered at similar benchmarks and with a maintenance of quality 3. Bigger budgets towards thought-through and bolder campaigns. No one currently leads ideas through digital. 4. Invest in understanding your customers beyond weekly or monthly reports. Track, analyze & implement the solutions. 5. Smarter clients… Even the young ones on the client side are pressurized. Evolve into educating & disseminating. 6. Be a Consultant and not an Executor We learned the hard way It’s digital & it’s always evolving so go with that and keep growing. Thinking you know it all or that you’d never make a mistake is foolish. Did we just share that? Back in 2010, a prospective client offered to close a Social Media Marketing retainer with us on the basis of us agreeing to track his daughters profile…. He presumed our online reputation management tool was meant to be used for that. Needless to say, it wasn’t MindShiftin’ enough to take up. They work with us HomeShop18, Kiehl’s, Star Plus, Reliance 3G, The Bombay Store, General Motors, BIG CBS Network – BIG CBS Spark, BIG CBS Prime, BIG CBS Love, BIG CBS Punjabi, BIG Magic, BIG RTL Thrill, World Wide Media – Grazia, HELLO!, Home & Design TRENDS, Karaoke World Championship, Sula Vineyards – Vinoteca, Sula Selections, Beyond Vineyards, Sula Vineyards, Remy-Cointreau International : Remy Martin, Cointreau, Mount Gay Rum, Metaxxa, St. Remy, Louis XIII, Splash Fashions, Smirnoff India – #Espressology Campaign, Star Sports – Ultimate Fight Championship. Industry as we foresee Bigger campaigns, bigger budgets, bigger focus on launching via digital. Growth within influencer marketing, mobile and higher importance towards social media research. A day without Internet Suffocating, but a definitely a client-free day for the entire office! Lastly, are you hiring? If you’ve got the urge to create a MindShift and are tired of being a monotonous job, we possibly may be looking for you.        

Social Media Case Study: Smirnoff Espressology Meet

Social Samosa, May 1, 2013 Link: http://www.socialsamosa.com/2013/05/social-media-case-study-smirnoff-espressology-meet/   Mindshift Interactive conducted The Smirnoff Espressology Meet to launch a new flavour of vodka for Smirnoff. What They Did They got people who love to drink, party and basically, have a good time, together in two cities – Mumbai and Bangalore. 2. Instead of conducting a regular meetup, it was an evening of Mixology with professional Mixologists, rightfully christening it as ‘The #Espressology Meet’. 3. People attending were trained to make the right cocktails, with Espresso! Bangalore and Mumbai Event Highlights It was an evening of mixing it up! The event highlights include:
  • Blind-folded tasting
  • Coffee Vodka Badges
  • Social media influencers partying with Smirnoff
Total Outreach Facebook: 1,71,52,00,000 Twitter: 8,32,05,75,000 Bloggers: 2,36,400 Outreach Strategy 11 Bloggers + 9 Facebookers + 14 Tweeps = 10 Million+ Outreach

Social Media Case Study: HomeShop18 #TWSS Women’s Day Campaign

Social Samosa, April 3, 2013 Link: http://www.socialsamosa.com/2013/04/social-media-case-study-homeshop18-twss-womens-day-campaign/   Brand Name Homeshop 18 Agency Name MindShift Interactive Objectives
  • Create a Twitter hashtag that guarantees maximum participation of fans/followers – Leave a lasting impact on Twitter audience and cement ties with the existing follower base
  • Leverage Women’s Day differently from the regular women-related tags – make the conversations fun and exciting
Execution
  • On an internationally celebrated Women’s Day – engage with the audience to amplify the views across regions on one platform – Twitter
  • Be different from the rest – initiate a trend
Results
  • #TWSS began trending at 2:20pm across India
  • Received 1,117+ @mentions &621RT’s
  • Gained an overall outreach of 2,65,751
  • 302 tweeps participated in the contest
  • The hashtag trended all the way until the next day!
Key Lessons During Women’s day when everybody was buzzing about various offers and gifts for women, HS18 came up with a new hashtag to create a social media identity

Big CBS enhances audience engagement through digital campaign

Best Media Info, November 9, 2012 Link: http://www.bestmediainfo.com/2012/11/big-cbs-enhances-audience-engagement-through-digital-campaign/   The X Factor’s ‘Xport To La’ contest reaches out to over 4.1 million online audiences; increases viewer base by more than 50 per cent Big CBS Network has successfully amplified audience engagement by utilising digital and social platforms. With the execution of the ‘Xport to LA’ campaign on Facebook via a game application for The X Factor, the network has reached out to over 4.1 million audiences online. With an aim to reach out to young urban audiences across the country, the digital campaign which was live from September 15- to October 29, 2012, created additional buzz about the show and increased the fan base by over 50 per cent while giving one lucky winner – Kolkata-based Gautam Vora – the unique opportunity to watch the The X Factor live in Los Angeles, USA, and meet the judges. The ‘Xport to LA’ campaign, designed by MindShift Interactive, created a landmark effect as it witnessed over 10,000 application plays and almost 26,000 application shares while reaching out to over 4.1 million audiences online. The campaign was divided into four stages which encouraged audiences to showcase their own ‘X factor’. While the first phase focused on creating excitement among the online audiences, the second phase introduced the concept of an interactive platform wherein contestants could choose interesting tags for their friends and family. The third phase required contestants to showcase their knowledge of The X Factor episodes through a contest. The fourth phase allowed contestants to upload their own pictures and prove their X Factor through votes from friends on multiple social media platforms. Anand Chakravarthy, Business Head, Big CBS said, “The Xport to LA campaign was strategically merged with the framework under which The X Factor show is built in order to ensure maximum impact for the show and the application simultaneously. With the TAM blackout, the use of digital platforms and the successful execution of unique campaigns of this calibre allow us to gauge audience reaction to our channel offerings. We are sure that our robust digital campaigns will continue to entice the viewers thereby keeping them engaged across platforms.”

MindShift Interactive scores on social media for Homeshop 18, Samsung Galaxy S III

Best Media Info, October 26, 2012 Link: http://www.bestmediainfo.com/2012/10/mindshift-interactive-scores-on-social-media-for-homeshop-18-samsung-galaxy-s-iii/   Campaign engages 10,60,582 people in three days; clocks 7,899 entries, 66,422 shares, 15,602 impressions, 11,994 FB fans Digital media agency MindShift Interactive, recently created a campaign for HomeShop18.com, aimed at highlighting its association with Samsung Galaxy S III. The objective of the campaign was to leverage the association of the two brands and increase traction on Homeshop18’s portal. The aim was to engage and excite consumers on Facebook through a contest wherein the participants had to answer ‘Why they deserve an S III phone’. The idea was to bring alive the ‘self worth’ of the individual to match the personality of the phone. The fastest and the wittiest replies were entitled to win the phone. The campaign witnessed 7,899 entries with 66,000+ viral shares. As a result, it reported an outreach of 2 00,000+ on Facebook via posts and about 900,000+ viral engagements via the application. Further to the Facebook contest, the association was leveraged on Twitter as well. The contest on Twitter encouraged people to upload pictures of things that they considered lucky for themselves. The idea was to add a ‘surprise’ element with a ‘fortunate’ twist and get them to win the Samsung Galaxy S III. The activation created immense talkability for both Homeshop18 as well as Samsung as the strategy was considered consumer friendly with increasing organic fans and followers, while also ensuring higher engagement with consumers. Piyush Bhargav, General Manager – Product and Marketing, Homeshop18.com, said, “Our association with Samsung Galaxy S III is a strategic step to ensure that we continue to deliver the best deals for our online buyers. Our brand objective on social media has always been to encourage like-minded association with our core functionality, i.e., e-commerce, online shopping and customer service. Through this campaign we wanted to create conversations around what people consider to be lucky for themselves, as getting the best bargain on the new S III phone.” Zafar Rais, Founder & CEO, MindShift Interactive, commented, “The objective was to leverage the association of HomeShop18 with Samsung Galaxy S III. Our strategy focused on exploring the personality trait of the participants and encouraging them to match it to the personality of the phone. The trend established the successful alignment of HomeShop18 with Samsung Galaxy SIII.”

Homeshop18′s Samsung Galaxy SIII Contest on Facebook & Twitter

Social Samosa, October 5, 2012 Link: http://www.socialsamosa.com/2012/10/homeshop18s-samsung-galaxy-siii-contest-on-facebook-twitter/   Brand Name Homeshop18 with Samsung S3 Agency Name MindShift Interactive   E-com portal HomeShop18, in association with MindShift Interactive and Samsung Mobiles had launched an innovative social media campaign – Samsung Galaxy SIII contest on Facebook and Twitter . The interesting angle here is the barter between both brands to leverage via social media and on their website. Objectives
  • Leverage HomeShop18.com and Samsung Mobiles‟ association via Social Media
  • Increase traction on Homeshop18.com
  • Create plenty of buzz and outreach via Twitter
Results
  • Buzz about Homeshop18.com & the campaign
  • Addition of organic fans & followers
  • 3000+ clicks on HomeShop18′s website via the Samsung Application on Facebook
  • About 20,00,000+ viral outreach via the campaign
  • Successful implementation of social media associations, which we believe is the future of social media success.

HomeShop18 Manages to Increase Traction by Leveraging Samsung’s Galaxy SIII

October 4, 2012, 9:16 am UTC
E-Commerce sites have been mushrooming lately. Everyone seems to have realized the potential online shopping offers. By minimizing inventory & storage costs at multiple locations, even companies with a low budget can come-up with a great looking online web-portal offering multiple goods. While these e-shops are a great location for the users, companies are facing the brunt of excessive competition. With prices that do not vary much, these companies have to rely on innovative advertising campaigns & exceptional customer service to ensure that a casual one-time buyer becomes a life-long repeat customer. While media campaigns executed on mainstream TV channels have sort of become the norm, they last only for a few seconds & usually do little to enhance ‘top of the mind recall’, while the person actually sits in front of his PC to shop. Only a few ad-campaigns like the ‘Yamdude’ of SnapDeal or the latest ads from Flipkartfeaturing kids could command a long term recall. However, the most surefire way to ensure your brand & web-portal becomes the centre of attention, is to have it widely talked about in the Social Media circles. Social media sites have time & again proven to be the torch-bearer for brand messages. Hence it comes as no surprise that all major brands today have a Facebook page & a Twitter feed of their own. Realizing this basic fundamental, e-com portal HomeShop18, in association with MindShift Interactivelaunched an innovative social-media focused campaign which involved the flagship smartphone from Samsung; the Galaxy SIII. With a clear focus on leveraging the power of social media to increase traction to the HomeShop18’s web-portal, the agency designed innovative & simple questionnaire that would eventually lead the participant to the campaign’s Facebook page or HomeShop18. Did the campaign work? The social media fueled campaign managed to be a significant impact on people.With almost 8000 entries & 66000+ shares, the project was firmly in the status of other campaigns that managed to go ‘viral’. In terms of business statistics, the HomeShop18’s website got more than 3000 hits via the smartphone application alone. In all, the virality of the campaign impacted more than 9,00,000 people. With just a single Galaxy SIII unit at stake, perhaps this campaign has proven that innovative marketing campaigns need not be mega-budget. Some clever leveraging of existent user-base such as that of Facebook can serve as a very potent mix to drive traffic to your web-site. Maybe, with such a success, the e-commerce website can certainly think of launching similar social-media focused campaigns. Since the ‘contestants’ must have already ‘Liked’ the Facebook page, they are bound to receive future updates. Hence why not simply carry-on the pre-lit flame? Read the complete case study here: http://bit.ly/HS18S3

Mindshift Interactive extends its arm to Research

Best Media Info, October 4, 2012 Link: http://www.bestmediainfo.com/2012/10/mindshift-interactive-extends-its-arm-to-the-research/   Mindshift Metrics to offer the research and analysis on social media trends Mindshift Interactive has launched its research arm – MindShift Metrics. The research arm will decode the vast amount of data available over the Internet, and share findings leading to insights, resulting in forming a strategy. Metrics will primarily be to evaluate or fine-tune an existing social media presence or campaign, assuring sustained growth or towards understanding the right campaign and platforms for a product launch. Given the right metrics, it also helps businesses understand consumer sentiments towards a particular product or even test an upcoming launch. The data will be gathered through MindShift tools and will be a step towards translating it into understanding your product, consumer or competition. The tools will go into the depths of understanding what consumers express or why they react the way they do or even forecast what your consumer wants next. Research is incomplete without human intelligence and that’s why at MindShift, we will integrate a perspective from a mix of research analysts, social media specialists and behavior decoders. This combination provides you with the right methodologies and a 360 degree perspective on where and what your Social Media landscape is and how it should evolve in order to be of constant value. Services offered by Mindshift Metrics:
  • Social Media Metrics: Campaign and Content Analysis that will help review a brand’s activities across Social Media. We will be happy to add-value to the stories you may be working on, by giving you the relevant data or analysis to support the story
  • Consulting through Metrics Scorecard that assures a sustained outreach for the Digital campaigns. This evaluate the campaigns on social media
  • Platform analysis: Analyse Social Media platforms to ensure the outreach is created on the right platform to help gain competitive advantage
  • Brand associations during the first Grand Prix in India last year. In this analysis they have highlighted the campaigns taken up by brands like Airtel, Kingfisher, Vodafone, Redbull showcasing consumer sentiments around the event and the brand connect. MindShift Interactive tracked the event on Social Media and generated insights on how fans, sports enthusiasts, sportsmen, celebrities and brands reacted to this milestone event in India’s sporting calendar
  • Second report was on the Impact of Social Media on Hospitality and Tourism industry in India highlighting the Airline, Online travel agencies and Hotel sector. This report focused on the utilization of Social Media by brands in order to provide effective customer service and immediate consumer redressal

Social Media Case Study: HomeShop18′s Samsung Galaxy SIII Contest

Social Samosa, October 1, 2012 Link: http://www.socialsamosa.com/2012/10/social-media-case-study-homeshop18-samsung-galaxy-siii-contest/   Brand Name Homeshop18  with Samsung S3 Agency Name MindShift Interactive   HomeShop18.com  and Samsung Mobiles had launched a Samsung Galaxy SIII contest on Facebook . The interesting angle here is the barter between both brands to leverage via social media and on their website. Objective
  • Leverage HomeShop18.com and Samsung Mobiles’ association via Social Media
  • Increase traction on Homeshop18.com
What We Did
  • Asked users 5 questions, about SIII & Homeshop18
  • Asked users to state why they deserved to win the Samsung Galaxy SIII
  • Gave users 5 clues which lead to the Facebook Timeline or onto the website
  • The fastest to answer with a combination of the wittiest answer was our Winner!
Results
  • Excitement amongst Fans, Followers & Audiences across digital
  • 7,899 Entries with 66000+ viral Shares
  • Addition of 10000+ fans on Facebook (Organic)
  • 3000+ clicks on HomeShop18’s website via the Samsung Application
  • Brands working together on social media is the new wave.
  • 2,00,000+ outreach on Facebook via Posts
  • About 9,00,000+ viral outreach via the application

MindShift Interactive bags social media duties for BIG CBS Networks

Social Samosa, September 25, 2012 Link: http://www.socialsamosa.com/2012/09/mindshift-interactive-bags-social-media-duties-for-big-cbs-networks/   The Mumbai-based digital agency MindShift Interactive is all set to take BIG CBS’s  much-awaiting singing reality show, ‘The X Factor’ on Facebook and Twitter. With simulcasts working well for the Big CBS Network, with its latest show America’s Got Talent topping shows airing on English GECs, garnering a GRP of 5.96. MindShift Interactive (MindShift) is all set to take BIG CBS’s , to an all-new level with a high decibel campaign that promises to attract the eyeballs and bring BIG CBS Networks fans closer to the channel and keep viewers tuned in. Aptly named, Xport to LA, the campaign provides an incentive to winners to be flown to Los Angeles, USA, to watch Britney Spears, Demi Lovato, Simon Cowell and LA Reid LIVE in action on the studios of The X Factor. The contest will run across the BIG CBS Facebook pages, PRIME, LOVE and SPARK and takes users through various levels similar to the show, in order to acquire a passport to be flown off to LA. The strategy is taken forward onto Twitter creating virality with the usage of #Xfactor as a hashtag, engaging influencers and viewers. Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift says,
With BIG CBS Network targeting premium audiences, the overall social media strategy for the Network will ensure it meets the entertainment penchant of the upwardly mobile audience seeking quality content. The concept of social media always remains towards interacting, and we’re all set to create digital outreach on the basis of our consumer and industry insights that truly promises mindshifts within the space.
The Network is focussed towards building a loyal, long term fan following using the power of digital media. Rais adds,
We really want people to have an immersive experience and our campaigns are aligned to ensure we achieve this.

MindShift bags Social Media duties of BIG CBS Networks & their Regional TV Channels

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | September 24, 2012 Link: http://bit.ly/BIGCBSWin   The digital agency is all set to take the much-awaited singing reality show, The X Factor, to  a new level through the high-decibel campaign ‘Xport to LA’ Having won the digital mandate of Big CBS Networks, Mumbai-based digital agency MindShift Interactive will bet big on Facebook and Twitter to bring the network’s fans closer to the channel. With simulcasts working well for Big CBS Networks , with its latest show America’s Got Talent topping shows airing on English GECs, garnering a GRP of 5.96, MindShift Interactive is all set to take Big CBS’s much-awaited singing reality show, The X Factor, to an all-new level with a high-decibel campaign. The campaign provides an incentive to winners to be flown to Los Angeles, USA, to watch Britney Spears, Demi Lovato, Simon Cowell and LA Reid live in action in the studios of The X Factor. Aptly named ‘Xport to LA’, the contest will run across the Big CBS Facebook pages, Prime, Love and Spark channels, and takes users through various levels similar to the show, in order to acquire a passport to be flown off to LA. The strategy is taken forward onto Twitter creating virality with the usage of #Xfactor as a hashtag, engaging influencers and viewers.       Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift, said, “With Big CBS Networks targeting premium audiences, the overall social media strategy for the network will ensure it meets the entertainment penchant of the upwardly mobile audience seeking quality content. We are all set to create digital outreach on the basis of our consumer and industry insights that truly promises mindshifts within the space.” The network is focused on building a loyal, long-term fan following using the power of digital media. Rais added, “We really want people to have an immersive experience and our campaigns are aligned to ensure we achieve this.        

MindShift bags social media duties of Big CBS Networks

Best Media Info, September 24, 2012 Link: http://www.bestmediainfo.com/2012/09/mindshift-bags-social-media-duties-of-big-cbs-networks/   The digital agency is all set to take the much-awaited singing reality show, The X Factor, to  a new level through the high-decibel campaign ‘Xport to LA’ Having won the digital mandate of Big CBS Networks, Mumbai-based digital agency MindShift Interactive will bet big on Facebook and Twitter to bring the network’s fans closer to the channel. With simulcasts working well for Big CBS Networks , with its latest show America’s Got Talent topping shows airing on English GECs, garnering a GRP of 5.96, MindShift Interactive is all set to take Big CBS’s much-awaited singing reality show, The X Factor, to an all-new level with a high-decibel campaign. The campaign provides an incentive to winners to be flown to Los Angeles, USA, to watch Britney Spears, Demi Lovato, Simon Cowell and LA Reid live in action in the studios of The X Factor. Aptly named ‘Xport to LA’, the contest will run across the Big CBS Facebook pages, Prime, Love and Spark channels, and takes users through various levels similar to the show, in order to acquire a passport to be flown off to LA. The strategy is taken forward onto Twitter creating virality with the usage of #Xfactor as a hashtag, engaging influencers and viewers. Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift, said, “With Big CBS Networks targeting premium audiences, the overall social media strategy for the network will ensure it meets the entertainment penchant of the upwardly mobile audience seeking quality content. We are all set to create digital outreach on the basis of our consumer and industry insights that truly promises mindshifts within the space.” The network is focused on building a loyal, long-term fan following using the power of digital media. Rais added, “We really want people to have an immersive experience and our campaigns are aligned to ensure we achieve this.

Reliance 3G gets India #FeelingBlue

Best Media Info, June 4, 2012 Link: http://www.bestmediainfo.com/2012/06/reliance-3g-gets-india-feelingblue/   #FeelingBlue No.1 trending topic in India for over 24 hours and No.2 worldwide with a total outreach of 8.1 Million users on a single day Reliance 3G  launched a social media campaign on Twitter as an extension to its mainline campaign “Be Blue” promoting the two-year collaboration with Google to exclusively market Android devices in India. The campaign was activated on Monday by MEC in partnership with Mindshift Interactive. In continuation to the brand’s Facebook campaign on “Be Blue” that focused on Android and Reliance 3G services, this initiative used Twitter & its Influencers as the primary platform to create instant buzz for the brand, by engaging and interacting with the audience. The hashtag, #FeelingBlue, aimed to shift mindsets about feeling unhappy and blue, converting the emotion into a happy one. Monday was chosen as the appropriate day to activate the campaign because every individual comes across many #FeelingBlue moments on Monday mornings. The witty tweets that created curiosity started coming in from 10:00 AM, Monday and within less than an hour there were 800 tweets that carried the hashtag #FeelingBlue. Right from the petrol price hike to sad songs being played on the iPod to reaching office on time on a Monday morning, all were being addressed by individuals as creating a #FeelingBlue moment. Brands like Channel [V], Radio Mirchi, Fast Track, amongst others, participated using the hashtag. Alongside, twitter influencers got curious and joined in the conversation too. As it struck 12:00 pm, Influential tweeps cheered up and started turning the sentiment around, sharing what got them happy &how it was great to be #FeelingBlue.  The buzz was leveraged further through the announcement of a contest where participants could win Android Smartphones. #FeelingBlue created buzz, got India curious, made the world wonder & got everyone happy and cheerful on a Monday morning! The outcome of the campaign: 7,755 tweets by over 930 tweeps, using the hashtag, made it the No.1 trending topic in India for over 24 hours and No.2 worldwide while also achieving surpassing industry benchmarks, gaining a total Outreach of 8.1 Million users on twitterand successfully turned around the #feelingblue sentiment with 98% people using it to send out ‘happy’ tweets! Impressions (via tweets) – 72,12,150 Audience Reach (Via Accounts) – 3,05,271+,  Audience Reach (Via Followers) – 6,09,191+. Some of the key influencers who were a part of the campaign were VJ Ranvijay, Channel [V] India, Miss Malini, TheTanmay, Twilightfairy, youthstaryuvi amongst others. Commenting on the digital campaign adopted by the brand, Shivani Suri Dhanda, Deputy GM, Brand & Marketing for Reliance Communications says, “Social media platforms like Twitter are anintegral partof the digital universe that our customers traverse & we wanted to reach out to them. Our campaign objective was to amplify the Reliance Android ‘Be Blue’ campaign in a fun, engaging way and the creative and daring approach of turning the #FeelingBlue sentiment on its head did just that. We successfully raised curiosity, gave twitteratian experience to enjoy & achieved our campaign objective too.” T Gangadhar, Managing Director of MEC, the media agency for Reliance Communications said “This is a smart, intuitive way of bringing alive Reliance’s ‘simply better’ proposition. The innovation cleverly turns the expression ‘feeling blue’ on its head – in a manner that is both, simple and relevant to the digital native.” Zafar Rais, CEO of MindShift Interactive added, “#FeelingBlue was personal to us as a campaign as it focused upon creating a MindShift towards making Monday’s a happy affair. Our strategy for the campaign was to capitalize upon the mundane Monday mornings and make them happy. With a generic hashtag and without the brands twitter account, we took on the challenge and turned 98% of Indians who felt sad into feeling happy.”

Social Media Case Study -The Bombay Store

Social Samosa, April 25, 2012 Link: http://www.socialsamosa.com/2012/04/social-media-case-study-the-bombay-store/   The Agency MindShift Interactive is an Insightful Digital Outreach powerhouse that provides business with a data-centric approach towards achieving an impactful, innovative and, most of all, sustained Social Media presence.The Insights in this presentation are provided by MindShift Metrics, our social media research unit that helps businesses understand their consumers & engagement better. MindShiftInteractive Private Limited is the parent company of MindShift Digital and MindShift Metrics, our Social Media Marketing Agency and Social Media Research Company respectively. Combined together, they give your business an insightful and innovative Social Media Outreach. Objective Spread awareness about the latest range of Flip Flops from The Bombay Store Campaign Plan Indianize it & attach it to an ongoing topic, i.e the current Mumbai elections Outcome The results -78+ unique users who participated with over 150 mentions to The Bombay Store. 650+ tweets using #ChappalMaarohashtag #ChappalMaaro trended as the topmost hashtag in India & Mumbai within 25 minutes of its introduction Trending –Delhi, Bombay & India! For 2 days!!  

‘Twittering’ footfalls at The Bombay Store

Best Media Info, February 24, 2012 Link: http://www.bestmediainfo.com/2012/02/twittering-footfalls-at-the-bombay-store/   Mindshift Interactive created a buzz for the retailer for its flip-flops with the ‘Chappal Maaro’ Twitter trend Talk of politics – and the topic of shoe hurling comes to the fore! It’s almost like a new jargon. Giving an interesting spin to this was the recent social media campaign ‘Chappal Maaro’ (hurl flip-flop) designed for The Bombay Store by Mindshift Interactive. The objective of the campaign was to spread awareness about the new flip-flops, introduced by The Bombay Store via Twitter, creating instant buzz for the product. The campaign was launched on the day of the BMC elections in Mumbai (February 16, 2012). While leveraging the Mumbai civic elections as the conversation starter, Twitter was used as the primary platform to engage and interact with the audience. The ‘#ChappalMaaro’ trend reached 16,277 accounts in the first 25 minutes, and 17,672 exposures were recorded. The Bombay Store reached 4,465 accounts and was exposed to 15,843 impressions. About 147,622 accounts were reached and 410,916 impressions were recorded. Anaggh Desai, CEO, The Bombay Store, said, “The idea was not a promotional activity but as a tool to listen to what the consumer feels and gain mindshare of the younger lot for the brand.” Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift Interactive, said, “The core idea of the campaign was aimed at ‘chappal maaro’ on things going wrong on the election day, such as people not coming out to vote. However, when it started trending across India, people also started criticising autowallahs or anything that was wrong in their immediate surroundings.” The trend continued on Twitter for two days. On why did the brand choose the word ‘chappal’ and not flip-flop to create buzz, Rais explained, “The word ‘chappal’ creates a faster connect than flip-flop in India, no matter what brand is!” The campaign also helped the brand attract footfall in its stores. “The stock of flip-flops was supposed to last 90 days. But as things stand today, with so many walk-ins at our mall stores, we might just run out of stock in a few days,” said Desai. Despite the traction, the campaign also faced criticism. Rais elucidated, “There was a group of people who picked on the campaign saying that it does not relate to ‘The Bombay Store’ brand, which retails 95 per cent Indian goods.” After two days of ‘Chappal Maaro’, the campaign was followed by a ‘Gale Lagao’ (hug them) trend, wherein the people tweeted about things or people they loved around them. Beginning next week, the brand is planning to leverage the trend for Women’s Day as well. Going forward, The Bombay Store plans to leverage social and digital media to reach its TG of sub-30-year-olds. “We do very little print media. But we focus heavily on alternative media. Apart from social and digital media, we are planning to focus on events to gain mindshare,” said Desai.

‘Top 5 Digital Brand Campaigns of 2011’

Best Media Info, December 30, 2011 Link: http://www.bestmediainfo.com/2011/12/top-5-digital-brand-campaigns-of-2011/   A study conducted by Mind Shift, runs down through a list of five digital campaigns that gained immense traction during the year With just a day left to bid adieu to a year, full of insightful campaigns and break-taking creativity we take a peep into the year gone by and some of the trends that shaped up during this time. Since, digital have had a share of limelight with many new innovations on its front, here’s a quick list of ‘Top 5 Digital Brand Campaigns of 2011’. 1) FlipKart.com: The campaign for FlipKart, an online bookstore in India, promoted simple messages through its newly launched products, TVCs and authors interviews facilitating easier conversation and interaction channel for users through Face book and Twitter. The company has been very active on Twitter, wherein it addresses users’ grievances and gives them an immediate solution. Through its interactive manner the brand has managed to score a whooping fan base of 8, 85, 700 on Facebook and over 14, 000 followers on Twitter. 2) Mahindra XUV Launch: This campaign by Hungama Digital Entertainment captured the suspense quotient by arousing interest about the new product. Social media (Facebook and Twitter) were used to multiply and add to the ever-growing speculation and gossip. Contest and updates on social media platforms made sure that the consumers were engaged.  The campaign that was divided into four activities was each integrated with Facebook. The first one was the ‘Name Reveal Campaign’ in which a microsite page was created which would flash attributes of the car like c00l, dr00l, z00m (all with 00). On rollover, it revealed the name of Mahindra’s next global SUV. The second campaign was ‘Guess the price contest’, wherein users were asked to guess the price of the pre-determined numbers of likes were achieved. Another activity included the user ‘Revealing the XUV500’ virtually whose promotion was done through posts, contests, polls etc the vehicle. The total number of entries for ‘Guess the Price’ contest gained over 1.15 lakh views in 10 days. Over 4.5 lakh likes were received when the angles of the car was unlocked. There were about 12,000 test drive requests even before the launch of the vehicle. The website witnessed over 1.9 lakh visitors within the first 6 days after the teaser website went live. 56,000 users converted into fans between the span of 20 days. There were over a lakh video views on the site and 1.5 lakh views on the webcast views. Moreover, Mahindra XUV500 was mentioned in more 5, 00,000 destinations during the campaign. 3) Hum Mein Hai Hero: This campaign became a rage when launched to rebrand HeroHonda to Hero MotoCorp. Concived by Law & Kenneth, the campaign created a huge buzz on the Internet as well. As part of the digital promotion, the brand created a website that showcased their new identity and its range of products. Email Marketing, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter & YouTube took the brand to an all-new different level. Rich media banners (like page takeover, floating banner, etc) were part of the digital promotion that helped to communicate the new positioning effectively. The signature song of the commercial which was composed and sung by A R Rahman, became an anthem amongst the youth. The campaign was heavily supported by the media. With over 2 million visits within a month of its launch, the campaign created a huge buzz. The fanpage witnessed a staggering number of 1, 10,215 within weeks. The Heroes Song was an instant hit on YouTube with 2,30,000 views within a few weeks. 4) #KFBeerUp: In order to introduce the hashtag “#Kfbeerup”, in this campaign, followers tweet and tag friends to attend for the Kingfisher Meet Up. The campaign made Kingfisher to be perceived as a techno-savy brand establishing connect with the youth. It also conducted a successful KFBeerUp at Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore with the next #KFBeerUp at Kolkata. 5) Kolaveri Di: This song for an upcoming Tamil Movie became  a national anthem in no time. . The song sung by Tamil actor ‘Dhanush’ was full of catchy lyrics and tunes. As a result, the video won a YouTube Gold Award for getting the most number of daily hits. It managed to score more than 20 million views and managed to be the trending topic for more than a week in India and other countries. The regional and remix versions of video reflects on the success factor of the song