Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Be Born Everyday

Read this lines on Pritesh's blog,  and I absolutely loved them, hence reposting here.  (He saw it on TV,  did not know such useful stuff comes on TV :) )

“Be born everyday

Aaj rockstar kal pilot
And who knows what the day after
Kabhi kisi anjan station par utar ke dekho
Kabhi kisi gumnam shahar ka ticket katao
Dusri ki galtiyo se kya seekhna, make your own mistakes yaar
Never resemble your passport photo for more than three months
Har subah shock your reflection
Bachpan ke kya kuch nahi banana chahte the
Why not today?
Be born everyday”

So what will you be today?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Envelop Story

Well, in one of the marketing conference, and one of the speakers told this interesting story which i really liked, Ofcourse it is related to marketing, but probably you can apply this to real life.

There was a certain airline company say HiFly airlines, which used to consume about 1 million of envelops every year. They used envelops to communicate to customers their tickets, offers, new flight informations, frequent flyer programs and so on etc. At start of each year they used to float a tender, asking for proposals (pricing) from envelop companies for that years quantities,  and then as it happens the contract goes to lowest bidder.

So this was just a pure price game, there was not much of options for the envelop companies other than to put the best possible deal they could afford and hope for the best.

But one envelop company tried to do it differently. They approached the HiFly airlines and said that they would like to do research on the envelop usage in their company. They wanted to find out, for what purposes the envelop were used, how many people respond back, sizes of envelops used  and so on. Envelop company told HiFly that it was just some extra work that they were willing to do purely from research point of view. The airline people did not find any problem in this, and they allowed the research to be done.

In course of research the Envelop company found the following,
1. Most of the envelops that went out were for  frequent flyer program, and offers for free flights. 
2. About 80% of the people never opened those envelops.

Considering this observations the Envelop company suggest to airlines that for frequent flyer they should be designed differently. They should  be windowed envelops, and top of envelop should be printed like this,

You are 
[3] (Through the window)
Flights away from getting a free flight (something as in below picture)

Apart from this the envelop company gave quite a few other suggestions as to how to make envelops more attractive, and more tempting for people to see it.

Airline company really liked these suggestions and on trial run, they really found out that it substantially increased their responses to their otherwise mostly unread envelops.

After this Airline company got rid of the tender process. They joined hands with the this particular envelop company, to provide them with envelops and to also do frequent analysis on their usage and suggest changes.


I really liked this story, because most times, we dont take initiatives or do more work, not because we dont want it, but most times  because uncertainity clouds us. But sometimes I guess we have to do stuff, with genuine interest, and without bothering about rewards,
rewards come, maybe little later but they do. 

Monday, November 10, 2008

Do you want a Barren Bangalore?

Sunday, I went for this rally organized by Hasiru Usiru, protesting against the Bangalore authorities cutting trees and trees and more trees in bangalore for road widening and for Bangalore railway metro. It was really great to see so many people who came out on Sunday morning for the protest.

Ofcourse this is a debatable topic and many do feel that there is no other solution to Bangalore traffic, other than widening the roads and reducing the  green cover. Lot of people even have been skeptical if the protest is worth it. And if enough research has been done on the alternate solutions.

But being in Hasiru Usiru mailing list for quite some time, and knowing some of the people who are behind it, I have no doubt about their competency. Hasiru Usiru has done numerous studies and have made varioius reports, both of the ineffectiveness of widening of roads in long run and also on alternative solutions. You can read lot of stuff about this on their website. I wonder though how things are in other cities, if they are facing the same issues.

One another thing great about this protest was that, they ensured that there was no litter. There were no banners which were thrown here and there and also ensured that the regular traffic does not get disturbed.  

Anyways, for now, I will just put down some pictures and really good posters that people came up with on that day.

This guy carried the kid all throughout the walk which was for more than one hour

This sign board is so apt, when you sit to think about it. 

Finally when everyone gathered at the Town Hall
It was great to see quite a number of children join in for the walk

Very cute...

One of hte most innovative banners that I saw.. :)
Another good one

And then finally this really cute kid who was there all throughout shouting and carrying the banner all along her neck, and in the end of protest decided to take little rest.  Really cute...

Related Posts/Links:
Save Bangalore : Road Widening is least intelligent solution

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Marketing lessons: Go and find the hook

The other day one of my collegues in office, (we are both in marketing), was talking to one of the customers who was hardcore north indian in English. Somehow it looked so artificial, so dry,  felt as if nothing was coming out of inside, it all seemed  painted from outside. My collegue himself is very fluent in Hindi and I kept telling him that the best way when talking to customers is to talk in the language that they understand best.  If you dont know the language, try to use atleast some phrases that you might have picked up from somewhere, or atleast learn some of the phrases in different languages. Or if that does not work possible, you could always talk about the festivals, that you might thing that person might be celebrating, it could be Pongal, Ed or deepawali. It would be tourist places near the customers destination, or could be food or anything. 

I remember sometime back, I had a conference call with some guys in New Zealand, it was the time when some interesting cricket match going on between India and Australia. And I was asking them about what they thought, and it sparked out with a small snippet of conversation, and this guy was remarking how it always pleased him if Tendulkar made century against Australia.  And it did make rest of the conversation little lighter. Atleast it always ensures that the customer will not shout at you. Somehow it lightens up the whole thing. 

Nothing works better than trying to find some hook, with which you can connect and relate to the customer. I really think it goes a long way in building relationships. Most importantly it makes the conversation more interesting.  

I dont know how it works for other relationships, but trust me it definately works for marketing.

So go and find the hook... :)