Monday, October 31, 2011

Celebrate Festivals, Spice up Economy

Festivals are an integral part of our lives. They provide us the much needed escape from the boredom of routine and indulge in celebration.

 

The trigger

Typically, the festivals are governed by the traditions and rituals. For example, On Dusshera also known as VijayaDashami, the day on which Lord Rama killed Ravana, which I believe is a festival to celebrate respect, the Guajarati community enjoys loads and loads of Fafda (A snack made from gram flour) and Jalebi (A sweet dish). For most of us, festival is all about celebrations, holidays, having a good time with family and friends.

But I was forced to think about the deep rooted economic sense in Festivals after reading this article...

 

The Facts

The articles states that 25 crores worth of Fafda, Jalebi were consumed during Dusshera this year(2011). I was amazed at knowing this fact and curiosity forced me to surfed the net for more such fascinating facts about Festivals. I found another interesting fact about the Kite festival. The festival is now a industry worth over 400 crores. Read this article.

Another search and I hit upon these facts about Gold sales during Akshya Tritiya. Noteworthy point is that the gold was trading at 25k levels at this time this year...

The Gist

These are all example of spends incurred to carry on with the tradition of the festival. Look around and you will see the retail market is spiced up with delicious deals offering huge discounts and free gifts.The economic activity shoots up during the festivals period as people are in mood to celebrate and so less reluctant to spend money. The money flows across hands and everybody gets to get their hands wet. The gist is that festivals are not mere traditions and rituals. They are very strategic means of stirring up economics, spicing up the market.What could be a better means of empowering various strata of society to get into business and make a living. Festival is an innovation meant to address the income disparity of the society.

We will continue to look into the economic sense of Festivals in the next post by exploring how festivals let the money be distributed among the society.

Your views, comments and feedback keep SidsAvenue going…So be generous in pouring them in the comments section.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Last Mile…

 

Today is John's last session with his Leadership coach. His recent failure to deliver the projects forced him to seek the guidance of a professional. John is a project manager in an MNC. Thanks to his technical skills, his leadership skills, he has moved the corporate ladder pretty fast. In short, you name a quality and he has proved that he possesses it. The management didn’t have any option but to promote him as the Project Manager.

But since then, the days have not been the same for John. His projects are either delayed or are not up to the mark and at times both. Nobody can believe a person like John can go wrong in delivering projects.

Thanks to the sessions he is going through. Things have changed a lot. A recent project has been delivered on time. John seems to be back in groove. He seems to be getting things on track, getting his edge back. Wondering what did the coach teach him? Lets explore it.

Who is John

John is a very accomplished professional possessing all right technical and leadership qualities. He would start the projects with great enthusiasm, get the team motivated, everything would be executed according to the plan. Till the final stage, the project would be on track. As the project reaches the finish and John is able to visualize a successfully delivered project, he becomes complacent, the grip on the project timelines, on the deliverables and the team is relaxed and that’s it, the project starts falling apart, things start to get off the track. A project that was sure shot success suddenly becomes a disaster. Everybody banking on John and the success of the project is disappointed. The last mile is missed and so the journey is not complete.

The Syndrome

Isn't this the case with most of us? Isn't this the case with many other things? Didn't you feel at times this is the story of one of our projects?

A good movie becomes a disaster just because the last 30 minutes climax was not up to the mark. Nervous 90s is a very well known syndrome which makes the batsman lose wicket being just 10 or less runs short of a century. Its like a pilot at the time of landing getting out of cockpit to have a coffee with the air hostess as soon as the runway is visible. The criticality of the landing is very well known to all of us.The Last Mile

People get overwhelmed and start loosing focus when the goal is visible. This results in failure despite having all the qualities and skills, despite using all the knowledge and the techniques, despite putting in so much of effort. Such failures become difficult to digest as the pre-requisites were very much in place.

We are landing now…

The gist is for everybody of us, for leaders, its absolute necessity to have the focus, the enthusiasm, the energy and everything that is needed for a project to be delivered are in place till the actual end of the project. When I say project, it need not be building a rocket. It could be as small as writing an email.

The smart thing to do after such an experience is to shake up your self and do what John did. Get back to the drawing board and starting getting the drawings right, get into learning phase. Get in touch with people who had similar experience and analyze what they did to get the things right like I mentioned in my post .

The inspiration for this post is the saying in Gujrati, “Kinare aavine vaahan dubyu”…meaning “To sink the ship at the shore”

I have tried to keep my focus till the end of this post…Do let me know what you guys think using the comments section…

 

 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Use Google Plus to reach customers more accurately

Now that Google Plus is in Open to All mode, I decided to analyze it and see how it can be used for Business.
I have started using Google Plus sometime back, thanks to my friend for sending me the invite. Google Plus
The one feature that forces me to keep using G+ is the concept of circles. Social networking is more or less a virtual world trying to give the same experience as the real world. And in real world, we have all our own logical circles based on the various parameters. We have school friends and then there are colleagues who are friends. Then there are people whom we just know. There are people who are not friends as such but important for professional growth. You have a 3 am friends who are probably more than friends. But as the recent Airtel ad says "Har ek Friend Jaroori Hota hai" meaning (For non Hindi Reader) "Every friend is needed".
 
Many a times, one would want the information to be shared only to a confined group of people, only to a select few. This purpose of virtual circles is very well imitated by G+ circles.
 
Organization have been using Social networking for quite sometime now in full throttle mode. I have seen many ads where the Facebook fan page and Twitter handle has replaced the web URL. So how could Organization benefit from this unique feature of Google Plus.
 
What Business wants?
 
Anybody who has attended a marketing presentation would be aware of the concept of segmentation. For the newbies, segmentation is all about categorizing the customers based on certain parameters so that organization can customize its products and services to cater to a particular segment. E.g banks issuing Gold, Platinum and Silver credit cards based on certain criteria.
 
There could be multiple functions within an organization using the concept of segmentation to achieve their goals and targets. Obviously the parameters and the criteria used by each function for segmentation could vary.
 
Yes you got it right….The idea is to use Google Plus circles to imitate the segmentation.
 
How Google Plus fits in?
 
Yes, the strategy is simple. Use the Google Plus circles to imitate segmentation and interact with the segment specific customers in a more customized, specialized approach. The goal is to use the strategy to increase the stickiness, to increase the customer loyalty, to improve the customer engagement with the brand, with the product and services.
 
ROI of the strategy
 
1. The offers and discounts on services and products are better targeted.
2. The customer service team could focus on the premier customers in a much better they as they have a dedicated circle. This will ensure the business reached the target customer much much more accurately.

Challenges

To ensure this Innovative approach fulfills its target of making customers more loyal and sticky to, effective communication would be the key. Check out post of mine to appreciate the , lack of which could kill the Innovation.

Icing on Cake...

Google could win the social networking war if it integrates a Social network analysis tool, something similar to Google Analytics, in Google Plus. The idea is to enable Organizations manage their circles more dynamically based on the inputs from the customer social engagement with the brand, products and services. This will in turn empower the Organizations to reach to its customers in more accurate and effective way and are using Google Plus. Isn't it what Google wants too?

Let your Creative juices flow in the Comments section folks…

 
Image Courtesy : http://themyndset.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Google_plus_Circles.jpg