Archive for May, 2015

How SMEs In India Can Use Online Brand Building?

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Online brand building

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Most SMEs in India have their own website. But, SMEs, seeking cost-effective ways to reach their target audience, do not consider online brand building options. Several obstacles obstruct the pathway of SMEs. The most common hurdles are:

  • Restricted budget
  • Insufficient information about opportunities
  • Uncertainty of ROI
  • Lack of established benchmarks

But, if an SME approaches a digital marketing company, it is possible to avail unprecedented success for 4 reasons.

  • Digital media is a vast pool of target audience.
  • Digital media is known for its analytics system for business intelligence.
  • Digital media is more affordable channel than ATL traditional media, for example, print ads, TVC, banners.
  • As a great equalizer, digital media presents an equal opportunity to different brands.

So, any SME in India can consider the following plan for a successful online brand building.

1. Commit:

Several SME decision makers want to just test the waters when it comes to digital media marketing. If that is your current plan of action, copy Eric Ries. If online media seems like a right channel of communication, you need to commit wholeheartedly.

Online brand building

  • Invest in creating brand positioning, personality, architecture, and brand identity before even considering a logo or a website font. Your brand’s story is a wonderful way to engage people. This is what separates MNCs from SMEs. So, make the due effort to set yourself apart from the start with the right foundation. With an emotional story create a bond with your target audience. Though, it may not seem applicable to every brand, but, it can be done through several details. So, how had your organization originated? What are your leaders passionate about? How do your customers experience your brand? How do your employees feel about your organization? These emotions create a bond. It leads a stronger connection and an additional reason to buy from you.
  • Select channels well. Most SMEs do not focus on making right choices. You will need to choose the following very carefully.

o preferred mode of digital communication: desktop, tablet or smartphone
o channel of communications: paid, rented, owned
o social media platforms

Select these details well to reach your target audience.

  • Communicate a specific message. Most SMEs cannot take a position of an MNC. But, a business owner can become an expert on a subject. An organization can become a user-friendly ally. A consistent and valuable message can go a long way in winning hearts and minds of brand advocates. These brand advocates and influencers can do much more than communication through paid channels.

2. Act:

Are you ready to become an expert in your chosen field? Be it brand advocates or lead generation, it takes time. Selected members of your online brand building team will need to take a consistent action, including you. So, here are few actionable tips that will maintain the rising graph of your brand building efforts.

  • Set specific objectives for a stipulated period of time. Don’t shy away from understanding what to expect in terms of ROI.
  • Reasonable and pragmatic objectives will identify the KPIs you need to monitor. Include the web analytics, social media listening into the set of responsibilities.
  • Include few of the crucial online branding elements to communicate the care and understanding:

o Online customer care system
o Invite employees, buyers and associates to share their opinion, which becomes the online content.
o Engage your employees and other communication to create a brand-consistent communication.

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3. Follow through:

online brand building

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Character, commitment, and discipline

That’s why; following through on your online brand building is just as important. So, monitor social media and other channels holistically. Then your online brand building efforts can be tweaked or altered as necessary. Though, this phase does not imply discontinuation of the action plan, it gives a lot of space for raising and resolving valid questions. Here are some examples:

  • Why do few pages have a high exit rate? What can be done to lower it?
  • What is the current conversion rate of landing pages? What can be done to improve it?
  • Which external channels are performing better than others? Why?
  • What do the online customers like most about the service or product?
  • What do your online customers like and dislike about the brand?
  • Will your online customers recommend your brand to others?

Successful changes in this phase are a cornerstone for online media success for SMEs in India. This transition cannot be completed without making the necessary adjustments in online brand communication.

This article does not resolve all queries about transitioning from offline to online. But, if you are keen to make it, you know where to find us.

Stop Making Terrible “Online Media” Decisions!

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Some professionals had to incorporate online media into their decision-making portfolio with changing times. Others specialized in it with a right combination of foresight and effort. Either way leaders have to make “digital media” related decisions. It is a cornerstone of several successful business ventures in India today. For the uninitiated, it might be a lack of understanding of digital media. Experts and devout can go wrong too. So, we want to present few crucial pointers to help you avoid it.

Success failure

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Most of us know that real life decisions are not as simple as the image above. Digital media decisions, like most others, are complex, multi-faceted and hard. But, it is non-optional to incorporate proven “online” success principles into your decisions. So, check rear-view mirror for these principles while making crucial digital media decisions.

# 1 – Complex is out.

Be it web development, content, informational architecture, or usability, the first core principle of success in online business is – “Simplicity” for the users.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication
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Simplicity leads to clarity, then to a better implementation. Most readers hesitate to take this principle on face value. Experience and knowledge tend to highlight the complexity of decisions. But, drive your efforts to simplify online business so even first-time visitors understand it. It does not imply that you have to dumb it down. You have to remain easy and user-friendly for every last visitor to your website. Here are examples of how smart businesses are doing it.

1. Google: Google is a king of simplicity. But, it isn’t limited to search engine and SERP. It extends to every aspect of their brand user experience and communication. Blog, email, new products, and ventures are driven by it.

2. Bromium: Several brands, operating in B2B marketplace do not hesitate to simplify products and websites. It works well because the communication is clear enough for interested visitors to get it easily. If you circumvent oversimplification, every B2C strategy will work productively enough. Take a look at Birst, Brandwatch landing page, and Egencia website.

There are enough examples of rocking and simple B2B websites that are doing financially well.

But, remember, Simple ≠ Easy. So you have your work cut out for you.

#2 – Information is core.

Digital media has a significant edge over the traditional media. You have an enormous amount of information available about your website, customers and more. Disregarding it is the biggest mistake. So, vital online business decisions must have a strong foundation of information.

For example;

Digital Media

Each of these resources offers tangible information. It can be used as a foundation for crucial business decisions. Though instinct plays a role in decision-making, most businessmen cannot afford to be blindsided by lack or delay of information.

So, most departments must stay updated with the latest research in cross-departmental topics too. For example, ancient research on “F-Shaped Pattern” for reading content cannot be buried into writer’s portfolio. Web developers and designers must know it well to present smart options. The Halo Effect is not some random psychological detail. It is a useful source of information in hands of a right UX designers and leaders. So, let the information become the foundation of every big move, at every level.

#3 – What’s in it for me?

This is an ancient marketing mantra. But, “WIIFM” remains a useful way to make sense of today’s chaotic world. Answer this one question for your visitors honestly and interestingly and you have a quickest route to a higher conversion rate. What does that mean? Blog posts cannot be a medium for promotions only. Social media optimization does not have to be disconnected from company goals. Case studies cannot be gloating space either. So, does your decision create a more empathetic answer to this age-old question? Does it make your website more relatable? Does the new social advertising campaign respond well to this inner urge?

what is in it for me
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Create a culture of adhering to these principles for your digital media decisions. Be it social media or responsive web design; think beyond the hottest and the latest. Step into a realm of these principles for every short term and long term decision. At least, use it as a checklist before you sign off on it. Take a close look at several social media disasters and you will understand that empathy is not an option. It is the “only” way to go. So, relate and answer customer’s deepest questions to earn the trust.

How do you take the “online media” decisions? Share with us in the comments section. We would love to hear about your process too.