Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Facebook and Privacy

One of the questions that have been haunting us in recent past is:” Is Facebook Doing Enough to Protect Your Privacy?”

Over the weekend I have been watching some of the senior leaders of my company (board members) interviewed by various business channels. One question that was common to most of the senior leaders of this giant IT empire was: “Why is that you are not on Facebook or Twitter?” One common answer was I don’t feel it is safe enough to be on public domain. Being a social media enthusiast I was not too convinced with the answer. I felt may be the people from old school of thought did not wanted to be part of the next gen rush. But looking at the repeated privacy breach on Facebook I feel they were right. Result, I have deleted my FB account.

Here is a small right-up I feel you should review before you post an update on FB. FB has agreed to a settlement with the FTC over charges that the social network had deceived its users about privacy. The FTC had accused Facebook in an eight-count complaint of not living up to its own promises. Among them: sharing users’ personal information with third parties without their knowledge or consent, changing privacy practices without informing users, and claiming to have a program to verify the security of apps when it didn’t.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressed the settlement in a blog post, saying Facebook had proactively addressed the FTC’s complaints but that the company had “made a bunch of mistakes.”

Bunch of mistakes??? Dude are you kidding me?? Compromising on user privacy is bunch of mistakes?? Its heaps of offence.

With all these charges on FB, Mark Zuckerberg’s dream of $100 Billion IPO seems to be difficult. Here is a brief snapshot about their IPO update:
Facebook is preparing itself for an IPO that could easily top $100 billion, according to a new report.

At $100 billion, Facebook’s impending IPO would be one of the largest in history, quadrupling Google’s $23 billion IPO in 2004.

CNBC says the social networking giant is likely to go public during the first quarter of 2012, less than nine months from now. That falls in line with a May 2012 deadline when Facebook will be required to publicly report its financial information, regardless of whether it’s a private or public company.

The $100 billion valuation isn’t a surprise — there were reports last month that Facebook’s IPO could easily top $100 billion, thanks to huge consumer and investor appeal. In fact, if LinkedIn’s stellar IPO is any indication, Facebook’s valuation could hit the stratosphere the day it hits the public markets.

Goldman Sachs is in the driver’s seat to underwrite the IPO, thanks to its $450 million investment in Facebook earlier this year. Facebook and Goldman might want to hurry, though: The social network’s growth is apparently slowing down.

Keeping figures crossed for Mark, I am hoping they will atleast learn from their mistakes and ensure they re-build the FB brand.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sooo many things and soo less time

Life is becoming insanely busy, there is soo much of work in office:

My second book is eternally on hold (unable to pen single word)

PhD - suspend for 6 months (reason: No progress)

Paper to be presented - no progress

Cycling - frequency has reduced from daily to bi-weekly to weekly (I am hoping to atleast keep this going)

Photography - I have no clue were on this earth is my camera

Buy Tab - rotting on my wish list

Running - its been a month i got into my running shoes (This obviously means no marathons for next few months)

Body Fat - Working lunch, pizazz, coffee, ice-creams - Thank you - increased body fat and weight

Personal life - I used to have a great one

Blogging and writing - struggling to post/write :(

Conclusion - Get back to normal life in next 2 weeks.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A tribute to the Legend of our times – Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs died last week and tributes are still pouring in for the departed soul.

Apple founder is being called the best visionary of our times Steven P. Jobs passed away on October 5th, 2011 after a long struggle with pancreatic cancer. He was just 56 years old. We mourn his passing, and wish his family the very best.

He was the reason many of us got into this industry, or even care about technology at all. He made the computer personal, and the smartphone fun. Bill Gates may have put a computer on every office desk, but it was Steve Jobs who put one in every dorm room and bedroom and living room. And then, years later, he repeated the trick, putting one in every bag and every pocket, thanks to the iPad and iPhone. If you use a computer or smartphone today, it is either one he created, or an imitation of his genius.

He changed the way movies are made, the way music is sold, the way stories are told, the very way we interact with the world around us. He helped us work, and gave us new ways to play. He was a myth made man.

Prior to Steve Jobs, computers were alien to most of us. They were accessible to few people without an engineering degree. Not merely because of their complex operating procedures, but also because they were so cold and so inhuman. Jobs understood that they could be something more than that. That while computers would never be people, he could endow them with humanity. He could transform them into machines that not only anyone could use, but that everyday people would enjoy using thanks to the art of great design. He made them something that would be part of our lives. And he did that again and again.

His life story is familiar, but it deserves repeating. He was given up for adoption by his unmarried parents. He grew up in California, and was very much a product of that place and time. He took drugs. He got into phone hacking. Both were precursers to what would always be his interest: changing the status quo.

In 1976 he started Apple in a garage. Together with Steve Wozniak, he shipped the first true fully-built personal computer, the Apple I. He drove development of the Mac, understanding that it was the future of computers. The great thing that we would all see. He brought in a grown up to run the company. And that grown up forced him out of the company that he built and into the wilderness.
While he was gone, he started NeXT computer. The NeXT operating system would form the underpinnings of Apple's OS X, and iOS.

He also started the best movie studio of the past 30 years. Pixar's films were innovative, to be sure. It pushed the boundaries of CGI to such an extent that even today its early films still look great. But technology is only a tool. As with everything else he understood that great technology alone is not enough. It must be human to have an impact. Pixar movies tell stories. They make grown men cry. That was the impact of Steve Jobs.

He became a family man. He reunited with his biological mother, and his sister, the writer Mona Simpson. He married. He had children. He was, by all accounts, a great dad. It was his role as husband and father that helped drive his second act at Apple.
After his return to Apple, the company began shipping iconic product after iconic product. Products that defined a decade. The iMac, OS X, the iPod, iTunes, the iPhone, the iPad. All of these were deeply human products. They reflected his understanding of how technology was used not only in the workplace, but in the home. In his keynotes, product demos typically showed not executives, but families.
He made Apple into the most valuable company in the world. He never met his biological father.

He accomplished so many things, in so many fields that it's tempting to compare Jobs to someone from the past. A Thomas Edison or a Ben Franklin or even a Leonardo Da Vinci. We tend to do that because it helps us understand. But it does him a disservice. He was unique. His own person. Our own person.

He was our emblematic genius. In 100 years, when historians talk about the emergence of the age of intelligent machines, it is Steve Jobs they will hold up as the great exemplar of our era.

They will remember his flaws, too. When Atari hired Jobs and Woz to write the code for the iconic Atari game Breakout, the pair earned a $5000 bonus for completing the work, largely done by Woz. But Jobs kept the bonus a secret, and only paid his partner $375. When his daughter Lisa was born in 1978, he spent two years denying he was her father. His denials forced her and her mother to support themselves on welfare. In the workplace he's often been described as temperamental and even petulant. He could be arrogant and unforgiving.

He was not a god. He was simply a man.

Yet for all his faults, he changed the world. He made it better.

He once famously asked of a critic "what have you done that's so great?" For Jobs, the answer to that question was very nearly unlimited.

Our world will be less interesting, less exciting, and less meaningful without him.
Goodbye, Mr. Jobs. We will miss you so very much.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Social media and healthcare

I have been busy visiting hospitals and presenting my ideas/thoughts on application of social media in a medium and large hospital set-up. I have also been busy commenting and micro blogging on leading healthcare blogs and magazines.

Today, I wrote about the social media and its impact on healthcare industry. The article was well received and published on Infosys blogs, follow the link below to read the article:

I aim to keep my personal blog updated moving forward :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Google's Strategic Mistake or Smart Strategic move (Motorola Buy)?

The most discussed and awaited tech news of this week: Google's $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility. There have been hundreds of post's on this topic, but most interesting and contrasting that I recommend are:

Harvard Business Review Blog:

I am very curious on the Android story now :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

A quick personal finance Intro

For people who are new to my blog. I have authored the first personal finance book tailored for Indian audience. Most of my readers wanted to know, if I have a quick reference PPT. Here you go:

Monday, July 25, 2011

Google - AdWords - OMG

For new people on my blog:

I am a diehard fan of Google and ex-googler (ex Google employee). Please note the view/opinion in this post is completely mine and Google or its subsidiaries are not responsible for any information published here. (Typical disclaimer)

Google is now making $3 billion a month in advertising — the majority of which comes from little text ads next to search results.

You might wonder how that’s possible, and who’s spending that much money on search ads.
The answer, according to Larry Kim — the founder of a company that sells software to analyze text ad campaigns — is in industries where a customer is worth a lot of money over the long-term.

Wordstream, Kim’s company, analyzed search terms that advertisers pay the most to have their ads show up next to, and grouped the top 10,000 by industry, using its own software. They multiplied the so-called cost-per-click — what advertisers pay Google for each time someone clicks on their ads — times the number of times people search on that word. They then divided that pie up by keywords that fit different industries.

The top industry? Insurance, where companies eager to outbid their rivals for new customers pay Google more than $54 for a click. Together they make up 24 percent of Google’s revenues from search advertising, according to Wordstream’s calculations. Companies in the business of issuing loans come second, with CPC rates of more than $44 — providing nearly 13 percent of Google’s revenues.

“There are lots of lawyers finding clients,” Kim said. “Even if they have to pay for 50 to 100 clicks to get a client, they can get that back in a court case that last for years, all the while billing $500 an hour. The same thing happens with CRM software, where companies pay a high month fee.”

Friday, July 08, 2011

Rich life and poor death - a random thought!!

I was reading the most recent blog of Mr.Schwartz and felt it was worth sharing. From last 6 years this question is bothering me and I strive hard to find an answer...We are fortunate to be part of IT bubble, the economy boom the rising India and a corporate living. To be more personal a 3 BHK house in Bangalore to live, a decent car to zoom, a designer brand watch, kid studying in an international school...everything sounds great but.....Is the life worth the Price we Paying to live It?

What toll does it take, over time, if you get too little sleep; skip breakfast or settle for something unhealthy; struggle with a relentlessly challenging commute; attend meeting after meeting with no breaks in between; pump yourself up through the day with multiple cups of coffee or sugary snacks; deal with hundreds of emails that accumulate in your inbox; remain at your desk for lunch if you eat lunch at all; push through fatigue in the afternoon; head home at night feeling exhausted, but continue to check email through the evening; work on the weekends; and limit your vacations to no more than a week, if you vacation at all?

Consider the story of the boiling frog. It may or may not be true, but the point it makes certainly is. Toss a frog into a pot of boiling water and it instinctively jumps out, self-protectively. Next, place the frog into a pot of cool water. Not surprisingly, it swims around, happily. Now heat the water up very gradually and what does the frog do? It acclimates to untenable circumstances — and slowly cooks. The frog doesn't notice what's happening to him, until it's too late.

We're experiencing the same phenomenon. Facing ever more demand, complexity and uncertainty, our initial response is to push ourselves harder and more relentlessly, without taking account of the costs we're incurring.

Physiologically, we move into hyperarousal — flooding our bodies with stress hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol. It's an automatic response to the experience of threat, and it provides an instant source of energy.

"Allostatic load" is a term coined by the neuroscientist Bruce McEwen that refers to the physiological consequences — most especially on the brain — of chronic exposure to relentless demand. When fight-or-flight hormones circulate in our body for too long, keeping our arousal high, they become toxic — not just physically, but also emotionally and mentally.

The most immediate problem with the fight-or-flight state is that our pre-frontal cortex begins to shut down. We become reactive rather than reflective. We lose precisely what we need most in these complex times: the capacity to think analytically and imaginatively; to embrace nuance and paradox rather than choosing up sides; and to take a long-term perspective rather than making the most expedient choice.

It's not good for us, and it's not good for companies.

The antidote, well understood by trauma researchers, is to give people practical and specific ways to lower their physiological arousal — to get out of fight or flight. If you're hyperaroused — and vast numbers of us are, much of the time — you must learn first how to regularly relax your body. Only then is it possible to calm your emotions, quiet your mind and make wiser choices.

In the trauma community, it's called self-soothing. In the workplace, it's about using simple strategies to buffer relentless demand by taking more conscious and regular care of our most basic needs.

Our most fundamental physical needs, beyond food, are to move and to rest. Sleep is the foundation of physical energy. All but a tiny percentage of us require at least 7-8 hours a night to feel fully rested and even small amounts of sleep deprivation take a significant cognitive toll.

We also operate best when we take renewal breaks at least every 90 minutes during the day. Breathing deeply for as little as a minute, for example, can completely clear the body of cortisol.

Movement is a second, more active way to change channels and to build physical capacity. The best way to move is to regularly challenge our current comfort zone — to push our heart rate into the aerobic and anaerobic zones at least four times a week, for at least 20 minutes at a time, and to train with weights at least twice a week.

Even if you don't do that, it's immensely valuable to get up and move at least several times during the day — and even better, to get outside. Above all, our goal should be to increase our oscillation over the course of the day — moving between relaxation at one end, and more active forms of energy expenditure at the other.

At the emotional level, our core need is to feel safe, secure and valued. The most reliable way to ensure that happens is to move flexibly between valuing, appreciating and taking care of others — which builds trust and appreciation — and taking care of ourselves. One without the other is insufficient. We need to regularly refuel ourselves with positive emotions just as much as we need to renew ourselves physically.

The more attentive we are to meeting these core needs, the less likely we are to feel overwhelmed and exhausted, and the more sustainably high-performing we're capable of becoming.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A short bio on Mr. N R NarayanMurthy

I have been actively following the branding blog by Ramanujam Sridhar. I personally consider him as brand guru in India and he is of course from my college.

While browsing thru his blog I came across a very short yet beautifully crafted bio of one of my beloved leaders of this century NRN. I thought I should share the article with you all since it has great insight to this leader’s life and vision.

One of the most interesting quotes that I have heard in branding was not made by Philip Kotler, John Philip Jones or David Aaker. It was made by Nandan Nilekani, CEO & MD of Infosys when I interviewed him in connection with my book, “You become a brand not when you talk about yourself but when others talk about you” he said. And I remembered this quote in the context of Mr. N.R. Narayana Murthy stepping down from the Executive Chairmanship of Infosys Technologies Ltd on 21st August, 2006. Because this statement if anything certainly applies to Mr. Narayana Murthy who in my opinion atleast is India’s foremost personal brand in the corporate world. And in this column I would like to share a few things based on my experience and interactions with him. The reason for this is simple. For five years in a row Mr. N.R. Narayana Murthy has been voted as the most admired business leader by management students in this country in brand-comm’s business leadership study. And I believe that people in business and people in India can learn a lot from him as I have, over the years. So here are a few random memories that I shall cherish of my experiences with Mr. Software as I believe that title best represents his achievements.

Confident of the future not futuristic I first met Mr. Narayana Murthy in 1993 in connection with the Infosys public issue. Mudra, the agency I worked for then, was handling the issue. I remember 6 of us landing up in their small office in Koramangala to make the presentation. (Agencies believe in strength in numbers!). And I remember a few people vacating their chairs to accommodate us. I am reminded of Infosys’ spartan early beginnings whenever I see their mind boggling, world-class structures at Mysore or Bangalore. But back to the advertising. I remember my then colleague, Balki working a futuristic campaign referring to Arthur C. Clark and Isaac Asimov for Infosys. We believed Infosys was a futuristic company. Very rightly the company said it would not talk about the future. I guess they were content with merely creating it! The campaign that came out was matter-of-fact, boring even. Over the years Infosys has metamorphosized to one of India’s most successful companies and one of its most visible as well. But its visibility is a product of public relations not mass media advertising. And leading the public relations strategy has been Mr. Narayana Murthy who has been the face of the company and the software industry as well. And the strategy has been simple. Achieve. Do things first. Do them differently. Do them in a larger scale. And you will be written about. And you will become the foremost brand in your category.

First in business, economy in travel On another occasion on a later date, I was traveling to Ahmedabad. As I went to my customary 12C seat in economy I was surprised to see Mr. Narayana Murthy peering shortsightedly at a magazine in the business class section. (This is hardly the time to talk about my childhood affinity for the 12C bus route in Madras as it was called then, which has extended to my airline travel by way of seat preference). But back to Ahmedabad and my return trip to Bangalore the next day. Whom should I bump into at security other than Mr. Narayana Murthy. I mentioned to him that I had seen him in the same flight the previous evening. Barely had I finished my sentence before he started saying how the organisers who had invited his wife, Sudha Murthy had bought business class tickets and how despite their protestations it could not be changed at the last moment and how now they were travelling economy and boy was he relieved at the changed scenario! To me it seemed a simple conversation, but to him it was a way of life. One had to fly to save time. But traveling business on a local flight to him seemed wrong. To the point of being an obsession. You can call it a middle class hang–up but I would call it a value, that drives Infosys as well.

Environment is what you make A lot of us depend on our environment to make a statement. The address we live in, the clubs we are members of, the restaurants we patronise, the schools our children go to are all symbols that we cling to. I remember moving to Delhi (or trying to) in 1993. My predecessor lived in Vasant Vihar, an expensive suburb of New Delhi. The reason for that was simple. He said one’s address matters. Well Mr. Narayana Murthy continues to live in Jayanagar. That isn’t Cuff Parade or Boat Club Road. And I have seen him having iddli vada at Adigas which is hardly as aspirational as having breakfast at Leela’s or the Sheraton Towers. (Probably just that little bit tastier). But then Mr. Narayana Murthy does not need the props that you and I need. You can look for the brand to support you or you can be the brand that supports the environment. Like every youngster today believes that IIM is the only brand that can build his career. Mr. Narayana Murthy however believes in strengthening the IIM brand with the power of his own personality and the strength of his conviction. And this is precisely what he did as Chairman Board of Governors, IIM Ahmedabad. He fought for the IIM’s autonomy on the fee increase issue tooth and nail whilst some others in positions of authority were dithering and sitting on the fence. And I remember that from the IIM ‘B’ alumni association we wrote individual letters to over 40 Directors of the various IIM’s expressing solidarity with their quest for autonomy. We got one solitary reply thanking us. No prizes for guessing that Mr. Narayana Murthy was the only one who wrote back. Mr. Narayana Murthy has always responded to mail immediately. (A trait that Nandan Nilekani has as well). Unlike a host of CEOs and VPs even who never respond to mails, text messages or calls on the mobile. There is a lot that business leaders and aspiring ones can learn from NRN as he is called. But then since many of our leaders know everything that needs to be known on every subject under the sun. I am sure they are not reading this column or following what comes to Mr. Narayana Murthy naturally.

Recognition of achievement Mr. Narayana Murthy was one of the few business leaders who gave me considerable time by way of a personal interview for my just published book. I remember our slotting an hour and we ended up spending ninety minutes. The interview was interrupted up just once as Mr. Murthy after seeking my excuse went out to say hello to G.R. Vishwanath the stylish cricketer who was visiting on behalf of SBI. Mr. Murthy said he had been present with a host of his IIT Kanpur friends in 1969 when the batsman made his test debut against Bill Lawry’s Australians. Mr. Murthy complimented GRV on his fantastic century in the 2nd innings while Vishwanath smilingly recalled his duck in the first innings. This was absolutely fascinating to me, a new dimension to Mr. Narayana Murthy. Today he is a celebrity several times over, but he took pride in recognizing a hero of 37 years ago, when he was a nobody and actually went out of a meeting to recognise him.

Sum and substance Mr. Narayana Murthy clearly is a leader with a difference. I can’t think of too many laying down office when they are at the peak of their physical and mental powers. More so when the company has been founded by them. Mr. Narayana Murthy demonstrates the value of being oneself without professing to be something else. Consistency is key to a brand. “Ethical”, “Values”, “Simple”, “Wealth Creator” are the brand associations that he elicits consistently. Today Infosys is recognized as the leader of the second generation of successful Indian companies. Not content with leading his company, he led software as one of its most influential leaders making it the industry of choice to Indian’s brightest and best. He may retire from the company he built but will no doubt continue to be a brand. Without even trying.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

India Celebrates

Firstly: Congrats to all my fellow Indians we finally made it :)

Midnight of 14/15th August 1947 was a monumental moment for this country. People celebrated the independence at midnight. In different corners of the country. But my guess is that the happiness would have been guarded. Many were, in fact, going through the worst in their lives. The scars of partition, communal riots, the uncertainties for the political, economic and social future of the country – all of these would have tainted the happiness Indians felt. Many were fearing for their lives and future. The country had gained independence, but the people were divided. The absolute joy could not have been felt.

Midnight of 2nd/3rd April 2011 – Streets of all the cities, towns and villages in India has people celebrating. The reason is relatively trivial. India winning a world cup. But there is nothing to taint the enjoyment. Everyone is together. People on the streets will look like they are lunatics. But you know that they won’t harm you.

It’s ironical but the things that bring people are together are mostly not the ones that would intellectually be considered most important for the society. People come together to enjoy more trivial things.

I am not judging, only wondering.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Best Customer Service - email

Today I received a follow up email from the Customer Service Manager that was both personalized and unexpected. It knocked my socks off! I've included the entire email herein:

Hello Raghav!

It has been seven days since your order was shipped so hopefully your order #14077740 was delivered without any problems. We made sure to ship your order as QUICKLY as possible! I hope our service beat your expectations.

I noticed you ordered a protein powder. Smart! We have seen the best results from customers when they use a protein powder everyday like clockwork. The Met-Rx Meal Replacement, 18 Packets, Chocolate Peanut Butter is a great one.

I found this new article for you about protein that will help you get the best results:
Protein Bio-Availability Explained! It was written by Joey Vaillancourt.

Don't forget that taking a multi-vitamin can help you get better results.

Neelish K
Customer Service Manager

WOW! That's the best friggin' follow up email I think I've ever received. The reason I think it was so good is because the unexpected email was:

* Personalized based on my order
* Specific with regard to what I ordered
* Reinforced the purchase decisions I made
* Encouraged me to use what I bought
* Provided additional value-added references
* Provided contact information

How does your customer service messaging measure up? I hope this example will serve as a way to motivate all of us to think about our communications with customers after the sale. As marketers we know that keeping a customer is often much more affordable than acquiring a new one.

Take a closer look at your follow up processes. If you are communicating after the sale, is your communication personalized? Does it provide product purchase information? Additional resources that are related to the purchase? We can always make our follow up communications better!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bridging the gap between Sales and Marketing

Since my B-school days I always wondered is there a gap or thin line of difference b/w sales and marketing? The answer is obviously YES. Is there a difference in the objectives of these two functions in an organization? The answer is NO. Though organizational goal of these two teams might seem different but end goal is: Revenue generation.

Today I finished reading “The end of Marketing as we know it” – it is an amazing masterpiece. He’s not bringing any rocket science to marketing but speaks about the effective ways to focus on DO’s and DONT’s of an effective marketing. The take away from the book is:

"The sole purpose of Marketing is to sell more to more people, more often and for more money."

It is very important for any organization to have a healthy relationship b/w Sales and Marketing teams. As a marketer if you do not enjoy good business relationship with your sales counterpart, start asking yourself what is to be changed in your deliverable. Marketing success is about increasing revenue and lowering cost of sales. Whether in Marketing 1.0 or Marketing 2.0 or traditional marketing or social media marketing it makes no difference.

I wanted to share with you this striking data from this survey from 1,300 companies across all industries:

• Only 60% of sales reps are making or exceeding quotas.
• Only 37% of firms report they have implemented a formal sales process.
• 63% of revenue comes from existing business, while 37% comes from new business
• Only 38% of companies have what they would call "forecasting accuracy."
• Most have close rates of under 50% of proposals written (average=48%).

This Lewis Green post says it all:

"For at the end of the day, our bottom lines and the value of what we do are measured in sales, not direct mail campaigns, sell sheets or packaging....I also believe that sales and marketing staffs should be in one department and should work closely together on every step of the process, from understanding the customers, to strategic marketing and sales planning, to closing sales"

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Social Media: Marketing 2.0 tool

It’s been quite some time I have been juggling with this question where your social media strategy is? Are you and your organization prepared for Marketing 2.0 (M 2.0)?
There is much misunderstanding between the concept and the tools—and the benefits of either. There is confusion as to why social media tools can’t be used just like e-mail, bulk mail and advertising. There are also power struggles internally for who should own social media and who has control over what is for public consumption.
I have started reading Paul Chaney’s latest book, “The Digital Handshake: Seven Proven Strategies to Grow Your Business Using Social Media.” (Paul’s first book is “Realty Blogging: Build Your Brand and Out-Smart Your Competition.”) In which he talks about marketer’s role.

The author talks about very crucial five trends turning the business world upside down:

• Consumer Skepticism
• Fragmented Media
• Loss of Control
• Niche Marketing
• Customers are in Control

Paul provides seven proven strategies to help you become successful with your social media strategy. If you think I will share my press release or customer testimonial or success story on Twitter and Facebook and call it a day? Then you are not in M 2.0, here is some food for your thought:

• Business Blogging
• Social Networks
• Niche Online Communities
• Microblogging
• Video
• Podcasting
• PR 2.0
• RSS, Tagging, Bookmarking and more!

He also clarifies: All of these strategies mean nothing without a plan of action that includes listening, engaging and measuring (In the same order). Paul positions listening as the new marketing, its very crucial to understand why listening before engaging will determine whether your social media plan will be successful or not.

Now think every time you meet your customers offline what is the first thing you do? You shake their hand. Now you can do that digitally. We call it engaging. Paul offers tips for how to best engage in online conversation and his “table” metaphor is spot on and so are the tactics he shares for getting a seat at someone else’s table or setting a table of your own.

Finally, here’s where you get to show your management team just how smart you are. All of those digital handshakes are measurable. Paul shares a whole bunch of tools to help you along the way. Some are free and some are paid, but either way you’ll have more than enough to select from.

This is a must read for new age Marketer!!!!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Running Vs Cycling

So its been a long time since I wrote on my space here. The mundane routine of juggling between work and other essential things had kept me from coming here for so long.

Finally I have something really interesting and worth blogging about. One of the new friends I have in Hyderabad (Vamshi) got a new cycle....this has been on my wish list for a long time now. I been struggling to prioritize between two conflicting wishes I have: Cycling Vs Running.

These are the two things that have been pending for a long now. Let me begin my analysis with the quote:


Games require skill. Running requires endurance, character, pride, physical strength, and mental toughness. Running is a test, not a game. A test of faith, belief, will, and trust in ones self. So hardcore that it needs a category all to itself to define the pain. When game players criticize, it’s because they aren’t willing to understand, not because they’re stronger. Running is more than a sport; it’s a lifestyle. If you have to ask us why we run, you’ll never understand, so just accept.

– Jessica Propst

Swaroop has made a beautiful presentation on Running:

On the other hand we have more than 10,000 people participating in Cyclothon in Bangalore. People like Vikram Chadaga motivate you to go for cycling.

The best thing for me to do is try Running for next 1 week and see Vamshi enjoy his cycling for a week then decide on sharing my time for Cycling Vs Running.