Marketing Your Retail Store in the Internet Age by Bob Negen : Reading Experience

This was the book that I knew prior to reading it that it won’t be too interesting and might even feel too slow. I searched it on the internet and picked it to read to get a perspective of a retail seller. As me and my team are trying to start a company that will work very closely with retail stores and their owners I thought this book will provide some value.

What I liked about this book how it delivers simple and effective tactics that a store owner can use to create customer loyalty, make lasting seller-customer relationships and compete against online retail giants.

It compares getting customers to getting a girlfriend. They are demanding and they want to feel special or else they’ll move on.

It brings focus on few very effective retail techniques like bag stuffers and doughnut marketing. It also covers basics of copywriting and its importance.

What I didn’t like about the book was that it was too slow and dumb at times. As a young person who is aware of technology world you’ll feel few things too stupid to be covered in that detail in the book. May be that’s a better fit for old shop owners.

Overall it was a good read. Not as per my expectations but still can give you an image of a mind of a retailer.

I’ll definitely use the concepts of this book in my company as me and my team too believe that the best shopping experience for a customer can be provided at a local retail store. All they need  is a power up and better tools now.

My next book is “How to win friends and influence people”. Will share my experience about that too when’ll be done.

Thanks.

 

Business in Boxers : 1 Month Into Running a StartUp

Why the Series? 

(Inspired by book : Business In Blue Jeans)

Hi! This is Priyank. This series is about me pen downing my start-up ride. Don’t know if it’s fast or slow, all I really know is I’m gonna enjoy the ride.

Why the name?

Boxers is what you’ll find me almost every time in and business is what’s always in my mind and thus the name “Business In Boxers”.

The Beginning

Last month on 15th Feb, me and my friend sat down seriously deciding on which business to start. The interesting thing was I did this with 3 friends. 3 awesome business ideas that are practical and scalable. Next, we 4 formed a team. A team with a vision to launch multiple businesses in a very short period of time.

Our first startup what we call as Pebbles Media deals with creating engaging applications for local business owners that can help them discover new customers in their locality. Cool idea that we all thought will get us many clients.

We approached 5 clients in different domains from food business to education to mechanical work. Two of them showed interest and we started working on their products.

15 days later one of our clients refused to pay the advance thus we dropped him. Other client wanted a custom product built for them at a very unreasonable price, again dropped him.

The Pivot

Witnessing all this, we all after 1 hour long discussion decided that it is the time for an early pivot. We never wanted to enter service based B2B sector.

The pivot that will need us to make products that will be used by multiple small businesses and their customers making us a product based company.

A pivot at this early stage raised doubts in our minds but I guess it was the red flag that we all managed to see and decided to pivot and not to run for quick money.

In Love With Business Books

lately I have been reading a lets of business books. Getting ideas and knowing how various aspects of a startup works. My favorite is The Lean Startup. A must read for everyone.

The Speed Breakers

No surprise here, first month has been filled with speed breakers. I was not expecting any smooth ride either. This month we have seen from clients saying no to all saying yes at the same time. Client giving us advance and then we turning him down because we wanted to pivot.

Wrap Up!

This month we dealt with real clients. Realized that we don’t want to go into service based sector.

For next month we are planning to get our MVP out in the market and test our leap of faiths. Too much action for next month. Let’s see what’s in the store next.

See you next time.

 

PS : It is fun to write blog when you are pretty certain that no one will read it 😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UBCx: Marketing1x Introduction to Marketing : Course Experience

Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories that you tell.

In today’s world everyone in some way or another is trying to market themselves to the world. This becomes even more prominent if you are trying to attract customers to earn your living.

Preping to become an entrepreneur, I decided to take this course to get the proper understanding of how the mind of a marketer works.

This course included loads of case studies in the form of stories that covered many famous marketing campaigns world wide, from Viagra vs Cialis to Hershey’s vs Mars. Each story will teach you important aspects and tactics of marketing. It will equip you will all the marketing jargon that you will no longer hesitate to invite your marketing friends for a cup of coffee or beer.

The course was 6 modules long. I did it in 15 days as I was running short on time.

Module 1 : Changing nature of marketing, Competition

It covered various tools and frameworks like 3C’s , SWOT and PEST to understand the changing marketing scenario around your business.

Module 2 : Market Research, Segmentation and Targeting

Market research to get actionable insights will make sure that you don’t end up making a product that nobody wants. The case very common with startups.

Study of demographics and psycho-graphics to determine the target customers is another vital component.

Module 3 : Positioning and Value Propositions and Product

Positioning your product in the market by the use of VPs , PoPs, PoDs will determine your product gets sales or not.

Product is not just product, it is a much broader and deeper experience that customer is having with your brand.

Module 4 : Branding and Pricing

Brand identity is what company thinks of its brand, brand image is what use feels about your brand. The more they are similar, more well your product will do.  

Pricing should also be done using skimming and penetration approaches.

Module 5 : Distribution, Integrated marketing communication 

Channel economics, indirect or direct and how product distribution schemes can affect it.

What are IMCs? Basically these are used to reinforce your brand images in customers mind.  Be it PRs, SEO, websites, traditional ads etc.

Module 6 : Social Media, Measurement and Conclusion 

How social media is changing the marketing scenario when combined with digital marketing. (Mobile marketing is what my new start up is based upon).

They can be used to facilitate customer communication.

Metrics of any marketing campaign is revenue, cost of customer acquisition and customer lifetime value.

Conclusion : 

Being a beginners course in the field of marketing, this course served its purpose. My new startup is in the field of mobile marketing where we help small businesses get mobile and expand their customer base.

This course really helped me in shaping what exactly I have to do to shape the company.

Contagious : Why Things Catch On : Reading Experience

We all have heard of the hilarious Panda Cheese commercial in which a panda screws everyone who says no to panda products. People loved the ad so much that the brand enjoyed world wide recognition. On the other hand commercials by GoldenPalace.com was a complete miss, it just failed to persist their brand name in customer’s mind by Fool in the pool marketing stunt.

So, what makes things popular? Why do people talk about certain products and ideas more than others? Why are some stories and rumors more infectious? And what makes online content go viral?

In the age of social media where everyday we get to see viral trends, what makes them viral?

My 2nd book of the year was, Contagious : Why things catch on.

I picked this book when I saw the author if this book Jonah Berger in a documentary The YouTube Revolution. As I am trying to set up a company, understanding the science behind virality will only help.

Contagious gives nice representation of the science behind viral things in the form of a framework he calls STEPPS.

S : Social Currency

T : Triggers

E : Emotion

P : Public

P : Practical Value

S : Stories

Each of the element of this framework represents on its own a very powerful factor of making things viral.

Book explains case studies of many products and businesses, and how the elements of STEPPS helped their brand go viral.

Be it 100$ cheese-steak that was a perfect example of social currency making a local restaurant popular or “Will It Blend?” video series on youtube making Belndtec’s blenders popular worldwide.  STEPPS can be found in every viral marketing campaign.

The thought that was intriguing was, How will STEPPS combine with traditional marketing strategies like SWOT and PEST frameworks . In my opinion it will only increase the chances of the campaign going viral.

Contagious explains very effectively, how STEPPS play major role in making people to share, to remember and to talk about something. Each element is described a great marketing campaign story that just cements the concepts in your mind.

Overall, it was a great read for everyone. Not very technical that you’ll need google to seek the meaning of marketing jargon, but still technical enough to give you knowledge you want.

My 3rd book of the year is, The Lean StartUp by Eric Ries. A nice book on how startups that are successful perform with their business models and operations.

 

 

Edx : Digital Branding and Engagement Course Overview And Experience

People Respond to Effort

Lately I have been following Gary Vaynerchuck, an entrepreneur and serial investor. He also owns a social media marketing company Vayner Media. Listening to his podcasts and keynotes is an eye opener on how digital media marketing is reshaping the advertising world.

So I took a course on Edx Digital Branding and Engagement finally know the digital marketing in and out.

The course was 4 weeks long and delivers perfect contextual content.

Module 1 : 

First module covered various topics like :

  • Paid , Earned and Owned media.
  • Consumer controlled market.
  • Top consumer trends.
  • Brand Advocacy.
  • Audience multiplicity.

This module was enough to make you super excited about this field. It was full of content that you can relate to, you witness everyday on facebook, twitter etc, just naming it formally.

Module 2 : 

This module was about Content Marketing. That means examining content marketing, determining its value, content distribution strategies etc.

It showed many successful campaigns on social media as case study and its impact on company sales and publicity.

  • Content marketing strategy.
  • Branded content distribution.
  • Content publishing.
  • Investing in marketing.
  • Distribution amplification.

As Gary Vee always say “Content is the king, but context is the queen”.

Module 3 : 

This module was on Owned Media Assets.

  • Owned media decision making.
  • Websites, Landing pages, Microsites etc.
  • SEO strategies.
  • Branded Application for mobile.
  • Gamification and Adver Games.

Module 4 : 

Most vital component of digital marketing is Earned Media. That means all the brand advocates, customer relations you create via marketing and delivering value.

  • Bottom up marketing.
  • Earned media amplification.
  • Social techno-graphic ladder.
  • Participation branding.
  • Crowed sourcing.
  • Shaping earned media.

99% of people don’t market in the year we live in.

Soon I will start working on my product based start-up that is in stealth mode right now, what I think would be a new way to consume content.

In this start-up bubble age when every one is looking to start their own company, marketing and reaching your consumer is the key. And best platform for marketing is FREE!!!. 

I am very sure that all this gold mine of marketing knowledge will help.