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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Integrating Traditional and Digital Marketing for the Best Results

Traditional media such as newspapers, television, magazines, radio, direct mail, tele-calling, theaters ads, promotional events are now the conversation starters and then most of you would have experienced, people want to know where to go online to get the rest of the information about the product or services or to download a trial version of it. In other words, it is not "traditional" vs. "digital," its "tradigital" that will get the best results. The role of Traditional media has changed after the arrival of digital media and it can do wonders if it is integrated well with the digital media.

A digital marketing plan should never be finalized without having a complete strategy for leveraging the traditional media and the vice-versa. A good solution provider should have experienced team members in both traditional and digital media planning and execution with seamless integration.

Marketing continues to evolve rapidly, brands and agencies should rethink their marketing strategy, brainstorm and hammer out a customized and results oriented Marketing Road map in consultation with the experts in the integrated marketing approach. That will help you optimize your tra-digital (traditional and digital-social media) marketing mix, acquire customers more efficiently and increased sales and ROI.

A comprehensive strategic marketing plan should involve all the stakeholders within the organization in order to bring the synergy in the brand story and effectiveness. The plan should clearly define the leverage points - the factors which influence the desired objectives including target market, USP, pricing & positioning strategy etc. and integrate the traditional and digital marketing for the best results.

Let us know what you think.

Regards,
Khalid A. Khan
Twitter: @khalidak


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

‘Megaphone marketing' Vs. ‘Magnet Marketing’ tactics

Megaphone marketing is shouting at many with the hopes of attracting a few. Megaphone marketing tactics just don't work the way it is usually expected to work. Examples of megaphone tactics include untargeted mass media print advertising, yellow page advertising, directory advertising, untargeted banner advertising, cold calls and mass email blasts. In the recent times there had been a fundamental shift in customer behavior. Customers don't want to be interrupted and megaphone marketing is an interruption. Customers want to be in control of the information they receive.


The solution is Magnet marketing. This puts the customer in control. Magnet marketing helps you get found by customers at the very moment they have a need for your products and services. It allows you to earn trust by providing customers with information they value to attract them to your website to do business. Examples of magnet marketing tactics include content marketing, search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising and various social media marketing.

Magnet marketing tactics generate more leads and sales and they are less expensive. It also offer you a tremendous opportunity to engage directly with customers. However, to get in front of them in the first place, you need great content. It is worth spending the time in creating great content. On the internet you are what you publish. If you publish great content on the internet, you are great. If you publish bad content on the internet, you are bad and if you do not publish anything on the internet, you are nothing.


People don't choose to do business with you just because you offer the right products at the right price. They choose you because you and your team have valuable, specialized knowledge about the applications of your products. Lead with that specialized knowledge in your marketing by writing best practice articles, 'how to' videos, an insightful blog and creating educational guides and whitepapers. By marketing your knowledge instead of just marketing your products, you will be considered not only the provider of the product but also a provider of expertise in that particular area, that makes you unique in your chosen market.

Khalid Abdullah Khan

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Can you spend your entire life living out of a hotel room?

I have found many people who think a personal website is something only celebrities and public figures should have. And majority of them  use various social media platforms to present themselves to the outside world.

We all know that in any of these social media platforms you have no assurance that it will remain as it is for ever. Though most of these platforms claim to protect your privacy, but how many of us are savvy enough to protect our privacy using the features available. Things can change on such platforms with or without notice. Depending fully on the social media platforms to maintain your digital presence is similar to living out of a hotel room for your entire life. In the physical world, no one considers hotel as their home. Every one tries to buy a piece of real estate as early as possible, which they can call their own place. Where they can build their own house. Have the interiors and the furnishings done as per their own tastes. Something that will remain yours forever. It is your address on this planet, which you do not share with others. Similarly in the digital world, one needs to have that piece of real estate. An address in your actual name, where you can showcase your achievements, the value you bring into the society in different fields: academic, professional, societal, personal etc. If anyone in need of your expertise, can search and find you in the digital world.

The great news is, the price of the real estate in the digital world is not even a fraction, when compared to that of the price of physical real estate. You can get the address (domain name) and a piece of land (space to host) both in around $20an year.

Claim your name on the web as soon as possible by registering the domain name in your own name if available; else pick up the closest to your name that is available. Something that is available today may not be there tomorrow.

I am not for a moment suggesting to stop using the social media platforms, I am present in most of them and a large part of my time is spent on those platforms, but I clearly understand the difference between a hotel room and that of my own home. 
Let me know your thoughts 

Regards,
Khalid Abdullah Khan
khalid@brainchildbs.com

Friday, March 29, 2013

Personal Branding is for YOU - No Matter You Are an Employee or Self Employed


It is an irony to note that even C-level executives working in reasonably big firms had not taken their personal branding seriously, leave alone the junior level employees. When you search for them on Google you do not find anything except their Linked in profile page and few more similar listings as far as the individual is concerned. When I talk to people in my seminars or in other networking events, those who work for someone always shy away from taking their own brand building seriously, Which is quite surprising to me.

Think of an accountant who writes a blog that is widely read about auditing, or a sales person who has attracted a big following online by tweeting out his store's latest deals, or a management consultant who leads a large LinkedIn group, or a lawyer of a law firm who tweets the latest legal news. They all are positioning their firms as an expert in that field, building a valuable source of referrals and recruitment prospects. How can an employer resist falling in love with such employees.

The another way of looking at it is this. Your personal brands would last longer than any single job or career. You ought to do justice with that.

Marcus Buckingham in his book 'Discover your Strength Now' says, most of the employees working in the companies are not working in their areas of strength due to various reasons.

Therefore by creating your personal brand and letting people know what you are good at, and adding value to the community is highly fulfilling and rewarding. It will bring you to fulfill your self actualization need that sits at the top of the need hierarchy in Maslow's hierarchy of needs. And this gets fulfilled only when you pursue your inner talent.

Start right now, from this moment you are going to think of yourself differently! You're not only an "employee" of XYZ Inc. You don't belong to any company for life. You are a brand starting today. Brand such as Apple, Amazon, eBay, Google. Start thinking like your own brand manager, ask yourself the same question the brand managers ask themselves, what is my product or service? Let everyone know about that. Share your knowledge, solve problems, answer questions and there are many things that can be done to make you a celebrity online. Your employer would love it.

So what are you waiting for, oh yes probably you are waiting to finish reading this article. So now go ahead and do what you love to do.

Regards,
Khalid Abdullah Khan



Saturday, March 16, 2013

Are you Alive Online?



Things in the online world are changing much faster than the mindset of the people. Few years back we were discussing that every business must have an online presence by having a website. But now, it is quite obvious that having a static website and dozens of web directory listing for a business are not good enough. You or your company must breath online, constantly you have to prove that you are alive online. In your real world you get up everyday in the morning, you conduct business, share ideas, give feedback, talk to people among doing other things.  If you do not do these things in the online world too, you are not going to be considered alive in the online world. Do you conduct similar activities online? Do you share your ideas, update your targets, and give feedback in the most professional manner? And do you monitor your online presence against any negative content published by others? It all boils down to creating high quality content in the online world. If you are not creating content online that the search engines can find and that people would like to share, then you are going to be left behind because on the web you are what you publish. If you publish great content, you are great, if you publish nothing, you are nothing, if you publish bad content, you are bad.

Just having a website and getting it SEOed it to rank at the top in the Google are things of the past. Your credibility is not what you say about yourself but it is what others say about you. Your online presence has to be a living thing, it should breath, It has to talk, it has to reach to its target, not always the other way round. Consider writing a blog, submitting press releases, content marketing, articles, social media marketing and many more options that will keep you on the top. At the same time monitor your presence against any content that tarnishes your online reputation. 
Please let us know what you think.

Regards,
Khalid Abdullah Khan

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Kings and Queens of internet


This post is in continuation of my previous post, “Don’t fire your salesperson yet, s/he may be the best”. Everyone wants to be seen on the top of the page 1 of Google search result when their brand or services or their own names are searched. But is it end of it?

Of course being at the top gives you a warm feeling, you are seen, but ‘as what’? That’s the questions I will try to answer in this post.

Without a great content, your image will not be as of someone who is indeed great, knows the job and has a great reputation. This brings us to conclude that SEO has to be dealt with a journalistic approach in addition to the technical approach.  

I am sure everyone would prefer to be seen as professional entity or not being seen at all. None would like to be seen as a mediocre brand with lots of lousy content associated with their online presence. So here is the key to be successful on internet.
Great content – King of internet,
People Sharing and linking to it – Queen of internet.

We have seen very few individuals or businesses having journalistic approach in order to create their brand and position it accordingly in the minds of their potential targets. Most are addressing the SEO issues as something that is in a technical domain only. As a result, when people get these companies in their search result, they only get their website, and various web directory listings, that gives only who they are? What they do and where they can be found?
But people are looking for whether I can do business with them? Do they have a social proof? Are they credible? Can I trust them? Are they expert in the industry? Do they follow business trends? Are they up-to-date with the latest technological advancements in their field etc.?
You need to answer the above on an ongoing basis. This is what will make you rise above the crowd. Finding a service provider is not at all difficult today but to find a services provider whom one is safe in dealing with, is difficult.

Please let us know your thoughts in the comment box below and subscribe to know more about how to position yourself as an expert and an easy to deal with entity.

Regards,
Khalid Abdullah Khan

Monday, March 4, 2013

Don’t Fire Your Sales Person Yet, He May be the Best


Imagine a situation where you are the world’s best sales person and you had just delivered a nice and professional presentation about your product or services to a hot potential buyer and had a warm handshake before leaving their office. What do you think the first thing your hot lead will do once you start walking towards the exit?

Almost instantly your potential buyer looks at your business card and searches for your company name (not your website) in Google. Your potential buyer wants to check your credibility, reputation, how has been your dealing in businesses, whether they can trust you and do business with you etc. They would not go to your website but they will be looking for this information from the sources beyond your control.

As part of our research on Online Reputation for companies in SME sector, we found the following:

When we googled the names of companies, we found half of them got their websites listed in the first page and then 99% of them got some web directory listings in the first page. Getting the website in the search result when someone searches for your company is great but it is a fact that website is a kind of advertisement, where YOU talk about YOU. Which is only good if some one is looking for information such as, what you do and how to contact you. But if someone wants to check your reputation, your website is not the place they go to.

Reputation Management ensures many things including the following:

  1. You have all the positive footprints on the internet, either there are no negatives or it is so low in the list that no one would be able to reach that page easily.
  2. You(your company) are an expert in your industry and you contribute and share knowledge and your expertise in online communities as part of your social responsibility
  3. You(your company) are dynamic, responsive, caring and professional in your all dealings

So if you do not get a call back from your leads after your best of the sales presentation, then it is high time you need to check your online reputation rather than firing your sales person.

Please leave a comment and subscribe to get more information on how to build great reputation online.

Warm Regards

Sunday, March 3, 2013

What is online presence?


I have seen many high potential organizations not realizing the returns what they rightfully deserve, just because there are not enough buzz created about them over the internet. It is very important to project an image of an expert in the industry. Anyone googling them or their services should find enough content about them which is the only way to establish the credibility in the minds of the potential buyer. 

I did an analysis on web presence of many organizations - large and small, and what I could find is, their website and some of their web directory listings. Though this shows, they have a web presence but it lacks in 3 vital aspects in my view:

a. The online presence is static not interactive,
b. The presence does not give an image of an expert in the industry,
c. The information is not pushed over the internet from the company to the chosen potential customers using various online media

If you take care of the above, I am sure you will see the results. Brainchild has expertise in helping their clients in the above three areas. Please follow us on this blog or get in touch with us to know more about it.

Regards,

Friday, March 1, 2013

"Never knew online reputation is so important"...


Last night I found a mail in my inbox from a member of one of the mailing groups I subscribed to which was related to real estate investing. The mail had a link of a national newspaper about a high court judgement that has shown a particular real estate company in a bad light. I had been dealing with this particular real estate company since a long time and had found them very honest in their dealings. I called the MD of that company who is very well known to me and asked about that. He explained the complete case and also told me that they had contested the judgement and they have a very strong case of winning the judgement in their favor.
This particular company was a traditional company and never invested a penny on building their onsite reputation or even an online presence. I goolged their legal name and what I found was really astonishing. Eight out of top ten search results were about that court judgement. This company has huge real estate inventories to be sold and as all of us know that there is hardly anyone these days who would give their life saving without checking the credibility and the reputation of the company over the internet. The MD informed me that they are really having tough time in selling their real estate properties. I explained him the reason and then he realized the importance of having acceptable online reputation. "I never knew online reputation is so important", he said. All of us know that real estate properties are hardly bought or sold online alone, there are lots of discussions and negotiations takes place. Nevertheless, checking credibility online is the easiest, quickest and most inexpensive way for the potential buyers before parting with their hard earned monies. We have also learned that having no online presence too is equally damaging in the eyes of the potential buyers. Irrespective of the type of business online reputation goes a long way to establish you in the marketplace. And the great news is, it is not that expensive.
Please leave a comment or write privately in case you need more information on how to go about building online reputation for your own name, your business name or for any brand name.

Regards,
Khalid Abdullah Khan