Monday 30 May 2011

Communicating Toll Free Number and Driving Listener Engagement with the Brand

I start this post with a small story:
I bought a house and told one person about it. Within no time 800 people on Facebook came to know about it, 102 people asked for a house warming party, I sent invitations to 99 people, and 77 turned up.
If you are still wondering what’s the story about, let me clear the suspense, It’s not about my house warming party. Rather if you read the story twice, you'll find that the story is about communication of a toll free number 1-800 102 9977 of a local real estate developer in Bangalore. Since it's a real estate developer, let us make certain assumptions:

Thursday 26 May 2011

Water Water Everywhere…..!!!!

There was a phase in my career when I was looking out for a job. My CV was spotted on the job portal(s) by one digital marketing organization which is into the business of bulk SMS solutions and monetization of user generated SMS communities.  Expectation from the job profile was to maintain these SMS communities grouped under different categories, such as investment, jokes, etc. and simultaneously monetize these communities by pitching to prospective advertisers.
After three rounds of interview, in the fourth round I was asked to identify a TV / Radio (or any other media) campaign and conceptualize how the same campaign would have lended itself to the SMS medium.

Monday 23 May 2011

Synchronization of Consumer Touch Points for a FM Station

A FM station can establish a one-on-one connect with its listeners through the following four mediums:
1.      Enabling the FM Broadcast: listener’s action of tuning into the frequency of the radio station on their FM receiver enables them to establish a contact with the radio station. It is the primary and the most important connect, the raison d etre of the FM station. The maximum marketing dollars of the FM station are spent on enabling this transaction.

2.      Social Media: To establish an online connect more and more service providers are joining the social media bandwagon with sign off lines as find us on…or follow us on…thus enabling the station to capture the voice of their listeners. Listening to conversations in the social media space can enable the FM stations to align the programming lineup to match the expectation of their listeners.

Friday 20 May 2011

SMS Mis-interactivity on FM Radio

During my hour and a half daily commute what really comes in handy is my bottom of the pyramid CDMA phone which allows me to preset 12 FM radio channels. Though it's a different story that carrying this additional phone apart from the official BlackBerry is a burden as official BlackBerry does not have a FM receiver! Probably the organization that I work for has got the FM radio disabled J
One day on my way to office while I was listening to radio, the RJ of a radio station (incidentally the only one that plays Hindi songs in Bangalore, India) mentioned that listeners can play the songs of their choice if they send a SMS to 5XXXX with the message ONE followed by their name and the name of the song. I followed the instructions and diligently send the SMS.
Here is the call flow (a note for Bollywood atheists – Dum Maaro Dum is a recent movie with the soundtrack of the same name featuring sizzling’n’sultry Deeeeeeepika..!!!)

Saturday 14 May 2011

Where am I ?– please provide my location!

Though Smart Phones are here to conquer our lives and have already conquered the lives of many in other parts of the world, I still feel that the plain, old school, ubiquitous SMS has no match.
Consider the amount of reading that you have to do for using mobile applications.There are certain app features that either go unnoticed or are never utilized.
Off late I have been reading a lot about Location Based Services (LBS). I'll be writing another post as a primer on LBS. As I understand there are a host of cool things that can be done by using LBS like, find a date, a hotel, a restaurant, a friend or tap into the hyper local offers that are up for grabs in an area close to you; integration of social media like facebook on LBS apps etc etc. But, how many of you have actually used these services?
My opinion is that a wide scale LBS adoption will be driven by the incremental steps in the right direction, that target the bottom of the pyramid i.e. the population which has yet not embraced the smart phones.
Atleast I have not come across a single and simple SMS based LBS application that allows me to do the following:

Tuesday 10 May 2011

Growth of Digital Television - A Digital Equalizer!

More often than not the clichéd term "Digital Divide" is used to denote lack of inclusion of rural populace in the internet and mobile revolution sweeping India. However what has created the media buzz (or the lack of it) is the uptake of DTH services in India. Hold your breath - rural population is the major growth driver of DTH with rural areas registering over 50% growth rates.
In another interesting move, a major Korean white goods manufacturer has announced to launch a television with an inbuilt DTH decoder, targeted towards the rural market. The target group of the company is approx. 40 million TV households which do not have cable or satellite connection.
As per various analyst reports the number of TV households in India stands at 124 Mn - 130 Mn depending upon the report you like to go with. Out of these 124 Mn - 130 Mn households approx 30 Mn are digital; DTH or addressable cable and the rest are analogue. With 65% of Indian population still residing in rural areas, the opportunity for DTH to grow is huge.
Another factor that will fuel the growth of DTH and the digital cable TV in India is the MIB’s (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting) consideration to sunset analogue cable distribution in India. The deadline to sunset analogue in India has been put at around Year 2015.
This will have far reaching implications on different stakeholders in the entertainment value chain.
For the economy it will mean additional tax collections by way of Service/Luxury/Entertainment taxes, since digital being an addressable system, the number of subscribers cannot be underreported by the cable distributor.
For the broadcaster it means better subscription revenues and less dependence on advertising revenues alone. This will help broadcasters to offer rich content and make investments in producing/acquiring content that matches global production standards.
For small broadcasters who cannot afford premium carriage costs charged by cable distributors for carrying such channels (since analogue cable systems cannot offer channels beyond a certain limit), it opens the window for wider distribution of such channels.
For viewers, it ensures more variety, better picture quality and the ability to choose what they want to view.
Not to mention, this growth will have cascading effect in augmenting ancillary businesses such as pre and post production facilities. This will not only create employment opportunities but also spur the demand of specialized talent in creative and technical areas thus necessitating the need for establishing institutes imparting these skills.
Let’s tune in to the future bulletin…