Category Archives: Product Marketing

General Marketing

Applying the Johari Window to a s/w Product

Reading a wonderful piece on Johari Window at psychcentral made me think about its application to a s/w product.

With full respect to the author I do believe that the self of typical software beta can be compared with a human being’s self.

The Story

Public: A common set of features that are visible to both my market and myself.

e.g. – I am a project-management system. Everyone knows that I offer excellent flexibility in a collaborative environment and assist teams in priority assignment of tasks.

Hidden: Set of features which only I know but my market i.e. my target audience/prospective customers do not know.

e.g. – While I know that I can be integrated as a plugin to many IDEs not many in my market are aware of that.

Johari Window

Johari Window

Blind: Things which are known to my market but I am myself unaware of them.

e.g. – Cross-functional teams find me very easy to use. I am unaware of it because I belong to the other side of the coin. My market helps me discover these features.

Undiscovered: It is the zeal to achieve this. Set of attributes, properties, features which neither me or my market not. Hidden/unknown to everyone.

Zemanta Pixie

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Filed under Product Marketing, Tech

Zemanta: A blessing in disguise for bloggers?

We’re all aware of the relevance of meaningful tags & hyperlinks that need to be inserted in a blog-post. While writing a blog-post a bloggers needs to spend time & effort thinking about appropriate tags which would make it easy for other bloggers to locate the blog-post.

A powerful plugin from Zemanta enables bloggers to focus on ‘writing’ while it takes care of their hyperlinking, images and tagging needs. Continue reading

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Filed under Internet Marketing, Product Marketing

Social Media trumps Mass Media?

Have you seen Pepsi‘s newest ad which is a spoof on Akshay Kumar‘s coke advertisement? Yeah the same ad which picks up from Akshay Kumar left us in the Thumbs up commercial.

Pepsi has certainly marked the rise of a new dawn with its ‘Youngistan Campaign’ by releasing the advertisement on YouTube before it actually hit the mass media.

The ad was prepared before IPL and was ready for launch on the mass media platform. As IPL still had sometime, thats when the Pepsi decided to zero in on YouTube.

  • The concept behind Youngistan, the war b/w old and new was one of the reasons for selecting a new format. Youngistan is all about cool and young people and in India a heavy bunch of netizens are youngsters.
  • It has hit the target audience in no time and ad posting didn’t cost a penny.
  • The release has had a big time viral effect and is being reciprocated across multiple places.

Its a first for the Indian companies and definitely an example for others to follow. It would be too early to lookat the comparison statistics between the two different forms of media. However, if you’ve a product with internet penetration here’s one option for you to consider.

Related Youtube India Launch

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Filed under Product Marketing

Google Spreadsheets Update: Blessing in Disguise for Marketers…

Web-based productivity tools have been around for quite a while, but their usage and focus has primarily been limited to a very niche audience. While scanning through the feeds in my ‘RSS Feed Reader’, I discovered an interesting update in Google Spreadsheets. On digging deeper, it appears that the update has solved a big problem for market-researchers and statisticians.

Let’s look at the 2 ‘W’s then. What is the problem and what is the solution being offered by Google Spreadsheets’ latest update.

The Problem

  • There are various form builders and online-survey tools out there but the ‘marketers’ face tough time to convince the respondents in filling up those web-based survey-forms. I think it because of two key reasons…
  • In a typical scenario, the surveyor sends an email to the ‘prospective participants’ and requests them to
  • There’s a substantial proportion of ‘participants’ who ignore the e-mail since it involves opening an external link and navigating to another page for filling out the survey (a big pain)
  • There’s a whole process of signing up with the third-party web-survey service and its actually quite tedious
  • ‘Conducting Survey’ via web-based forms and then ‘Collecting Data’ via ‘excel’ or any other spreadsheet tools are two separate processes

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The Solution

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  • As a first-step, the surveyor still communicates via e-mail but the entire survey appears in the e-mail itself. It works with web-based as well as desktop mail clients
  • While the proportion of ‘participants’ won’t drop to 0, the actual percentage of participants would increase as a lot of people would fill the survey via the e-mail itself
  • No signing-up involved, as all you’ve to do is click on the ‘Google Docs’ link on top of your gmail link.
  • The process of ‘Conducting Survey’ and ‘Collecting Data’ are merged together. The surveyor simply sends the questionnaire, to his target audience and all the answers appear in an excel sheet.

Once you’re through with that you can use the traditional sorting and other functions to do deeper analysis. A fantastic utility and must add to any marketer’s kitty.

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Filed under Product Feedback, Product Marketing

Cab Drivers as Word-of-Mouth Marketers?

Imagine the cabbies playing the dual role of a ‘driver’ and a ‘product-marketer’. Recently, I had read in a blog-post that the company that sells ads on the outside of cars in London would now secretly pay money to the car drivers for product marketing. 

Questions are already being raised about ethics, integrity, merit and even possible spam. Rather than criticizing the move, lets try to look at it from an Indian perspective and see if we can draw some merits out of this.

  • In Delhi the move could be implemented in the ‘Autos’ and ‘DTC Buses’.
  • The drivers would act as ‘customer evangelists’ by sharing their experience of products they’ve used. This could be absolutely anything under the sun as long as the driver has used it or is planning to use it. It could range from a tooth-brush to television.
  • Several advertisements of different portals like ‘oktatabyebye.com’, ‘mapmyindia.com‘ can be seen on Delhi’s Autos.
  • I think it would make some sense if the drivers can understand the purpose of these websites like mapmyindia, routeguru and even burrp.com by helping the travellers to connect their real needs with these city-centric portals.

Coming back to the news story, at this stage all one can say is that it looks interesting. Perhaps the companies should portray drivers as ‘Customer Evangelists’ instead of Spammers ;)

Image Credits – Via blog.verticalresponse.com. To browse the page with this image please visit this link

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Filed under News, Product Marketing

The Power of Product Packaging

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Do you drink Coke or Amul flavored milk? Does the packaging mode make any difference to you (cans or pet-bottles are easier to carry :) ) Do you prefer to drink it in a glass bottle, pet-bottle or a can (in Amul’s case a glass-bottle? Rajesh makes a lot of sense when he quotes this in one of his blog-posts – ‘Though packaging is at times considered as the 5th P of marketing mix it has not received the attention it ideally should have.’

I recently bought an iPod shuffle (in the pic) for my Pune based friend. Apart from the quality of music and the usual set of features I am quite impressed with the manner of packaging. The transparent-rectangular box is quite compact and it allows you to see and actually feel the iPod from your eyes. I showed it to a couple of my close-mates who happen to be proud owners of different models of iPods. Now, amazingly their first comment about the box-wrapped gizmo was the change in its ‘packaging’. Both of them expressed their unhappiness with the packaging of their iPods. Understandably they had bought it several months back, but then again it throws a couple of questions in your mind. Is Apple also emphasizing on the packaging quality during the product life-cycle? Perhaps, because of this packaging you aren’t allowed to open it and try some music on the iPod.

Put your thinking caps on as a customer and try to answer the following questions:

  • Is your buying behavior affected by the quality of packaging?
  • Can you re-collect some instances in the past, where you’ve actually chosen a product/have been impressed by a product only because of its packaging?
  • As a customer do you think smart packaging adds on to the value proposition of the entire product offering?
  • I welcome you to join the conversation :)

    Recommended Reading

    Don’t miss-out Rajesh’s two cents here and here. He has quite beautifully highlighted the philosophy and the approach of product packaging in the context of Indian consumer durables. He has also quoted Parachute’s example which is perhaps the best demo. of what packaging innovation can do for a product.

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    Filed under Product Marketing