Tag Archives: Social media

Basics of Planning a Digital Marketing Campaign

I was recently asked by the ‘Small Enterprise’ magazine to contribute the ‘Digital Marketing’ special edition. I contributed this piece on the ‘Basics of Planning a Digital Marketing Campaign’.

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Filed under Media

Social Media Marketing For Health Insurance Industry

Health Insurance marketing has always been perceived as a challenging subject. The key players in the health insurance industry have been dealing with prominent issues such as consumer trust and category education. At Iffort, we have created a presentation which covers 5 Must Do’s for Health Insurance Players on social media to ensure trust, seek attention and create impact!

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Filed under Social media

2013 Social Media Bloopers

They say that mistakes are bound to happen and they can happen to the best of us. But the most important lesson is to learn and improve from them. So, as we say hello to 2014, let us look at which brands make it to the list of 2013 Social Media Bloopers.

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Filed under Social media, social media india

The New Wall Street-Indian CIOs’ Success with Social Media Marketing

I was recently quoted in the CIO magazine’s article titled: The New Wall Street-Indian CIOs’ Success with Social Media Marketing.

Excerpts from the news-story

According to Daksh Sharma, director and co-founder of Iffort, a web-strategy and digital marketing consulting firm, “There are conversations happening about your brand whether you like it or not. You can use social media channels to churn out data, discover trends and align these with your business strategy. But first you need to clear out the noise.”

  • Social media marketing is not the new kid on the block; it’s a dragon on your porch, waiting for you to tame it.
  • Despite social media emerging as tomorrow’s most important marketplace, few IT leaders have made it a priority.

To read the news story please visit here.


Filed under Media

Thoughts on Poken & Off-line Social Networking

Remember the Casio digital diaries which were a digi-fashion statement way back in the 90s? A brilliant concept that enabled you to store the details of all your contacts including their names, phone-numbers and what not. However, gradually as time passed by, the concept and the device started fading away.

Amongst the many reasons that caused the slow death the key reason was the emergence of a stronger alternative to the consumers in the form of cellphones. While, the diary still scored over cellphone in some of the features the socially conscious consumer just wanted to have a single device. ‘Convergence’ which is quite often heard or referred to these days was still a necessity back then.

Fast forward to 20 September 2010 i.e. today where I just finished reading Kapil Ohri’s latest write-up on afaqs.com which talks about Poken – a USB enabled pen drive type social business card device. The device allows users to exchange their contact details and social networking profile within a few seconds. Poken was originally launched by a Swiss start-up in 2008 and is being marketed/sold in India by a Hyderabad based company.

Here is how Poken works:

To begin the process, the user needs to first plug the device into the USB port of his computer, connected with the Internet. Once plugged, the device automatically directs him to Poken.com, where he can create his virtual business card and feed in information such as name, designation and other contact details.

The underlying concept

When you press the USB key the embedded RFID reader/transmitter does the rest of the work in exchanging information

My thoughts

At the outset, I think it is a brilliant concept and works very well whenever you attend conferences/seminars and meet a bunch of people. Keeping a track of so many business cards can be a real problem at that time.

But here are few ‘User-Adoption’ problems with this concept and the device:

  1. Device dependency: If I go to a conference where I meet about 100 folks and ’40′ of them don’t have the Poken USB device then I go back to the old school strategy of exchanging business cards.
  2. Overhead of managing multiple devices: Remember, Aircel’s Peek? A dedicated hand-held device that allows you to check your emails. A pretty cost effective way of checking your emails. But then why would you want a separate device in the first place?
  3. Penetration Problems: The distribution problem looks very similar to the Reliance mobile issue. In-order to take its real advantage the other user also needs to have the same device. With the scale that we’ve in India, the distrubtion and shipment of this device would be put to real test.
  4. Cultural Differences: India as a market is fundamentally different when compared with the Western world. It is because of our tastes, upbringing and buying patterns.

When you look at iPhone and the single biggest problem that it solves, you realize it is ‘”CONVERGENCE”. Instead of carrying a camera, mp3 player, usb stick and a phone it packages everything into one and this what today the massive consumption segment is looking at.

Possible Solution

I think this is what really needs to be done, if we were to make this concept a success story in India at a large scale level:

Shun hardware, think software: I don’t know whether it is possible or not, but if there could be a smartphone app. which does exactly what Poken does but on a mobile phone, we could be clearing a lot of mess. I know that the international version of Poken does have mobile phone-app. I know that My Name is E, their Dutch friends also have an iPhone app but then my audience is Indian. iPhone India users constitute just a small percentage of the entire mobile phone population. Instead we should be looking at the nokias, the lavas, micromaxx, the blackberrys and possibly the Aircel powered phones to build a cross mobile apps which allow seamless exchange of information.

Alternatively, we could be looking at high end camera phones to do the job by taking pictures of business card and actually converting/keying them into the application’s database.

Off-course my thoughts are primarily based on what I’ve read and heard a bit about these innovative products.  I haven’t had the opportunity to use Poken or any other device and my opinions could change. An alternate school of thought brings the example of USB devices. Even though a mobile phone does the job of ‘USB-sticks’ but we still use both of them :)

What about you? Would you be using this device? Would love hear your thoughts !!


Filed under Social Network, Web 2.0

A Study on How Business Entities in India are Using Facebook

Over the last few weeks/months our team had been working on a pilot study to understand the applications of Facebook pages by Indian businesses. Primarily these are entities which have a degree of recognition and have consumption in various forms.

Facebook in India

We reviewed the Facebook fan pages of ’25′ select brands from ’7′ different industry verticals for over a one month period. These brands were profiled on various criteria to understand their efforts to build engagement with their target audience through Facebook.


In our initial assessment we identified 31 brands that were most visible and famous amongst Indian consumers in their respective industry verticals and monitored them for a period of one month. However, as we didn’t notice adequate engagement levels in 6 brands, we dropped them and narrowed down our list to 25 brands. We followed an observation method, wherein we regularly visited the fan page of these 25 brands on daily basis and reviewed them on various quantitative and qualitative parameters (like fan engagement, wall-posts, likes, administrator activity etc.)

Some of the findings of the study are:

Most popular Brand: MTV-India [522,112 Fans as measured on 28th July 2010]

Brand with the highest growth in terms of fans: MTV-India [3846 + Daily fan growth]

Most active brand: Delhi Traffic Police [12.8 wall posts by admin each day]

Most Discussed brand: MTV-India [2085+ Interactions each day]


The exercise reveals that organizations are successfully using several tactics like poll contests, interesting apps and videos amongst others to drive participation, which would result in word-of-mouth and better engagement with the brand.


Content Strategy for the Report

We thank, Anandan Pillai for his vital inputs and direction on organizing the content and preparing this report. He is a doctoral student (Marketing area) with Management Development Institute, Gurgaon. His research interests involve brand communities on social media, social media strategy and consumer behavior on virtual mediums. He can be reached at anandan1982@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @Anandan_Pillai.

Technology Partners

Special mention goes to our technology partners’ itemperance consulting. For more information about itemperance consulting, please visit www.itemperance.com or follow them on twitter at @itemperance.

Our Questionnaire Respondents

We thank the following teams for providing us vital inputs on their Facebook Fan page initiatives:

Pratham Books, Pagalguy.com and Su-Kam Power Systems.

Lastly the credit goes to entire team for pulling this one :)


Filed under Facebook, Iffort