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Why only a few survive ? July 4, 2006

Posted by rajAT in barcamp, barcamphyderabad, community, entrepreneur, india, marketing, startup, vc, venture capital, web2.0.
8 comments

Life as an entrepreneur is taxing, emotionally charged, extremely gratifying and very very suprising. Yesterday was one such day not because of all this but it was a day of contradictions. So it goes like this –

I had a telephonic conversation with a big Menlo park VC firm in the morning. The call went great and I am hoping for some positive things to come out of it :D. But the point that was bothering me was how this VC firm got my address in first place. I never contacted them. During the conversation they told me that they have “READ MY BLOG”. That they keep track of entrepreneurs blog in India. I was surprised to hear that but I really liked the proactive approach. It is very important to have a direct link with grass roots. And if you want to invest in Web 2.0 world you should be using it yourself to know the power of it. I am so impressed with them.

In the evening, I had another telephonic conversation with another big Menlo park VC firm. This was for the sponsorships of Barcamp Hyderabad. After 10 days of discussion they refused to sponsor. That is just fine that they don’t want to sponsor. But the reasons given just reflected  that they don’t understand the change that is happening out there. And they want to support entrepreneurs and are great believers of Web 2.0. Duh !!

So let me just drill through some of the reasons that they have given  –

1) Sponsoring T-Shirts is Micro – Well guys micro is the new macro. Isn’t it good that you get to test waters by a small investment. That is what Ray Lane, Partner KPCB, calls Enterprise 2.0. Now enterprises could test and use web services at a fraction of cost and if it works, the investment could be increased. Gone are the days when organizations have to commit a big amount upfront. Same is barcamp an ad-hoc conference oraganized and attended by geeks and entrepreneurs. All for love. Best way to know them is engage with them and if it works out. Keep on engaging with them.

2) Long term association – Barcamps are fickle who is accountable for the next barcamp. A very valid point. Well the first question that one should ask – Do you believe in the story that India is going to be hot and the people who are going to make it hot are entrepreneurs. If yes, then what is the best of doing it is nurture the community that they have built. Support that community. Yep ! it can happen that my interests can change tomorrow or of the other people who are behind Barcamp here in Hyderabad. But then community is not about couple of individuals, because it is not top down. There is no hierarchy in first place. A thriving community will give rise to lot of other passionate individuals. And that will take care of the long term relationships.

3) Marketing people are concerned about the mileage –  I think there marketing people haven’t heard or read a book called – “Communities dominate Brands” by Tomi Ahonen. Or they don’t know how Riya has used blogs, communities and built such a strong brand from ground up. If not then they should. Cluetrain manifesto anyone.

Change happens right in front of our eyes. But we refuse to acknowledge it. No wonder why big organizations fall.

Some people just don’t get it.

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Mr. Clean June 20, 2006

Posted by rajAT in advertising, marketing.
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This ad won exceptional innovation in Media.

And it does communicate the message brilliantly.

Agency – Grey Worldwide GmbH / Duesseldorf

Stunning Nikon June 15, 2006

Posted by rajAT in advertising, flickr, fun, marketing, media, nikonstunninggallery.
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Till now the question on everybodys mind was how all the social networking sites (Flickr, Del.icio.us, Myspace etc) can be monetized. All big pundits were saying that these alli2m_nikonstunning.jpg are yet another fad and were sidelining them big time.

But recently NIKON came up with a brilliant campaign "Nikon Stunning Gallery" in collaboration with Flickr. To be a part of it take a photo from the Coolpix camera. Upload it on Flickr and then tag it with 'nikonstunninggallery'.

It is a brilliant campaign as it engages the users with the product. It is a great way to make present clients feel good about their purchase and entice the users from the competition. Miss Rogue is not quite happy with Kate Moss boney rss, I on the other hand find it quite stunning. 😀

There are 17,000 photos in the gallery and it's growing. I think the success of this campaign will put to rest, all the doubts related to Flickr's purchanse. Between check this out another way how Flickr can be used for Product placement.

Adidas Goalie June 14, 2006

Posted by rajAT in adidas, advertising, fun, marketing.
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Stunning outdoor advertisement of Adidas. Agency behind this creative is TBWA, Germany. 

PS: Click on the pic for the full blown image. 

Indian Outdoor Advertising June 12, 2006

Posted by rajAT in advertising, india, marketing, media, mobile.
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oac2.JPGThis weekend I attended Outdoor Advertising Convention in Mumbai. The conference was a great learning experience. I am a technologist, the insights that I got in the conference about the evolving outdoor advertising industry in the country was worth the time and the money. 🙂

The first question that will come to everybody’s mind is what I was doing at an advertising conference and too a specific one – Outdoor. Let us take them one by one? Why an advertising conference? The only sustainable business model on internet is selling advertisements. So why not learn a bit more about it from the pundits itself. Oh yeah, I know they all are traditional model and will not work on the new media but it is important to know the roots. And why outdoor ? The only niche in the ad industry which has remained untouched by new media is the OOH (Out of Home) media. Outdoor ad spend has only increased over the years, but print and TV are fighting a dull and losing war with the internet.

Conference started on a high note as Rahul Welde, GM, Media Services, HLL tried to reinforce the point that Indian outdoor could soon become a $1 billion industry. His growth strategy was two fold – Value and Volumes, only latter was high on his agenda. More volumes will come as new roads are being laid in the whole country, big malls are coming everywhere. So he stressed there is a need to come up with a strategy to tap these new opportunities. How more value will be delivered from the existing urban billboards or street furniture, his answer was not very conclusive. There is so much litter these days in the urban outdoor space. The only strategy that is used to attract people attention towards a billboard is putting up a beautiful model. Interestingly, throughout out his presentation he kept on stressing that outdoor is passive and static. During the question answer round I asked him that why cannot we use barcodes to make outdoor interactive. He said he cannot comment on barcodes but bluecasting might work.

There were lots of foreign companies (Clear Channel, News Outdoor Group, Kinetic, Aconda SA, Out of Home Media SA, Posterscope) that are trying to get a pie of Indian Outdoor advertisement market. In their presentation they tried to answer why they are here – Because India is growing, Because Indian GDP is yada yada. Clear Channel the world leader in Outdoor media is in India from last 8 years and has not been able to make a great impact till now. The reasons are unknown but it seems they are not able to understand the Indian market or come in terms with it. But the good point is that spirits are still very high and they still see a good future in India ahead.

Eric Newman, Global CEO of Kinetic showcased some of new things that will be coming in digital billboards. The thrust in digital will come because the product companies want to change their messages daily. The days of 6 months or 3 months campaign are out. These days the campaigns run in weeks. This kind of flexibility and speed is possible only with digital billboards. But the next big thing will be interactive. How that will be achieved he was totally silent on that? I don’t know that these biggies were not having clues or they were silent deliberately.

Number 1 problem that is holding the growth of outdoor media is – there is no measure. There is no concrete way to know that a particular campaign was seen by so many people hence it becomes difficult to justify huge marketing spend on outdoor. If some kind of measure can be associated with outdoor there is a great chance of double digit growth.

Undoubtedly, the biggest thing that is missing in outdoor experience is interactivity. Mobile phones can be used to fill that void. It will not be long when all these giants will wake up and figure that out. Sometime back even TV was considered passive and static. Now sms (e.g. Indian Idol) has changed the way people experience TV. So guys wake up before it is too late. 🙂

Pepsi sings Coke screams June 7, 2006

Posted by rajAT in advertising, coke, fun, marketing, media, pepsi, trend.
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Pepsi is deploying these posters in Toronto and Vancouver subways, when your plug your headphones in they play music – Link. You could make your own version by grabbing one of these $9 MP3 players, hacking it up and extending the battery.

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These world cup posters from coke scream Goaaaaa !!. They scream endlessly and drive nearby people crazy.

[Via Commercial Archive, Makezine]

Flickrpreneur June 1, 2006

Posted by rajAT in advertising, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, fun, marketing, media2.0, web2.0.
2 comments

[Via Marketallica]Russell Davies have posted the pictures of these books on Flickr. He has come up with an ingenious way of recommending books to users. He uploads the picture of his books and then added some notes to them. This could be a great product placement idea on flickr. Marketallica is very excited about the concept so am I. 🙂

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It says for entrepreneur minds, maybe it is inspiring to develop application that makes it easy to add affiliate programs' link on photos. Then, Flickr, you should encourage and constitute flickrpreneur concept and make big money.

This concept can be a key for brands as it can help a product getting snowballed in a community. Viral medium works best online :).Tomi Ahonen has stressed it quite a lot in his award winning book Communities Dominate Brands.

I hope marketing gurus are listening ?