Friday, June 20, 2014

Don't Be A Quack!!

A successful startup is not about taking the right decisions, its about taking the decisions the right way.

Nice Thought Dude!! I hope you decode it well!!

Let me take an example of a doctor. In this case when a patient approaches this particular doctor for headaches and the doc prescribes him some analgesic to give him a symptomatic relief. So, every time the patient takes a pill on headache but the headache keeps coming back. Why?? Because the doc or rather call him a Quack without diagnosing the root cause prescribed a medicine for momentarily relief. So, likewise, if you do things with right approach in your business, you are less likely to encounter a problem or even if encounter, come out of it easily.

So, here is another nice thought!!

"Its not important what you are doing, important is how and why you are doing."

Let us dissect the processes one by one:

1) Recruitment / Human Resources : That's the most important asset or artillery for a start-up. Whether you want a marketing guy or a coder or an Ops gal (I believe in equality! In every sense :)  ), you need them to be innovators, open minded, without mental blocks. So, what you do? You hire very carefully and cautiously. But rather you should be hiring very creatively!!

Humans are one of the most adaptive species on the earth!! That's why we inhabit a wide spectrum of habitats from the coldest to the warmest habitats, from the wettest to the most arid zones. We are everywhere because of our adaptive nature or quick learning abilities. Same goes for the hiring processes!!

Everyone of us have adapted well to the existing hiring processes and thus we know how to camouflage with the herd so that its difficult to tell who is the real deal!!!

Have you seen the nets of a sieve? Its a network of small holes!! right? Your hiring process is like those holes. And we as adaptive humans have learnt to pass that hole swiftly whether consciously or subconsciously because we can guess the size of the hole.

So, whats the solution?? Keep changing the size holes or use something else instead of sieves. Food for thought!! Be Creative!! 

2) Marketing : As I mentioned in my previous article, marketing is communicating with your potential customers. Which means when you say something to your customers they should listen to you and not just hear you. But these days you just make them hear you again and again like sometimes your Moms do it regarding your food habits at least Indian Moms do :p (of course, in case of Moms, they love you so much!!) and finally you do it. In such a process, there is a huge amount of resources are invested compared to little returns. In a nutshell, very low ROI.

Lets take an example of e-commerce startups. Everyone from Flipkart to Jabong to Amazon, are shouting at the top of their voices to give them a chance to serve you. But what do you do when you have to buy some cool shorts? You just go online and surf all of them, and finally fish out the best from any of them. Because for you they are all the same. In fact, sometimes you even forget that where did you shop last. The only relief is that you can be part of the club as long as you keep shouting.

So, again, whats the solution? May be you should try whispering?? Be creative sweetie!! :)

In short, Don't be Quack!!

Also, please take reference of "Permission Marketing" by Seth Godin.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Cheap Marketing for e-commerce

Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Jabong, Snapdeal, Yebhi!! The list covers less half of the giants or rather giant startups which are ruling the e-commerce segment. But what about new entrants with little or no funding? How would they compete with these giants while selling the same products? Would they be able to survive even with their much better services? With the huge marketing budgets of these giants keeping in mind that they are still to make a huge profit, the chances for the small ones are are really little although not impossible. 

Let us analyse the usual marketing strategies used by these giants:

1) Television Ads
2) Social Media marketing
3) Google Ads
3) Billboards
4) Heavy Discounts and free gifts
5) E-mails/ SMS etc.

Of all these, the small fishes could use e-mails/SMS but others would prove to be pretty costly and not affordable. And the e-mail/SMS strategy would hardly make even a scratch in their market because they are also doing the same with all other activities. So, what could be a possible way out?

The basic idea of marketing is talking to your potential customers and gain their trust to try your product to start with. And the best way to gain trust is to let other customers talk about it or making your potential customers believe that people are already using your products. Human is a gregarious animal and it has always lived in herds and followed the herd. Its our basic trait to follow others, we tend to trust those which others trust rather than finding a new one and taking a risk.

So, going by above policies, to make others to try your products, you need to make them believe that there are many others who are already buying it. So, what would be the best way to do so in the domain of shopping portals?? Any guess?? Ok, so you might have seen delivery boys on bikes on the roads driving beside you. And what do you think when you see them?? Ă„han!! So, people are using this portal for shopping!!". Yup, you got it!! Hire delivery boys make them run around the city, without actually delivering anything. It will give people an impression that a lot of shoppers are using your portal. It solves the purpose!! How??
1) Cheaper than TV/Social Media advertising.
2) It is much more effective than anyother advertising as it builds trust.