B2B Content Marketing Trends for 2015

2014 is almost coming to an end and it is that time for all marketers to look out and observe what all the ‘gurus’ / ‘pandits’ / experts are saying about whats in store for next year. As a marketing professional who is responsible for Thought Leadership content – the topic of ‘content marketing’ is very close to my heart, and ‘core to my professional responsibilities’. So when I came across an interesting infographic on 2015 Content Marketing trends, I could not resist sharing on my blog. So here goes: B2B Content Marketing Trends for 2015

The 14 cherished lessons from 14 years of corporate work experience

In 2014, I completed 14 years of professional work experience. Looking back, I can say that I’ve come a long way from where I started. 14 years is indeed a long time in life..!

Sometimes I wonder about how far I’ve come

Sometimes I ponder about what I really achieved

Many times I wonder and ponder on where that time really went!

In all these years, the good thing is that the penchant for ‘new and diverse experiences’ has fueled my career taking me across the world through unique, exciting and enriching destinations, cultures, places, people, work assignments, challenges, failures and successes which have all played their role in what I am today. I have been fortunate to experience in my career (up close and personal) the great, good, bad & ugly (law of averages at play!); and I survived. All these experiences have given me a holistic understanding of business, work and life. Apart from paying the bills, these experiences give me enough thoughts, ideas and material to write regularly! For now, it all comes together in my numerous writings / blogs, which are widely read and immensely popular across the globe.  I really can’t say where it will take me, but am open to explore new possibilities, opportunities, paradigms that life throws at me..

During many a pensive moment, I wonder what I learned during all these 14 years. As I go down memory lane, I can say that each year was defining in some way – and there was at least 1 “cherished” lesson that it left me with!

In this post, I am sharing that one key lesson that I learned along the way every year. “Do you really need 14 years of corporate world to learn these lessons?” you might ask.

Obviously NO. And that’s why I’m sharing them in a post on blog. Hopefully, you understand and appreciate each of them much faster than I did!

You can learn them in a moment, with one experience, .. or never understand the gravity and entirety even for a lifetime.

1

women at work

3 minutes of your time for the case and cause of Indian women at work

Do you think that Indian women at work issues are spoken about enough? Or rather the right issues are acknowledged enough?

Do you think the Indian women at work is at the cross-roads to manage their personal and professional lives?

Do you have any views, perspectives, opinions on what the real problems are?

Do you think the ‘real conversations’ which make a difference are happening? Are they enough?

Any thoughts on what solutions can make it all better for her – Be it your daughter(-in-law), mother(-in-law), sister(-in-law), friend or any women around you?

Here’s a chance to share your views and perspectives.. All it takes is 3 minutes of your time.

Fill the survey @ http://goo.gl/forms/19slaO7YzS

NOTE: Survey open all through Nov 2014. Please feel free to share in your network

Thanks in advance

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Know a woman (in India) on a career break and looking to resume work? You must read this post…

There are so many Indian women who end up taking a career break. If “What options, possibilities and opportunities exist?” is your question, you’ll find answers in this post..

She is well educated

She was a career woman

She was financially independent

She loved her work

She loved the professional identity

She really enjoyed having an active work life

As she traversed the journey of life..

The inevitable happens

Marriage or Motherhood or Ill-health (of self, spouse, kids, ailing parents / in-laws / relatives) come knocking at her life

And then it happens..

THE inevitable CAREER BREAK

Sometimes it is by choice

Sometimes it is by lack of choice

Sometimes it is the cause and effect of the circumstances

She has no escape

Whether she likes it or not, she has to take that CAREER BREAK

For some it is 3 weeks, for some it is 3 months, and for some it is 3 years, and for some it is 30 years, and for some it is a lifetime!

Here’s the thing that I learned when I interact with so many women who had been / are going through a career break |

Women on Career Break

In this blog, I’m listing down the very many resources which can help (m)any women across India – who are on a career break and are looking to re-enter into active workforce.

I personally believe that many kinds of resources help.

One is surely a list of job postings. Anyone can choose from the available listings based on your skill-set, priorities and terms with which you want to work on.

Beyond that, a lot of planning and mental / emotional preparation goes in for many women to re-integrate into the workplace – Whether it is upgrading of knowledge / resources or a trust-worthy community who shares experiences and perspectives or mentorship to answer questions (however basic they may be!) – They all make a difference

For ease of navigation, I’ve logically grouped these into 3 categories:

CATEGORY 1 : COMMUNITY INITIATIVES

P. Inc – Women Power@Work is an initiative supported by The Times of India that aims at bringing women who have taken a break from work, back into the workforce. The initiative, through seminars, training workshops and access to employers will provide career resources and a service support system to mid-career professional women enabling them to overcome challenges and return to working life. P.inc aims at being a one-stop solution in empowering working women with everything they need to regain their jobs.

ReLauncher – An initiative and a professional returner program for women professionals with the aim of helping them with their non-linear career needs.  They offer two kinds of value added services. The first is enricHER, which helps women professionals enhance their resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and master the art of giving interviews.  The second is ‘Freelancer and SelfstartHER’ which helps professionals create online presence and support to establish them as entrepreneurs

Sheroes – SHEROES welcomes women professional across levels, stages and sectors to pro-actively access the largest OpportunityScape for women. There is a diverse and large range of opportunities to pick from — these include opportunities with women friendly employers, flex friendly formats, mompreneur programs, partnership programs and more. The SHEROES Community gets access to career resources, information and community sharing. SHEROES Mentors engage actively to help women attain career success on their own terms

Reboot – Reboot is a Network of and for Women Professionals. It is a platform for Women Professionals and Corporate India, to come together. Reboot, will help you figure that: help re-build your confidence, help you with resumes and interview preparation, in short, be with you through your transition, your journey. Reboot is a network for women professionals, who want to get back into the workforce as well as those who are already there and now want to explore flexible and smart, effective and efficient options of work.

FMC (First Mom’s Club) Rebooted – Stories / Narratives of inspiration for women (mothers) who have re-invented themselves to manage the elusive work-life balance : Managing and Balancing work and motherhood

Womens Web – THE place for the Indian woman who wants to stay engaged with the world, who believes that she has a place in the world outside the home. We focus on women’s self-development and pursuit of happiness, by offering information on  career development, entrepreneurship, managing work and family, successful women, women’s health, social issues and personal finances. Our goal is to help women learn and grow! While the site shares a lot of diverse content, many of the posts speak about ‘real issues’ from ‘real women’ on how to navigate your career path in case of a break

CATEGORY 2 :JOB POSTINGS

Sheroes Job Bulletin

PInc Job Bulletin Board

RelaunchHER Job Board

AVTAR I-WIN (Interim Women Managers) – AVTAR I-WIN is India’s first staffing service, providing Interim Women Professionals for part-time, flexi-time career options with corporates.

Work from Home Options for women – Work from home opportunities for women. An ever growing community of well qualified women, who are as dedicated towards our work assignments, as to our families. Women in the group are experienced and are from almost every domain. Currently 6000 + in number and are still growing.

FMC Job Bazaar - Periodically, FMC conducts a “Job Bazaar” which provides a marketplace ecosystem for women to share their profiles and job postings / requirements.

CATEGORY 3 : ORGANIZATION / CORPORATE INITIATIVES

Vapasi from ThoughtWorks - Aimed at IT women who are on a career break and keen to resume active work, this program spread over four weeks will help women sharpen your programming skills

Micorsoft Women in Tech – Initiative aimed at bringing in more women into the Indian IT industry. Through this program, Microsoft will attract and retain women talent in the industry. Along with partners, Microsoft will train and mentor one million girls and women in the next 12 months.

Tata Group Second Career Internship Programme (SCIP) -”A career transition management programme for women professionals who have taken a break of 6 months or more for any reason, and wish to re-enter the professional space. The programme provides opportunities for such women to take on flexi-hour assignments with various TATA group companies. Tata Group companies provide live business projects requiring approximately 500 hours of engagement spread over 6 months on a flexi time basis. There is no placement guarantee at the end of the project. However, SCIP consultants have the option of exploring full-time employment on mutually acceptable terms with the respective Group Company if the same exists.” The programme offers live business projects with flexible schedules and project-based employment to women who have taken a career break of six months to eight years. Women are taken on as consultants in departments such as HR, marketing, finance, legal, manufacturing, communication, engineering and other corporate domains, for six months. After this, those who are ready for full-time jobs are absorbed.

Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL) Career By Choice – is based on the insight that there is a need for a gradual transition as women on a career break to step back into the working world. To ease this transition, HLL designed a comprehensive programme that balances a woman’s personal and professional needs. Career By Choice allows women to structure your work around your life and the other way around!

IBM ‘Bring Her Back Program – Meant to attract back women who have taken a mid-career sabbatical. “Any woman professional with the requisite skill-set can apply, and anyone with, at maximum, three years of personal sabbatical qualifies for the programme. Began in 2011

SAP ‘Stay in Touch – The company ensures that women employees return to work after a sabbatical or maternity leave.

Mahindra Satyam :  Start Over programme – which reaches out to women who have taken a career break.

Axis Bank – India: ‘Re-connect’- offers jobs to former women employees who have left the system in the past 10 years, in select states. The bank now plans to take it national. Began April 2014. To know more, click  here.

General Electric, RESTART at GE John F. Welch Technology Center - Hires female technologists and engineers returning from career break at this largest of GE’s global research centers. Send resume or CV to restart.jfwtc@ge.com

Goldman Sachs Returnship – Programme for women returning after a break. To know more, click here

Google India : gCareer – An opportunity to work with Google for qualified women professionals who have taken a break from active working life for a year or longer. Began in Jaunary 2014. See this article for reference.

CapGemini – As part of the exclusive, women-only campaign, CapGemini is inviting resumes from enthusiastic and talented women—currently on a career break—who are looking to get back to their careers. Click here to know more

Women Scientist Programs – for providing opportunities to women scientists and technologists between the age group of 30-50 years who desire to return to mainstream science and work as bench-level scientists.

 

While it is heart-warming to see so many initiatives for the cause of the Indian women at the workplace, I believe we still have a long long long way to go ..

 

NOTE: I have not personally used all of these services, nor do I know the exact current state / status. However, I have read / heard/ know of women who have used some of them. Also, the description for this list is mostly from publicly available information

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Did you find this useful? Please share it with any woman who many benefit from this

Did I miss any specific initiative in this list? Please leave a comment to let me know

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Social Media in 2014 : Facts, Figures and Findings

As a marketing professional, creating and executing integrated social strategies for business is a core part of my work responsibilities, and hence I am always looking for latest, interesting, insightful and comprehensive content on Social Media data.

I came across one recently, and found it worthy of sharing. Hence posting on my blog..

social media 2014
by Digital Insights

Did you find it useful? Have you come across any recent data on Social Media?
Leave a comment / link below to let me know

Sheroes Must-Do’s : Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Yearly

I first heard of the word Sheroe from Sairee Chahal, Founder and CEO of Sheroes.in (A careers community of women achievers).  She defined a Sheroe is “Any woman who makes a choice, and makes the choice work for her“. Short, Simple, Sweet, Profound and very relevant for the woman of today – especially if you are a women at work – be it corporate (Corporate Sheroe as I call it) or entrepreneur (entrepreneur Sheroe as I call it) or Mompreneur (Mompreneur Sheroe as I call it). The word caught my fancy when I first heard it, something about it appealed to me – I can’t really pin-point what!

As I saw many Sheroes in many facets of life, I observed that many of them tend to put themselves last. Somewhere in the madness of doing this that and the other, the focus on “self” takes a back-seat. And what I’ve realized that in the long run – IT IS VERY IMPORTANT to invest in yourself.

So in this post, I’m listing out some Must Do’s for all the sheroes at regular frequencies.. – Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Yearly!

What is on your Must Do list? Leave a comment to let me know

Must Dos

 

Originally published here

Do you participate in Tweet Chats? 6 Compelling reasons you should..

I started participating in Tweet chats several months ago. At first, it was just out of curiosity. Over a period of time, I realized the many benefits (not to mention, I enjoyed myself too!) and continue to participate in a few chats regularly. Some of the Twitter chats that I’ve been part of include #Bufferchat, #Eduin, #IndiaHrChat, #chrdx, #hrtrends, etc.

According to this Forbes article, a Tweet chat is a live Twitter event, usually moderated and focused around a general topic. To filter all the chatter on Twitter into a single conversation a hashtag is used. A set time is also established so that the moderator, guest or host is available to engage in the conversation.

From what I’ve read, the very first Tweetchat (popularly known as #blogchat) was hosted Mark Collier in March 2009. The response was so good that Mark continues to host this chat every week – 8 PM Central. Each week a different blogging topic is chosen, For e.g.: sometimes it is about personal blogging topics, other times the focus is about business blogging. There are more than 5000 tweets on an average during every 1 hour chat session!!! For more details, click here .

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a corporate, an individual, or a community manager – there are many good things about participating in Tweet chats. In this post, I’m listing 6 compelling reasons to be part of Tweet chats

Tweetchat WHY
(1)   You think : One the reasons why I enjoy being part of Tweet chats is that they compel you to “think on your feet” about very pertinent questions around a topic. Questions which may be you’d never think about. By being part of a tweet chat, not only do you have to think – but answer publicly state your response. So you really need to think quickly and respond concisely and creatively (in 140 chars), which is a good exercise for your left and right brain!

(2)  You learn : The other most important benefit of being part of tweet chats is that you learn about the subject under discussion, and a social media skill on how to participate in tweet chats . Most tweet chats involve a combination of personal opinions / perspectives and also generous sharing of previously published articles / resources on the topic in question. So you get to access to some of the best online resources around a subject which is a great learning experience

(3)   Your social network only gets better as you connect with a diverse set of individuals / businesses : This is probably one of the most important reasons to be part of Tweet chats. Your networks and relationships make all the difference – both in your professional life or personal life, and especially in the socially connected world. The best way to nurture a relationship is to invest in it – with time, with valuable content, with positivity. Most of the regular tweet chats also have a guest on the chat – Someone who is an expert in the area and he /she shares their perspectives on the questions. Tweet chats provide a great opportunity to connect and converse and engage with the experts, thus setting the initial foundation for any future interactions

(4)  You get diverse global perspectives for the same question : This is again one of the key reasons to be part of tweet chats. Many times I find just “listening” to many unique / personal responses to the same question can be a huge learning experience. Reading the insights and trends which give you a holistic view on any subject is in itself is a huge take-away

(5)   You can get answers to your own queries : The other good thing personally for me is that many times if I have a question, I raise it during tweet chats and invariably get some of the best answers. So it is like “googling” for your query, just that here the responses are from people who know / are genuinely interested in the subject under discussion. And many times there are several global industry experts / gurus who join into these discussions.

(6)   You enhance your own online brand : Sharing your unique views, voice and perspective based on your experiences / thoughts during a tweet chat gives you an opportunity to create and enhance your own online brand – What you say makes all the difference in the online world , and goes to create and enhance your online brand.

And all of the above with the only investments as your time, your thoughts and a willingness to share…  Those are my 6 reasons.. Do you participate in tweet chats? Yes / No.. Why? Leave a comment to let me know..

Suggested Readings

http://blog.tweetchat.com/blog/
http://www.likeable.com/blog/2011/07/whats-the-roi-of-a-tweet-chat/
http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/twitter-chats-with-pam-moore/
http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/tag/tweetchat/
http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/28979/8-Steps-to-Hosting-a-Successful-Twitter-Chat.aspx
List of Tweet chats @ http://www.gnosisarts.com/index.php?title=Tweetchat_Wiki/By_Day#.VCyQImcxNyU

Blogging for Business / Run a corporate blog? – Here are a list of topics for 1 year (for FREE!)

Are you blogging for your business / run a corporate blog to gain mind-share, market-share or profit-share?

And you don’t know what to blog about?

If I had to create a Blogging FAQ( Frequently Asked Questions) on what I get asked most of the time, the top questions would be
1) Why blog?
2) What to blog about?

If I had to answer Why should a business / corporate blog? – The answers are manifold :

(i) To share their views / voice

(ii) To engage / nurture your industry ecosystem by connecting with customers,partners, suppliers, analysts, solution providers, etc.

(iii) To learn yourself and stay updated with market / industry trends

(iv) To generate leads and

(v) To create a brand!

The next question is What to blog about?. In this post, I’m listing blog post ideas for a business blog which can last you for 1 year – if you publish at least 1 post a week.. The key to success is consistency over a long period.For that, focus, plan and a commitment to invest in your blog is most important.

I usually recommend a healthy mix of different content formats on a corporate blog – including blogs, pictures, infographics, video content, etc.

So choose a topic from the list below, decide on the format, and publish publish publish away :)

1) Why did your business / corporate start? What was the idea and how it came to be?

2) The initial phase – Challenges and Lessons. What you learned from setting up your business?

3) The founding team – Who they were and How they came to be? A fun or lesser known facts about the team. It always makes an interesting read if a reader knows a “personal / human” side to you.

4) A timeline which highlights key dates / milestones since inception.

5) What are your offerings (services / products)?

6) Recent innovations in your business / which affect your business – This could be done once in 3 months, so you can have at least 4 posts / year

7) What is unique about your offerings?

8) What difference will your offering make to a customer?

11) An industry timeline – Infographic (How the industry came to be?)

12) Less known facts about your business / industry – - With interesting trivia, facts and figures (well researched and data accuracy is important)

13) Industry survey / trends – Infographic (What all the latest market surveys are saying – for your industry as a whole).

14) Video from your CEO on any topic he is passionate about

15) A blog post on the current trending topic (technology / business / process) and your view on it – Even you do this once in 2 months, you’ll have 6 posts for a year

16) A success story for your business | Who was the client? What was the problem? How you solved it? This could be done at least 2 times / year

17) Lessons learned from a not-so-successful customer project | What was the problem? What did you learn? This could be done at least 2 times / year

18) A Must-Read monthly round-up of 8 – 10 interesting industry articles, news, views, opinions, perspectives – from your customer, partners, competitors | as an online curated resource which anyone can refer to (With 1 / month, this adds up to 12 posts for the year)

19) A Must-Read monthly round-up of 8 – 10 interesting articles, news, views, opinions, perspectives – on life hacks, productivity, getting better at work, general inspiration | as an online curated resource which anyone can refer to (With 1 / month, this adds up to 12 posts for the year)

20) Interviews with Experts – What your industry experts are saying about the future? Even if you do 1 / quarter, you will have 4 posts in a year

21) Choose any topic that is currently trending and get the 3 or more alternate views on the subject. for e.g.: if the topic you are currently interested in is around next generation analytics solutions, write a post with the views of a customer, technology provider, product vendor and analyst. Just bringing together voice from different perspectives can make a truly unique and compelling read

22) A note of CSR initiatives (Corporate Social Responsibility) and what your company is doing towards specific causes

23) 10 reasons why anyone should join your company

24) A post on Marketing – Its relevance and importance for your business

25)  A post on Digital – Its relevance and importance for your business

26)  A post on Social – Its relevance and importance for your business

27) A post on Big Data – Its relevance and importance for your business

28) A post on Analytics – Its relevance and importance for your business

29)  A post on Cloud – Its relevance and importance for your business

30) Your company’s view on “The Next Big Thing that can change the world”

31) Your company’s view on Innovation

32) Your company’s view on changing role of Leadership

33) 10 Must-Read books – for your business / industry, and Why?

34) Open Letter to anyone joining your company

35) 5 – 10 Blogs you suggest anyone to follow to stay updated / relevant in your business / industry

36) 10 – 20 Twitter thinkers / influencers you recommend others to follow and Why?

NOTE: Some of the above may already be part of most company websites, but a blog post is usually more informal and can be written by the CEO / founder/ core team in an anectodal / story-telling fashion.

 

Suggested Readings

Understanding the Hype Cycle of a Blog

Why you should were the 6 Thinking Hats on your blog

Focus on Diversity on your blog

Why will a reader remember your blog?

Importance of an editorial calendar

Women at Work | Round-up of articles to read today

The regular readers of this blog know that I’ve started a new section on this blog around the topic of Women at work / working women.

Here’s the thing | Being a working woman, I regularly read on this subject – simply because it enable and equips me to appreciate and understand multi-dimensional issues, and possible solutions. I can safely say that there is a lot of literature on this subject, and a lot lot lot more is required. Many times when I read something, I wish someone had shared it with me much earlier. The thing about reading is that “timing sometimes makes all the difference“. So on this blog, I’ll be  periodically sharing a round-up of articles for your reading – hoping that the timing is right – for both you and me

I’ll structure them into 3 sections

Section 1 – Worth a Read | News, Views, Opinions and Perspectives related to women at work

In work reviews, women are criticized for personality rather than performance First she studies, then she gets a job, then she performs. And lastly, you are criticized for your personality! How much better can it get. An interesting article which highlights the differences between how men and women are appraised

Women company directors: can quotas change the status quo? A Forbes article on Quotas and gender diversity language in corporate governance codes do result in a higher percentages of women directors

Gender Inequality’s Latest Victim: Flex-Time Requests Very interesting read since it highlights how flex-time requests are viewed for men and women, and how a woman’s career is impacted, even though flex-time is her crying need today.
 

Section 2 – Worth a Share | Resources to enable, empower and equip women in your work and beyond

Book – Innovating Women: The Changing Face of Technology BY Vivek Wadhwa and Farai Chideya is the voice of hundreds of great women and aims to motivate and inspire thousands more to join the innovation economy–and better the world.

Pink Petro initiative Very interesting initiative as the 1st online social media platform built by the energy sector for “women, girls and diversity advocates

Springboard An ecosystem where influencers, investors, and innovators meet to build great women-led businesses. Their 562 women-led companies have raised $6.5 billion, including 11 IPOs.

 

Section 3 – Worth a Thought | Writings which compel you to think, reflect and introspect

Why do you think women should work? What are the top 10 / 20 / 30 reasons? Here’s an answer

Are you a mom looking for a business idea? Here is a fantastic list of 25 ideas

 Why is it so hard for working women in India? A perspective on multi-dimensional issues

Quitting your job to find your passion?An honest encounter of a working woman, the considerations / deliberations when you quit after a decade of work life

 

NOTE: If you think this post could enable / equip / empower another woman as she navigates her path at work and in life, please share. Thanks for reading me!

Enjoy your weekend!