5 Points which impact Marketing Success (or Failure) …

So it is the Annual Appraisal time at work – The time to introspect on the good and not-so-good for the year gone by. Also the time to get feedback on what was good and what was not-so-good; take the lessons and move ahead into a new year.

As a I look back at last year wearing the lens of a marketer, I can say that it has been exciting and excellent. Most importantly, it has been wonderful to see the impact and difference marketing has made on business. As I go down memory lane to see what truly made a difference a few points stand out. In this post, sharing the 5 key points:

Marketing objectives are closely linked to business objectives

The role of marketing has changed significantly over the past few years – especially since the onset of the ‘digital revolution’. From being a supporting enabler for business, marketing is increasingly viewed as the custodian of the customer experience. As a result, success of marketing directly and significantly affects business, and hence it is imperative that marketing objectives are closely linked to business objectives. For e.g.: If a business objective is to be known as a ‘Market Leader in a particular area”, then a possible marketing objective can be to feature in a respected industry / analyst rating report as a Market Leader as an external (analyst / customer / partner) endorsement of a company’s brand is critical to achieve this objective. Or if a business objective is to increase business growth by X%, then a possible marketing objective can be to generate Y leads – where is a multiplier of X based on typical conversion metrics

Marketing has well defined “measurable” objectives

Again marketing teams have always known to focus / report the ‘soft / qualitative’ aspects, and hence marketers are increasingly under pressure to demonstrate the marketing impact. The most effective way to showcase any impact is through metrics. The only pre-requisite to capture and report metrics is to know what to measure and how to measure. For this, it is critical to have a sign-off with business on what “measurable” objectives are to be worked on. For e.g: If one of the focus areas for business is to create a compelling content strategy to demonstrate thought leadership for external branding and customer lead generation, then a measurable objective could be to publish 1 content piece a month on the company blog. This becomes easy to track, measure and report every month as opposed to an objective which states “Create content to reflect thought leadership”. Defining measurable objectives at the start of the year helps set expectations among all stakeholders, and provides a direction for marketing to focus their efforts.

Regular Monitoring, Tracking and Reporting “marketing outcomes”

Again, while defining ‘marketing objectives’ is the first step – continuous monitoring, tracking and reporting the marketing outcomes on a regular basis is key. Leveraging the power of tools and technology to capture key marketing metrics and sharing these metrics with key business / leadership stakeholders on an ongoing basis is critical for long term success of marketing initiatives.

Being able to show the co-relation between “marketing outcomes and business impact”

Again, this is one area where most marketers and businesses struggle with. How to show the co-relation between “marketing outcomes and business impact”? For e.g: Let us assume a B2B company hosted an online event – like a webinar or a virtual round table. The event was outstanding with an attendance of 500+ audience. Now most marketers are always asked “OK Great. But so what?”. In general, online / offline events are great opportunities to identify prospects and convert them to potential leads through focused lead nurturing initiatives. However, such initiatives need time and effort. And time is money – so it becomes important to track both. It is exactly for answering the marketing ROI questions that marketing technology in the form of automation solutions plays a key role.

Marketing sits on the table with Business, Technology, Finance and Operations

Last but not the least – Marketing has to be in-sync with business, technology, finance and operations. Marketing has to be part of the discussions, has to be in-tune with key data and has to be a key participant in decision making. For this, a shared vision and goals along with an environment which fosters communication and collaboration with the customer at the center of the universe is key for marketing and business success.

That’s my view. What do you think? Leave a comment to let me know..

A version of this post was first published on LinkedIn Pulse

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Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World Columnist / Byline in : Economic Times | Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes India | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Top Marketing Blogs in India, Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]


Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

Bored of blogging? Tips and Tricks to recover revive and renew your blogging MOJO

Blogging Mojo I finished 5 years of blogging in March 2015. It’s been an evolving, enjoyable and enriching experience. While there have been many highs (ranging from media coverage, to awards, to heart-warming comments and appreciation on how my words transformed a reader’s life), I’d also have to confess that there have been times when I have been bored of blogging. Sometimes because it gets monotonous, sometimes because writing is lonely, sometimes because I don’t get the feedback / responses that I expect, and sometimes because I just hit a ‘blogging plateau’ or ‘the writer’s block‘ – and wonder what I should do next? During all these moments, I have attempted and strived to do something novel, unique or different on my blog. Experimenting and trying something new is fun and interesting, so I push myself to learn and experiment (May be a new tool, a new format, a different way of doing something, etc.). If you’ve ever been through such phases and are looking for tips and tricks to recover, revive and renew your blogging MOJO, then read on.

Create content using a new content format –What has worked best for me is below:

  1. Interview people you admire / who inspire. Click here to check-out Nischala’s Blog-o-Rendezvous in which I interviewed several global achievers. Interviews are always a phenomenal learning experience, and help create relationships with others.
  2. Do a series on particular topic. Click here to view the series I’ve done on the blog. It can be anything which is of interest to you.
  3. Create content in an alternate format – like infographics , videos or podcasts. I know I enjoyed the process of learning to create visual content. Though I’m yet to master it, I am certainly better than I was at start of 2015
  4. Curate content. Click here to view some of my round-up posts. You can do it for your own content, or other blogger’s content. It is always interesting and insightful to read diverse perspectives on the same issue / subject.
  5. Request a thought leader / friend / expert to write a guest post. One of my dearest friend wrote a wonderful post on “My education is a result of my experiences“. It has been very well received.

Create / Compile / Contribute to a book / e-book (free / paid) – I have contributed to 2 e-books : one for a social cause and one with fellow bloggers. The experience makes you appreciate the nuances of the blogging world and book world. Trust me, there are a zillion differences though at the core of it – both are about writing and expression  

Don’t blog for sometime, Just promote contentBlog promotion is an integral part of the blogging journey, and makes all the difference to your blogging success. So create a multi-channel social promotion plan (using channels like FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) for content (again can be your content or someone else’s content), and share it regularly across all channels. The more you share, the more you understand about promotion and social behaviors. Also, chances are it gets read more and that can initiate some conversations, interactions and idea exchange

Participate / Speak at an event (online / offline)Attend events and connect and converse with people across the globe on any topic of your interest. Share your views and make your presence felt. It can be a virtual event (like a Tweetchat or Google Hangout) or a real event (like an industry / community event). Events are great to network, listen to diverse perspectives and also get a break from the every monotony.

Guest blog – Whenever I am bored of posting on my own blog, I write a guest post. No wonder the list of guest posts I have to my credit is so long! The good thing about guest posts is that it helps you create and nurture relationships with other bloggers and publishers, so your reach / response is different  

Blog about something you’ve never blogged about before – Again, try a new format like poetry or humor. Or write a story. Or do a blog prompt. Or blog for a cause. Or host a blog hop. Or create a survey. Whatever you do, attempt to get out of your comfort zone, and try to write in a different way. For me, an attempt at poetry always helps.  

Read / Comment on other blogs – Reading / commenting on others blogs gives several ideas on topics to blog about, articulation style or just a new perspective to a subject / life. It only helps!  

Go on a self-imposed blog exhile – Yes, go a self-imposed blog exile as I do many times to recover, renew and revive your blogging MOJO!

What are your secrets to keep at blogging? Leave a comment to let me know

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Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist / Byline in : Economic Times | Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes India | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Top Marketing Blogs in India, Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

5 Questions to answer before you start BLOGGING!

Now a days, I get a lot of calls, mails, messages and questions about blogging. As a case in point, a friend called a few days back and said “I want to start a blog. Should I even do it?”. A work colleague was inspired by my blogging journey and accolades, and asked me “I want to start blogging. You make it seem easy. Is it that easy?”. A relative read the media coverage my blog received recently and wrote to me saying “I want to blog, How do I go about it?

While I appreciate the interest, intent and spirit behind all these questions, let me lay out some facts before you.

I recently read an article which highlighted that there were 220+ million blogs in the blog-o-sphere. And that there are 3 Million new posts published everyday. Those numbers are mind-boggling! Interestingly, I also heard that the average human attention span in today’s digital era is less than 10 seconds!

So before you start, be cognizant of the fact that you are entering a highly crowded and competitive world, where there is a content aplenty, and individual attention span is abysmal. Hence, it is extremely important to ask yourself some important questions before you start blogging, lest you be disillusioned after you start blogging.

In this post, I am sharing the 5 questions most important questions. So think through and answer honestly before you start posting!

Start Blogging

Question 1 : What is your big WHY of blogging?

This is the most important question. Is it for sharing, is it for branding, is it for the money? Whatever it is, be clear on the answer. And realistic on your expectations based on this

Question 2 : Do you LOVE writing?

You cannot sustain a blog / blogging if you don’t love writing. So if all that you’ve written in your life are official mails, then I doubt if you really like writing. If you love a related skill / art form like photography / painting, then creating a blog on this makes complete sense.

Question 3 : How much time can you commit to blogging?

Blogging is a journey. A slow and evolving one. It takes time and effort, and there is no overnight glory or success. So be clear on how much time you can give to your blog and how frequently. Starting a blog is  easy. Keeping it updated is always a challenge unless you consciously commit time.

Question 4 : Do you know what you want to blog about?

Again, think through what you want to blog about. Is it something you know or do? Again, in the long run the biggest challenge is to find topics to blog about. So think through a theme or broad areas to start off with. You can expand later, but there has to be a theme that you stick to for 6 -12 months

Question 5 : Why do you think anyone will read you?

Most important, what is in it for any reader? Why should he / she read what you have to say amidst 220+ million blogs? What’s your sparkle?

If you have convincing answers to all 5 questions, go ahead and start your blog today.

On that note, Happy Blogging!

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Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist / Byline in : Economic Times | Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes India | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Top Marketing Blogs in India, Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

 

Among the Top 10 Marketing Blogs of India

Look what the news brought in.. Happy and Honored to be featured in the list of Top Marketing Blogs of India published by SEJ (Search Engine Journal). The list includes some of the best / most reputed Indian brands / blogs like Digital Vidya, Social Samosa, Lighthouse Insights, Blogworks . Full reading here For those who don’t know, Search Engine Journal was launched in 2003 and publishes fantastic articles by marketing experts. They spotlight the important trends, news, strategies and personalities in the industry. They have ~95K Twitter followers and 1 Lakh+ likes on FB.Search Journal ——————————————————————————————————————————————

Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist / Byline in : Economic Times | Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes India | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Top Marketing Blogs in India, Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

The 3 Questions I’m always asked around Blogging – And my answers!!!

Blogger” – That is the latest new addition to my identity. Be it in my social / professional network – I am many times introduced as “That blogger?!” After an exchange of pleasantries – I’m almost always asked some questions around blogging. I’ve seen that the questions for a vast majority of the people I interact with are very very similar. So I thought why not put my responses in a post? ;)

Blogging FAQ——————————————————————————————————————————————

Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist / Byline in : Economic Times | Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes India | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

Infographics for Dummies | 5 Steps to create your first Infographic

Regular readers of my blog know that ‘infographics’ are my latest muse. Over the last few weeks, I’ve received a lot of requests asking me how I’d created my infographics. So I thought why not write a blog answering this.

I’ve spent all of January and February browsing / sharing infographics on the blog, and spent significant time in March to create my own infographics. Based on all these experiences, I created a simple infographic in response to “How to create your first infographic?”

I hope you find it useful in creating your infographics.

How to create infographics

And as they say, Practice makes a man perfect. So repeat all the steps above.

Have fun, and enjoy creating infographics. I know I did!

If your looking for some design resources to help you take infographics to the next level, be sure to check out the links below

Canva Design School

How to become a designer without going to design school?

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Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist / Byline in : Economic Times | Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes India | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

Round-up of Social Media Image / Video Creation Tools (Mostly free)

Social Media ImagesIn the past 3 months, I have tried and used several tools to create images / videos for social media. In this post, I’m sharing a list of the  tools I’ve used – grouped into different categories. Most of them are free of cost for the basic feature set, and also have an option for paid feature upgrades.

Images for Simple Text, Easy and Quick to Use – Particularly useful for quotes, blog headers, simple images

Pablo

Canva

ReciteThis

Creating collages of Images

Photovisi

PicMonkey

Editing Images – particularly useful to retain / improve image quality (clarity) or make an image to fit to a particular size for a specific social media platform

Favicon Image Cropping

BeFunky

PicMonkey 

Canva

Creating Infographics

Piktochart

Easel

Infogr

Canva

Visual.ly

StoryboardThat

Creating Videos

Animoto

Powtoon

Animaker

What tools do you use to create images / videos for social media? Leave a comment to let me know

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Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist / Byline in : Economic Times | Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes India | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

Video | The A to Z of Blogging

When I was born I did not know A to Z. Thanks to my parents and teachers, I learned. Now as a parent myself, as I’m teaching my kids A to Z, I wonder if there is an A to Z for blogging too! Surprisingly, I discovered YES!

In this post, I’ve tried to share my views on the A to Z of blogging using a video.

To view the video, click here

Please Note: This is the first time that I am creating a video. I hope you enjoy watching it! I know I enjoyed creating it!

Liked it? Leave a comment to let me know

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Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist / Byline in : Economic Times | Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes India | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

The 5 Treasured Lessons in 5 Years of Blogging

In March 2015, I’ve completed 5 years of active blogging. So I asked myself what are the 5 key lessons I took away from blogging. Since my latest muse are infographics, I compiled the insights into the below.

Blogging Lessons

Like It? Leave a comment to let me know…

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Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist : Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes India | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes 20 Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

Infographic | All About Social Media Monitoring Tools

Everyone knows that Social Media is BIG, but Social Media Monitoring is a ? – In terms of time, focus, priority and effort. Whether you are a marketer / even otherwise – if you spend time on social media – it is worthwhile to monitor and track social behaviors – Data always speaks – The insights, inferences and implications are for you to draw. But the start is always looking at multiple views of real-time integrated data, and asking the right questions so you understand social media analytics better.

Many of us wonder what to track and how? So when I came across this comprehensive infographic on Social Media Monitoring – I thought it was worthwhile to share on the blog. It is an overview and just the start – But once the building blocks are laid, then it is easy to build and enhance the monitoring processes and tools

[Src: KISSMetrics]

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Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist : Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes India | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Mention in | “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Mention in | “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in | “Are entrepreneurs born or made?