We – Geno, Elwinston, Manickarasi and Me (Divi) are at the Strategic Marketing Summit 2011 being held at Bangalore and being already questioned on our business forte – SEO and SMO even before the conference starts. Oh how we wish we had more people in hand to handle the queries of curious businessmen wondering what Submitinme is all about and also inquisitively wondering what the free DVD contains and how it would help their businesses. At the score of 10 business cards already, I think we have done a good job in buying our booth visitors’ attention with our enthusiastic presence. People have been so interested that they are directly inquiring yearly promotion rates (wish our site had its own INR version, did not see this anticipation coming so strong)
Ok, so everyone now settles down for the numero uno speaker Mr. Harish Bijoor and I for one have thoroughly enjoyed listening to this guy. He has shown people here how unrealistic and outdated marketing strategies have come to be now and how the downgrade in the consumers choices and finances has drastically changed the way businesses must be marketed. He pointed out an interesting point that even the countries like US that was the major consumer channel for businesses worldwide is cutting down on meager stuff like the amount of toothpaste used each day. This is where affordable and logical marketing like ours comes in.
Jessica Paul of Paul Writer speaks also about how trends of marketing have changed and how the Internet is slowly becoming the next best thing for Indian audiences.
Break Time – for the delegates but not for us. We are bombarded with booth visitors and just to give you an update on the V card score, this has doubled from the last time into 20 in numbers, so in all in over 3 hours we have convinced 30 businessmen to gain interest in what we at SIM offer. We are seriously missing some of our Submitinme-ites who could have had an upperhand presence in the summit and help us manage our visitors far better.
Post- break a panel of speakers have gathered on stage to have a direct discussion of the conference agenda and trying to cover the questions in most of the inquisitive minds in the room. 4 speakers – Ajay, Vijay, Sekar and Jagannath discussing the marketing trends in the brand, agency, media owner and technology perspective of businesses, respectively.
I have observed something during the present tenure of this conference that many are skeptical about social media marketing. Right now the panel of four speakers have highlighted how social media is a productive marketing strategy. A question did arise on how word of mouth marketing online through social media would also highlight negative aspects of online branding. But the panel wisely respond saying that there are some issues that arise and can hamper the reputation of the brand but these are issues that need to be addressed. With genuine marketing and fast response and a proactive conversation channel with the word of mouth online medium one can control the negative reputation promotion online.
The speakers say that real advertising needs real money, they emphasize on newspaper and media marketing but listeners beg to differ. One comes up with promoting a brand by developing social games.
Our expatriat speaker, Valerie Wagoner comes on stage and asks people to give missed calls to some zip dial toll free number in order to get a live statistic on the type of business people in this room are into. We get a 55% of response on the services category, a 20% on ecommerce and the rest negligible amount comes from retail and good industry. What Valerie is here to talk about is that the ecommerce percentage must be more. Even if you do not fall into the actual definition of ecommerce for marketing your business you must treat your business like one. Well, in conclusion all shes tying to convey is we need to bridge the offline businesses to the online platform, like if someone is buying a product at the point of sale, the information is posted on the Facebook profile using ZipDial. Turns out the ZipDial service was actually behind the Anna Hazare campaign.
ZipDial CEO’s speech follows another panel discussion between speakers – Viswa, Eswara, Prasad to talk on social media influence on marketing. The panel, very unconventionally, starts of with an audience survey as to how many people have watched the YouTube video of ‘Why this kolavari di?’, including me many hands raise. To this the speaker rightfully emphasizes the significance and vast influence of social media. Now they go ahead speaking about the practical demands that people all over the world depend on for informative or promotive content. No one really reads the newspaper these days, they need quick updates on social media sites. Tapping this vast world of the internet is prudent for online business projects that may even be under construction. Starting a conversation on the social media arena helps build the brand. Thi does not mean that one has to pitch the product right away. Eventually, however the brand reputation is kept alive amongst a vast online population and beyond a point it would have a life of its own.