8 Tips for Success in Online Marketing

I recently had the pleasure of presenting to a bunch of enthusiastic students of Internet marketing. I reflected on my experience and came up with 8 tips for success in online marketing

1. Know what you want to achieve

If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.  Unless you know what you want to achieve, you will not know how to achieve it.  Set your goals for internet marketing.

2. Understand your customers

This is true for internet marketing as much as it is true for traditional marketing.  You must understand who your customers are, what they need, how they behave and where do they spend their time online (and offline).  Once you understand your customers and their behaviour, you can devise a plan to target them more effectively.

3. Select appropriate media mix.

It is important to use the right combination of online and offline media to reach your target audience.  An integrated marketing campaign is far more effective than a campaign which relies on one medium only. If you are a small business, you may not have the luxury of spending on offline media like Television but it is still worthwhile to consider all online options you have.

4. Optimize the conversion funnel

The conversion funnel starts from the time a visitor sees your banner till the time they perform a desired action on your site for example, a registration or a payment (although some marketers star the process from a visit).  For the same marketing spend, if you can optimize and improve your conversion by 10%, you have 10% more registrations or orders without having to pay 10% more.  Optimize your creatives, optimize the home page / landing pages, revisit the registration pages, look at your visitor behaviour using an analytics software like Google Analytics.  Keep testing (do A/B or multivariate testing) and keep improving.  This is a continuous process but one which is sure to get you results

5. Unpaid Traffic is always good

Any traffic that you don’t have to pay for is always good. Invest time and effort in keyword research, optimizing your site and developing effective inbound links.  Look at what your competitors are doing and do it better than them.

6.  Monitor and Analyze data

Look at your key metrics on a regular basis to see if you are on track with your goals.  Analyse trends and improve continuously.  Take corrective action as necessary.

7. Experiment

Do not be afraid to experiment.  Keep trying new things.  If you fail, learn from them and move on.  If you are successful, incorporate the learnings

8. Adapt

Things change everyday in the online world.  Understand how the online space is changing and adapt quickly.

Passengers revolt against Indigo flight delay, demand apology and compensation

I witnessed an interesting incident while transiting through the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad in Hyderabad today.  Indigo flight 6E 319 scheduled to take off at 6:00 am for Mumbai had not taken off till 10:30 am.  The passengers revolted against the cavalier attitude of the staff and extremely poor customer service and demanded an apology and a written confirmation that they will be compensated accordingly.
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Passengers gheraoed Indigo airline staff demanding an apology and compensation for the severe delay

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Indigo Flight Captain trying to pacify the customers

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Indigo flight 6E 319 which could not take off atleast till 10:30 am as the passengers refused to board

I had to leave at 10:30 to board my connecting flight but will be keen to know what happened after that.

Sports Betting to be legalised in India

This is the news punters in India have been waiting for a long time.  It finally looks like sports betting will be legalised in India.  The Indian government is looking at a proposal to legalise sports betting and is carefully studying UK and US laws regarding sports betting.

Needless to say, this will have several benefits

1. There is currently a multi million dollar underground sports betting already happening in India (remember the scandal Azharuddin was involved in about a decade back  and the Pakistani trio more recently).  Legalising sports betting will make it easier for people to bet legally and will curb illegal sports betting.

2. Tackle Money laundering – a lot of money is laundered through illegal sports betting.  Money such laundered often finds its way into terrorism and other criminal activities or could even be the proceeds of such activities.

3. This is a huge source of revenue for the government.  Just like Cigarettes and Alcohol, there is a taboo regarding sports betting in India and the government can impose a “sin tax” profiting from this multi-million dollar industry.

4. Future Development – Money collected in taxes from sports betting can be used in general for the development of the country or specifically speaking, this could be used to develop state of the art sports facilities

These are early days but I believe that the Indian government is thinking in the right direction.  It will be very important to ensure that the government considers all aspects of sports betting and only isssues licenses to responsible operators.

London to Mumbai

I couldn’t update my blog for almost 3 months as I was busy …. Relocating from London, UK to Mumbai, India.  A new country, a new city, a new job and a new challenge.

We always wanted to get back to India and after almost ten years in the UK, it was time for action.  When I was a child, we always moved cities every 3-4 years as my father was in a transferable central government job.  Little did I appreciate at that time how difficult the process could be.

We cleared 10 years of clutter, packed, shipped and somehow managed to get ourselves back to India. We landed at the Delhi Airport on Independence Day ( a coincidence?)  on our way to Chennai but did manage to take a small break in UK before we returned.  There were places in UK we hadn’t visited and we took this opportunity to hit the road for 10 days.  It was great fun and as time would tell, a complete contrast to the surprises that lay in store for us back here.

Mumbai, the city of dreams, is quite different when you are not dreaming.  Relocation wasn’t going to be easy and I managed to reach Mumbai in the thick of monsoon.  It has virtually been pouring every day since I landed here.  The worst day ofcourse was last monday when Mumbai cab drivers decided to go on a strike.  I took virtually every imaginable mode of transport to get to work.  I must have looked like a character out of a bollywood rain song when I finally reached work, completely drenched.  Only the heroine was missing!

Life was comfortable back there in London as we had gotten used to things,  It is now completely disrupted.  It reminds me of the second law of thermodynamics – the entropy (or disorder) of an isolated system not in equilibrium will tend to increase over time. Which is what is happening right now.  I can only hope that the equilibrium will be reached soon

Please wish me luck.

(p.s. – please don’t reason technically that my life is not an isolated system, that’s all the more reason for higher entropy)