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Assorted, flavored or plain?

9 May

I won’t be surprised if I start seeing cutesy ‘Facebook fan’ packages showing up in digital gurus’ services offering a variety in kinds of fans: assorted, flavored or plain?  I say this with a venom-flavored tone because it doesn’t fail to annoy me when I hear digital experts selling Facebook fans by the dozen.

My discomfort on this Sunday night springs from a conversation with a friend who was recently exposed to such verbal martyrdom in the form of gyaan from a digital guru. The guru pitched his offerings in the form of selling fans at a price: the price of Rs.15/fan to Rs.25/fan. The client conveniently bought into the lovely offering with a sparkle in his eyes. Brand managers love the game of numbers, even when irrelevant and pseudo and Marketers love saving self ass. Hence, deliver.

Here are my two cents (besides the hundred dollar bill I threw at you above!):

1. Fans are not vegetables. Fans are real people. And you really do owe them a lot more than a coupon or two.

2. Don’t measure the success of your Facebook Fan page through the number of fans. In fact, dont’ measure Facebook fan page through the lens of success but look at it through sustenance. Ask the right questions and save yourself from falling in the trap of ‘pay per fan’. Build a good brand, fans will follow. Give engaging content, fans will talk. And whatever you do, think long term.

3. It is not easy and definitely not cheaper than TV. If your excuse for doing this is to let your boss know that you implemented a ‘new media idea’ and saved some money, then pinch yourself bud, you DO NOT want to show off your ability to cheat by paying for 10,000 fans.

4. Who are these fans? Are they the guys you really want? Are the conversations the right kind of conversations? Are you movtivating the people who ‘like’ your page to do something more than just buy your product?

5. Get out of the TRP mindset.

The disgruntled me should stop talking. We want you to do this. If you know anyone who is affected by the ‘Facebook fan page is the greatest thing since slice bread and I must buy fans’ disease, bring them here. Or ask them to talk to Aditya and me. We’d love to help hit the ‘Restart’ button.

Have a fantastic ‘digitally cheat-free’ week ahead!


Digital equals Advertising Agencies’ protein shake?

11 Apr

We want you to picture this:

A man. Black and white thick-striped suit. A big-shiny-loud microphone announcing his new bonus service that guarantees 10% increase in glitters. for 10% of current costs. What would you do, sir? What would I do? I’d grab the offer right away and start selling it for twice the price to my clients. Bingo.

Now put this in place with the current advertising scenario. Fits, doesn’t it? Everyone’s running behind the big shiny thing. And everyone’s hypnotized by the cheapness (?) of digital media. Now we want you to picture this conversation:

The Mashable certified Marketing Manager:

We need to do social media marketing. That’s the new shiz boss! We can create a Facebook fan page, a tweeting  handle and even a viral YouTube video.

Boss looks at the intern who has seen all LOLcat YouTube videos (yes, all):

I have no idea what a ‘viral’ is .. But sounds swanky! How many can we get?

The Mashable certified Marketing Manager:

We’ll get back to you on this one. But we can make sure you will get lots of fans and lots of twitters and definitely lots of virals!

Boss raises eyebrow:

What if someone writes something bad about us in social media? How can we control the negative talk? I don’t want to get screwed like Shashi Tharoor and Lalit Modi.

The Mashable certified Marketing Manager:

Don’t worry about that, we will totally forget the concept called feedback from customers and our intern will delete any negative post about you


Good. Let’s do it before end of this financial year. I want to make sure this happens before my appraisal.

And they all live happily ever after.

We have read so many articles about the social-woshal and the digital-shigital of media, we’ve heard the gurus preach it, we’ve talked about it with our pee buddies in the agency and we know that The Times They Are A Changin’ …

It is quite evident that digital outreach has become Advertising agencies’ readily available bonus card. Everyone’s using the term ‘digital’ loosely and confusing digital with ideas. What we have forgotten along the way is that an idea is a thought, a story, innovation. And digital is a channel for translation or manifestation of that idea.

And yes, no body is a digital guru. Yet.

And please please, let’s not sell digital communications on the basis of pay-per-tweet, pay-per-fan OR pay-per-every-nice-thing-consumer-says-about-your-product. We are using the wrong measuring cup.

Amen to the internet fairy.