The rivalry between IPL teams is spilling over to the social media platform ahead of the season five of the T20 league as they intensify campaigns to drum up support of fans through sites like Facebook and Twitter.
With the social networking sites providing the opportunity to fans to interact with their star players, teams like Delhi Daredevils, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings are leaving no stone unturned to exploit the opportunity to add more supporters.
“Social media is one of the most important tools and an integral part of any team to reach out to the fans now. We have been stagnant for the past four years but this year we have really activated it,” Delhi Daredevils Head of Marketing and Commercial Hemant Dua told PTI.
He said from just about 30,000 fans on Facebook for the past four years, Delhi Daredevils has increased it to 2,30,000 in the last few months.
“We have been holding a lot of contests for the fans, like designing the mascot for the team, and it has helped,” Dua said, adding this year three fans will be selected through a contest to travel with the team to report on the team’s off-field activities.
Similarly, Chennai Super Kings has touched over seven lakh followers on its Facebook page over the past two months from just 40,000 earlier following intensified campaign to utilise the social media platform
“What we have done is assign different roles to different sites. For instance we are using Twitterfor news related to the team, while Facebook has been used as platform for interaction.
Also we are using different activities involving fans, including contests,” India Cements general Manager Marketing Chandrabhan said. India Cements own the Chennai Super Kings. Likewise, Mumbai Indians has also kicked off ‘Players Become Friends’ campaign designed to increase the interaction between the players and the fans in the digital space.
“This year our focus is completely on digital media. We will be having a new TV commercial and ground promotions for IPL 5 but the main thrust is to capitalise on the social platform to reach out to Mumbai Indians fans and make them feel as an integral part of the team,” a Mumbai Indian spokesperson said.
Mumbai Indians have nearly 2.5 million followers on Facebook fan page ‘MI Paltan’, he said, adding the aim of the campaign is to encourage them engaging with the players rather than being mere spectators.
The team is also using personalised video messages from Mumbai Indians players, includingSachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh, as part of the ‘Players Become Friends’ social media campaign that will carried out on out-of-home and radio along with TV, he added.
While the teams are reluctant to share their spendings on the social media campaigns, Dua of Delhi Daredevils said:”Our spending on digital media has definitely increased, to almost double but it is all about spending judiciously and trying to make the right connect with the fans.”
The Indian Internet economy contributed Rs. 3.2 trillion to the overall economy in 2010, representing 4.1 per cent of GDP, and is projected to rise to Rs.10.8 trillion by 2016, according to a report in The Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) Connected World series.
It found that by 2016 the total size of the G-20 Internet economy will be $4.2 trillion, equivalent to 5.3 per cent of GDP, up from $2.3 trillion or 4.1 per cent in 2010.
‘The $4.2 Trillion Opportunity: The Internet Economy in the G-20’ finds that if the Internet were a sector, it would be the eighth largest in India – larger than mining and utilities. It is driven especially by exports of IT services. The net exports make up 59 per cent of the Indian Internet economy, while consumption is only 20 per cent.
India’s Internet economy growth rate of 23.0 per cent places it as the second fastest across the G-20 and ahead of many other developing nations in the G-20, which are growing at an average of 17.8 per cent. Projected growth rates elsewhere are: Argentina (24.3 per cent), Russia (8.3 per cent) and Mexico (15.6 per cent). In 2010 developed markets contributed 76 per cent of the G-20’s Internet economy; by 2016 that will fall to 66 per cent.
Consumption is the principal driver of Internet GDP in most countries, typically representing more than 50 per cent of the total in 2010. It will remain the largest single driver through 2016. China and India stand out for their enormous Internet related exports- China in goods, India in services – which propel their Internet-economy rankings toward the top of the chart,” said Arvind Subramanian, a Mumbai-based BCG Partner. He further added, “In emerging countries like India, social media are fast becoming the internet medium and mobile the access medium of choice.”
The $4.2 Trillion opportunity builds on three years of research conducted by BCG and is the most comprehensive report published on the impact of the Internet globally. This study is the first to examine the Internet’s economic impact across so much of the world’s economy – 90 per cent of global GDP – and highlights how this increases as mobile devices and social networks become more prevalent.
Commenting on the report, Rajan Anandan, Managing Director, Google India, said, “India is seeing one of the fastest rates of Internet adoption across the globe. It is up to all of us- users, businesses and the government-to leverage the potential of the Internet to deliver value and wealth. We see emerging opportunities for innovation in areas like mobile, e-commerce and cloud and are committed to growing the market by offering more locally relevant services.”
In 2010, the share of total retail carried out online in India was only 0.9 per cent but is projected to reach 4.5 per cent by 2016. What’s more, the Internet influences only an additional 0.8 per cent of total retail from connected consumers researching online and purchasing offline (‘ROPO’). These numbers compare to 3.1 per cent for online sales and 4.0 per cent for ROPO in Brazil, 1.7 per cent and 4.8 per cent in Russia, and 5.0 per cent and 9.6 per cent in the U.S.
Consumers are the big winners of the Internet economy and BCG’s study highlights just how essential it has become to everyday life and the value which consumers attach to it. Asked how much they would have to be paid to live without Internet access, Indian respondents said an average of Rs. 21,436 per year, or 2.8 times what they pay for access and services. When asked whether they would forgo showering for a year in order to keep Internet access, 36 per cent of Indian online consumers said they would; 64 per cent said they would forgo chocolate; 63 per cent coffee; and 70 per cent would give up alcohol.
Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) – The Growth Engines of the Economy
The report highlights the extent to which the Internet is driving growth in businesses across the G-20. Drawn from the most comprehensive survey of its kind of SMEs around the world, the BCG report finds that “High web” companies in India – ones that use the Internet for marketing, sales and interactions with customers and suppliers – grew their revenues 19 percent over the past three years, compared to only 13 percent for those who made low or no use of the Internet.
The key to generating loyalty and rising above the general noise seems to be all about creating an authentic voice
What is the best way to promote our blog on environmental conservation in Kenya? We are hoping to help build an eco-friendly generation, and wish to reach out to potential donors.
— Sam Dindi, Kenya
The rise of social media over the last few years and the speed at which companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Google are signing up new members has forced businesses and charities to reassess many of their traditional marketing and PR efforts, and instead focus on building a substantial and loyal online following.
The key to generating loyalty and rising above the general noise seems to be all about creating an authentic voice. Over the last couple of years I have spent a lot of time with my digital media team, creating varied and interesting content for our pages and channels. I post blog entries and tweets almost daily, and I often upload photos from around the world.
Our channels have also helped me publicize many of our philanthropic efforts, such as wildlife conservation, drug decriminalization, encouraging entrepreneurship and battling climate change. This has helped to ensure that the public and politicians take note.
This in turn has helped us raise our brand’s profile online, which has translated into real benefits for our businesses. The more followers Virgin and myself have online, the more feedback and important information we can glean that will tell us whether we are getting things right or wrong. We can react quickly through our own channels, reaching a wide audience that includes our best clients and most fervent fans.
In the past, I often made a splash for our businesses through eye-catching adventures and stunts. Now a timely comment on one of our online channels can trigger widespread debate, while an amusing video or fun competition will create visibility for our brand in many markets where we have little or no footprint. Every week I receive emails from readers in countries such as Brazil and Uganda, where we haven’t yet established businesses, asking that we set up in their country.
This year we are launching our Virgin Mobile business in Latin America through a series of partnerships with local firms. Our online presence and increasing following has helped raise awareness of the brand and build expectation before the launches.
So how can Sam and other budding entrepreneurs make an impact? For those trying to establish an online presence for a nonprofit or charitable organization, I have prepared some tips on how to kick-start your online presence.
1. Build a loyal following by creating interesting and accessible content. This is time-consuming, but is crucial for keeping your audiences engaged. This will ensure that your stakeholders will be listening when the time comes for you to deliver a message about your company or organization.
Sam must take care that the tone of his site is consistent with his target audience—in this case, the younger generation. If the focus of the blog is promoting conservation to young people in Kenya, then make sure that this is evident in every article. Try to talk about topics that will not only educate them but are relevant to their lives and can influence behaviour change.
2. Consider other sources of content. In some cases you may decide to approach bloggers and ask them to team up with you on certain subjects.
Once the tone and content of Sam’s blog has been focused to the target audience, it would be good for him to also look at getting a diverse range of other bloggers who can contribute and build up the following on that website.
3. Look for like-minded partner organizations to help you. There will likely be other nonprofits working on similar problems; reach out to them with your ideas on how to combine or augment each other’s efforts. Sam could reach out to companies and NGOs focused on either children or environmental issues.
4. Create a revenue stream to fund more development and promotion on your site. This can be as easy as contracting with services such as Google AdSense to put ads on your website in order to generate some income.
5. Target potential donors. Through social networking, Sam can draw people’s attention to his charitable cause—for this, the Internet has proved invaluable. However, when it comes to turning those supporters into donors, remember that there really is no substitute for human interaction. Sam needs to make sure that people have a way of interacting and donating on the website.
6. Once you have a sufficient number of followers and your initiative has grown into a success, it’s a good idea to start looking for sponsors—companies, larger organizations and even governments. Sam has a great idea—the goal of building an eco-friendly generation in Kenya has the key advantage of winning the attention of the much sought-after younger generation. Having many followers will be attractive to potential sponsors.
Sam, you have chosen a great niche! Many people in Kenya are working hard on conservation—even the UN Environment Program is based there. Just remember that you must pursue what interests you and you enjoy—if you do, your passion and commitment will show through in everything you do.
By NYT Syndicate
Richard Branson is the founder of the Virgin Group and companies such as Virgin Atlantic, Virgin America, Virgin Mobile and Virgin Active. He maintains a blog. You can follow him on Twitter.
Christina Gomez has carefully displayed her dream cribs, rockers and mobiles on Pinterest, the increasingly popular online bulletin board. Never mind that she doesn’t have a baby.
“Ah, Pinterest – where I dress my unborn children and decorate my imaginary mansion,” the San Antonio political consultant said – on Twitter – when asked about the website.
Gomez is addicted. And she’s not alone. The social site where users can “pin” images and follow others’ collections has surged in recent months to become the 16th most-visited site in theUnited States, according to the Web information company Alexa. That’s a higher rank than CNN.com.
Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann, who grew up in Iowa collecting bugs and stamps, said on Tuesday that his goal is to help people discover things that they didn’t know they wanted. He said there are plenty of people trying to tell you what you want via billboards, catalogs or Internet ads.
“But no one has really made a lot of progress toward building a place you want to go every day to discover things that feel like they were hand-picked just for you, and that’s what I can hope we can do,” Silbermann told a packed ballroom at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin.
The self-deprecating Silbermann, who has rarely spoken publicly about the site he co-founded in fall 2009, described having “catastrophically small numbers” at first. Nine months in, there were fewer than 10,000 people on it, he said. He sought feedback from early users, giving some his cell phone number. And he didn’t quit.
Silbermann, who spoke repeatedly of wanting his site to be beautiful and display beautiful collections, said one goal of his was to create a service that offered timelessness in an era when people were obsessed with real-time sites like Twitter.
“If something is your favorite book, it’s no less your favorite book 72 hours from now or a year from now or five years from now or 10 years from now,” he said. “It still says something about who you were then and who you want other people to know you as.”
Learning from pinning
For Gomez, who lives in a 900-square-foot home in Texas and is about to move to smaller digs in Washington, DC, Pinterest allows her to collect things – like USB drives shaped like teddy bears – without taking up precious physical space.
Like other users, she has organized her pictures into boards with titles like “Sewing Projects,” “Gift Ideas” and “For the new house. She has used it to post pictures of clothes she already owns and to learn to cook with a crock pot.
The growth of Pinterest has been fueled primarily by women, including those planning their weddings, said Robert Quigley, who teaches new media and multimedia at the University of Texas. The draw is the site’s simplicity, he said.
“The rise of Pinterest has been absolutely incredible – it just came out of nowhere,” Quigley said. “It’s so visual, it’s easy to use and simple – yet complex enough to allow you to organize the way you want.”
Pinterest isn’t only for women. Guillaume Driscoll, 30, a design student at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, said he and his girlfriend both use the site. Before he joined a few months ago, he was interested in clothes, but “not on a level of some of my lady friends.” He’s seen that change as he’s pinned more clothes, like colorful socks and a grey cashmere sport coat from J. Crew.
“Now, I’m starting to think about it more. What is my style? What does my style say about me?” said Driscoll, who was visiting Austin for SXSW.
Silbermann said it makes sense for people to use Pinterest to explore topics that lifestyle magazines focus on — design, home decorating, cooking and fitness — but he’s also seeing new uses like political satire (say, Mitt Romney‘s fake yacht collection). Museums are using Pinterest to post art collections. Some users are posting travel guides to cities.
“Every day, literally, we see at least one board where we just couldn’t have imagined how people would use it and to me, that’s really exciting,” Silbermann said.
- The Quick and Easy Guide to Branding Your Business and Creating Massive Sales with Pinterest by Kim Garst (create-with-joy.com)
- Where Pinterest Will Go From Here (inc.com)
- The CMO’s Guide to Pinterest (greatfinds.icrossing.com)
THE last advertising agency on Earth. That was the ominous title of a fairly popular video on YouTube some time last year. The film, about what the future of advertising might look like (produced by an ad agency, by the way) took potshots at the traditional ad agency folks who have ignored the powerful impact of social media on consumers and brands.
Understandably alarmist, it in a way represents one school of thought: that social media is completely going to change the way traditional advertising works and that the 30-second TV spot is dead. And then there is the other school of thought which believes that the impact of social media on brands is over-rated and is dismissive of it even. The truth lies somewhere in between. The most awarded integrated campaigns of recent years (Old Spice, Bing to name a couple) have had strong social media components built in. And most of these were created by big, traditional agencies. Marketers and agencies have come to accept social media as an integral part of consumer’s lives and believe that smart use of the medium can create impact.
While a majority of marketers seem to agree on its potential, there are several questions in their minds on the right approach, implementation, monitoring and the talent required to manage the whole process. Investments in this space are yet to see the big numbers (save for certain categories such as autos, airlines, finance and telecom). Internet advertising in India accounts for just 5% of the ad spends with TV still leading the pack. A recent industry report expects internet revenues to go up to Rs 1,478 crore in 2012, a growth rate of 50% on a relatively small base. The air of uncertainty or tentativeness about the medium also stems from lack of clarity on how exactly the medium can help brands.
An IBM ‘Global Chief Marketing Officer’ study done in the fourth quarter of 2011 suggests that most CMOs worldwide, and in India, are “underprepared to manage the impact of key changes in the marketing arena”. Data explosion topped the worldwide list of underpreparedness with 71% of CMOs indicating so. Some 68% of the international CMOs surveyed are not in a position to deal with the rapid developments in social media.
All this means that stake holders in brand strategy and brand building must boost their own digital and technological proficiency. This could include not just being aware of social media basics and trends but knowing which tools to use to suit the brand’s business objectives – be it buzz monitoring, blogs, consumer reviews and so on. A ‘one size fits all’ approach may not work at all – one needs to be clear about the objective of each medium. A Twitter handle may be used to address consumer issues, as a customer service channel by one brand. But another brand in another category may use it to provide information on deals or as pure entertainment. A blogger outreach or a brand blog may make sense for niche categories like high end IT tech or maybe travel, fashion and music. Among the various social media tools available, it appears that a Facebook fan page has fast become de rigueur for most brands, irrespective of a real need. This requirement has now replaced the earlier ‘viral video’.
Whatever be the social media tool, it is important to remember that brands are intruders in that space. Unless we provide content that gives a strong, real reason for consumers to engage with brands in that space, the engagement will be at a superficial level. There are far too many brands (especially on Facebook) which have begun to follow a cookie-cutter approach to conversations with consumers.
Another aspect is the impact on ad agencies, especially those in account management. When specialist media services were hived off, the account management folks slowly began to lose touch with media basics and trends. Now with the increasing use of specialist digital teams there is one more area of brand communication that these guys are likely to be kept out of.
Keeping a pulse on the consumer meant something different just 10 years ago. Thanks to the explosion of data and devices, it takes on a whole new meaning today.
The writer is vice-president, DraftFCB Ulka Bangalore. The views expressed here are personal.
Adobe Systems, the world’s largest maker of graphic design software, has been adding capabilities for online marketing even as its core market undergoes a social media centric, web shift. In January Adobe acquired Efficient Frontier, a California-based company that lets advertisers place ads on Facebook, buy keywords on Google and purchase display ads on the web.
This ties up with its previous purchases of Omniture, which helps analyse web traffic; Demdex that provides data on online users and Auditude, a video advertising company. Not surprisingly, Shantanu Narayen , the 48-year-old, CEO & president of Adobe likes to talk about a laser-like focus on digital marketing, which along with digital media will be the growth engines for the $4.2 billion company. In an interaction with Shelley Singh , on his recent visit to India, Narayen shares his views on how digital marketing is impacting companies, customization of advertising and more. Edited excerpts:
Adobe has identified digital marketing and digital media as twin growth engines for the company. What are your strategies to grow the two?
Digital marketing and digital media is what we will focus on. The creative process is going through a transformation – from print work-flow to web work flow. And now, how do companies get their content out on app stores?
When you think about digital media, Adobe is already the largest provider of tools and services for the creative community. Everybody is re-tooling for the future of web – devising strategies for new and multiple screens (television, mobile, tablet/PC)and app stores. With devices like Photoshop touch and cloud-based services, we are aggressively moving towards that shift. Everyone including Reliance, Fox, Turner wants to stream out content on different platforms with customised ads. We help them achieve that goal.
The other one, digital marketing, is a massive opportunity and relatively new from Adobe’s viewpoint. We have put together some of the core pieces for digital advertising with our acquisition of Efficient Frontier, Omnitureand Day Software — a Switzerland-based company which makes web content management software.
We have supplemented the acquisitions with organic innovation that we have built around social analytics. We believe that enterprises have dealt with enterprise resource planning, finance and sales and now digital marketing is the next big thing for them. Customers want to measure what’s happening on the web and we help them do that. This is the space we will continue to target and grow.
How big will digital marketing be for Adobe?
We see digital marketing as our largest software-as a-service (SaaS) business and it will be $1 billion in three years. There’s an evolution which will happen towards that model. First step is that companies will really be able to understand they can measure impact of their marketing effort. Once you have that in place companies will seek actionable ways to do intelligent things (like target-specific buyers by age or gender).
We believe we are on a multi-phase journey and to begin with, we are doing the plumbing that will help companies measure all information. Omniture helps analyse one trillion transactions every quarter. We will help create new business models for companies in financial services, publishing, retail, travel and other industries which are gearing up for an era of online marketing. It is going to be an ongoing campaign and that’s what digital advertising agencies are also thinking of – it’s a new opportunity for them as well.
What does this customisation mean for jobs. Will there be new kinds of employee skills that companies like Adobe seek?
There are multiple areas of innovation. First, is the creation part, creating new tools. How do you take advantage of these new formats (digital marketing), new screens (mobiles and tablets) and new media types. That’s one area of innovation.
From Adobe’s point of view lot of this is mathematics – how do you deal with all of this large data and make sense of it? We process one trillion transactions per quarter. Looking at all of that data in an easy to use way is a new job skill companies are seeking. Big data is one of the new things that everybody is talking about. We have hired a number of doctorates who are experts in analysing data as well as in predictive modelling.
Do you think companies in India need to do a lot more in understanding the consumer in context of our growing economy?
As India moves on, it is not going to be any different from the models in advanced countries. Companies like makemytrip.com and flipkart.com are seeing explosive growth online. Telecom usage is exploding in India. On new Android-based tablet devices, it is going to be really cheap to get online. When I was growing up, companies like Hindustan Unilever were state-of-the-art in understanding customer behaviour and tailoring distribution. And now it’s all going online. I have no doubt that savvy Indian companies will now look at new ways of improving that.
Is your strategy going to be tablet/smartphone centric rather than creating solutions and products for desktops?
Last year, 400 million desktops were sold and that market is seeing a 14% growth. That’s big and I don’t see the death of the desktop. There’s new growth in smartphones for consumption and tablets for creation of software and we are making sure our solutions support both of them. But for at least another decade we see desktop will be the core platform.
There are three distinct trends – move towards mobile and multiple screens. People don’t talk much about the first screen television, but that will transform a lot. The second trend is more social – what does it mean for me not just from the point of people interacting with me directly but people out there in the social network.
How products are designed and what happens – the immediacy of this, the scale of it is unlike anything that we have seen. Everybody has to deal with social media today.
And the third trend is cloud. Everybody expects access to data anytime, anywhere and this will be enabled via the cloud. These are the three big technology shifts and they are all happening together. That’s also unparalleled.
Earlier, there was just one shift at a time – like shift to client server computing. Now you have all of these happening together and its exploding – it’s exciting time for technology companies.
- Adobe aims to help companies earn from digital marketing spends (vikramonsocialmedia.wordpress.com)
Flagging interest in cricket following India’s elimination from the One-day triangular series in Australia this month is prompting the Indian Premier League (IPL) team owners to leave nothing to chance.
They expect to increase spending on advertising by 10-15% for the new season—which begins on 4 April—compared with the last season, and have also started advertising campaigns by reaching out to fans directly through social media, roadshows and contests involving fans’ participation.
The Mumbai Indians has some of its star players Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh and Rohit Sharma reaching out to the team’s 2.5 million fans by doing personalized videos this year. The team is sending fans on the team’s Facebook page 30-second video clips in which each cricketer personally addresses each fan and shares personal information while thanking them for their support. The campaign, called “Players Become Friends”, will be supported by radio and television with the social/digital medium anchoring it.
“The team (Mumbai Indians) has such a fantastic fan base and we wanted to get closer to them and build a one-on-one relationship instead of doing heavy television advertising,” said Piyush Pandey, executive chairman and creative director, South Asia, at Ogilvy and Mather, the agency behind the campaign.
In the third edition of IPL, Mumbai Indians got about Rs.55 crore in sponsorship, and expects that to double this year, according to a person with direct knowledge of the development, who did not want to be identified.
The Delhi Daredevils team is planning something similar to Mumbai Indians, using social media to organize “banter” between fans and cricketers.
“Social media is not cheap,” said Hemant Dua, GMR sports head (marketing). “You either spend a lot of money or use it intelligently. We are trying to integrate both,” he said, adding that the team will spend significantly more on advertising this year.
Rajasthan Royals is teaming up with Empire Spices to take its brand to the “interiors of Rajasthan and Maharashtra” because typically, its campaign tends to focus on more urban audiences, according to chief executive Raghu Iyer. He added that the team will push for more interaction between fans and captain Rahul Dravid through social networking as part of its advertising spend, which will be 10-15% higher this season.
Dravid, who announced his retirement from domestic and international cricket on Friday, will play this IPL season.
On average, each IPL team spends between $1 million and $1.5 million on promotions and brand building, said Reddy, who expects revenue from local sponsorships and tie-ups to increase 10-15%.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers India, the fourth edition of IPL, in 2011, had advertisement revenue of approximately Rs.1,000 crore. But with India’s cricketing fortunes slumping recently, “teams will look at (additionally) consolidating and connecting with their fan base through promotions”, said Timmy Khandari, executive director and leader entertainment and media at PricewaterhouseCoopers India, while explaining that a shift towards social media is natural.
Chennai Super Kings started a campaign earlier this year through social media to invite fans to name the team mascot. This was done mostly through the team’s Facebook page and on radio. “There is no dramatic change in how we approach the medium,” said Rakesh Singh, joint president (marketing), India Cements Ltd, which owns the team. “But it makes a lot of sense to be active on social networks. We are, for instance, the second most followed team on Twitter after Kolkata Knight Riders.”
Deccan Chargers, too, is taking to roadshows as it tries to connect with a broader base of fans across Visakhapatnam, Orissa and Hyderabad. “Our focus will be on creating a direct connect across our three home grounds,” said Venkat Reddy, chief operating officer, Deccan Chargers.
Many team strategists believe advertising on national television is too expensive and lacks the kind of focus that can be achieved through print, outdoor and social media.
But social media spending will supplement other forms of advertising and not replace them, according to analysts. “Social media will be an additional spend over and above the usual promotional activities. It is an engagement medium and can’t be a replacement for other mediums,” said Jehil Thakkar, executive director, media and entertainment, at consulting firm KPMG India Pvt. Ltd.
- DLF IPL 2012 Schedule and Fixture (amarnaik.wordpress.com)
The problem with social media is that it is powered by thousands of small companies, which may or may not have sound financial backing. Many companies with good finances come up with dud apps or gobble up small companies and then shut them down.
One of the latest to shut down is AOL‘s Brizzly, a Twitter web client. Brizzly held a lot of promise, but never really took off. Though Brizzly was like a breath of fresh air when it was launched, there wasn’t much development to retain customers’ interest.
Google’s attempt to bridge scholarly articles and social media, Knol, also bit the dust. Knol never really picked up after the initial excitement surrounding its launch. Intellectual products like Knol don’t seem to figure in Google’s list of priorities, as Google itself said in its email announcing Knol’s closure: “As part of Google’s prioritisation of product efforts, we will be retiring Knol.”
The Knol ‘closure’ announcement page had a note which said: “Knol will be discontinued as a service, but we’ve worked with Solvitor and Crowd Favorite to create Annotum, an open-source platform based upon WordPress that allows you to continue authoring and publishing scholarly articles.” This could mean that Google has nothing to do with Annotum, other than “working with” others to create it and helping Knol users migrate to Annotum.
This comes after the closure of another Google product – Wave. Again, though Wave had created lot of interest, people really did not understand how to use it.
Both the closures were from big cos. But Brizzly, founded in 2009, was acquired by AOL in 2010. And in 2012, it was curtains for the app. Sometimes, it makes you wonder whether the biggies have any plans at all when they acquire small cos. Brizzly is just one sad example.
- Google retires Knol (philbradley.typepad.com)
Social networking sites might be catching the public’s imagination but Indian companies still feel face-to-face meeting will be the most effective way to lure customers in the next two to three years, says a survey.
A study by global workspace provider Regus, conducted among over 600 senior business managers, has found that a majority of companies (62 per cent) in India believe face-to-face networking will be the most effective way to find new customers over the next two to three years.
Besides, an increasing number of Indian companies (61 per cent) also predicts social media as an effective business tool, compared to 47 per cent in previous three years.
“Face-to-face networking remains the top new business technique, despite a 10 per cent fall over the previous period … The rise and rise of business social media networks mean that today they are as essential a tool to finding new customers as face-to-face interaction,” Regus Global Director (Product and Business Development) Andre Sharpe noted.
However, the increasing importance of professional social networking sites such as BranchOut, Viadeo and Xing stands out in the research, also witnessed by increasing user volumes, with LinkedIn having reached more than 135 million members.
Interestingly, small businesses (65 per cent) believe that face-to-face networking will be key to recruiting customers over the next three years, compared to only 57 of large businesses.
Besides, 59 per cent of respondents also declare online advertising to be one of the top channels to find new customers in the next three years, up from 49 per cent in the previous three years.
Attending trade exhibitions (46 per cent) and public speaking at key events (34 per cent) are also regarded as significant tools for future customer recruitment, the survey noted.