Monday, March 29, 2010

Humour Marketing

Humour marketing is one of the tools of marketing, through which brands are marketing their products and services with the ting of humour in it. This is different from traditional marketing, where the main aim was just to inform people about their products and services. Persuasive nature of humour has forced brand to think beyond advertising. Studies have shown that 94% of marketing practitioners see humour as an effecting way to gain attention. Humour marketing helps in arousing curiosity thereby enhances liking. ‘Humour marketing’ is just like a ‘viral marketing’; it automatically gets its own life and starts spreading like a virus. Everybody wants to see it, and when they do, they all want to share it.
The success of humour marketing lies, when marketers infuse emotion in advertisement, be the unexpected, offer more than product and have some sequel and connect with comment. I remember Sony made Bravia TV ‘bouncy ball’ ad, product was not seen but has a strong recognition. Studies show that many of the most memorable ad campaigns around tend to be funny. Audiences like to be entertained, but not pitched. Just take the example of ‘crazy frog’, it started off as a ring tone of a humorous ad campaign and has become biggest selling ring tone in the world. Traditional marketing strategy is more of ‘target marketing’ but as we delve into the core of ‘humour marketing’, it is beyond ‘target marketing’. Examples of double mint chew gum and Max New York life insurance has great sense of humour in it. Humour is the blood of media, whether its on-line media or off-line media. This supplements the very nature of marketing and gives them an innovative angle to package the product. There is a thin line between funny and obnoxious, so marketers have to be cautious enough to include humour in marketing communication. Benefits of humour marketing:

Humour helps increase brand reach- Humour marketing is one of the fastest ways to increase brand recall by boosting mind share. Here marketers don’t have to push the brand again. Brands embraced with social media are the perfect example of it. Any content with humour reaches to million in a fraction of second. If a brand makes users laugh then this relationship will help the brand to reach more and more just like viral marketing. Whenever anybody utter ‘Amul’, only two words come in mind and that is ‘utterly, butterly’ and ‘The taste of India’. It has started 40 years ago in 1967 and still fresh in the mind of people.
Humour gives new dimension to brand- Humour marketing is more than reaching one users to another easily and quickly. This helps in product extension and an effective tool to inter into social media like facebook, twitter etc. Humour also adds a visual dimension to a marketing strategy and differentiates the brand from competitors. ‘Raj ma’ ad of kurkure is more than an ad. Radio channels are airing the contest related to the ad. If we talk about ZooZoo, there are toys and merchandises have available in the market.
Humour increase brand engagement- Humour marketing not only help in brand building but also build relationship with consumers by engaging them in various product offering like games, merchandise etc. Users feel the brand association and spread the positive word of mouth. Ultimately the close-up ad ‘kya ap close-up karte ho’ has an amazing sense of humour. Even people started singing in the same tone. There are ample of examples that have changed the face of brands with humour marketing.

I think we would all agree that ‘HUMOUR’ sells, just think about one television commercial as an example. The one we all remember and don’t mind seeing again and again is our add sensation ‘ZooZoo’. I still remember when this ‘ZooZoo’ commercial came and this became the buzz word in on-line media as well as off-line media. This commercial was created to promote the value added services (VAS) of Vodaphone during IPL 2. As ‘VAS’ is the cash cow for cellular industries so, Hutch turned Vodaphone came with a new concept. This ‘ZooZoo’ commercial was a melange of creativity as well as humour. Everybody was pondering about their birth; it was neither an alien nor a puppet. It was a semi alien semi-human character living in an earth like place.
Success of ‘ZooZoo’ was more than the humour content; way of storytelling was an amazing concept. Vodaphone has decided to air 25 distinct commercial in this campaign, each laden with different story. I still remember I used to copy ZooZoo’walk. These presentations have taken the advertising to the next level and it’s beyond marketing. The engagement of ‘ZooZoo’ in social media is an avid example like Facebook, twitter and You tube. Now the brand association of ZooZoo has reached the zenith. People have started buying its merchandise like toys, t-shirt etc.

Take away: Every success has the risk quotient, and those who dare reach the zenith. Humour helps both in retention and attention. It operates on an emotion level thereby has a sense of brand association. Humour sells, so it doesn’t mean that every ad will have humour in it. It’s very important to decide whether or not to use humour. Type of product has a great implication on marketing communication. With the advent of digital media and new communication technologies has ushered in a fresh wave of humour marketing.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The state of digital marketing in India

Digital marketing is a media vehicle to promote a product or a service through Internet, mobile or any other interactive channel. The concept of digital marketing started during 1990’s with the emergence of Internet evolution. We further divide digital marketing into Pull vs. Push.

Pull digital marketing: This involves the user who seek out and directly grab the content via blog, specific links/sites and streaming media.
Push digital marketing: Content is being sent by SMS, RSS and EMAIL.

Rapid changes that are occurring in on-line/digital marketing, reshaping the way businesses and consumers interact with each other. Advertisers are eager to understand and utilize the Internet technology to build customer relationship. It has become an effecting tool for marketing communications medium. This has resulted in an array of one-to-one, real time, personalized product and target marketing. Digital marketing has given birth to customized marketing that is closely linked to individual customers’ needs and wants with goods, services and information just a mouse click away. Internet advertising has recaptured the imagination of marketers, who see a massive potential to raze the profile of their brand through digital marketing tactics like:
 Blogging
 Microblogging (Twitter)
 Blogger relation
 Email marketing
 Social media advertising
 Social network participation
 Search engine optimization
 Pay per click
 Cost per acquisition (CPA)
 Cost per impression (CPI)
 Streaming media (Audio and Video marketing)

Growth factors for digital marketing:
Internet user base- India has witnessed continuous growth in the Internet adoption majorly in urban areas. There are 50 million Internet users, but numbers of claimed and active Internet users are 57 million and 42 million. Internet access growth started accelerating in 2002 and changes the face of Web and Email. Even Internet has starting penetrating to the bottom of pyramid.
Web 2.0- It manifests itself as a social network and facilitates interactive information sharing on the World Wide Web. The ‘Web 2.0’ has changed the face of off –line marketing tactics and offering ways to dramatically improve marketing reach while simultaneously reducing cost. This includes web-based communities, web applications, social-networking sites, video sharing sites, wikis and blogs. This user driven online services has catches the attention of marketers.
Emergence of social media- The term ‘Social Media’ was used first after LinkedIn created their social network application in 2004. The very concept has risen steadily in 2006Social media has a huge base roughly Facebook having 350 million and Twitter having 50 million users. . Recent studies indicates that social media is becoming a more important part of the ‘global media consumption’ for internet users. ‘Gen Y’ the future consumer eats, drinks and sleep social media.
Mobile marketing- Mobile penetration in India is the second highest in the world today. There are 350 million mobile subscribers in India and every month over 8 million users are being added. Mobile value added services, smart phones and 3G technologies, have made this sector even more lucrative.
Online activities- With the advent of Internet, users are involving in online activities with double fold. Users have got various reasons like:
• Job search
• Instant messaging/chatting
• Check general news
• Dating/friendship
• Check sports (other than cricket)
• Check cricket content/score
• English information search engine
• Matrimonial search
• Streaming media (audio and video)
• Download music
• Games

Currently digital advertising has a very small component of total advertising spend and that is only 4%. Current studies have shown that, Indian online advertising market is Rs 245 crores and it will experience the highest growth over the next five year. As digital advertising is continued to grow, so marketers need to understand the implication of various parameters of consumer behaviour. The challenge for marketers is to have a clear and deeper understanding of every media vehicle so that can selectively target right users. Internet has opened up a lot of opportunities for marketers for targeting customers in an interactive and informative way. Digital advertising fruit full for target and personalize marketing and gather information across geographical boundaries in accost effective manner. Digital advertising not only helps in lead generation but also result in brand building. As the influence of Internet is surmounting, marketers should take a collaborative approach. Still with having this vast users base growth of online display advertising is very less compared to other developed countries. Companies should monitor its need and accordingly shape up their digital advertising content. Digital advertising consist of banner ads, sponsorship links, pop-ups content based ads and rich media. In India marketers are still apprehensive about digital marketing. Lack of awareness and lack of expertise might be the reason for not delving into this sector.

Take away- Recent financial debacle in the US and its aftermath on the India economy has resulted in differences in market dynamics. However increase of Internet user base, extensive usage of Internet by political parties for elections and consistently usages of Internet for advertising by SMEs are the whooping factors strongly supporting for sustained growth of ‘Internet Marketing/digital advertising’ market in India. The above data points are yet to mature in India and secondly this growth is likely to driven by, when local languages have a sizable share in Internet domain.