What Earns You Respect?

This week I am teaching a class of management students on #digital marketing. What I find, especially with management students, is the tendency to use jargons. I love jargons too. Nothing wrong in throwing one’s weight using jargons. But when asked for an explanation, if you are wrong or have not understood what the jargon means, you stand exposed. Hence one should be careful. Alternatively practicing to use simple words, to explain, attracts people. It never goes wrong. Not using jargons, no one will run the risk. But using jargons and not able to explain it can undo a lot of things. So be careful while using jargons. What earns you respect is what you can explain simply. I try to teach in simple terms and then introduce jargons. Just an observation from the class. What do you think?

My Thoughts On Technology/Pharma Featured @PharmaVoice

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Growth Via #SocialBusiness : Why Businesses Are Stranded

Just Do ItI discuss #social strategies with many businesses. Everyone understands that it is the way forward. Everyone understands why it has to be sooner than later. But almost everyone takes no action and gets stranded with the decision. They do not move forward. Often during the discussions I hear the reasons.

I talk about mapping their current practices to digital equivalents. That is not easy with their current practices.

Some of the reasons I generally see are:

  • Businesses are not transparent with their employees/customers/stakeholders/partners.
  • Business owners want total control of the situation. They fail to realize that customers don’t need their permissions to talk about them.
  • The team knows they are not good with customer service.
  • Businesses know they are not sincere.
  • They know they do not have great products.
  • They know they want to retain hierarchichal structure with total control.
  • Most of them think customer education will make it difficult for them to sell/serve. So they don’t want to initiate customer education. They think explaining about their products/services, in a way to sell them, is customer education. They are so naive sometimes. They want to wait out till customer learns on their own.

They are more afraid that their not-so-good face will come out openly and hit them badly. They ask me how they can control things. They want to know if there is a way to project only the good face. They ask me if they can partially do whatever. They ask me who will take responsibility.

They are right not going #social with these drawbacks. #social is not a plug-in.

I tell them how they can start and change their businesses using #social and use it as an opporunity to both correct the drawbacks and also to have their dream fulfilled towards the future.

Remembering A Friend

We lost a friend this morning.

I was 24 when I met him as a colleague. He was a senior. But we immediately became friends as if we had always been together. Our friendship was a natural extension of ourselves. He spoke good English. I looked up to him to fine-tune my language. I enjoyed his company. He spoke with a vocabulary which was beyond my reach. He made me at ease and helped me learn. He did crossword puzzles and that made him a demi-god to me. He taught all about it to me. I had another peer colleague who is as good with language. Hence we became three-some awesome friends. This senior guy was just then married. When his mom was with him at home, he used to take us to feed us, the bachelors. If not, he used to invite us saying we had to be guinea pigs as his new wife learned to cook and gave us wonderful food made by his wife. He included us when we were in town to the dinner outings that he took his wife to. He had a car and four of us always went out in that red maruthi car. We always went to that town knowing well we had a bro and a home.

We had many funny moments. He was good at catching me with my inadequacies and teased in a way that I enjoyed them the most. He taught me humour. He taught that the definition of humour is that the person at whom it is aimed at should be able to enjoy it the most. This taught me good humour.

His was the first car that I got into and drew my inspiration to make it a senior(car was a senior’s privilege) by hard work. When I got mine, I told him that. There was a day when we ran out of petrol in his car. For years to come it became a starting point to remember those old days. Once we drove up a hill with the hand-brake on and we came to know about it when we smelt the smoke of the tyre. On all occassions he was solid with his humour. I could have never learnt to think when in distress if not for his kind of humour.

He was big. A well-built man. Big eyes. Quick tongued humour. Impeccable language. A soft heart. Sincere in relationships. Better than a reel hero in looks, and a real hero as a person.

He accepted a special programme initiated by the company in those days. When I inquired as to why he accepted it, he told me that he heard about the markets of the special programme, and since it was closer to the station that I was based, he took it. His thoughts floored me. All the time during the special programme visits, we had a gala time. He was liked by many to the extent that some of the seniors were even possessive to let us be his friends with the same closeness. That only increased our love for him.

I met him a few years before at his house function. Same big hug. Same warmth. Same humour. I shall just remain with those thoughts forever.

I never thought, with the kind of healthcare in this age, genetic predisposition can strike someone with lame things like heart attack.

My prayers to Lord Renganatha to give strength to the family and all of us, friends, to cope up with this huge loss.

Last but not the least, thanks to the common friend who thought of me(after all these years) and informed me the news. Thanks buddy that you understood our friendship, and how close I was to him.

Is There A Plug-in For #SocialSuccess?


I visited a company who wanted to listen to me on the ways to use #social for their existing business. As usual, I started with my one-slide Ramayana (I picked up the slide from the internet) and also showed one slide #socialsuccess theme prepared for them and detailed the rest of my ideas. Since the company is a large one and the directors of the company are well-versed on many things, my job was easy. They already knew all the “blah blah” about #socialmedia. They are also extensively using it personally. They agreed that using-personally and building-a-brand-on-it are two different things.

Now you see, it was so easy to talk to them.

The crucial question they had: who will do it? Who will implement it?
My simple answer: All of them together.

My take was:

They should map the existing success steadily into digital prints. At all levels. This will give the necessary confidence.
They should look at integrating the whole company with #social. Not necessarily all at one go, but eventually. But the integration thought process should be there from day-one.
They can choose areas of experimentation within the businesses and start somewhere to learn. Then roll out.
They can start internally and slowly move out externally(customer-facing activities).
In all of the above, they should concentrate on “conversations” be it internal or external.

We discussed many examples and some examples that I could think of from their own domain,I gave. They were too good and hence could understand it completely.

Will they move forward? They might.

If they dont, it will either be because of reluctance to move(let-us-wait-and-see-kind) or the belief in that myth of a plug-in called #socialsuccess which they will continue to look for and loose more time without realizing that there is no plug-in called #socialsuccess that a business could use readily.

I am happy from the time that we need to tell businesses that they need #social for business we have moved to how/who/when kind of questions.

We Are Moving Forward

Build The New

2014 has been a good year in terms of prospective clients realizing the importance of eCommerce. I have been advocating to include eCommerce strategy as a part of overall strategy rather than drop-everything-do-this kind of advise. From objections of the kind “I dont think my customers are out there” to “you don’t know my industry”, business owners have moved to asking “Is it too early?” and “Should I do it stand alone or integrate within my current work-flow?”. These are being discussed at length in meetings off-late. This is a good sign. Current heated topics include “Do I need to outsource or do I need to build it inside?”. I always recommend that you build it inside. The reasons are obvious. Going forward it will become an asset. If you outsource, you might make a marginal better beginning(which I can argue otherwise easily) but you will come back to square-one the day it stops to work. Also you will not build instuitional memories along the learning curve. You might even disrupt the current set up by outsourcing as comparisons will soon start happening.

Many a times after long discussions the business owners ask me “what next”. I recommend

  1. Implementation of internal productivity tools
  2. Mapping eCommerce Strategy as part of overall strategy
  3. Social conversations

and exactly in that order.

First half of 2015 will tell me how fast businesses will move and what more we need to teach them.

I look forward to your comments and feel free to discuss.

A Secret That Works Well For Me

MindLet me quickly share a secret which works well.
I have been working with #socialbiz (short for Social Business) advisory services and with SME customers in many parts of the world for almost 5 years now in a full-fledged way.
Most of the times customers agree to everything I say but finally ends up with
“I am not yet ready for expenses”
It is always this, when it comes to #socialmedia.
Many of us would agree that it is not true, but we need to accept customers’ answers. What is the way out?
My way out:
I tell them: Ok. I will accept “what you can pay” or “free for certain amout of time” with two riders: 1. I will deal with only the decision-maker while working with your project or company 2. You(the decision-maker) have to put in your time and learn with me.
This is a beautiful filter. If the first objection is false, then customers will find another excuse for this and hence they are not worthy enough to cater to.
If the first objection is genuine, they will take my offer. Once they spend time and learn with me, there is no going back and understand the significance of what I am saying and see the value-for-money. So I win over the client and the trust that develops through this method is long-standing.
Its a win-win situation.

Data Sense With Google



What Should Healthcare Marketers Know?

These are my views addressing Healthcare marketers who are coming in (with technology) for the future. A twitter conversation with @HealthIsSocial is shared to encourage you to post your comments.

Healthcare Conversations

A Lecture On Social Media And Its Impact In Business

YES Chennai 2014

I was invited to give a lecture by YES Chennai Chapter. They heard about my talk at YES Ramnad and invited to deliver this. Word Of Mouth promotion within YES.

A few years before atleast 4-5 people would argue that socialmedia was a fad and it would not work. Now there are no objections and more agreements. Atleast 5-6 people tweet and get connected right at the venue of the talk. A few people follow-up with a “follow” via social networking platforms, email and phone. Thats good sign. Everyone seems to be in agreement that socialmedia can do good and bring about the much needed growth. Hope it moves onto action and business growth in a few years. I try and put in the seed for #socbiz so that they can catch up faster.

2014: Video year for me

This time I hired a person with EOS 5D Mark II camera and had taken some clippings which I can use as promotional videos. I have been thinking of using videos for promotion and looks this year I will give it a try and learn it. This especially looks important  as I advise more customers about using videos for their businesses.

Looks an exciting year ahead with #socialmedia implementation for customers. Keep in touch to know more.