Sunday, January 24, 2016

Customer Experience Driven By Social Media Intelligence

With internet & social media, customer experience has completely changed over time. It has brought brands closer and accessible to customers and vice versa enabling real time conversation. The always connected consumer immediately gets to know the good, the bad & the ugly about a brand. All thanks to social media, phew! 
"Advent of social technologies has led to shifting demographics, real time sharing & adding sheer dynamism to marketing." - Dinesh Kulchandra
Indians make use of various communication channels to talk about customer service experiences. 
Did you know? According to American Express Customer Service Barometer, Indians continue to be the most digital savvy with 71% utilizing social media to get a customer service response. 
Embrace digital platforms to deliver better customer experience 
Companies should embrace digital platforms to build personal connect with their audience. In the past, if a customer had bad experience with the product or company, there wasn't much they could do about it, but now they can tell the entire world about a poor experience they have had with the product/company. Internet has given consumers a powerful voice and they're not afraid to use it. 
 78% of online customers recommend a brand to friends & other contacts after a great customer experience - @helpscout 
Interestingly, it's said that customers who engage with companies over social media are more loyal - @Talkdesk 
Social media can be a blessing for businesses that use it well and a curse for those that don't. Today’s networked & omni-channel customers demand personalization and prompt response from the companies. When customers reach out to companies on social media, they expect a response:
  • 15% in less than an hour
  • 46% in 24 hours or less
  • 14% in 48 hours or less
  • 25% never
With social media playing an imperative role in delivering better customer service, analytics plays a HUGE role in understanding consumer behavior & personalize their brand journey to enhance their experience. 
Social analytics provide useful insights which can help make smarter and better decisions. It touches across multiple user generated interactions impacting customer experience. Smart companies use analytics to figure out deeper issues with their product or service and resolve them.
While social media lends itself to creating communities, social analytics helps with engaged communities. Customer experience driven by social media Intelligence helps in building highly engaged communities - @Gartner_inc 
To conclude, here's an interesting info graphic by @Talkdesk which highlights the best practices for boosting customer service on your phone and social media.
 Best Practices to Boost Your Customer Service Across Channels

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Digital Marketing for Indian Startups

The Indian startup ecosystem has really taken off in the recent years. India has paved its way to
secure the third position in the world in terms of the number of startups. According to a recent report by NASSCOM-Zinnov, India is one of the first five largest startup communities in the world with the number of startups crossing 4,200, a growth of 40%, by the end of 2015! It's indeed fascinating to see the startup boom in India. Gone are the days when Silicon Valley used to be considered the "only place" for startups!

That said, Indian startup ecosystem faces quite a few challenges - from scaling up, to marketing their product & services. 

'Great marketing starts with a great product!'

Today, consumers have such a strong voice through social media that they can either propel a product to stardom or obsolescence! As Sorav Jain rightly pointed out during the #SocialPowWow Twitter chat, it's imperative for a startup to pick the right medium and put together a competent marketing team at an initial stage. 

"While building a great product is the key, marketing is the keyhole which opens doorway to customers" - Sorav Jain

Most Indian startups put money in product, processes, people etc. but do not allocate the right budgets for marketing. Startups must plan and know how much they can spend and over what time period. Poor marketing strategy can lead to a failed startup.  

With the evolution of social media over the years, digital has become the go to medium to attract and engage consumers. 

According to EY’s second annual social media marketing India trends study, about 90% of organizations reached out to in the study planned to spend as much as 15% of their annual marketing budget exclusively on social media, up from 78% organizations in 2013. 

Indian startups should invest in smart custom audience based marketing on Twitter, Facebook and Google for brand recall. Digital marketing not only helps in getting leads and sales conversion, but also helps the brands to understand consumer behaviour.

Analytics in fact, play an important role in understanding consumer's journey. While social media lends itself to creating communities, social analytics helps with engaged communities.

"Make community building and audience development a primary goal of your digital strategy. A startup can't make it with out" - Kelly Hungerford

So if you are a startup or an upcoming startup OR an upcoming unicorn: Be nimble. Experiment with social media strategies. Be willing to change strategies or tweak if not working. Don't be rigid!

Note: Digital marketing & marketing challenges for startups was discussed during the #SocialPowWow Twitter chat and the full transcript of both the chats can be read here: /