Got any room for cricket?

IPL

IPL,The Indian Premier League started out as a platform for young generation of Indian players to showcase their talent and also increase the universal aspect of the sport.Needless to say,this has been possible because of the sponsors and brands that have invested their money in this sport to advertise themselves as much as possible. Cricket is the sport with most viewership across India.And while conducting about 60 matches in 45-47 days, IPL is the one league that steals most of it.So all the brands see it as a potential market.

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Before 2008,cricket had been a sport that had been utilized by brands but not to a great extent. But now,this scenario has completely changed.For instance,many brands do not hesitate to pay anywhere in the ballpark of 5 to 10 crores just to get their logo featured upon the jersey.This may seem ridiculous but the amount of promotion that this jersey providesthem is immense.Also,the demand for IPL is soaring so high that advertisers are ready to payabout 10 crores for an ad of a duration of just 10 seconds. IPL is itself worth more than 5.3 billion and no longer depends upon cricket. It is the money now that decides who wins or loses. Each match is worth as much as any English football Premier League match.

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Brand value

Vivo became the title sponsor with a bid of 338 million in the year 2018.Each brand has spent atleast 54 crores on their respective franchise. Thus the lessons that can be derived from all this are that the game has turned into a business completely now. The players just resemble puppets that carry the load of the logos of various brands on their jerseys.The game has turned into a money making machine like institution. Also due to some match fixing and spot fixing scandals, the viewership that is primarily dedicated towards watching good and honest cricket is decreasing rapidly. Zee entertainment is even offering a joint package for brands to advertise themselves at 40 percent less price than the IPL, VIVO, Videocon, Jio, JBL are some of the many brands that are using IPL as means to promote themselves. This kind of advertising helps because it is repetitive and like a flash in the eye each time,it sinks into the minds of the viewers.

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The viewership of IPL is a whooping 202 million across online platform like hotstar. The viewership across television accounts to an average of 33.1 million. IPL is now not limited just to television,newspapers and stadium but the matches are also screened in cinema halls and online.So the viewership has widened even more. Cricket is more like a religion in India and our brands know it,so they try to steal a piece of the prize.

 

Oh So Niche!

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Let me start with the technical definition on Niche!

…that appeal to a small or specialised section of the population.

Niche Marketing are the strategies and communication designed for products and services meant for special audience. Segmenting and Targeting a set of people is often confused with Niche Marketing. However, this difference lies in identifying a subset of the targeted group with special or specific attributes and marketing the product or services designed for their specific needs.

Some niche markets can be the entire TG while others might just be a small portion of the entire market. So conclusively, targeting and niche marketing can be called mutually inclusive of each other but cannot be tagged as the same.

This strategy might sound like something meant only for a special kind of product or a service but here’s the catch. Any brand with a large and generic TG can narrow down its offerings to suit a subset of existing market. This subset maybe a small percentage of the larger TG but can be highly profitable and winning over it could mean rising to become a market leader for some brands.

So, how are both similar, digital marketing smudges out the boundaries between targeted and niche marketing. Digital Marketing is based on quantifiable metrics and the ability to target specifically is what differentiates it from traditional marketing of the past. Branding campaigns are no longer restricted to mass marketing campaigns requiring significant investment of money. Niche marketing is not a new concept but has evolved in the digital era mainly as digital marketing has reduced the entry barriers for marketing initiatives. Niche marketing provides greater ROI at the expense of lesser resources, as this strategy has the ability to create specific personas for a niche whilst creating a unique brand identity- which can be leveraged in the rest of the market segments.

Another advantage of niche marketing is that it enables a brand to develop authority and expertise amongst its niche audience. Marketing campaigns with a wider scope today, use niche segmentation to deliver personalized messages to audiences along their sales cycle. E.g. A brand shows a generic mass market video to the TG and uses the data from it to execute remarketing campaigns. These remarketing campaigns are based on initial behaviour of the TG and attempt to convert them into leads.

The consumer brand Divvies which sells sweet treats and snacks, created products catering for vegans and with food allergies. They targeted this potential niche while staying away from the saturated general market. This gave them not only a unique brand identity but also a high ROI on their marketing initiatives. This is one amongst a plethora of success stories achieved through targeting a niche segment.

Another company named, Lefty’s: The Left-Hand Store carved out a business for that 10% of the population who are left-handers and have had to manage with products designed for the right handers. They saw success by serving this 10% of the population.

 

Once a brand has identified its core competency and it’s USP, an in-depth industry research along with an extensive keyword search can play the most crucial role in redefining the market strategy for brands. While sometimes it can also lead to a completely new product design for a niche segment, at other times it can help the company realise its biggest strength and play by them to beat competition.

 

If this article inspires you to think differently you could write to us and meet us over a cup of coffee. Please visit us on www.steroidsbrand.com or mail us on mails.steroids@seroidsbrand.com

Neuromarketing – A Tale of Two Campaigns

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A consumer in today’s digital era is exposed to over 4000 advertisements on a daily basis – the fact that most of us are not aware of this number is so high, goes on to show the ineffectiveness of the majority of the advertisements. Big Brands allocate immense resources on producing powerful slogans, brilliant ad copies, and high-quality products- so that the advertisements are successful.  Despite immaculate planning, not all campaigns are successful – some even have the misfortune of being politically incorrect and end up going viral for all the wrong reasons.

These contradictions are not easily explained by fundamental marketing principles and have made successful campaigns a ‘hit or miss’ enigma amongst marketers. Neuromarketing now attempts to rationalize all these contradictions and decipher the formula for a successful advertising campaign.

What does Neuromarketing bring to the table?

Neuromarketing involves the direct application of brain scanning, imaging, and other brain activity measurement technology to quantify a consumer’s response to the advertisement. In certain cases, the respondents perceive consciously these techniques, but even then, the insights gathered are much more valuable and unattainable by using traditional market research methods.

The focus of Neuromarketing is two – pronged: to identify how the consumers’ minds react on seeing an advertisement and how those reactions impact the decision-making process. This translates to gathering actionable insights into the functional mind of the consumers and leveraging the insights for more effective marketing strategies. Let’s look at two diverse examples of big brands and how Neuromarketing can be regarded as the differentiating factor.

Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize…We did not intend to make light of any serious issue.”

This was Pepsi’s official statement after having to pull out the now infamous 2017 Pepsi Ad featuring Kendall Jenner. The advertisement titled ‘Live for Now moments anthem’ cost anywhere between $2-5 million and had a media buy of over $100 million- the end result being it was pulled down within 24 hours of public outcry and both Pepsi and influencer Kendell Jenner faced heavy backlash for the advertisement.

How did such a costly misadventure happen to a well-planned and laid out advertising campaign?

A traditional analysis of the debacle leaves way too much room for error – as they are based on assumptions and personal biases of the individuals. A neuro-based analysis was done for this ad and it consisted of biometric engagement- heart rate, galvanic skin response

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The findings are as follows:

  1. The first insight that is clearly visible is that a significant portion of the advertisement falls below neutral engagement – represented by the purple line. The viewers’ disengagement with those parts led to loss of information given out in the ad.

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2. The downward trend of engagement in the first minute of the ad shows that it is not         able to capture the attention of the viewer as the ad progresses – mainly due to the           context and dissociation of creative content with the target group.

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3. The same is verified by the eye tracking data which shows scattered heat maps –               viewers did not have a central focal point during the first minute of the ad.

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4. Another interesting insight was that the viewers had positive engagement of the ad          overall and the characters were mostly likeable with the exception of Kendall Jenner –    who was roped in cause of her influence over today’s generation.

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5. Things take a negative turn after minute one, as evident from the data above. Heat            maps showed that the moment Kendall Jenner gave the Pepsi can to the police –              viewers were fixated on that, but with negative reactions owing mainly to the feeling        of trivializing and exploiting the ‘Black Lives Matters’ movement.

These in-depth insights are clearly dug out by neuromarketing techniques and the inclusion of neuromarketing techniques during the strategy formulation phase will not only help brands evade controversies but also result in more effective campaigns overall.

Let’s take a look at the brand using neuromarketing – an advertisement campaign based on neuromarketing insights

Hyundai, the 3rd largest automotive group globally is a shining example of business success – starting as a Korean brand to a global giant. Hyundai has always been a proponent of cutting-edge technologies and methodologies. Hyundai was also one of the early adopters of Neuromarketing at a time when most companies were still debating the validity of neuromarketing and some even calling it a pseudo-science.

Hyundai undertook a neuro-based study consisting of 30 men and women to test a sporty silver model back in 2011. These 15 men and 15 women were tasked to stare carefully at the various parts of the test car- including the bumper, the tires, and the windshield. Hyundai used EEG Techniques by putting electrode-studded caps on the heads of the viewers and captured their brain activity while they viewed at the car for a long period of an hour.  Their brain activity shed light on the preferences that most likely impact the purchasing decisions.

“We want to know what consumers think about a car before we start manufacturing thousands of them,”

-Dean Macko, Manager, Brand strategy at Hyundai Motor America

This neuromarketing based study was conducted to both find the consumer preferences impacting the decision-making process and also to evaluate Hyundai’s design philosophy. Hyundai was one of the early adopters of what we all know as the Fluidic Sculpture-which is heavily influenced by nature and its success is clearly evident from other companies adopting similar design philosophies.

Based on the feedback of such neuromarketing studies, Hyundai tweaked the exterior to align with consumer preferences. The important insights were from the subconscious aspect of the subjects’ minds which hugely impact their thinking process and in turn, their decision making.

Traditional market research techniques cannot dive into the human subconscious. These two case studies clearly show the quantifiable and objective nature of neuromarketing – a much-needed aspect for advertisers in today’s hyper-competitive digital world.

 

Marketing Question: Quora

You must have used Quora to find answers or help out people with their problems, or at least heard of this crowd sourcing question-answer platform. But what you don’t know is that there is a lot more to Quora than being a just a question-answer platform.

In today’s digital age of hyper-competitiveness, businesses are leaving no stone unturned to achieve the best results and Quora can be viewed as a major channel for marketing.

Founded back in 2009, Quora claims to have well over 300 million active users per month. Quora is a question-answer blogging platform where people put up their queries and experts provide answers to them. The origins of Quora can be traced back to the days of Yahoo answers but as a more professional community, more features and organized product.

Quora has a large active user base looking for answers and your brand/service or offering can be the answers that they are ‘actively’ looking for. Conversions from such an audience will always be higher than traffic that needs to be nurtured. People looking for solutions- that is the dream way for marketers to get their attention.

Quora is segmented topic wise and each topic gives you access to a particular niche. Narrowing down your TG segments, crafting more specific messages and bringing the right kind of traffic becomes a cake walk on Quora.

Quora can prove to be a great research resource. Quora can sometimes tell a lot about your TG and help you gather popular beliefs, opinion and insights about your competition.

Quora Influencers are more trusted and looked upon as subject matter specialists. It is an excellent tool for reaching out to influencers. Specially when your objective encompasses a change in brand positioning, launch of a new service/additional feature in your product or enhancing the brand’s image, Quora influencers can do wonders for your brand.

Quora is an excellent tool for branding purposes. By answering questions related to your company or industry in general, it enables you to demonstrate domain expertise and improve the brand image of the company.

So, the next time you are up to the task of making a communications strategy, think of the best ways in which you could use Quora. To know more you can reach out to Varuna Singh.

The Third Eye of Marketing -NeuroMarketing

In today’s digital landscape where marketers are vying for every second of the customers’ attention, traditional market research methodologies of surveys, focus groups, interviews, etc. are falling short in terms of bringing out the real needs and wants of the customers. Neuroscience proves that purchase decisions are deep rooted within subconscious, which most often than not is unknown even to the consumers who are being asked survey questions in the traditional research techniques. The major implication of Neuromarketing is that at times, findings go against our instincts and leads to higher marketing returns.

Neuromarketing is all about understanding how the human brain works and the real needs, wants, feelings, emotions of your TG and then realigning your traditional marketing tools and techniques to communicate effectively to your customers. Neuromarketing mainly uses two basic methods of tracking prospects’ brain activity: functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and electroencephalography (EEG).

fMRI is used by using a powerful magnet to track the brain’s blood flow and observe how subjects respond to audio and visual cues. This allows examiners to access the “pleasure center” and enable marketers to predict how the audience will respond to their work. The EEG electrodes measure electrical waves produced by the brain and allow researchers to measure instinctual emotions- anger, excitement, sorrow, and lust through fluctuations of activity. In layman terms, we can define Neuromarketing as quantifying a person’s responses to develop business insights.
It is not just the cutting-edge technological marvels in Neuromarketing that has got all the big brands using it extensively to gain competitive advantage. It is also the research findings that play a game changing role in helping the marketers make strategies for incredible campaigns that go beyond human intuitions.
AirBnB used a HBR Research as the foundation for one of its most successful campaigns – ‘New Yorkers Agree: Airbnb is great for New York City’. This ad campaign featured the heart touching story of one of the AirBnB host’s Carol Williams – ‘Meet Carol’, which showed how AirBnB helped her survive the financial crunch post her husband’s demise. This campaign created an emotional brand image for AirBnB and made it very relatable to a major section of their prospective customers. The video was not about what AirBnB offers in terms of financial incentives or its pricing structure but how inducting AirBnB in Williams’ life changed it for the better – the financial part was simply implied. The important insight gained from this example is that marketing tells us to focus on the core product and price, but AirBnB completely neglected them to focus solely on the emotional triggers – backed by data and hard evidence. This is just one example out of hundreds of successful campaigns of big brands using the power of Neuromarketing. Neuromarketing should not be viewed as a different branch of marketing but more as a framework for gathering insights on which to formulate marketing strategies and campaigns.

Let’s have a look at some of the interesting findings of Neuromarketing:
1. Fonts: In theory, selection of fonts may appear to be based on personal preference but Neuromarketing teaches us that Simple fonts encourage actions and conversions whereas complex fonts boost memory recall. This has far reaching consequences as this finding dictates that all website content, forms and instructions should be written in simple, easy to understand manner and simple fonts. A complex font visually stands out and can be used to grab the viewer’s attention.
2. Direct Gaze: Viewers often at what the person in the ad or video is looking at and as such, it is important to have eye contact with the viewer to increase engagement and make the experience more immersive.
3. Earn Trust: The best way to earn the trust of the audience is by showing trust. Free trials, free resources like eBooks, webinars and tutorials are a good for a company to earn the trust of its audience.
4. Smile: A smiling photograph always triumphs a serious looking one and this is an important criterion while selection stock images.
5. Peer endorsements are more effective than celebrity endorsements and this finding has given rise to the culture of influencer marketing. Celebrities often lack the credibility factor and expertise on the product and in comparison, with the celebrity, viewers often see a drop in their self-esteem which spills over to the brand. Peer endorsers or influencers are more relatable to their audiences and have a higher impact on the decision-making process of the customer.
6. Product Placement: In the age of ad blockers and people shunning away from ads, Product Placement has a higher effect on increasing the attention to the product but at same time, owing to regulations which force makes it mandatory to announce regarding the product placement in the movie/video, the bran attitude takes a hit.
7. Cialdini’s Scarcity Principle: This Neuromarketing principle has been widely applied across diverse industries with tremendous success. Nike’s limited-edition sneakers always cause tremendous mayhem amongst its loyal customer base when they are released. Another proven example is the limited time offer of McDonald’s McRibs. This is called marketing with scarcity. Marketers create a time limited offer or a product with dwindling supplies and are able to create a sense of urgency to bolster sales. The latest in the line of Limited-edition strategy are mobile phones – usually sold in flash sales.

Illume Minutiae

We illume the minutiae.
We pick, pick and pick away… on every idea, every thought that we come across.

Constantly asking “Why?”
Our response to every answer is “Why Not?”

That’s how we think. We work on the trivial details. We focus on little things. There are things that seem least important. Well, we bicker over them.

We quip on our own ideas and we get highly emotional, then we soon enough get excessively cynical about these emotions.

That’s how we are growing and developing our perspectives each day.

Swelling Beyond Horizons