Wednesday, 26 December 2012

She.....



I met her even before I opened my eyes in this big bad world. Since then she has always remained an inseparable part of my existence. I have experienced the carefreeness of childhood, the fantasies of adolescence and the responsibilities of adulthood in her presence; sometimes learning the lessons she taught me, harshly, and sometimes trying to imbibe her expectations with a willful and an unquestioning obedience of a mentee. 33 years is not a small time period to share your existence with someone, and pass off so easily, unscathed. We have gone through both the thick and thin of this beautiful relationship, which has had its own moments of laughter, happiness, sadness, disappointment and even self-doubt, but at the end of the day, it was just another lesson learnt. It’s strange, but despite having spent a huge amount of time with an entity that influenced my thoughts and actions in every possible manner, I never asked her name, maybe because somewhere down my heart I trusted her every opinion-driven act towards me; that it was for my betterment and long-term success. After all, as the legendary Shakespeare said, “what’s in a name?”

But humans will be humans.....one of God’s most unique, innovative, but also restless and impatient creations. So last night before retiring, I had a brief conversation with her, summarizing all the different facets of our companionship in these many years. I can tell you she was enjoying every bit of it. That sparkle in her eyes could simply not be ignored. Taking advantage of her trance, just when the time was right, I asked her, “Hey! What’s your name?”

She was taken aback by surprise for a moment, followed by a long and loud silence that appeared to question my common sense for the first time in these years.

After a period of tortuous calmness, she replied shyly, “LIFE”.     

Monday, 15 October 2012

October 16th 2012 - BOSS DAY!!




I am sure the title by now must have turned many heads around in dismay and popped up many eyeballs in surprise. Some of you might be thinking, “is this guy nuts or what? Couldn’t he find a better topic to write about? Who needs to even know about such an occasion in the first place, leave alone reminding about it with the same urgency accompanying Valentine’s Day, when its protagonist is the source of all our workplace woes?” While others might be wondering, “what’s wrong with the world that is so hell bent on rewarding this ubiquitous Hitler-like figure with global recognition for tormenting the employees worldwide?”

Yes, no matter how surprising or disapproving it might sound, but the fact is that October 16th this year would be celebrated in the U.S. as the National Boss Day - a very special day dedicated to all the bosses (read employers) that is celebrated every year by the employees together. We can think of it as another initiative to galvanize the employer-employee liaison through such things like official outings, lunches etc., only aimed at improving mutual workplace relationships between both the parties through open communication. On the surface it looks quite rosy, but the question is, do we really need it or to put it more bluntly is this the only way to achieve workplace harmony, when the HR department itself keeps on coming up with more innovative and frequently implemented employee welfare programs? After all, securing open workplace communication has been an age-old challenge the corporate world has been wrestling with for quite some time now, then would this one day annual celebration really help the situation improve?

The answer I think is both Yes & No, because it is a matter of both personal and professional choice and the extent to which one is able to prevent both the experiences from mingling with each other. Let us try delving more deeply into each of the answers. However, before attempting this analysis, we need to understand one thing; whom do you refer to as your ‘boss’? Is it your organization (employer) or your manager/immediate supervisor, for that matter? In common parlance ‘boss’ is used to refer to anyone who is senior to us and to whom we report, and normally in day-to-day conversations finds reference to both the organization and one’s immediate manager. Though, what keeps on changing is the context in which he is addressed, that can be both positive and negative, and often dictates our choice of the entity (employer or manager). For example, if you bag a plum job at one of the Fortune 2000 technology giants., and are on cloud nine, then at the back of your mind you know that you are fortunate enough to get an opportunity to work with such an employer or boss of choice.
However, if in the same company your immediate manager is after your life 24*7, others would often find you saying, my boss is a big pain in the ***. However, what we do forget is that a manager’s behavior despite being a by-product of his own personality make-up is also to a larger extent governed by the organization for which both you and he are working. For example, if your company actively practices nepotism in recruitment, making it lose heavily on talented prospect hires, then the company’s recruitment policy designed by the owners is at fault, instead of the hiring manager, who like others is only complying with the same. Similarly, an organization famous for being miserly in payment of salaries, does not share the blame with the person handling payroll, since he again is acting in sheer compliance of the compensation policy instead of any personal vendetta against the employees. Thus, for the purpose of this discussion we will restrict our usage of the term “boss” to the employing organization only.                

Coming back to our analysis, we find that those against such a celebration are not difficult to understand why, because of an endless list of reasons including a shoddy recruitment policy, low pay according to market standards, subjective performance appraisal systems, delayed and partial promotion systems, nepotism, etc. etc…. There is no rocket science involved in guessing the reason for such a huge pile of grievances, which can mostly be attributed to the basic human nature or psyche of not getting satisfied easily or always complaining about one thing or the other. After all, when man is often seen being at loggerheads with his creator (God) for most part of his life, constantly blaming him for all his woes and worries; so don’t you think expecting him to accept his fellow creations, be it other human beings like him or the organizations built by them as perfect, would actually mean demanding too much?

But as they say, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. So despite much furor surrounding this event, there are always a bunch of souls (very few though) who possess the insight to look beyond the apparent and are ready to give their verdict in favor of the boss, each with their own sets of reasons; some personal, others professional while a few reflecting shades of both, thereby, putting a smile on his face.

Though the professional explanations for making this day a memorable one are many, often attached to the multiple facets of human psychology, most of which revolve around ambitiousness or over-ambitiousness, as reflected in the need to quickly rise up the ranks through a sheer display of smart work that would soon help in winning the coveted title of “the company’s blue-eyed boy”, thereby, making possible achieving more in lesser amount of time. Though, I doubt the contributory potential of just this one-day gala event in realization of such “larger than life dreams”, but still….there’s no harm in wishful thinking.

But what about the personal front? Are there people who share an emotional bond with their employers and admire them so much that they are willing to dedicate one special day for them only? In today’s fast pace world, where all of us, especially the younger generation is quickly falling prey to the “success bug”, making it impatient enough to grab opportunities at the “drop of a hat”, finding such brand loyalist employees, though is a daunting task, but still, not an impossible one. This emotional attachment is usually is dependent upon experiences found in two kinds of employees; firstly, the older lot of senior employees, who have been with the company for a long time, have witnessed it pass through “thick and thin” and now identify with it, and secondly, a fresh breed of employees, who during their student days, were “have-nots” i.e. either belonged to a family with pecuniary constraints or came from a college with no campus placements or both. When the same employees due to their academic caliber are able to crack the selection rounds of blue-chip corporations, they consider themselves blessed and fortunate enough, at least for the initial part, for getting a chance to work for an employer who dared to challenge the status quo and gave them “a much needed break” in the industry, of course, before succumbing to the corporate glitterati like everyone else. Still, they are better off than those who were born with a silver spoon in their mouths and got everything effortlessly in life. But another important question here is “why need a strong emotional attachment to make a one day celebration successful”? Though a logical thought my friend, but my take on this is that when we are talking about the strength of the emotional bonding between both the parties as a potent driver of such a celebration and that too from the bottom of an employee’s heart, logic has no business to lurk around. Try using a mystery audit to unravel the pain of the disgruntled employees of organizations with a notorious reputation of harassing them. Similarly, what about someone who has often seen a less deserving co-worker bag a coveted project due to his personal proximity to the “who’s who” of the company, leaving him behind, thanks to the organizational policy of preferring those who kiss the senior management’s *** over sincere hard-workers? What level of emotional ties can you expect between the boss and employees in such workplaces, and if at all they exist, are they strong enough to persuade you to give your devil (read boss) his due this October 16, 2012?

Do let me know by leaving behind your comments. Thank you!!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

5 Easy Fixes to Increase Sales on Your Website


Technology is both “boon” and “bane”, because, though, on one hand it makes our lives easier by providing those tools and techniques that enable us to economize on both time and effort, thereby, increasing our efficiency, however, on the other hand, its unrestricted and equal access to everyone is not a sure-shot success mantra, else, there would be many Apples or Googles around us. In reality, technology just increases our resourcefulness. Real success necessitates capitalizing on those resources using our own personal capabilities and competencies. One such widely popular technology that has been around for quite some time now is Internet Marketing which makes use of the World Wide Web to promote a company’s products and services on its website, available both on PCs and smartphones that in the past mostly involved listing down the prospective customers and then approaching them either physically or through cold calling. Consequently, the amount of traffic the website attracts in terms of the number of virtual footfalls experienced by it in the form of the number of hits it receives, actually determines its popularity and brand visibility, which in turn translates into sales revenue, the quantification of which is done nowadays, using highly advanced tools like Google Analytics, Pay-per Click etc. But ironically, as I mentioned earlier that, though, every organization both big and small knows about this technologically-driven business trend, making it invest a good amount in building its company website, still, ensuring that your website brings in more revenue requires some strategic thinking which not everyone possesses. Unfortunately, for most businesses, internet marketing is all about getting a swanky website built full of “love at first sight” User Interface and engrossingly innovative and fresh content. These are no doubt important in creating that first impression, but what to do in order to sustain it till eternity. The truth is that website design and development just represents the first step of entering into the virtual market and won’t result in any miraculous commercial accomplishments for your organization unless you keep in mind this list of “easy to follow” 5 golden rules that every company should abide by in order to increase conversion rate of its company website by turning visitors into customers, that would eventually translate into increased sales figures:

        i.            Use Google Analytics - With the arrival of Google, doing business is never the same, considering its vast weaponry like Google Ad Sense and Google Ad Words, all part of a bigger artillery of Google Analytics that provides you with an insight as to how visitors interact with not only your complete website, but also its different pages, prompting you to introduce the necessary permutations and combinations in them that would increase their appeal, thus, bringing the same visitors back, but this time as customers. To cater to a wide spectrum of different dimensions of internet marketing, there are separate reports generated for the content, mobile performance, social media platform, and advertising aspects of the website, enabling you to get a macro-view of how the website is performing.

      ii.            Direct Contact Number on the Header - It might sound funny and weird, but making this simple addition of including your direct contact number to your website’s header can increase both conversion and sales significantly through increased interest from prospective clients and phone-related enquiries and sales. This is because research suggests that when reading something, the human eye starts scanning stuff from top right corner, and when it comes to accessing a web page, most of us have this habit of automatically looking for the different number of tabs located on top just below the header. 

    iii.            No Complicated Product Order Forms/RFP Forms - Avoid using confusing multiple fields in your product order forms/RFP forms, which for the most part are responsible for lost sales of a visitor by not only sapping him of his patience and bogging him down the moment he encounters one on your site, but also annoying him tremendously when due to a technical glitch that causes the server to go down and hence the web page to evaporate, making his entire effort to go down the drain mid-way. You are not seeking students to join a school or college that asks them to fill up a long admission form. If you don’t mend your ways then be assured that neither will he come back nor recommend your site to anyone else. 

     iv.            Image-Based Testimonials - It is imperative to use them on your website, for not only adding a personal touch that would increase the site’s appeal. Further, unlike plain text-based ones, the images-based testimonials are also difficult to copy by someone else.  

       v.            Spike up Your Credibility Factor - The only way to rule the digital world is to build your reputation as a trustworthy and credible business by expanding the diameter of your presence through your footprints as trails for prospects to follow you. This is done by adding your complete contact details including e-mail address on every web page and product order form/enquiry forms, adding social media handles and also URLs directing the user to the earlier mentioned testimonials page.



 Source:

http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2011/03/8-tips-to-boost-your-business-websites-conversion-rate/

What do you think it means to be well-informed?



“Knowledge” or “information”, though universally recognized and frequently used in the English vocabulary, has no consensual meaning and definition, with a number of schools of thought prevalent on the topic. Some consider it is a coherent collection of facts, pertaining to a particular field of study, whereas, others are flexible enough to include any new data or evidence, regardless of its nature, that continually augments one’s intellect developed since birth. Likewise, being/not being “well-informed” is also a debatable issue, with some referring it as a specialized, discipline-oriented understanding that takes an academic angle, as in case of a professional doctor, engineer etc., whereas, others give it a more universally appealing structure, by asserting the retention of core micro-level specialized knowledge gathered through academic credentials that sculpt a person into a professional, along with a mandatory macro-level awareness of functioning of things in the environment that help a person function effectively in his/her daily life. I strongly feel that true knowledge should finely demarcate “literacy” from “education”, by highlighting a person’s ability to clairvoyantly analyze problems and successfully solve them, instead of just relying on the apparent, and therefore, support the latter school of thought. I am frequently reminded of my father, who passed away recently. Though a lawyer by profession, he had a great deal of knowledge of almost anything in this world. He was an outstanding orator and a great communicator, highly capable of discussing anything from Shakespeare & Freud to Obama & Socrates, almost always leaving the listener impressed with some eye-openers. All this, because of his passion to remain updated 24*7, through print & electronic media. This makes me add further, that being “well-informed” is more of an attitude that manifests itself as an intrinsic desire to grow and develop continuously, and using it to take informed decisions and calculated risks throughout life, rather than something that can be developed overnight. Finally, I would like to conclude by saying that if an interaction leaves you with a new and a helpful lesson learnt, making your own knowledge pool grow from A to B, then you have met someone “well-informed”. This feeling itself is very personal and individualistic, making the decision ultimately lie with the public. Any thoughts??

Thursday, 6 September 2012

The Interviewer - A Devil’s Advocate!!



Come on man!!....you face it every time….admit it. A job consultant called you up two days back for a telephonic round for one of his Fortune 2000 clients. The dyadic professionalism in your voice and an impressive list of credentials won you an invite straight to the corporate headquarters of the MNC giant for a face-to-face conversation with the HR team (it is the final interviewer most of the time).

On the D-day, with an unshaken belief in your academic and professional caliber, you walked into the interview chamber with a steely confidence exuberating from your shining eyes, manifesting itself in a firm handshake with the Hiring Manager. After the initial exchange of pleasantries and a brief introduction about your past and present, the interviewer slowly started showing interest in you, with questions like “why should we hire you” or the more direct one, “why do you think yourself as a best fit for this position”? Each of which, you smartly dodged, finally bringing the talks to the financial discussions, thus, signaling only one strong thought frequently crossing his head that you could clearly read, “I think we’ve found our man”.
However, ironically, this unspoken verdict instead of easing your burden, increased it tremendously, mostly because of its one-sidedness, since you were yet to decide “whether or not, you too have found your organization”?

Usually, this last leg of dialogue centered around the compensation issues, provides the answer, and unfortunately in most of the cases, is responsible for forcing the candidate deliberately to lose out on an otherwise dazzling opportunity, as drawn from the interactions I have had with my friends over the years, ever since we all started working. Most of them admitted taking a conscious decision of not joining a particular company, despite its globally high brand equity, only because of the disappointing final salary figure being offered by them, thus, gloomily ending a happily started interview round.

So, what exactly is the issue surrounding the negotiation of the salary structure that most of the people voice their grievances about? 

Technically speaking, the industry warrants a normal hike of 10-15% which can touch a maximum figure of 20-25% depending on the company, and of course, the bargaining power of the candidate. However, most of us are ignorant about the fact that HR department in an organization is so strong, as evident from its final say in the hiring for both technical and non-technical profiles, thereby, giving it the authority to even sanction a hike in the range of 45-50%, which sometimes even ends up touching the 60-65% mark in case of exceptionally bright candidates. But these juicy margins are often hidden by the recruitment team, in strict obedience of the organization’s cost-cutting instructions. Thus, making even the most talented hire grab at the most 30-40% of the cut he/she actually deserves. Given such a scenario, who would want to get interviewed by even the most sought after brand in the market?

Further, delving into the very nature of HR Management, both as a discipline and a profession reveals “staffing” as one of its core functions, which in common parlance means filling up various job positions with people who possess the right credentials and skill-sets. If this is true, then the very fact that an interviewer on a fine Monday morning is fortunate enough to interact with a potential hire who “just appears to be the best-fit”, automatically means that the HR department has done full justice to the organization by making it meet the right talent. But, what duty does the same department have towards the poor candidate who is stepping into the organization for the first time? A common perception and expectation from the HR department in a company is that of a complete philanthropist attitude promoting human welfare. In other words, HR is expected to come to the rescue of the internal employees in case of any troubles they face with respect to their jobs and overall workplace functioning. However, I’d like to extend this benevolence to include the “soon to join” tribe of prospective employees also, for whom this department represents the face of the company, by acting as the first brand ambassadors, who greatly influence their decision to join the organization. For this reason, the interviewer needs to facilitate an informed and a rewarding career decision for the interviewee sitting in the hot seat. This help, besides making him feel at ease during the interview also involves accurately assessing his true worth and consensually trying to arrive at a fair compensation figure by encouraging him to quote a desired figure, of course, keeping in mind the market pay standards, size of the company, candidate’s own skill sets & competencies etc., instead of trying to impose something and making him agree to it.

But unfortunately, what mostly happens during the conversation, when the time for compensation discussion arrives is that the interviewer soon after asking the interviewee about his salary expectations, immediately mouths the statement, “you know we are not amongst the best payers in the industry, but we do offer a really good working environment full of challenges and opportunities”, thus, actively attempting to keep his expectations at bay, which though is justified also to some extent, considering the highly opportunistic and ambitious side of today’s human psyche, but, it also thwarts the previously happening smooth communication. Since the candidate after listening to such a double-edged statement gets caught in a dilemmatic trap because on one hand he cannot complain that the company did not give him an opportunity to voice his financial needs openly, and on the other hand, he is forced to reconsider his initially thought out pay hike figure. My take on this is that a desired and fair compensation figure is an integral part of a good work culture, and CANNOT be devoid of it.

How open an honest would you rate such a communication on the part of the interviewer (read organization), where every discussion is allowed to take place in the most candid and unbiased manner till the sensitive issue of quantifying the “bread and butter” is raised.

And again, the winner in this negotiation process is mostly the interviewer, who, taking undue advantage of the grave global unemployment statistics is in a comfortable position rejecting countless number of candidates, because for him “it is always the next person”. However, the desperately hopeful applicant sitting on the other side of the table, regardless of his competencies and skillsets is a loser for the most part, forced to be courageously shameless enough to let the merciless interviewer, who has only known him for the last 15-20 minutes decide his fate, without fighting back.   

Don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to criticize the interviewers by saying that they should change their otherwise faulty screening methods, and let the candidates decide their salary figures. This is illogically impossible. I only want to reiterate the fact that “please stop bringing the top management’s cost cutting agenda into the interview room and trying to impose those figures indiscriminately on all candidates, both lousy and brilliant.” Instead, try visualizing the bigger picture of the benefits in terms of not only the business but also a positive value addition that a potential hire could bring to your organization, even if makes you shelve a few $100 extra to accommodate his legitimate needs. That’s no big deal. And being a part of the HR team, it is your responsibility to convince the top management and other departmental heads, to gradually start changing this attitude of theirs towards the recruitment & selection process.     

I would end this discussion with a request to all the interviewers to empathize with every walk-in entering into your office. Even you at some point of time were a graduate fresh out of college, waiting for your first big break or a working professional mid-way through your career wanting to grab that plum job in a big MNC. Try moving down the memory lane, and recollecting your thoughts about how you felt, when the person on the other side of the table, fully cognizant of your potential refused to compensate you fairly due to the fear of disobeying the top management. Maybe it would bring a lot more clarity in your thoughts and actions, henceforth.        

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Products & Services – The Thinning Divide!!



I still remember:
DATE – OCTOBER 20, 2003
DAY – MONDAY
TIME – 8.00 P.M
In the lush green campus of my college, I was attending my first introductory lecture on Consumer Behavior. The professor that day set the pace of his talk by starting with a brief recapitulation of the basic concepts we had learnt in Marketing 101, with everything under the sun pertaining to fundamentals discussed that day. Among other things, which I remember, from that day’s dialogue was the fact that “unlike products, which have a quantifiable shelf life stemming from the time interval prevalent between their production/manufacturing and actual sale/consumption, services don’t have it, since most of the services are first sold, and then produced and consumed simultaneously, as in case of a restaurants or travel & tourism industry. This anomaly between the nature of these two integral elements of trade & commerce also makes it inevitable to have a proper system of storing the products, till the time they are sold/consumed. However, in case of services, no such arrangement is required, due to their almost nil shelf life.” But little did I know that in the coming years the inquisitive and analytical nature of the human brain would one day, completely change this very identity and nature of services, assigning an altogether different meaning to them.
The human civilization, among its many innovative and pain relieving invention breakthroughs, has been a witness to one path-breaking innovation that, though initially transformed the way man communicated with each other, but later on slowly permeated his overall lifestyle, and today, the situation is that it has quickly topped up the list of items necessary for survival, dethroning even the bare necessities for air, food, water and sleep. Yes, I am talking about Computers & Information Technology, which has manifested itself in the form of various creative inventions, be it as the world’s first PC Z1 Computer in 1936 or the innovatively & diametrically contrasting iPhone 4S in 2011. Each of these inventions, were essentially services (software), wrapped inside a product (PC or mobile device), with each being interdependent both functionally & commercially. Here, how do you differentiate the product from the service, because an empty PC system sold without an installed software is useless, since it is the latter that makes a desktop/laptop up and running and lends monetary value and utility to it, thereby, making  the final output to be viewed as a unified whole, rather than separately. If this is true, then what do you take into account while calculating the shelf life of a PC? Is it the tangible hardware or the intangible software that breathes life into an otherwise dead box? The answer, you would expect from even a non-technical person is of course the software, which has a quantifiable shelf life, due to it being nothing but a technology, be it MS Windows XP, Windows 7 or the more awaited Windows 8. Reason being, the IT industry is marked by break-neck dynamism with every technology having an average life span of 3-6 months (or maybe even shorter) depending on the continuous R&D efforts and improvement practices being implemented on a global scale. So, in other words, we are trying to imply that though software is a service, it still has a shelf-life. On the other hand, the bulky PC machine that represents the other half of the complete purchase is nothing in itself (as discussed earlier) without the previously mentioned piece of software installed in it. This makes the computer nothing more than a storage device for the software package that runs in it. Thus, even this second and final limitation of not requiring a storage arrangement for a service stands removed, making me conclude that in today’s times there is a very blurring divide between what actually constitutes a product and a service, because the final purchase made depends on the holistic view that the customer makes about the entire offering, along with the changing roles of a product and service played by it.        
                 

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

India Inc. Inducts a New Member – CHIEF CONTENT OFFICER (CCO)


We all have heard about senior management positions like CEO (Chief Executive Officer), CMO (Chief Marketing Officer), CFO (Chief Finance Officer), COO (Chief Operations Officer) & CTO (Chief Technology Officer). However, a couple of days back, while browsing the Internet (like I always do), I came across a very interesting profile: CCO (Chief Content Officer). Now, before you jump the gun, this gentleman is NOT a Content Writer or maybe even a very Senior Content Writer, because he does not write content for his organization’s communication material (brochures, pamphlets, websites, mailers etc.), instead he/she strategizes it, and spearheads its entire dissemination and distribution cycle, overseeing everything right from its creation to placement and release using different promotional tools like the company’s website, blogs, pamphlets and brochures. The most challenging aspect being ensuring churning of content which is not only in huge quantity (considering the number of clients to cater), but also high on quality aspects, especially with respect to the novelty and freshness factor, and accords high priority to SEO-friendliness, thanks to the Analytical Weapons that Google moves around with, nowadays (Ad Words, Ad Sense etc.) It is the strategizing and decision-making aspect that has made it earn a place in the top league in the corporate hierarchy. Another unique feature of this profile is the marketing tone associated with it. This is the reason, why a COO often works in close liaison with the CMO, because their target audience is the same, even though their core responsibilities are different.
Though India Inc. has not heard much about this budding new face of corporate marketing, but UNCLE SAM knows him too well. In fact, not many people know that in the year 2000 Ann Handley of Marketing Profs started turning her attention towards the evolving nature of this new kind of job, while writing about what an online publisher should look for in a site editor. She then took a step further and coined this concept of Chief Content Officer. Further, in 2002, KQED in San Francisco realized the need for having a top-level executive who could take charge of the company’s frequently being churned out content on its emerging media platforms – websites, blogs, mobile apps and messaging. They then created their organization’s first Chief Content Officer and gave the job to John Boland who went on to become the CCO for the Public Broadcasting Service in the U.S. And a decade later, more and more CCOs are fast finding place as key policy and decision makers in their companies’ corporate marketing strategy formulation process. But why this sudden shift in marketing trends? The reason is simple: availability of “never before” offered communication tools with the corporations like social media, blogging, mobile apps and messaging, have not only increased their options with respect to what they want or do not want to share but also quantified both its magnitude and reach to their target customers, so much so that organizations in USA are slowly forming a content management or content strategy division within their marketing and sales department, solely dedicated to management of what is communicated and in what fashion to the consumer. And yes, it is not a cakewalk, because here the aspect of communication we are dealing with is purely “written”, whether it is on the web, or internal print media like company newsletters, marketing brochures/pamphlets etc. Each one of them are contributing to inch the organization a step closer towards commanding a strong customer trust and loyalty, which in turn would give birth to an otherwise intangible corporate asset of goodwill or brand equity, that if successful, can make customers shelve out thousands of dollars without a remorse. The flip side being, doing it professionally, keeping in mind sensitive issues like customers’ cultural backgrounds, socio-economic differences, income dynamics etc., which if gone wrong, cannot only put to end a campaign, yet to start and gain momentum, but also inflict irreplaceable on the company’s reputation, since the challenge here lies in doing it without personally meeting the customer, thereby, denying him the opportunity to observe your verbal and most importantly, the non-verbal communication aspects, and replacing them with a write-up, that compensates for your physical presence, and more importantly, communicates what is intended, and that too precisely, without going over-board or overselling. It is not surprising then, that the resources handling such responsible and sensitive profiles rake in big moolah!! The Western countries, unlike the Third World, gives a lot of value to these profiles, with the professionals earning a handsome amount for just writing the content for a company’s corporate brochure, and other marketing & sales promotion material (both print & electronic), leave aside, the actual designing part, which is the onus of the creative team. 


I would like to conclude by saying that this blog tries to explore only one side of this amateurish marketing profile, which currently is trying hard to gain foothold in the senior management cadre, and stand next to other veterans. I am sure he has other exciting facets, hidden within himself, which only time will bring to light.   

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Resolutions for 2012


Hi!! Well this one's coming a bit late though, but still I felt like penning it down. Ok! we have already bid goodbye to 2011 a week back, and welcomed 2012 with all the celebrations. Like every passing year, this one is also not devoid of new rays of hope that we expect to change our lives for the better. Be it financial, health, career, marriage, love, education etc. all of us have our own sets of dreams and aspirations that we expect the new year to honor and fulfill. Apart from this wish list, another aspect of the New Year, that makes it special is an equally long list of resolutions or promises or vows that we make from ourselves in order to differentiate this upcoming year from the previous ones, most importantly by highlighting the contribution of our efforts in this direction. Some of the most common resolutions pertain to weight loss, and quitting smoking. However, the most hilarious thing is that these promises die out soon after the new year commences, with most of them taking their last breath on the 1st of January itself. Wow!! that's really funny. What is the relevance of such resolutions then? Last week I visited my friend, who is a chain smoker and a booz lover. So much so, that his health & marital life is seriously getting impacted by it, with both the souls almost fighting it out daily, only to slowly sacrifice their domestic harmony and relations, but the bottle is still dwelling peacefully beside his bed. Upon my visit, the wife started complaining as usual, and as a result, it was decided by my friend that 2012 on wards would be alcohol-free life for him, and requested both of us to allow him to have his last drink on 31st night only. After a lot of arguments and reluctance we agreed. But what happened? He could only stay away from that disease for a week. Yesterday only, his wife called up, crying inconsolably to inform me that he is back to his usual lifestyle, which has recently got him admitted to a nearby hospital. The doctors say, his liver is completely damaged, and kidneys are also mildly affected, and the only thing that can now guarantee his life is total abandonment of alcohol. And I know for sure, he just won't be able to give it up. This makes me wonder, what hopes did this New Year bring for his family and for other families suffering from similar problems? He too started out by claiming to leave boozing completely as an important New Year resolution, only to break it. It would have been better, had this promise been made as a personal vow on any one fine normal morning, or  maybe his wedding anniversary or birthday or even his wife's birthday in order to act as a responsible husband and son-in-law, rather than a hollow miniscule resolution for 2012, which only made it all the more irrelevant and weak, instead of fortifying it. Still, people don't understand and keep on making the same mistakes. And I am no different, because my New Year Resolution for 2012 is NOT TO MAKE ANY RESOLUTION!!