A #BetterFuture with #BetterBhavishya

Better Bhavishya
Better Bhavishya

While this forum is usually used for talking about innovative approaches of ZMOTly, we will share in this post about one of the exciting things we do at Futureshift in area of social impact.

At Futureshift, we work on creating impact at the intersection of technology and strategy.

This translates into frameworks, innovative products and solutions that solve real issues in business and social sector. The outcome is about creating sustainable and lasting impact.

In business scenarios, ZMOTly provides the frameworks for success and Futrlabs provide solutions and products required to achieve the delivered outcome.In the social sector space, a segment that we are passionate about, we have a pillar called Better Bhavishya (better future). We leverage the skills in consulting and global experiences to be a change maker, in our own little way.

At #BetterBhavishya, we work in the social sector space leading with ZMOTly impact framework and/ or with products from Futrlabs that can help them achieve their goals faster. They are either continuous long-term partnerships or one-time engagements.

Better Bhavishya’ s works on these four areas – education, healthcare, environment and human rights.

  • As technology partners with an International Human Rights NGO, we helped them on some of their very key projects.
    • With an Indian healthcare authority worked on a prototype and delivery mechanism for vaccination alerts that would help them prevent one million deaths and over 950,000 preventable disability each year.
    • Together with the NGO and a government ministry, worked on prevention of bullying in schools.
    • Together with the human rights organization, worked on jail reforms that would to reduce the number of undertrials held illegally in prisons.
  • Engaged with a NGO, funded by one of India’s reputed philanthropic foundation, for improving the literacy and numerous is amongst children with low income parents.
  • With another very large philanthropic foundation, we developed a project impact assessment framework as well as helped in some other philanthropic initiatives.
  • For a not-for-profit working on building a community for parents of autistic children, worked on developing a strategy and reach.
  • At a NGO in Hyderabad, worked on developing content and delivery framework and roll-out for long-term education for underprivileged children in the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana region.
  • In a village in Tamilnadu, have taken an initiative to convert 500,000 sft of barren land, with an agroforest with over 15,000 trees.

Our founder’s prior experience in driving the Unlimited Potential initiative for Microsoft Asia Pacific plays an important role in recommendations for our clients. The Unlimited Potential initiative was the outcome of Bill Gates vision to enable sustained social and economic opportunity for the next 5 billion people. The strategy was to reach incremental 1 billion people by 2015 by expanding deeper down the economic pyramid in a sustainable fashion by building non-traditional partnerships, breakthrough technologies and business models. The focus was on education, fostering innovation and creating jobs and opportunities through relevance, access and affordability. Bring one of the first employees in Asia-Pacific, driving that initiative has helped significantly in structure and systematising our approach better bhavishya projects at Futureshift.

Currently, we are working on a big idea that can transform hundreds of millions of rural lives by increasing local entrepreneurship opportunities and agriculture productivity. The core philosophy is to create local micro-innovations and income that would bubble up to have access to better education and healthcare opportunities.

This would more almost double the farm output and will dramatically transformed the lives rural India, where 70% of the India populations reside. We expect this to be a $1 billion+ social entrepreneurship business by 2022, creating an ecosystem with 10x more economic activity.

9 PR rules shattered (2017)

 

#PR #Advertising #Marketing #CMO #PRO #Business #Entrepreneur
#PR #Advertising #Marketing #CMO #PRO #Business #Entrepreneur

If you are a professional, a businessman or an entrepreneur, ,you need PR to get visibility for your brand, product or service. The traditional rules of PR that helped well till a decade ago are is dead. The Web 2.0 has brought down the walls and unless you have adapted to the new world your PR strategy will not work in 2017.

#PR #Advertising #Marketing #CMO #PRO #Business #Entrepreneur

The 9 cardinal rules, shattered.

  1. Formal Media: The only way to get noticed was through formal media. The internet has changed all that. Today, you control your media. Your twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn – each of them with access to billions of users provide you a platform to get noticed. In fact, the so-called formal media has ended up picking news from these social platforms.
  2. Press Releases: Companies communicated to journalists through press releases. Press Releases are a passé. It is time to keep communicating as conversations with the public. You can share your idea, launch details, plans and seek feedback from your users directly.
  3. Exclusivity: Nobody other than a handful of reporters and editors Would see the Press Release. In fact, many demanded exclusivities. In today’s context – exclusivity is suicidal. The strategy should be rot reach your buyers through as many channels as you can. In fact, being accessible to your buyers at their point of interaction is the key.
  4. Significant News: Companies needed significant news before they could write a press release. Today, the rules are changed. The audience is looking for being engaged with you through your evolution. While significant news can still be leveraged to do some burst PR, the social media helps you to teach out to share the developments as they happen.
  5. Jargon: Jargon was okay because those specific journalists understood. Jargon is not okay. You audience needs to understand you and it must be simple. The lower your denominator for comprehension and understanding you higher are the changes of connecting with you and have meaningful engagement and conversations.
  6. Third party Quotes: Your press release included quotes from customers, analysts and experts to be complete. While all these would help, it is no more mandatory. Once your piece of blog or post hits the online media there will be a 360-degree feedback and that is more authentic. Today, users are looking at authenticity more than spin.
  7. Media as Gatekeeper: The only way buyers learnt about your product was when media wrote about it. Today, the barriers of media as a gate keeper are broken. In fact, organizations have started to completely bypass the formal media d have started engaging directly with the audience. So, you see artists launching anthem album via you tube or governments declaring their plans through tweets and media losing its gatekeeper status.
  8. Press Clips: The only way you measured 3effectiveness of press release was through ‘press clips’ that was maintained painstakingly each time media reported it. Today is measure being far simpler, it all measures what is the virality and click rate for your article. The more relevant and useful the content, the it is shared sand more is the visibility. In fact, main stream media has started writing articles from those 140-character tweets.
  9. Silos with Marketing: PR and marketing were separate silos and ruin by separate goals, strategies, measurements. Marketing is PR and PR is marketing. The walls are shattered. Both works in tandem to ensure maximum reach and engagement.

These were some of the things I have shared. There can be a few more. Please feel free to share your views.

The author is an entrepreneur with two decades of senior leadership experience in India and Asia-Pacific and now runs Futureshift, a boutique consulting outfit that helps businesses chart their digital marketing strategy with the @ZMOTly framework to achieve impactful outcomes. He is available at rajesh@futureshift.com.sg

8 Point Checklist before creating your eCommerce Website

Many retailers usually start out by listing on the online marketplaces or e-marketplaces as they are called, such as Amazon, Flipkart, Ebay, Snapdeal, Myntra, Jabong etc. What most vendors don’t realise is that there are many hidden expenses and opportunity costs that could add up to ruin your business.

Instead, if one is willing to invest the time and effort, there are significant benefits of selling through direct channels.

You could build your website from scratch / hire an expert to build your website or buy ready-made templates and customisable platforms. Based on your business needs and technical capabilities you need to select the right system

  1. Technical competency: Can you learn how to build a site from scratch or would you prefer to buy custom built templates? Are you capable and willing to hire additional staff with expertise if required?
  2. Pricing: Is a monthly or a yearly plan better for the different components of the site or platform? Pricing also increases as features provided improve.
  3. Back Office Integration: How does the system fit with your existing back office capabilities? Is there a possibility for smoothening the move or extension of current facilities into online capabilities?
  4. Time available: Not just to understand and set up the best possible option but also to maintain and update the site to keep it running smoothly. If time is critical, are you capable and willing to hire additional staff with expertise to save time?
  5. Support offered: What are the levels and mode of support offered by the different platforms when problems arise? What is the level of responsiveness when help and guidance is required?
  6. Website features: Evaluate the additional features such as the website’s ease of use, security, mobile friendliness, etc as per your expectations and requirements. Keep in mind that basic features offered may be enough for starting out, but evaluate additional options on offer since it is almost a given that these will be required at a later point.
  7. Marketing tools: Tools for SEO, email marketing, CRM and integration with other websites are decisive tools in order to grow your market and brand.
  8. Unique customisations and features needed: Do you have any unusual needs and can the platform cater to your special requests?

Final note

The final decision will definitely depend on your requirements and needs. It will also vary based on the time, money and effort one is willing invest into this venture. Furthermore, you will need to consider long term strategies and evaluate whether the current decisions will leave room to scale the operation based on future necessities.

Remember that no matter what method you choose to go online, you don’t need to be restricted to just one channel. Selling through your own e-commerce store doesn’t mean that you cannot also sell your products through a e-marketplace to reap the benefits of both; Nor are you restricted to listing in only one online marketplace. Many successful retailers, especially the larger ones, prefer to be involved in multiple channels. However, each additional route takes time, money and energy to understand its processes and maintain it. What is important is that you take the time to consider the options available and formulate a strategy that works the best for YOUR requirements.

In my next post, I will look at some of the prominent ecommerce platform options available and rate them according to the measures mentioned here.

#emarketplace #ecommerce #marketing #digitalmarketing #sales #onlinesales #onlineshopping #retailer #tips #amazon #flipkart #snapdeal #myntra #ebay #retail #jabong #koovs

This post was first published on  LinkedIn, by Karina Pais, Consultant with Futureshift on Karina is an MBA graduate from UK and engaged with us a a consultant in digital marketing.

Are you losing money on Amazon and Flipkart over selling directly?

Are you losing money on Amazon and Flipkart over selling directly?
Are you losing money on Amazon and Flipkart over selling directly?

In our earlier post – Business not online? Get ready to pack up – we shared that if you’re in the business of selling products, there really is no excuse for you to not have an online presence. 31% of consumers indicated that online shopping is their preferred mode of shopping and the trend is rapidly going upwards.

Many retailers usually start out by listing on the online marketplaces or e-marketplaces as they are called, such as Amazon, Flipkart, Ebay, Snapdeal, Myntra, Jabong etc. What most vendors don’t realise is that there are many hidden expenses and opportunity costs that could add up to ruin your business. These expenses are especially damaging if you are a small business competing with large multinational companies who have access to the massive budgets to spend on marketing and sales.

The best margins for selling online are usually attained by selling through direct channels. These include

  1. Build your own website with shopping cart facilities from scratch
  2. Utilise custom built templates or platforms already available to create your own e-commerce store
  3. Hire a professional to build and maintain your website (External consultants or internal dedicated employee hire)

There are significant benefits of selling through direct channels

  1. Showcase entire range: With your own online-store, you have better control and flexibility over the showcasing of all your products.
  2. Build Loyalty: Your own online store helps build brand loyalty. Loyal customers and repeat customers prefer reaching direct to store online and offline.
  3. Higher Profitability: Around 30-40% margin of online sales are eroded in commissions on other sites. Additionally, competition driven pricing and discounting cuts into profits through marketplaces.
  4. Increase your Valuations: Having your own store helps differentiate brand value and valuations flexibility, offerings.
  5. Analytics can be used to Grow Business: Ability to gain insights and analytics on buyer behaviour by driving targeted online campaigns.
  6. Lead generation: You have a chance to capture customer details through your landing pages and cross-sell more products.

Whether you have just one product with multiple SKUs or multiple products it is beneficial and worthwhile to build your own channels. This is especially true if you already have a loyal fan following or if your strategy involves creating a strong brand for your products.

As with anything, there are tradeoffs to this approach

  1. Initial capital will need to be set aside and invested to set up the various components involved. These can easily compound if invested in components that are not right for the business.
  2. A significant amount of time and energy might have to invested especially if one is learning about these tools for the first time.
  3. Driving customers to the site may prove to be big challenge if the brand is not yet well established in its niche.  However, this can be mitigated by utilising the various digital marketing tools available.

Final note

If you are willing to invest the time and effort to understand and build your own online sales store, the benefits of this channel can result in a dramatic boost to your bottom line.

Remember that no matter what method you choose to go online, you don’t need to be restricted to just one channel. Selling through your own e-commerce store doesn’t mean that you cannot also sell your products through a marketplace to reap the benefits of both; Nor are you restricted to listing in only one marketplace. Many successful retailers, especially the larger ones, prefer to be involved in multiple channels. However, each additional route takes time, money and energy to understand its processes and maintain it. What is important is that you take the time to consider the options available and formulate a strategy that works the best for YOUR requirements. I will continue to tackle the pros and cons of each strategy, along with the tradeoffs in further posts.

#emarketplace #ecommerce #marketing #digitalmarketing #sales #onlinesales #onlineshopping #retailer #tips #amazon #flipkart #snapdeal #myntra #ebay #retail #jabong #koovs

This post was first published on  LinkedIn, by Karina Pais, Consultant with Futureshift on Karina is an MBA graduate from UK and engaged with us a a consultant in digital marketing.

[Infographic] 8 Bullet Proof Hacks for Enterprise Digital Marketing Strategy

#Technology #B2B #Enterprise #DigitalMarketing #ContentManagement #Online

[Infographic] 8 Bullet Proof Hacks for Enterprise Digital Marketing Strategy
[Infographic] 8 Bullet Proof Hacks for Enterprise Digital Marketing Strategy

3 reasons to sell on #Amazon, #Flipkart and 9 reasons not to!

#emarketplace #ecommerce #marketing #digitalmarketing #sales #onlinesales #onlineshopping #retailer #tips #amazon #flipkart #snapdeal #myntra #ebay #retail #jabong #koovs

As we’ve talked about before, if you’re in the business of selling products, there really is no excuse for you to not have an online presence. 31% of consumers indicated that online shopping is their preferred mode of shopping and the trend is rapidly going upwards.

Most vendors have thought about listing in one or more of the online marketplaces (like Amazon, Flipkart, EBay, Snapdeal etc.) at some point. Listing on these sites is appealing on several fronts.

  • The well-known marketplaces are high traffic channels with millions of active buyers. It is the preferred mode of shopping for many buyers who enjoy the variety and seamless buying experience.
  • Merchants gain increased exposure for their products which can lead to higher sales volumes.
  • It opens doors to acquiring new customers who accidently stumble across your products while looking at competitors or simply while browsing randomly.

However, there are many hidden expenses and opportunity costs that could add up to ruin your business

  • Retailers, especially the smaller ones, end up paying around 30-40% margin of their online sales to online marketplaces. This includes even lesser known ecommerce platforms like Koovs, Jabong and Myntra. These margins are high even when compared to rental spaces in the brick-and-mortar stores
  • In addition to the high margins, marketplaces regularly push retailers to give an additional 15-20% discounts.
  • Competition will be crazy. You will be ruthlessly compared with other competitors, product wise, with price being the biggest differentiator in a marketplace. This will force price wars at the expense of quality and brand name.
  • Furthermore, if you come up with a unique product or idea, it will soon be copied and mass produced at lower rates. Even if your product has a patent, its enforcement and prosecution will be time consuming and cash hungry.
  • It will be difficult to build up a brand or generate loyalty for your products.
  • You need to have a corporate tax identity before selling on most e-marketplaces. This isn’t feasible if you are just starting out and selling from the back of your garage or house.
  • The supply and operations process to list and distribute your product is cumbersome
  • A fairly large amount of precious capital will need to be set aside to make sure you have enough stock and inventory and to order the MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity) from suppliers.
  • It will take time, money and effort to find the right strategy that features your product over others. The strategy will have to be tweaked between marketplaces since each platform’s promotion algorithm differs.

These expenses are especially damaging if you are a small business competing with large multinational companies who have access to the massive budgets to spend on marketing and sales.

There are other options available to sell your products online or even just to channel traffic to increase sales offline

  • Use social media to build brand awareness and direct traffic to offline stores
  • Build your own website with shopping cart facilities from scratch
  • Utilise custom built templates or platforms already available to create your own e-commerce store
  • Hire a professional to build your website (maintenance problem)

Final Note:

Listing your products on an online marketplace does have its benefits, but, the hidden costs add-up to create a big dent in profits. What’s more, it is a constant uphill battle to monitor pricing and stay on top of latest platform related tweaks to make sure that your product is placed ahead of competitors. Selling through a marketplace doesn’t mean that you cannot also sell from your own e-commerce store to reap the benefits of both; Nor are you restricted to listing in only one marketplace. What is important is that you take the time to consider the options available and formulate a strategy that works the best for YOUR requirements. I will tackle the pros and cons of the other strategies, along with the tradeoffs in further posts.

This post was first published on  LinkedIn, by Karina Pais, Consultant with Futureshift on Karina is an MBA graduate from UK and engaged with us as a consultant in digital marketing.

Business not online? Get ready to pack up!

If you’re in the business of selling products (even if primarily in the physical world), there really is no excuse for you to not have an online presence. This is regardless of whether you are an established brick-and-mortar business with years of sales experience or if you’re a part time retailer working out of the back of your garage.

Having your products displayed online is necessary because

  • It helps you interact with a much wider audience and even have a global reach.
  • You can set up your own social media channels in a few hours and the rest in a few days.
  • Your customers can access your store at times that are convenient to them and at places that they already are.
  • It complements your presence in the physical world to maximize sales.
  • It is one of the more cost effective ways to get additional marketing and exposure for your brand.

These seemingly small gains are especially important when you are a small retailer and do not have access to the massive budgets that large multinational corporates can freely employ on marketing.

There are many options available to sell your products online or even just to channel traffic to increase sales offline

  • Use social media to build brand awareness and direct traffic to offline stores
  • List on a marketplace like Flipkart/Snapdeal/Myntra/Ebay/Amazon
  • Build your own website with shopping cart facilities from scratch
  • Utilise custom built templates or platforms already available to create your own e-commerce store
  • Hire a professional to build your website (maintenance problem)

 Whether you have just one product with multiple SKUs or multiple products it is beneficial and worthwhile to build your own channels. This is especially true if you already have a loyal fan following or if your strategy involves creating a strong brand for your products.

However, many businesses still don’t even have a social media account for their commercial enterprise. This simple to set-up and easy to use should undoubtedly be the low hanging fruit that is first targeted. Once this is tackled the next steps tend to become a little fuzzy. Is it better to sell on an online marketplace or is it more worthwhile to have your own personal platform? If you are going to create your own personal platform should you take the time to figure out how to do it yourself or is it better to use readymade solutions available out there? I will tackle the pros and cons of each strategy, along with the tradeoffs in further posts.

At the very minimum it is worthwhile to have your own website in addition to just a Facebook or other social media account. Having your own online sales channel along with this, whether through a shopping cart on your website or an entire online store by itself will be a great value add.

Final note

Once you do go online you don’t need to be restricted to just one channel. Selling through your own e-commerce store doesn’t mean that you cannot also sell your products through a marketplace to reap the benefits of both; Nor are you restricted to listing in only one marketplace. Many successful retailers, especially the larger ones, prefer to be involved in multiple channels. However, each additional route takes time, money and energy to understand its processes and maintain it. What is important is that you take the time to consider the options available and formulate a strategy that works the best for YOUR requirements. I will tackle the pros and cons of each strategy, along with the tradeoffs in further posts.