Book Review - Are You Ready to Succeed? by Prof. Srikumar Rao

The book, Are You Ready to Succeed? by Prof. Srikumar Rao was introduced during one of the personal development electives at IIM Bangalore. However I got the chance to read it completely only now. This is a light as well as a heavy read depending on what your intentions are. Professor has included lot of exercises;more like self reflections in each chapter. So if you are doing every exercise seriously, the book is a heavy one requiring your sincere efforts and time.

I would consider the book to be a self mastery book focusing both on personal and professional lives. The author has taken lot of ideas, and examples from eastern philosophy. Two key ideas that I took from this book are mental models and mental chatters.



Mental Models - Put it simply, its nothing but how you formulate realities. For example, your may have built a mental model that unless you are in the US, no one will consider you successful; so even if you are in a good job, happy life and have all the possession one can imagine, you will still consider yourselves a failure. What the author argues is that - this is just one of the realities that you have accepted; there could be other realities as well, for example being able to follow your passion also means being successful. Professor Rao urges the readers to try and find out alternate realities that helps to succeed instead of following a downward spiral path.

Mental Chatters - Mental chatter is the continuous self talk that you may have. Its built and continued based on the mental model you have built. For example, let's continue the example of above mental model; your mental chatter may be - oh, Tom went to the US for his higher studies; he wasn't even close to my caliber at school; yet he has gone. I am un lucky; I am of no use...I wont succeed etc. Professor Rao argues that mental chatters are real and it strengthens the mental model you are following.

The book revolves mainly around these two concepts and dives deep into how to build a better life, relationship in personal, professional and societal lives. Few of Professor Rao's lectures are available in the net and these discusses about the ideas mentioned in his book.

TED Talk : Plug into your hard-wired happiness




Google Talks (Leading@Google)




Powerful Lessons from Great Masters - How to Build a Life, and Not Just a Career


Overall a good book and powerful concepts!

Learning MBA Courses for Free! Part I

Irrespective of whether you are an MBA or a B School student or a B School aspirant or someone interested in learning more about business/management, there are a plenty of resources available on the web. For a person who likes to listen rather than read through, there are many video courses/lectures as well. In the next few posts, I will try to put together an MBA curriculum completely based on free video courses (either MOOC or pre-recorded) covering both core courses and electives. Today, let's start with core courses (MBA first year curriculum). An outline can be pulled from any B School website. In this post, I will specifically concentrate on Finance and accounting courses. 



Financial Accounting


Financial Accounting is a core course required for all the MBA students in their first year irrespective of the Business School they study in. Financial Accounting can be considered one of the foundation stones of any Finance course you take later. This is also one of the 'most feared' courses :) There are many free online courses or MOOCs on this topic. Here are three of them --

Introduction to Financial Accounting from Wharton is an introductory course offered within the Coursera platform. Overall, a great introductory course with a case based approach. I would consider this to be a crash course giving the high level ideas in Financial Accounting. If you are more interested in the topic, Wharton also offers a course on advanced topics as well as another course specifically on accounting analytics

Introduction to Accounting - I from IIM Bangalore is an introductory course offered in EDX platform and a favorite of mine since he was a Professor during my stint at IIMB  :) I would consider this to be slightly theoretical in nature. But if you are interested in accounting from an Indian/Asian perspective; this is a great course. It is expected that IIMB will be rolling out second part of the course later in the year. I am sure, it will take the route of advanced courses from Wharton.

Introduction to Financial Accounting from Brigham Young University -- I haven't taken this course. But this seems to be a good one too with a complete coverage of topics in Financial Accounting.

Management Accounting


Management Accounting or Managerial Accounting is the other side of accounting coin. Very important for manufacturing industry, this aims to provide better information for managers in implementing an organization's objectives in the most cost effective way. This provides an insider's view; while financial accounting is meant for an outsider's view.

Management & Cost Accounting Modules - The YouTube play list from Rutgers Accounting Web is a great resource to start with. It is a collection of over 400 short videos on this topic by Prof. Noel Cooperburg. He takes a strategic approach to managerial accounting rather than an accounting/numeric based approach.

Managerial Accounting - IIT Bombay is an NPTEL course from IIT Bombay taught by Prof. Varadraj Bapat. Slightly theoretical, it gives a good introduction to accounting as well a deeper view into cost aspects.

Finally, there is a set of two courses in Coursera from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I haven't gone through this and is yet to start. First one, Cost Behaviors, Systems, and Analysis is expected to provide the introduction and Tools for Facilitating and Guiding Business Decisions deals with advanced topics.

Corporate Finance


Corporate Finance is the next foundation stone of all Finance related topic an MBA student might take up. Often a good learning of corporate finance is a must to even start with advanced topics. If you look for a Professor in Corporate Finance, the most famous one in the web is Prof. Aswath Damodaran of Stern School of Business. All his corporate finance courses in video format is available for free and this is perhaps the best source for learning Corporate Finance (http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~adamodar/)

Corporate Finance @ Coursera -- Two courses are available in Coursera - one from Wharton School of Business (Introduction to Corporate Finance) and another from IESE Business School (Corporate Finance Essentials)

Financial Markets and Institutions


In some MBA curriculum, I have seen a core course on Financial Markets. It overlaps with Corporate Finance in some instances. In my case, it was an elective offered. Though 5 years old, I think Financial Markets by Prof. Robert J. Shiller of Yale University is still the most comprehensive course on this subject. A Coursera offering is also available which I believe may be a shortened version. Another personal choice is the course on Introduction to Banking & Financial Markets by Prof. PC Narayan of IIM Bangalore. I was fortunate enough to attend his classes while at IIMB. Finally there is a course by Prof. Andrew Lo (Financial Theory I ; an old, but good one)

In the following posts, I will cover other core courses and electives in a typical MBA curriculum.

Five TED Talks for all MBAs and MBA aspirants!

TED has been a great platform to listen to some of the greatest minds and ideas. TED is so vast today that its literally impossible to watch all the videos from TED and TEDx. I thought to share with you five TED talks every B School aspirant, or MBA student must watch. As said, these are the ones I picked from the talks I watched during B School, before and after. I am sure there are many more that you can share with the readers. 


How great leaders inspire action by Simon Sinek 

MBA is all about leadership these days. Every curiculum and Business school try to impart on its students theories of leadership, and groom leaders. In this talk, Simon Sinek discusses about inspiring employees or followers to take action.Contrary to explain what we do - how we do and why why do (in that order), Simon argues that it should be always in the reverse order; and that's what makes an organization different. Making understand the employees, and customers the purpose of the firm makes the difference. He makes his points taking examples of Apple, comparing Wright Brothers with Samuel Pierpont Langley, TiVO and more.
 

How I harnessed the wind by William Kamkwamba

There are many entrepreneurship and inspiration related talks in TED. But this is one of my favorites. This shows how an idea and passion can really change people's lives. This a talk which will make you think how small ideas, the learning from your education can give back to society. Its a short talk in which he explains how he made a windmill for his village from scrap items and reading from a public library. Another talk that will poke you is How I started a sanitary napkin revolution! By Arunachalam Muruganantham.


Lead like the great conductors by Itay Talgam

It's a talk by leadership; its a talk about having a process. It's a talk about how to motivate and give a sense of ownership to employees instead of micro management. He talks the approach of showing sub videos of various orchestra conductors, their styles and what leadership learning we can take. I really liked this video because of then engaging factor and the topics/ideas he subtly put forth.


How to pitch to a VC by David S. Rose

A typical MBA type talk; discussing about Venture Capitalist presentation.He talks about what to say, how to say, how to create the presentation. Also he goes into depth of what VCs expect in these presentations.

How data will transform business by Philip Evans

If you are an MBA aspirant, this talk gives a feel of how the lectures on Economis and Strategy will be - with all the jargons, frameworks and high level pictures. In this talk, Philip Evans, a consultant at BCG put forth the idea of how data is transforming the thinking of business strategy. He touches on how fall in transaction costs, technology/internet reduces or kills intermediaries. It asks some great poking questions about how technology is forcing business models to evolve.

Book Review - Lateral Leadership by Roger Fisher and Alan Sharp

Lateral Leadership - Getting it done when you are not the boss is a leadership book written by Roger Fisher and Alan Sharp. To be honest, it was not a pleasant read because of the writing style of authors. This is in spite of the fact that it's a short book and Viva Books printed it in good quality paper even if it was a low priced edition :) I expected the book to be something catering to professionals in roles without having the authority ( like a Product Manager or Business Analyst). But the book tries to be lot of things.


 The authors take a two fold approach - first on improving the personal skills and later on to use them to improve collaboration and lead teams. At certain points, I felt it's more a personal skills training book than one on team building or leadership; may be it is due to the fact that it's all interlinked. The book is written in the three parts. First one introduces the topic of lateral leadership and what the authors mean by the term. The second part dives deep into the components of lateral leadership - how to first develop the personal skills required and then to pass on them to your team. Last part is a conclusive discussion on how to keep improving yourself with these learning.

The crux of the book is that we should understand the the real purpose of why we are doing something , make the team understand and own it; once this is achieved, cultivate a culture in yourselves and within the team to come up with thoughts, actions and ownership in achieving the goals. The authors also cautions about 'paralysis with analysis' often seen in discussions and also how to keep the team members engaged. Finally, there is a decent discussion on how to give and receive feedback as well.

Five things you will learn from reading this book are -

1.    How to develop and create a purpose - be it for yourselves, organization or a team undertaking
2.    How to set goals effectively
3.    How to harness collaboration and engagement in a team
4.    How to provide and receive feed backs
5.    Few frameworks, thought process aids guiding your journey in becoming a better leader and team player

Two things I wish the authors did a better job are

1.    A better writing style
2.    Cut short on unnecessary theory since it's meant more for a professional audience than academia. 

Overall, just a decent book to read.

Understanding Native Advertising

We hear a lot about natives, particularly native advertising. In this blog post, let's try to noodle about native advertising, native commerce and native apps. The topic of native advertising has picked up heat early this year after the publication of FTC guidance on native advertising.

What is Native Advertising?


Native advertising is nothing but a mode of showing advertisements matching with the mode and form of underlying platform. For example - promoted tweets that you see in Twitter or suggested products in Amazon or suggested posts in a news website. IAB has defined six standard ad units under the purview of native advertising. They are -

In-feed units 

- these are what I consider the real native ads. They almost look like normal content in the platform; but are actually sponsored ones. For example - twitter promoted tweets.


Paid Search units 

- One of the earliest native ad formats (perhaps even before the term was coined :)). So nothing new here; just that Google or Bing highlights it as 'Sponsored'




Promoted Listings

- Most commonly used in eCommerce sites like Amazon. It is mainly used to showcase related products based on user purchase and browsing behavior.


Recommendation Widgets

- These are similar to promoted listing ad types; but an advertising medium linking text links to external articles/sites. Actually there a set of content marketing/display vendors who play in this domain. Examples include Outbrain, Taboola etc.



In-Ad with native element units

- these are similar to display banner units; but gels well with the content/platform. Once again content marketing/promotion platforms play in this; for example - OneSpot

What makes this domain interesting is how much we can keep the creativity intact. For example, an in-feed ad unit can be designed according to the platform, the publisher site or the app. This brings to the last type - custom ones. For example, the ads shown in Flipboard.

Now that we discussed about what native advertising is and various native ad types; let's shift our focus to one of the important reasons of this topic's uptick -- mobile. We all know content consumption in mobile devices is increasing; and research shows that consumers don’t like traditional display advertising mimicked in mobile (in fact most find it obtrusive). Native mobile ads help in improving the engagement and acceptability of ads in mobile devices.


What are native mobile ads?


Native advertising takes it true format when it comes to mobile. Native mobile ads are those which looks alike in form and format similar to the app or site in which the ad is shown. Since mobile apps provide a variety of capabilities in terms of format,look & feel and access to mobile hardware, native ad formats largely fall in custom one - it can be in-feed, in-game or in-maps etc. - all that matters is creatively include the ad units aligning with your app. Platforms like mopub, inmobi or mobfox are used to develop and show these ads.



If you are interested in seeing live examples from some of the publishers/platforms showing native ads; visit Sharetrough's Native Ad Generator (http://native-generator.sharethrough.com/)

What is Native commerce?


Finally, let's touch on an adjacent topic to native advertising - native commerce as well. The idea is linking eCommerce and content together seamlessly. Similar to in-feed ad units, eCommerce buy links are included in a format aligning with the parent app. So for example, a blog about travel and tourism may show some of the travel packages as ads. This is the marriage of content marketing and eCommerce.

Understanding Data Management Platforms (DMP) aka Data Brokers

Data Management Platforms (DMP) are a set of SaaS offering in the digital advertising ecosystem that have been living for may be around five years now. DMPs have been gaining market noise and Forrester Wave recently published a wave report also.  It's easy to get confused with Tag ManagementSystems that we discussed previously. I believe this post will give a basic understanding of what DMPs are and how they differ from TMS. A DMP's function is three fold - first to  aggregate various data sources, then to integrate them to provide analytics and segmentation capabilities; and finally to deploy actionable insights for various vendors - be it advertising or user experience. 



Let's try to dig a bit deeper into each of these capabilities --

Aggregate data sources


Aggregation of various data sources is the first step that any DMP starts with. Data sources include both online - be it site side analytics, ad serving or optimization and offline - be it transactional data or call center data. These days, all leading DMPs allow collection of data from literally all possible online sources and custom offline integrations.

Integration of data sources


This is the core offering of any DMP. Once the various data sources are integrated, DMPs try to draw conclusions about the profiles of data captured and also provide opportunities to integrate with 3rd party audience segmentation sources like Nielsen. This integration allows Data Management Platforms to provide normalization and segmentation information based on the data accrued. Analysis is done on two fold - based on the first party data that the publisher accrue and then getting input from wider third party data. Let's see a simple example of how this is done.

  1. You make a purchase from a leading e-commerce website. To make purchase, you have given some basic personal information to the company
  1. You visit the brick and mortar store of the company to make a further purchase or return something. Now the company can stitch between your online and offline identities
  1. Based on the information we have, you may be classified into a profile like Male between age group 25 and 35, residing in Kerala state interested in value for money smart phones
  1. You see a display ad showcasing various offers for the smart phone model's accessories; but you didn't click it. However DMP captures the impression
  1. You see a 10% discount ad on an accessory and clicks it, but didn't make the purchase. DMP captures the profile as Male between age group 25 and 35, residing in Kerala state interested in value for money smart phones interested in headsets
  1. Since DMPs create individual profiles, an integration with DSP enables the company to display targeted customized sequential ads for you
  1. You are shown an irresistible offer on the headset, you click and make a purchase
  1. Based on these individual engagement tracking and probabilistic modeling, DMPs create further audience segments
  1. This analysis is fed back into the system for enhancing the segmentation algorithm

Don't believe  this will  all work? Check Bluekai Registry to see under which all segments you belong and who all are tracking you. Of course Personally Identifiable Information(PII) may not be shared by the publisher.

Deployment of actionable insights


Once audience profiles and other insights are developed, DMPs allow it to be directly passed on to a DSP or other online channels. Independent DMPs allow buying actions to be linked to multiple DSPs. It's not just limited to media buying; one can integrate with other marketing channels, for example like  Kenshoo for Paid Search.

DMPs can be pure-play vendors like Bluekai (Oracle) or Lotame; they can part of solution, for example Turn which DMP/DSP integrated or part of a wider marketing cloud like Adobe; or it can be in-house built. DMPs  make sense to those organizations which has built first party data over time. Using the first party data collected as the foundation, DMPs allow accurate customer identities across platforms/devices and optimize media.

Understanding Google RankBrain

A discussion on Google algorithms never get to and end :) We have been discussing about Google and search engine algorithms in general now in a series of posts. While Accelerated Mobile Pages got traction in the last few months; there was also another interesting update from Google on another algorithm component called RankBrain. RankBrain is not an algorithm update in itself; its more a component of a wider algorithm that we discussed earlier - Understanding Google Hummingbird.

What is RankBrain?

We know that Hummingbird algorithm aims to change Google from a search query/result engine to a knowledge engine. Rank Brain could be considered as the major part of the algorithm that helps Google to achieve its goal. Rank Brain is the machine learning/artificial intelligence component embedded to capture the semantics better and further perhaps ingest information into features like Google Knowledge Graph. I think this is one component, which SEOs won't be able to go behind directly (except utilizing things like schemas and mark ups)


RankBrain - One of the most important ranking signal

RankBrain is considered to be among the top three ranking signals Google use. There are supposed to be more than 200 ranking signals used by Google. Rank Brain's machine learning code is expected to connect between ambiguous and vaguely connected queries to provide meaningful results/answers. Over-time it is expected to build a memory of its learning within the algorithm. Thus it is expected to understand the intend behind a search query.

Examples of RankBrain

While a clear and evident example of how RankBrain is impacting search queries; its believed is addressing vague long tail queries. One evident way to see the benefit of this is in usage of various semantic combinations of words in a query. See below for an example -


So essentially Rank Brain is just another factor to make searches and search results smarter! If you would like to get a more in-depth understanding of what rank brain is and what it isn't; do check out Moz's article here.

Here are the other blog posts in which we have discussed search engine ranking algorithms and updates -

The most important and an invaluable promotion!


It's just an amazing feeling. Last week I got a promotion -- not a professional one, but the personal one. I am moving to the next phase of life -- Fatherhood. It makes more special,  as it's a daughter. Though there was no specific desire for a boy or a girl; there was always a secret wish of having a girl 
☺

It was a crazy week with a prolonged hospital stay, medications, confusions and what not. I am relieved that part is finally over! But the warning that i am getting is i am yet to see the real fun! While it's exciting days. it's nervous days too. To be honest, these are the days when you realize all those official nightouts and pressures are nothing compared to this☺.

I am not sure if i will be able to continue writing, reading etc. in the same pace as before since office plus a new born is not going to  be that easy...priorities are going to change...I am hoping I am able to continue writing in the blog....stay tuned!


Book Review Google Semantic Search by David Amerland

Semantic Search - Search Engine Optimization Techniques That Get Your Company More Traffic, Increase Brand Impact, and Amplify Your Online Presence written by David Amerland is a book about web/search 3.0. In 200 pages,   the author provides a good overview of the new search norm for the marketing professional. Written in a slightly theoretical style, the books provides the nitty gritties of semantic search,  it's components and how it all span out from search engine optimization perspective.



If you were looking for a more in depth technical overview of how semantic Web or search works; you will be disappointed.  I feel this book is written  for a marketer in charge of various digital media, including SEO.



The book is roughly written in three parts - first one dealing with an introduction on how search engines are transforming from a query engine to knowledge engine. 
The second part deals with how content marketing is driving new search marketing and how various channels such as social media get interlinked in building trust. The last part briefly discuss about how search is becoming more and more invisible and challenges in building an ideal knowledge engine.



The book revolves around three pillars - trust, reputation and authority. Five learning from reading the book are --



  1. How the search engine is changing from a mere keyword based link result showing tool to an universal search providing instant answers
  2. Why trust, reputation and authority are the key factors in getting your business web entities in search results; and how to build them
  3. How various marketing channels like content, social media and other Web assets are interlinked
  4. A checklist from all angles to build the right SEO strategies for semantic search
  5. A brief overview of Google specific algorithms and components like TrustRank, Knowledge graph etc.



Two places I felt the book fell short are



  1. Providing the technical depth either for an engineer or a marketer. The only technical knowledge on semantic search from this book is that it's components include a Resource Description Framework (RDF), Uniform Resource Indicator  (URI) and an Ontology module
  2. Few checklists are at a very high level demanding the reader to noodle through  a lot of other resources to get it implemented. This writing style creates a doubt on whether the book is written for an executive,  rather than an SEO professional 



Overall a good book, but I felt most of the topics are already covered in depth from various industry practitioners. Also keep in mind that some of the topics discussed  may appear outdated, requiring refinement or irrelevant anymore because of the nature of industry. For example, the importance of Google + or rel=author tag.

Understanding Omni-channel marketing

Cross-Channel, Omni-Channel, Multi-Channel -- all these are jargons you here in today's world especially when the discussion is around digital space. Often when we say omni channel or cross channel, we refer to the various digital  channels available for promotion of content. A recent discussion with one of the leading market players in omni-channel customer experience domain poked my interest to learn more about this industry.

What is Omni-Channel customer experience?


You get digital product shelves at a super market instead of actual ones. Customers scan the product they want using QR code. At the end of shopping, the products are delivered automatically at the cash counter! That's omni channel customer experience. You think this is a fiction? Check this video of how Tesco created a virtual supermarket in South Korea.



So Omni channel is not (just) the regular digital marketing; its about utilizing digital platforms for enhancing customer experience - be it store experience, promotional channels, post sales encounters. As you might have guesses, retail is the industry that has spearheaded this notion. With mobile becoming the new platform for everything starting from purchase to social networking; Omni-channel marketing has paved way for retailers to creatively engage with customers  and induce purchase behavior. True omni-channel marketing may start from analyzing present customer purchase behavior to call center integration to comprehensive using integrated marketing communications channels to in-store/kiosks based options. The core to managing an omni channel marketing is setting up a foundation for data flow through-out.

How do you design an omni-channel customer experience?


Starting point is to chart our the customer journey. Moments of truth or consumer touch points along the journey is another factor to bring in. Understanding the touch points is crucial to tweak the expeiecnce a consumer may encounter with (it may be technical as a mobile app or very old attitude of store manager!) Social and digital channels have moved away customer journey from a linear path to a convoluted one.  The second aspect to omni-channel marketing is providing a consistent experience through out - be it the messaging or branding. Clubbing online and offline channels to complement each other is the key. I consider omni-channel marketing to be a culmination of personalization, digital and offline experience.

Book Review Who are you really and what do you want ?

Who are you really and what do you want ? is a self help book written by Dr. Shad Helmstetter. Once again, the jazzy title of the book attracted me to read the book; but I wasn't disappointed. It's a light read written in simple language without much beating around the bush.


This book don't directly talk about finding your passion, being positive etc; but indirectly tries to convey the same message. The core aspect the author tries to bring forward is that we can achieve our dreams through proper goal setting and with the help of a coach.

Essentially, the author talks about three pillars to success --

1.    Fine tuning our self talk. Understanding how our own sub conscious self talk is affecting us - positively or negatively. One third of the book is devoted on how to listen actively to our self talk, how to make it productive/positive to ourselves and do away with negative thoughts. This step is considered as the foundation step to understand what you want and how to achieve them. What I really liked is that some of the ideas he mention like the questionnaire to find out where we stand, writing down what we self-think, trying to reword or counter the negative self talk etc. If you have read Prof.Sreekumar Rao's Are You Ready to Succeed; this is similar to the mental models he talks about.

2.    Active goal setting. Second part of the book is devoted to making goal setting the right way. I believe the discussion points are standard ones that you may see in other goal setting literature. Having said that, if you are actively thinking about improving your goal setting; this book would be the only one required. Some of the points, author stresses are - writing down the goals, putting time lines, obstacles etc. He has put out a good framework of eight steps to identify if the goal is the right one. The author also provide a list of ten areas and sample goals in each for the reader to consider taking up.

3.   Finding a mentor or coach. The last part of the book emphasize on the importance of professional coaching and finding the right mentor. While reading this part, I felt it more marketing coaching services; but in a way I agree that having a buddy, mentor or coach helps in fine tuning our path and achieve the goals - be it personal or professional. I really liked the questions he provides in this part as those which may come from a coach.

Overall , a good book and I recommend it. A word of caution that you may find the principles repetitive if you are an avid reader of self help literature (also most of the online resources mentioned in the book are not accessible)

Digital Marketing Trends in 2016

This is the time when everyone talks about what to expect in 2016 - be it Stock Markets, Business or Astrology! Predictions, suggestions, thoughts and cautionary notes come out. Here are my five top things, which I think will dominate in the marketing world….what do you think?


Accelerated Content Marketing


This is nothing new; from inbound to content - content has become the driving factor when it comes to online marketing. I believe this will continue to be the area of thrust with Digital Marketers continuing to invest in creative content deliveries to attract customers.

Focus on Influencer Marketing


Again not a new concept (and perhaps a subset of content marketing); but for sure to explode in 2016. Influencer Marketing (or Brand Advocates or whatever jazzy name you give) will be something businesses will need to concentrate more and careful selection for the platforms - be it YouTube, Snapchat or something will be critical to success (dirtying your hands on all may not be the right way to go).

Increased Mobile Focus


I remember in my previous company, we used to go behind Mobile as a holy grail; I believe that will continue and Mobile may become the de facto standard for businesses to start with - be it an app, mobile site, or advertising. This will be even more important with search engines giving importance to mobile over desktop (with app indexing etc.)

Personalization


I remember the first days of sending personalized emails (it was a great feeling!). Today personalization has reached to a new level. We can have personalized campaigns, messaging and what not - that too at scale. Personalization is not just limited to emails or eCommerce (where you see the recommendations based on purchase or browsing behavior), it can be creatively used anywhere - be it your website or during offline events. Accelerated use of mobile devices also helps in personalizing content.

Technology Overtake


Technology will be the driving factor and continue to change the landscape. Sometimes while interacting with media planning teams, I wonder whether I talking to marketers to technologists :) Industry experts also predict, we can continue to see a lot of consolidation in the market. Hoping to see a lot less cluttered lumascapes!

Finally here are two articles on the same topic which I believe covers a lot of depth asks some thought-provoking questions.

Happy New Year!

And thus ends yet another year. 2015 was truly a roller coaster ride with too many twists and turns. Though it was an eventful and a stressful one, it had its own fun moments too! It was a low on professional front, and a decent one on personal front. Hoping for a great year ahead.... 


2015 took me closer to analytics, data science and what not....hoping to fine tune the focus a bit on that in 2016. More on it in future posts. 2016 will mark 9 years of entering workforce, 6 years of association with IIMB, 5 years with marketing, 3 years as an MBA and 3 years of married life :)





After its start in 2010, this blog went to a sleep mode for some time, before I started blogging with full pace again this year. PGSEM is no more; and is being re-branded to PGPEM (with a complete makeover of program structure itself). The theme of the blog has shifted from a B School diary to more on digital marketing. I am hoping to keep my writing on business and marketing this year with few ones on MBA and B School in between.

Hope you all had a good year and enjoyed the holidays. Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous new year! May all your wishes come true in 2016!